Tuesday, September 26, 2006

“Some Assembly Required” at The LAB

Alert: The exhibit is scheduled to close on 9/30/06.

The current exhibit at The LAB in San Francisco, entitled “Some Assembly Required,” is as uneven as most shows there, but there are three pieces that you shouldn’t miss. The most ambitious is Steve Lambert’s “Simmer Down Sprinter,” a marvelous two-person video game in which the on-screen sprinter (Lambert himself) runs faster as the player relaxes. Relaxation is measured via the hand, somewhat in the manner of lie detector tests. You have to try this! Line up! (The above photo shows the equipment.)

In shows elsewhere, I have seen paintings by Zefrey Throwell that were not to my taste. But his video here, “Maidenhead Voyage into Dark Waters,” is a winner. He has recorded brief, very frank interviews with a number of young people in which they describe losing their virginity. One of the clips should have been omitted for poor technical quality, but otherwise this is a delight. You’ll be sorry if you miss it.

Taro Hattori reprises his “Beaut Brute II” installation, recently seen at Kala Institute in Berkeley (detail above, from the Kala show). On a conveyor belt constructed of wood and covered in white vinyl leather and white faux fur, he presents an orderly array of machine gun parts made from mirrored plastic. A strange grape arbor hangs in the background. It’s a work that will stick in your mind.

The exhibition was based on an open call; the jurors were artist Michael Arcega and gallery-owner Steven Wolf.

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