Contemporaneous Extension


Get Excited!!(#)!

With the holiday season rapidly approaching, I am finding my reindeer spirit-animal in good cheer. Furthermore, there are also a few things I’m particularly amped about approaching…

SANTACON: If you live in NYC/Tri-State area, you should treat yourself to a whiskey and hot chocolate at 10am and come to SantaCon. The revelry lasts all day, and usually results in belligerence but not without seeing hundreds upon hundreds of people dressed in Santa suits caroling, dancing, and generally sharing unspeakable holiday merriment.

 

'Untitled,' Benjamin Norman, 2009

'Untitled,' Benjamin Norman, 2009

'Untitled,' Benjamin Norman, 2009

'Untitled,' Benjamin Norman, 2009

 

 

 

Performance 9 at MoMA: I’m planning on heading over to see Allora & Calzadilla’s performance of Beethoven’s Fourth Movement from the Ninth Symphony (‘Ode to Joy’) next week. The performers formulate the piece backwards and upside-down from inside the actual piano while traipsing around the second floor atrium. With two full octaves depleted from the range of the piano itself due to the massive hole, it should be a thrill to rehash the glorious work. It will be performed through January 11, every hour from 11:30 til close.

 

'Stop, Repair, Prepare: Variations on “Ode to Joy”? for a Prepared Piano.' 2008. Prepared Bechstein piano, pianist (Amir Khosrowpour shown).

'Stop, Repair, Prepare: Variations on “Ode to Joy”? for a Prepared Piano.' 2008. Prepared Bechstein piano, pianist (Amir Khosrowpour shown).

 

 

 

Fire in My Belly (1986-7): After all the press for being pulled from the ‘Hide/Seek’ exhibition in Washington, D.C., the New Museum has stepped up and is showing the full 13-minute version of David Wojnarowicz’s striking film commenting on life, death, and the mortality that was the AIDS epidemic. The full version, as well as the 4-minute excerpt that appeared in the D.C show, will be on view through January 23rd.  The New Museum has coined it as “an act of solidarity with the many artists whose rights of expression continue to be limited by misinformation and fear.” KUDOS to the Museum, I can’t wait to check it out and laugh at how biased and judgmental Catholic conservatives can be.

 

David Wojnarowicz, 'Fire in my Belly,' 1986-7, video.

David Wojnarowicz, 'Fire in my Belly,' 1986-7, video.

For those who can’t make it to the New Museum:

(Courtesy of P.P.O.W Gallery)

 

 

 

DCKT Contemporary: The wonderfully curated gallery is moving from their spot on the Bowery to 237 Eldridge Street and having their inaugural exhibit sparked by a spiritual parade led by artist Irvin Morazan. His solo show, Temple of the Bearded Man, opens January 8th. The parade, entitled the Coyote Procession, takes place January 7 at 6pm and is accompanied by a Mexican mariachi band, mythological headdresses, and what looks to be quite the absurdist showing. Get ready to transition your charcoal soul into the New Year!

 

Irvin Morazon, 'Coyote Procession,' 2011, mixed media

Irvin Morazan, 'Coyote Procession,' 2011, mixed media

 

 

Art Barter: Taking place this week at 131 Chrystie Street, its the ultimate trade-off to win yourself a piece of art! Happening through the 12th of December, take the best of what you got and see if an artist is willing to take you up on your offer and give you a piece of their own. Everything from woolen socks to a weekend at homes in Antwerp and Chile have been offered. Optimally jugs of homemade eggnog or an offer to pose for photographs can get me something good!

 

 

Andy Warhol- Motion Pictures: Starting up at MoMA on December 19th and showing through March 21st, I can’t think of many other excuses to go to the museum on a freezing day that is surely in our future. It explores his famed silent films like Blow Job and Kiss among many others. I recently saw I Shot Andy Warhol, a great film about his fascination with stardom and the rhythms we maintain as individuals which is sure to be expanded upon in this show.

 

Andy Warhol, 'Screen Test: Allen Ginsberg (1966).' 16mm film (black and white, silent). 4 min. at 16fps. 2010

Andy Warhol, 'Screen Test: Allen Ginsberg (1966).' 16mm film (black and white, silent). 4 min. at 16fps. 2010



“Squeeze through between the either and the or”

((BIG-UPS TO GOETHE AND JUICE))

National Geographic is about to announce the winner of their yearly contest. Photos are judged on creativity and photographic quality, spanning the standard categories of ‘people,’ ‘places,’ and ‘nature.’ They’re gone through eleven weeks of submissions, here are a few of my favorites from the last two weeks.

Bakhtiyor Rasulev, 'Inside of Hot Air Balloon,' 2010 ((Places - Week 10))

Bakhtiyor Rasulev, 'Inside of Hot Air Balloon,' 2010 ((People - Week 10))

Abubakir Balfaqih, 'Qat Market,' 2010 ((Places -- Week 10))

Abubakir Balfaqih, 'Qat Market,' 2010 ((People -- Week 10))

Pisati Beniamino, 'Burma,' 2010 ((Places -- Week 10))

Pisati Beniamino, 'Burma,' 2010 ((People -- Week 10))

Radoslav Tsvetkov, 'Bulgarian Easter,' 2010 ((Places -- Week 11))

Radoslav Tsvetkov, 'Bulgarian Easter,' 2010 ((People -- Week 11))

Brian Bielmann, 'Crazy Train,' 2010 ((Places -- Week 11))

Brian Bielmann, 'Crazy Train,' 2010 ((People -- Week 11))

Emilie Perret, 'Jade et la poupée,' 2010 ((People -- Week 11))

Emilie Perret, 'Jade et la poupée,' 2010 ((People -- Week 11))

Elmar Akhmetov, 'Fisherman,' 2010 ((People -- Week 11))

