On Art, Marriage and Opening Champagne With A Sword!

Whew! What a weekend! It all began with transporting styrofoam puzzle pieces to New York, moving tables and lighting an entire wedding in Connecticut and winding down from the wedding a few days later with a long trek home, including a stop off in an expansive upstate NY artspace! (Insert nap here!)

First, the puzzle pieces were for part of a brain storming session put on by an artist about what to do with this abandoned lot next door to her home in the East Village after it's current, semi-permanent art project disappears. The semi-permanent art project came about when the dilapidated space needed some help leading to the Guggenheim stepping in to use the area as a launch for a huge undertaking in the form of the BMW Guggenheim Lab (partly pictured above). This project seems utterly inspiring, an attempt to motivate community through workshops and discussions in the form of pop-up think tank structures traveling throughout the globe and on the web. Focusing on issues of urban living, environment and habitation, from NY to Berlin to Mumbai and beyond, this idea seems like a portable utopia taking up real important issues within the landscape it is effecting! So great! If only every dieing building could meet this type of end! I wonder what this space will become next?

Next, Brent, as the officiant of this past weekends wedding, gave the bride and groom the perfect welcome into the world as man and wife, Drew sang his sweet songs of love (pictured above), and I bench pressed a few hundred pounds worth of tables all to celebrate the union of our good friends! It was a wonderful event filled with hugs and surprises...some of which included an oversized Yoda statue lurking in the brush, a serious amateur sabrage event (pictured below), the dance floor induced crutches of an amazing filmmaker on a new dancefloor, an accordianist being arrested (the horror this induced in other accordianists as we tried to find a last minute replacement made me privy to an accordian code of ethics I knew nothing of!) and even commemorative wedding spoke cards for the many bike enthusiasts in the crowd! We all had such a wonderful time! I wish the happy couple (blurrily pictured below) the world!

On our drive home the weather was an eerie, car pounding rain so when we passed by the artspace Dia Beacon I forced Brent to stop for a bit and take in the minimalism! I don't really think he was too thrilled walking amongst the barren landscape of strings, colors and shapes but one cannot discount the massive beauty of Richard Serra after experiencing his pieces at Beacon. The light & shadow, the gradation of color (going from pale orange to pitch, swallowing black to every shade of brown), the curves of these massive, towering steel shipsides engulfing you into a feeling and space that I think all art should strive to match: it is downright transformative in an unrivaled way. A Joseph Beuys sculpture of shapely stacks of felt that dampened and expanded sound and space as you ducked between them also had a similar, physical reaction that I have come to really appreciate in art mostly due to my own experiences with building structures and learning about the complicated construction of tension. Apart from these pieces, being at Dia Beacon and seeing the scads of young art students wandering around made me a little wary about the future of art...

Art Rant continued after the jump!

What is the point of making something if there is no reaction? If the message and meaning is muddled in form? I do recognize that the message and meaning can be the form but I have a hard time grappling with abstract, minimalist art that needs a textbook to defend it's importance...art should be an accessible way to change perception not an esoteric jargon club, right? I'm not saying that I didn't enjoy the  Blinky's or the Knoebel's at Dia Beacon (both sort of making color fields of uniformity but revealing a little bit of the hand, maybe a comment on the human in the industrial?) or that these works weren't understood/expressed the movement from which they came but, I sometimes worry that the new class of makers that seems to find inspiration strictly from art and the increase in the institutionalization of art has caused a bad case of tunnelvision in the art world that really needs it's scope widened!

So many things in the world need to be addressed, so many things are beautiful, so many colors exist outside of the one framed on the wall in the museum! Did you see the mountains surrounding Dia Beacon? Or the look on someone's face at their own wedding?  I hope contemporary art can find a way to synthesize what it means to exist now or what it should mean to exist now-and I'm not saying it is easy, it shouldn't be easy- but I really don't think that, historically speaking, we should want art to only speak to art! Come on art world! Stop looking in the mirror! Please...?



Donna K. is a recent transplant to the Midwest where she can be found exploring culture at large through film programming, writing and her general interest in the world- both on and offline.