Arts Orbit Weekly: 2/19/09


This week’s picks

Thursday, February 19
Stop by the new Elizabeth Peyton exhibit on your way to the spinning oscillators.

Friday, February 20
Tonight, cineastes can enjoy two glimpses behind the scenes. The U is convening a panel of four local actors from the film Gran Torino; later, the Walker is screening Derek, a documentary about subversive British director Derek Jarman.

Saturday, February 21
At 11 a.m., I’ll be leading a class on how to approach, appreciate, and write about art exhibits. Armed with your newfound confidence, head out to catch two new shows that promise to be eye-catching and amusing: Clive Murphy is filling the Soap Factory with inflated garbage bags, and the brand spankin’ new Northeast gallery Pink Hobo is celebrating Obama’s inauguration with a display of commemorative paper plates.

Sunday, February 22
Two words: Unicycle hockey.

Monday, February 23
Valentine’s Day is over, so it’s time to start getting psyched for St. Patrick’s Day! Flogging Molly are at Myth tonight to get the party started.

Tuesday, February 24
You’re reading the Daily Planet, which means there’s an excellent chance you have a civil claim to file against some branch of government for something they did to you during the RNC. Join your fellow claimants, paperwork in hand, in a noontime Mardi Gras parade to the State Capitol. (There likely won’t be much N’awlins-style flashing of flesh…but that’s probably just as well, unless you have a goosebump fetish.)

Wednesday, February 25
The married couple in the Guthrie’s impeccable new production of Happy Days never even so much as touch one another for the entire duration of the play—but if you want to know where some serious canoodling is happening in Minneapolis, ask Jeremy Iggers.

For more weekend picks, see the Weekend What’s What from l’etoile magazine.

Daily Planet arts roundup


Energetic performers were the focus this week. Dwight Hobbes profiled Charmin Michelle—who’s always busy, for good reason—and Charles Hallman wrote about JUMP, a group of North Minneapolis youth who are singing praise and cuttin’ discs. Jon Behm reviewed Lykke Li’s ecstatic show at the Varsity Theater, and I noted that the Triple Rock will soon host Agnostic Front, a New York hardcore band so intense that even conceptual artists cower in fear of their power.


The Minnesota Fringe Festival is the largest non-juried fringe festival in the United States, but without a jury how does one determine which companies among the many contenders are to present shows at the festival? A lottery! The 2009 Fringe lottery happened this week, and our Fringe bloggers were all over it. Matt Everett and P.A.B. Low previewed the lottery, and after the lottery Matt reflected on the significance of the number 81 and offered words of consolation to the acts who landed on the wait list.

But we don’t just cover the Fringe—we cover the center of the the theater scene as well. Both Matt Everett and Lydia Howell had good things to say about Youth Performance Company’s Little Rock, 1957. I enjoyed (if that’s the word) the Guthrie’s Happy Days, and Dwight Hobbes praised Walking Shadow’s Caligula.


Don Blyly, of the twinned independent specialty bookstores Uncle Hugo’s (sci-fi) and Uncle Edgar’s (mystery), wrote about the effect the recession is having on the chain bookstores—which in turn have an effect on publishers, which take it out on the independents.


Jeremy Iggers tips readers off to one of the best lunch deals in town.

Visual Arts

This week I profiled the one and only B Fresh, the unofficial official photographer of the Twin Cities hip-hop scene. Sheila Regan wrote about the new Elizabeth Peyton exhibit at the Walker—are all of Peyton’s portraits, Sheila asks, self-portraits?—and Anna Pratt covers 32×4, a photography project documenting Twin Cities neighborhoods.


Erik McClanahan appreciated the merits of award-winning French film The Class…but he doesn’t need, he says, to see it again. Tomorrow night the Walker is screening Derek, Isaac Julien’s documentary about Derek Jarman: “the ideal Thatcherite filmmaker,” according to Jarman’s friend Tilda Swinton.

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Jay Gabler ( is the Daily Planet’s arts editor.