Articles

Standard Video Art at The Standard Hotel

by Alexander Cavaluzzo on June 21, 2011

StandART opening at The Standard Hotel (all photos by author)

If you happen to stay at one of Andre Balazs’s Standard Hotels, you may notice that the televisions aren’t exactly playing standard programming. This year’s StandART Video Series, launching at the Top of The Standard Hotel, New York yesterday evening, features video art that will play across the country in the rooms of Balazs’s lush chain. The in-room video art exhibition, curated by Creative Time, includes work by Andrew Cross, Allison Schulnik, Naomi Fisher, Terence Koh, Estefanía Peñafiel Loaiza, Kalup Linzy and Slater Bradley.

The video series features previously created work donated by the artists, set up last night on three large plasma screens strung with headphones for guests’ use. Schulnik’s “Forest,” a pseudo-psychedelic claymation short film-cum-music video for Brooklyn indie band Grizzly Bear (think Nathalie Djurberg’s work, or just Gumby) attracted a lot of attention from Standard patrons. Fisher’s “Myakka” was a tense presentation of ritualistic imagery, is some sense hearkening back to the disturbing low-budget horror films of the ‘70s. Check out a trailer for the showcase embedded below.

Spotted in the steamy cluster-fuck of people was Interview’s Editor-at-Large and soon-to-be-published author Chris Bollen, representing the high fashion and culture magazine that supported the event. Amidst the flutes of sparkling champagne and trays of beefy sliders were issues of the June/July issue, featuring the sizzling Swede Alexander Skarsgård on the cover.

Kalup Linzy performing at The Standard

The video series and complimentary periodicals were not the only source of attraction, however. James Franco muse, General Hospital star and featured artist Kalup Linzy performed three songs, including the bubbly, hip-pop “Chewing Gum.” Clad in a short, avocado terrycloth robe and occasionally wiping the sweat from his brow, Linzy brought his own video art to life in front of an adoring crowd.

In the end it was Terence Koh’s “Rabbit Holy Days” that won the night. Created specifically for StandART, the five-minute film will probably provide hotel-goers the most enjoyment during this initiative. Shot throughout the mod, labyrinthine corridors of The Standard, New York, the short revolves around a “live bunny narrative” rendered in black and white. For all the saccharine adorableness a film starring Koh’s iconic white rabbits is expected to contain (and it had its fair share), the film is ultimately rather haunting, disorienting and even a little creepy. When asked about his piece, Koh, bashful as a bunny, noticed that it was playing behind him and whispered, “It’s great.”

Video art always goes down well with champagne, of course. But the display would have been even better had The Standard and Creative Time had gone beyond the set of usual suspects, a rotating cast of artists that seem to come up every time a luxury outfit needs some capital-A Art to fill out its spaces.

The StandART video series is currently installed at New York City’s The Standard Hotel, located at 848 Washington Street.

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