Though its music, and use of Mapplethorpe’s photographs and texts by Essex Hemphill and Patti Smith were impressive in their own rights, the performance Triptych (Eyes of One on Another) ultimately appeared cheap, forced, and self-congratulatory.
The artist’s Death Is Elsewhere conveys an understanding that humans — relatively recent additions to a 4.5-billion-year-old planet — will come and go. The planet will remain.
Space-themed music experiences were having something of a moment last week. While Oktophonie at the Park Avenue Armory brought the stark coldness of the world beyond our earth in minimal electronica, over at the Brooklyn Academy of Music there was Planetarium, a collaboration between Sufjan Stevens, Nico Muhly, and Bryce Dessner.