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Faux to Joy 

Wednesday, Dec 5 2007
It looks hoaxy: The "Centennial Celebration of the Elationists" is presented as an exhibit of items from a lost San Francisco art movement. This is unlikely, but we don't care. The ideas of the Elationists are so good, the artifacts so well-made, and the esprit so inspiring, the event's authenticity seems irrelevant. Whether the collection refers to the immediately-post-1906 earthquake era, as claimed, or to sometime early this year, when the event's organizers (Brent Bishop, Tyson Ayers, and Robert Larkin) may have started making the charming stuff — this may never be known, and we say pffft. No matter when the little sculptures of cobbled-together Victorian detritus were made, they still have little porcelain buttons that read "push" fitted on brass handles. The gentlemanly paintings of Captain Muldoon show melancholic gazes into deep water; a Theda-Bara-type siren named VeryVery Morley appears in photogravures; and mutated, sometimes very large, musical instruments abound. Brought together by a philosophical embrace of joy, the group's members are said to have consumed a "mildly intoxicating chocolate elixir" and generally enjoyed themselves in spite of the calamities around them. The current event promises more of the same, including the chocolate drink.
Dec. 8-15, 8 p.m., 2007

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Hiya Swanhuyser


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