Thwack! and Tonic
Michael Kimmelman, head art critic for The New York Times, isn't all that impressed with contemporary art in general it seems. So little, in fact, that he takes this gratuitous swipe at nearly everyone who isn't Richard Serra today:
The Richard Serra retrospective, opening Sunday, arrives at the Museum of Modern Art virtually a foregone matter, in the way that Picasso and Matisse shows arrived in the old days. It’s a landmark, by a titan of sculpture, one of the last great modernists in an age of minor talents, mad money and so much meaningless art. [emphasis mine]You gonna take that? Or are you going to prove him wrong?
Part of the SolutionFor ages now, it seems, I've been beating the drum for artist-led solutions to what ails the contemporary art scene. It's pointless, in my opinion, to expect galleries or curators or whomever to lead the way into the 21st century. Despite the heady market, it's STILL about the Art, and like Frieze or Pierogi or other revolutionary ideas that led to seismic shifts in the landscape, the next meaningful revolution, I believe, will have to come from artists, which is why I was thrilled to learn from artist Austin Thomas that she's opening an "away-from center, off-center, exhibition, salon and social space" called Pocket Utopia in an abandoned hair salon in Brooklyn. And tonight, there's a "soft opening" of the space with a site-specific installation by one of the smartest artists I've ever met, Jonathan VanDyke:
Jonathan VanDyke’s provocative site-specific installation with performance on June 1, 2007, pays homage to an abandoned hair salon and the future salon and exhibition site of Pocket Utopia. His pre-demolition intervention in the space, titled “The Salon of the Covered Bride,” is inspired in part by an image of “the runaway bride,” Jennifer Wilbanks (who staged her own kidnapping in 2005 to prevent her wedding).The "soft opening" with a performance is tonight, by the way, so here's what you need to know to be able to say you were there when it all began:
Jennifer Wilbanks, the runaway bride, and the police officer become a strange couple. The cop is escorting “the bride” as if she is being walked down the aisle. The blanket, resembling the Flag or a Kenneth Noland painting, or even a burka becomes a veil that signifies shame. Jonathan VanDyke turns the blanket into an object of investigation. In an old hair salon, he sets the stage; where beauty, everyday routine, and societal ritual get the “Jennifer Wilbanks” treatment.
ArtCal has more details and a map.
1037 Flushing Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11237
via subway: coming from Manhattan take the L train to the 5th Stop, Morgan avenue, exit the front of the train, and leave the station to your right, continue walking down Morgan, passing Varet and Rock Streets. At Flushing Ave., take a left and find storefront #1037 right next to Wong Foo Chinese Food establishment.
via car from Manhattan: take the Williamsburg Bridge (inside lane) to the Humboldt Street exit. Turn right at Humboldt Street, go 7 blocks and turn left on Metropolitan Avenue. Go severalblocks and turn right on Morgan Avenue. Follow Morgan to the where it become a V, staying left, and turn left at the light – Johnson Avenue. Make the first right, onto Porter Avenue. Go 5 blocks and turn right on Flushing Avenue.