Monday, February 14, 2005

I May Know Art...

...but I know what I don't like.

Actually, dislike is too strong a word. If I used the word "Fneh," I might use that to describe my reaction to "The Gates," the 28 mile long art installation by Art superstars The Christos, that took over Central Park this past weekend.

First of all, it was totally packed:

Now, as you can see, The Gates is just a series of saffron colored banners, hanging from saffron colored posts, that are placed at intervals over almost every pathway in the park.

There are also multi-lingual police officers stationed, to help the many international visitors who have flown in just to see this underwhelming display.

Credit where its due:

a) A ton of work went into putting this up.

b) Its a really nice thing to have in the park.

c) The Christos have donated the entire thing, free of charge, and same with any Gates merch (t-shirts, etc) to the city of New York. That's pretty nice.

d) Its very exciting that people are so excited over a public art display. That, I think, in essence, is the point of a public art display... To gather tons of people in one area and have them all talking about one thing.

However, it more seemed a way of getting people in one area to take pictures of each other taking pictures of something. And, the entire effect, as mentioned is kind of underwhelming.

Double however, I've heard that if you stand on the porch at the new Met, you can see the whole park laid out in front of you, and the effect is much more stunning. I'll be the judge of that. Or won't. Because I'm not an art critic.

End of day, Marni loved it:

And I was sad because The Gates ate the baby right out of that stroller:

Actually, Marni didn't like it, either.


christopher said...

Yeah, a lot of folks are pretty fneh about this.

To quote my friend: " would be AWESOME if a giant came and toppled them over like Dominos."

That's definitely how they should close out the exhibit. Domino Rally style.

Anonymous said...

i think you're missing the point. it's not about liking or not liking. it's about experiencing. or not experiencing.

Alex said...

I agree, and I was going to post something to that effect... Except everybody seems to be having a disappointing, negative experience.

That makes it, possibly, not worthwhile.

Anonymous said...

possibly. nevertheless, if one were to factor out irrelevant expectations and the compulsive need to be entertained then perhaps the work could be met on its own terms.

Alex said...

Hey! I like my compulsive need to be entertained. It makes me who I am.

christopher said...

I hope my desire to see the gates knocked down like giant dominos doesn't count as an irrelevant expectation.

Anonymous said...

some works entertain. others intertwine. i'm only suggesting sensitivity relative to the work. here's an example you have to relate to. i think it was in your last show, you guys did a skit that perhaps was not primarily entertaining, but it was magnificently intertwining. it was odd and obtuse. there was something about it that really grabbed me (ps it also made me laugh out loud without quite knowing why). but i guess its entertainment value was deemed short and led to it being excised from later shows. i could understand the decision but thought it unfortunate that this skit had become victim of limited aesthetics: entertainment too often preferred over visceral appreciation.

Stefan said...

Now I'm curious which sketch you're talking about.

christopher said...

Me too. do you remember anything specific about the sketch that got cut? We often end up cutting sketches for a whole variety of reasons, but usually it's because it just doesn't play.

One sketch that seems to possibly fit in with what you're talking about is "TriDad." It's the one where there are three guys on stage positioned as a triangle, each being the father of the one to his right and the son of the one to his left.

Instead of "hilarity ensues" it's more of a "slightly confused and attentive listening ensues" and there are only a few points of actual laughter. Nonetheless, we have ended up doing this sketch a lot (despite the lack of laughter) because it's smart, and people seem to appreciate that.

Might that be an example of what you mean as an "intertwiner"?

Anonymous said...

the one where you raped everything.

mjs said...

i am surprised that chris hasn't suggested the word "entertwinment" by now.

christopher said...



Anonymous said...

actually I was going to use tri-dad as a second example of a skit that's quite (as per Marni)entertwining. it grabs the gut because of its frenetic pace and oedipal connections. it entertains because its just plain fun and silly - like an amusement park ride - no time to think - barely time to laugh.

but no, that's not the skit i was referring to. as i said, i think it was in the last show. in it your backs were to the audience and you were eating in a strange and unsettling way. for some reason it reminded me of anime' and actually heard others say the same.

ps that other anonymi who chimed in about the rape skits was not me

pps to answer chris' question about the dominos: no that to me is part of the shows relevance - that people respond in so many ways.

Anonymous said...

When is Christo going to market a line of condoms? I mean, seriously.

Anonymous said...

I don't know why, but for some reason The Gates reminds me of The Family Guy and its awesuckitude. Compare and contrast (20 pts)
Bonus Point: elicit a "Screw you, blank" from either marni or Charles Nelson Reilly.

mjs said...

i am not a whore for bonus points!

Anonymous said...

The way I see it, "I am not a whore for bonus points", has the same affective measure as "Screw you, blank". Can I get those points for noticing ?