Seema Sueko from Mo’olelo Performing Arts Company recently checked in about the progress of Mo’0lelo’s Aha! project: the Green Theater Choices Toolkit Scorecard. If it all looks a little technical, dont worry, she enlisted the help of Eric Wilmanns of Brown & Wilmanns Environmental to help out with some handy definitions.
Forty-eight years ago today, Gustav Metzger took a bottle of hydrochloric acid to the South Bank and set about destroying suspended sheets of nylon in an act of what he called Auto-Destructive painting. For Metzger, whose personal world view was formed in the shadow of World War II, this was …
The first ecoartspace live concert and fundraiser took place this past Saturday. Singer/songwriter Dar Williams gave a solo acoustic guitar concert at the McKenna Theater at the SUNY New Paltz campus – it was a thrilling evening and the audience gave Dar a very welcome reception, they were all big fans. See Dar’s blog post on the event HERE.
The concert coincided with a museum exhibition titled Ecotones and Transition Zones at the Dorsky Museum, housed in the same building with the McKenna Theater. Museum curator Brian Wallace describes the exhibition in this way, “New Paltz is an ecotone, a place where overlapping natural and social ecologies—the river and the mountains, the cosmopolitan and the rural—exist in a fragile tension. The artworks and art historical narratives associated with this region suggest the great opportunities (and responsibilities) that area artists, residents, and visitors have to visualize and act upon opportunities to contribute to a better world.” The museum stayed open late that evening so that concert goers could stroll through the galleries before the show, it was a successful crossover event.
Included in the exhibition is a work by Simon Draper’s Collective, Habitat for Artists (or HFA, which recently had an exhibition at the ecoartspace NYC project room). The Collective includes 15 artists -give or take- as the number changes with each project. There are 3 Habitats currently installed in New Paltz, one on campus, one on Main Street and the third (and most beautiful site IMHO) at Historic Hugenot Street. All of the Habitats have artist residency projects on-going for the duration of the exhibition.
Dar Williams was one of the original HFA members from the first exhibition last summer in Beacon, NY, where she turned her own Habitat into a writing space. She became interested in the bigger picture cause behind the HFA with her interest in recycling, sustainability, and artist’s need for space, and decided to give this benefit concert to help ecoartspace and HFA’s work continue.
The concert lasted for 2 hours with an opening act by Nick Panasevich who played some cool Randy Newman-esque piano tunes and also a guitar piece. Dar sang for an hour and a half, one great song after the next. Her set list included (The Ocean, The Beauty of the Rain, Spring Street, Midnight Radio, Book of Love, Buzzer, Iowa, The Babysitter’s Here, You Are Everyone, Holly Tree), and my personal favorites, Mercy of the Fallen and Hudson, (see complete Hudson lyrics BELOW). Dar is one of those gifted musicians with a beautiful voice, moving lyrics, well crafted songs, great guitar playing AND a huge generous spirit. It was a privilege to work with her.
If we’re lucky we feel our lives know when the next scene arrives so often we start in the middle and work our way out we go to some grey sky diner for eggs and toast New York Times or the New York Post then we take a ride through the valley of the shadow of death but even for us New Yorkers, there’s a time in every day the river takes our breath away And the Hudson, it holds the life we thought we did it on our own The river roads collect the tolls for the passage of our souls through silence, over woods, through flowers and snow and past the George Washington Bridge, down from the trails of Breakneck Ridge, the river’s ancient path is sacred and slow And as it swings through Harlem, it’s every shade of blue into the city of the new brand new And the Hudson, it holds the life we thought we did it on our own I thought I had no sense of place or past time was too slow, but then too fast the river takes us home at last Where and when does the memory take hold, mountain range in the Autumn cold and I thought West Point was Camelot in the spring. If you’re lucky you’ll find something that reflects you, helps you feel your life protects you, cradles you and connects you to everything. This whole life I remember as they begged them to itself never turn me into someone else And the Hudson, it holds the life we thought we did it on our own And the Hudson, holds the life we thought we did it on our own.
