Sunday, March 29, 2015

Bjork @ MOMA

Lots of negative reviews for this show, but they're all wrong. For all of Bjork's bombastic moves, she's essentially an introspective poet, which is what this show made clear.

The following photo is a description of the video commissioned by the MOMA, Black Lake. After reading this I explained to Sofia that there were going to be long sustained chords between the verses, that would resonate with her body. It took a minute to explain that idea to her, but she came up to me afterwards to let me know she could feel what I was talking about. The video was on both sides of the wall and so had a kind of 3D quality, with Bjork and Iceland on both sides of the room. Each wall had slightly different images so you wanted to look back and forth to catch everything. There were also 46 speakers set up around the room so that every sound had its own source. Sonically incredible. I found the song harrowing and moving, probably the most emotionally naked thing I have heard by Bjork (or anyone), a careful and honest musical rendering of the night of the black soul that comes from heartbreak. And because the angst is so deeply felt, the rebirth in the song is genuinely cathartic. That experience, which I didn't even know I needed until I was having it, exceeded my expectations for this show all by itself.

So much of this kind of thing, but I didn't mind. I like to see the endless aesthetic innovation an artist can inspire.

As an example of the poetic power, check out the small sample. I love the title of this piece, a simple, but multi-layered phrase. It has both a bold punk negation and a the relief of surrendering.

Letter jacket!

To create yourself

Girls deep in thought

Not long ago, on a rainy Art-Thursday, I showed the girls Bjork videos. When Sofia and Lucia saw this they instantly recognized it from the video and were in awe. 

Mask of hair

There was a seven room tour representing seven of Bjork's albums. The headphones automatically mixed one room with the next so that it felt musically seamless to walk between them. I dug the curated audio tour through these albums.

Profound as a fan of feathers.

Never noticed the crown of teeth before.

I loved that the girls got to see fashion up close that was this whimsical and far out.

Sleeve detail

Shoe detail. (Thinking of Jenn Lew.)

Time for a coffee. These are up in the cafe for kids to play with. Nice one MOMA.

In the art lab now.

While the girls worked/played in the art lab, Genevieve went back to see more of the Bjork show and I read art books (which line the shelves of the lab.) Finding this Alex Katz painting was great, because the evening before Genevieve and I, for our anniversary, went to see a Paul Taylor dance performance of Poulenc's Sea Lark at the Lincoln center -and the costumes for the piece were designed by Alex Katz, all beachwear and it looked just like this.

There were several great poems about Alex Katz from different poets in the book. I love this one by Edwin Denby, new to me.

In turn is this painting of Denby and his wife by Katz. Sorry for the blur. But you get the picture.

Another terrific Katz painting.

Meanwhile Sofia brought me this drawing she made while I was looking at Matisse book. Together they make a Gauguinian dream.

And this twist of paper in the Ed Ruschia book. Cheers.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Museum of Moving Images/ Madmen edition

We had to drop off the car at Koeppel Suburu (because of pothole damage to the tune $2100 damage, 1k deductible), and the silver lining was using the Cool Culture Pass to go to MOMI and see MADMEN. We had an incredible time there today.

I added the entrance sticker to the Neutral Milk Hotel shirt I just got in the mail from my friend Bennet Cousland in CO. I love that a revolving T shirt (used to be his) is now a museum of moving images. Such a beautiful revision.

First thing we did was play this video game. Super easy to learn and fun. I could see it being played by master logicians in major stadiums. To live music (so goes my mind.) I love the found poetry of this sentence, "Push Me Pull You's treatment of bodies evokes a delightful sense of disgust, integrating a level of wry humor into its rich, fast-paced gameplay." Very life-like!

The girls picked up the game pretty fast.

Here we are taking in the myriad details of that madman Don Draper's kitchen. Another favorite part was singing and dancing along to Zou Bisou Bisou clips. A song they know from their mama, a fan of the show and a madvertising woman herself.

I wish blogger would allow videos so you could see this. It's an editing booth where you overdub famous scenes. Sofia was Dorothy in Wizard of Oz. And Lucia was the perfect Eliza Doolittle! She says, "The rain in Spain falls mainly in the braaaiiin!"

After the museum we had the best lunch at a little cafe. They grilled Sofia friendly chicken and put it on a salad for her. Plus fresh fruit. She was in lunch heaven.

Composition called "UP/ The Early BIRD get's the WORM/ Koffie"

Sofia on the way to school afterward, looking all grown up.

Stopped by Key Foods with Lucia and took a chance on this.

Then stopped by the pet store. Watched these puppies wrestle and play for 15 minutes or so. Long enough to realize they do this all day, that it is part of nature, fighting and playing. They are very serious about it, but none of them ever get hurt, everyone's happy. Makes me understand people better, and sibling rivalry, the girls bickering and fighting and playing all day long, up, down, up, down.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Childrens Museum of Manhattan/ Central Park/ Museum of NaturalHistory

Today we took an epic journey. It was a perfect NY day. I picked up Sofia from school at noon (it was a half day) and we got on the train for a three part adventure, Childrens Museum of Manhattan, quick skip to Central Park and then an hour in the Museum Of Natural History. Everything was free with the Cool Culture card which is such a boon. Kids get catered to here by the art world. We were on our way home by 4pm.

Excited to be on the 7 train!

You can see paraplegic busker behind the girls. He's singing Elton John, "Your Song." It gives you a feeling.

Took this diving man from the 1 train.

First stop Manhattan Childrens Museum. They had a whole section on the bottom floor dedicated to Japanese "Kawaii" fashion. It was so much fun for the girls that we only made it half way through the exhibit. Lots of dress up.

Display cases galore of Japanese weirdness.

This is the ultimate album cover. I can hear the music, somewhere between Kishi Bashi, Cornelius, Funkadelic, Prince and The Box Tops. Call it Kawaii Style-O.

Year of the Fab Tiger

Pink construction girl love

This was a Bento Box restaurant. Sofia looked at this thing and said, "Let's discover what this is?" Then she looked at it some more and declared, "It's Chinese Cabbage!"

The night before this visit Sofia had a dream that her and I were building a robot together. She said it didn't look anything like this one though. I think cushy chair arms should be a standard feature on any robot.

Sofia taking lunch orders at the Bento Box restaurant. She draws the items you want.

Here's AnaLucia on a bridge in Tokyo, chatting up a construction worker.

They've joined the crew

Getting lost in the bamboo forest

We took a break for lunch in Central park. This was pretty close to 79th street entrance. But it felt almost like we were camping. 

After the park we went to Museum Of Natural History. My phone was out of batteries, so didn't get any more shots. We saw a couple of great astronomy documentaries though. There was one about black holes that was awesome. It was called "Gravity's Ultimate Triumph." "Your atoms would be completely crushed in the infinite density of a black hole." INFINITE DENSITY! Where the space time continuum bends all the way into itself.

I found this perfect hidden nap spot in central park and took ten very deep breaths.