Vanessa Justice Dance
Thanks, Brooklyn: These days, it seems most everything that comes from Brooklyn is utterly hip, and that’s not a bad thing. From bands to food to fashion, Brooklyn has a leg up on most other arts communities. That’s why we’re stoked that Brooklyn-based dance company Vanessa Justice Dance is coming to San Diego for the West Coast debut of their multimedia contemporary piece, Flatland. Performed by three women and their video counterparts, Flatland was inspired by Edmund Burke’s 1756 discourse on the sublime experience and features sound from David Lynch’s 1977 movie, Eraserhead. It’s a multimedia, multi-sensory show that weaves together sound, movement, shadow, video and animation. Performances are at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, April 16 and 17, at SDSU’s Studio Theater (ENS-200). $18. www.vanessajusticedance.org.
String ’em up: Many centuries back, some sicko thought it would be a good idea to slide tightened horsehair against stretched sheep gut. This week, the Calder Quartet—an orchestral crew of USC alums—will prove the idea wasn’t just good, it was brilliant, with two stringed performances. At 8 p.m. Thursday April 15, at The Loft at UCSD, the quartet will perform as part of The Loft’s “Tentacle Sessions,” a $16 recital of “emergent music” that they promise will be gripping but not frightening. The next day, Friday, April 16, the quartet will be part of a free ArtTalks! discussion, again at The Loft, at 7 p.m., which will be followed, at 8 p.m., by a $45 performance of Adès, Schubert and Stravinsky at the adjacent Conrad Prebys Concert Hall. www.artpwr.com.
The cycle continues: Bay Area-based author and teacher Anne Lamott will bring her acclaimed gift of gab to La Jolla this week as she introduces readers to her latest novel, Imperfect Birds. The book checks back with teenage Rosie and her mother Elizabeth, characters reprised from two earlier novels. Seems that now, Elizabeth, along with stepfather James, must cope with the reality that Rosie, a star tennis player and gifted student, has developed a taste for mind-altering substances—something that Elizabeth and Lamott herself know a little something about. Lamott, who’s probably better known for her autobiographical nonfiction works on motherhood, addiction and religion, will appear at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 15, at Warwick’s, 7812 Girard Ave. www.warwicks.com.Lotus position: Tatjana Soli used to visit The Book Works (2670 Via de la Valle in Del Mar) and dream about one day writing her own novel and having a signing there. Now she’s done it with The Lotus Eaters, a historical novel set against the backdrop of the Vietnam War and told from the perspective of a female combat photographer. The Pushcart Award-nominated author will be at the bookstore at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 21, to sign copies and lead a discussion on the themes in her debut novel: war, obsession and love. www.book-works.com.
’Zine scene: ’Zine publishers deserve a lot of respect. By hand, and most of the time with no compensation, they create little magazines that cater to the tiniest niche audiences. They can be funny, sad or strange. They can be relatable or off-the-wall. They can be like a photocopied diary or a political pamphlet. Whichever ones you like, we can probably all agree that it’s important that they exist. Keeping the DIY publishing industry alive, local artist collective Yeller has organized Paper Cuts, a ’zine exhibition and swap that’s happening in Subtext Gallery’s courtyard (2479 Kettner Blvd. in Little Italy). Stop by from 7 to 10 p.m. Saturday, April 17, and see what more than 80 artists created just for the show. You’re welcome to bring your own ’zine to swap at the end of the night—just bring at least 15 copies. www.yellerstudio.com.
Down the rabbit hole: Though Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland was written for the amusement of a child (yep, there was an actual Alice), there’s a dark appeal to the story—and its various film, amusement-park-ride and art incarnations—that speaks to grown-ups, too. At 8 p.m. Friday, April 16, and 2 p.m. Sunday, April 18, Art of Élan presents Alice: Re-Imagining Wonderland through Music, Dance and Spoken Word. The performance is a blend of genres and influences—modern, classical, Eastern and European—that attempt to capture Alice’s is-it-real-or-imagined world. Both performances take place in Sherwood Auditorium at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, 700 Prospect St. in La Jolla. Tickets are $25 general, $15 students. A $50 VIP package includes a post-concert reception. www.artofelan.org.
Master curation: On one hand, the six San Diego Mesa College Museum Studies students behind Imaginarium: A Voyage into Creativity deserve a C for picking a silly name. On the other, they’ve earned high marks for assembling A-plus local artists for their student-curated show, which runs April 17 through May 9 at San Diego Art Department, 3830 Ray St. in North Park. Featured artists include rummage-bin artist May-Ling Martinez (profiled in CityBeat when she received the San Diego Art Prize in 2007), electronic light-and-sound sculptor Wendell Kling and illustrator Katherine Brannock (whose “comic book” on the walls of the Tin Can Ale House bewildered hipsters all spring). Grade the project yourself at the opening, which includes live art and music, from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday, April 17.
Hot shot: David Fokos doesn’t mind that he hasn’t produced much work in his career as a photographer. In fact, in his 30 years working in long exposures—one picture can take up to 60 minutes—he’s produced a total of only 60 images. But it’s this kind of meticulousness that has landed Fokos’ images in galleries all over the world. At his newest show, Haiku: Photographic Meditations by David Fokos, the local shutterbug will display some of his more famous landscape works at the Ordover Gallery’s Solana Beach location (410 S. Cedros Ave.), starting with a reception from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Saturday, April 17, and continuing through July 11. There will also be works from Lisa Ross, Abe Ordover and Peter Fay. www.ordovergallery.com.