January 2007 Archives

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Chrysler 300

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Hummer H2

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Toyota FJ Cruiser

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Cadillac presidential tank

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Ford Synus concept*


Brinks truck, thugmobile, or armored personnel carrier? The only accessory that seems to be missing from these and the many other examples (real or teaser) of the offensive, fierce-looking, yet quite silly, fake-macho mounts commanding our roads these days are the gun slots or the gun mounts. America's long love affair with the car has finally turned into fear and loathing, not of the idea of a personal wheeled vehicle, but of the other not invited into our private, luxuriously-equipped mobile panic rooms.

It's probably no coincidence that the last time our frightened man-boys went off the deep end in a neurotic obsession with toys which dramatically represented unrestrained brute power was also during a period dominated by an unnecessary and brutal war fought, and lost, on the other side of the earth. The peak period of the American "muscle car" was 1964-1975, roughly the last decade of the American war in Vietnam.

The whole world would be a much better place if we ever grew up.


*
the two-year old Ford Sinus is actually a very small vehicle, but an excerpt from one 2005 industry report, perhaps clipping directly from the manufacturer's press release, assures its readers:

But considering that the majority of the world's population will live in urban areas by 2010, the time may have come for the [small-]car market in the US market. The Synus concept explores what such a car might look like, along with a fanciful design theme based around ultimate security.

While Synus may be small, it has been designed to stand up to the rough and tumble of life in the big city, and has been given a look that says it can stand up for itself. Taking its inspiration from bank vaults and armored cars, this concept's exterior design immediately communicates that it takes security seriously. When parked and placed in secure mode, protective shutters are deployed over the windshield and side glass. Small windows on the flanks and roof are non-opening and bullet-resistant. The rear hatch has no window at all.

The Synus concept also signals security through its use of a driver-side dial operated combination lock on the B-pillar. The rear hatch is operated via a vault-style four-spoke spinner. Flat glass in a slightly raked windshield furthers the armored-car look of this concept.

I have no idea whose tongue is in cheek here.


[images from bigtex (Chrysler), Legends (Hummer)cartracker (Toyota), Autoblog (Cadillac), cardesignnews (Ford)

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Michael Kelly that goddamned george bush 2006 computer drawing


Just spotted this tiny item in this morning's Newsday:

BLEEPS ON A PLANE. So much for God and country, at least during some in-flight showings of the Oscar-nominated movie "The Queen." All mentions of God are bleeped out of a version of the film distributed to Delta and some other airlines, The Associated Press reports. Jeff Klein, president of Jaguar Distribution, the Studio City, Calif., company that supplied the movie to the airlines earlier this month, said it was a mistake, committed by an overzealous and inexperienced employee who had been told to edit out all profanities and blasphemies. Jaguar has been sending out unedited copies to the airlines.


[image from openstudio, spotted while searching for an image for "goddamned",]

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Joe Ovelman: the first three drawings from the series, “Twelve Drawings” 2007 [installation view]


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Joe Ovelman Rosa Parks 381 2007 381 polaroids and ink [detail of installation]



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Joe Ovelman Regi 2005 video [still from video installation]


It's a tough show. Joe Ovelman gets right inside the wretched, beating heart of white racism with his passionate exhibition, titled "For Whites Only", currently at Oliver Kamm's 5BE Gallery. There are only about seven works in the gallery, but the minimalist, and oddly almost sanctuary-like installation manages to include one piece from just about every one of the media forms available to an artist today.

Missing however from this virtuoso show, perhaps significantly, is any representative of his own still photography, the medium with which Ovelman has been most closely associated until the last year or so. The 381 polaroid portraits of the artist installed on one wall were taken and signed by 381 different people who could self-identify as African-American.

The press release describes the show's one video, and the source of its ambient sound, very simply:

"Regi", 2005, is a video in which the paid subject, chosen for his African decent, stands naked and confined to one end of a room for 8 hours, the length of a typical work day. The video was shot in Porto Seguro, Brazil, a historic slave-trading port.


UPDATE: See Holland Cotter's review in the NYTimes February 3.

