Culture: July 2003 Archives

Yesterday we went to Williamsburg to see a couple of galleries, but we spent most of the time at the Chunkathalon, organized by C.H.U.N.K 666. Don't miss the photos from the 2002 one.

I'll talk about the gallery stuff first. Jack the Pelican has a group show called New Lawn that was my favorite show I've seen there since the opening solo show of Jesse Bercowitz. The best items in the show: the two videos by Susan Ingraham titled "Iguana" and "GOescarGO", both with awesome costume and makeup design by the artist and soundtracks inspired by/lifted from French new-wave films.

The other item of note is the Innerviews project by Karen Schoellkopf in the group show at Momenta.


Back to the Chunkathalon -- an event best described as Knightriders meets that short-lived TV show "Double Rush", plus a bit of Society for Creative Anachronism. I have to say though, that the SCA people at my university where never in this kind of shape. My full gallery of photos is here.

James spent more time on his write-up, photos, and captions, so go check out his entry.

Also, see Tom Moody's report. We finally met each other after he recognized me in the crowd. I was even wearing sunglasses at the time.


The Master of Ceremonies, who started out in a wrestling mask, was dressed very glam. I have one more (adult) story about something I overheard a young man named Zach tell his friends. Those who don't wish to read it should stop reading NOW.


Francis Holstrom

Francis Holstrom

Anna Jednoducha

We saw these three works, and much more, at the "Unframed" opening last night at Lehmann Maupin. I met Francis at the opening, and she told me the eagle is based on the one on the back of a quarter, "enhanced" a bit.

I'm very, very mad at myself for not getting there right at 6 to get an Orly Cogan work. As it was a benefit for ACRIA, the works are all being sold for $150! See James for the details on the show and some photos of Orly's work.

Go! They're doing the Simon Keenlyside/Twyla Tharp Winterreise again this year at Lincoln Center -- July 29th, July 31st, and August 2nd, 2003 at 8:00pm -- details.


ArtsJournal has launched several weblogs:

Interesting... I just noticed Greg Sandow mentions that his wife is NY Times critic Anne Midgette. She has an interesting way with reviews. I didn't care for this one at all, and I was at the concert, but her review of Verdi's MacBeth by the Kirov was pretty funny, if a bit light in its attempts to amuse the reader:

David McVicar's 2001 production looked as if the Kirov had given him the lowest budget possible, then left the sets at home.

I went to the opening of Today's Man at John Connelly Presents. Due to the fact that the MTA decided to shut down the L-train from Eighth Avenue to Lorimer Street(!) the crowd took a while to assemble, which meant those of us arriving near 6 could actually see the work, a rather unusual occurrence at his openings.

It's a very good show, with about 50 works by male artists on male subjects. As James pointed out, there isn't a lot of nudity, as you might expect at such a show. The link above on Douglas Kelley's web site lists all of the artists, so I'll only mention the works that struck me:

  • A dark oil painting of a boy on a windowsill by Tim Lokiec
  • A drawing by Paul P.
  • A collage by Tony Feher that included a sexy ass shot of someone, a coffee cup lid, an cigarette butt, and a prescription label -- hey, he and James have the same doctor!
  • A beautiful drawing (on vellum?) by Assume Vivid Astro Focus/Eli Sudbrack
  • A drawing of a boy in a rowboat about to be attacked by a tentacled monster by Hernan Bas
  • A collage by Christian Holstad
  • A delicate drawing by Nick Mauss
  • A painting by Michael Wetzel -- I really like his work the more I see it

Speaking of Paul P, check out the nice review he got from Holland Cotter. Knowing that Paul loves Whistler, getting compared to Whistler and Caravaggio's "punk angels" is a good thing. He was down from Toronto for the opening.

On the subject of reviews, in a week when even the troglodyte Michael Kimmelman reviews this sort of work (see the Holland Cotter link above), it shocked me to see New York Data Probe's dismissive comments on the John Connelly show. There is a fine line between amusing Gawker-esque snarkiness and being a philistine. I think NYDP has crossed that line. Quote:

John Connelly Presents presents its second opening in two weeks, for the show "Today's Man," with 49 artists, not many of them artists by career.


Lucky for me that this is basically a rerun of the last opening, because I can't be there--I'm going to the Hamptons.

What does "not many of them artists by career" mean? I've seen most of them in galleries whose taste I respect. Are they not "by career" unless they're making a good living at it like Ross Bleckner or Annie Leibovitz? Ugh.

It's also poor journalism to say "a rerun of the last opening" when there isn't that much overlap. I assume he is referring to the work that John is showing at D'Amelio Terras, and not the last show in his space with Dearraindrop.

What's the point of having an art blog if your writing is even more sloppy than the print journalists? I'm no Tyler Greene or Tom Moody, but I would be embarassed to write such a thing without some air quotes.

Last Sunday we went to DUMBO to see Outpost at Smack Mellon and Future Species at DUMBO Arts Center (DAC). The press release for "Outpost" is from a real estate site, since Smack Mellon hasn't updated their web site in a month. While you're on that site, feel free to buy me one of the penthouses at 30 Main Street as a present.

The DAC show was a bit disappointing. The best works in the show, and not just because we own one of them, are the Matthew Callinan sculptures. They're quite magical, hanging in a space with large windows in DUMBO, and everyone walking into the gallery talked about them and smiled. I also liked the twisted toy sculptures of David Krepfle.

