Enough ranting about racism disguised as serious theater and Asset Management douche bags. Back to art galleries and woeful tales from my past.
Instead of eating lunch, I took the C train down to the Bortolami Gallery in Chelsea for the Ann Veronica Janssens exhibit. There’s more than one kind of nourishment.
Janssens’ primary medium is light. For sheer trippy spectacle, it’s going to be impossible to top James Turrell’s MoMA show from two years ago but Janssens has a few nice ideas here.
Fluorescent light connecting two spaces
It looks like a light saber. This is a single, eight-foot fluorescent light. A hole was cut in the wall dividing the gallery lobby from the main space and the light passes through which, I reckon, links the two spaces. It’s nice enough but I don’t think it’s too far removed from the fluorescent lights that illuminate the gallery.
See what I mean? You could almost say this is derivative of Duchamp’s readymades. The gallery rep pointed out that Janssens’ light is far brighter than the ceiling lights (which is true) but sometimes a light is just a light.
Untitled (blue glitter)
Untitled (blue glitter) is exactly that. A pile of blue glitter on the floor. It’s sparkly under the gallery lights.
She took about 12 pounds of blue glitter, poured it into a mound on the floor and then just kicked it a few times. How it lays is how it stays. The floor is her canvas. I wish I could’ve watched her install this piece. I’d have given it a kick or two myself. There are indentations in the glitter where people have poked it. You can’t blame them. It’s practically begging to be touched.
Attention all artists: don’t call a piece Untitled and then provide a parenthetical title. That’s the title. I see that a lot and it’s a distraction. Knock it off.
Seven spotlights; artificial haze
On the far side of the gallery, a warm, red glow beacons to you.
You enter a small room that has misty air and seven spotlights arranged just so.
It’s a “haze sculpture,” which I liked quite a lot. You slowly walk around the room and the shape changes with the angle you view it from. This view is dead-on.
This view is from the back wall facing the entrance. I like the geometry of this angle.
I wish I still smoked weed. I’d dig out my bong or roll a big fatty and go back for another look.
July 27, 1995
I got a call from home. Iggy died. [Note: Iggy was my pal Barry’s dog.] They kept Iggy tied up in the garage whenever they went out for the evening. The garage door has three windows about half-way up. Last week, while they were out to dinner, Iggy took a running leap and jumped through the center window. The leash wasn’t long enough for him to reach the pavement so he hung himself. They came home late and as the car pulled in, the headlights floated up the driveway, across the house and alighted onto Iggy’s corpse hanging out the garage door window. Jeff [Note: Barry’s younger brother.] started screaming. It was a terrible scene. They don’t know if he died from asphyxiation or if his neck snapped.
Molly is leaving. Her company in Bayonne is closing and she’s taking a job in the Philadelphia office. I feel nothing. She had me over for dinner once. She took a few pork chops, doused them in ketchup and then broiled them. It made me sad. I told Austin and he said, “That’s poor people food,” which is horseshit. We were poor but mom was a spectacular cook. A Master Chef. We made out for a bit after dinner and it wasn’t very inspiring. There’s no subtlety in her kiss. It was like having too big a piece of yellowtail sashimi in my mouth.
The last time I was in Cleveland I met her mom. Oh, holy Christ. She reminded me of the Chicken Lady from The Kids in the Hall.
She stuck her big, homely face a few inches from mine and shrieked, “I heard you’re dating my DAUGHTER! How do you LIKE HER?!” It was awful. Her breath was blowing my hair back. All I could see was Molly 40 years from now. Next.
“My people! My people!”
Newark, NJ. Sunday, January 31, 2016, 11:00 p.m.