selfportrait.net's blog covering community artists, gallery shows, and the whereabouts of young entrepreneurs and artistic talents from NY, LA, London, Paris, the world.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Ruminations on Circa 2012: Ruminations on a Changing World at White Box

Today I went into the new 16 Handles with the hope that among their 16 flavors of frozen yogurt, one would actually be good and make me forget about how hot this very hot day was. Well, it was refreshing, and the flavor of frozen yogurt was good (I've always been a sucker for mint) except that every bite was tainted with the taste of THE WOODEN SPOON. "Why not just plain old plastic?" My friend Lauren asked the girl who just rings you up (it's self-serve-soft-serve-- not as fun as you thought it would be). The answer: "It's green. The spoons are biodegradable." Yeah, but they also taste bad. Which is sort of anecdotal of how I felt last night at the opening of the second show of the Six Feet Under Program at White Box Gallery. 

Six Feet Under is this great series of exhibits traditionally consisting of six artists's work by six curators in six weeks, all thematically linked. But because the gallery is moving to the Bowery, the powers that be decided to extend the series to seven week (and seven artists, and seven curators).

Last night was the opening of Kim Holleman's show entitled Circa: 2012: Ruminations on a Changing World, curated by Jason Goodman. A large wave made of used plastic bags, aptly named "TRASHNAMI!" was in the corner of the gallery. I'm tempted to make the "the room was awash in garbage" joke, but I'll refrain because the piece was actually quite beautiful. Holleman's work focused on the lack of open- or park- space in contemporary civilization, oil as evil, the awful alternative of ethanol, and of course, the bee crisis, and subsequent apocalypse that the Mayans predict to occur in 2012. Her work was clearly environmentalist and perhaps that's why there was no air-conditioning in the gallery. 

Outside music was blasting out of the back of a truck, people crowded the Chelsea sidewalk chatting and smoking; it was regular opening fare tinged with a block-party feel, altogether enjoyable. Inside Grolsch beer was being served. And at first, it all seemed quaint and sweet and homey. And then I realized that everyone was on the street because the gallery space was sweltering, and people were chugging the Grolsch and moving on to vodka-tonics to keep cool.

Whether it was a lack of funding or a mindful nod to the environment that caused the lack of air circulation, it forced people outside and into Holleman's trailer garden that is exactly what it sounds like: a garden on wheels. This piece may be prescient-- we may have to create our own little bits of green to tow along with us (in our eco-friendly cars), but does the trailer have to smell like the monkey house at the Central Park Zoo?

It all seems like a great idea in theory, but sometimes we just want our art openings to be air-conditioned and to leave the somewhat obnoxious earth-activism at home. Especially when it's 90 degrees out. We're all trying to be green, anyway. No one wants the bees to go extinct. Hell, we're even eating frozen yogurt off of biodegradable wooden spoons....

That said, bravo to Holleman for furthering the cause, and Goodman for putting on an interesting show. And good luck to White Box at its new location!

White Box
525 W 26th St. betw. 10th and 11th Ave.
New York, NY 10010
Tues-Sa 11-6

This show is open until Jully 22nd

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7 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can assure all people reading this post that my trailer park does NOT smell like monkey dung, as per this bloggers assertion. Perhaps you've been saturated with fake air for so long, you forget what real oxygen and living plant material smell like. Either that or the weed that was smoked in the trailer that night made you think it was the trailer that was stinky...I can assure you, it was perhaps the guests, but not the trailer which produces almost pure oxygen for our consumption...

July 19, 2008 at 10:57 AM  
Anonymous Kim Holleman said...

I can assure all people reading this post that my trailer park does NOT smell like monkey dung, as per this bloggers assertion. Perhaps you've been saturated with fake air for so long, you forget what real oxygen and living plant material smell like. Either that or the weed that was smoked in the trailer that night made you think it was the trailer that was stinky...I can assure you, it was perhaps the guests, but not the trailer which produces almost pure oxygen for our consumption...

July 19, 2008 at 10:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was a great show and a fantastic block party. I wish the gallery had set up a big fan, but with over a 1000 visitors coming through that night, it had to get hot. I love the smell of the trailer-- it's like the smell of an old forest.

July 20, 2008 at 2:47 PM  
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