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Friday, January 17, 2014

Weekend Arts Agenda: 'Two Old Black Guys Just Sitting Around Talking'

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  • Courtesy New African Grove Theatre Company
  • James Womack, left, and Keith Franklin

The New African Grove Theatre Company will produce the Atlanta premiere of Gus Edwards' Two Old Black Guys Just Sitting Around Talking at the Southwest Arts Center; it's your first weekend to see it. Its main characters, Henry and Abe "sit somewhat bewildered by the world in front of them, by the news, the busy pace of the passersbys, and how invisible they have become to everyone around them." So the play is exactly how you're imagining it. And yet: Past productions have been noted for how they produce Edwards' sparse stage directions (opportunity as possibility; a kind of reverse Beckett), which amplifies every new representational choice - down to the park; down to the bench. Directed by N.L. Starr.

PSA: Friday is your last chance to see Health Is a Human Right: Race and Place in America at the CDC. Per our own Max Blau, "The collection includes historic documents, photographs, and other items related to the struggles people of different races and ethnicities have faced to achieve proper health care in the United States."

Three more shows, after the jump.

FRIDAY-SUNDAY

Mark Brandon apparently spent the last decade exploring, experimenting, and other boundary-blending ex-things with photogram/x-ray. His Photograms opened last night at the Westside Cultural Arts Center's Fay Gold Gallery.

SATURDAY

Thomas Hart Benton, Violence, oil on board, 17x28 in.
  • Courtesy Alan Avery
  • Thomas Hart Benton, "Violence," oil on board, 17x28 in.

Twenty-six of Thomas Hart Benton's prints and drawings, depicting working-class African-Americans and on exhibition at Alan Avery Art Company through Jan. 25, have been described as dissonant, dynamic and brash. Or maybe I'm describing Benton himself; somehow the two seem to always be muddled together. (Benton taught Jackson Pollock, too.) The gallery is hosting a talk today at 3 p.m. - try and arrive early; I'm told it's standing-room only.

Jayson Niles, Fish Anamalis, 20x55x30.5 in., foam, leather, wood, stainless steel, resin

The Swan Coach House's Anamalis is a) a made-up word; and b) a gallery about animals as a construct - both abstractly (incorporating both circuses and anomalies; thus the portmanteau) and literally. Literally: Jayson Niles' pieces are mixed-media, assembled from materials that were "purchased, given, and collected." The show opened last week. There's an artist talk at 11 a.m.

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