Last month, ART21 hosted an intricately interdisciplinary affair: Creative Chemistries: Radical Practices for Art + Education, a conference designed to probe the intersections of art and education.
In Claude Debussy’s 1910 prelude “La cathédrale engloutie” (“The Sunken Cathedral”), shuddering waves of chords grow and then drown out in tribute to a mythical cathedral rising out of the sea and then disappearing again. In Douglas Gordon’s new “tears become… streams become…” installation at the Park Avenue Armory, the rippling notes are provided each night by pianist Hélène Grimaud, who plays a Steinway encircled by a reflecting pool of 122,000 gallons of water.
Thunder and rain hurtle over the violent, staged sorrow of this new spectacle of Macbeth, installed heath and all in the gaping drill hall of the Park Avenue Armory.
Marina Abramović, as you may have heard, is dead. She has died at the age of 67 and is being celebrated at the Park Avenue Armory with a production by pioneering theater director Robert Wilson, called The Life and Death of Marina Abramović. She is also starring in the show, quite alive, alongside Willem Dafoe, Antony (of Antony and the Johnsons), and a cast of roughly a dozen other performers.
Staging a rock-driven video spectacle criticizing wealth and politics might seem like a confrontational thing to do on Park Avenue in Manhattan, where money clusters like stars orbiting a black hole.
The 1997 six-game match between Garry Kasparov — arguably the top chess player of all time — and IBM’s Deep Blue computer was an epochal moment, our blockbuster modernization of John Henry against the train. But it’s not obvious fodder for theater.
One person’s final frontier is another’s impersonal void, or at least those are the two experiences of space you’re likely to have at Oktophonie at the Park Avenue Armory. On the first of its performance run that started this week, the crowd, some grudgingly, took off their shoes and put on white “cloaks” (really more like ponchos) and filed into the circles of chairs on the floor of a raised white stage. What followed was over an hour of what is described as a “ritualized lunar experience,” scored by cold modernist music and shifts of light.
The ADAA Art Show marked its 25th anniversary this year, and the 2013 edition at the Park Avenue Armory was definitely a very mature, stately fair, with only the slightest of dark undertones to its otherwise unsurprising, but elegantly sleek, presentation.
With a fantasy of suburbs and excess from Paul McCarthy, the Robert Wilson-staged The Life and Death of Marina Abramović, and Matt Charman’s play about the chess-master IBM computer Deep Blue, the 2013 Park Avenue Armory season is going to be a theatrical one, to say the least. But the most sensory overload may come from the (tentatively titled) Massive Attack v Adam Curtis.
Did you share a quick Instagram at Ann Hamilton’s “Event of a Thread” (2012)? You were not alone. At the end of the exhibition, visitors had shared 4,640 photos.
I’d like to start with a disclaimer: Top 5, 10, whatever lists make me nervous. They feel so definitive, so set in stone, and that makes me uncomfortable. What happens when my opinions evolve (as they inevitably will), or when I change my mind tomorrow, or if I accidentally forget something?
For those craving a bit of the ephemeral this holiday season, artist Ann Hamilton has hung 42 swings from the wrought-iron trusses at the Park Avenue Armory as part of a new installation the artist titles “the event of a thread.”