[third image obtained from the artist]

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a small, faint, almost painfully sad drawing by Vivienne Griffin, from the show "Every Last Day"


There were a number of interesting gallery openings in Chelsea and elsewhere on January 11. We had tickets for a 7:30 performance in SoHo, but we still might have been able to make a number of shows before heading further downtown. We decided instead to visit perhaps the least obvious opening, that for a show called "Every Last Day", at the current, storefront location of Chashama, just off Times Square. We weren't disappointed.

The exhibition was mounted by an expanding collective of inventive artists called Dos Pestañeos. The show is called "Every Last Day". I want and expect to see more from these people, whether together or otherwise.

The last day of the show is February 28.


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the reception crowd, mixed together behind work by Alex White with Lori Scacco in the window, as seen from the busy W. 44th Street sidewalk at 6 pm.

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"holy anger"


Abbé Pierre died yesterday. If there is such a thing as a "saint", this man clearly deserved the title, but he will never be canonized by the Church. Too excessive.

He wrote that as a young priest, he had sex with a woman, and further infuriated Roman Catholic authorities by advocating gay marriage.
Even Jeanne d'Arc, who finally made saint after waiting 600 years, had never talked that kind of nonsense.

This and (almost) everything else in this remarkable NYTimes obituary of a 20th-century St. Francis almost reads like pure invention; it describes the perfect French or even universal hero of the poor, the homeless, the disenfranchised. And there's recycling in there too!

ADDENDUM: In doing a little searching I've just discovered that l'Abbé was a good friend of this dangerous man.


[image of Jacques Nadeau from Le Devoir]

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spoils of war




Michael Rakowitz
is a superb artist who just doesn't seem to be able to work without diving into the monumental issues which assault our smug comfort every day. We adore him for it.

Bloggy has a great image, a link to older work, and a very concise description of Rakowitz's current majestically tragic (and continuing) project, partly installed at Lombard-Freid until February 17.


*
with apologies to Ray Carver

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I told the salesman I've been dealing with for years at Sweetwater that I
should be recognized as the oldest composer to be using Abelton Live. He
asked, 'How old are you?' '76.' 'Boy, that IS old. Well, just keep doing
it.' Thanks, kid.
- Robert Ashley


We were privileged to be part of the audience last night for the premier of Robert Ashley's latest opera, "Concrete" at La Mama. It's sad to imagine, as I do, that only in future generations will large numbers of people be familiar with the work of this giant in our midst today. Even though it could hardly be described as "difficult" and even though its creator has been at it for almost a half century, this music is almost unknown to the people who are both the artist's muse and the only subject of his loving creation.

Not every one music listener today would be a candidate under any circumstances for the ranks of adoring fans of Wagner's Ring or Stockhausen's Licht cycle [I confess I am almost fanatical about both], but it may only be the tight corporate control of access to radio and television waves that can be blamed for the general public's total ignorance of the wonderful stories and music of the man who invented televison opera decades ago - and specifically as a popular and indigenous American art form.

Titles like these (from his catalog) are not made for an elite, and should not be kept in its possession: "Your Money My Life Goodbye", "Purposeful Lady Slow Afternoon", "Interiors Without Flash", "Outcome Inevitable", "Improvement (Don Leaves Linda)" and "Music Word Fire And I Would Do It Again (Coo Coo): The Lessons". The music is even lovelier.

Performances of "Concrete" continue through Sunday.

Last night at the end of his rich daydream odyssey one of the voices of this semi-autobiographical opera's protagonist sighs, "I tell stories and sing; I've nothing else to do."


NOTE: "concrete" is here an abstraction for the poet's cherished city


[image from robertashley.org]

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scattering the drawings - as much fun as the Gramercy - showing, among other pieces, Line IV 2006 ink on archival scrapbook paper 24" x 24" on the top left, Bulb I 2006 ink on archival paper 12" x 12" on the lower right, and Float 2006 ink on archival scrapbook paper 12" x 12" just above it [installation view]


It involved a lot of imagination, a lot of work and a certain amount of risk, but one excellent, under-exposed D.C. area artist has managed to arrange for a one-man show in New York this week all on his own.

