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Dishing With John

John Lurie's show of paintings at Fredericks & Freiser Gallery occasioned the following interview in New York Press, which reveals him to be a low key, dryly caustic, self deprecating satirist, a mordantly droll observer of foibles and egos, the same fierce yet gentle iconoclast we have known and admired since the 1970s. Interspersed with the interview are images from his current show taken from the gallery website, and of course their very determinative titles.


Bullet Soaked in Piss

Andrew Castrucci is laying out artworks and artifacts at the Bullet Space. Bullet Space is an art gallery in a squat. The place recently exhibited decades' worth of work by the tin can cutting recycling artist Rolando Polliti. His constructions ornament the fence of the Plaza Cultural garden on 9th Street and Avenue C, original site of the CHARAS agitations of the 1970s.

This assemblage of artworks collected by Andrew over the years reveals something about this period of Lower East Side history, and the people who squatted these buildings. The context of the early works of the ‘80s and ‘90s is the squatter struggle.


Artists Exhibiting in Vacant Commercial Spaces, New York 2009


Matthew Lusk's Untitled Hobo at the NADA County Affair
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I read an article in the NY Times on Monday, October 12, 2009, entitled "Luring Artists to Lend Life to Empty Storefronts". At the time, I thought it might inspire an interesting posting, especially considering an opening I had recently attended way downtown (south of Trinity Church) which the article failed to mention. Organized by Ellen Scott's Smart Spaces, which "presents contemporary art in the windows of vacant storefronts", the exhibition Regeneration opened October 7th at 88 Greenwich Street and featured window installations by Kim Krans, Hilary Harnischfeger, and Cordy Ryman.

But somehow I lost the impetus for this posting until a series of Facebook "friends" redirected my attention to the NY Times article, the thesis of which is that

as the recession drags on and storefronts across New York remain empty, commercial landlords are turning to an unlikely new class of tenants: artists... On terms that are cut-rate and usually temporary — a few weeks or months — the artist gets a gallery or studio, and the landlord gets a vibrant attraction that may deter crime and draw the next wave of paying tenants.


Art Review Power 100 for 2009: Year of the Curator

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Art Review magazine unveiled their Power 100 list at the Frieze Art Fair in London. Damien Hirst, voted number one last year and the cover boy of Art Review's October 2009 issue, plummeted this year to number 48, indicating a possible reaction to the star artist syndrome occasioned by current economic worries. Although artists such as Bruce Nauman (number 10), Jeff Koons (13), Fischli & Weiss (19) and Mike Kelley (20) are highly placed.

Bruce Nauman

In addition to the expected mega dealers and mega collectors, a number of curators have garnered top power spots, led by omnipresent curator, panelist and art world organizer Hans Ulrich Obrist, the Swiss-born critic and co-director of Exhibitions at the Serpentine Gallery. He is this year's numero uno.

Hans Ulrich Obrist

Glenn Lowry, director of MoMA, took second place; he did not even appear in last year's list. Sir Nicholas Serota, director of the Tate, came in third.


The Spirit of Nihilism by Alexander R. Galloway

Mehdi Belhaj Kacem
L'esprit du nihilisme: Une ontologique de l'Histoire
Paris: Fayard, 2009

The story is often told of Marx that he was the product of a specific
tripartite European formation: British political economy, German
idealism, and French socialism. The Europe of today is different: in
Germany we have media theory, in Italy we have political theory, and


Mel Kendrick in Madison Square Park

Mel Kendrick: Markers
Mad. Sq. Art. 2009
a project of the Madison Square Park Conservancy
Fifth Avenue and 23rd Street, New York
September 17 - December 31, 2009


September 18, 2009. Attended an opening yesterday evening for Mel Kendrick's Markers, five striated, black and white, monumental concrete sculptures that will sit in totemic splendor on the main lawn of Madison Square Park for the rest of this year.

They represent both the first public art project for Kendrick, and also incorporate a new materiality - cast concrete - for this formally innovative artist who has previously adhered to one of the more traditional practices, that of a slicer, carver, gouger and gluer of wood.


Miami Compendium: Dialog, Diaspora, Directions

Miami Compendium: Dialog, Diaspora, Directions

by Onajide Shabaka

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Event: September 12, 2009

Miami Compendium: Dialogue, Diaspora, Directions
The African Influence in Contemporary
Part 1 of a 3 part series

An investigation into the influence of the African diaspora on art and artists in Miami (South Florida) would seem a natural fit for a large population from the Caribbean and the southern United States. The organizer, Marvin Weeks, asked a number of people he felt qualified to speak on the topic, including several scholars, an anthropologist, several artists and a museum curator. We each brought our particular perspectives to the table, mostly speaking in broad sweeps and generalities.


THE BUSHWICK BIENNIAL

The constant flowering of bohemia is not a construct of advertising, nor of the whims of a dozen infamous gallerists. It is the generational engine of youth culture, alive and well, striving at the border of the mainstream, throwing out its various statements while at the same time contributing to a community that has registered a similar creative echo for at least 25 years.

Bushwick is the locus of new creative energies, the same ones that are active in many other parts of Brooklyn, especially its neighboring wards of Williamsburg and Greenpoint. This year saw the emergence of its first official celebration, The Bushwick Biennial, brainchild of NURTUREart gallery director Benjamin Evans, in collaboration with Austin Thomas of Pocket Utopia, Chris Harding of English Kills, and Jill McDermid of Grace Exhibition Space.


Periodizing cinematic production

By Brian Holmes at the posted on [iDC] listserv.

"How do you get capitalism into the psyche, and how do you get
the psyche into capital?" asks the philosopher Jean-Joseph Goux.
Drawing on key insights from Gramsci, Simmel and Benjamin -- and
radicalizing the work of film critic Christian Metz in the
process -- Jonathan Beller gives this quite astonishing reply:


The Art Aquatic with Duke Riley

Duke Riley
Those Who Are About to Die Salute You
Naumachia - Live Roman Naval Battle
Queens Museum of Art: Launch Pad Artist-in-Residence Program
Thursday, August 13th, 6 - 9:30 pm

August 15, 2009. This event promised to adhere to historical precedents from the Roman Empire, at least as filtered through the popular imagination of Hollywood films like Ben Hur: bread and circuses; pomp and revelry; the heady Coliseum drama of thumbs up and thumbs down; the thrill of victory, the agony of defeat; reenacted maritime battles staged in a shallow reflecting pool; "death" by baguette or balloon sword, catapulted watermelon bomb and tomato projectile; an orgy of flotsam and jetsam; an outdoor food fight seasoned with the anarchic spirit of a college toga party. And the added promise that all of this estival mayhem was being done in the name of art.


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