let's not make their nice


Herds of Republicans in New York?

Can't wait for the excitement of the Republican Convention, still eight long weeks away? Start celebrating this coming Wednesday, and again on each of the next eight Wednesdays, with the people at White Box. They're putting together more than two months' worth of creative events in recognition of the extraordinary significance of this . . . this thing coming to New York. There will be a new curator and a new art installation each week.

The Republicans of course have only one installation, it's hardly art, it's definitely not a hit and the whole set will be struck later this fall.

MAKE NICE will be the theme of the fifth edition of White Box's annual summer series, Six Feet Under. As in previous years, MAKE NICE will consist of exhibitions mounted by critics and curators who will take possession of White Box's exhibition space for the duration of one week each. This year the topic specifically addresses the Republican National Convention, to be staged in New York from August 29 through September 2, 2004. The premise is that the curators, and the artists they select, respond to an ad-campaign featuring Ed Koch in which he tells New Yorkers: "The Republicans are coming, Make Nice."
Meanwhile, it looks like Koch has had real trouble finding New Yorkers to volunteer holding Republican hands. Are we surprised?
Many of the tour guides for this summer's Republican National Convention will be tourists.

The nonprofit committee in charge of making Gotham hospitable to the 4,000-plus delegates has hit its benchmark of recruiting 10,000 volunteers.

But only 42 percent of the unpaid convention guides are New York City residents. The rest are from other areas, including upstate, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Virginia, according to statistics released yesterday by NYC Host Committee 2004.

10,000 guides for only 4,000 delegates? They should be able to spare at least a few of those volunteers for work toward a cause worthy of a human being. I expect that some of those 4,200 or so New Yorkers are in fact spies or moles, so this could get more interesting than the event planners might have imagined.

[image is logo from White Box site]