FRANCESCO CLEMENTE It's hard to decide whether the latest mythopoetic paintings of this transavant-gardist are awful or awesome. In a show that starts out pale, wan, and amniotic, the canvases and frescoes proceed in proscenium increments on a mournful yet flippant post-existential journey that culminates in a group of indigo denim self-portrait shrouds. Simultaneously enervated, grandiose, desolate, and laden with symbolic portents, they'd make great stage decor. The catalog essayist calls Clemente "an artist without a discourse." And yet Clemente propels stylized irrelevance into a weird limbo that jibes with our current mood of dismay. THROUGH JUNE 21, Gagosian Gallery, 555 West 24th Street, 212-741-1111. (Levin)

JONATHAN HOROWITZ & ROB PRUITT Having transformed the big old Victorian house they bought together in the Catskills into the ultimate creepy punk-gothic manse and named it Peacock Hill, they now offer it for sale (pumpkin patch, cemetery, and all) in a collaborative installation titled "Surreal Estate." With black walls, eerie pictures, a spooky chandelier, and video voices from beyond, it's supremely silly. But the main action takes place in Fleischmanns, New York, where they're holding a summer-long open house. Pruitt calls it "a big sculpture you can live in." Horowitz says it's also about "decorating as a historically gay form of expression." THROUGH JUNE 28, Gavin Brown's Enterprise, 436 West 15th Street, 212-627-5258. (Levin)

Decked out: Radiohead station themselves at the Beacon theater (see music).
photo: Tom Sheehan
Decked out: Radiohead station themselves at the Beacon theater (see music).


'FACE THE MUSIC AND DANCE' Doug Varone and Dancers, virtuosi of both the rhythmic and the emotional, offer two world premieres to music by Steve Reich, performed by four members of Reich's ensemble, in this most valuable (because committed to live music) of dance series. THURSDAY THROUGH SATURDAY AT 8, Peter Norton Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway, 212-864-5400. (Zimmer)

FLAMENCO VIVO CARLOTA SANTANA This locally based flamenco troupe celebrates its 20th anniversary in two places with the same program in the same week: first at the fabulous "dance farm" in upstate Tivoli, and then in Chelsea. The new Bailes de Ida y Vuelta explores the influence of Latin American music and dance styles on flamenco; choreographed by Antonio Hidalgo, it features 10 dancers and original live music. Completing the bill are early works paying tribute to the company's co-founder, the late Roberto Lorca. SATURDAY AT 7:30 AND SUNDAY AT 2:30, Kaatsbaan Studio Theatre, 120 Broadway, Tivoli, New York, 845-757-5106, and TUESDAY AT 8, THROUGH JUNE 15, Joyce Theater, 175 Eighth Avenue, 212-242-0800. (Zimmer)


'THE WEATHER UNDERGROUND' Sam Green and Bill Siegel's documentary vividly evokes the particular quality and extent of the madness that possessed many young, idealistic Americans during the course of the longest foreign war in the nation's history. Despite the filmmakers' unwillingness to ask their subjects any tough questions and a coy disinclination to discuss how the Weather Underground managed to function, this often gripping account of Vietnam-era terrorists makes present what the French call a mentalité—a unifying state of mind that characterizes a social formation over an extended period of time. OPENS FRIDAY, Film Forum, 209 West Houston Street, 212-727-8110. (Hoberman)

'THE WAY THINGS GO'+'RADIO BIKINI' Rarely screened Swiss artists Peter Fischli and David Weiss's 1987 half-hour home-movie of one of their convoluted, studio setup chain reactions is not just funny but disquieting. It's all the more so for being shown with Roger Stone's documentary account of America's 1946 operation on Bikini Atoll—at once nuclear test and publicity for weapons of mass destruction. SUNDAY AT 8:30, Ocularis at Galapagos Art Space, 70 North 6th Street, Brooklyn, 718-782-5188. (Hoberman)


ACEYALONE+PRINCE PAUL+EYEDEA+UGLY DUCKLING A strong, strong alt-rap bill from top to bottom, which I doubt is indicated by the above order, with L.A.'s Ugly Duckling riding a surprisingly successful new concept album. Freestyle Fellowship big man Aceyalone has a pretty good new album out himself. Since Prince Paul's new concept album is merely surprising, be glad he's got hits in the bank. And Chicago's Eyedea got more than one—eyedea, not hit. Got no hits at all, yet. TUESDAY AT 10, S.O.B.'s, 204 Varick Street, 212-243-4940. (Christgau)

REGINA CARTER Playing the priceless 1943 Il Cannone violin once owned by Paganini, Carter steps into the virtuoso's shoes with Paganini: After a Dream (Verve), not always a perfect fit, but more often than not pretty captivating—she relies on dreamy impressionism rather than impish speed and makes her case for improvising on Ravel, Debussy, and Fauré as well as Bonfá, Piazzolla, and Morricone. How she'll bring it off live without the string orchestra is the question. THURSDAY THROUGH SATURDAY AT 9 AND 11, Birdland, 315 West 44th Street, 212-581-3080. (Giddins)

THE CLEAN Appropriately named kiwi rockers, they've cultivated a spare sound since their beginnings over twenty years ago. All the recent hoopla over neo-garage bands unfairly glosses over how these guys have been doing the same for so well for so long. Though they've had an on/off hiatus for some 10 years now, a stalwart two-CD collection on Merge is as good a reason as any for them to come together and celebrate their history. WEDNESDAY AT 8, Knitting Factory, 74 Leonard Street, 212-219-3006. (Gross)

'THE DEFINITIVE JUX SUMMER SPECTACULAR' At the midpoint of 2003, Definitive Jux is in full flower. Label head El-P is poking through on MTV2. Cannibal Ox have reunited after a too-long hiatus to record their second album. Every few months, it seems, RJD2 drops a few more pastiche gems, and new signee C-Rayz Walz is more anarchic than the rest of indie rap combined. But despite the success, there likely won't be anything "summery" about this show; joy isn't on the label agenda. Also performing are Rob Sonic, a big man with a calculatedly small sound, and SA Smash, who bring thuggery to the underground in a safe enough fashion to avoid scaring the NYU kids. With Hangar 18. SATURDAY AT 8, Irving Plaza, 17 Irving Place, 212-777-6800. (Caramanica)

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