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Sights & Sounds: Thao Nguyen

Maria Kanevskaya / Cropped and resized

Sights & Sounds is your weekly guide to the Bay Area arts scene. Musician Thao Nguyen told KALW’s Ninna Gaensler-Debs about three fantastic arts events happening around the Bay this week.


© 2017 Sophie Calle / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris

“My mother, my cat, my father, in that order” is conceptual artist Sophie Calle’s reflection on the the deaths of her mother, cat, and father. Calle examines her feelings with her characteristically investigative method of exploring human relationships and from her her typical unsentimental perspective on emotional moments. 

 The intimacy of it is really gripping, but it also offers a broader perspective on what people owe each other or do not owe each other.

The San Francisco Japan Film Festival is the first only Bay Area annual film event dedicated entirely to Japanese film. It’s part of this year’s J-Pop Summit and will be showing over a dozen films, including the west coast premiere of Shingo Matsumura’s Love And Goodbye and Hawaii and the US premiere of Yasu Tsuruhashi’s Black Widow Business.

 I love Japantown, it's one of my favorite places in the city to hang out.

Courtesy Yerba Buena Center For The Arts

Talking to Power/Hablándole al Poder is a survey that presents long-term artworks by Cuban political artist Tania Bruguera produced between 1985 and 2017. Her work explores structures of authority and re-imagines more democratic models of power. Bruguera hopes the exhibit will create a space where for people to consider art’s role to provoke and say and do what cannot be said or done under systems of repression and violence.

 One of my favorite things to see and experience is that kind of union of art and activism and organizing.