First Year Exhibition

First Year Show

Today, in comparison to the last three, was quite humdrum.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Morning Walk Music: "Fame" by David Bowie
Morning Walk Music: “Fame” by David Bowie

I woke up in the morning and took my walk and then returned to washing clothes. I didn’t have any obligations until later in the afternoon, so I could do a few chores and odds-and-ends.

After washing I walked over to the Grey Art Gallery at NYU. There, they had a show about the artist-run galleries from the nineteen fifties through the nineteen seventies. I’ve always been particularly interested in this period, as I’m trying to understand how these people — such as the Abstract Expressionists and early Pop artists —  got the attention of the art establishment. It seems as if it has always been the same: though showing and networking, so there you go!

Inventing Downtown at NYU's Grey Art Gallery
Inventing Downtown at NYU’s Grey Art Gallery

I really want to buy the catalog for the book, but it will be one more book to fill up our shelves. Already, I’ve bought many CDs, which need to be organized, as they are beginning to pile up. Not great. At the same time, there are always so many interesting books and media to buy! It’s distressing, but perhaps a bit of discipline in my buying habits would help.

After the show at the Grey, I walked up to 8th Street and enjoyed a light Indian-food lunch. I rarely go to 8th Street, as it’s Easterly of where I usually tread, but it will certainly be an option, as I look for food, in that area. The place had the word, “Tiffin” in it, and it is in the location of what was a Johnny Rockets burger place, for a long time.

Empire State Building, NYC
Empire State Building, NYC

I then took the 6 train up to 34th Street, where I retrieved my “recovered” external hard drive. It appears that not much stuff survived except for the Quicktime files, and I wonder if it was worth spending the nearly $700 to “save” the disk. In a way, it was, but all of the recovered files are now simply numbered, and would have to be radically reorganized. It’s time for me to look to the “cloud” for sure. I suppose I’ll just start with Google Drive, but unfortunately, it’s getting imperative that I do this. I may have already lost some older materials… Like an idiot.

After the hard drive pick-up from the store — New York Computer Help — I traversed 34th street while talking to my parents. I reached B&H Photo as I was looking for a simple CD player, so that I wouldn’t have to use my iPod so much at home, and could listen to the (many) new CDs I’ve purchased. I did, happily, find a player and it seems to work. I’ll have to get a little AC/DC plug for it, so I don’t have to use batteries all of the time.

After B&H I came home and tried the CD player to my satisfaction. I then went uptown to school, but not before stopping at Gavin Brown’s Enterprise, a gallery that has moved to Harlem. I watched a video about “black life” that was okay, but nothing I’d never seen before. So much “Black Art” is so maudlin and limited in scope that it bores me, after a while. I took a couple of pictures.

On the way to the gallery, incidentally, I passed by a couple of playgrounds, which looked like arenas ripe for some type of quality but cheaply made videos. Maybe with clowns? Not a bad idea. I need to explore that idea.

Arthur Jafa, "Love Is The Message, The Message Is Death" at Gavin Brown's Enterprise, NYC
Arthur Jafa, “Love Is The Message, The Message Is Death” at Gavin Brown’s Enterprise, NYC
Arthur Jafa, "Love Is The Message, The Message Is Death" at Gavin Brown's Enterprise, NYC
Arthur Jafa, “Love Is The Message, The Message Is Death” at Gavin Brown’s Enterprise, NYC

After the video presentation, I traveled back to school to attend two meetings. One was regarding the “First Year Show,” which will be at a larger gallery at the school. The curator will be an Assistant Curator at MoMA, who is currently working on a show about Robert Rauschenberg. I correctly surmised that this was a co-production with the Tate Modern, which currently has a retrospective of him up.

I think, after all, that I’ll use my “Casual Cruelties” videos for the first year show. I’ve moved on, but it’s true that video can be seen as a “purer” art form, and it’s also interesting as a talking point. The videos also look professional and “done” and will attract attention as moving things. I hope that we can devise a way to present them attractively. I actually like the idea of the screens being leaned in a corner and hoisted vertically on my set of two-by-fours, so I will look at making that happen before the curator comes to my studio. The vertical presentation will be more striking and also be able to fit better in the space, so let’s get that going!

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