Stanford MFA Exhibition
Geoff Tuttle, one of five graduation MFA candidates, rebuilds the heavens in this audio-video installation called Gemini. Everything's in twos -- the title refers to both the early '60s Gemini space program and the astrological sign. Half of the room is occupied by two upside-down chairs spinning from an electronic copper disc in the ceiling. This contraption is miked and videotaped for a monitor that sits on a silver desk on the other side of the room. In this mediated form, the chairs appear to be upright; on headphones the sound of the contraption is split up to spin in your head. The piece resolves the rift in the Gemini's personality: the assertive side that participates in experience exists alongside the reserved one that prefers experiencing from afar. Shows Tuesday through Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 1 to 5 p.m. (through June 14) at the Stanford University Art Gallery, 419 Lasuen Mall (at Serra), Palo Alto. Admission is free; call (650) 723-3788.
San Francisco Art Institute's
MFA Graduate Exhibition
I haven't seen any of the work in this year's San Francisco Art Institute graduate exhibition; merely looking at slides before the show itself, the school's publicist told me haughtily, could not convey the conceptual, avant-garde, very experimental, very groundbreaking, and really-on-the-edge-of-invention nature of the work. That's scarcely a recommendation, but one shouldn't hold the sins of the publicist against the actual artists; remember that the great assortment and sheer size of the program guarantees a handful of outstanding exhibits. The panorama of genres (painting, installation, film, video, sculpture, printmaking, and drawing) and gawkers (typically more than 1,000 of the artsy-fartsy show up for the opening) makes this the event of the week to hit. Opens Saturday, May 16 at noon; shows through May 24 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily at the Herbst Pavilion, Fort Mason Center, Marina & Buchanan, S.F. Admission is free; call 749-4545.
California College of Arts and Crafts MFA Exhibitions
I saw only last week's impressive edition of CCAC's MFA exhibition; this week's is different, but it's probably well worth the price of a BART ride. The highlight of last week was Saima Mussani's untitled work, a set of small magnifying glasses hanging from the ceiling. Marvelously, the lenses capture movement in the room and cast faint and subtle reflections onto the wall -- recording, in real time, the ins and outs of visitors to the space. Shows Tuesday through Friday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday noon to 4 p.m. (through May 16) at the Oliver Art Center, 5212 Broadway, Oakland. Admission is free; call (510) 653-8118.
-- Marcy Freedman