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Wednesday, Dec 4 1996
december 4
Under Construction Built around a metaphor that would make Bill Clinton proud, the exhibit "Bridges: A Collaborative Project" attempts to span the chasms between culture, class, ethnicity, and ideology through contemporary art. The gaps between humanity and technology are also acknowledged, sometimes through technology itself, by the five artists' teams and two panel-discussion teams involved. From Genetic Fingerprint, which springs from artist Anne Chamberlain's experiences with cancer, to 50 Stars, a voice mail system that culls opinions about social issues in an election year, "Bridges" links the present to the future. The exhibit opens with a reception at 5:30 p.m. (and continues through Jan. 12) in the Walter/McBean Gallery of the San Francisco Art Institute, 800 Chestnut, S.F. Admission is free; call 749-4545.

december 5
Scouting Trip Photographers, illustrators, and graphic designers, some working outside their standard media, contribute their works of art to "Hidden Talents," an auction benefiting the college scholarship fund and the professional programs of the American Institute of Graphic Arts/S.F. Participating Bay Area-based artists include Jock McDonald, Michael Schwab, Mark Fox, and John Hersey. The evening begins with a viewing of auction works and a vendor forum at 6 p.m., followed by the auction and refreshments at 8 p.m. in the Green Room of the War Memorial Performing Arts Center, 401 Van Ness, S.F. Admission is $10; call 626-6008.

Fashion Victim First Aid In the chill of winter, fashion's fickle fancy warms to spring things like tube tops and cha-cha heels; with that in mind, Fashion Group International's local chapter will be showing spring 1997 collections. European and American designers will be represented and Chron Fashion Editor Trish Donnally will serve as commentator at the event, which begins with cocktails and hors d'oeuvres at 6 p.m. in the Levi Strauss Auditorium, 1155 Battery. Admission is $10-30; call 383-5944. And on Saturday, the San Francisco Fashion Forum holds "Evolution '96," which unveils new haute couture and day, evening, and casual wear by local designers like Eduardo Criado and Svetlana Pedan. This is the fifth annual show by the Forum, a collective of Bay Area design students and professionals. "Evolution '96" begins at 8 p.m. at the SOMAR Gallery, 934 Brannan, S.F. Admission is $15; call 437-6489.

Sin, 15th-Century Style It can't have been easy to follow Shakespeare's act, but the playwrights of the Jacobean Period, which came right after the Bard's, didn't really have a choice. John Ford, like fellow Johns Donne and Webster, is considered one the era's most notable writers; SFSU's theater arts department will stage his 'Tis a Pity She's a Whore. Amorous, amoral chaos erupts in this tale of an Italian man who impregnates his sister during the course of their incestuous affair -- she marries her suitor to mask her shame, but he vows revenge once he uncovers her secret. Mohammad Kowsar directs. The show opens with a preview at 8 p.m. (and runs through Dec. 15) at the Little Theater, Creative Arts Building, SFSU campus, 1600 Holloway, S.F. Admission is $7-9; call 338-2467.

Poking Fun The fine art of tattooing is fleshed out in slides, spoken word, skin, movement, and music at "Pins and Needles," a multimedia exhibit and performance gallery. In a two-night opening reception featuring butoh dancers and skin models, writer/artist Al Luhan and performance artists Justin Chin and Harriet Dodge join Artistic Director Sarah Franko in guiding viewers through issues of identity, process, permanence, and pain historically associated with tattooing. Photographer Mari Kono, who began documenting the form in the early '90s after meeting celebrated tattooist Don Hardy in Japan, has created a slide and photography show for "Pins," and sound engineers GX Jupiter-Larsen and Maria Moran contribute a sound collage. Artists from Spirits in the Flesh, Black and Blue, Picture Machine, and Tattoo City will also participate. A gallery featuring antique machines, historic artwork, and contemporary photography will be on display through Dec. 15. The reception is held at 8 p.m. (also on Friday) at Intersection for the Arts, 446 Valencia, S.F. Admission is $9-12; call 626-2787.

Dynamic Duo Newspaper headlines and snatches of conversations bump into dreams and obsessions in Now What?, an improvisational theatrical performance by collaborators Corey Fischer and Nina Wise. Fischer, a film and TV veteran whose credits include stints on M*A*S*H and Barney Miller, has worked with Wise, an avant-garde theater artist, for six years, which may account for the pair's fearless foray into scriptless territory. The show opens with a preview at 8 p.m. (and runs through Dec. 21) at A Traveling Jewish Theater, 2800 Mariposa, S.F. Admission is $15; call 399-1809.

december 6
Just the Fax, Ma'am If you've ever handed someone your e-mail address instead of your phone number, then you're ready for Digitally Yours, a series of original comic sketches satirizing life and love in the age of technology. Margery Kreitman, director of the HIV-positive women's theater group Visible Proof, and Karen Hirst, a local acting teacher and Second City Improvisational Theater alum, wrote and will perform in Digitally Yours at 8:30 p.m. (through Dec. 15) at Theater Rhinoceros, 2926 16th St., S.F. Admission is $10; call 861-5079.

december 7
Picture This New and vintage black-and-white photos, and modern photos using old techniques like hand-coloring and photo etchings, will be sold at S.F. Camerawork's 1996 Annual Photography Auction. The sale features work from over 200 locally and nationally known photographers, as well as galleries, dealers, and collectors. Registration begins at 11 a.m., followed by the auction at 1 p.m. at S.F. Camerawork, 115 Natoma, S.F. Admission is $10; call 764-1001.

