Culture: October 2005 Archives

in between the art 2005

A quiet moment within a physical break between dealer booths on Pier 92 Saturday.


Further to the right on this North 10th Street wall is the exposition,


Bertrand Arthur William Russell (1872-1970)

Note: the colors in this image have absolutely not been manipulated.

We're back from Berlin, and tomorrow afternoon [Saturday] Barry and I will be installed as part of a panel assembled to discuss "The Art of Collecting" at the Affordable Art Fair.

See the AAF site for details of the program, put together by Janet Phelps.

Bruce Nauman Mapping the Studio I (Fat Chance John Cage) 2001 installation with multiple projections [still from one screen of installation]

David Claerbout Shadow Piece 2005 video projection [view of installation as still]

Richard Long Berlin Circle 1996 [detail of installation in the Hamburger Bahnhof]

Berlin Absolon.jpg
Absalon Cellule No. 2 1992

Never heard of Absalon before walking into the Hamburger Bahnhof, but I fell in love with this piece immediately. I even tried to imagine making it work as an actual retreat.

Barry and anonymous entertaining Carl Andre and Sol LeWitt in the Hamburger Bahnhof this afternoon

our Luft chimney

We're in Berlin, where we are staying in a friend's apartment off Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz. The building was designed by Hans Poelzig in the late twenties, and the image above is that of the handsome small court within.

I thought, if I'm going to do posts while we're here I have to start somewhere, and our domestic arrangements seemed like just the right spot.

Dmitri Vilensky (and the group Chto delat/What is to be done?) Sandwiched 2004 video documentation of an action by the group [large detail of video still]

Anatoly Osmolovsky Russia, our holy country! Russia, our beloved country! 2001 chair, tape recorder and sound, dimensions variable [view of installation, with standing figures listening to the Russian national anthem*]

Gluklya and Tsaplya Trilogy: Triumph of fragilities, Immersion, Memory to Poor Lisa 2002 video performance and installation of ten dresses, DVD 4 min., 15 min. 30 sec. [large detail video still from projection of "Triumph of fragilities" (the ten dresses are not included in this show)]

David Ter-Oganyan and Aleksandr Korneev Illegal Library 2004 video documentation of shoplifting, with installation including books, wood, metal and paint, dimensions variable [large detail of installation]

There are no images jumping out at you when you first walk into the gallery. You've heard the show of activist Russian artists was put together by the same young curator, Elena Sorokina, who installed the very interesting current group show at Momenta. You've just walked in from an unshaded street on a hot and humid afternoon and you think you need to see something visually exciting, and certainly not too complicated.

At first there doesn't seem to be much of anything there. The main gallery at Schroeder Romero looks more like an installation in a library, or perhaps a room in one of those earnest Soviet (or post-Soviet) museums you think you know all about from books and photographs.

Then you start looking around and you realize that someone is introducing you to a rich vein of intelligent art created by young Russians who are not comfortable with the government and system they have been given. The institutions and lords of the post-soviet system have even less use for their critical and creative output, even their survival, than our own reactionary order has for their equivalents here.

The notes which accompany the labels of each piece provide both an introduction to the sadder side of contemporary Russia and to the artists who may understand it best.

Some time in your tour of the gallery you've realize the exhibition actually is exciting. It's also not too complicated, unless you think about it. And, like any Russian, you will be thinking about it, even if you're not.

Worth a big detour.

From the press release:

Schroeder Romero is pleased to announce the group exhibition "Russia Redux #1" curated by Elena Sorokina. It is the first from a series of exhibitions which are to take place in New York in the upcoming season.

This multimedia exhibition features works by twelve artists and artists' collectives, who are informed by such issues as communities, strategies of resistance, Soviet history and its post-Soviet developments and are concerned with problems of representation of local art scenes to international audiences as well as with the notion of "national construction" in art exhibitions.

The soundtrack of the installation is the current National Hymn of Russia which, historically, went through several spectacular transformations. It was officially adopted as the national hymn of the USSR in 1944. The lyrics were written by Sergey Mikhalkov, but revised in 1977, as Stalin's name was removed. After the collapse of the USSR, Russia adopted the pre-revolutionary Russian National Anthem without any lyrics, which never gained any popularity. In the end of the year 2000 the melody of the Soviet National Anthem was reestablished as the National Hymn of Russia. The lyrics were revised by the same author, Sergey Mikhalkov, who removed notions such as "Communism" or "Soviet Union", no longer in existence. [notes from the curator]

Derick and Barry stopping to [examine the scrawny Queen Anne's Lace] in the park

Much too long ago, while it was actually still calendar summer, I wrote that I was going to put up some images from the show, "Sport", still installed at the time in Socrates Sculpture Park. Today on the 5th of October these sculptures are long gone, but the weather which inspired them lingers on. They looked good in the sun two months ago and they still look good on a screen on this balmy October afternoon.

Anne Thulin [sport] 3a: to deviate from type b: as bud variation 2005 vinyl, fabric, glue and sand (3) 72” diameter [detail of installation]

Collier Schorr Reaching (H.T.) 2002-2005 ink jet on seamless vinyl 10’ x 28’ [large detail of installation]

Alix Lambert WildCard 2005 cement, cast bronze and pipe 16’ x 15’ x 5’ [detail of installation]

Peter Simensky Eyes On The Prize 2005 mixed media 10’ x 15’ x 30’ [installation view, including sports Barry and Derick]

Type A Prize (folly) 2005 aluminum and auto body paint 72” x 60” x 20” [cup] overall dimensions variable [installation view]

Tim Laun HangTime 2005 sod, spray paint, Jugs Football Machine and Wilson official NFL footballs, dimensions variable [detail of installation at rest]

Luis Lara Malvacías, Untitled Shoes (From Series Channel Sur) 2005 blue plastic shopping bag, buttons 12.5" × 4.75" × 4.25" each

The gallery space itself is perfect, and a perfect fit for the neighborhood. It's a very well-designed small cube cut into the side of an old industrial or warehouse building. It sits on a Williamsburg street which has not yet been rendered suitable for a Starbucks. One concrete step up from the sidewalk, with an industrial gate which can be lowered at night as a modesty shield to indifference or a protective barrier to vandalism, its aesthetics are totally fine.

I have to admit that we stopped at Galería Galou with our friend Dan mostly because we knew it was on the path between some familiar galleries and lunch outside on a beautiful late summer afternoon. But the show we saw last Sunday, "Venezueland", would have been worth a detour, even without the interest of its concept and geographic focus. From the press release:

Venezueland is a virtual space where a new generation of Venezuelan artists merges and engages both in individual investigations and related creative processes. In this fertile, dynamic ground there is a steadfast pondering of memories from a country now immersed in political upheaval, and of the unstoppable flux of information generated in the urban context of New York City.
The amusing piece by Luis Lara Malvacías shown in the image above happened to photograph very well. The works by other V-land artists are no less worthy of attention however, even if they may not all be as comfortable in more than one discipline as Malvacías appears to be.

I just got an email announcing that his choreography will be performed at Danspace later this month. Now I'm bummed. Barry and I will be out of the country when "Badman" is performed here.

Dan and Galou

This page is an archive of entries in the Culture category from October 2005.

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