Culture: April 2007 Archives

still from scene of Winter Miller's "The Penetration Play", produced by 13P in 2004

The feisty Obie-winning playwrights' collective 13P ("we don't develop plays. we do them.") is having a cabaret benefit at Joe's Pub this Sunday, April 29. Estelle Parsons, Lisa Kron and James Urbaniak will be among the participants on stage.

Tickets are $100 and include reserved seating at the 7:00 pm cabaret, with access to a post-show reception and silent auction at 8:30. There are more details are on their website, but the thumbnail below is an image of one of the auction items, Philip Pearlstein's 1984 color etching with aquatint, "Nude on Bamboo".


["Penetration" image from playscripts; "nude" image from 13P]

This has to be just a teaser, because of time constraints (we're off to Spain in a few days), but on a beautiful Sunday afternoon Barry and I made the rounds of several Williamsburg galleries, visiting one of them for the very first time (that's so embarrassing).

This post can't do justice to everything or anything we found, but it shows something of the quality and the variety of the current Brooklyn scene.

Tastes Like Chicken

installation view showing Holly Lynton's construction, "Solid Air", in the foreground and Chris Burnside's "Installation" on the wall

Beth McCaskey Untitled ink on paper 3" x 4.5" [installation view]

Tastes Like Chicken is showing "One Pill Makes You Small" in its two exhibition spaces, an installation curated by sculptor Sherry Bittle.

The artists include Chris Burnside, Diane Carr, Mario Camacho, Jeremiah Dickey, Charley Friedman, April Hannah, Paul Katzen, Michelle Loughlin, Holly Lynton, Beth McCaskey, Carolyn Monastra, Michael Rader, Kent Rogowski, Lance Wakeling, Mika Yokobori.

Dam, Stuhltrager

Carol Salmanson Upon Reflection: Column light-emitting diodes, electronic-ballast T4 fluorescent lights, gel filters, stainless steel, acrylic prism rods, electronic components, five pieces, each 21.75" x 21.75" x 10.5" [detail of installation]

one of a series of acrylic paintings on circuit boards, 12" x 24", called "Reflections v.1-4" by China Blue

Dam, Stuhltrager has light installations by Carol Salmanson in the first two rooms of the gallery and an interactive sound installation by China Blue in the third, where there is also one painting. That image is not the one included above; instead I've captured a similar work from the artist's own site.


view of a part of Space 1026's installation, including work by O. Roman Hasiuk, Adam Crawford, Isaac Lin, Jesse Olanday, William Buzzell and Damian Weinkrantz (in clumps, left to right)

O. Roman Hasiuk's "Chimera" print, in artist's frame [installation view]

CInders has a show of work by Philadelphia's Space 1026 community, called "No Bad Blood", including work by Jason Hsu, Courtney Dailey, Ben Woodward, John Freeborn, Bill McRight, O. Roman Hasiuk, Crystal Stokowski, Jayson Musson, Jodi Rice, Jesse Olanday, Elena Nestico, Andrew Jeffrey Wright, William Buzzell, Damian Weinkrantz, Aryone Hoselton, Caitlin Perkins, Thom Lessner, Max Lawrence, Jesse Goldstein, and Mark Price.

Front Room

Melissa Pokorny Winter Day [installation view]

Melissa Pokorny Coming and Going [installation view]

[detail of "Coming and Going"]

Melissa Pokorny has a solo show, ""homemade cultural probes", in Front Room Gallery. The eight sculptures and one edition are each constructed from any or all of the following materials: digital inkjet prints, poluystyrene foam, silicone, polar fleece, polyeurothane, plexiglass, mdf, found objects.

We first saw her work last year when the gallery showed work at Fountain.

