Between the proliferation of galleries in Bushwick and, to a lesser extent, Greenpoint, the small cadre of Dumbo galleries sticking it out, longtime heavyweights including the Brooklyn Museum and BRIC mounting ambitious shows, and Creative Time parachuting Kara Walker’s sugar sphinx into the Domino Sugar Factory, it’s been an exceptionally strong year for art in Brooklyn.
It’s great to look at something that makes the experience of looking seem more important than the need to explain what you saw. Vilaykorn Sayaphet’s exhibition Latmanikham & Thongsy at English Kills Gallery offers just such an opportunity.
Maximum Perception was one thing first and foremost: a lot of fun. As a coming together of performance artists, the crowd at the English Kills event packed the gallery on both evenings, with a noticeable overlap between nights, as well as between performers and spectators. Artists helped fellow participants set up, carry out and document their performances, spectators got in on the action once in a while and Hyperallergic editor Hrag Vartanian, myself and Daniel Larkin attempted to document the whole thing live, an experiment in itself. The vantage from our little blogging table wasn’t ideal, but thankfully I was in a pretty good place to see most performances. Here are my thoughts, five days later, on this year’s Maximum Perception.
Jim Herbert’s paintings of naked lovers are not for the feint of heart. At first glance, viewers might want to look away as though catching a glimpse of a couple kissing. And some people will totally avert their eyes from these intense canvases. At the opening for the recent show at the English Kills Gallery in Bushwick, Brooklyn, a young couple strolled in, saw one work, and then bolted out the door.
They left because these works are not simply nudes. With today’s porn-soaked internet and sexually liberated gaze, nudity’s shock value is dismally low. Something else plays out in Herbert’s huge canvases. By depicting the tenderness between lovers, these images portray intimacy — the same emotional concept that pays therapists’ mortgages.
What made the 2010 Bushwick Open Studios so phenomenal was the chance to stomp through hundreds of studios and draw connections. I was surprised by how various artists who have probably never met each other are all re-envisioning the Old Masters with a playful and lighthearted streak.
Some thoughts about last night’s liveblogging experiment at English Kills art gallery and high quality photos from each of the performances.
I’m liveblogging Maximum Perception Performance Performance Festival tonight and you’re along for the ride.
So far, we’ve traveled from a Catholic school to African tunes to an auction to free bouncy rides to a man in his underwear getting text messages from the audience … and more ….
Move over Performa, there’s a new kid in town and it’s called Maximum Perception.
This upcoming weekend, Peter Dobill and Phoenix Light have curated over 20 performances by national and international artists which will take place over the course of two nights.