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All duressed up
Stephen Prina and Roni Horn at the Carpenter Center, art from Providence at Rotenberg,"Little Things" at Space 200

Books, film, music, painting, photography, sculpture, and, now, jewelry are all part of Stephen Prina’s œuvre, and he often refers to his own earlier work or the work of admired artists. His film "Vinyl II" (2000) revisits Andy Warhol’s "Vinyl" (1965), which itself loosely revisits Anthony Burgess’s 1962 book A Clockwork Orange. To make matters even more interesting, Prina in "Vinyl II" focuses on Baroque paintings by Georges de La Tour (The Musicians’ Brawl, 1625-’30) and Gerrit van Honthorst (Christ Crowned with Thorns, circa 1620), and the film features both a vocal performance and a score by the artist, who’s also a member of the legendary underground-music collective the Red Krayola.

So he’s not just your everyday artist — and he’s just become a professor of Visual and Environmental Studies at Harvard. The newly appointed Professor Prina is the focus of what the Carpenter Center calls a "truncated, fragmentary, and abridged survey" of his work called "Retrospection Under Duress, Reprise: A Solo Exhibition by Stephen Prina," which is up at the Carpenter through January 7. And next Friday, at 11 p.m., Prina will screen "Vinyl II" as well as take part in a concert ("playing pop songs about love, sex, and death on the piano") and a reception for the exhibition. The concert, which promises a "special featured guest," is also being billed as the only Greater Boston Area appearance in 2004 by a member of the Red Krayola, so don’t sleep through this one!

Artist Roni Horn, herself a devoted explorer of a multitude of media, likewise brings her smart art to the Carpenter Center this month, performing the monologue Saying Water next Thursday at 6 p.m. Horn has been examining our ways with words and images since the 1970s, as in the year-long, two-part project she created for Dia Art Foundation’s Chelsea (New York) exhibition space starting in October 2001, for which the audio CD of Saying Water was originally produced. The piece extends Horn’s fascination with forces that are amorphous yet essential — like water and language and identity.

And here are two gallery exhibitions to squeeze into your busy holiday calendar. Next Friday, Judi Rotenberg Gallery throws a reception for "Fresh from Providence," which features work by David Cole, Anthony Falcetta, and Xander Marro. You might know Cole from the giant pink teddy bear he knit out of fiberglass for the DeCordova Annual in 2003; Falcetta paints layered abstractions, and Marro creates short films featuring handmade puppets. And Space 200 opens its holiday small-works show "Little Things" next Friday, with a reception on December 15. The eight artists include sculptor Danielle Krcmar, master mixer of cement and identity, and painter Maureen O’Connor, masterful painter of some of our favorite things (like candy).

"Retrospection Under Duress, Reprise" is at the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, 24 Quincy Street in Harvard Square, through January 7. A film screening, music performance, and reception for the exhibition takes place at the Carpenter Center on December 10 at 11 p.m. Roni Horn performs "Saying Water" at the Carpenter Center next Thursday, December 9, at 6 p.m.; that’s followed by a reception. Both events are free; call (617) 495-5666. "Fresh from Providence" is at Judi Rotenberg Gallery, 130 Newbury Street in Boston, through December 30, with an opening reception next Friday, December 10, from 6 to 8 p.m.; call (617) 437-1518. "Little Things" is at Space 200, 200 State Street in Boston, December 10 through January 16, with an opening reception December 15 from 6 to 9 p.m.; visit www.alternatecurrents.com.

Issue Date: December 3 - 9, 2004
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