I finally made it up to see Christo’s Gates on the last weekend before their close. Approaching the park I could see a few of the garish, flaglike objects stuck intermittently along the pathway, an effect that continued throughout the park. Unlike Christo’s other works, the Gates aroused no feelings of grand scale or totality. Rather, one got the feeling that a parade of sorts has been commissioned and that the “gates” were flags marking the route, their jarring color having more to do with safety then beauty. The idea of that it was a ribbon to highlight the beauty of the park is misguided. It was more distracting then anything else.
Many people responded to the work, crediting it for bringing so many people to the park. While this is true in some respects, it is disheartening that such a spectacle is what it takes to lure people in, especially when compared to another recent work in Central Park, Janet Cardiff’s audio walk. Cardiff’s work consisted of a CD player that guided the viewer to various spots in the park and an envelope of photos to hold up at these places and compare the views. It engaged with the park on it’s own terms and taught the viewer (listener?) things he/she may not have known about the landscape. Cardiff’s piece was far more engaging then Christo’s and was executed at a fraction of the cost. The Gates seem to be just another example of New York’s gradual move away from its historical legacy of sophisticated art into displays of poor taste marketed to those with no patience for subtlety.
Southern Exposure’s 5th annual Monster Drawing Rally this Friday evening is sure to be a huge crowd pleaser. Featuring over one-hundred artists, you’ll thrill to death-defying feats of live drawing dexterity! Marvel, as fine art materializes in front of your very eyes! Delight at purchasing a fresh masterpiece for the startlingly low price of $50 - all to benefit one of our favorite artist-run nonprofits, Southern Exposure. Don’t miss the fun.
The 5th Annual Monster Drawing Rally
Friday, February 18, 2005, 6-11pm
401 Alabama St. @ 17th
Suggested donation: $5 & up
This month Louise Bourgeois will become the first contemporary American artist to have a major show in Cuba.
Heidi Zuckerman Jacobson is leaving her post at Phyllis Wattis Matrix Curator at the Berkeley Art Museum to become the director of the Aspen Art Museum. Steve Dietz, formerly new media curator at the Walker Art Center, is joining ZeroOne as director. Dietz is also currently the Director of the ISEA2006 Symposium/ZeroOne San Jose International Festival of Art on the Edge, organized collaboratively with ZeroOne.