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It's November, so that means another stellar exhibition by novelist-artist Mercedes Helnwein. Temptation to Be Good, her latest collection of works for black pencil and oil pastels on paper, is hosted this evening by singer-songwriter Beck. Helnwein expands on her meditation on things happening just outside the frame, keeping the drama holding its breath as the beholder subconsciously looks around the corner for insight. It's like that scene in Rosemary's Baby where the audience knows something dire is happening just outside their field of vision onscreen and necks are craned dutifully in the direction of the direness that holds itself tantalizingly out of reach. There are new worlds lurking just outside of the images that Helnwein presents -- but revealing that enigmatic drama would be taking the easy way out, like preaching about war or morality. Real life -- as we now know -- is slightly more challenging than all that.
Sat., Nov. 13, 8 p.m., 2010


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