As regular subscribers know, I’m a big supporter of public art installations. I believe it’s public funds well spent. Here’s a new one up at 8th Avenue and 46th Street, right in the heart of the theater district. It’s called the Manhattan Oil Project by Josephine Meckseper. It’s two full-scale functioning oil wells in the middle of an empty lot.
The work is supposed to “…draw parallels between the American industrial system…and the disembodied present of electronic mass-media, surface advertising, and consumerism – so clearly embodied in Times Square.” I hate artist-speak. It always comes off as pretentious blabber to me. What do oil wells have to do with surface advertising and consumerism in Times Square? Nothing, as far as I can tell. Maybe I’m being too literal.
Sorry, but this piece doesn’t work for me. Seeing an oil well plunked down in the middle of Manhattan might make you do a brief double-take, but it’s not a spectacle. I liked the tire tube tornado of a few posts back better. That was pretty special, but I seem to be the only one who was impressed by it. Maybe everyone will love this even though I am underwhelmed. I’m often out of step.
My favorite part of the exhibit was stumbling across the unintentional juxtaposition of and ad for Jesus Christ Superstar, which just opened on Broadway to lukewarm reviews, and the neon sign for the Midtown Scientology center.
10-Year Old Daughter is having a bit of a struggle with her grades. Nothing too serious, but I’m concerned. I was a terrible student and wasn’t able to attend college because of my poor grades and lack of ambition and I don’t want the same fate to befall her.
She has a friend who has, what appears to me to be, a hard life at home. His dad left and married a younger woman. Money is tight. The house is in need of repair. His mom is looking for love and at 10-years old, that can’t be an easy thing to bear witness to. Yet his grades are spectacular. He’s in an advanced reading group.
Can someone explain why my daughter is being raised in a safe, nurturing home but struggles with some aspects of her schoolwork, while he’s excelling in such an emotionally challenging environment?