[image of China Blue painting from chinablueart]

on a beautiful Sunday afternoon in Williamsburg

some did chores

some partied in the sun

and some of us enjoyed galleries, including the street gallery

[the third image is a detail of the painted stoop outside The Front Room Gallery on Roebling Street]

a new musical based on Colorado Springs, Ted Haggard, the evangelical movement, and US

I've been a little tardy in announcing two affordable benefits for performing arts groups that interest Barry and myself. I'm especially late with my The Civilians plug, as their show goes off tonight, but sometimes a last-minute notice can be as effective as any other, and there's still time to celebrate with this very sharp group.

Artistic Director Steve Cosson describes a bit of the origins of the group's work-in-progress, "Save This City!":

Three of us came out in June and went to New Life and I think the first time we really sort of got it, like "Oh! this really seems to be the center of America right now. I mean, you're in the middle of this church with 7,000 people and the minister is talking about his relationship to George Bush and Ariel Sharon and other world leaders. I think the world we come from knows that the evangelical movement is this big influential thing in politics, but they don't really have an understanding of the scope of it or what it means, or what that kind of Christianity really means, or what it is beyond its political effect on the national elections. And other than that they find it kind of scary and freaky.
Tonight's performance will include members of the company perfoming songs from the new show.

Jump here for a quick look at the 2005 benefit.

The independent playwright organization 13P is also having a cabaret benefit, eleven days from now, at Joe's Pub on April 29th. See their website for more details.

[image from newspeakblog, via The Civilians]

Christopher Lowry Johnson Platform 2007 oil on canvas 66" x 78" [large detail of installation]


This is not a walk-thru show. Actually, this is probably true for most painting shows (at least those where the gallerist/curator has any creds at all), but this one is even more special. It seems quite muted at first, but given a little time, its rewards are great.

Christopher Lowry Johnson has an exhibition of his latest work at Winkleman in a show titled "Chorus", his third solo turn at the gallery. The show closes on Saturday.

I recently walked into the space at the end of a long afternoon of gallery visits and sat down on the bench in the middle [yes, a bench in a gallery - a bench, how extraordinary, and how helpful for both visitor and art!]. I stared at the large, very white-ish, canvas across from me, expecting to work with it only as a beautiful, complex abstraction. I had been immediately attracted to its drama and beauty as I walked in, before I knew anything or saw very much, but then something happened. As I sat looking at this canvas its impenetrable layers of oil opened a wonderful, very grand window on images both abstract and concrete, a world undetectable at first or even second glance.

The remaining works, although much less abstract, are no less beautiful or profound in their impact. Johnson's technical skills are matched by what seems to me to be an extraordinary appreciation of history, and no less the history of painting itself.

Oh yes, while Barry and I were there on Saturday, one of New York's best art critics slipped into the gallery, but sadly stayed only a minute or so. I think it was a mistake, and a loss for scads of readers.

In any event, if you can make it to West 27 Street in the next few days, you might want to do so, especially since it was impossible to get a decent photograph of the work, and "Platform" in particular.

I'm ambivalent about relying on statements and press releases for an appreciation of work generally, so I tend to read them rather lightly, and usually only when baffled or feeling in need of what I call the "instructions" supplied by a gallery or museum. In this case the two-paragraph text supplied on the gallery site can provide a very useful jumping-off point, although I confess I was fortunate to get some insight directly from the owner/director Ed Winkleman himself. Heck, are Paula, Jeffrey, Matthew or Mary always there when you could use their help? We love the smaller galleries, for this and so many other reasons.

Christopher Lowry Johnson Creamed 2006 oil on canvas 30" x 38"

More images can be found on the artist's own site, although he grants that "the elusive 'platform' . . . continues to escape accurate documentation".


Probably not invited.

This Swoon drawing is attached to a wall just outside the commercial galleries on West 22 Street.

UPDATE: I've received a comment from Adrian that the work is not that of Swoon, but either Elbowtoe or Armstock. Can anyone confirm which it might be?

