Tag Archives: BAM/PFA
Five years ago BAM/PFA launched L@TE, a music series curated by Berkeley pianist Sarah Cahill that transformed the gallery space into a reverberant concert hall. Given Cahill’s commitment to performing and presenting new music in various forms and permutations it’s not surprising that she booked minimalist pioneer Terry Riley as the opening act. In a neat feat of closure, the pianist will be on hand again Friday for the final L@TE event as BAM/PFA makes its slow transition into its new building at Oxford and Center (which is slated to open in early 2016).
Still a creative force at 79, Riley will be joined by his son, guitarist and composer Gyan Riley, an important figure in his own right who released a beautiful improv-laced album last year, Eviyan Live (Victo), featuring the acoustic collective trio Eviyan with violinist/vocalist Iva Bittová and clarinetist (and former Berkeleyan) Evan Ziporyn. … Continue reading »
SUNDAY STREETS Sunday Streets is back for a third year on Oct. 12, and it’s certainly the biggest event of the weekend, taking over Shattuck Avenue from Haste to Rose from 11 am to 5 pm. It’s a chance to see the city in automobile-free mode as tens of thousands of people walk, bike, skate, discover, dance, and play along a car-free Shattuck Avenue. Businesses along the route host musicians and artists, restaurants and eateries offer outdoor seating and special menus. Don’t miss the Vine St. Block Party, with a wine and beer garden by Vintage Berkeley, eats by The Local Butcher Shop and Juicebar, live music, ACCI artist vendors, A Priori’s open house, and Twig & Fig’s annual paper sale. For a list of all the activities and festivities along the route, visit the Sunday Streets website. … Continue reading »
JENNIFER KOH Violinist Jennifer Koh is no stranger to Berkeley, although Berkeley audiences may know her as Einstein, a role she undertook when she played in Einstein on the Beach at Cal Performances. This time she plays as herself — a powerful soloist — when she performs Sibelius’ Violin Concerto with the Berkeley Symphony tonight, Thursday Oct. 2, at 7 p.m. Also on the program are Elgar’s Enigma Variations and Oscar Bettison’s Sea Shaped in its world premiere. Tickets for the Zellerbach Hall show cost $15-$74. … Continue reading »
Human rights organizations often depend on the media’s megaphone, calling malefactors to account by publicizing their misdeeds. So it’s something of a paradox that Berkeley’s most influential and visionary NGO dedicated to the international struggle for human rights, the Human Rights Center at UC Berkeley School of Law, tends to operate under the radar. In marking the center’s 20th anniversary, the HRC is presenting an alternately breathtaking and hair-raising photo exhibition, Envisioning Human Rights, part of a new effort to raise public awareness about the organization’s vital work. … Continue reading »
MIME TROUPE Each year the San Francisco Mime Troupe unleashes its Bay Area brand of political satire on the issues du jour. This year’s are no surprise: out-of-this-world rents, techie transplants, Silicon Valley, and surveillance. The 55th annual production, “Ripple Effect,” finds members of San Francisco’s various rival factions all stuck on a boat together in the middle of the Bay. The show makes its third and final Berkeley stop this weekend, at Willard Park (2730 Hillegass) at 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Music starts a bit earlier and the whole thing’s free. … Continue reading »
CONVERGENCE One of the highlights of this year’s Jewish Music Festival will be Sunday night’s performance of Convergence by Anthony Mordechai Tzvi Russell, together with Bay Area klezmer trio Veretski Pass. “I knew no precedent of a Yiddish song organically growing out of a Negro Spiritual, but inside my own head — and I hesitate to say this, but in my heart — I felt I didn’t particularly need a precedent,” explains Russell. Convergence combines diverse strains of traditional Jewish and African-American music to explore exile, spirituality, hope and redemption. The performance includes animation work by San Francisco-based artist Meredith Leich. Tickets ($25, $22 for students, seniors and JCC East Bay members) are available from Brown Paper Tickets. 7 p.m. Sunday, March 23, JCC East Bay, 1414 Walnut St. … Continue reading »
“Estranged Paradise” — the expansive mid-career survey of videos, video installations, photographs and films by contemporary Chinese artist Yang Fudong at the Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive — is a compelling personal exploration of what it means to be young, or simply alive, in China today. Through still and moving images, Yang probes the condition of his fellow heirs to an ancient civilization that is transforming itself headlong from Maoist Communist collectivism into the capitalist, consumerist, rapidly urbanizing, still authoritarian country of his birth.
