The End Is Finally Over
Steve's Top 10 List for 1999
by Steven Robert Allen

January 6 - January 12, 2000

Culture Shock
Artsy-fartsy news, views and spews.

Art Pics
A Night in Vienna
at St. John's United Methodist Church

Art Pics
Larry Bell exhibit
at Dartmouth Street Gallery

Art Pics
Landscapes in Tension
at the Harwood Art Center

Book Review
Little Johnny Just Isn't Himself Today
Tom Shroder's Old Souls: The Scientific Evidence of Past Lives

Speed Reader
Whatever It Takes: Women on Women's Sport
edited by Joli Sandoz and Joby Winans

Speed Reader
Civilizing the Machine
by John F. Kasson

Arts and Literature Calendar
See, we told you art isn't a dead medium

Art News
(December 30, 1999)

Art News
(September 23, 1999)

Joe Pesce and Kerry Weddle in The Beard

I tried doing a top 10 list for the entire second millennium, but it didn't work out too well, so I've forced myself to narrow the scope a bit. It still wasn't all that easy, but after many days of agonizing deliberation here's a highly personal list, in no particular order, of my arts and lit faves from the year we've left behind -- choking on a big, black cloud of toxic gas.

1) The Creating Consciousness: Science as the Language of God by Arne A. Wyller. This book by Santa Fe resident and former Royal Swedish Academy astrophysicist set my head on fire. Though his conclusions are a little farfetched, the trajectory of the book is awe inspiring.

2) The Beard by Michael McClure, performed at the Riverside Theatre. The Riverside deserves credit for putting on several great productions this year, but the one that sticks out most for me was this essentially flawless performance of McClure's obscene 1960s classic, featuring Joseph Pesce as Billy the Kid and Kerry Weddle as Jean Harlow.

3) Patrick Manning. This art haunted me for a while. Lovely polaroid snapshots of human flesh reconfigured into appalling organic shapes. His Exquisite Corpse Variations showed at the ARC Gallery.

4) The Hothouse by Harold Pinter, performed at the Vortex Theatre. A hot, funny performance of this little known Pinter work, featuring an especially excellent performance by the Riverside Ensemble's Shenoah Allen.

5) Magnïfico: Festival of the Arts. Under the direction of Suzanne Sbarge, Magnïfico has become an arts organization to be reckoned with. The shows at the new 516 Magnïfico Artspace have been exciting and innovative, and the 10th annual group exhibit of Albuquerque artists, Why Albuquerque? -- organized by Magnïfico at the Albuquerque Museum -- was one of the most exciting of the season.

6) Cynthia Cook. This artist provided the Alibi with our most beautifully decorated entries in this year's haiku contest. That alone would be enough to guarantee her a place on this list. I also caught some of her excellent, mystical, multimedia work at the Why Albuquerque? exhibit.

7) The Complete Butcher's Tales by Rikki Ducornet. Freakish, grotesque flash fiction from the master of weird, this collection of short, short stories gave me frightmares for weeks. I mean that as a compliment.

8) Speak, Memory by Vladimir Nabokov. This reprint of Nabokov's autobiography finally features the mysterious, missing "Chapter 16," a fake review of the autobiography by an unnamed reviewer (actually Nabokov himself). Though the addition was superfluous, this autobiography is unlike any other and deserves to be devoured by anyone with the gall to conclude, as Nabokov did, that human existence is essentially beautiful.

9) Robert ParkeHarrison. ParkeHarrison's heavily-worked photographic images are as unforgettable as they are creepy. His work showed at the Richard Levy Gallery.

10) What Book?! Buddha Poems from Beat to Hiphop edited by Gary Gach. A great anthology of empty poetry in a convenient palm-sized edition.

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