In his Village Voice season preview for fall 2000, Jim Hoberman predicted that the upcoming premiere of the New York Film Festival would be its “most controversial opening night ever — Lars von Trier’s love-it-or-loathe-it Björk-scored musical tragedy Dancer in the Dark.”
There is the American flag, and there is the painting “Flag” (1954–55) by Jasper Johns, which is in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art, New York. Flying over federal courthouses, churches, schools, post offices, lawns, construction sites and, in the months after 9/11, nearly ever taxi in New York, the American flag signifies nationalism and a set of ideals over which there has been increasingly rancorous debate. Each generation must wrestle with three basic questions: who is American, what does it mean to be an American and what is an American entitled to?
Art and life intersect constantly in an infinitely flexible matrix. Those intersections will be the focus of Single Point Perspective, a new series from Hyperallergic Weekend.
When it comes to movies, I am a devoted and unapologetic monster-buff. Rare is the film that I feel can’t be improved by the abrupt introduction of a mutant dog or sneering zombie.
Even though you can no longer drop into Weiser’s Bookshop to browse through the shelves, looking for a book on Aleister Crowley, John Dee or Dion Fortune, in New York you can still learn almost anything you want to know.
There’s been much talk in the art world during the past decade about the rise of the curator as artist, a figure who in her or his most overweening moments seeks to render artist and artwork secondary to the vision — or, at worst, predetermined program — for a particular exhibition. MFAs in curatorial studies are proliferating, and celebrity curators have become as powerful, influential, and famous as artists always have been, as collectors have become, and as critics once were. However fashionable of late, the curator as artist existed decades earlier in the figure of Harald Szeemann, partly as a result of his radical approach to Documenta 5 in 1972, where he initiated a multi- and inter-disciplinary format that continues to this day.
After last week’s post on Phyllida Barlow’s solo turn on the fourth floor of the New Museum, it seemed apropos to mention the exhibition one flight down, which is devoted to one of her better-known students from London’s Slade School, Tacita Dean: Five Americans.
There’s nothing like an ambitious anthology for redistricting your inner map of poetic possibility. They don’t come along every day, but we’ve had more than our usual share over the last few years. Such books operate on different scales, of course: There’s the kind of anthology that crystallizes a hitherto undescribed tendency in the present, or the kind that takes a somewhat longer view, pointing out a continuing or recurrent thread of practice that suddenly seems to amount to a kind of tradition. And then there’s the kind of book that can turn your historical perspective upside-down
Gabriel Solomon Brodie grew up in a tenement on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. That he became an artist who achieved what he did in a relatively short period — his career spans around twenty-five years — is a testament to his ferocious persistence. Wanting desperately to get himself out of his impoverished circumstances, he became a painter. He did so out of the purest motivation: he fell in love with painting.
This month, reviews of Plug, Silversun Pickups, Issa Juma & Super Wankiya Stars, Allo Darlin’, Yuna, Amadou & Mariam, Odd Future and Beach House.
Phyllida Barlow’s installation at the New Museum, siege, doesn’t waste any time telling you who’s boss. Post-industrial, post-modern — post-everything but post-sculptural — it all but pushes you back inside the elevator.
According to a recent book, Manthropology: The Science of Why the Modern Male is Not the Man He Used to Be, by Peter McAllister, modern men are basically fucked. McAllister, an archeologist and science writer, has analyzed the iron men of yore — the Neanderthals and Wodabees, the Tahitian seducers and Mongol bowmen — and concluded that in every meaningful department the Homo modernus is a deplorable wreck.