The current show at Elliot Smith Contemporary Art (4729 McPherson Avenue; 314-361-4800), Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Art... , has received some criticism for its optimistic title. "Everything?" Everything? Can you really squeeze all of art into one show? It seems a fair and logical question -- but art is not logical.
Art is the attempt to capture human experience in a static, permanent form: It is impossible. But artists still create art, knowing full well that what they are attempting to do is improbable and unlikely. You can't fix life to a board, pinning its meaning down precisely and beautifully as if it were a rare specimen of butterfly. But artists still attempt to do just that, and the world is littered with successful attempts.
Takashi Horisaki attempts to add another mark in the success column with his performance piece, Birth Rite, at 7 p.m. at Elliot Smith. Through the use of paint, powder, motion detectors and his own creative drive, Horisaki will create a new skin on his nude body, affording the viewer the opportunity to witness the act of creation. Indeed, the viewer will influence the final piece, as the motion detectors set up around Horisaki will respond to the movements of the audience and regulate the amount of paint and latex used to create Horisaki's new skin. In this manner, Birth Rite is striking at the very essence of art, the act of creation, opening it up to include the watcher as well as the artist. When Horisaki's new skin is complete, he will strip it off and hang it with the other skins already hanging in the gallery, which is as total a metaphor for the artist's life as has ever been imagined. Horisaki's completed skins -- grayish, human-shaped effigies with tattered limbs and puckered surfaces, riddled with stray hairs and small tears -- are unique objects despite having the same point of origin. In creating them, Horisaki reveals everything you need to know about art. -- Paul Friswold
At Your Old School
Much like St. Louis with all its World's Fair inventions, Columbia, too, is an innovative place. After all, that's where the Homecoming tradition was invented (for real). Don't worry, it's not that time of year yet, but it is time for the first Mizzou football game. Take a drive west on Interstate 70 to Faurot Field (Stadium Boulevard and South Providence Road, Columbia, Missouri) to watch the Tigers trounce Arkansas State. (We admit we might be a bit biased on the trouncing part.) Tickets are $30 at 800-228-7297 or www.mutigers.com. And because the game starts at 6 p.m., you have plenty of time to tailgate with the kids. The university didn't invent tailgating, but it seems like it's been perfected there. -- Alison Sieloff
It Is Easy Being Cheesy!
Cheese is the most perfectly diverse food. It fits well into every meal (who ever had an omelet without it?), and it's a central ingredient in beer-cheese soup and rarebit (another beer-y, cheesy delight). You can eat it plain or melted on top of a pizza; it makes no difference because it's great either way. It's even good moldy! Meet someone who shares this same enthusiasm for cheese at the $10 Glory of Gouda class at Whole Foods (1601 South Brentwood Boulevard; 314-968-7744). Denise Carr, specialty cheese buyer, instructs the class on how to cook with goat Gouda, herbed Gouda, blue, classic and aged Gouda from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Talk about cheese diversity! -- Alison Sieloff
The Real McCoys
Sibling rivalry had to have played a part in the artistic careers of brothers Gary and Glenn McCoy. The St. Louis-born brothers both work as editorial cartoonists (older brother Gary for The Suburban Journals and Copley News Service, Glenn for The New York Times and the Belleville News-Democrat), and they jointly work on The Duplex, the perfectly skewed comic strip about inveterate/degenerate bachelor Eno Camino and his dog Fang. The younger brother working for the mighty Times? You know he reminds his big brother of that at every Thanksgiving gathering. The two McCoys present a slide talk and discussion about their work, recently published in Attack of the Political Cartoonists: Insights & Assaults from Today's Editorial Pages, at 7 p.m. at Barnes & Noble (8871 Ladue Road; 314-862-6280). --Paul Friswold