Friday, November 30, 2012

Seeing Friends, Seeing Art

I'm back in PA after an excursion to Boston!  Saw a bunch of people and places and things, including the awesome exhibition "This Will Have Been: Art, Love & Politics in the 1980s" at the ICA through March 3, 2013.  Many of my favorite things were there.  There was wall text about Judith Butler!  I got to take Adrian Piper's calling cards home with me!  Inspiring things I'd never seen before included Mary Kelly's Interim Part I, Corpus, Appeal and Lorraine O'Grady's Art Is....  Familiar-looking text from Jenny Holzer and Barbara Kruger text/image combinations also screamed at me from unexpected points on the walls (Kruger's were near the ceiling, and Holzer's inhabited the sides of a free-standing wall).  I wanted to buy the book, but it was $50, and I needed that money for food and bus fare...onto the Amazon Wishlist it goes!

I stopped over at the New Museum on my journey home to see "Come Closer: Art Around the Bowery, 1969-1989," which closes on December 30.  It's a small exhibition of materials from the museum's Bowery Artist Tribute archive and Marc H. Miller's, not quite as packed full of favorites as I'd been expecting, but still worth the visit.  The show's archive-inspired nature was evidenced by the resource room, which had various relevant books and magazines, as well as computers to access online archives themselves.  The upper back wall of that room displayed the Bowery timeline and a few Christy Rupp rats scurried around the baseboard.  In the gallery, Adrian Piper was representing again (an example from her Hypothesis Series, which I cannot find represented on the Internet...), as was my buddy Keith Harring (his studio door was in the middle of the room, and there was evidence of a project for which he left snippets of paintings all around the city).  Inspiring things I'd never seen before included Paul Tschinkel's video piece Hannah's Haircut (also nowhere to be found on the Internet...), in which a topless Hannah Wilke gives Claes Oldenberg a haircut.  Completely bizarre and captivating--he looks so fucking uncomfortable the whole time and she kisses his ear at one point.  Hannah Wilke is forever a favorite of mine--I remember seeing Through the Large Glass at MoMA some years ago and experiencing the same inability to look away (I feel my weird feelings about a normatively attractive woman objectifying her own body for an audience that might not intellectually jump the hurtle of ogling her tits, and then I get over them because she is so in control and knows exactly what the fuck she's doing and I love her for it).  Also, video footage of Charles Simonds' Dwellings, for which he carved out spaces for imaginary tiny people in the walls of crumbling buildings.  

I have to get my ass back to New York to continue my 80s-obsessed jaunt with "Times Square Show Revisited" at the Hunter College Art Galllery (til December 8) and I also need to see "Materializing "Six Years": Lucy R. Lippard and the Emergence of Conceptual Art" at the Brooklyn Museum through February 17 (plus, you know, buy that book...)


  1. I saw This Will Have Been while it was a the Walker Art Center! Very powerful collection; I was especially intrigued by the map of crack cocaine vials.

    1. I loved that piece too! I was doing this project for a while where I would walk around my neighborhood collecting broken glass (I'd take it back to my studio, wash off the dirt and grime, and then arrange the shards by color). So, seeing that piece felt like validation of that activity.