Liz Bougatsos

from left, Josh Diamond, guitar, Liz Bougatsos, vocals, Tim DeWitt, drums, Brian DeGraw keyboards

These are two images of Gang Gang Dance performing at the Rhizome benefit last night. It was a great concert program: GGD followed Professor Murder and YACHT. I didn't bring my own bulky Fotoapparat, and it was almost the end of the evening before I thought to ask Barry if I could use his micro-camera.

We went with Rachel Mason and Matthew Lutz-Kinoy, a guarantee we would have even a bigger blast.

[more links for Rachel and Matthew]

Elisa Lendvay's dramatically-lighted sculpture, and (parts of) part of the opening-reception crowd [installation view of "untitled (Chalice)" and "Lund (Demystify)"]

[detail of "untitled (Chalice)"]

Elisa Lendvay Field Sky Under 2007 steel, wood, acrylic, wire, chenile stem, papier-maché, acrylic paint 64" x 48" x 27.5" [installation view, with "Overlook Mountain" visible on the wall]

Elisa Lendvay Patinkin 2007 found material, papier-maché, acrylic paint 26" x 6" x 6" [installation view, with small, unidentified work at the base of the plinth]

Elisa Lendvay Odilon 2007 wood, hydrocal, steel, rug, acryic paint 64" x 12" x 12" [large detail of installation, with "Ghost Stick" visible in the corner to the rear]

Elisa Lendvay opened "Fabled Agents", a show dominated by her sculpture, in the second space at Moti Hasson on the same night Dan Rushton's painting show, "Lonelier Than God", opened in the room on the street front. Both exhibitions were the artists' first solo shows in the gallery.

The two installations oddly complemented each other, even aside from the fact that they shared both a physical and conceptual removal from what is usually called an objective reality, and each approached that role in its own distinctive way. There was also a stimulating contrast in the medium each artist chose to exhibit here, but the pieces absolutely did share completely (and generally to their profit) in some very theatrical gallery lighting.

I love these odd pieces for their sensuality as much as for their cunning. They seem very much alive, and they've been sitting inside my head since I saw them at the opening two weeks ago. The show also includes several very beautiful small works on paper, and I'm told she works as a painter as well. Maybe we can see them next time.

Ludwig Schwarz [large detail of "The Four Seasons (Season Premier)" installation of four works, each untitled 2006 oil and enamel on canvas 72" x 72"]

Marjorie Schwarz Untitled 2006 gouache on linoleum 12" x 12" [installation view]

Marjorie Schwarz Untitled 2006 gouache on digital print 8" x 10" [installation view]

I think this is a gallery to watch.

What am I saying?

Maybe I mean this is a gallery I'm gonna watch.

So maybe you don't have to.

Maybe I'll get back to you on this.

Meanwhile, demonstrating that no one should depend on this site for sufficient notice even of stuff I really like, I'm only now uploading a few images from a double show which closed three days ago at Clayton Sean Horton's SUNDAY gallery.

The paintings in the main space were by Ludwig Schwarz. Marjorie Schwarz showed drawings and collages in the project room.

SUNDAY is a neat and very welcome little space in the Lower East Side on Eldridge Street and I was excited about it even before learning that Jacques Louis Vidal has been asked to fill the main room in a show opening June 21. Vidal was in the show Barry and I curated last fall at Dam, Stuhltrager.

drawing by Brian Degraw, artist and Gang Gang Dance member, for an album by TK Webb

Remember these guys? I did I post almost two years ago about a show of internet-based art, hosted by Rhizome, installed in the New Museum's temporary quarters on 22nd Street. Rhizome is a young community of new media artists, curators, critics and enthusiasts, and they're hosting a very interesting and almost totally affordable benefit next monday night.

This very special occasion, for which non-members will be asked to put up $35, is actually a concert featuring what the invitation describes as three genre-bending bands: Gang Gang Dance, Professor Murder and YACHT. Here's more:

Each band integrates a wide range of musical influences and instrumentation to create innovative sounds and style. This line-up of new music will celebrate Rhizome’s commitment to emerging forms of art, across sound, video and digital technologies. The evening will be introduced and mc-ed by computer artist Cory Arcangel [Cory Arcangel, folks!], and will also include a silent auction with work by artists, such as Kristin Lucas and Alex Galloway, who work with the Internet.
Full disclosure: Barry and I are on the Honorary Committee, but that just shows we're even more enthusiastic about this thing than we can possibly let on.

