August 2005 Archives

Headed to Berlin

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This isn't precisely why we're headed to Berlin, but it is indicative of a free-wheeling artistic culture that we find attractive.

While it's not unusual for critics to suggest the imbibing of illicit substances to make atrocious artistic performances and events more bearable, it is less usual for the producers of a theatrical piece to promote drug use in a bid to enhance the audience's enjoyment of their show.

But this is exactly what the artistic director of the Neuköllner Opera House in Berlin is doing. Bernhard Glocksin is encouraging members of the audience to smoke joints while taking in performances of "La Princesse Jaune (The Oriental Princess)", the one-act druggy opera by Camille Saint-Saens.

-- Taking High Culture Literally, Deutsche Welle

Yes, I am aware that the literal title is "The Yellow Princess." The production's subtitle appears to be "Or, in the cat skin of the Manga Queen."

[image from the Neuköllner Oper]

Free the Art

Jason Fox's Jeff by Michael Cambre

Check out mentions of James's "Free the Art" project at Tom Moody's blog and in artnet news.

Remember that this was actually Michael Cambre's idea, which he suggested as a comment to this blog post. Michael contributed five(!) color drawings.

Another PS1 sketch, slow art week

Come on people! We only have two images in the gallery of PS1 Greater New York artist sketches so far, now that I just added Tom Moody's entry.

Let's get some more up there! You can email images or links to James or me.

It's a rather slow art week, but we're going to an opening tonight in the East Village of a 2-person show that includes our friend Derick Melander. He curated an awesome group show in DUMBO last summer, which is how we met him.

derick melander wedge

Derick Melander, Wedge

His description:

One of my new works is called Wedge. It is made from ordinary folded clothing that cascades from the wall to the floor. The clothing is arranged so that the actual brands embroidered on the clothing tags are displayed one below the next. As you read the tags, they spell out the following "Brand Poem":

No Boundaries | 2 | Ecko | 2 | Discus | s

So... | U | And I | Underscore | A Line | Barely There

U | Breakaway | Access

And I | Report | Zero Exposure

Technical difficulties

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My apologies to anyone who had trouble reaching bloggy in the last day or two. I messed up the home page while doing a bit of re-engineering so that really old links to my site (from when I used different software) end up at the proper monthly archive.

Couldn't happen to a nicer guy

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A priest who says gays are ruining society and the church shows up in a divorce case. He has a house in Amagansett? So much for that humble servant of God concept. That's for losers. Msgr. Clark hung out with the rich Catholics. See the quote from Newsday below.

From a NY Times article, titled Accusation of an Affair Leads Priest to Resign:

The rector of St. Patrick's Cathedral, Msgr. Eugene V. Clark, resigned yesterday amid accusations that he was having an affair with his longtime personal secretary, a married woman who is 33 years his junior.

"It appears to me," he said in a statement released by his lawyer, "that events and circumstances have been portrayed in such a false and sensational manner that I will no longer be able to effectively serve the archdiocese."

Monsignor Clark's employer, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York, said in a statement that he had resigned "for the good of St. Patrick's and the archdiocese."

On Monday, Philip DeFilippo, who is married to Monsignor Clark's secretary, Laura DeFilippo, filed court papers alleging the relationship as part of his divorce case against his wife, who has worked for Monsignor Clark for more than 25 years. Since then, newspapers and newscasts have carried videotape images provided by Mr. DeFilippo that show Monsignor Clark, 79, and Ms. DeFilippo, 46, entering a motel in the Hamptons last month and walking out five hours later in different clothing.


In the pulpit, Monsignor Clark has sometimes been outspoken. In 2002 in a Sunday homily at St. Patrick's, he attributed the epidemic of sexual abuse by priests in part to the immorality of American popular culture and to the willingness of seminaries to admit homosexuals into the ministry.


