March 30, 2012

Spring/Break Art Show (NYC Armory Week)

Spring/Break Art Show was a new, curator-driven "this can be a fair," located in Old School, NoLIta and featuring projects by 23 curators; and it may have been my favorite of the shows I saw during Armory week. Among the curators were the fair's founders Andrew Gori and Ambre Kelly, Natalie Kovacs, Patrick Meagher, Eve Sussman, and Chen Tamir. The theme was "Apocalist: A Brief History of The End." The show also has a Facebook page with some photos here; Artinfo has an article with some good photos; Vernissage TV has a 6.5-min. video tour here; and my photos, such as they are, are here.

As usual, I'd have liked to have had more time here – everything I saw seemed to warrant it – but the evening ran out before I made it through the whole thing. Out of the works I saw, some faves were:

1. An installation featuring work by Eve Sussman – the labelling was a bit confusing to me, so I'll quote it: "Eve Sussman, Waiting for an Icon, 2012. Crazy Daisy, 2012, 3 channel site-specific video round with Patricia Thornley, Jeesu Kim, Leslie Thornton, Bat Or Kalo. Eve Sussman's site-specific work at Old School is inspired by a stained glass artwork she has brought back to life, animating it with the projections of several singers attempting the title song from the film Pull My Daisy. The musical rendition of the Neal Cassidy [sic], Allen Ginsberg, and Jack Kerouac poem was featured in Robert Frank and Alfred Leslie's 1959 film." You can view the 26-min., classic Pull My Daisy at Ubuweb; the title song lyrics actually modify those of the poem; both are weird and suggestive; and the melody is wonderfully discombobulating and, I'd say, hard to sing. Sussman's projection onto stained glass was flanked on each side by projections of video'd windows through which you sometimes spied a young woman, apparently washing dishes or the like – the "glass" was frosted, except for a circle framing the young woman's head (see here for the layout).

2. Sp33dGuided Art Tour by Dora Budor + Maja Cule was a charming, thoughtfully goofy, iPhone-narrated tour with guide and guidee cuddled awkwardly on one Segway, purportedly touring the art in the show but in fact limited to the courtyard and an attempted trip around the block, although in my case we turned back after a close call involving a tree root and a fence. The artists explained they'd always wanted to try a Segway; me, too! The tour launched from a room featuring twin projections of Earth, positioned like views through a pair of binocs, except the planet spun differently in the two views; but I think this was a separate work.

3. In Sea of Fire by Fall on Your Sword (2012), an antique piano had been hooked up to video equipment in such a way that, in its default mode, the video showed one of those fake statue guys dressed up like the Statue of Liberty; but when you pressed one of the organ keys, this was interrupted by a clip from a disaster movie, with each key seemingly triggering the destruction of the Statue by a different, apocalyptic means – bombing, a tidal wave, alien invasion, etc. It was, simply, awesome. Trailer here; but it's nothing like being able to trigger a Liberty-annihilating tsunami with a key stroke.
I also saw a piece in which purported art objects were incorporated into an improvisational, audience-participatory art performance, which was a lots of fun; apologies that I can't say who deserves credit, except I think it may have been hosted by ArtLog? (I've requested more info and will update this if I get it.)

(Posts on other 2012 Armory week art shows here; three more to come.)

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