jennifer west on the high line

Today I was in Chelsea for an interview, and I had time to kill before work in the West Village. So what’s a girl to do? I wandered around Chelsea Market for a bit and was kind of annoyed that Privé (the store that has designer sample sales) only had bedding today. Eh. But I stopped by Tuck Shop (an Australian meat pie place) for a sausage roll, so that was yummy! And then, because I was in the area, I headed over and up to the High Line.

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And whaddaya know … there was a piece of art by Jennifer West! In 2010 she had an exhibition at the CAMH and this summer when I was an intern there, I digitized the catalogue, so I recognized the name immediately. You can see the catalogue here. There was this long strip of film taped to the High Line, and this was some kind of performance art – or at least part one of it. The film was only here for today (Thursday) for people to walk across and mark it up with their shoes. Part two of the deal will be when the film is treated and then shown sometime in October.

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It’s kind of an interesting concept and it’ll be neat to see how it looks in the end. I had no idea that they were doing this today, so I was really confused at first. But for the most part it seemed pretty vanilla and most people avoided stepping on it … because they didn’t realize they were supposed to walk on it.

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In a few places there were gaps in the film (oh the horror!) probably from when someone tripped and took out parts. For the most part I didn’t walk on the film itself because it was actually kinda slippery and not the easiest to walk on. But it will be interesting since the film was on a few different textures, from the rough concrete to the smooth railroad, to the regular grate.

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I don’t really have an opinion of Jennifer West’s work because I’ve never actually seen it. Yes I’ve seen the catalogue, but since she works in moving image, I’ve never seen any of her actual work. The High Line piece is called “One Mile Parkour Film” and you can find more information about it here. I’m intrigued and will definitely be seeing the resulting film when it gets shown in October! It was kinda cool, like a New York-ified yellow brick road.

[UPDATE: I didn’t manage to attend the screening due to work, but the resulting film can be viewed online here.]

new york kind of adventure

Galleries in New York are basically free art museums. Sometimes they have super cool exhibitions. Sometimes these super cool exhibitions are really, really popular. I went down to the David Zwirner Gallery in Chelsea last weekend because I wanted to see the exhibition by Doug Wheeler, the one they dub the “Infinity Room”. It looked pretty nifty and last Saturday was its last day, so I left my apartment at 10 AM …

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And I had a New York kind of adventure. Well, a lot of waiting actually. I spent a total of three and a half hours waiting in the line outside. About halfway in that line, I popped into the David Zwirner Gallery (a different part of it) which had an exhibition by Adel Abdessemed called “Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf” and uh … it was kind of weird. The above piece is called “Décour” and is from that exhibition. It was a series of four representations of Jesus on the cross made out of razor wire. Weird.

There was a nice camaraderie in the line outside and I passed some time chatting with a guy near me who was from Milwaukee. A different guy made a coffee run for those of us who requested stuff and a third guy offered people granola bars. It was actually kind of fun.

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Anyway, after those three and a half hours on the line outside, I had to wait another hour in an interior space before entering Doug Wheeler’s exhibition. It was spiffy. Wow. So cool. It’s one of those things that you really had to experience because it was all about perspective. The walls were a continuous curve and the way it was lit, there were few shadows and it was really hard to tell depth, so it felt like you were in this white void. And … the lights cycled every 32 minutes from bright ‘day’ to a darkish ‘night’. I think I lucked out because I was in there as it transitioned from the bright to dark and it was freaky cool. It really played with your sense of perception. SO COOL.

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Then, after all of that I stopped by the Chelsea Market for a really late lunch (it was almost 4 PM by that point) and then took the subway from 14th Street. And that’s where I got to see some of the statues from Tom Otterness’s “Life Underground,” which is a whole bunch of little bronze figures playing all over the station. They make me smile every time! It was an incredibly long, but incredibly awesome day. I definitely need to make it a priority to do more things like this! Oh, and happy March!