to PS1: but they're called the visual arts, aren't they?

on some very rare occasions blackouts might be a good thing*

But, even when they aren't iniquitous, others are just plain stupid.

Barry writes that I'll probably be doing a post about our return visit to PS1's Greater New York 2005 show, but I don't know how I can do that without images.

There are no documented pictures on the institution's website [okay, there's a silly slideshow/teaser of a dozen or so works, but no information and the images can't be uploaded], and photography is not allowed in the galleries. My site can't function without pictures, and besides, they're called the visual arts, aren't they?

So, we did have a nice afternoon, but I don't have anything for you on this show. In a way, as I'm writing this, it almost seems like we were never there. I'm sorry.

The Museum of Modern Art owns PS1, and MoMA directors are about as jealous of the firm's image and perogatives as global capitalists seated in the country's fattest corporate board rooms are of theirs. Within the arts business/community, this museum is notorious for its insensitivity and its reluctance to recognize media credentials. Reflecting its lamentable growing irrelevance in times we still call "Modern" the Museum of Modern Art has assumed a posture which refuses to recognize that arts bloggers today exist as a part of media.

So just forget about a press pass. The 53rd Street Brahmins don't even deign to reply to inquiries. Knowing I had nothing to lose, and thinking that things might be more relaxed in their farm team operation, I tried yesterday once again to photograph a work of art on display in their Long Island City galleries. I was told, once again, that photography wasn't allowed. No surprise, but in fact it wasn't even permitted to photograph the painted tin ceiling. I know. I tried that too, and was firmly chastened for the attempt.

The museum was almost empty, I had no intention or interest in using supplemental flash, my miniature digital camera is perfectly silent, the images it captures can't possibly be mistaken for original works, and there can be no question that any picture would be used commercially.

The only consequences of my being permitted to use a camera would have been, first, your enjoyment of the images of works neither created nor owned by MoMA; second, an internet record of the work, which might in fact be permanent; and third, some modest assistance to MoMA's marketing campaign - without any inconvenience, and with absolutely no cost, to the museum.

So we eventually left PS1 and went north to Socrates Sculpture Park, where cameras run free, even if they're just having fun. See my next post.

the caption to this vintage WWII photograph reads, "A couple nails a blackout curtain over the window"

[image from VIRGINIA FIGHTS]

maybe you could issue a call for sketchers. we could all be assigned a piece to do and these could be posted. would make a cool show.

And the really strange thing is that cameras are totally out of control in MoMA's 53rd St. galleries these days. I was there Saturday and watched some yahoo snap shot after shot (up close--very close--with flash, of course) of works on paper while the guards stood by and watched.

Yeah, Todd, I've seen that as well - regularly - and it's very disturbing.

It looks like MoMA is being pretty shabby about its role as caretaker of the work it owns outright, but it's a bit different for the work it borrows from others, where there seems to be a huge concern about protecting the selfish interests of galleries, owners and perhaps a few short-sighted artists. I think a museum this powerful should be able to negotiate a better deal for its own public.

All of this art ultimately belongs to the entire world, and even if much of it must be shelved somewhere out of sight most of the time, I believe that when it is displayed complete access should not be blocked without good reason.

That kind of access, by the way, also does not include $20 admission charges.

I love the idea of sketching the works, how flattering to have one's work mediated by the hand of another!

FYI, if you go to the front desk and request a press pass that will keep the wolves at bay. Press credientials or even a business card should work to obtain the pass.

The staff/guards can be pretty unfriendly to visitors and artist for that matter. I've been barked at numerous times for photographing even when I've had a PS1 press pass displayed on my person. I wish they would lighten up on the photography policy and tighten up on care for the art. I had two pieces messed with by visitors at the opening. I've also seen several other pieces that were damaged/vandalized by visitors. Where were the guards then, chasing photographers?