Mr. DeFilippo, 46, an insurance investigator who lives in Eastchester, in Westchester County, said his wife frequently spent weekends with Monsignor Clark at his beach house in Amagansett on the South Fork of Long Island, sometimes bringing the DeFilippos' two children along. She would sometimes accompany her boss on vacations out of the country, even skipping vacations with her family, Mr. DeFilippo said.

From Newsday:

The charges have been particularly devastating since Clark has used the pulpit at St. Patrick, as well as his frequent appearances on Eternal World Television Network, to rail against a "sex-saturated" American culture and to defend the idea of mandatory priestly celibacy. He is a top player in the archdiocese, with close connections to Legatus, a group of wealthy Catholic businessmen, as well as to the Knights of Malta, and has worked as the private secretary of Cardinal Francis Spellman, as well as a spokesman for Cardinal Terence Cooke.

James has invited artists to submit sketches of the works in Greater New York at PS1, since photography is not allowed, and there are few images available on the lousy flash web site.

I set up a gallery for the images, and just put up the first image, by M. River, of Frankie Martin and Cory Arcangel's video in the elevator.

Swoon at Deitch


Installation detail


Entrance to larger room of installation

The show is only up for a few more days, so head down to Soho ASAP if you haven't seen it. We weren't able to get into the main room at the opening, as it was too crowded. I'm very glad we went back. The Barry McGee show at the other space is diverting, but pales in comparison to Swoon's installation.

Mundo Cafe & Restaurant - Astoria

James will probably write about our visit to Queens today to see the rest of Greater New York, plus Sport at Socrates Sculpture Park. The show at Socrates was the most cohesive (and fun) show I've seen there. I particularly enjoyed the work by Type A and Alix Lambert.

I'm writing about the awesome meal we had later, at Mundo Cafe & Restaurant, run by an adorable male couple - one Argentine and one Turkish, with some tasty food from both countries, but primarily from Turkey. It's still BYO, so it's quite the bargain.

Some highlights of our dinner:
Bunny’s Fever
Carrot dip w/creamy homemade yogurt & garlic served w/warm pita

Red Sonja
Pureed red lentil balls w/bulgur, scallion, parsley & spices on a bed of romaine lettuce w/lemon

Fried Argentinean Empanadas filled w/ground beef, raisins, olives & eggs or w/feta cheese

Ottoman Dumplings
Homemade Turkish dumplings w/ground beef in garlic-yogurt sauce w/melted butter &mint

Pasha Mundo
Semolina & cheese (ewe’s milk) balls in syrup w/vanilla custard cream

Finally, given the historic animosity between the two countries, I really appreciated seeing a coffee on the dessert menu described as "Turkish/Greek Coffee."

North 5th Street, Williamsburg


More on Banksy in the West Bank


Window on the West Bank ... Some of the work by graffiti artist Banksy, painted during a visit to Ramallah. Photograph: PA [source]

The Guardian has an article and photos related to my earlier mention of Banksy in the West Bank. A choice quote for those unfamiliar with the wall:

Although the paintings themselves are not overtly political, his feelings about the wall are apparent from his statement: "The Israeli government is building a wall surrounding the occupied Palestinian territories. It stands three times the height of the Berlin Wall and will eventually run for over 700km - the distance from London to Zurich. The wall is illegal under international law and essentially turns Palestine into the world's largest open prison."

From other blogs

Two things I enjoyed today:

First, Tom Moody on Paul McCarthy at the Haus der Kunst in Munich. An excerpt:

Unlike US art institutions, which filter art for the delicate sensibilities of small children, Victorian grandmothers, and Newt Gingrich, European museums don't protect viewers from the sight of icky penises and soiled butt cheeks.


I watched most of this vid [Sailor's Meat/Sailor's Delight, 1974] at the Haus Der Kunst, sitting on a seat in the main gallery with all this kinky sexual imagery right out there in plain view. There were no furtive darkened rooms for creepy behavior as in the US, but headphones did protect the other museumgoers from McCarthy's disturbing grunts and Deliverance-like squeals. Damn, the early 70s were an interestingly depraved time, partly owing to the end of the sexual revolution that conservatives are always complaining about, partly because the median age of the US population was about 22 and cranky oldsters were not allowed to run the show, as they do now.

