This week has certainly set one record of something I don’t usually have the fortune of tallying up, and that is food served at almost every event! Our stomachs were happy at the buffet table with a vast variety of choices mirroring the variety of works in the show (Tanas), sipping mezcal while looking a pictures of Nicaragua (Tanya Lieghton), eating pizza while contemplating the synthesis of sound, video, and painting (Mario Mezzoli), and eating soup in the basement (Klemm’s). Oops we missed the Autocenter opening, but from what I’ve heard, no one else did so it’s ok that we aren’t covering it here. Instead, on Friday, we were put in a trance by Matt Mullican. Here’s our commentary on this week’s events, let’s see what was missed (+) and what was dissed (-).
New Kids of the Block @ Tanas –Richtfest
group show curated by Ayşe Erkmen
+3 points for the guy whose job of the evening was to guard the wire grid piece for safety reasons…He said he was an artist, but not THE artist.
+10 for a student show that doesn’t feel like a student show…The premise of the exhibition is that all of the artists present were at one point (either in the past or the present) a student of the curator, Ayşe Erkmen. This runs the risk of appearing amateurish or disjointed, but the result is far from this, instead it is refreshing and the range of works is impressive and stimulating.
+9 for the classy buffet dinner…You know it’s time for food when all of a sudden the gallery is empty, and people are silent.
Kultur:Stadt @ Akademie der Künste –opening
Matt Mullican @ NGBK –lecture
+3 for Mullican keeping his eyes closed through most of the talk…He explained that if he can see the audience it is too distracting; he will lose his train of thought. As a result his exaggerated gesticulations and facial expressions were entertaining to watch, but also made us feel a bit uncomfortable.
+5 for the thoroughness of his presentation…wow that was a marathon (two hours!), and he didn’t even have time to show his video!
-5 for slide projector malfunctions…Sorry, Matt, but when you are insisting on using an outdated technology that few people are familiar with and your slides are the same ones you used in the 70s and 80s, you shouldn’t be surprised by a technical malfunction. Unfortunately we didn’t get to see the slideshow he had brought along, but it did mean that we got to hear stories he hadn’t told an audience before.
+3 for the stomach-turning cadaver story…After getting turned down by the NYC morgue, a med-student friend invited him to have a look at the cadaver he had access to. When turning over the body, the arm fell off and onto the floor…and then Mullican went on to pinch and prod and play with the cadaver….eeehhh
+7 for the key metaphor explaining his color system…I had read about his use of colors to organize ideas, but didn’t understand it fully until Mullican took us through the different categories using a set of someone from the audience’s keys.
-2 for me missing the pizza and beer after party with Mullican…
Dan Rees @ Tanya Leighton –opening
-3 for my expectations not being fulfilled…I like his paintings so that was what I expected to see…so I wasn’t thrilled to see large format photography…but then they made up for my slight disappointment:
+9 for the amazing mescal drinks!...I had it mixed with hibiscus, but the cucumber was better, by far the best (free!) drinks this week. And it made me wonder…why am I not in Mexico?
Guido Canziani Jona, A Synthesis. Emerging as One @ Galerie Mario Mazzoli in collaboration with Neue Berliner Räume -opening
+3 for more pizza…
+3 for Jona’s impressive range of media…
Source Codes @ Klemm’s -opening
group show and new location
finally some colors and visitors matching the works!
+15 for the amazing new space…What everyone was really checking out though was Klemm’s Galerie’s rack…the sliding storage/display rack just to clarify.
The Art of Escaping by a Hairsbreadth @ Soy Capitan –opening
the group show next door
No points, but it was too crowded to see any of the work!
-4 for the unpleasant lighting…Somehow the fluorescent lights were more blue, the light was colder than inside Klemm’s, and it made my eyes sting a bit.
and then the Afterparty in the cellar…
+2 for the cellar surprise…Soup was the last thing we expected to find in the Klemm’s basement party, but lo and behold: a romantic candlelit dinner for the hungry gallery guests before the dancing.
Franco Berardi Bifo, Skizo-Mails @ Import Projects –book launch
+3 for Bifo’s “skizo” performance…I will admit that a lot of his talk escaped me, partly due to his accent, partly due to the peripatetic presentation of his thoughts (he skipped around from Buenos Aires to Beruit to Los Angeles to Italy to Greece to Spain…he was all over the place), but it was still an enjoyable evening because Bifo is an animated and amiable guy. Maybe the book is a bit easier to follow...
Would we have liked the events so much this last week if we hadn’t been fed throughout? Probably, but keep the food coming, please; everyone will certainly need it to endure the Former West-theory-lecture-marathon this week.