Culture: February 2003 Archives

Go read James's posting of Nicolás Dumit Estévez being arrested while doing a public art project on Valentines Day -- giving people flowers in the subway.

Not directly related:

Has anyone else noticed that the NYC media basically never mentions the fact that there are National Guardsmen with automatic weapons in the subways? Are we supposed to just expect things like that now, without comment?

I went to Joe Ovelman's opening on Friday night before going to the Public. HIGHLY recommended. There is a new series called "Snow Queen", of Joe in drag photographing himself in a snowy Central Park at night, which totally blew me away. I expect I will have to buy at least one of those.

I saw "Radiant Baby", the new musical about Keith Haring, at the Public Theater tonight. My title above comes from one of the less successful songs of the evening, but overall I think it worked. I really don't like conventional musical theater, with songs that sound either like pop songs or something from a 1950s Broadway musical.

It starts off slowly, but it becomes quite compelling once we reach the Paradise Garage. The scene begins with a diva (sung by Angela Robinson) holding a note for about 45 seconds before the house music begins. The whole scene is a funny and hot tribute to a time that once was. It's also the first time the music is actually interesting.

Three children (actually sung by children) act as the chorus, and given the fact that Haring worked with children throughout his career, it's my favorite aspect of the musical. Other highlights: the incredibly talented cast; Aaron Lohr is compelling and very hot as Keith's lover Carlos, and Julee Cruise as Andy Warhol.

I hadn't realized that Tseng Kwong Chi and Haring were so close. Some of the iconic photographs of Keith's work, like the body painting of Bill T. Jones or of Grace Jones, are by Kwong. He is a major character in the musical.

The visual design is quite good, and I like the fact that when they talk about his work near the end of his life they end up with his Ignorance=Fear / Silence = Death ACT UP poster.

I think it's worth seeing, but because of the history and the people involved, rather than because it is a great achievement in theater. I really felt that a musical about Keith Haring deserved music with more edge than this, except for certain fabulous scenes like the Paradise Garage, provided.

Go go go! Right now!

Go to the P.S.122 web site and get tickets to see David Neumann's Sentence. I saw an earlier version of it last summer at the Whitney at Philip Morris (aka Altria) and thought it was one of the best dance/theater works I had seen in a long time. It's fabulous -- definitely a favorite of the season so far. It's also your last chance to see his regular collaborator Stacey Dawson for a while: she's moving to Hollywood. Another reason to go: Adrienne Truscott of Wau Wau Sisters fame. Andy is right - she's stalk-worthy she's so brilliant.

I'm sure James will write about this too, but I wanted to make sure people heard me say, "Go! Buy tickets right now!"

Joe Ovelman opens at Daniel Silverstein Gallery:

Untitled (Self Portrait as Michael Jackson), 2002, c print, 24 x 20"

Opening: Friday, February 21 6 - 8 pm

February 21 - March 22, 2003
Daniel Silverstein Gallery
520 West 21 st
212 929 4300

There are more images on the gallery's web site. We were the first people to buy a work by Joe, and I think he is incredibly talented. He is one of those people I expected to "make it" within weeks of meeting him.

- I love my dead gay son.

- How do you think he would have felt about a limp-wristed son with a pulse?

- My teen angst bullshit has a body count.

I watched Heathers a few nights ago. It has its moments, but I don't think it has aged well.

... about why I'm such a Europhile -- from the NY Times:

As an Italian living in the United States, I see that Americans have more or less embraced the idea that food is an industrial product, while Europeans, especially the Italians and the French, see it as part of their culture (news article, Feb. 11).

The idea that food should have a shelf life of 30 days to be economically viable is anathema to the Italians and the French. Modifying foods to satisfy the needs of industrial distribution is preposterous.

It is unfair for the United States to try to force the Europeans to accept genetically modified food, casting in economic terms what is a matter of culture.

San Diego, Feb. 11, 2003

Go see Lanford Wilson's Fifth of July at Signature. We saw it a few nights ago and I had not expected it to be so wonderful.

Cool art projects for Feb. 14: Love A Commuter.

I love the picture of Maria Alos from last year's version. She's the one who did this.

Time to start selling ads! The number one result on Google when searching for Williamsburg galleries is me.

We bought several works at the opening of the Cynthia Broan show, including work by Michelle Weinberg -- ours is related to but smaller than the one on that page, Eric Stormes, Nicolás Dumit Estévez, Tim Thyzel, and William Crow.

Also, head over to James's site to look at an image of our latest work by Charles Goldman.

We wandered around without a plan in Chelsea today after having lunch with friends. Normally, James has a very planned itinerary, so it was nice to find things serendipitously.

Things I liked:

  • Run, do not walk, to the $99 Bargain Store Show at Cynthia Broan (curated by Tim Thyzel)
  • Matthew Northridge at Gorney Bravin + Lee. I felt less strongly about some of the work in the main room, but the collages in the project room at the back were exquisite.
  • Jan Dibbets at Barbara Gladstone. I love the way the works read as beautiful abstracts at a distance, while the individual elements are wonderful photographs on their own.

  • "Air", a group show, at James Cohan. For me the standout work was a video by Hiraki Sawa titled Dwelling -- another still here -- in which airplane models fly about an apartment. In an era when flying machines conjure negative thoughts, it was soothing to watch a happy, magical work with flying planes.

This page is an archive of entries in the Culture category from February 2003.

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