Another Opening Since scores of gallerygoers attend openings just for the free wine and cheese, the Gallery of Low Self Esteem offers "The Four-Hour Art Show," an exhibit and sale of bad art by Seth Maxwell Malice, Godzilla art by Noah, mayhem by Seemen's Kal Spelletich, and an installation involving bloody bunnies by Leslie Weinstein. Don't ask: Just go. The show begins at 7 p.m. at the Gallery of Low Self Esteem, 3246 16th St., S.F. Admission is free; call 241-9196.

Move It Roald Dahl's enchanting Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and photographer Eadweard Muybridge's trailblazing snapshots of animal and human motion inspired OnSite Dance Company's The Motionarium, a walk-through dance and performance installation. Audience members should wear comfortable clothing; they get to participate in the piece, which is conducted as an interactive tour throughout the building. Graffiti artist Barry McGee, techno-sculptor Neil Grimmer, and the Splatter Trio's Myles Boisen lend their talents to this show created by Paul Benney and Jessica Lutes, whose work is characterized by innovative partnering and an athletic, improvisational base. The Motionarium begins at 8 p.m. (and runs through Dec. 15) at ODC Performance Gallery Theater, 3153 17th St., S.F. Admission is $8-12.50; call 863-9834.

Rock 'n' Roll Lock Down Deadbolt's voodoobilly is freakier than the Reverend Horton Heat's psychobilly, thicker and twangier than Dick Dale's surf guitar, and funny in the over-the-top kind of way that an album called Tijuana Hit Squad, by guys calling themselves "the scariest band in the world," would almost have to be. Russ Meyer and the Cramps echo through songs like "The Day I Got My Spine Back," in which a hit man spends a day holed up in his hotel room watching John Wayne movies. Cape-wearing Portland, Ore., five-piece Satan's Pilgrims join the surfboard-scorching, head-busting free-for-all. Cockpit opens at 9 p.m. at Kilowatt, 3160 16th St., S.F. Admission is $6; call 861-2595.

december 8
A 'Shroom of One's Own Learn to separate the tasty from the toxic types of fungi at the Mycological Society's San Francisco Mushroom Fair, where Dr. Bill Freeman speaks on "The World's Deadliest Mushroom Family," amanita. There were 12 mushroom poisonings on the West Coast last year, including one fatality and two liver transplants, after foragers ate "Death Caps," a type of amanita. On a lighter note, Oritalia chef Bruce Hill and cookbook author Janet Hazen give demonstrations on easily prepared mushroom dishes, while Vivande chef Carlo Middione speaks on "Mycelium: Myth, Metaphor, and Magic" and mycology professor Mo-Mei Chen discusses techniques for growing edible and medicinal mushrooms. Cultivation and identification tables will share the space with mushroom kitsch items. The fair begins at 10 a.m.; Freeman speaks at 10:30 a.m., Middione at 1 p.m., and Chen at 3:30 p.m. in the San Francisco County Fair Building, Golden Gate Park, Ninth Avenue & Lincoln Way, S.F. Admission is $5; call 759-0495 for information on the fair and the wild mushroom foray held the previous day.

Stepping Out Chopsticks and Sneakers, L.A.'s collective of Asian-American and Asian-Pacific-American dancers and choreographers, travels north for a one-night gig at the "A Month of Sundays" series curated by Fellow Travelers Performance Group. Using contemporary dance steeped in the cultural traditions of China, Japan, the Philippines, and Korea, the 13-year-old collective illustrates some of the riches and clashes borne from the ways multicultural identity translates in America. The show begins at 8:30 p.m. at the Dancer's Group Studio Theater, 3221 22nd St., S.F. Admission is $10; call 824-5044.

december 9
Playing Around It's time for the 10th installment of "PlayGround," a festival of 10-minute original plays penned by up-and-coming playwrights. As in previous shows, all the plays are inspired by the same topic and written in just five days. Professional and community directors take charge of the productions in this play-development project launched by SFSU two years ago. See what comes of theme- and deadline-driven unions between academics and thespians. The show begins at 8 p.m. at A Traveling Jewish Theater, 2800 Mariposa, S.F. Admission is free; call 399-1809.

Ping Happening After testing the professional waters as a member of Meredith Monk's performance group the House Foundation, artist Ping Chong decided to create his own material, beginning with the 1972 theater work Lazarus. The New York-based Chong still collaborates with Monk, but he continues to search for meaning in contemporary theater and art as the director of Ping Chong and Company, which has shown its work at such adventurous venues as the Brooklyn Academy of Music's Next Wave Festival. Chong will speak on his work as an installation artist, videographer, director, and choreographer at a slide lecture beginning at 7:30 p.m. at ODC Performance Gallery, 3153 17th St., S.F. Admission is a suggested $4-7; call 346-6456.

december 10
Rites of Passage Larry Clark's Passing Through, hailed by many cinephiles as one of the best jazz films around, screens locally with a live introduction by the filmmaker, an SFSU cinema department faculty member. Clark, a kind of filmmaking Renaissance man, has served as producer, writer, editor, and director on several independent films -- his latest creation, the feature-length Cutting Horse, is scheduled for release in 1997. "An Evening With Larry Clark" begins with a reception at 6 p.m. in Room 101 of the Arts & Industry Building, SFSU campus, 1600 Holloway, S.F. Admission is free; call 338-1629.

About The Author

Heather Wisner


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