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Culture Lust Weekend: Robert Irwin, State of Mind, and The Asteroid’s Galaxy Tour

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Aired 3/19/10

We know, we know... it'll be hard to leave the beach this weekend. But with a bounty of Culture Lust-approved offerings, like an exhibit by Robert Irwin, The State of Mind Film Invitational, and the quirky-cool Asteroid's Galaxy Tour, you just might have to.

ART

In 40 years, preeminent artist Robert Irwin’s installations have graced the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney, and the Getty, not to mention taken home Guggenheim and MacArthur fellowships. Irwin still calls S.D. home, however, and will unveil his first West Coast exhibit in 31 years, called “Works in Progress,” at Quint Contemporary Art this Friday.

Sushi Art’s continues to bring the avant-garde to San Diego with “The Symmetry Project,” which features two totally-nude performers who will move in tandem with a highly-structured improvisational score by Klaus Janek. The show is meant to be a commentary on the grace – and grotesqueness – of the human form, as well as the public’s perception of it. Performances are scheduled for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

Husband-and-wife artists James and Judith Christensen are both local art world names in their own right; tonight, they’ll debut their first joint show at Mesa College’s Art Gallery. Titled “Now We Can’t Forget,” the exhibit focuses on the many ways in which we register emotion and memory, from mini model homes with seeds symbolizing lost moments to abstracted takes on landscapes lost.

All that time you wasted – er, spent – honing your paper airplane skills in detention finally get its moment in the sun this Saturday at the San Diego Air & Space Museum, who’s hosting its Paper Airplane Festival from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Parents and kids can learn the art of aviation, as well as participate in activities, competitions, and mass launch their creations at the end of the day. No sore (soar?) losers allowed.

Nude women ensconced in weathered guitars; bullet-studded surfboards tinged purple. L.A.-based artist Timothy Williams captures a surreal, almost Dada-like sense of Californication in his latest exhibit, “Relics from the Now,” which debuts at the Eric Phelger Gallery tonight in Encinitas.

FILM

Blink, and you’ll miss it. The State of Mind Film Invitational happens tonight and tomorrow at MoPA, featuring short films crafted by Californians and handpicked by film community cuturati. Must-sees: I Am So Proud of You, which tackles existentialism via stick figures, and Boutonnière, a dark, droll take on prom.

THEATER

L.A.-based actor and writer Herbert Siguenza may have just wrapped up his famed comedy troupe’s Culture Clash in AmeriCCa at the Lyceum Theatre, but not to worry, he didn’t go far– next week at the Lyceum, he’ll unveil his one-man A Weekend with Pablo Picasso, his take on the famed Spaniard’s persona and paintings, presented by San Diego Repertory. It begins previewing this Sunday, and debuts March 26. Siguenza’s art roots run deep; we hear he even breaks out the easel onstage.

Femme fatales thrive at the Moxie Theatre this weekend as it christens its first-ever Play Reading Festival with Fighting Words. The festival will feature staged readings of fresh new plays that offer irreverent takes on the art of femininity, from the inner monologue of Picasso’s lover (Adoration of Dora by Lojo Simon) to a gathering at a disco-era dive bar (Zsa Zsa Gershick’s Coming Attractions).

MUSIC

Thanks to Steve Jobs, you may have already be familiar with The Asteroid’s Galaxy Tour, whose super-catchy “Around the Bend” set the tone for a recent Apple commercial. Straight off SXSW, they’ll bring their hopelessly hip, intergalactic breed of beats (think Debbie Harry…in space!) to The Casbah this Sunday.

It’s Bach’s 325th birthday this Sunday, and plenty of places around town are living it up in his honor: celebrate at The Athenaeum Music & Arts Library with Baroque violinist Victoria Martino, who’ll perform six of his sonatas for violin and continuo, all accompanied by organ.

Art and music are helplessly intertwined; The San Diego Museum of Art and chamber music organization The Art of Élan ends their “Fantasia” series next Tuesday night at 7p.m. with a performance called “Storytelling.” The concert’s song selections include a tune inspired by a bygone family photograph and mezzo-soprano voiced folk songs.

More creative collaboration can be found in Encinitas this Sunday, where professional chamber choir Cappella Gloriana will harmonize alongside paintings by local luminary Gerrit Greve at the St. Andrew the Apostle Episcopal church. Greve will also be there to present a slideshow of his work, much of which resides in private galleries across the country.

BOOKS

Author Chang-rae Lee’s new novel, The Surrendered, has already been marked as an “epic masterpiece” by the Pulitzer Prize-winning (and all-around amazing) Junot Diaz and “Tolstoyan” by Kirkus Review. The tome focuses on the life-altering effects of battle, from the Korean War to an 80’s-era NYC, and with that kind of praise, you know you want to nab a signed copy. Drop by Warwick’s tonight at 7:30 to meet Lee and discuss the book.

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