yerba buena center for the arts
Sporting a pig snout and coke bottle Dr. Magoo glasses, theater artist Cynthia Hopkins plays the accordion and sings poignantly about loss and mortality on micro- and macrocosmic levels. An intergalactic space epic marked by immersive videoscapes, song, and text, The Success of Failure blends silver spacesuit-clad sci-fi and the random happenstance of the universe (if the dinosaurs hadn't been wiped out, we would be breathing through gills right now) with the deeply personal - addiction, the loss of her mother, and her dying father.
There’s no time like dream time -- propelled by information streams and reads on radical culture, race and feminism, as well as journeys, both pleasurable and migratory, and histories, both national and personal. And it's time to dive into a sizable overview of San Francisco artist (and Dean of Graduate Studies at the San Francisco Art Institute) Renee Green’s time-based work when Yerba Buena Center for the Arts presents the largest US exhibition of her pieces in more than a decade: “Renee Green: Endless Dreams and Time-Based Streams.”
Wozzeck doesn't look, sound, or feel like your standard opera o' buxom women in blonde braids and Viking helmets. Thought to be the first avant garde opera of the 20th century and a classic example of atonality, Wozzeck is based on the true story of a man (named Wozzeck - title explained) who was accused of killing his mistress in 1821 and publicly executed for the crime three years later.
The latest masterpiece to open at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts on January 27th isn't a painting, a sculpture, or even, arguably, "art" at all. It's the newest product from the folks at Apple, which is sure to make techies squeal like children about to enter Willy Wonka's chocolate factory. (The invitation, left, shares Mr. Wonka's enthusiasm for psychedelic colors.) As is typical with Apple, the "creation" hasn't been specified, though the Internet rumor mill predicts it will be the company's first tablet PC-- if it comes with a stylus pen for drawing enthusiasts, that should explain the choice of an art museum as a venue. Either way, since Apple has bowed out of its typical introductory venue, the Moscone Center's annual Macworld Expo, this should be a big one.
It’s a First Thursday kind of week -- and though everything in the SF arts world goes into hibernation around this time of year, there are still a few shows worth checking out.
“American Pastiche: Choose Your Own Adventure”
Jose Arenas and Phillip Hua look at relationship between immigration and identity, commerce and the environment, as part of an homage to a children’s book series. Reception Jan. 7, 6-8 p.m. Hang Art, 567 Sutter St., SF. (415) 434-4264.
“Leonor Fini: Une Grand Curiosite”
The Argentine lady surrealist gets her largest North American showing right here. Weinstein Gallery, 301 Geary St., SF. (415) 362-2230.
Throat-singing is capable of throwing the most delicious shivers down your spine -- be it from Bulgaria, Tuva, or Nunavut. Tanya Tagaq hails from the latter territory in northern Canada, where a few thousand Inuits live. Still, the aboriginal throat-singer sounds as if she could have easily stepped off a spaceship straight from Planet Post-Punk.
The artists and curators were chatty, the mini-sandwiches were tasty, and the mingling was in full swing at Orson Restaurant today as Yerba Buena Center for the Arts announced its 2009-2010 season. Music in the galleries, new large-scale commissions, longer exhibition hours that will allow audiences to take in the exhibitions as well as YBCA’s performances, and a “Big Ideas” program delving into major themes of interest to artists, are a few of the shifts going on at the center.
If you missed “Abraham Lincoln’s Big Gay Dance Party” (at SF Playhouse last month) you can still experience a big, (incidentally gay) dance spectacle on the topic of President Lincoln when Bill T. Jones stages his new work about Abraham Lincoln called “Fondly Do We Hope... Fervently Do We Pray” in October.
Before that, on May 9, the director and choreographer, (who won a Tony for his choreography of “Spring Awakening”) will discuss Abraham Lincoln’s legacy and the creative process of his new work in a community conversation at the Yerba Buena Center.