Friday, October 28, 2011

Vernissages NYC | Chelsea, October 27

Only visual memories...

Hiroshi Sugimoto"Surface of theThirdOrder" at Pace

 Rebecca Horn "Ravens Gold Rush" at SKNY

Richard Artschwager at David Nolan

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Events NYC | Madrigals and Metamorphoses

Out of tune? If your ears like the (artificially) fixed pitch of piano keys, they would have been spinning on your head last Saturday evening as the group Ekmeles presented Madrigals and Metamorphoses at the uptown Italian Academy.

Not everyone’s ears crave such tidiness, and Ekmeles sang their way through a largely 20th-century program of songs by composers known and well-known. But the opening madrigals were by Carlo Gesualdo, a 17th century Neapolitan-born nobleman, murderer, composer. He tuned his music to scales supposedly based on those of the ancient Greeks called “genera”, which leads to intense chromaticism (think pitches between the keys on a modern keyboard).

These were followed by three madrigals by Carl Bettendorf who “decomposed” to various degrees some of Gesualdo’s original music. Folllowing Gersualdo’s model, and in true 20th-century style he added a number of “theatrical” effects, including clapping, laughing, whisperings by the group on the text dealing with Joy and happiness (“Gioia che tutto gioia”). The singers, playing on woodblocks, hammers and metal bowls accompanied their own fine singing.

Thoroughly decomposed was Margin Iddon’s hamadryads. The text was purely phonetic and the pitches were all over the place, relying on heavily experimental tunings. The singers sat at a table as for a banquet, with wine glasses with water at each setting which they used to provide their own accompaniment by running their fingers around the glasses’ rims.

And Elliott Carter, an American composer who will celebrate his 103rd!!! birthday in December was represented by his Mad Regales composed when he was 99 years of age. May we all have such sure-footed creative skills in our 90s. The text by John Ashbery provided the perfect vehicle for Carter’s a capella sextet setting.

Then Peter Ablinger’s Studien nach der Natur took us into the realm of music ecology, where the singers presented sounds of the freeway, the sea, mosquitoes, smoking, a quartz watch, the wind, water drops, etc. Who needs digital sounds when a human voice can create such descriptive sound effects?

Pier Pasolini’s thoroughly baroque texts were set by Johannes Schollhorn in his Madrigali a Dio. Pointillistic notes by the individual singers hovered in microtuned pitches, words were reiterated, repeated and delivered in intense rhythmic declarations, and all at odds with each other. The poet’s vilification of the creator-God leads to his final rejection: “Tua, ch’è in me, a Te non mi conduce.”

Thursday, October 20, 2011

events NYC | Homage to Black Mountain College and Its Legacy

A poetry reading and music performances at the Loretta Howard Gallery celebrated the legacy of Black Mountain College. Readers and performers included Margaret Leng Tan, Francine du Plessix Gray, John Yau, Vincent Katz, Maureen Howard and Dave Sear.

Black Mountain College, was founded in 1933 by John Andrew Rice, Theodore Dreier, and other former faculty members of Rollins College, in Black Mountain, North Carolina. It introduced a new teaching and learning philosophy,  where art was the focus of several disciplines. An interdisciplinary approach, was central to all the student works, including musi composers, poets, and designers, including  Buckminster Fuller (who design and built the first geodesic dome) and John Cage. In Black Mountain College the breadth of experimental art and innovative design was accompanied by liberal thinking and free lifestyle; it was the first college to integrate. Unfortunately the college closed in 1954.

John Yau read from his own poem collections, Margaret Leng Tan played John Cage's composition on her "toy piano" Francine du Plessix Gray read poems from Jonathan Williams, the founder of the "Jargon Society" oress. The readings also included  some of Charles Olson's "The Maximus Poems" and Robert Creeley "Distance". Dave Sears concluded the evening with his music and lyrics recalling civil right battles against segregation. Zuccotti Park "Occupy"was often mentioned, with applause from the audience.

Strolling through the gallery after the very reading I saw a very inspiring exhibition showing the eclecticism of Black Mountain College explorations.
Kenneth Snelson's Tensegrity

 Buckminster Fuller

 Dave Sears

Monday, October 17, 2011

events | Occupy Wall Street

Occupy Wall Street celebrate the first month: on September 17 about 2,000 people gathered in Lower Manhattan and marched up Broadway. About 150 people spent the night at Zuccotti Park an estimated 150 stayed the night and began an encampment. The protest is against bank bailouts, corporate greed, and the power of Wall Street on the government, and the message is “We are the 99%” The non-violent movement is "gaining ground globally, with 1500 protests in 82 countries this past Saturday (October 15)."

“Anyone with eyes open knows that the gangsterism of Wall Street — financial institutions generally — has caused severe damage to the people of the United States (and the world). And should also know that it has been doing so increasingly for over 30 years, as their power in the economy has radically increased, and with it their political power. That has set in motion a vicious cycle that has concentrated immense wealth, and with it political power, in a tiny sector of the population, a fraction of 1%, while the rest increasingly become what is sometimes called “a precariat” — seeking to survive in a precarious existence. They also carry out these ugly activities with almost complete impunity — not only too big to fail, but also “too big to jail.”
“The courageous and honorable protests underway in Wall Street should serve to bring this calamity to public attention, and to lead to dedicated efforts to overcome it and set the society on a more healthy course.”