Second, Wooster Collective's images of Banksy in the West Bank, including the work he put directly on the West Bank "wall".

Cristobal Dam, "Paint Box"



from the series Paint Box, 2005
Oil and varnish on canvas


Installation shot

Last Sunday we saw these great paintings by Cristobal Dam (or Cris as he is generally known) at Dam, Sthultrager. Due to the layering of oil and varnish, they are quite shiny, which is hard to convey in photos. That, plus the way they are framed, makes them feel like lovely enameled objects.

Yes, the name of the gallery includes his name. He and Leah Stuhltrager run this exciting and eclectic Williamsburg gallery, but this is no vanity exhibition. Artist and fan-run galleries are getting rarer, even in Williamsburg. Go by and see these wonderful paintings for yourself.

[images provided by the gallery]

Dysfunctional budgies (parakeets)



Shaun Doyle & Mally Mallinson
Cape Disappointment

Here are two images from the dissolute budgies of a budgie "housing project" gone terribly wrong in this sculpture by Shaun Doyle & Mally Mallinson in the current show at Cynthia Broan, titled This Show is Ribbed For Her Pleasure. Luckily, ours is faring a bit better so far.

The exhibition is curated by Andrew Clarkin and Simon Pittuck, the Directors of Keith Talent Gallery in East London. Bonus points for anyone who gets the reference for the title of the gallery.

I also enjoyed the brightly colored ink jet prints by Oran O'Reilly and the sculptures by Adam Gillam, with the installation instructions written all over the works.

Homomuseum at Exit Art


ak burns
fountain of salmacis (a heart for Jack)


Rune Olsen
Hear me Roar

You still have a change to see Homomuseum at Exit Art, as the show has been extended until August 19. Each of the artists in the show chose a hero, and their statements are mounted next to their work. I suspect you won't be surprised to learn that Jack Smith is the hero of ak burns. Rune Olsen chose the Bonobo monkeys, famous for their polysexuality, as a reminder that those who use the word "unnatural" to describe homosexuals are denying the way nature really operates. His sculpture is of two female Bonobos having sex as a younger male looks on.

I didn't put up an image, but I also loved the black and white photos of the piers by Alvin Baltrop. The photographer died in 2004, but there is a foundation web site with images from the series.

If you're into Jack Smith, and who isn't these days, also check out the show Jonathan Berger curated at Grimm Rosenfeld, titled Founders Day.

Havemeyer Street, Williamsburg



The bicycle was above the doorway.

No theatre please, we're opera fans


While the subject of opera is getting some commments, I should mention this good essay in Sunday's Newsday, titled Cutting - edge? Cut it out. The entire thing is worth reading, but I'll quote some favorite parts.

(Naturalism, by the way, is a problematic notion in opera, which traffics in artifice and myth.)


For all that New York is a center of cutting-edge art, its opera lovers seem innocent of the fact that the intentional fallacy was debunked long ago. "Give us the opera as the composer intended," they whine. But nobody knows what long-dead creators had in mind. Even with the benefit of documentary evidence (explanatory notes and eyewitness accounts), no one has ever been bound by the chimera of authorial intention.

Times change. Do theatergoers clamor for boys to portray Juliet and Cleopatra, as Shakespeare expected? The original production books for several Verdi operas still exist. Verdi expert Julian Budden offers withering appraisals of their composer-approved stage business: "worthy of the Folies Bergere," or "remarkably crude."

By the way, the Peter Sellars operas mentioned in Newsday are now out on DVD: Marriage of Figaro (set in Trump Tower), Don Giovanni (set in Harlem with the hot Perry brothers playing the Don and Leporello), and Così fan tutte (set in a seaside diner). Supposedly these are available as a complete set, but not anywhere I can locate.

[images from the Decca web site]

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