Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Exhibits & Performances Round-Up + O'Hara Poems

New York

Tomorrow, Art in General Gallery in Tribeca (79 Walker Street, New York, NY) will feature Federico Marandula, a DJ at Columbia University's WKCR radio station, performing selections from his soundwork "Radio Incorporea." Marandula is jointly producing the work with Brazilian artist Paulo Vivacqua, who's the current Audio in the Elevator artist at Art in General. The event is free.

At the Matthew Marks Gallery, till April 23, 2005, there's an exhibit of the artworld's chief explorer of the materialist uncanny, Robert Gober. Although Roberta Smith in her March 25, 2005 NY Times Review said that "Mr. Gober has turned the Marks gallery into a kind of church," he hasn't departed from his signature effects; "through the nearly closed doors of those chambers, we see the legs of a figure (male in one, female in the other) seated in a bathtub with water running from its handmade pewter faucet." Yikes!

Ofili Untitled
Untitled, by Chris Ofili

On April 27, 2005, two new exhibits go up at the Studio Museum in Harlem (144 West 125th Street): Bill Traylor, William Edmondson, and the Modernist Impulse, and Chris Ofili Afro Muses. This is a sweet pairing of simultaneous exhibits: two "folk" artists, Traylor and Edmondson, being resituated within the context of modernism, and a rare solo exhibit of watercolors by one of the most important and controversial younger artists today.


In Chicago this upcoming weekend, in the final AfroContempo performance of the season, Ronald K. Brown/Evidence will be dancing at the Columbia College Dance Center (1306 S. Michigan Ave). The announced works include the new Come Ye (set to a Fela Kuti and Nina Simone score), as well as his masterpiece Grace. I'm going to try to catch this if I can.

Also continuing through this weekend (through April 20, 2005) is the 21st Chicago Latino Film Festival, at various venues across the city. One of the films I want to see is Boricua, set and filmed right here in Chicago. Marisol Torres is the screenwriter and director. A film I've seen but wouldn't recommend is Carlos Diegues's Orfeu, a 2000 update of one of Brazil's best known films, Marcel Camus's 1959 classic Orfeu Negro. Diegues transposes the story to a Rio favela and has Cidade Negra star Tony Garrido in the lead role, but doesn't really figure out how to make the new setting, new plot or his actors work. It's brightly shot, though.

Secret Service Visit Chicago Gallery

Speaking of the Dreary City, in today's Sun-Times (a tabloid rag that gives the NY Daily News a run for its money), there's an article on a very disturbing story I heard today on NPR: the US Secret Service's overblown response to an artwork in a Columbia College Glass Curtain Gallery exhibit, "Axis of Evil: A Secret History of Sin." After a "citizen's anonymous tip," two Secret Service agents arrived before the opening of the exhibit and demanded to speak with the exhibit curator, stamp artist Michael Hernandez de Luna because of a work by Al Brandtner in the exhibit, titled "Patriot Act." The patriotic anonymous tipster thought the work was threatening the gopResident, W Ltd. Bush. (It depicts a sheet of stamps, with one them showing a gun to the W Ltd.'s noggin, and a detail is visible on the gallery site, linked above.) The Secret Service agents hyperbolically demanded the personal information of all the artists in the exhibit, and the Glass Curtain Gallery's director CarolAnn Brown refused to provide them, thankfully. But we know this mess isn't over. As for the dutiful, patriotic "citizen," well, s/he's probably making Erich Honecker's ghost pretty envious right now.... There's more in the Columbia College Chronicle, which details the pre-exhibit controversy as well. The exhibit runs through May 11, and I won't be missing it!

:: :: ::
:: :: ::

An appropriate accompaniment for the listings, poems by the great writer, critic and curator Frank O'Hara (1926-1966), another of my favorite poets and a true American original:


by Frank O'Hara

I am not a painter, I am a poet.
Why? I think I would rather be
a painter, but I am not. Well,
for instance, Mike Goldberg
is starting a painting. I drop in.
"Sit down and have a drink" he
says. I drink; we drink. I look
up. "You have SARDINES in it."
"Yes, it needed something there."
"Oh." I go and the days go by
and I drop in again. The painting
is going on, and I go, and the days
go by. I drop in. The painting is
finished. "Where's SARDINES?"
All that's left is just
letters, "It was too much," Mike says.

But me? One day I am thinking of
a color: orange. I write a line
about orange. Pretty soon it is a
whole page of words, not lines.
Then another page. There should be
so much more, not of orange, of
words, of how terrible orange is
and life. Days go by. It is even in
prose, I am a real poet. My poem
is finished and I haven't mentioned
orange yet. It's twelve poems, I call
it ORANGES. And one day in a gallery
I see Mike's painting, called SARDINES.

Copyright (c) 1966, 2005, the Estate of Frank O'Hara, all rights reserved.


The eager note on my door said "Call me,
call when you get in!" so I quickly threw
a few tangerines into my overnight bag,
straightened my eyelids and shoulders, and

headed straight for the door. It was autumn
by the time I got around the corner, oh all
unwilling to be either pertinent or bemused, but
the leaves were brighter than grass on the sidewalk!

Funny, I thought, that the lights are on this late
and the hall door open; still up at this hour, a
champion jai-alai player like himself? Oh fie!
for shame! What a host, so zealous! And he was

there in the hall, flat on a sheet of blood that
ran down the stairs. I did appreciate it. There are few
hosts who so thoroughly prepare to greet a guest
only casually invited, and that several months ago.

Copyright (c) 2005, the Estate of Frank O'Hara, all rights reserved.

New York School
Ashbery, O'Hara, Southgate, Berkson, and Koch
Photo © Mario Schifano, 1964
Image reproduction © Jacket Magazine

No comments:

Post a Comment