- Photo courtesy Alex Marks
- Cecilia Vicuña incorporates found objects into her installations.
New BAMPFA Exhibits
You might find yourself visiting the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive over and over this summer. The museum is primed to unveil three new exhibits in July alone. It starts with Joanne Leonard: Intimate Documentary (July 15-Sept. 2), which will show the California native's black-and-white photography from the 1960s and '70s — specifically, portraits of domestic and communal life in Oakland. Then, there's Cecilia Vicuña: About to Happen (July 11-Oct. 14), which will present the Chilean artist's sculptures incorporating a wide range of found objects. Peter Hujar: Speed of Life (July 11-Nov. 18), meanwhile, will show 140 photographs by the influential New York photographer, whose life and work intersected with the start of the AIDS crisis. But there's also the second phase of Way Bay (June 13-Sept. 2), the ambitious two-part exhibit exploring the Bay Area's artistic legacy. Even if you've already seen Way Bay, you might want to take another look — not just because of the vastness of the 200-piece exhibit, but because roughly half of those works will be swapped out for new ones this summer. Clearly, the creative energy of the Bay Area over the past 200 years is far too much to contain in just one exhibit. — Janelle Bitker
2155 Center St., Berkeley, BAMPFA.org
Marathon Days at Berkeley Rep
By now you should know that Angels in America is back in the Bay and playing at Berkeley Rep for the first time. Originally commissioned and staged in San Francisco 26 years ago, the truly epic two-part Pulitzer prize-winning drama is a story about love and mythology as well as a sweeping epic of gay identity and American politics. It's also very, very long. Separately, the two parts run around 3.5 hours, but this summer we recommend you spend one day marathon-ing the entire show. In a different world, one with less tragedy and somewhat sane political leaders, the idea of spending over seven hours surrounded by a stream of bad news and politics would be torture. But in 2018, seven hours sounds like a real break! Part sensory deprivation tank, part Zen retreat — for one day you can enter into a beautifully directed world where drama and humor hang together in a perfect balance, a place where there are no bad actors. Ride the wild waves of human emotion, and break for dinner. (Angeline's Louisiana Kitchen offers a complimentary order of beignets to same-day ticket holders.) Feel it all, and then go home, too exhausted to check your phone, freshly exhilarated by the world around you. — Beatrice Kilat
June 16-July 22, $35-$85, Roda Theater, 2025 Addison St., Berkeley, BerkeleyRep.org
SFMOMA Film Series
Get surreal this summer at SFMOMA with experimental and contemporary film this June and July. The season kicks off with CROSSROADS, San Francisco Cinematheque's annual film festival showcasing non-commercial and avant-garde, artist-made cinema from around the world. In its ninth year, the four-day festival will present ten programs, featuring 76 works by 62 artists from 18 countries. If those numbers don't leave you a little dizzy, the themes, which include eternity, techno-philia, techno-phobia, surveillance culture, the "ecstatic freedoms of analog media," and more, surely will. If you want to explore something more tangibly related to the here and now, Nathanial Dorsky literally has you covered with his Arboretum Cycle, an ode to passing time. Meanwhile, in July, Modern Cinema, the annual film series presented by SFFILM and SFMOMA, returns with a decades-spanning program of Black filmmakers "navigating inside the Hollywood machine and operating outside the boundaries." This summer's film series are an invitation to explore the unknown parts of our known world. Go get a little discombobulated, ask questions, and look for answers. It's the whole point. — B.K.
CROSSROADS June 7-10, free with museum admission. Arboretum Cycle, June 14, free with museum admission. Modern Cinema: Black Powers: Reframing Hollywood, July 12-29, $5-$10 per film. 151 Third St., San Francisco, SFMOMA.org
- Photo courtesy Alex Marks