My memory finally caught up with the ephemera of a familiar artist when I went to go see Katya Grokhovsky’s show Bodybeautiful at Galerie Protégé.
A common harrumph can be heard across the room in any performance art gallery when that dreaded word, c-h-o-r-e-o-g-r-a-p-h-y, is said about someone’s work.
Ventiko just had her first Chelsea solo show at the Coohaus gallery, VENTIKO: The Other World, which ran until May 21st and exhibited eight of the young photographer’s works. Beginning last Saturday, she is being featured in a group show called Toxicity, curated by Aimee Hertog at the Williamsburg Art & Historical Center. Inspired by Renaissance scenes and motifs, in her work we see an emerging and talented photographer who has a clear vision but is still finding her way towards the means for clearly expressing it.
Despite the setting — a small stage filled with nine dancers — there was a feeling of separateness and sadness. The Vangeline Theater, a Butoh dance group, celebrated its 10th anniversary on February 1 and 2 at the Triskelion Arts Aldous Theater; both nights were sold out, with more people waiting in line for standby tickets. On the second night, Saturday, the 74-person-capacity theater had viewers sitting in the aisles, brushing against those in the rows of seats, with still more people with their backs against the walls of the black box.
With smoke and fire, blowtorches and red-hot cattle brands, Non Grata has emerged from Estonia as one of the most audacious and evolving performance art groups to regularly come to and perform in the United States. From last month through the end of this one, the group has been guest curating a series of events at Grace Exhibition Space, showing off many talented American performance artists while also giving spectators a view of some of the raw and audacious performance work that Eastern Europe has to offer.
Expectation and experience seldom end up at the same destination, especially when you walk down a subway platform and see a sign that reads “To Breuckelen” and realize — no, no, the MTA hasn’t sold the L line back to the Dutch to save money; rather, you are seeing a sign hung by artist Daniel Bejar (not that one) as part of his Get Lost! installation.
Every day New Yorkers wander the gridded streets of the city, traveling to and around subway stations in the morning and under neon signs at night. The study of how a geographic environment like this affects us emotionally and behaviorally is called psychogeography.
Esther Neff has hooks in her conversation that make you want to pull your seat a little bit closer. Her speech is that of a native Hoosier (although without the extra s’s), and it has a nasal tonality, remnants of a speech impediment that has been diminished through voice training. “I needed to learn to speak from the back of my mouth,” Neff said. She talks in a quick-witted, assertive manner that rubs off on the people around her. “I owe everything to her,” said Brian McCorkle, co-director of Panoply Performance Laboratory and Esther’s boyfriend, referring to his own speech.
It’s hard to walk around Soho by day without bumping into tourists carrying bags from Topshop or Uniqlo or some other obnoxious boutique store, so it’s nice to be able to head down Broadway during the evening and visit Spattered Columns Exhibition Space, an art gallery that shows off the neighborhood’s artistic roots.
By midnight, we all had salt in our shoes: men and women were rolling down the 10-foot-high salt pyramids, artists were walking back to the ferry after a day’s worth of preparation and performance and John Bonafede had finished his piece “Color Cycle 2,” after biking in place for six straight hours.