You may head here for all the details on the concert.

[image from thesimplemission]





Since I've already been writing about Matthew Lutz-Kinoy's art for over two years, it's very difficult to believe these images of his work are taken from his Cooper Union BFA show for a degree just completed only this spring. I can't imagine what he's going to be able to do by the time he reaches 30.

The first picture captures one of the last moments of his sweetly weird performance piece, "Free Movement In The Shadow Of The Staircase: Bodiless Rainbowdance", mounted in the school's Great Hall on April 5. The others are of some of the many works, drawings, collages, photographs and sculptures, installed in the galleries of the Lublin Center last week. These particular images are of two medium-sized collages and four small sculptures on a shelf. None of them were identified, nor did they really have to be.

Ryan Sarah Murphy Untitled (Plots) 2000 wood, 10,000+ clothespins, paint, gesso, glue, each component 34" x 21" x 6"

Ryan Sarah Murphy's installation was lying in the sun of the east window, just to the right of the door, when I walked into Outrageous Look last Sunday. I checked out the beautiful Gavin Green show in the gallery's main spaces, and went back to the window. I was captivated.

It's now inside my head, as if I were still looking at it. I can't really adequately account for this. It's a simple pair of found wooden frames enclosing thousands of upright wooden clothespins, everything whitewashed. I see more than one metaphor working here, but in the interest of your own visit I'll keep them to myself.

Gavin Green If (A) 2006, and If (B) 2007, both embossed plastic on panel 24" x 24" [installation view]

Gavin Green Hoalam Haba 2006 embossed plastic and mirrored vinyl on panel 24" x 24" [installation view]

Outrageous Look is showing a dozen of Gavin Green's brilliantly-colored and finished abstractions, painted almost entirely with embossed strips of plastic produced by an ordinary home and office label maker. The pieces are each named for the letters, words and phrases which have been punched out on long strips and wrapped around 12, 24 or 36-inch square panels.

Green discussed this series of work in an interview with the director of the gallery, Brook Bartlett. This is small excerpt from the pages which were available at the desk:

The work, if it’s going out into the world, needs to communicate.

Taking things (and words or phrases) that one might ignore, or take for granted, and subjecting them to an inquiry - I try to make work that asks questions. But it’s not just asking a question, it's trying to look into subjects with rigor that I get excited about.

Asking questions, to me, doesn’t have to imply that you are searching for answers; it’s more about the act of asking the question, because it opens doors to the unexpected - it keeps things alive.“

Aaron Williams Forever 2006 tree, mirror, acrylic and enamel paints, wood shim, string 72" x 16' x 12", in the foreground, with works by Ivan Navarro, Deborah Grant and Aron Namenworth on the walls [installation view]

[detail of "Forever"]

I love to find a show that's as attractive as it is challenging, but it's bingo! when it's also photogenic. Momenta's current exhibition was "guest organized" (the phrase taken from the press release) by Rico Gatson and Ellie Murphy, and it is all of the above.

The theme shared by these 18 works by 14 artists is their use of different systems to get at material which is essentially unsystematic. The gallery notes say that the title of the show, "Intelligent Design", is intended to reference an indifference to theories of evolution or arguments for intelligent design. As someone living in America who is profoundly secular in orientation, I really feel the heat from that last phrase; I also found the discussion contained in the complete text somewhat abstruse. I'd like to think that it's essentially about the thought and practice of a generation which has walked away from the old, bogus debate and is now proceeding to address the world on its own terms.