Elmar Akhmetov, 'Fisherman,' 2010 ((People -- Week 11))

Rasmus Hartikainen, 'Tjörvafell, Hnausapollur - Iceland,' 2010 ((Places -- Week 10))

Rasmus Hartikainen, 'Tjörvafell, Hnausapollur - Iceland,' 2010 ((Places -- Week 10))

Alison Domzalski, 'The Grandstand,' 2010 ((Places -- Week 10))

Alison Domzalski, 'The Grandstand,' 2010 ((Places -- Week 10))

Gail von Bergen-Ryan, 'Sand Stripes,' 2010 ((Places -- Week 10))

Gail von Bergen-Ryan, 'Sand Stripes,' 2010 ((Places -- Week 10))

Jay Brazzell, 'Weather phenomenon over Silvercreek Colorado November 2009,' 2010 ((Nature -- Week 10))

Jay Brazzell, 'Weather phenomenon over Silvercreek Colorado November 2009,' 2010 ((Nature -- Week 10))

 

 

 

I was introduced to MediaStorm via Benny Norman, a very dear friend of mine. He participated in their media workshop this past November. Each team of three people spends a week generating a story for the website, which includes photo, video, and audio material. His story was one observing and investigating the owner of Paris Blues, a classic bar in Harlem home to the zoot-suiters and jive turkeys of my fantasies. Get the full video HERE.

 

 

 

In looking for emerging artists, I’m intrigued by the several assistant-oriented shows in the last six months. It is a great outlet to show the paradoxes of influence, the individuality peeking from beneath the apprenticeship. Like Marianne Boesky’s Employee of the Month show at the end of the summer or 92Y’s most recent Off the Clock, I am psyched to check out Allan Nederpelt’s take on the concept in their most recent 2-weekend show Team Work. Consisting of over 70 artists, which could be either a buzzkill or fascinating, the PR claims that it unites the immense number of minds who “work collectively to assist a major figure in the art world.” Whether they all work for the same artist or not is a little unclear, but judging from the amount of names I don’t recognize I’m planning on checking the show out this weekend. Its open Dec 11-12, 1-6pm or by appointment.

 

 

 

I discovered G-Spot Brooklyn in looking through the GutBox artists in preparation for their show (Closing tonight at YGallery!) and was intrigued. It’s located in Greenpoint, curated by subtexture and tfuk, and features everything from coffee mugs to collages.

 

Ray Sell, 'Superman Does Not Approve,' mixed media

Ray Sell, 'Superman Does Not Approve,' mixed media

 

 

LASTLY, LET’S GET WEIRD with one of the most significant Surrealist pieces of film on this planet. (Thanks, Dali)

 

Still from 'Un Chien Andalou' (Dali/Bunuel) 1928

Still from 'Un Chien Andalou' (Dali/Bunuel) 1928

Still from 'Un Chien Andalou' (Dali/Bunuel) 1928

Still from 'Un Chien Andalou' (Dali/Bunuel) 1928



Photography: Do you GET it?

I was forwarded on Paul Graham’s essay ‘The Unreasonable Apple’ and welcomed the criticism of art writing as a call to action. Graham makes a distinction between artist who “use photography to illustrate their ideas, installations, performances and concepts,” (think Rudolf Schwarzkogler in the folds of Viennese Actionism), artists who “deploy the medium as one of a range of artistic strategies to complete their work,” (I envision Cindy Sherman’s Film Stills), and those who use photography “for and of itself… taken from the world as it is.” This last category is subjected to his discontent, claiming that its inability to satisfy critics’ obsession with process (in residing in the real world) facilitates dreary discourse. Although there is quite a bit of photography consisting of simple explorations of immediate surroundings, the oftentimes painstaking formulation of a photographic storyboard is as much of a process as sketching prior to a painting or sculpture and can be equally as draining/inspiring. Photographers are also forced to constantly adjust seeing as reality will interject and alter a story’s blueprint inevitably. Furthermore, it’s easy to overlook the complication of the artist’s tool in the age of abounding point-and-shoots. Although shutter speed and ISO can be fixed on professional cameras, the ability to tinker suffices as a component of the artist’s invention within an ostensibly sterile technique. Photography functioning in itself tends to be written off as peripheral, making attempts to alter or contribute to the visual certainty one must come to terms with to remain sane (which is not always welcome). As a viewer, an unspeakable attachment to photography reminiscent of family travel photos or bites of the viewer’s own reality rather than “art” can further paralyze the effects of photography, and thus criticism as such.

In this sense, it’s even easier to write off photojournalism in the art sphere as telling us what we already know: people are suffering, atrocities occur, cities are thriving/crumbling, weird things happen. The brilliance of photography, for Graham and myself, lies in the formation of a potent truth from an empty reality. In this sense, I think there is a new responsibility for photojournalist to function within the art sphere and think more thoroughly about their work in the context of their ultimate impact on photographic criticism. Despite my huge discrepancy with Graham’s claim of a “Post Documentary photographic world,” I am hoping his understanding comes from a desire to see an uprising in more contemplative photography across the board. What is photography if not documentary of an artist’s surroundings and insight, whether it be predetermined or random? Criticism of photography should optimally stem from the unique minutiae, the immediacy of the photo and the signifiers of the artist’s dynamic hand (not finger!). Based in reality, they may be more difficult to spot, but I can agree that rudimentary interpretations provide the largest disservice to an aspiring photographer.

There are definitely a few photographers I think deserve a bit more insight, the next post will be a follow-up on the subject.  Here’s a sneak-peak:

Untitled (Benjamin Norman)

Model T HQ, Detroit (Andrew Moore)

Image Riot series (Julius Metoyer)

Untitled (David Walter Banks)




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