J.T. Kirkland knew well in advance that his job would take him to Manhattan all this week, but he decided he wasn't going to limit his off-hour activities to trips to Chelsea galleries looking at other artists' work. Kirkland drove to New York with a selection of all but his largest wall sculptures packed in his car and he has installed them, along with some stunning drawings and prints, inside his downtown hotel room. The week before this he had sent invitations to friends, collectors, curators and gallerists and many have made the trip over the last several evenings.

Kirkland's "gallery" reminded me of the fun and reward of visits to the early Gramercy Art Fairs, when dozens of the old hotel's guest rooms were temporarily and magically transformed into something like so many "trunk shows" showing some pretty adventurous art. Sometimes you might quickly move on after a peek inside a room, but we both would have made this room a "stayer".

The New York world of the visual arts can always use more of this kind of infectious delight in a creativity unfettered by the conventional institutional structures (which in the long run couldn't possibly survive on their own without the continuous challenge of the excluded).


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two small sculptures installed on the hotel room wall: Spalted Poplar, Purpleheart 2006 wood 6" x 6" and Purpleheart, Yellowheart 2006 6" x 6" [installation view]



I was already interested in the artist's work, having found images on line last year. When Barry and I later managed to come home with a small piece he had donated to the recent Visual Aids "Postcards From the Edge" benefit we found we were hooked on these wonderful wooden devices. We had also seen the equally conceptual, minimalist drawings he shows on his site, but I wasn't prepared for the extravagant beauty of the real thing. And the prints are really wonderful!

We had a great time this afternoon, not least for the good converstation. Oh yes, Kirkland also has a blog.

TO SEE THE WORK:

I cannot reveal the details of the hotel location here, but if anyone reading this is interested in a visit tonight on the closing day of the show, and is able to stop by there between 7:30 and 9:30, please email Kirkland at jtkirkland@gmail.com.

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untitled (vinca) 2006


This image was taken on January 6, just ten days ago, when temperatures hovered near 70 degrees and a gentle rain was falling on our roof garden outside the breakfast room window. Last night the temperature slipped below freezing with an earnestness not seen this winter until now. It finally feels like the planet may have snapped back into its proper orbit, just as we are about to obtain the second moon of a season begun last December 21.

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Satya Bhabha as Theseus, King of Athens


Barry and I have been going to productions by David Herskovits and Target Margin Theater from its beginnings, in 1991. I have been challenged, provoked, charmed, frightened, amused, confused and very often almost totally baffled, but before seeing the company's current production, "As Yet Thou Art Young and Rash", I didn't expect a TMT performance to make "perfect sense" to me. Well, maybe still not perfect, since that would imply the kind of tidiness normally reserved for Broadway and what I will call the theatre of small expectations.

Target Margin approaches its material (the classics of literature, revisited, reimagined, reignited) with the same kind of respect and irreverance which the Wooster Group now has made familiar to an entire generation of adventurous audiences, but mostly without the older troupe's snazzy electronics.

"Young and Rash" is an adaptation of Euripides's "Suppliants" which was penned (?) exactly 2430 years ago. I first became enamored with at least the idea of Greek drama while watching grey and white productions on early television, some of them live. Later I spent a lot of time in dark "art house" movie theatres and there I fell in love with Irene Papas and the violent world carved from her dark sculptural brows.

But now I inhabit what is called, with some arbitrariness, the twenty-first century. If I'm really interested in what the Greeks had to say I should be interested in listening to what it might have sounded like to the Greek audience. No one can reproduce the society whose audiences were first to support a Western theatre, but perhaps we can try adjusting the ancient plays to the society we have.

For me Herskovits and his collaborators have succeeded in making Greek drama not just dramatic, but totally real - for the first time.