The participating artists are Jane Benson, Judy Blanco, Sanford Biggers, Nicole Cherubini, Rico Gatson, Deborah Grant, Elana Herzog, Ellie Murphy, Aron Namenwirth, Ivan Novarro, Kelly Parr, Ara Peterson, Traci Tullius, Aaron Williams, and James Yamada.

Ivan Novarro White Holeway 2006 aluminum door, mirror, one-way mirror, light bulbs, and electic energy 86" x 39.5" x 4.5" [installation view, including image of photographer]

Kelly Parr Threes (January and July) 2007 digital print collage 108" x 60" [installation view]

cupcake as landmark?

I know I'm going to regret bringing the subject up again, and not only because the additional notoriety may only be what the owners of Burgers & Cupcakes want. But I did a post one month ago reporting that the pink cupcake would come down by the beginning of April. It's still there today, so I feel obliged to do a follow-up.

Melanie La Rocca of the office of our local City Council member Chris Quinn was told by the Department of Transportation [DOT] that the B&C owners did not have a valid permit even for a conventional framed sidewalk canopy, and that the mechanical "cupcake" mounted on the top of the unauthorized structure which is there now could not be permitted in any case, because it would be a violation of city statute. [sidewalk canopies cannot feature advertising, lights, mechanical devices or even the business's phone number]

I was informed of this on March 2, and at that time La Rocca also said that the DOT had told her the owners had 30 days to comply with the law, meaning the cupcake would have to be removed, even if a proper permit for the canopy itself could be registered by then. I read later, in a report in a local newspaper, Chelsea Now, that the violation wasn't actually issued until March 15 or 22 (the exact date reference wasn't clear in the article).

Today the owners initiated their "save the cupcake!" campaign with both cutesy hand-made signs and printed fliers outside the restaurant calling for support from anyone willing to buy something from among the scattershot reasons they give for wanting their cupcake preserved.

1.) [the DOT order is a] "beaurocratic [sic] boondoggle,"
2.) "The cupcake brightens a dreary street."
3.) "Everyone in the neighborhood loves our cool sign."
4.) ". . . now they are messing with a twenty thousand dollar cupcake."
5.) ". . . loosing [sic] it will hurt our new business."
6.) "I'm sick and tired of the city having their hands all over my business."
I guess they think the same New York which recently wasn't interested in saving an authentic landmark, like the former Huntington Hartford Museum, designed by Edward Durell Stone, is going to be interested in rescuing their cupcake.

Let me describe once again the reason for my interest in this admittedly less than life-and-death issue: A large lighted, revolving plastic cupcake mounted above a public sidewalk, and in fact perched virtually on the street curb, is an encroachment upon a public way. The sidewalk is part of the street, not of the building lot whose property line ends where the pavement begins. There are certainly safety issues for drivers and pedestrians as well, explaining why it's the Department of Transportation which has responsibility here, but I'll leave the details of addressing those subjects to the professionals. As a citizen I am most concerned with the danger of commercial encroachment and the precedent it would establish.

These are our streets; they can't be turned over to the highest bidder.

Okay, although it is not and could not be the basis for the complaint I registered with the DOB last December, I admit that I do think the pink and brown shop and its canopy are both truly ugly. Also, unlike the B&C owners I do not think my street is "dreary", and I believe the clutter and crude disruption created by their ugly little shop adds nothing of value to the streetscape. I repeat, these are my personal opinions and nothing more, but if we are talking about aesthetics, I believe, ironically, that it's only the cupcake itself which might be worthy of a first, even a second look from a civilized New Yorker - if it were installed in an appropriate context.

Valaire Van Slyck And even though we don't mean what we say, we throw our words like bombs and handgrenades 2006 enamel, acrylic, confetti, glitter and clear-coat canvas 36" x 48"

Andrew Guenther The Space Between Faces 2006 acrylic on paper 12" x 9" [installation view]

Brent Ridge The Execution of the King 2007 acrylic and pencil on canvas 30" x 40"

Two weeks ago, in my post about the Cynthia Broan show, "What F Word?", I wrote that my next entry would be something of a foil for its concentration on art produced by women. Sorry. I'm finally getting around to the men only now.

