Valley Guys 

Yosemite seen with fresh eyes

8/10-12/23

For the two photographers and the writer, it was their idea of a vacation: load up backpacks with cameras, photography books, and old trail maps and set off into the Yosemite Valley's backcountry. They went in search of landscapes captured over the last century by the famed photographers of the West such as Eadweard Muybridge and Ansel Adams. In the course of locating and rephotographing those vistas, they found twisted juniper trees that hadn't grown an inch in 130 years, and discovered that the Merced River had moved a hundred feet south since Muybridge took its portrait. Four years after the collaborators -- the prolific San Francisco-based writer Rebecca Solnit and photographers Mark Klett and Byron Wolfe -- initially laced up their hiking boots, they've emerged from the woods with an exhibit and a book, both titled Yosemite in Time. Beginning today (Wednesday), the historic and the new photographs are on display at the UC Berkeley Art Museum. Also in the exhibit are collages that patch together the old and new images in large-scale panoramas, which add the fourth dimension -- time -- to the expansive, breathtaking landscapes. The exhibit runs through December 23, a mere blink of an eye in Yosemite's geological terms. 510-642-1295 or BAMPFA.berkeley.edu -- Eliza Strickland

8/16-8/20

Razor Burn

Hair club for artists

The story of A Monument to Dead Skin and Facial Hair is like the opening of a postmodern novel. Tim Kunze, the artist who created this "Installation of Photos and Memory," was bequeathed an electric razor by each of his two grandfathers after their deaths -- their own personal razors, not new ones. He soon got over their peculiar smell and developed an obsession, as artists sometimes do, about his new possessions, even going so far as to perform his own facial hair experiment. Kunze stopped shaving for sixty days, documenting his action with photos and a journal, then shaved (it's not clear with which razor) on the eleventh anniversary of his maternal grandfather's death. This exercise netted him a bunch of photos, journal entries, screen prints, and stencils, all of which found their way into the art show -- which opens at the aptly named Ego Park (492 23rd St., Oakland) Tuesday with a reception (7-10 p.m.). -- Kelly Vance

8/12-9/4

Trace Elements

The paintings, sculptures, and drawings collected in the Marking Traces show have an organic, very 20th-century residue about them. Josh Keyes' painting of what looks like a pile of junk is actually, on closer inspection, a comment on the degradation of the landscape. All the artworks in the group show, which opens with a reception this Friday (6-9 p.m.) at Oakland's 33 Grand, share a common challenge: to depict the human presence without depicting the human form. 33Grand.com -- Kelly Vance

SUN 8/14

Mr. & Mrs. Smut

Dirty Found finds itself in Oakland

Warning: Don't get caught reading Dirty Found at work (or on the bus, in a cafe, etc.). You'll be busted for harassment, or witchcraft, or something. The Ann Arbor, Michigan-based folks who collect and publish things people send them have reached a new level of voyeurism with this latest edition ($10), which features misplaced notes, snapshots, manuscripts, e-mails, drawings, etc., of a highly prurient nature, most of which prove that ordinary people who are not porn stars look plenty ugly naked. Jason Bitner and Davy Rothbart of Found will be at Mama Buzz Gallery, 2318 Telegraph Ave., Oakland, Sunday for a PowerPoint presentation, 6 and 8 p.m. FoundMagazine.com -- Kelly Vance

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