Sunday, January 22, 2012

Carsten Höller: Experience New Museum 235 Bowery 10002 New York. by craniv boyd.

Carsten Höller: Experience New Museum 235 Bowery 10002 New York. by craniv boyd.

When a Scientist becomes an artist, working today, making current art (S)he is more likely to make a big installation that numerous people can: feel, forget, then dismantle, rather than a tiny crayon drawing on acid free paper of an impossible flying machine like the renaissance polymath Leonardo da Vinci would do. Case and point with the disappointing viewing experience of Carsten Höller's one person spectacle, titled Experience, at the New Museum on the Bowery. 

The New Museum has, fashioned itself as an urbane, Disney World, for like the amusement park in Orlando, Florida, it has droves of children and parents alike lining up to take a ride on a carousel, a journey through a slide, or a dip in a pool. Granted there are no Pirates of the Caribbean, the ride, nor a life scaled plastic figure of Johnny Depp nor Penelope Cruz, partly because the fun house art, is geared at brainy people. The flavor of science hall participatory experiment appeals to the intellect in a way that is not without a sense of humor. 

After queuing up for, what was, on a rainy evening, close to closing time, one hour. The public can, slide down three levels of the New Museum, through, a room for one only, metal and plastic glass tube. This person scaled artery for a building deposits the member of the public on to a soft black cushion on the floor. Facing the black landing cushion two of the museum walls, are holding florescent lights á la Dan Flavin, blinking on and off at a seizure inflicting rate. Once the public finds their legs again after the adrenaline kick of Carsten Höller's, slide, they can contemplate life sized animals with glass eyes made of solid cast dyed silicone. The artificial animaliæ look sympathetic, each has a docile expression that could look, be interpreted as a weak smile. This is especially true for the blue ape, on his or her side that faces away from what I call the seizure lights. 

Further on the same level is a fish tank, which permits viewers to lay back and literally sleep with the fishes if they so choose. There are three cut arches built into the tank, accommodating room for an adults head plus a clear air filled pillow, so visitors can look up at fish swimming above eye level. 

The street level of the museum is where the public must furnish New Museum staff with their individual, John Hancock's, on legal waivers, giving their consent that they are participating in Experience at their own risk. In ascent of this, the museum spectator gets a colored wrist band, proof for the museum workers on the upper floors that they have singed the contract for the exhibition, that they are aware of the rules of it. Past the glass wall in the lobby cafe, is the most visually striking instance within, an art exhibition that is difficult to photograph. There are, replicas of mushrooms, scaled larger than a human being. Some of these fungi are edible, furthers are poisonous, whilst others contraband. The mushrooms models are in quarter and half pieces that are re-assembled so that walking around viewers can see, three to four different types of mushroom fused in one.   

The atmosphere at New Museum, during Carsten Höller's Experience, was convivial, almost too much so when contrasted with the somber, contemplative white cubes, where current art is usually presented. by craniv boyd.  

Aleksandra Mir The Seduction of Galileo Galilei October 20, 2011- February 19, 2012 Whitney Museum of American Art 945 Madison Avenue at 75th Street 10021, New York. by craniv boyd.

Aleksandra Mir The Seduction of Galileo Galilei October 20, 2011- February 19, 2012 Whitney Museum of American Art 945 Madison Avenue at 75th Street 10021, New York. by craniv boyd.  

On the ground level of a classic, brutalist, Museum building by Bau Haus trained architect, Marcel Breuer, the current home of the Whitney Museum of American Art, is a modest one person exhibition. Aleksandra Mir, and her project entitled the Seduction of Galileo Galilei, is, as a museum expo, scant because it is a lone single channel video, and a series of framed collages, works on paper that are no bigger than a sheet of legal paper. People in New York, could see, that, the Seduction of Galileo Galilei, amounts to, less than one third, the size  of an ambitious Gallery Solo exhibition, in the same city.

The room, due east of elevator bank, is painted a medium crimson.  The color of the walls matches a thorough brochure, respite with information about the Artist, Aleksandra Mir, her past art works contextualised with the current fare on 75th and Madison. The red wall are where the collages of Jesus and or Mary, with Spacecraft and or man made Satellites, are hung. The art, the collages are evocative of Rocket Science, yet in their means of execution, are facile. The rag tag assortment of votive pictures with paper illustrations, of parts of jets, is inelegant surrealist collage, made in 2009, rather than 1929, plain and simple. 

The video component of Aleksandra Mir's show at the Whitney, is displayed in an impeccable faultless manor that, should be the new international standard for displaying current video art, if, it is not already. One wall projection that fills the whole wall: floor to ceiling, wall to wall, total video surface. An uncomfortable bench is positioned in front of this display, a designed bench, that reminds you, are a guest at the Whitney looking at contemporary art, and not a local multiplex cinema. The scene projected on the wall as screen, is a bland one with a slight twist. People, with no true, visible distinguishing attributes in, an industrial lot out of doors in Canada, a place not dissimilar to anyplace in middle America, doing some kind of physical menial labour.  These people are not building a house, so what, are they doing stacking all of these used car tires? The casual filming of these "nobodies" moving stuff around, out of doors to no obvious immediate end is antithetical to all things theatrical or entertaining. However unstructured in appearance  Mir's video has initially, it does bear the look of video art.  The Seduction of Galileo Galilei, is an art work that the late, Gordon Matta Clark, could have potentially done, due to the fact that like many of his short films, it involves people working creatively with commonplace objects. People who say nothing to the camera, about what, and most importantly why, the cutting of a Office, or the stacking of tiers. The lack of explanation from performers, or participants in the documentation, serves to  dispel any confusion that this "art work" could be viewed as documentary film, although it is a documentation of sorts. The deliberate, non entertaining affect, of the Seduction of Galileo Galilei leaves no doubt, that visitors Whitney Museum  are watching an art reality, and not reality television. by craniv boyd.