The End Is Finally Over|
Steve's Top 10 List for 1999
by Steven Robert Allen
1) The Creating Consciousness: Science as the Language of God by Arne A. Wyller. This book by Santa Fe resident and former Royal Swedish Academy astrophysicist set my head on fire. Though his conclusions are a little farfetched, the trajectory of the book is awe inspiring.
2) The Beard by Michael McClure, performed at the Riverside Theatre. The Riverside deserves credit for putting on several great productions this year, but the one that sticks out most for me was this essentially flawless performance of McClure's obscene 1960s classic, featuring Joseph Pesce as Billy the Kid and Kerry Weddle as Jean Harlow.
3) Patrick Manning. This art haunted me for a while. Lovely polaroid snapshots of human flesh reconfigured into appalling organic shapes. His Exquisite Corpse Variations showed at the ARC Gallery.
4) The Hothouse by Harold Pinter, performed at the Vortex Theatre. A hot, funny performance of this little known Pinter work, featuring an especially excellent performance by the Riverside Ensemble's Shenoah Allen.
5) Magnïfico: Festival of the Arts. Under the direction of Suzanne Sbarge, Magnïfico has become an arts organization to be reckoned with. The shows at the new 516 Magnïfico Artspace have been exciting and innovative, and the 10th annual group exhibit of Albuquerque artists, Why Albuquerque? -- organized by Magnïfico at the Albuquerque Museum -- was one of the most exciting of the season.
6) Cynthia Cook. This artist provided the Alibi with our most beautifully decorated entries in this year's haiku contest. That alone would be enough to guarantee her a place on this list. I also caught some of her excellent, mystical, multimedia work at the Why Albuquerque? exhibit.
7) The Complete Butcher's Tales by Rikki Ducornet. Freakish, grotesque flash fiction from the master of weird, this collection of short, short stories gave me frightmares for weeks. I mean that as a compliment.
8) Speak, Memory by Vladimir Nabokov. This reprint of Nabokov's autobiography finally features the mysterious, missing "Chapter 16," a fake review of the autobiography by an unnamed reviewer (actually Nabokov himself). Though the addition was superfluous, this autobiography is unlike any other and deserves to be devoured by anyone with the gall to conclude, as Nabokov did, that human existence is essentially beautiful.
9) Robert ParkeHarrison. ParkeHarrison's heavily-worked photographic images are as unforgettable as they are creepy. His work showed at the Richard Levy Gallery.
10) What Book?! Buddha Poems from Beat to Hiphop edited by Gary Gach. A great anthology of empty poetry in a convenient palm-sized edition.