When I arrived at the work the other day I found a bottle of A Psychic Vacuum
on my desk. Seriously.
A co-worker of mine lives around the corner from the Essex Street Market, the site of Mike Nelson's installation. She's lived there for 20 years, which meant that she brought more personal history than most to her experience of the project. Wondering for all that time what might be on the other side of those walls, A Psychic Vacuum
was almost a relief for her. And yet, what her interaction with the space might have been was deliciously expanded--and maybe even contracted (but in a good way)--by Nelson's distortion of the site. While some things were obscured, others that might have been overlooked received her full attention. Whatever he did, it worked. She loved the installation so much that when she was passing by after it closed and they were cleaning it out, she asked if she could take a little bit of the sand with her as a keepsake. And apparently, as a gift. Sweet.
When I was reading up my hard drive over the holiday train ride I came across this photo from this year's Art Parade
. Well, actually, from just above the Art Parade. At any rate, I had to post it. Obviously.
Jim Hodges' the bells/black
There's an ass-kicker of a show at the ICA in Philadelphia right now, Ensemble
, curated by Christian Marclay. Of the 27 artists, 7 of them are Creative Time alumni. What a kick . . . and a boing and a ding and a plink. My review of it can be found over at the new, but mighty, ArtCal Zine
Creative Time artists include . . . Terry Adkins
, Doug Aitken
, Jim Hodges
, Dennis Oppenheim
, Michelangelo Pistoletto
, Carolee Schneemann
, and Yoshi Wada
Doug Aitken's K-N-O-C-K-O-U-T
Photo by Lee Celano for The New York Times
Waiting for Godot in New Orleans has brought out the best in some of the writers bearing witness to it. I know. "Bearing witness" seems a tad heavy-handed, but, well . . . that's what it feels like when I read these reviews. Holland Cotter
was the latest to join the chorus in yesterday's Times. I'm a fan of Cotter's, both for his writing and the spirit behind it. He really outdoes himself here though. This quote especially caught my attention:
"But Mr. Chan also wants to try out--everything is a tryout--a new story, as have other artists, Beckett among them, who feel they are living in a time of moral emergency."
It reminded me of something I had read just the day before in the The Believer's interview
with Ai Weiwei
"For those actors and directors who produce films which are always about the old kingdom or about heroes, you know about the fantasies related to the classics, but there is no real discussion about today's life and no discussion of the real conditions--which is really sickening."
It made me think of how Paul Chan and The Classical Theatre of Harlem's production stands in direct opposition to the artistic crimes to which Weiwei refers. As for the "moral emergency" Cotter mentions, I think that the Times scribe will be happy to see some of the upcoming projects that Anne Pasternak was talking about last night at the Creative Council holiday party. Let's just say that they'll be continuing down this path of looking very closely at where we're at, and what we've become. As the great Earth & Stone
once sang, "False rulers of the world./They might beget a beating."