The late, wonderful and much-loved scholar Paul Schmidt maintained that when it came to older literature in an alien language every generation absolutely needs its own translators [I never asked him how we should deal with older literature in what is supposed to be a familiar language]. Herskovits had the TMT cast begin by working with seven English translations of "The Suppliants", and later each began to introduce her or his own art into the dialogue, deliberately absent any perfectly-memorized lines, with each speaking more or less freely in the words and in the manner he or she found comfortable. Later the director, the writer, and the dramaturg [two of them at home with classical Greek] re-crafted the text to include the wealth of this contemporary vernacular. It's no longer just Euripides, but apparently nothing in "Young and Rash" is not in the original play, and I believe nothing has been taken away.


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Mary Neufeld as an Argive mother, suppliant before Aethra


The costumes are also of our own world. In fact Herskovits suggests that we might recognize the almost deliberateley unstylish, comfortable clothing worn by American mothers when they are demonstrating for the return of their own sons - or some accountability for their bodies, and the bodies of other mothers' sons. This play is fundamentally about loss, and loss has no age and no geography. "Where's that woman going off to, carrying a crazy sign like that?"

The not-so-incidental music of this production belongs to us as well: In one example, we hear the plaintive strains "Home on the Range" used to evoke the comforts of an absent familial hearth. We shouldn't expect the heart strings of a modern American audience to be pulled by whatever a composer might come up with to represent music in the ancient Greek mode.

The result of what must have been a time-consuming, very intense but undoubtedly thrilling collaboration is, I suppose, . . . still quite odd. But if it is odd, it's odd in a way which should basically be familiar to an audience in a very odd world.

The wonderful cast, each member of which inhabits multiple roles, is very handily described on the program by costume:

Satya Bhabha (wears suit)*
Mia Katigbak (wears skirt)
Mary Neufeld (strums guitar)
Tina Shepard (grey sweatshirt)
Stephanie Weeks (long white beard)
Surprisingly, or so it certainly seems to me after fifteen years, this is actually Herskovits's first venture into Greek drama. I'm really looking forward to the next one, and the one after that; they've already been promised.


*
in a totally riveting debut appearance with Target Margin


[images by Hilary McHone provided by Target Margin]

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from Act III, Rory Sheridan (Tiger), Carrie Getman, Harold Kennedy German and Elizabeth Knauer, with Robert Saietta, Beau Allulli and Okwui Okpokwasili (bear) further upstage


On Saturday, when I wrote about the PS 122 production of International WOW Comapany's "You Belong to Me: Death of Nations: Part V", I didn't have an image from the third act, "The Plague of Fantasies", the one which I had found so profoundly moving. Today I do.

Even looking at this silent, still image almost a week after seeing the production itself I find I'm shivering.


[image by Richard Termine provided by PS 122]

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[American Civil War pictoral envelope ca. 1860-1865]


Don't they teach civics in school any more?

A member of Bush's team and a lawyer himself, acting in his official capacity as head of "detainee" affairs, intimidates lawyers defending the most defenseless of the defenseless, saying they are acting against the national interest. Sounds actionable to me - even treasonous.

WASHINGTON, Jan. 12 — The senior Pentagon official in charge of military detainees suspected of terrorism said in an interview this week that he was dismayed that lawyers at many of the nation’s top firms were representing prisoners at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, and that the firms’ corporate clients should consider ending their business ties.

The comments by Charles D. Stimson, the deputy assistant secretary of defense for detainee affairs, produced an instant torrent of anger from lawyers, legal ethics specialists and bar association officials, who said Friday that his comments were repellent and displayed an ignorance of the duties of lawyers to represent people in legal trouble.

“This is prejudicial to the administration of justice,” said Stephen Gillers, a law professor at New York University and an authority on legal ethics. “It’s possible that lawyers willing to undertake what has been long viewed as an admirable chore will decline to do so for fear of antagonizing important clients.

“We have a senior government official suggesting that representing these people somehow compromises American interests, and he even names the firms, giving a target to corporate America.”

I thought this sort of thing had been settled once and for all with the judgment and courage of John Adams and other American patriots in mounting a defense for the accused in the Boston Massacre trials.

The Times follows its front-page news coverage with an excellent editorial. Yet even its (considerable) outrage seems insufficient under the circumstances and within the present political environment in particular.

