Tuesday, December 15, 2015

CR Fashion Book online/Multidimensional (Dimensions by Ryan McNamara and Dev Hynes)

Miami Basel 2015: "Dimensions" by Ryan McNamara and Dev Hynes 
In 1983, for just two weeks, visitors and natives of Miami gazed upon a manmade miracle: the artists known as Christo and Jeanne-Claude wrapped each of the eleven islands in Biscayne Bay with miniskirts constructed of dollybird pink polypropylene fabric, creating one of their more successful public works, Surrounded Islands. In Joan Didion’s 1987 meditative analysis of the city, Miami, the author states that the piece “had been mentioned both by people who were knowledgeable about conceptual art and by people who had not heard and could not then recall the name of the man who had surrounded the islands. All had agreed…that this period when the pink was in the water had for many people exactly defined…Miami.”
Last evening, three decades onward, artist Ryan McNamara­–who, in 2014, staged a ballet during Basel–and musician Dev Hynes–of Blood Orange, who recently collaborated with the pop star Carly Rae Jepsen—made their own indelible mark on Miami. Dimensions, a collaborative performance at the Pérez Art Museum Miami, was composed of six stages presented outside the museum, and featured the artist and the musician, as well as several other dancers and performers. Each stage was bathed in a different tone of fluorescent bright color, and each offered a performance that responded to Miami’s uniquely quixotic neighborhoods and architecture, including Opa-locka, whose Moorish architecture was reportedly inspired by One Thousand and One Nights.
Conjuring the same shade that made the Surrounded Islands so fascinating to Miami past, Dev Hynes performed a scowling guitar solo with a dancer at his feet—all while bathed in a fluorescent pink glow. Here, McNamara speaks about the inspiration for the performance.
This piece references some rather eccentrically devised architectural motifs of Miami. What pulled you to this tract of thought? What was your favorite discovery when researching these constructions?
"The museum brought us in as 'Researchers in Residence,' meaning we visited twice during the past year to further develop our thoughts on the project. Both Dev and I had only seen Miami through the lens of Basel, which is obviously very specific. We both had a sense that Miami was more multifaceted than the poolside parties pushed during the fair, so we wanted to explore that. My favorite discovery was Coral Castle, which is a bizarre complex built out of coral by one man in attempt to woo a young girl he named 'Sweet Sixteen.'"
How did you and Dev Hynes begin and negotiate the collaborative process for this piece?
"We met up a few time in the city as well and he mentioned to me that he made audio recordings of the ambient noise he encountered as he walked around the city. This relationship between sound and movement sparked the germ of an idea for me, so I went back to Dev and we developed the piece from there."
Last year during Miami Basel you staged a performance of MEEM, which was an amazing interpretation of the internet through ballet. What distinguishing features does Miami bring to your process and work, when viewing it as a platform or landscape for your performances?
"Well, there is Miami and Art Basel Miami Beach. For Art Basel Miami Beach, I like the challenge of freeing people from of their event-hopping zombie brain, if only for a brief moment. As for the city itself: it’s such a bizarre mix of influences- Cuban culture, retiring East Coasters, vacation-induced debauchery. People come here to escape. That's a good energy to harness into a piece."

