… Half the night was already over and we had the daunting task of seeing the other spaces in the midst of all the buzz of Beat Nite with only a few hours left. Art hopping in Bushwick isn’t always easy. With no real density of art spots, you end up darting around the neighborhood by foot or train. Sure there are surprises along the way but all I could wonder as we wandering through seemingly abandoned blocks was “is this what Soho felt like decades ago when it was mostly abandoned buildings and industrial spaces?” On a map Bushwick always looks more compact than it feels like on the ground.
While most people’s Beat Nite started last Friday night, mine began the night before at Norte Maar, where artist Austin Thomas had bitch slapped surprised me with the bombshell that she took the liberty of designing the Hippie Potluck tshirts without me (“I understand, Austin, really, let me just find that voodoo doll I made of you…”) and Norte Maar and Storefront co-founder Jason Andrew decided that he wanted to try and drink me under the table. Thankfully for me, the second helped blunt the pain of the first. Needless to say, things ended up blurry that night. Ok, I think I blacked out, but those are details.
The Bushwick art community celebrated Beat Nite last Friday, and the all-night event was a great way to showcase all the good things going on in this burgeoning region of Brooklyn. Ten art spaces, ranging from more formal gallery spaces to converted living rooms, all stayed open late to welcome the roving bands of art fans interested in seeing a variety of visuals with a healthy mix of music, food and surprisingly mild weather.
Meg Hitchcock spent 135 hours gluing letters on the wall, floor and ceiling of the Famous Accountants gallery in Bushwick. She adhered them one-by one and side-by-side. They form a cord that twists around and eventually intertwines, it weaves itself into a thick rope of words, which spells out the entire Book of Revelation, the last book of the Christian New Testament, with letters cut out from an English translation of the Koran, the Islamic holy book. However, one also encounters a few insertions like a Hindu chant to Shiva, excerpts from the Koran, and other verbal flares. This rich and evocative pastiche draws attention to what all religions have in common — using words as portals into a mystical and uplifting subjective experience.
Jason Andrew + Norte Maar bring back the late night with the fifth installment of BEAT NITE: Bushwick Art Spaces Stay Open Late, Friday, February 18, 6-10PM. This bi-annual night is half art stroll, half bar crawl, where selected art spaces from the legit galleries to the DIY apartment spaces stay open late for each other and the public welcoming the public to see real art in real time, one night only. Each of the ten spaces will host new art and offer true neighborhood hospitality in the form of drinks and music in what has become the signature party of all parties with art above all else. This episode of BEAT NITE is sponsored by HYPERALLERGIC.