[image from the-athenaeum]

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hundreds of anti-war demonstrators on the north side

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two intrepid pro-war demonstrators on the south side


New York activists were able to attract a couple of hundred demonstrators to the Times Square military recruiting station on Thursday night, responding to Bush's announcement of the night before that he would significantly increase the count of troops in Iraq rather than reduce or eliminate the numbers already there.

On the south side of the kiosk two lone young men stood beneath a banner mounted to an American flag on one side and the Gadsden flag on the other. The man on the right wore a baseball cap with an NYPD emblem, I suppose as to indicate another allegiance, or perhaps only in the hope of gaining the cooperation of the police monitoring the demonstration site.

When I first saw the second image uploaded onto the screen on the camera back I thought the flags looked like they were attached to the recruiting station itself and I was going to go with a blog headline something like: "the government-approved demonstration". What I can see now however the NYPD was acting very correctly, just isolating the two groups, so this time there's no real excitement to report from jimlog quarters.

Everything was actually going very peacefully while I was there (the two militarists were vastly outnumbered and the rest of the crowd after all was out there demonstrating for peace). I will say that there was a lot more energy and excitement on the north side - and definitely a lot more smart-looking and attractive people:

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communication

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Apparently there were anti-war protests in cities all over the country yesterday, but if you depend on the NYTimes for your news, you wouldn't know it.

It seems that everyone in the kingdom had been asked recently what they thought of how things were going in the land, and beyond. They had answered that they were very unhappy about many things, but most importantly they wanted the king's special war to end and their sons and daughters to come home. The king then asked all the wise men in the kingdom what he should do (apparently the wise women were busy). They told him that the special war should end and the sons and daughters of the people should come home. The king thought about all this for a while - a long while - and then he made his decision: He would make his special war bigger and he would declare that the sons and daughters of the people would have to stay away forever (with a visit home scheduled for every 24 months).

In the meantime, the royal court maintains that it is powerless to do anything to move or influence the king in even the smallest of matters. The people seem to believe them.

The people were very upset with the king: Several thousand of them [perhaps .00001 of the population] took to the sidewalks yesterday to say so, since there was no other way they could talk to the king. Unfortunately nobody told the king that several thousand of his subjects had taken to the sidewalks; the royal scribes didn't record the news about the sidewalks, but it didn't matter anyway, since the king doesn't read.

Today the people know for sure there will be no talk; the king doesn't do talk. The king only does war - very special wars.

Today the king knows for sure he can do anything he wants to do.


[image from and now for something completely different]

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scene from Act II: Heimwehen of "You Belong To Me"


The latest, fifth installment of International WOW Company's ambitious, multi-year multi-national epic theatrical cycle, "Death of Nations", is now playing at Performance Space 122.

"You Belong To Me: Death of Nations: Part V" is the full title of the current manifestation, a collaboration between Josh Fox and Frank Raddatz, former dramaturg to Heiner Müller. The company's site describes the evening as

a whirlwind journey of territorial obsession. The play delves into the last days of three wars, spanning three centuries. Moving from a southern Plantation at the end of the Civil War to the end of the Nazi Holocaust, to the so-called “end of major combat operations” in Baghdad, we follow a single multi-ethnic family through several generations. Filled with brutal laughs and tragic irony, You Belong To Me is an intensely physical and musical rollercoaster ride of love, betrayal and murder throughout the ages.
While I did not feel entirely engaged in or provoked by the plantation mayhem in the first act [it may have been an off night], I thought that some of the same conquest/liberation/seduction ironies of the second (Germany, 1945) act were more successful. Then within minutes of the opening of the third, or contemporary Landstuhl hospital segment, I knew that I was unlikely to leave that room as the same person who had entered it, surely and dimly echoing the experience of the real patients, families and staff whose lives the company imagined so sensitively. It was an awesome moment in theatre, and if some in the audience in this small East Village space missed it, I blame American television, not the creators and performers.

