Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Video of the Week starting April 21

  This is Peter Mackie's Project number # 6.   It is part of a his Kinetic Paintings series.  Project # 6 is one of his earliest.   It is abstract painting set to motion and caught on tape.   It is a mood piece that starts with a moment of drama and stays there.    Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

My Monday List for April 19th

I just got back from New York and I did not do or see any of the stuff that was on my list last week. Granted I was there on business. A video shoot and a tech support job. The video shoot was to document the painting of Kukuli Velarde's wall mural at the Barry Friedman Gallery. Since the beginning of her show she was coming in twice a week to New York from Philadelphia to draw by hand in black marker her fantastical mural. It was a project of great imagination, endurance and discipline. From the start of the project I had the honor of chronicling its creation in video. On Saturday the mural was sadly, but in a seemingly appropriate ceremony painted over by her, and the show was over. Sunday night I went back to Philadelphia. I know that this is not a list, but more the end point of an event. The show went up, it evolved, and then it came down. This is how it always is that we are catching things in the middle of their transformations. Now I hear Green Day is having broadway show!
American Idiot opening today. The WNYC culture page has some good information on the show.
• A walk through Williamsburg. Williamsburg is diverse. It has some great restaurants, interesting art galleries and is a vibrant cultural scene. Take the L train to the first stop in Brooklyn at Bedford and you will be there. Now that the weather is starting to cooperate it is great place to visit and explore.
• Poland with the loss of their president and major officials has just suffered an unbelievable loss. The people of Poland are part of the history of New York. In Greenpoint there is a major Polish community. It is worth a walk through, if only it is walk through Greenpoint Ave to Manhattan Ave and over the Pulaski Bridge. While on Greenpoint Ave, get a beer at the Black Rabbit, it is one of my favorite bars and has a very nice old time feel.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

New from our friends, Barbara Andrus Review an Show through May 2nd.

Barbara Andrus's at  the A. Wallace Gallery Show through May 2nd and NYT's review

I just read this great review in the New York Times of our friend Barbara Andrus,  a fantastic artist, of "Regarding Nature: Thorns, Twigs, Buds and Branches" a  show she is currently in with two other artist at the Amelie A. Wallace Gallery.  The direction is below.  The review was very positive, painting it as a "beautiful, inviting exhibition that invites us to ponder art's enduring links with nature."  Her work was described as being able to "evoke the experience of being alone in quite wilderness."  Congratulation Barbara.  Now everyone else, if you have the chance, go catch it before it is over!

“Regarding Nature: Thorns, Twigs, Buds and Branches,” Amelie A. Wallace Gallery, Campus Center, SUNY College at Old Westbury, Route 107, Old Westbury, through May 2. Information: (516) 876-3056 or

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

video of the Week starting April 13

The Sandpit from Sam O'Hare on Vimeo.

This an innocents view of New York   The city is a toy model.  It is constantly moving, it is vibrant, but it has a patina of animation.  It does not seem real.  I was not sure if this was actually filmed or it was manufactured.   My vision of the city was manipulated but in truth it was not.  At least not in the way you think.  For the film maker has captured the life of this city and in that it is truly unreal.  It is nice short piece with some fantastic perspectives.  This is photography in motion.  For more information on the process go to his blog here.   Some thoughts.   Enjoy the The Sandpit!

Monday, April 12, 2010

My Monday List for April 12th

What would I want to see if I was back in New York? I now live in Philadelphia. From my laptop, I read about the events and odd happenings in my beloved city. I read about the gallery openings, the concerts and the restaurants. On my laptop, I stream the voices of NY that I hear on To me, the city does not seem so far away. There is always an adventure. It is a good place to start from. The world might seem like it is falling apart all around us but from the city's perspective, the bankruptcy of 1970, the market crash of 89, and even 9/11, there is always hope. There is always hope from where ever we are. The city rebounds. People pick themselves up, artists continue to create, goods continue to be made and sold. Children still laugh, play and cry and we still look forward. That is how we were made. Here is my list for April 12. It is short. It is a start. You take it from there:
• For the film heads, Hamilton tonight, April 12th @ BAM. It was shot in Baltimore for $50,000 with non actors. From what I read in the Village Voice, it is an original work done in the slow paced style of "Wendy and Lucy." I saw Wendy and Lucy and it was depressing but I like the style. The realism and grit. In Hamilton I like the promise of originality, of something new. I hope it will be positive. I like the promise of creativity. That is what BAM promises. That is what I get from the synopsis. See it! Some one, anyone, and tell me what I missed. Was it any good? Tag, you're it!
Broadway. A sure thing is A Behanding in Spokane. I saw this. It was very good. It was very funny. It has a unique story line that is both very dark and disturbingly funny. It is very much character driven. Think about it, this is your chance to see Christopher Walken live with Sam Rockwell, Anthoney Mackie, and Zoe Kazan in a Martin McDonagh play. Each character is unique and comes alive brilliantly. The playwright is Irish, this is the first play that he has set in America, and yet as a New Yorker, I feel he has captured our tenor. Even if it is not nice, at least it is absurd. Enjoy!
For music and more events see Music Hub. I also suggest the Village Voice Events Calendar.
There is always a lot to see even if you don't have much money. For me what always made New York great is its humanity. It is a human zoo and we are its animals! Take it all in. Go to the Meat Packing District, play with the iPad at the Apple store, buy your food at the Chelsea Market, then take a chair, sit back, and take in the spectacle walking by you. It is sure to be all lovely, be it great or small. Use your imagination. I'll be back soon. In the mean time, stay out of trouble but don't stop having fun and if I see you, then let me know what's new.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

P.S. 1's Saturday Sessions hosted by Liz Magic Laser April 10

P.S.1’s Saturday Sessions hosted by Liz Magic Laser
Saturday, April 10, 2010
4:00 PM to 6:00 PM

4 pm, Flight in the outdoor courtyard
5pm, What? in the 3rd floor main gallery

This looks like it may be fun. I got this email about the performance series at P.S. 1, which in conjunction with the Marina Abramovic show is hosting a series of performance art.  P.S. 1 and MoMA are connected.   So, since I liked the Abramovic show I might like this and so might you.  Anyway, a visit to P.S. 1 and Long Island City to me is always something special.  If you do go there, I recommend dining at 5 Star Punjabi, a great Indian food dive, and walking along the East river to view Manhattan.  Bring your camera!  Information on the show is here.

