Volume 75, Number 38 | February 8 -14 2006

The A List

Our Picks for a Good Time Out

Hands On

The title of Spanish artist Paco Cao’s latest exhibit, “Don’t Touch the White Woman” is misleading on a number of levels. For one, there is no white woman among the collection of male portraits, each of whom represents an imaginary character in an imaginary task force, GPS, that has been tapped by the U.S. to protect the shrinking white population in the year 2015. (Wait, it gets weirder.) And rather than discourage audience participation—which the “Don’t Touch” command seems to confer — Cao, a practitioner of public art, engages viewers by asking them to vote for the best, most promising member of his fake superpower team. Even better, he has asked gallery visitors to explain why they would make a good addition to GPS, so that Cao can create a portrait of the person who gives him the best response. It stands to reason that the winner would actually be the white woman in question, but as Cao said just a few days before the exhibit—and the competition—ended, “I need to establish the rules to myself and I don’t have them yet.” We can’t wait for the results. Exhibit ends this Saturday, Feb. 11. Claire Oliver, 513 West 26th St. btwn. 10th and 11th Aves. (212.929.5949; claieoliver.com).

Live from Washington Square Park
For the past 25 years, comedic legend Albert Owens has been a fixture at Washington Square Park, where he’s entertained hundreds with witty insights on race relations and humiliated hundreds more with barbs about audience members’ bad hair. This Thursday, however, he takes his one-man show indoors, to Mo’ Pitkins. If you’ve missed his sharp wit, or forgot to drop a dollar in the basket he passed around, now is your chance to catch his old school comedy act. Feb. 9 at 9 pm. Mo Pitkins, 34 Avenue A (212-777-5660; mopitkins.com).

Loves, Laughs and Lobotomies
Like Valentine’s Day, love means different things depending on the person you ask, and over the next week, The Pioneer Theater hosts a series of films that portray love from every possible perspective. There’s Woody Allen’s neurotic love poem “Annie Hall” and Linda Lovelace’s infamous porn flick, “Deep Throat,” Bernardo Bertolucci’s Brando bombshell “Last Tango in Paris” and Joseph Lovett’s provocative, sex-obsessed, pre-AIDS documentary “Gay Sex in the 70s.” And then there are the tributes to the sublime ecstasy of a mind wiped clean: Peter Weir’s underappreciated 1975 enigma, “Picnic at Hanging Rock,” and Michel Gondry’s triumphant “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.” The “Valentine’s Love-a-Thon” series starts Thursday February 9th at The Pioneer, 155 East 3rd Street, between Avenues A and B. (212.591.0434, www.twoboots.com/pioneer) — Steven Snyder

Legends of the Falls
Though it’s hard to believe, Niagara Falls was once a romantic getaway, so much so that wealthy New Yorkers actually honeymooned there. Not so now. The natural wonder still attracts lovers, but the run-down town looks like a shell of its former self, and Alec Soth’s photo exhibit manages to capture the dashed dreams of this once picturesque place. Spread throughout the series of motel facades and lovers portraits are artifacts of love gone awry, like angry love letters, a solitary wedding gown, and a sign announcing an upcoming divorce party. Together, they weave a visually compelling tale of love on the rocks. Through Feb. 25. Gagosian Gallery, 555 W. 24th St. btwn. 10th and 11th Aves. (212-741-1111; gagosian.com).

Sugar Pop
Initially a concept band intended to fuse the sounds of ‘60s Brit pop and early ‘90s dance rhythms, St. Etienne saw their heyday in the mid- and late-‘90s when several of their indie pop tracks became club hits. The release of a greatest hits and b-sides collection a few years back and a brand new album on Sub Pop has brought them back into the spotlight and gotten longtime fans to revisit the old classics. Expect to hear “Only Love Can Break Your Heart,” along with many other hit singles when they bring their sugary sound to Irving Plaza Monday, Feb. 13th. Doors open at 8 PM. 17 Irving Pl., btwn. E. 15th and 16th. (212-770-6800; irvingplaza.com) —Emily Zemler

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