Don't be discouraged by the earliest part of the evening; do not leave. I won't give anything away here, but the beauty, horror, "humor" [only implied, but drawing, shockingly, big guffaws from the audience] and above all the unspeakable sadness of the final half hour or so reminded me of the perfection attainable by the greatest art of any form.

At the same time, the fact that this piece can even be imagined, and that it can actually mean something to an audience of any political sensibility, is a truly shocking indictment of any number of nations - and an augury of their deaths.


[image from International WOW Company]

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Portia Munson Wish 2006 pigmented ink on rag paper 61.5" x 44" [detail of installation]

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[very large detail]


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Portia Munson Green 2007 found green plastic 40" x 200" x 180" approximately [detail of installation]


The show is called "Green", and it addresses the contemporary complexity of a word whose meaning has expanded beyond its traditional utility as just a name on the color scale.

The center of the larger room of Portia Munson's exhibition at P.P.O.W. is covered with a huge scary green "lawn" of found, manufactured objects related to each other only chromatically. On the surrounding walls, on an entirely different note, are hung gorgeous medium-sized ink prints of variously-colored kaleidoscopic layouts of flowers from Munson's own garden. There the only "manufactured" element is the artist's arrangement of the blossoms she placed below the scanner.

I have no idea whether the bee seen in the detail above arrived on the scene naturally or not, but he or she is now in the continuum of an ancient still life tradition.

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Mai Braun Your Emotions Make You a Monster 2006-2007 mixed media 15" x 72" x 66" [installation view]


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Kerry Tribe Near Miss 2005 35mm color film with sound, transferred to DVD [still from video installation]


Jenny Moore has curated her first show as the new Director of Elizabeth Dee. It's titled "Material for the Making". Its quality is everything I would have expected from her, even if the installation includes nothing I could have expected - which is actually what I expected.

A handy press release, discussing both the show's concept and the individual works of four artists (Mai Braun, Kori Newkirk, Gail Thacker and Kerry Tribe), refers among other things to their illustration of the distance between the real and the represented. It's a show of visual art however, and everything manages to stand up almost on its own, most things needing only a gentle assist from the keys supplied in the text.

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Mike Womack Warbling 2006 mixed media 12' x 14' x 20' [detail of installation, from without]

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[detail of installation, from within]


Phew! Today, after going over some of the most depressing news stories of the winter (we're about to escalate an illegal, immoral and failed war while watching the disintegration and possible total reversal of an earlier campaign and learning of the initiation of a third), and after coming away from my previous downer of a post and the exchange it provoked, I'm ready for something completely different.

I'm not going to argue that Mike Womack's show at ZieherSmith is the most important thing I could report on just now, but it certainly represents a gentle good humor, a real and unqualified beauty, with the fillip of a delightful conceit in its production. Also, the images should show up very well on line.

There were two sculptures in the gallery (three if you count the background installation, shown in the second image above, which produced most of the magic for the effect pictured above it), and after exploring everything, Barry and I both left them very reluctantly, but smiling broadly.

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is this trip necessary?


Does our singular bellicosity stem simply from our addiction to oil, or from our growing cult of christianism? Or is it simply the pathological expression of a frightened, isolated, ignorant, provincial and bored people?

My question seems to assume that all Americans are responsible for creating and sustaining the most war-like society in history, but while it's clear the buttons themselves are pushed by a military-industrial-media establishment, if we continue to describe our nation as a democracy we have to take as full a responsibility for the evil done in our name as for the good.


[image from C-130 Headquarters]

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conversation pit [opening crowd enjoying Vito Acconci's hexagon of trapezoidal seats, with the artist standing in the center background, a detail of Olivier Mosset's 2003 untitled triptych to the left rear]


D'Amelio Terras opened two very interesting shows on Saturday, a group show of works by Vito Acconci, John M Armleder, Olivier Mosset, Chuck Nanney, Steven Parrino and Sam Samore with the intriguing title, "The loss of history makes them constantly curious and continuously horny....", and an exquisite exhibition of Dike Blair paintings.


Even without the help of the 1995 structure whose parameters and inspiration is outlined in the gallery's press release the work in the larger space looks absolutely stunning.

