. . . yep. how time flies when you are having fun . . .

these are the very last few days to catch that ANSELM KIEFER show at GAGOSIAN on 24th St – that everyone is talking about. and, yes it is the blockbuster, that everybody says it is – so better get your sorry Miami busted-out partied-out self up in time to get there in person – because there is only one way to see this show – and that is in person. it’s a huge 3-D production – the artworld equivalent of movie IMAX – magic. in fact pretty much the scope and scale of this production is bigger and better – than the art works individually themselves . . . not necessarily saying that’s a bad thing. either. just saying – it’s not about standing still and looking at. it’s about moving around and seeing through, looking up and feeling . . . lost among !!

talk about magic. I didn’t expect such a thrilling perceptual experience from all the wailing and goings-on about biblical “wasteland” – what wasteland ?
it’s more like the battle zone after the fact – and you are walking through it. looking up at the ceiling – and wondering how they measured all these
glass cases to fit in the space exactly so. so compactly. so densely, and yet so soaringly – and, well – where will they fit next ?

the paintings themselves are the most boring part of this standing still action – though I guess they might be the commercial product, more like by-product !! – most easily moved, i.e. so forget that damn stupid and boring installation video they have posted on the gallery’s website. it does the show more harm, than good. I wasn’t even gonna go after viewing it – so go figure. so, just in case you are relying on that – and the still installation pix – that’s a no-no. ya gotta get there, on your own two little feet. even as a photographer myself – ya just gotta love the kind of art and action – that defies archival intention. ANSELM KIEFER – ‘NEXT YEAR IN JERUSALEM’ – 3-D experience. period.

well, my first thought was, at least you don’t need a haz mat team – to keep it up and running, in your living room.

but then the DAMIEN HIRST tank pieces could cast a definite startle – all on their own, individually. I mean here you might have to buy a more than a few to catch the game – to throw to your impressed house guests and/or staff – but then again it might even out. the haz mat team overhead vs. the huge huge industrial-sized, museum-sized ? viewing room ? maybe you could, you know build your own specialized townhouse, in the city – or your very own museum on your country retreat – for housing these rusted relics in glass vitrines – how collector- friendly can you get ?
ok. they were still awesome. the vitrines. the contents left me a little underwhelmed. but who am I ?
you’d have to buy the whole thing. who knows – maybe, that’s the way it is being sold ?

of course the gorgeousness of the gallery. didn’t hurt. esp the skylights !!

the ceiling and tops of the vitrines – the glass cases – were the most fascinating part of the show – for me.

though I loved this particular one. this is the one – I would buy. and watch dangle – in space. as I contemplated my good fortune with a cocktail in hand.
anybody else bring ATM mobile artist – ANNE EASTMAN – to mind ? and big time.

how could a painting on canvas – esp these pompous thugs – compare with the complexity and mobile-like delicate and ever-changing beauty of a 4 walled glass transparency ?

so, do you have a maintain a thin layer of water at the bottom ?
I mean I am thinking of when I first saw Damien’s ‘OB GYN’ chair in a tank full of water – and this comes up a bit short – although maintenance- free ? unless of course, you need a lot of unspoken text and biblical reference, not to mention gruesome footnotes to even grimmer history – to go with your visual experience. and I don’t. well – only as a footnote.

see, it starts to get better, when the glass and metal case – comes into the picture.

and wow – the overview – is best. esp as it changes – infinitely !!
see why – you gotta see it in person ?

and, when you go, don’t forget – to look – up !!

wow. action movie. wasteland – not so much . . .
it’s actually a marvel – of a gallery installation.

and of course, right smack in the middle – a bunker.
I found this to be – a bit of STERLING RUBY game plan.
just like I found the fading dresses to be too much of a KIKI SMITH hand print. the glass and metal ‘tanks’ – cases Hirst-like. the over-all profoundness Gavin Brown-like. whatever. at least we know the guy looks at contemporary art – and doesn’t just live in a shell. wants to be part of the dialog.

but wow. it was more than just a box – it was so cool. it housed a series of hardened canvases hanging like frozen dead meat carcasses – which reminded me of that GBE – meat locker show – last summer.

if you walked around it – you found a series of doors. that you could not enter – just like Alice in Wonderland. well physically you could, if the security guards had let you.
yes. I tried, of course. it was an experience begging to be had . . . to bad I’m not on personal friendship terms over there – or I would for sure have gotten in. it was like a magnet. a dark hole – for intelligent researching . . .

esp for someone like me – archivist that I am – as it held hanging canvases with images !!
curious and curiosity foiled – even, driven mad – come to mind.

a view of the artist as a young rebel. from one entryway – into hell ?
an archival school photo – that almost got our hero – expelled. yes we get it. politically incorrect.
the joke is on you and lucky – you lived long enough for the generation that gets it – to get it.
whatever were they thinking back in the old days ?
now we have cyberbullies. malicious hackers . . . not to mention ridiculous DMCA copyright laws that defy their very purpose. digital death threatens to jump from the future and fry us en masse again – like a million of these Hitler bad guys – in clone formation – wait and see. mark my words.
(or: if you are gonna be TMZ – ya shoulda been a lawyer).

there is such a stark beauty to evil – or is it just – that wonderful sky behind him.
all my mother’s mother’s side of the family – fried in the WW II ovens – they just couldn’t let go of their up-scale Austrian, Vienna lifestyle. my grandma was just 16 and the poor relative – so it was easy for her – she just left. and so, here I am – but you can see my Viennese intellectual roots sometimes, can’t ya ?

and didn’t I just read a Chinese sonnet – that said something like: I am unfettered to this life and its material goods – but I would miss the sight of sky – if I were to die – or something like that. the master plan – is the universe.

this is profound, esp when you step back – and let the art – and installation design – take over !!

but I also kept coming back – to that ceiling view. 3 D, sides, top and bottom. and lighting. and cold metal.

meat locker anybody ?
what about – hurt locker ?

I actually did get pulled into this doorway, like a moth to a flame – I thought it was logical to enter . .

wow. an archival photo – of an ancient ROME !!

but the guard told me I couldn’t enter. hey, I was just happy they were letting me take pix, at all !!

so, it remained – the bunker from hell.
where else did I hear that ‘charming’ phrase – as in ‘underground bunker’ – oh yeah – WE LIVE IN PUBLIC !!
(and in the early WE LIVE In PUBLIC promos – Josh did compare – our sleeping 24/7 wired & stacked sleeping accommodations – it with archival pix – of the American GI’s first stumbling upon the horror of rows of starving concentration camp victims in bunker formation – rather than the (stacked) pod hotels of contemporary Japan.

but we’ll give a glass case – the last word – as these hi-tech glass and metal cases – skewer the show – with their ever-shifting perceptual magic . . . and meaning . . .

and don’t let the star wars monster – bite. for heavens sake – look up.


NOV 6 – DEC 18, 2010