Tuesday, 19 October 2010

A Quick Jaunt On N.Y.’s Museum Mile

Getting off on New York’s Museum Mile is a snap. Take the M4 bus on 32nd Street, across from the Seventh Avenue side of Penn Station. Get off at 103rd Street and Madison and walk south on Fifth Avenue, beginning with the 1939 World’s Fair show at the Museum of the City of New York.
The International Center for Photography at 1130 Fifth Avenue is celebrating the founders of Magnum. At 1083 Fifth is the National Academy of Design with the Treasures from England’s Fitzwilliams Museum. The Met, at 81st and Fifth, has an absolutely luminous cache of Velazquez.
Jenny Holzer’s megashtick at the Guggenheim (until Feb. 11) is another triumph of technology over (if you’ll forgive the pun) illumination. The one hour and 45 minutes’ worth of LED commentary running along 513 feet of Frank Lloyd Wright’s ramps cost $400 per (non-)linear foot.
Not that she’s got a plot, other than to appear cute and not try too severely to Naim Paksize attention spans with swifties like, “I love my mind when it’s fucking the crack of events,” or “Confusing yourself is a way to stay honest.” Confucius Hazard say: Short snappy remarks do not Socratic wisdom lead up to.
When I asked Holzer how much the site-specific LED bytes cost, she reached for but did not invent an aphorism: “More than steel sculpture, but less than paper or canvas.” When I asked her what she read to feed her aphorizing mind, she replied, “Not much, I’m busy as an artist.” It shows. Happy ‘90s.
Reprinted from Welcomat: After Dark, Hazard at Large, December 27, 1989

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