Noam Chomsky
September 26 2011

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Camminando | Fifth Avenue and Uniqlo Flagship Store

After leaving Sophie Calle's "Room" I walked along Fifth Avenue, to the opening party of the Uniqlo flagship store. The  spacious two-floor store populated by bright backlit fixtures, mirrors and LED signage  well embrace the philosophy of the Japanese company, where fashion meets simplicity and affordability. Although with a little sense of guilt (as a décroissance believer, why I am here instead at Zuccotti Park? ) I enjoyed this celebration of consumism (at least tasteful) and below are my few visual memories :

Friday, October 14, 2011

Vernissages | Art and Memory: Sophie Calle "Room"

I start my evening walkabouts crossing a dark Central Park and walking toward the Lowell Hotel, which hosts Sophie Calle’s “Room”.

The self referential title of the installation located in a "real" hotel room is almost a psychological tautology, and pregnant of significance itself. The installation, part of the festival "Crossing the Line" organized by the French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF), consists of a hotel room staged with objects of particular significance to the artist’s life: shoes, a typewriter, a wig, handwritten letters, photographs, dresses are the personal objects associated with memories and fantasies, casually placed in the hotel room almost as objects belonging to a typical hotel guest. Notes with sequential number tells stories about Calle’s life, where art becomes a means to tell memories to others.

Sophie Calle is a remarkable storyteller and mostly a “storymaker” mixing objects and written words, writing and performances, in stories blurring the boundaries between reality and fiction,  public and private life. Her art is made of life stories, mainly hers. Reality does not simply happen but is often the product of her design, as in 1979 work “Suite Vénitienne”;  the work consists of diaries, maps, drawings and photographs she took while following a man met at a Parisian party, all the way to Venice. The piece, traced Calle’s journey through an intricate series that she used to speculate on the man’s identity.

“Room” is  room 304, The Lowell Hotel, 28 East 63rd Street, New York
from midnight of October 13 to midnight of October 16.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Vernissages, Milano, October 12 | Monica Castiglioni “New York - A Glimpse in the Puddle”

Reality is in our perceptions.
This statement is universally true and mentioned in many different forms and contexts, —from Buddhism, to Western and Eastern philosophy. The relativity of perception  in “New York - A Glimpse in the Puddle”, is also the theme of Monica Castiglioni exhibition  at Galleria Francesco Zanuso. The work presented in this exhibition shows how:
New York City has been photographed countless times by different artists with different approaches. Now, the city is depicted in a brand new way: reflected into a puddle, seen through the eyes of a passionate, istinctive, down-to-earth and ironical artist with unrelentless energy.
A tribute to New York City, a virtual trip from the past to the present and towards the future filled with feelings of transience, sadness and hope. A puddle in a street is like a temporary natural and symbolic mirror: the inconsistency of a reflection and of the primal image reflected into it which becomes abstract and recalls a different dimension away from its own.
A puddle is a way of expressing hope: the calm......after the storm. Monica Castiglioni adds: “If rain is made of tears from the earth, I like thinking that there’s always the sun shining behind the clouds and sooner or later everything will come to a new life”.

The exhibition, curated by Francesca Alfano Miglietti, will be on view until October 25.

Galleria Francesco Zanuso
Mondays to Fridays 3.30 p.m. to 7.30 pm 26, Corso di Porta Vigentina 

Lectures NYC | Richard Aldrich on Walter De Maria

We headed to DIA Chelsea last evening to hear Richard Aldrich tell us about Walter De Maria. Expecting to hear a lot about land art, earth art, and other such installations, we focused our thoughts on such works as The Lightning Field, The Broken Kilometer, etc.

However, Richard Aldrich gave us an entirely different perspective. Noting that he wasn’t all that interested in land art, he was drawn to De Maria by his sound art. His pursuit of the land artist work started from his exposure, as a DIA bookstore employee, to the CD of Ocean Music and Cricket Music.

Ocean Music begins with the sound of the ocean which is superseded by De Maria’s drumming. In contrast Cricket Music starts with the drumming and ends with live cricket sounds. Aldrich was attracted to the “feeling” creation in these CDs, a process oriented creation, as opposed to a “thing” creation.

It is the “feltness” of the experience that Aldrich favors in Walter De Maria's work. De Maria as land artist takes a long time to create the final artwork,flattening the its final understanding and fruition. His work is about time; time is his medium and how he utilizes it is its feltness. This slow experience is out of documentation, and even not available by computer viewing: computer images are flat; they can reveal only how art is seen and how it functions, not how it is felt.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

camminado NYC | October 6 from Sunrise to Sunset

My walking started with the sun rising on the Central Park lake

 My walking day continued to Chelsea, passing by the Apple store, quite interesting and puzzling to see the "shrine" of candles, apples and sticky notes to Steve Jobs...

I arrived to Chelsea in time to see the sun setting behind the New Jersey skyline from the Hudson river.

My evening continued at the Chelsea Art Museum, opening "Black Zero" by the Italian artist Aldo Tambellini: a retrospective exhibition of paintings, sculpture, lumagrams, videograms, film, video, and television work (1960-1990).

On my way back another monochromatic enigmatic vernissage at the Art Gate Gallery, showing Peter Gregorio "The Many World Interpretations"

Events NYC | Occupy Wall Street

"Occupy Wall Street" continues! Since September 17 thousands have been gathering in Liberty Square in a non-violent protest. Who is "Occupy Wall Street"
The leaders of this movement are the everyday people participating in the occupation. We use a tool called the "General Assembly" to facilitate open, participatory and horizontal organizing between members of the public. We welcome people from all colors, genders and beliefs to participate in our daily assemblies. Visit the NYC General Assembly website to learn how you can become involved, read updates/minutes, or find out how you can adopt NYCGA processes to organize your own community.
To find more info and way to participate visit "Occupy Wall Street" site.