Displacement: The Three Gorges Dam & Contemporary Chinese Art

Nasher Museum of ArtNo country is developing so rapidly, with repercussions both positive and negative, as China. Its manufactured goods spill out of our Walmarts, while the massive Three Gorges Dam engineering project, the subject of a fascinating documentary called Up the Yangtze, is one of the most far-reaching alterations to the Earth’s landscape in history. And this week, China’s efforts to regulate the reach and influence of Google exploded into a fresh round of provocation and repression, thus exposing the inevitable conflict between the modern wired world and a single-party state. Organized by the Smart Museum of Art at University of Chicago, the exhibit includes work from artists Liu Xiaodong, Yun-fei Ji, Zhuang Hui and Chen Qiulin. Liu trained as an oil painter and has gotten involved in film. Chen explores the modernization of the Sichuan province. Presumably, all the artists’ works will link back to the Three Gorges Dam, completed in late 2009. The exhibition of paintings, photographs and videos runs through July 25. For more information, visit www.nasher.duke.edu or call 684-5135. Sarah Ewald

Colossus, Black Skies

The Pour HouseWith obvious reverence for Iron Maiden and Judas Priest, Colossus combines squealing guitar harmonies that join vocalist Sean Buchanan’s piercing howls as the sharp battle cry leading the Raleigh sextet into mythological metal warfare. Meanwhile, Chapel Hill’s Black Skies return for the first time since being sidelined by the departure of drummer Cameron Weeks six months ago. Though Luke Messick now bashes the skins, the stoner sludge should be as unrelenting as ever. Columbus, Ohio, quartet Lo-Pan churns out heaps of heavy riffage. Wilmington’s thrashy shape-shifters Gollum open at 10 p.m. Pay $7 at the door. See www.the-pour-house.com. Spencer Griffith

Chapel Hill
Brooklyn Rider/ 2 Foot Yard

UNC Memorial HallSwinging strings intertwine in the sauna of “Crosstown.” Violins dance with one another, flirting with impropriety on “La Muerte Chiquita,” a tune popularized by the Mexican rockers Café Tacuba. Gaining as much inspiration from Armenian folk song as Claude Debussy, Brooklyn Rider explores the boundaries of chamber music. The string quartet may be best known for its collaboration with Yo-Yo Ma as part of his Silk Road Ensemble, but the group is plenty impressive on its own.

Collaboration with other cultures, composers and musicians highlights what Brooklyn Rider can do best and points to the origin of its name: Der Blaue Reiter (The Blue Rider), an Expressionist group from Munich in the early 20th century that included artist Vassily Kandinsky and composer Arnold Schoenberg. Tonight’s performance offers the world premiere collaboration of Brooklyn Rider with 2 Foot Yard, a violin-cello-guitar-and-drums trio that brings chamber music into communication with ardent rock. Violinist Carla Kihlstedt’s imploring vocals haunt tunes that proceed in melodic meanderings and cacophonous spurts. With two different approaches to chamber music, it will be interesting to hear what the groups create together. Tickets for the 7:30 p.m. show are $10–$30. See www.carolinaperformingarts.org. Andrew Ritchey