There seems to be an almost unanimous agreement that 2007 is to be the year of women and art (I hope the new attention is not just a vogue). There are big museum shows, important gallery retrospectives and even traveling exhibitions devoted to all sorts of angles on the modern history of what has always been the largest group of neglected modern artists.

The distortion and waste of this fundamental imbalance means that we've all been missing out on a lot. And that's not even mentioning the baleful personal consequences for the one half of the world's artists who have been locked out by the other - or by those who care for and feed them.

None of this is new to anyone reading these lines. We also know that everyone has a lot of catching up to do, even if there's no danger the art that men make will be ignored in the interim. All of which brings me to "A Cloudy Day's Epiphany", the group show installed currently at Chelsea's Dinter Fine Art, curated by Simon Cerigo. The artists are Devendra Banhart, Andrew Guenther, Brent Ridge and Valaire van Slyck. Dash Snow had been invited, but [perhaps because he's such a guy*] his work hadn't shown up by the time of the opening reception. I see his name is no longer included on the gallery's site for the show.

I walked into the Dinter immediately after leaving the Broan show. When I was reminded who had curated this one and recalled what I knew about his own art from a terrific show I had seen at Capsule gallery, I looked around and immediately saw "Epiphany" as a boys' club. But this actually seems to be the good club, the one you wouldn't mind being a part of, even (or perhaps especially) if you were a girl.

It's a very good group and there's some very good work. I don't think this is work which can be used to dramatize a male/female artistic dichotomy, and it's not just because of the tie dye and glitter elements. I'm glad that even guys now seem to know that it really does take all kinds to make this world, and that we may finally be trying to come to terms with that reality.

p.s. It's a four-artist show and, as I'm only including images of three, I feel I have to explain: I just didn't get a good image of any of Devendra Banhart's works.

or maybe there's another story

Oliver Herring Wade 1 2006 digital C-prints, museum board, foam core and polystyrene 68" x 22.5" x 15" [detail of installation]

Oliver Herring's show at Max Protetch closed on Saturday.

Everything in this multi-media installation was breathtakingly beautiful, but this life-size photo-collage sculpture of a young male nude was of another dimension altogether. I found it almost impossible even to stand in front of the piece in order to capture this image; I didn't think I could lower the camera, and I'm no prude. I don't know whether my unease was from being in the presence of such beauty (the entire body was as sensuous as the face and shoulders), or because this figure standing before me was strangely so much more alive than anything sculpted with surfaces less pellucid.

An excerpt from Roberta Smith's review of Herring's 2004 show in the gallery:

But the showstoppers here are two pensive life-size sculptures fashioned from hundreds of close-up photographs of a thin young man in his underwear and a beautiful young woman in a flowery sundress. The delicate patchwork beings, at once whole and dissected, suggest a mind-bogglingly painstaking process for all concerned, as well as artist-model relationships of unusual intimacy.

Go to the gallery site for more images of the show just ended.


The Kantor/Feuer Window show, "The Art of the Deal", which opened on Saturday may be "The ultimate art show for insiders.", as Art Fag City calls it, but if you do happen to find yourself inside it's actually very funny.

All visitors to the show will in fact be outside, since the "gallery" doors are locked and the exhibiton space itself is the equivalent of a building vestibule. And truthfully, since there are no real big-deal galleries represented by these twenty or so gallerists, this particular insiderdom is still a pretty comfortable neighborhood.

From the press release of artist/curators Justin Lieberman and Lumi Tan:

"The Art of the Deal" is an Artist-curated exhibition of early works by well known gallerists who once sought their calling on the other side of the table as artists. Far from the cynical venture it might at first appear to be, this show presents the idea of creative production as an egalitarian venture open to all who would choose to embark on it, regardless of their vocation.
My favorite piece, at least as seen from five feet away through reflecting glass, may be (Sunday gallery) C. Sean Horton's pink popsicle-like sculpture in the center of this capture.

