Visual Art

Heart shaped box

The Queer Issue: Tammy Rae Carland's "An Archive of Feelings"
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"Let's pretend we own the world today," Kathleen Hanna sings midway through the uncharacteristic Bikini Kill ballad "For Tammy Rae." In her new solo show "An Archive of Feelings," the woman Hanna was singing for, Tammy Rae Carland, breaks down and reframes some of what she owns from a queer, feminist perspective that upsets emotional and financial conceits. Carland can wittily point out the beauty of mold and frame it in gold, but her show's largest C-prints are perhaps the most powerful. Read more »

A different light

The Queer Issue: Gay photographers review the urban landscape
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johnny@sfbg.com

THE QUEER ISSUE It's best to begin at the edge. Gay urban photography has a fleeting yet reliably revelatory home at those places where water laps up against land. On the East Coast, from 1975 through 1986, Alvin Baltrop explored the Hudson River side of Manhattan, capturing black-and-white visions of sex, murder, and architecture by cruising the piers as a peer rather than as an exploitative outsider. Read more »

"Punball: Only One Earth"

William T. Wiley's anti-genre-fication catalog reaches a grinning pinnacle
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"Punball: Only One Earth"

PREVIEW From large-scale printmaking to the small masking-tape sculpture Pillow Talk (2002), William T. Wiley's anti-genre-fication catalog reaches a grinning pinnacle in the 65 works from the past eight years on display at the "Punball: Only One Earth" exhibit at Electric Works. Read more »

Tech art 2.0

Wistfully hopeful, 01SJ's "Superlight" aerates a genre
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REVIEW Does anyone still truly abide by the hope that technology is the benevolent force that can deliver a luminous future? Sure, we've got biotech, greentech, and Web 2.0 to tackle disease, our environmental sins, social alienation, and economic downturn. But at the same time, who isn't aware of the corporate capitalist machinery and toxic waste that will accompany the next Apple marvel or Monsanto-engineered miracle crop? Read more »

"You Make Me Make You"

Suzanne Husky documents life in huggable 3-D
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REVIEW We photograph stuff and immediately pass it on to everyone who has Internet access. We ingest news events recorded only moments ago — and expect information on the next event even before it has completely unfolded. Artist Suzanne Husky is also driven to document what is happening right now: from social concerns to what she witnesses in her community. But she doesn't give it to us flat, like so much documentation via electronic media. Read more »

Faith-based initiative

The Contemporary Jewish Museum's opening show starts at the "Beginning"
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REVIEW The Contemporary Jewish Museum was founded in 1984 as the Jewish Museum San Francisco, and "starchitect" Daniel Libeskind's building design, which seemingly bursts out of an 1881 vintage brick facade opposite Yerba Buena Gardens, began taking shape nearly a decade ago. But for all intents and purposes, the CJM's opening this week marks the launch of a new art space that must affirm its brand identity on our cultural landscape. Read more »

"Written on Spiders"

Berlin's Starship collective lands on all eights
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REVIEW From this side of the planet, as many in the American art world see it, Berlin is currently the art world's utopia. Things are happening there: experimentation and funding can be had, as well as cheap studios, alternative-gallery spaces, and thriving collectives galore. But this scene didn't just fall from the sky like a space virus and infect the German capital in the past few years. It's been brewing for some time. One collective, known as a hub that links dozens of contemporary German artists, is Starship. Read more »

"Tree Show IV"

Buy stuff! Save forests!
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PREVIEW In Shel Silverstein's 1964 classic book, The Giving Tree (HarperCollins), a self-sacrificing tree hands itself off to a boy — surrendering its shade and its lumber — until it ultimately ends up just a stump for the now-old man to sit on and die. Read more »

Power everywhere and nowhere

"After the Revolution: Contemporary Photography from Tehran and California"
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REVIEW Arguably the strangest image in the news this year was an Associated Press-circulated pic of Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad wearing the type of 3-D glasses you'd find packaged with a comic book, examining a map at Tehran's space center in a state of deep concentration. Read more »

Starry-eyed and stripped

Ryan McGinley dreams of a New World
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REVIEW More than one witness has reported that Mayor Gavin Newsom, fiancée in tow, dropped by the jam-packed opening reception for photographer Ryan McGinley's show at Ratio 3. The civic-minded pair joined the fray of cool kids and art world cognoscenti — I heard John Waters and Todd Oldham were there — and in some ways the appearance was apropos: the artist and politician share a lineage of tall, charismatic Irish Catholics who inspire others to action. Read more »