This list is the best of what's coming. Unless somebody dies. Or falls off the stage. Or just has a shitty day. What can we say? Sue us if you don't end up liking this stuff. TRY IT, BITCHEZ.


Tim Rollins and Angel Abreu

Tim Rollins is a gay, white conceptual artist who, in the 1980s, went into a South Bronx public school and began the lifelong project of making art with kids whom everybody else had already given up on—mostly macho black and Latino guys, including Angel Abreu. What surprised everybody was how good the art turned out to be, and how strong and enduring the bond was between students (who called themselves Kids of Survival) and teacher. What the hell was it really like in there? It'll be standing room only at this talk with Rollins and Abreu, who lived in Seattle for a while after leaving the Bronx. Once a Kid of Survival, always a Kid of Survival. March 18, Frye Art Museum, 704 Terry Ave, 622-9250, 7 pm, free but call to reserve tickets. JEN GRAVES

The Whole Cremaster Cycle

Matthew Barney's Wagneresque, five-limbed monster of movies named after the muscle that controls the descent of the testes—hey! It's your cremaster!—represents the ultimate in art-filmmaking masturbation by Björk's babydaddy. But they are super-purty, and they have crazy-sublime moments involving bees and molded Vaseline and heavy-metal drumming and the Chrysler Building and white vinyl interiors and gagged, bloody mouth wounds. Nobody (but nobody) has really seen them all, since they're not available on DVD. Their combined running time—and SIFF Cinema is throwing in De Lama Lamina, Barney's 45-minute, 2004 movie focused on "biomechanical erotica"—is 420 minutes. Seven hours. The Ring operas go 17 hours; Wagner whups Barney. April 9–15, SIFF Cinema, 321 Mercer St, 633-7151. JG

Heather and Ivan Morison

In the middle of a park in Bristol, England, artists Heather and Ivan Morison organized a barn raising as a public artwork. Except that sounds nice and old-timey while the barn in question was called Black Cloud, was made of scorched-black wood, and hosted such events as a discussion with scientists, theorists, and fiction writers called "How to Prosper During the Coming Bad Years." What they'll do during their residency in Bellevue is still up in the air, but it will involve them building—and inviting others to join them in building—a giant sculpture made of trees recently cut down in a development by the same company that owns this contemporary art space. Awkward? Fucking weird? Expect oddity. April 28–June 12, Open Satellite, 989 112th Ave NE, Suite 102, Bellevue, 425-454-7355, free. JG

Blank Signs

The funny thing about art is how much it wants to speak without saying anything directly. Say something directly, and it's not art. Blank Signs, the group show at Western Bridge, is related to this condition: "Built around work that creates conditions for communication while omitting, obscuring, or leaving open the content of that communication," says director Eric Fredericksen. The artists are a hot international lineup, as usual. The failure to communicate should be immense. May 8–July 31, Western Bridge, 3412 Fourth Ave S, 838-7444, free. JG


This is the highest-stakes game in town this season: A ballsy move to make an exhibition in Seattle of contemporary art based on Kurt Cobain, by artists from around the world and right here. Curator Michael Darling has been in Seattle only a couple of years and he throws it down: Who's afraid of Kurt Cobain? He's the one who organized the big, messy, inspiring Target Practice: Painting Under Attack 1949–78 at Seattle Art Museum last year. Let's see what he does with the rock star from Aberdeen. May 13–Sept 6, Seattle Art Museum, 1300 First Ave, 654-3100, $15 suggested. JG

Into the Void: The Battle of the Martyr as Told by Ingres

Rob Davis and Mike Langlois met at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and they made this wild show of paintings first for the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; now it's coming to James Harris Gallery in Pioneer Square. Check out this description: "Davis/Langlois conceived Into the Void as a meta-fable narrated by a resurrected Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres [the French neoclassical painter]. The story features Iman, a 15-year-old Palestinian American, as she contemplates the plight of Suquamish leader Chief Seattle, who is forced to relinquish his sacred land, to the tune of Black Sabbath and the howls of Soundgarden." YEAH. May 20–June 19, James Harris Gallery, 312 Second Ave S, 903-6220, free. JG

Support The Stranger


Turn your gallery over to William Powhida and anything might happen. The last place that did it, in New York, wrote this press release: "Winkleman Gallery is slightly nervouspleased to present..." It was a month of a million events: gallerina performances, panels dissecting the art world and mocking its power players, art yoga, the popping of balloons by said power players, brandy, vodka, and the Tweeting of it all. This summer at Platform in Seattle, Powhida will curate a show that "likely will include work by artists who presently have no gallery representation"—but it's unclear who they'll be, where they'll be from, and whether they'll be curated by Powhida-the-Brooklyn-artist or Powhida-the-alter-ego-of-the-Brooklyn-artist. Slightly nervous feels good. June 24–July 31, Platform Gallery, 114 Third Ave S, 323-2808, free. JG