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When: Oct. 20-Nov. 18 2007

In the exhibit Code-Switching, SwarmGallery has gathered artists from the Quorum SF collective to produce a sometimes-muddled show with some very lovely pieces, the best of which question the very act of representation. Laurel Roth's "Cheap Thrills" is a glittery glossy peacock composed of fake fingernails, false eyelashes, and "dimestore jewelry." It is perhaps a tribute to the simulations of nature attempted in the name of beauty, only to become simulacra -- images of images, simulations of simulations. Harry Siter's "Liberty" is a nearly eight-foot statue of a hermaphrodite crudely chiseled out of a pine log: the upper feminine half gilded in gold, the lower, masculine half proudly naked, save for thick chunks of glass, resembling rough-cut diamonds, standing in for pubic hair. Andy Diaz created a series of knitted baklavas that resemble, for instance, a bald man in a suit and tie, then wore them to "infiltrate" public spaces, such as the financial district, documenting the forays and the varied reactions of the on-lookers. Through November 18 at Swarm Gallery, 560 Second St, Oakland. 510-839 2787 or

— Jakki Spicer


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