What's Happening in East Bay Art 

Our critics weigh in on local art.

For complete, up-to-date East Bay art listings, look under Billboard on the home page for the "Select Category" pulldown, then select "Art Galleries" or "Museums."

Dream Houses -- Randy Dixon re-creates the dilapidated barns of his Midwestern college days inside the sculpture court at 1111 Broadway with Dream Houses, four wooden installations violating every sane carpenter's rules of engagement. The bizarre structures are supposed to come straight out of twisted memories where gravity doesn't apply and nontraditional angles reign. While Dixon's comment is on memory, the former architect accidentally constructed rather uncanny models of new postmodern buildings that use modern materials to mimic the unique look of tilted, crumbling Third World forms. Call it the Derelict Aesthetic, with Dixon as the new Mugatu. (Through November 16 at the Oakland Museum of California Sculpture Court; MuseumCA.org or 510-238-2200.)

Red-Color News Soldier -- Preglobalization ignorance must've been bliss. The '60s counterculture could comfortably enshrine Mao as a "power to the people"-type thinker while, meanwhile, on mainland China, terror reigned like reverse McCarthyism on crystal meth (you were busted if you were deemed un-Communist, and the purge lasted ten long years). Aspiring cinematographer-turned-news-flack Li Zhensheng captured thousands of these public shamings, kidnappings, and firing squads in black and white, 22 digital prints of which haunt the drab wood shingle walls of Berkeley's Northgate Hall. (Through December 17 at Northgate Hall, UC Berkeley)

6X6 -- Alameda installation artist Clint Imboden loves other people's dirty laundry. Not necessarily clothes -- rather, ancient photos, old chest X-rays, and thrown-out letters from abused girls make up this show's bread and butter. A mental health practitioner by trade, Imboden combs flea markets and dumps in his spare time for found objects with some type of emotional resonance. (Through December 2 at 1800 Campbell St. Oakland; LoBotGallery.com or 510-282-2622.)

The Zine UnBound: Kults, Werewolves, and Sarcastic Hippies -- Do not go to this show without first jacking yourself up on coffee and taking two Valiums. The coffee helps you focus for three hours on the thousands of bizarre drawings, paintings, and installations crammed in here, and the Valium handles the security guards who'll stalk your every move. This isn't a gallery, as in art -- this is an institution, as in commerce. Clueless zine fans who think they can get a free taste are turned away at the door. "It's $4, sir. No exceptions." Yet it's worth it, because behind the velvet rope waits artifacts that will surely disturb future anthropologists. What does a generation with arguably the most time, money, sex, drugs, and boredom since 18th-century Versailles do with its time? Well, little by little it goes insane, and occasionally stops to make homemade magazines. Oakland favorites Hot & Cold contribute their dysfunctional part to this rousing, rambling display of werewolves, nudity, violence, pop culture, color, and collage. -- D2 (Through December 30 at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, 701 Mission St., San Francisco; YBCA.org or 415-978-ARTS.)


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