Monday, April 5, 2010

My Monday List for April 5th

My Monday list of odds and ends that I find interesting.

• Opening this week, a good friend,  Manhee Bak: Unrolling Time   April 6 through 22nd at John Jay College of the City of New York. He is a really interesting artist. More information can be found on his website. The reception is on April 8th from 5-7
Artcat has great list of Gallery Opening's in New York.  Check it out here.
Kiki Smith: Sojourn at the Brooklyn Museum
Hanmi: Celelbrating the Cherry Blossom Season,  April 3 to May 2 at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden
The City Reliquary,  the Museum and Civic Organization in Brooklyn
• Jazz: Amanda Monaco's Deathblow at Local 269
• Hip Hop New: Das Racist at Death by Audio
• Flea Markets:  Brooklyn Flea, starting April 10th

My bookmarked tags on delicious

Friday, April 2, 2010

Marina Abramovic “The Artist Is Present”, through May 31 @ MoMA

Museum of Modern Art, 11 west 53st

Marina Abramovic is one of the early pioneers of performance art, and history has shown her to be one of its most influential . This show covers almost four decades of her very ambitious, and frequently controversial career.  Also quite ambitious is the prospect of putting on a retrospective of a performance artists work.  The medium doesn't really lend itself to a large museum show that covers an artists output over many years. Performance art in its pure form is a unique, one time only event. It happens, and then it's done.   It can be documented through film and photographs, but the documentation isn't really the art.  Is it?   Also, the artist can only be in one place at a time, so how do you have room after room of her work all taking place at once?  Pretty challenging eh?  The Modern does about as good a job with this daunting assignment as possible.   What they do is they have filmed and photographed documentation of her work next to a number of "reperfomances" of some of her most seminal pieces using other people/performers/artists/whatever they're called.  There is a lot of text on the walls explaining the work, which kind of annoys me, but what are ya gonna do.
This all takes place in the sixth floor galleries.  Downstairs in the atrium, the artist is engaged in what appears to be a marathon staring contest across a table with whomever visitor to the museum wishes to take her on.  Apparently the visitor chooses the time limit, and once that runs out, gets replaced by the next in line.   Abramovic has committed to do this every day, from opening to closing of the museum for the duration of her retrospective.  If completed it will be the longest single performance piece she's ever created.   Good luck with that.  What happens if she has to go to the bathroom?
Back on the sixth floor the show starts with some of her work from around 1970 where she used audio recordings of metronomes and other sounds that aim to replace the visual with the auditory, and the element of space with that of time.  From this she began live performances using her body as the medium.  At the time this was a really radical, visionary thing to do. She later hooked up with her partner and lover Ulay with whom she collaborated on some very provocative pieces for about twelve years, until they broke up.  One of the things that struck me when walking through the galleries is how differently I felt about the live performances from the recorded ones.   There's something about a live body as a work of art that makes you more aware of your own body in relation to it.  The fact that these live bodies are frequently nude makes you feel even more self conscious.  Oh, did I mention that there was nudity?  In one case a nude man and woman stand in a relatively small doorway, and the viewers are encouraged (or challenged) to walk between them.  After hesitating, I decided to walk through, but had to stop myself from saying "excuse me" as I did.  In the text the artist talks about energy fields passing between the viewer and the performer.   This may sound like some pretentious hippy art speak, but anyone with anything resembling a nervous system should be able feel exactly that.  Also, having the live performance taking place right next to the recorded ones seems to highlight this difference between the two.
The other thing I was aware of was how passive most of the recorded, and all of the live performances were relative to what I think of as performance art today. They were basically just standing, or sitting, or lying in one place, not really "performing" in the conventional sense at all.  It's easy to forget that performance art is really the natural decedent of minimalism, where the artist engages the relationship of the viewers body and the surrounding space with the object.  Minimalism is the descendant of abstract expressionism, one branch of which is action painting, where the hand and body of the artist and his/her physical interaction with the materials becomes an essential element of the art.   Today performance art is seen as a kind of avant guard branch of theater (Blueman, Laurie Anderson, Eric Bogosian) where the viewer sits safely in the dark side by side with other audience members, staring at the artist on stage talking, or singing, or running around.  In truth, theater has a very different, and obviously much longer history than performance art.  The similarities between the two mediums are really more incidental. Abramovic's work could not be confused with theater. The passivity of her performers make the viewer feel less passive.   This, and the fact that they're standing in front of, and on the same ground as the viewer makes them seem more vulnerable, challenging, and paradoxically confrontational.
The work is pretty highbrow, and even though a lot of it was made in the 70s it is by even todays standards pretty edgy.   Like I said, there is a lot of nudity.   There's also a fair amount of sexual and somewhat threatening, borderline violent content.  Parents may really want to hire a sitter.   I think it's a really interesting, and thought provoking show, but it is challenging, and clearly not for everyone.  If you don't feel up for it, you can always see the Tim Burton show downstairs.   And then afterwards your mommy might take you out for ice-cream! Pussies.