“I thought one could fuse the political ideal of social change with art”
Emma Ridgway, curator of The RSA Arts & Ecology Centre, interviews Gustav Metzger
Born in 1926 to Polish-Jewish parents in Nuremberg, Gustav Metzger is an artist known for his radical approach. His work responds directly to political, economic and ecological issues. Creating manifestos and events in the UK since the early 1960s, he developed the concept of Auto-Destructive Art and Art Strike movements, which addressed destructive drives both in capitalism and the art industry. He still makes challenging work and his ideas continue to be influential.
With his Flailing Trees one of the centrepieces of the Manchester International Festival, Gustav Metzger’s reputation as a major figure in radical art continues to grow. Emma Ridgway talks to the artist about his long career in art and activism.
Maja and Reuben Fowkes interviewed in Antennae Magazine – the whole issue can be downloaded from their site as a pdf
Antennae: The Journal of Nature in Visual Culture, was founded in September 2006 by Giovanni Aloi, a London-based lecturer in history of art and media studies. The Journal combines a heightened level of academic scrutiny of animals in visual culture, with a less formal and more experimental format designed to cross the boundaries of academic knowledge, in order to appeal to diverse audiences including artists and the general public alike.
Ultimately, the Journal provides a platform and encourages the overlap of the professional spheres of artists, scientists, environmental activists, curators, academics, and general readers. It does so through an editorial mix that combines academic writing, interviews, informative articles, and discussions with an illustrated format, in order to grant accessibility to a wider readership.
After Darwin: Contemporary Expressions has just opened at the Natural History Museum. It’s a lot of fun. Based on Darwin’s book less-known tome The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals it veers into less obvious territories than some of the other Darwin200 events and exhibitions, looking at the …
I’ve received a few emails alerting me that I had information wrong in my previous post on Chapman Kelley’s piece, Chicago Wildflower Works.
Although I was a bit confused on this originally, seeing all these images has greatly helped me understand Chapman Kelley’s federal appeal that his site-specific installation is original art under the 1990 Visual Artists Rights Act. In September 2008, a Chicago Federal District Court said the park piece did not meet the definition of original art, and this spring, Kelley appealed that decision. More than half of the wildflowers were removed and as you can see in the photos, the ovals were altered to a long rectangle with one oval in the middle.
For really good reaction and analysis of this court case, there have been two excellent posts on the Arts and Ecology Blog here and here. Also, there’s a good post from 2007 on the Aesthetic Grounds blog.
As an artist and gardener, my heart is definitely with Chapman Kelley on this appeal. How terrible to see a garden that you designed and helped maintain for decades get ripped up? The main thing seems to be managing expectations—something the city did horribly by not working with the artist when deciding to alter his work.
Some might say this is simply landscaping but somewhere in there (and I guess this is the point of the court issue) there’s the line between art and landscaping, artist rights and the rights of the city or whichever institution manages site-specific art.
If anything, I’m glad some of the wildflower park is still there and maybe a compromise can be reached to expand or do the best to return the Wildflower Works to it’s original proposed format.
“LAND/ART,” a massive six-month environmental art project involving more than 25 presenting organizations in New Mexico, opened last weekend with a symposium. Coordinated by 516 ARTS, events began June 27 with a guided bus tour by The Center for Land Use Interpretation through dramatic built landscapes. Continuing through December 2009, “LAND/ART” explores relationships of land, art and community through dozens of new exhibitions, community-based projects, site-specific art works, speakers series, performances, tours, excursions and a culminating book. “Historically,” says the organizers, “New Mexico has been a place where the intersection of nature and culture is at issue. In the 1960s and ‘70s, the American Southwest was the location of the first generation of Land Art or Earthworks,” including The Lightning Field, the Star Axis, Spiral Jetty, the Sun Tunnels and Roden Crater. Details are online.