"The Best Art In The World"
Warm Up 2007 agnes b. presents
P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center
July 14, 2007
Produced by P.S.1's Director of Operations, Tony Guererro, a summer-long dance party
attracted interesting crowds to Long Island City, Queens. L.A. Architects, Ball-Nogues won the Young Architects’ Program 2007 to design a temporary, open-air installation. Benjamin Ball and Gaston Nogues’ winning design, called “Liquid Sky” featured a flexible roof made from tinted mylar, which projects psychedelic, floral patterns down into the courtyard below.
On the 14th, agnes b. presents presented innovative audio technology, new instruments, new media and experimental sounds by Poni Hoax, The Penelopes, Frustration and Morpheus among others. Around Bastille Day and amidst it all, cute little French kids played at the beach portion of “Liquid Sky” with their little shovels and pails near a big hot dog stand with beer and other refreshments.
P.S.1 was a Spartan environment which those of us who went to New York City Public Schools are familiar with. Yet the art going public seemed able to experience the art more fully there. Evelyn Maldonado, a Queens Public School teacher, Grades 1-6 thought the different, eclectic art installations in an old public school were wonderful. She stood juxtaposed against a large, biomorphic painting by Joanna Pousette-Dart and her body art, a colorful stylized butterfly at the nape of her neck just took off amongst the vibrant curls of her wavy hair.
Jim Shaw’s installation, The Donner Party (2003) is organized by P.S.1 Director, Alanna Heiss in collaboration with Alison Gingeras, special curatorial advisor. The exhibition would not be possible without the contribution of P.S.1 Senior Curatorial Advisor, Neville Wakefield. The Donner Party is inspired by the ill-fated pioneers who were caught in a wagon-train during the winter of 1846-47 in the Sierra Nevada mountains en-route to California.
The installation which has a small wagon train rendered in pine with canvas roofs and wood Indian arrows piercing it is surrounded by a panoramic painting of a sunset and on the tops of the wagons are tables with little sculptures made of religious icons and found objects reminiscent of Maya II, the 20' x 14', 31 tiered pyramid installation of 11,000 action figures by Jarvis Rockwell, son of famed illustrator, Norman Rockwell which was shown on the top floor of MASS MOCA, housed in a vast old factory complex. In the center of the installation is a campfire in which the centerpiece is an old vacuum cleaner.
Daryn Wakasa, a Social Artist who attended the event is involved in motion graphics and communication. He is a fourth generation Japanese-American who has strong ideas and is into the roots of hip hop. If he had been there, during the Donner Party, maybe things would have been different, possibly more deconstructivist, and less cautious to begin with. Marlon Barrios, a Venzuelan who now lives in Harlem also came to P.S.1, but for him it was because of the avant garde music of John Cage. He is a digital and performance art, video artist whose theme is about chaos and order.
British artist Linder, known for her collaged work juxtaposes magazine images into photo montages of a very high quality. Travis Bass, a clothing designer, whose shop, Blue & Green is on Greene Street north of Canal liked Linder’s collages. He said they had an obscure, underground sensibility and that she had cool ideas.
The holistic nature of P.S.1 with its many staircases and rooms reflect a learning environment that we, who have gone to Public Schools, are none too familiar with. Yet, turning an old, institutional environment like that into an avant garde museum, playing new wave rock music and having a kids’ beach in it really makes people feel renewed and happy.
Claudia Schwalb graduated from Pratt Institute in 1974. She was an emerging artist during the Minimalist movement in the 1970's. She was raised in New York City during the Abstract Expressionist era. Claudia was the youngest artist ever to have a solo exhibition at The Clocktower/P.S.1 in 1977. Claudia went on to write for Barbara Rose's Journal of Art and was one of the Contributing Editors of Cover/Arts New York along with John Yau and Judd Tully (Editor-at-Large for Arts & Auction). She was Curator of the Knitting Factory and a television news transcriber for Peter Jennings' World News Tonight. Subsequently, Claudia transcribed two movies, "Refuge" and "Interview with the Dalai Lama" which played at the Quad last year. email@example.com