reviews

  • Contraband, Oracle

    Theater Artaud

    Contraband is an eight-member, San Francisco-based, interdisciplinary performance collective that boasts of its “rowdy dancing.” It annexed a social context and power for its work several years ago with a series of performances in the Gartland Pit, the politically charged site of an unsolved crime in San Francisco’s Mission district in which arson destroyed a hotel for low-income residents and 12 occupants died in the blaze. I, for one, carried the memory of Contraband’s provocative performance there into the Theater Artaud for the company’s recent premiere of Oracle, presented by American

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  • Doug Hall

    Fuller Gross Gallery

    The sculptural installations, mixed-media paintings and drawings, and other wall pieces and videotape screenings that Doug Hall arranged for this gallery show had an air of waiting out their own apocalypse—an apocalypse of excess allusion and piled-on metaphor, of dysfunctional meanings at hypercritical mass. Meaning in art is equated (in the critical sector at least) with power. Hall’s longstanding fascination with images of power, whether raw or contrived, demagogic or meteorological, has led his art to the verge of an irradiated stasis where delays or sudden outages of meaning are the norm.

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