I have noticed a lot of unsure, questionable coverage of the Russian Georgian conflict recently that has left me a bit confused as to how to take all this news and turn it into an opinion to call my own. Being that I will shortly be in Russia, I have taken the time to go over the extensively ubiquitous coverage. I will not be close to the border in question, though the thought of it has sparked a new debate in my mind. I am drawn to places like this. I have joked many times that the reason I decided to move to Seoul is that I heard a nuclear bomb went off next door and I thought a mushroom cloud would be a pretty site to see. Now, this statement normally evokes laughter (in people cool enough to think it is funny) but it is actually semi truthful. I did come here for other reasons, but partially, I thought that perhaps North Korea was more than a fictionalized landscape of human rights abuses spurned from a scorned nation with little precious natural resources and a dictator with napoleonesque features and delusions. To put it bluntly, I thought there could be a war, or at least a hostile conflict causing strife or possibly a schism in the fabric of the delicate Korean political landscape. There hasn’t, and I am not disappointed; I am OK. But the recent urging of a few close colleagues and relatives to consider skipping over Russia as part of my upcoming extended vacation has been met with a staunch denial to hear any reasoning, mostly because the negative aspects they are going to come up with are already there in the back of my mind secretly wanting to come to fruition. Anyway, I am an Aquarius who likes basketball, natural disasters and hopes to one day be accidently caught in the middle of a war.
saw this torta in the new york times and thought lovingly of you all. This is from a place called La Hacienda in Southampton
August 10, 2008, a rain swept Sunday marked the opening of the Redemption Center Rooftop Sculpture Show in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn. Featuring the work of twenty-six artists, the huge multi-tiered industrial roof looks something like an epic dystopian mini-golf course. The singular requirement for work was “large sculpture only” and nothing is bigger than host/curator Josh Duensing’s “Spider Man.” Wrapped around two sides of the roof’s central brick elevator shaft the 13ft chicken wire and paper-mache Spidey scales the wall looking lean and mean in his customary red and blue costume. The visual punch line comes, especially to the delight of some local neighborhood youths, when rounding the corner of the shaft—Spiderman’s hindquarters appear absurdly disproportionate. With a tiny head, a tiny left arm, and a huge, huge body, Duensing’s “Spider Man” suggests that even the best of us must sometimes carry a heavy load.
Anais Daly offers an intoxicating (or asphyxiating) psychotic self-portrait made of melted audio and videotapes. The six foot tall creature with shocked cassette reel eyes rises from the rooftop like the night of the living dead. I wondered if it’s lumpy black exterior represented mankind’s decaying soul or Daly’s lungs after melting all that plastic (she promised she used a respirator…). The most formally taut piece in the show was Dmitri Hertz’s “Wagon Wheel Barbells.” Combining the feel of 19th century athletics and late 20th century minimalism, Hertz’s symmetrical metal and rubber construction embodies old times and new—only the strongest man can lift this one off the ground. Brian Faucette’s sculpture made of wood, brightly colored wigs, and dripping pigments, was the most painterly in the show. Here, as he has done several times this summer, Faucette proves once again that his unique sensibilities translate in all mediums.
Certain sculptures, such as Lindsay Beebe’s mucky roadside memorial, Dan Turner’s silver spray painted truck tires, Erik Lindman’s paint chip installation, and Boris Chesakov’s alphabet clothes line, seemed to have emerged from and remain intrinsically connected to the industrial urban cityscape in which they are situated. Other pieces, namely Nick Payne’s “Pilgrim Shitter”, and Jennie Ross/Joe Johnson’s hanging hotdog planetarium diorama, stand uniquely in contrast to their surroundings. Miles Huston, who is known for his concise conceptual experiments, offers an ambiguous architectural structure made of wood, yellow striped domed windows, a hand constructed office chair and some potted plants. While this object is visually compact, it is conceptually scattered: is it about climate change? Utopian housing? The War in Afghanistan? Can we ever know?
Other notable sculptures include Sean Townley’s proto-Hegalian rock tower, Emilie Waterhouse’s 25ft plant stand, and of course the performance piece by Kate Levant who became a living sculpture by covering her body with hundreds of crawling lady bugs.
Dan Heidkamp, 2008