Co-organized by BAM adjunct curator Philippe Pirotte and curator Beatrix Ruf of the Kunsthalle Zurich in Switzerland, where it premiered earlier this year, “Estranged Paradise” brings to Berkeley one of the most influential figures in China’s contemporary art scene and independent cinema movement. Although not chronologically arranged, it offers a fascinating insight into the evolution of this brilliant artist, from his experimental early pieces to his more fully realized recent works. … Continue reading »
Construction work has begun on the new Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive which, all things going well, is slated to open in the summer of 2016, bringing bold contemporary architecture into the heart of Berkeley.
The UC Berkeley-owned museum, which includes the Pacific Film Theater, has raised $95 million worth of pledges towards the $100 million goal it needed to create a new home on Center St. at Oxford, the site of a former printing plant owned by the university. The new BAM/PFA is to be designed by New York firm Diller Scofidio + Renfro, architects of New York’s High Line and several museums, including the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston and the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington D.C.
BAM/PFA has been planning to move since 1997 when it was determined that its current building on Bancroft Way — built in 1970 and designed by Mario Ciampi — did not meet present-day seismic standards. It cannot be upgraded without eliminating open exhibition spaces required for the galleries. … Continue reading »
The 30th San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival is already under way, with screenings taking place in San Francisco, San Jose, and — as in years past — at our very own Pacific Film Archive. As usual, PFA will be screening some of the Festival’s most interesting and prestigious titles, and the week ahead offers a solid selection of documentaries and dramatic features, with fans of non-fiction cinema particularly well served.
Produced with the assistance of HBO, Iranian-born filmmaker Tanaz Eshaghian’s Love Crimes of Kabul kicks things off at 9:00 pm on Wednesday, March 14th. The director’s previous film, Be Like Others, was an eye-opening and genuinely shocking look at the lives of gay Iranian men forced to undergo sex change operations in order to circumvent their homeland’s onerous morality laws. … Continue reading »
NEW CAFE AT BAM After a short tenure by Remedy Coffee (which also has a space on Telegraph in Oakland), Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive (BAM/PFA)’s café on the first floor has been taken over and is now called Babette. The light-filled, concrete-walled space, which gives onto an open courtyard, opened under its new moniker on January 3rd and is serving rustic food — think pulled pork and spicy coleslaw sandwiches and lentil and red chard soup — along with coffee from Ritual and housemade sodas. Husband and wife team Joan Ellis and Patrick Hooker, who live in Berkeley and have 20-plus years of cooking and catering experience under their belts, are at the helm. Babette is open for breakfast and lunch during the week, and coffee and pastries at the weekend. Follow Babette on its Facebook page for menu updates and other news. Babette is accessible through a gate to the right of the museum’s Bancroft Way entrance, and from 2625 Durant Avenue. (Hat tip: Lisa Sibony) … Continue reading »
Call it “beautiful decay”: these stunning photographs, taken by David Stark Wilson, show the interiors of the future home of the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAM/PFA).
Just as with the new Magnes, which unveiled its new space on Sunday, BAM/PFA is to be housed in a
1920s-era 1939 building originally designed as a printing plant for UC Berkeley. It is located at 2120 Oxford Street at Center Street, in the heart of downtown.
Is it not fitting that, as the demand for printed thesis, documents, books and monographs has waned, the engine rooms that produced these volumes are now being put to good use while remaining in the cultural realm?
As part of a series of public events supporting its current exhibition by Berkeley photographer Richard Misrach, the Berkeley Art Museum is inviting the local community to gather at the museum this Sunday afternoon to share memories of the 1991 Oakland-Berkeley Firestorm.
At the BAM/PFA “Tell Your Stories: Open Mic in the Galleries” event, the museum is turning the microphone over to the community. People will be encouraged to talk about their memories amid Misrach’s compelling photographs, taken 20 years ago during the week following the Firestorm and unveiled for the first time in this exhibition. … Continue reading »
Well over 100 people came out Wednesday night to see for the first time what Berkeley’s new art museum will look like — once it sees the light of day, which will probably be in 2015 when the $90 million required to build it has been raised.
Designs for the Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive were presented by Charles Renfro, principal at New York City-based Diller Scofidio + Renfro, who were appointed to the project in June last year, as … Continue reading »