The complete list of the artists/gallerists who will be hanging together on 10th Avenue until May 11, are:

Roland Augustine (Luhring Augustine), William Brady (ATM Gallery), Elizabeth Burke(Clementine), John Cheim (Cheim and Read), Burr Dodd (Brooklyn Fireproof), Derek Eller (Derek Eller Gallery), Zach Feuer (Zach Feuer Gallery), Jane Hait (Wallspace), Sean Horton (Sunday), David Kordansky (David Kordansky Gallery),Nick Lawrence (Freight + Volume), Philip Martin (Cherry and Martin), Sheri Pasquarella (SLP Art Culture Commerce), Jeff Poe (Blum and Poe), Andrea Pollan (Curator's Office) Becky Smith (Bellwether), Fred Snitzer (Fredric Snitzer Gallery). Kelly Taxter (Taxter and Spengemann), Elisabeth Wingate (independent consultant), Mike Weiss (Mike Weiss Gallery) and Scott Zieher (ZieherSmith)
Incidentally, this is the only show in Chelsea which can be seen 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Hunter Reynolds Patina du Prey's Memorial Dress: 1993 to 2007 [detail of installation]

Spinning, spinning, spinning.

Hunter Reynolds's elegant installation, "Patina du Prey's Memorial Dress: 1993 to 2007", is currently installed in one of the galleries of Artists Space. The performer/artist/activist's elegant, couture, strapless ball gown hangs from a torso mannequin in the SoHo gallery, not-so-slowly spinning on its axis (as it did when so memorably inhabited in the past by its creator himself), accompanied by an ambient piece of music composed for and contributed to the installation by the contemporary composer Edmund Campion.

This is not just another cold tally of the epidemic, but rather a very human, a very personal collection of thousands of memorials, and a rich artistic gesture as well: The names on the dress were initially drawn from the list of names on the AIDS quilt as it existed in 1993, so it embodied the memories of friends and family members. Since then, wherever the dress has appeared the artist has invited visitors to write additional names, also of people lost to the disease and remembered by friends and family members, in an accompanying ledger book.

Is the supply of names running down? No. While the death rate for this epidemic may have slowed or declined in industrial nations during the last ten or fifteen years, at least within the population segments hit first and hit the hardest, the toll for the planet as a whole has skyrocketed. More significant to the specific groups which have seen his installation, when Reynolds's project was begun in 1993 the friends or families of people with AIDS were far less likely to admit they were friends or families of people with AIDS; they were very unlikely to come forward with names to be added to a memorial of any kind. Reynolds confirmed to me on Friday that even in the American and European cities visited by the Memorial Dress, cities where life-sustaining HIV drugs are most generally available, the frequency of the ledger entries continues unchanged. It seems the survivors of a plague whose casualties themselves the world branded odious from the start are still coming out of the closet today.

What can be seen at the gallery this month is the second (1996) realization of Patina du Prey's mangown. The first was the 1963 dress; the current version is constructed of a rich dark (faux-black?) silk fabric covering a fitted bodice and crinoline skirt printed in gold to include thousands of additional names added during the travels of the original. The artist hopes to create a third dress, which will incorporate the four to five thousand new names which have been added to the books in recent years.

This image is of a detail of one page from one of those books:



On Tueday, April 10, between 6:30 and 8 pm at the Artists Space gallery on 38 Greene Street in SoHo, Visual Aids and Artists Space will co-host a panel discussion, "Diamonds and Pearls: Remembrances and Recent Thinking on the Memorial Dress", with Hunter Reynolds, Lia Gangitano, Alexander Gray and Simon Watson, moderated by Benjamin Weil and Amy Sadao.

Following the panel, from 8 until 9, guests are invited to party with Patina du Prey; there will be food and drink. [suggested donation: $5-7].

This page is an archive of entries in the Culture category from April 2007.

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