Thursday, June 25, 2015

vernissages, camminando, practice | NYC, June 24

The "Summer Group Exhibition" at Marian Goodman Gallery presents a cohesive mix of conceptualism and minimalism, blended in the gallery space. The works —ranging from geometry based murals of Sol Lewitt to subtle sculpture of Fred Sandback or large text wall writings of Lawrence Weiner— generated immersive spatial perceptions, where scale seemed to be the cohesive element.
:Summer Group Exhibition"
Niele Toroni
North Gallery hosted Maria Nordman’s FILMROOM EAT, 1967 – PRESENT and two Standing Pictures.  The press release also announced that "Nordman will also enact THE WHISPER in Central Park with ‘persons met by chance’, continuing a work that started several decades ago in different public spaces in cities all over the world." The work somehow reminded me of Michel de Certau "everyday practice" which is so close to my own heart —and practice. In these days of brutal attacks from my still legal husband and his lawyer, where greed overcomes any ethics and rationality, a rigorous art and movement practice has become an anchor to rationality and attempt to find meaning and beauty in urban places.

Maria Nordman’s FILMROOM EAT, 1967 – PRESENT
I ended my urban practice with a body prayer by the Hudson river waterfront while the sun was setting.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Celebrations | International Yoga Day and the June Solstice in NYC

Gāyatrī  Mantra
ॐ भूर्भुवः॒ स्वः ।तत्स॑वितुर्वरे॑ण्यंभ॒र्गो॑ दे॒वस्य॑ धीमहि ।धियो॒ यो नः॑ प्रचो॒दया॑त् ॥
Oṃ bhūr bhuvaḥ svaḥ
tát savitúr váreṇ(i)yaṃ
bhárgo devásya dhīmahi
dhíyo yó naḥ pracodáyāt

June 21 has been designated International Yoga Day by the United Nation General Assembly in 2014. In the northern hemisphere June 21 is also the date of the summer solstice, marking the longest day and shortest night of the year.

Several celebrations took place in NYC, in private studios as well as in public places.
I began my celebratory practice at Pure Yoga, in the Upper West Side. The practice lasted two hours and consisted of 108 sun salutations, introduced by a beautiful chanting of the Gāyatrī  Mantra.

The main celebration took place in Times Square, where the yoga practice spanedv twelve hours, from 7am to7:30pm, led led by yoga celebreties. I attended only the 6:30 practice, led by Rodney Yee and Colleen Saidman Yee. Honestly, I was not impressed by the teachings of the Yees who are among the yoga celebrities. There was no guided flow, or transition, from one asana (pose) to the following; modifications should have been offered, considering the broad range of bodies and yoga practice level amount the hundreds of practitioners. The main experience was for me to be able to isolate my self,from the crowds in one of the densest urban places in the world, sitting in a lotus pose with closed eyes. And of course being able to view from a laying down pose the towering buildings wrapped by ten-floor tall lit billboards was a quite unique, almost surreal experience.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Vernissages | NYC, June 17: Déjà Vu from New York Club Scene

A very lively evening in the Lower East Side, with crowds concentrating at WhiteBox for the opening of "The Last Party: the Influence of New York Club Culture: Mid 70s - Early 80s". The show, defined as a multi-disciplinary, was curated by Anthony Haden-Guest, and included mainly photographs and installation as welll as DJ . Below a few snapshots from the evening.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Lecture on a Lecture | Barbara Cantalupo on Edgar Allan Poe's EUREKA

To the few who love me and whom I love -- to those who feel rather than to those who think -- to the dreamers and those who put faith in dreams as in the only realities -- I offer this Book of Truths, not in its character of Truth-Teller, but for the Beauty that abounds in its Truth; constituting it true. To these I present the composition as an Art-Product alone:- let us say as a Romance; or, if I be not urging too lofty a claim, as a Poem.What I here propound is true:- * therefore it cannot die:- or if by any means it be now trodden down so that it die, it will "rise again to the Life Everlasting."Nevertheless it is as a Poem only that I wish this work to be judged after I am dead.
E. A. P.



preface to EurekaEdgar Allan Poe, 1848
The fascinating and inspiring lecture delivered by Dr. Barbara Cantalupo at Pace Gallery explored a different side of Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849), mainly known for his macabre tales or "The Raven". 
Cantalupo introduced EUREKA with quotes from a letter of Poe to his aunt Maria Clemm, where he communicated how this text was his most important work. "I have no desire to live since I have done Eureka. I could accomplish nothing more."

The work EUREKA began with the lecture "On The Cosmography of the Universe", presented by Poe presented on February 3, 1848,at the Society Library in New York, and was followed by a publication in March of the same year. The work, exploring the nature of the universe, was defined by Poe as a prose poem and dedicated to the German naturalist Alexander von Humboldt (1769–1859). The year 1848 marked the anniversary of the death of Poe’s wife Virginia, and also precedes of one year his own death. Neuroscience, studying the biological nature of creativity, can perhaps explain the uncanny link between this work and the tragic events of Poe's life.

In EUREKA Poe present his cosmological interpretation as "I design to speak of the Physical, Metaphysical and Mathematical – of the Material and Spiritual Universe: of its Essence, its Origin, its Creation, its Present Condition and its Destiny". He states "that space and duration are one" and that "matter and spirit are made of the same essence. Poe suggests a "wholistic" and organic understanding of reality, where esoteric spiritual beliefs merge with scientific principles. In his view the universe is constantly expanding and collapsing. I was completely fascinated of how Poe anticipated —although without a scientific methodology— concepts found one hundred year later in the 1948 Big Bang Theory and the subsequent Big Crunch theory. He also "poetically" anticipated 1917 Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, where space, time, gravitational forces, light and matter are expression of a continuum.

Cantalupo emphasized the presence of the notion of sublime and sublimity, which reminded me of the Kant’s mathematical and dynamical sublime. A mystical sense of relationship with cosmos permeates the Poe’s text: the origin of the universe is expressed as involution, spiraling inward, like in shell. Matter exists as attraction and repulsion in descriptions echoing theories of the atom. She also introduced the relevance of the zoetrope, a viewing device capable of multiple of views similarly to the universe as space expanse.

EUREKA had a completely negatively response at the time of publication: yet it is almost a manifesto stating how the search of meaning merges with the quest of understanding of reality when questions asked by science are answered by art.
Broadway at 84 Street: a plaque commemorating the site of the Brennan Farm
where Poe was said to have composed "The Raven"

The lecture space was also unusual and compelling: the audience sat in front of the mirrored structure of Lucas Samaras installation Album 2, whichtakes place concurrently with the Eureka exhibition. Perhaps unintentionally, yet uncannily, the presence of mirrors stages the audience perceptions of an inside-out: our listening and viewing ourselves at the same time —an experience metaphorical of inside-outside unity of the cosmological-spiritual principles of EUREKA.

Dr. Barbara Cantalupo
Lucas Samaras mirrored installation from "Album 2" 
The lecture was presented on June 11, in conjunction with the exhibition Eureka . Dr. Barbara Cantalupo is the Editor of The Edgar Allan Poe Review and Professor of English, at the Pennsylvania State University.
Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
“ ’Tis some visiter,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door —
Only this, and nothing more.”
Edgar Allen Poe, The Raven, 1845