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Seven things that are happening this week.
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Hank Willis Thomas, Rise Up (2014) 
What's Happening This Week

Friday - 5:30PM
Hank Willis Thomas: Primary Sources

List Art Center, 64 College Street

Hank Willis Thomas has a great new show at Brown’s David Winton Bell Gallery. The self-described photo-conceptual artist is probably best known for pieces that appropriate urban consumer advertising, but the recent pieces in this show dig a little deeper into the history of twentieth-century political struggles.
 
Primarily focused on race and forms of masculinity, Thomas’s most compelling work includes bronze castings of raised fists breaking through walls and barriers. Violent references to Nazi Germany and Apartheid-era South Africa appear frighteningly relevant.
 
Rise Up (pictured) features ten body-less bronze men with arms raised, facing the gallery wall. The sculpture actually predates the death of Michael Brown and the rise of Hands Up Don’t Shoot as a political statement, although of course the piece seems so linked to that movement that it's nearly impossible to read differently.
 
The five-channel video “A person is more important than anything…” takes sound from an interview with James Baldwin and overlays it with a half-century’s worth of documentary footage that pops in and out according to the rhythm of Baldwin’s voice.
 
Thomas is speaking on Friday at 5:30 in the List Auditorium, which is just across the lobby from the gallery.
This Week's Calendar

Monday - 9:00PM

Tatsuya Nakatani
Aurora, 276 Westminster Street

Solo percussionist Tatsuya Nakatani creates his own instruments, and his experimental improvised compositions contain elements of noise and free jazz. This free Labor Day show also features a set by Work/Death as well as more solo percussion via Rachel Blumberg.

Tuesday
We Are Your Friends
All The Multiplexes

Spend some alone time at the movies with We Are Your Friends, the Zac Efron passion project that’s also a record-breaking flops. A bro-y drama about LA party DJs that's named after a nine year old remix, the mostly clothed Magic Mike-ish story actually sounds like a good way to ease out of summer.

Wednesday - 6:00PM
A Providence Anthology
Providence Public Library, 150 Empire Street

It’s a release celebration for Frequency’s latest project, A Providence Anthology, which features fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and illustration. The event will feature readings, activities, and wider discussions about the city of Providence. The event is free and copies of the anthology will be available for sale on a sliding scale.

Thursday - 8:00(ish)PM
The Muppet Movie
Grant's Block (Westminster & Union Streets)

The first of eight films starring Kermit and his friends, The Muppet Movie was released in 1979 and it really seems like a historic artifact from a bygone era, from the songs to the meandering cross-country road trip. (Not to mention the cameos.) It also marked the debut of “The Rainbow Connection,” Kermit's Oscar-nominated ballad.

Friday - 8:00PM
Aaron Pexa: The Lucent Parlor
Cade Tompkins Projects
198 Hope Street

Aaron Pexa’s work has been on the lawn of Hope Street’s Governor Henry Lippitt House all summer, but now his work in glass, video, and wallpaper gets highlighted in a solo show at Cade Tompkins. I don’t normally recommend openings, but at eight o’clock there’s something called the Lighting of the Sconces, which may or may not be a one-time thing. (This is also conveniently within walking distance of the Hank Willis Thomas event.)

Saturday - 9:00PM
Ed Schrader's Music Beat
Aurora, 276 Westminster Street
$8

Zippy Baltimore duo Ed Schrader’s Music Beat last played around here (I think) during the Providence International Arts Festival. It was probably the most fun thing I went to all day. This time they’re joined by Doomsday Student, Way Out, and Pyramid.

Sunday - 3:00PM
These Ruthless Bitches
Epic Theater Company
82 Rolfe Square, Cranston
$15

A high society satire set in a women’s prison, These Ruthless Bitches is inspired by Clare Boothe Luce’s 1936 play The Women. The all female cast finds itself jailed for crimes committed by their husbands, but things get spicy when one prisoner finds herself sharing space with her husband’s mistress.

One Final Word...

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