Published-On Maya Lin & Storm King

September 8th, 2009 § 0 comments


The latest review about a wonderful trip upstate.

Endless Summer

August 31st, 2009 § 0 comments


I have a sneaking suspicion that the arrival of Labor Day, lovely as the long weekend promises to be, officially marks the end of summer. Offices such as mine end their summer hours and the magic of half-day Fridays revert back to those painful hours stretching themselves out before the weekend officially starts. Retailers have begun selling fall coats and winter skirts, and even though the weather should hold out for another month, people are making plans for that last summer trip before considering early holiday preparations. This summer was slow in coming, perhaps the east coast rain disguised it, but I have a feeling I was simply too preoccupied to realize it was here. Without the schedule of school semesters summer is now denoted by weather rather than time to spare. Still, it was perhaps the busiest summer of all.

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Pilobolus — Varying Degrees of Dance

August 28th, 2009 § 0 comments

I recently saw Pilobolus at the Joyce Theater for the first time since watching vhs tapes at a summer dance camp when I was perhaps ten. The athletic dance troupe reminded me of a quote by photographer Sally Mann, “art for fun, if you can imagine that!” as the night’s performance shifted between being fun, funny, and fantastic. Substituting the word dance for art in Mann’s statement, seems to question dancegoer’s expectations and how they are denied or satisfied by what they see—questions that are relevant to this particular dance company as they constantly question the boundaries of dance itself. The company’s great strengths and the inherent weaknesses lie entangled, like the bodies onstage, within issues of expectation. The great thing about being able to see all of these different companies I know too much about through hearsay and too little through actual experience, is that I have been surprised every time and by every company. Seeing a verity of dance that all fits within the genre of modern dance, helps to define what the range of modern dance can be. Learning dance groups, and their devoted audiences, is like learning movie genres. If you like horror films and are used to that set of cinematic conventions, you might not enjoy a romantic comedy designed to melt the hearts of easily entertained women. I began wondering about this after the opening number, the premier of the Pilobolus’s latest choreography utilizing shadows, when the couple sitting next to us exchanged an ugly look and the words, “well, it’s not Swan Lake.”


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Just Visiting—A Farewell

August 7th, 2009 § 0 comments

Rode in on the Greyhound but I’ll be walkin’ out if I go
I was just passin’ through must be seven months or more

There are a number of song lyrics that lament about being stuck somewhere, someplace, that you just can’t leave. It is never really the circumstances that are to blame, though a lack of money, purpose, and motivation might factor in, but place itself that catches hold and never lets go. We all can commiserate. I remember being stranded temporarily in the Spanish desert, and feeling that rising desperation as a lack of sleep muddled my comprehension, and as a successful departure seemed more and more impossible to negotiate. Picturing the type of places described in such songs, I see movies concerning small towns, deserted and unlucky in their abandonment—High Noon, Don’t Come Knocking, Northfork—where people kill the town, or the town slowly kills the people. None of these songs or films, however, really describe why certain places are seen as inescapable. Birthplaces and hometowns can be understood this way, as even when you leave them they come uninvited behind you, but not many places can exert this same kind of influence. Wandering Richmond—this past weekend as well as during my visit in April—I wondered if the past, so strongly creeping over the present in this southern capital, lulling you back into a time already lived, could be an explanation for certain place’s sleepy addiction.


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Published-On Art & Sound

August 4th, 2009 § 0 comments

My latest review has made me wary of group shows, as writing about one makes my job a good bit harder. At least my editor appreciated my “clear focus,” precision that took weeks and a lot of editing to (hopefully) find. Though feedback always trickles in slowly and in a non blog related form, as always, it is quite welcome. White Noise at the James Cohan Gallery.