Monday, August 24, 2015

TALENT POEM/unpublished

For Eric Garner, LeBron James, Simone Weil

Little marshmallow ice cream cones outlined in boardwalk chalk
Pastel dots super-glued to scrolls like brail for the sugar blind
Caramel bullseyes with bellybuttons cold as ice cream
Wax jiggers of orange, pink and blue liquor. Bite me, lick me, drink me, suck me?
Bit O Honey  
Wax teeth, wax lips, waxy chocolate
Sweet, sadistic licorice whips 
Mary Janes are the good girls with bad teeth  
Gumdrops are stopping time
Chocolate coins in gold foil are rich kids slumming in candyland
Fireballs are threatening mass destruction
Swedish fish, Mr. Fortune Teller Miracle fish, curls up in your hand to talk about passion or jealousy or indifference
Bazooka bubble gum is a bad joke blown in the mouth
Stale candy cigarettes dusted in cocaine sit next to stale loose cigarettes in glass jars
In a penny candy store
None of it is good, but most of it is pretty good
When you’re poor
Like a bad penny
Eternally returning
To the valley that lies beyond shame
Which has its own vortex, its own dimension, its own in-crowd
Talent outs, talents ins
Force wins
Force: “that x that turns anybody who is subjected to it into a thing.” Simone Weil
Nothing but net
Nothing but that x factor
A state of grace
Or a fall from grace.
Did you see LeBron in his I Can’t Breathe t-shirt?
LeBron in his t-shirt jumping rope
A heart that keeps time like a Piaget
Perfect rhythm, perfect talent.
Meaning a unit of weight, or the scales used to measure that weight.
 “Then Father Zeus held out his sacred golden scales: in them he placed two fates of death that lays men low.” Simone Weil
A ball held aloft like a dream, then crushed through a net.
Have you ever smoked a loose cigarette?
Have you ever bought a stale cigarette?
A jar of slatterns with stale breath.
Please don’t shoot me
I love Loosie.
Have you ever killed someone?
Have you ever held a gun?
And then fired it off
Just for fun.
Are you a cop?
Or a boy dressed up like one?
Fake badge real gun.
Have you even been a cigarette on the run?
God’s gift, god’s wrath, god’s grace. God on fire.
A world where nothing is poor, and everything looks like gold, and you can paint your house any color you want to.
A world where all you have to do is play ball.
“A moderate use of force, which alone would enable man to escape being enmeshed in its machinery, would require superhuman virtue, which is as rare as dignity in weakness.”   Simone Weil
A world where the talented live, pure and stale.
A world just as jarred in as any other.
Just as cruel.
A world where the cops want selfies.
Where you’re too precious to kill.
“The soul castrates itself of aspiration.”
I can’t breathe
I can’t breathe
I can’t breathe
Have you ever judged someone with your hands?
Screaming fans
Have you ever been really good at something?
Good enough to get it
To get in
To get out.
To see the place where
All the little candies line up to shake your hand.
And get choked out for simply existing.  

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Monday, January 12, 2015

Art in America print review/Heinz Mack

Active between 1957 and '67, the Zero Group recently had a moment in the spotlight with a comprehensive survey at the Guggenheim Museum in New York (up through Jan. 7). A concurrent three-floor retrospective at Sperone Westwater of the work of Heinz Mack (Zero cofounder, with the late Otto Piene) included paintings, reliefs, photographs and kinetic sculpture spanning 1955 to 2014. The scorching, mutilating and jerry-rigging that characterizes the art of Zero often makes the artists appear more like mad scientists than postwar abstractionists. In the shadow of a collapsed German economy, the Zero Group worked in a cooperative manner. Invention and experimentation, often involving cheap, quotidian materials, dictated their efforts.
The first floor of the exhibition exemplified the way Mack's focus on process and a particular medium (shiny metal) created a recognizable individual style, which also occurred with other Zero artists. An enormous four-panel abstraction, The Garden of Eden(1966-76), dominated one wall. It is composed of aluminum and stainless steel sheets and filters—ranging from pale silver to metallic black—that have been cut into giant abstracted blossoms, stalks and lily pads. These shapes are sandwiched between metal and plexiglass. A Victorian pressed flower valentine for a mechanical age, the piece is related to Mack's ongoing "light reliefs." An example on the opposite wall, Kinetic Movement (Blade Relief), 1967, consists of four rows of reflective aluminum, which has been cut into fringes resembling oversized tinsel, on a wood base. The surroundings in which this artwork is displayed are mirrored on its surface, albeit fractured into an abstraction that changes with the viewer's position. In addition, body movement causes the fringe to rustle. Mack first made these reliefs by embossing aluminum with various patterns, a process he discovered by accidentally stepping on metal foil lying on a sisal mat. Believing that his light reliefs had the potential to be "a pure expression of the beauty of light," he made many. Light is always key in Mack's work, taking on a role somewhat like a collaborator. From Zero's heyday to today, the artist has committed to a discursive, yet strikingly coherent, practice, balancing mystical explorations with silver-plated, space-age wonder.
A smaller gallery housed a grouping of six sculptures,dating from 1955 to 2009. Though several were tall and narrow, one untitled piece (2009) is a 20-inch plexiglass cube resting on a mirrored disc on a black pedestal. It brought to mind the translucent cube sculptures of Larry Bell, a member of another group of mad-scientist types, the California Light and Space artists. Both Mack and Bell have been working with this form since the 1960s.
The star of the show, on the second floor, was a large kinetic sculpture titled Poème de Silence (1994-2010). Resembling a console television from the Jetsons's living room, the work encompasses a corrugated glass screen in front of a black circular surface, strewn with small white batons, that rotates slowly counterclockwise. The corrugated glass creates an optical illusion, making the batons appear to wiggle like tiny white eels.
The third floor gallery featured a selection of new and older paintings. Trained as a painter, Mack gave it up in the early 1970s. He came back to the medium in 1991, and the acrylic-on-canvasGolden Wing (1992) indicates a triumphant return. With its delicate honey tones and a title conjuring the mythical, the work presents a pleated fan shape that recalls nothing so much as a simple lampshade. It is the quotidian made otherwordly, Zero-style.