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Four by Four 

An odd art assortment

FRI 1/7

Chadwick Rantanen's artwork causes us to consider the common grammar error in which quotation marks are used for emphasis. In this situation, "thanks" means "similar to thanks." In other words, a sign reading "'Thanks' to our customers" technically conveys "Not thanks to our customers." But any reader with a brain knows what the sign is trying to say, so what does it really mean? Rantanen's videos and sculptures -- in which he juxtaposes similar items (globes and maps, for example) -- cause viewers to ask just this sort of mind-contorting question. At this evening's opening reception for four solo exhibitions at Southern Exposure, such queries are just the beginning. Conrad Bakker makes tiny wooden replicas of sidewalk debris; Claudia Tennyson performs confounding repairs on broken household items; and Daniel Seiple's Free Storage by Go West! project involves a moving company started by the artist, a theme he expands upon at the opening with Truck Stop, aka live music and dancing inside the Go West van. All four artists participate in a panel discussion of their work pre-hoedown at 7 p.m. at the Southern Exposure Gallery, 401 Alabama (at 17th Street), S.F. Admission is free; call 863-2141 or visit
-- Hiya Swanhuyser

Bad Leaders! Bad!
When CEOs and politicos do us wrong

TUES 1/11

It sounds like a big "No duh!" but look around -- maybe it's not. "Why Bad Leadership Matters" is a topic that dogs almost all of us, but which of us could concretely describe how a bad leader behaves, let alone figure out what to do about it? Barbara Kellerman has devoted most of her life to this and similar issues, so she's an expert. Some of her theories may not shock you -- she says part of the reason we have so many leaders who lack integrity is that their followers themselves have problems -- but she still plans to take Saddam Hussein, the Rev. Jim Jones, and former Mattel CEO Jill Barad to task. Her talk starts at 5:30 p.m. at the Commonwealth Club, 595 Market (at Second Street), S.F. Admission is $12-18; call 597-6701 or visit
-- Hiya Swanhuyser

Book Smart
Mutated media for twisted readers

WED 1/5

With all the dreck on best-seller lists it's easy to forget the folks who do odd, interesting things with books. Maybe, like Marshall Weber, they find a discarded 1969 high school yearbook and spend three years turning it into a chapbook of collages. Perhaps, like Fred Rinne, they make hand-painted books comparing Santa and Jesus. And then there's Karen Switzer, whose zine Ker-bloom! uses an antiquated letterpress printing process to document stories about sebaceous cysts and anarchy. These three literary pranksters show off their tomes and read tonight at "Crazy Knowledge" at 7 at the San Francisco Center for the Book, 300 De Haro (at 16th Street), S.F. Admission is free; call 565-0545 or visit
-- Joyce Slaton

The Kindest Cut


So what else are you saving all those back issues of Paper for? Liberate them tonight at 8 at the "Fashion Magazine Collage Party," a frenzy of cutting and pasting (and, given the location, deep breathing), while DJ Count Marcele spins fashionable '70s and '80s club tunes at the Oxygen Bar Sushi & Sake Lounge, 795 Valencia (at 19th Street), S.F. Admission is free; call 255-2102.
-- Joyce Slaton


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