'AMERI©AN DRE@M' "Gentlemen, America is in trouble," says Ida Applebroog's sweet statuette with a thought balloon. From George Petty's vintage pinups and Jane Philbrick's Jesse Helms to Jason Salavon's Playboy centerfolds and Michael Wilson's Ashcroft, this sprawling survey of socially engaged works by nearly 90 artists considers sex, violence, politics, race, the state of the union, and the gap between dream and reality. With Ed Ruscha's Miracle, Roxy Paine's Bible, Dyke Action Machine's posters, and a lot else, it looks great at the gallery. If the law of diminishing returns sets in at the annex space, concentrate on the terrific videos in the basement. THROUGH MARCH 29, Ronald Feldman, 31 Mercer Street and 419 Broome Street, 212-226-3232. (Levin)

ALEXANDER VINOGRADOV & VLADIMIR DUBOSSARSKY In the eyes of this Moscow duo, whose ongoing, humongous, and presumably endless Our Best World currently consists of 38 end-to-end canvases stretching 180 linear feet around the walls, the American dream meshes with post­Soviet Realist happiness. They paint a paradise of dappled leaves, pretty people, gentle animals, rainbows, Marilyns, Elvises, Teletubbies, stretch limos, onion domes, and pink Caddys, sprinkled with doves, Coca-Colas, and roses. With painterly touches, scale shifts, and a vision that's synthetic, cinematic, celebratory, and insistently innocent, it's a new kind of strangely conservative radical painting. THROUGH APRIL 19, Deitch Projects, 76 Grand Street, 212-343-7300. (Levin)

MARK MORRIS DANCE GROUP If the Jacuzzi in his office is the source of Morris's extraordinary fecundity, maybe every choreographer should get one. The Baron of the Bathtub shows four works new to New York, on two programs. The premieres: Serenade, a solo for Morris to guitar music by the late Lou Harrison; Kolam to a fusion score composed and played by tabla master Zakir Hussain and pianist Ethan Iverson; the gangster-themed Resurrection, to Richard Rodgers's "Slaughter on Tenth Avenue"; and Something Lies Beyond the Scene, to music by William Walton and poetry by Edith Sitwell. And more. WEDNESDAY THROUGH SATURDAY AT 7:30 AND SUNDAY AT 3, BAM Howard Gilman Opera House, 30 Lafayette Avenue, Brooklyn, 718-636-4100. (Zimmer)

SEÁN CURRAN COMPANY Percussion is Curran's middle name. Framing a program to please the patrons at "New York's first theater for kids," he's built a bill sure to delight lovers of rhythm no matter their age. Grounded in Irish dance and polished in the postmodern scene, Curran collaborates with Tigger Benford on The Amadinda Dances and the rousing Quadra Box Redux. Bring everybody. FRIDAY AT 7, SATURDAY AT 2 AND 7, SUNDAY AT NOON AND 5, AND MARCH 27 THROUGH 30, New Victory Theater, 209 West 42nd Street, 212-239-6200. (Zimmer)

'DECASIA' Bill Morrison isn't the first artist to take decomposing film stock as his raw material, but he plunges into this dark nitrate of the soul with contagious abandon. Accompanied by Michael Gordon's no-less-textured wall of sound, the calligraphy of decay grows increasingly hallucinated and catastrophic. The most widely praised avant-garde film in recent years, Decasia is a fierce dance of destruction. Its flame-like roiling black-and-white inspires trembling and gratitude. THROUGH TUESDAY, Anthology Film Archives, 32 Second Avenue, 212-505-5181. (Hoberman)

'JAPÓN' Funny, mournful, weird, Carlos Reygadas's first feature is the new Mexican cinema's wiggiest manifestation to date--an existential drama with the wide-screen ratio and bleached tinge of a vintage spaghetti western. Reygadas's deliberate pace shows a certain Tarkovsky influence; but more eccentric than overweening, the story of a nameless man who goes to the bottom of the Copper Canyon in order to commit suicide is pure, if perverse, Nature Channel pantheism. Indeed, the jaw-dropping capper to this panoramic movie could itself be considered among the wonders of creation. THROUGH APRIL 1, Film Forum, 209 West Houston Street, 212-727-8110. (Hoberman)

'OSCAR IN NEW YORK' Once in a while, the Best Pic takes place here. This series features eight--from Billy Wilder's The Lost Weekend (1945) through Woody Allen's Annie Hall (1977). Celebrity presenters include Budd Schulberg (On the Waterfront) and Voice writer Michael Musto (All About Eve). THURSDAY, THROUGH MARCH 30, BAM Rose Cinemas, 30 Lafayette Avenue, Brooklyn, 718-623-2770. (Hoberman)

'25 YEARS OF WOMEN CALLING THE SHOTS' It's an action-packed week of panels, personal appearances, and screenings with directors Lee Grant, Nancy Savoca, and Christine Choy (to name only a few) introducing their films. The movies themselves are an eclectic assortment of indie features, experimental work, and docs--but there's also a panel on the long-running soap The Guiding Light. WEDNESDAY THROUGH MARCH 26, Walter Reade Theater, 165 West 65th Street, 212-875-5600. (Hoberman)

BETTIE SERVEERT No longer in vogue but fondly remembered, Amsterdam's Carol Van Dyk and her band have been getting better ever since they broke a decade ago. Their new album is as songful as they've ever been, and showcases a zest for the long instrumental that guarantees a rocking show as well as an articulate one. Friday with New Wet Kojak and the Caulfield Sisters and Saturday with Sea Ray and the Fly Seville. FRIDAY AT 9, Southpaw, 125 Fifth Avenue, Brooklyn, 718-230-0236; SATURDAY AT 10, Maxwell's, 1039 Washington Street, Hoboken, New Jersey, 201-653-1703. (Christgau)

BUCK 65 Formerly Stinkin' Rich, Richard Tefry of Halifax and Mount Uniacke, Nova Scotia, would seem a geographically unlikely candidate for finest hip-hop artist in Canada. And admittedly, beats aren't his strong suit. But that's only because few rappers anywhere
are dropping such well-spoken rhymes--his
self-portrait as a centaur was only the tip of
the membrum virile. Opening Sunday: dark-
rocking Newark rapper Dalek and his homeboy Oddateee. SUNDAY AT 8:30, Maxwell's, 1039 Washington Street, Hoboken, New Jersey, 201-653-1703; MONDAY AT 8:30, Knitting Factory, 74 Leonard Street, 212-219-3006. (Christgau)

Next Page »