The "Outpost" show at Smack Mellon, curated by Ada Chisholm, was excellent. I'm very sorry I missed Cory Arcangel's power-point-presentation-with-Van-Halen-guitar-solo at the opening. His work in the show consists of "videos" on DVD created by tricking QuickTime to interpret memory blocks in his computer as video data. They're quite beautiful. Greg Simsic, who is also the author of some design and computer books, had a great installation of 11 video monitors stacked on several folding tables. They showed various activities in his studio -- picking up objects, things getting soaked, hands dipping into paint, etc. Chad Silver had a funny video in which he looks around his apartment for animals and characters hidden in the patterns of the wall textures, clothing piles, and other places.

Work stuff, plus German class twice per week is killing my schedule. That's why I haven't had time to post about our lovely Bastille Day evening at Florent with Glenn and (as we all refer to him) Chris From Texas.

I left my class early on Monday, making sure everyone realized I was leaving to celebrate Bastille Day (festen Bastille Tag) and hopped in a cab. I had a very cool cabdriver name Khalid, who had one of the longer cabs, good air conditioning, was listening to WBAI, offered me one of his apples, and found Gansevoort without me having to give any directions.

We all sat outside for hours and drank lots of red and sparking wine. It was a bit more low-key than some years, and they didn't close off Gansevoort as they sometimes do. The burlesque performer below is Dirty Martini, whom I've seen a number of times, including at a contemporary music concert on Valentine's Day. If Chris of Uffish were a stripper, this would be her. She is quite fabulous, and the the first burlesque performer to appear in Sarajevo as soon as the peace accord was signed.

Yes, that is Betsey Johnson in the yellow hat in the back of the Dirty Martini pictures.



Dirty Martini

Dirty Martini

I can't think of a more important year to attend Florent's Bastille Day celebration. There is nothing on the website about the event, so I sent an email and Florent Morillet gave me the info:

Monday, July 14
Gansevoort Street


Micheline: Full-throated red head will twist the heartstrings

Ami Goodheart & the Coquettes

New Orleans Burlesque

French Cancan

Dirty Martini embodying the true art & style of burlesque

Bunny Love

Mr. Monsieur the toast of Gai Paree

Mary Birdsong; Judy Garland does Edith Piaf

Remember to bring cash. Florent doesn't take credit cards, and I can't imagine them trying it with this event anyway!

I have German Class from 6-8, then I'll hop in a cab and be there 8ish. Send me an email or leave a comment if you're going to be there. James might get there earlier if he can assemble a group big enough to get a spot and save me a seat.

I haven't written much in the last week because I've been taking a brutal antibiotic for my sinuses which saps my joi de vivre. That plus the heat meant I spent most of the July 4 weekend inside, reading books and working on my artist web-hosting project, soon to be launched.

The best thing I read over the weekend was the Talley Trilogy of Lanford Wilson. The plays take place on July 4th and 5th in various years.

We saw Fifth of July at Signature Theatre in February, a couple of days before the February 15 peace march. It's still a very relevant work of theatre, about the loss of idealism in the wake of the Viet Nam war and the backlash against the 60s. The other two plays take place in 1944 on the same day. One, "Talley's Folly", takes place in the boathouse where Aunt Sally of "Fifth of July" falls in love with her future husband Matt Friedman. The other, "Talley and Son," takes place in the house up the hill on the same day. I have read few works with the kind of faith in humanity and idealism, even in the face of a vicious and stupid world, that these three plays contain. I don't feel that I'm much of a literary critic, so I'll close with some quotes from two of them. I had tears in my eyes when I heard the first one at Signature.

Fifth of July

June (with difficulty controlling herself): You've no idea the country we almost made for you. The fact that I think it's all a crock now does not take away from what we almost achieved.


Gwen: Anyway. You get there. Five hundred thousand people, speaker's platforms, signs thick as a convention, everybody's high, we're bombed, the place is mobbed, everybody's on the lawn with their shirts off, boys, girls; they're eating chicken and tacos, the signs say: End the War, Ban the Bomb, Black Power and Gay Power and Women's Lib; the Nazi Party's there, the unions, demanding jobs, they got Chicano Power and Free the POWs and Free the Migrants, Allen Ginsberg is chanting Ommm over the loudspeakers. Coretta King is there: Jesus! How straight do you have to be to see that nothing is going to come from it? But don't knock your mother, 'cause she really believed that "Power to the People" song, and that hurts.

Talley's Folly

Matt [referring to post-WW II prosperity and the blindness that materialism produced]: It's hard to use your peripheral vision when you're being led by the nose.


Sally: I'm sorry, I wasn't listening. I was trying to figure out what "ratiocination" means.

Matt: Oh, forgive me. I don't have a speaking vocabulary. I have a reading vocabulary. I don't talk that much.

I realized while searching Google for more information that a video/DVD exists from 1982 of "Fifth of July" with Swoosie Kurtz, Richard Thomas, and Jeff Daniels. I just ordered it.

Regarding the Camp Nest Trader guy, his name is Kenneth Mroczek.

... from the opening


AA Bronson and Paul P.


Camp Nest Trader. No, I have no idea either.


Updated: James has more photos.

Also, a link to an article on Scott Trelevean.

The K48/John Connelly/Daniel Reich show at D'Amelio Terras opens tonight, 6-8.

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

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