Nirmala Nataraj

SF Station Writer

Nirmala Nataraj's Articles
Page:   1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 ...  Next » | 1 to 10 of 221
Open for Interpretation
By Nirmala Nataraj (Jul 06, 2015)
Walking up the stairs to the Intersection for the Arts gallery, potential spectators might be somewhat bewildered at the sight that greets them; coating the steps is a sheet of white felt, covered with ostensibly Persian names, in dispassionate block letters. Among the more obscure appellations, one can pick out “Saddam” and “Osama” almost instantly, as the eye’s natural tendency is to wander to what’s recognizable and fill it out with familiar meaning. In some ways, you can say that’s the very crux of Taraneh Hemami’s collection of installation work, "Most Wanted". More »
War and the Persistence of Memory
By Nirmala Nataraj (Jul 06, 2015)
By now, the rupture between history and its present depiction is par for the course in contemporary art -- but Binh Danh and Elizabeth Moy go at it one further in their haunting menagerie of images culled from personal legacies of war and reflections on the abiding effects of human conflict. In a collaborative exhibition entitled [b]Disrupted: A Photographic Installation About Memory, History & War[/b], Danh and Moy string together narratives retrieved and woven anew from both original photographs and archival images of the Vietnam War. More »
A Fresh Rejoinder to Experimental Drama
By Nirmala Nataraj (Jul 06, 2015)
The stage is dark and the atonal rhythms of a mildly eerie soundscape float out to the audience before a wash of light spatters, turn by turn, four performers slumped against the walls, who each utter a phrase that's either cryptic or equivocal, before the action commences. From my personal experience with theatre, this is the kind of enigmatic kickoff that could precede either a poorly rendered performance piece, or a fresh rejoinder to experimental drama. Thankfully, Campo Santo's production of [b]Haze[/b] -- a loosely connected series of aphoristic vignettes by four contemporary authors -- went for the latter. More »
Discarded Treasures
By Nirmala Nataraj (Jul 06, 2015)
If ever the adage "One man's trash is another man's treasure" were true, it's absolutely exemplified in the latest exhibit at the Intersection for the Arts. "Life Cycle Analysis", on exhibit through April 16, is an installation featuring the works of NoMe Edonna, Ricardo Richey, and Andrew Schoultz, members of the Gestalt Collective, a local group composed of graffiti-based artists. The exhibit includes collaborative sculptural, photographic, and video installations that touch on the debilitating effects of consumerism and waste. More »
Strangers in a Strange Land
By Nirmala Nataraj (Jul 06, 2015)
You've got to hand it to Dave Eggers. The internationally acclaimed memoirist, novelist, and publisher has managed to transcend criticisms of being self-indulgent and solipsistic. A simple rule of thumb is that you never write a memoir before having accomplished something stellar in the public eye- Eggers broke this rule with his first book, [i]A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius[/i], an insoluble, artful memoir about his family's tragedies. Eggers' prose is relaxed, colloquial, but full of penetrating clarity that can be both humorous and crushing... More »
By Nirmala Nataraj (Jun 24, 2015)
There are lots of reasons one might choose to intensely dislike the Thrills. With a career spanning one whopping year, they've already been adorned with a multitude of accolades. Everyone's calling their album So Much for the City the debut of the year; and Mojo makes enthused avowals about their "top-down pop that sparkles like a lifeguard's teeth." Aside from the off-putting praises, the mere idea of songs entitled "Santa Cruz," "Big Sur," and "Hollywood" makes you want to throw up your hands and scream, "Bloody hell, you're Irish!" More »
Systematic Landscapes
By Nirmala Nataraj (May 27, 2015)
The 49-year old sculptor and architect Maya Lin is best known for her design of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, a monument that attests to the artist’s ability to elicit emotion from a viewer through minimal attempts at representation, and a concurrent reliance on the associative factors of vision and memory to create the desired response. Lin’s monumental approach to her sculpture can also be found in her recent exhibition at the de Young Museum, “Maya Lin: Systematic Landscapes", which follows on the heels of her recent installation at the new California Academy of Sciences. More »
A Glimpse into an Icon’s Closet
By Nirmala Nataraj (May 27, 2015)
Coquettes and style mavens, take note -- 2007 has been a most fitting time for exhibitions that feature clothing. The de Young Museum recently enjoyed a popular exhibition on the legacy of the doyenne of hipness herself, fashion designer Vivienne Westwood. Now, the museum dovetails on the success of the Westwood event with an exhibition celebrating the very impressive wardrobe of another aesthetic arbiter: Nan Kempner. More »
By Nirmala Nataraj (Sep 23, 2014)
Jane Siberry isn't what you'd call a conventional jazz singer, but just as easily as the greats, she can twirl a note like a spiral of smoke and drawl with buttery smoothness over any given utterance. Alternating between crone-like knowing and fey puerility, Siberry sings about things like: children separated from their mothers, capricious lovers, foreboding mysteries on abandoned farms and poets lost in landscapes of gossamer beauty. She's reminiscent of Kate Bush but more unhurried, more playful and full of wide-eyed possibility. More »
The Breeders play The Fillmore
By Nirmala Nataraj (Sep 23, 2014)
The nine-year delay marking the period between The Breeders' pop-perfect album Last Splash and the drug-induced mishaps that put the band on hiatus should really be no surprise. After a perpetually mobile cast of characters and a few barely sustainable on-again, off-again gigs, The Breeders - fronted by twin sisters Kim and Kelley - are more or less back on the road. More »
Nirmala Nataraj's Articles
Page:   1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 ...  Next » | 1 to 10 of 221