In the smaller room at the front of the gallery there are some beautiful small gouache-and-pencil works by Blair from the late 80's and early 90's.

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Dike Blair Untitled 1995 10" x 7" [installation view, with reflection]

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Brian Ulrich Gurnee, IL 2005 chromogenic print mounted on sintra with luster laminate 30" x 40”


The sign reads "More Outdoors for Your Money Patriotic Chairs $9.99". The image is just one of the most resonant of the ten extrordinary prints Brian Ulrich has supplied for his first solo show at Julie Saul. I've been looking at this artist's remarkable work since 2004 and he continues to pull large and small miracles out of his more-or-less-candid large-format camera while he explores the familiar acres of the western world's stores of plenty.

After we had left the opening reception on Thursday we ran into some friends on the street where we told them about the show. To my astonishment I found myself able to describe in considerable detail several photographs I hadn't seen for several years, and most of the others seemed to be inside my head waiting impatiently for the chance to come out. These images just won't go away.

The show is titled "Copia", for its penetrating but very tender tender look at the material cornucopia (horn of plenty) spread out everywhere at our feet today, growing even faster than the communities which feed on it so voraciously. Unlike the image above, most of the work is highlighted by the dazed or absorbed faces of anonymous consumers.

But there's much more going on in these images, for the artist's eye and his editing have together produced truly-beautiful composed genre scenes no less authentic than those of Breugel or Vermeer. We've long since cast aside our long scythes and short needles, so here the earthy, fleshy busyness of the Flemish master and the simple domestic props of the Delft burgher are replaced by the mountains of manufactured "things" with which we surround ourselves three and four hundred years later.

Not incidentally for work like this, the printing quality of the large color pieces themselves is terrific; any reproduction seems little more than a suggestion of the piece itself.

Ulrich describes his initial inspriration for this series of work as a response to George Bush's post 9/11 summons for Americans to just go shopping, thereby equating consumerism with patriotism. If shopping has now become a political act, this artist has become the realm's unofficial limner laureate.

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I don't mean to unduly upset anyone not already concerned about climate change, and I know that as scientific evidence it's merely anecdotal, but tonight while I was sitting in front of an open window checking my email I was buzzed by a mosquito. And on the roof garden just beyond the sill our large begonia bush, like all of the other plants not cleaned out of the pots last fall, seems to be thriving.

The place: Manhattan. The date: January 6.


[image from Mosquito Netting Project]

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Judith Barry [detail view of video projection installation, including detail of beautiful, exceedingly-considerate visitor trying to escape the line of sight of blogger's camera]


Tomorrow is supposed to be a glorious day, with the temperature expected to hit a record of 70 degrees. Any lingering rain is supposed to end before noon. For anyone who hasn't made it out to the Queens Museum in the last three months it sounds like a great excuse for a Flushing Meadows outing to visit the latest edition of that institution's dynamic biennial survey of Queens-based artists, "Queens International 2006: Everything All At Once". The show continues for another nine days, but by the final Saturday and Sunday, January 13 and 14, New York weather could very well be handing us freezing winds or even a blizzard.

The show's two hard-working curators, Herb Tam and Jaishri Abichandani, have put together an amazing and amazingly diverse collection of works by more than four dozen artists and collaboratives, mostly "underknown" (always a subjective standard, that), and mostly undeservedly so, who are associated with the other Long Island borough.

I managed to grab a few images on our visit last October during the opening reception and I apologize now: There is absolutely no adequate excuse for my neglecting to do anything with them until now.


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Paul Galloway's Williamsburg Mormons at ease


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a detail of one of Wardell Milan's drawings, "Desire and the Black Masseur"


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Amanda Sparks's giant autobiographical pop-up book


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Neda Sarmast's video installation ("ask any of those kids . . . . ")


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Alejandro Pereda's precariously balanced environment, and some admirers


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a detail of Sara Rahbar's installation, "My Iran"


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it's "us" v. "them" in Gigi Chen's watercolors (here served with coffee)

This page is an archive of entries from January 2007 listed from newest to oldest.

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