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Monday, December 26, 2011

"Remains in the End Times" Is Even Darker Than It Sounds

Posted on Mon, Dec 26, 2011 at 10:30 AM

Evil Erector - YOSHI SODEOKA
  • Yoshi Sodeoka
  • Evil Erector

"It's the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine." We like that line from REM, but we understand it more now after seeing this exhibit. It's called "Remains in the End Times," and it might sound pretty dark - as in, the remains of living things and objects. But "remains" can also be a verb, as in "[The Human Race] Remains in the End Times." And that's closer to what organizers of this group show at the Popular Workshop had in mind. They theorize that the end of the world is not impending, as many people insist, but rather that "society is already immersed in this so-called doomsday" - that we've slowly adapted to accept (and even embrace) things such as smog-ridden skies and omnipresent white noise from always-on televisions, computers, and smartphones. This vision is expressed through video, audio, sculpture, and prints.

Devils Reign - YOSHI SODEOKA
  • Yoshi Sodeoka
  • Devils Reign

Recognizable landscapes and human forms appear as if transmitted through severely disrupted (and garishly colored) digital means. The figure in Yoshi Sodeoka's Devils Reign might be a victim of the digital age - surrounded by multicolored electromagnetic waves that trace his every movement - or just as well a member of the Thought Police questioning us from within his mind-numbing programming.

Together in My Freezer - ROSA MENKMAN
  • Rosa Menkman
  • Together in My Freezer

Abstractions abound as well. Rosa Menkman's Together in My Freezer might be a weather radar shot from the surface of Jupiter or a microscopic heat-sensitive image of living tissue.

The whole exhibit leaves us feeling vaguely off-balance, which fits, when you consider two of the things that make San Francisco famous - earthquakes and psychedelia.

"Remains in the End Times" continues through Dec. 30 at the Popular Workshop, 1173 Sutter (at Polk), S.F. Admission is free.

For more events in San Francisco this week and beyond, check out our calendar section. Follow us on Twitter at @ExhibitionistSF and like us on Facebook.

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