I'm still not sure whether this snowy screening was intentional and meant as art or whether the staff of Meet the Johnsons (Rivington @ Essex) actually thought the customers would watch Wayne's World on a static-bound television rather than, say, engage in conversation. Or maybe the TV simply traveled through time to appear at the bar just as it would have looked twenty years earlier. And showing all the signs of its age. The world may never know . . .
Some friends and I were at an opening at Jack the Pelican on Friday night and came upon these horse-hoof boots. We all stopped and looked at each other, then back at the boots. I couldn't help but imagine myself prancing around in them like a centaur -- c'mon, I know you're doing it too. And then (mid-prance) you see wild-eyed PETA folk chasing after you. You gallop away, but you must admit that these boots are not politically correct. In fact, they so resemble the (dead) horse that they suddenly seem as tragic as they are beautiful.
Perhaps the boots are artist Iris Scheiferstein's comment on vanity and the use of animal skins and fur in fashion. Or maybe she's pointing out the under-appreciated beauty of the horse's hoof, not simply in a PETA kind of way. The boots stir up desire and fantasy -- whether it's for high fashion or mythical worlds, I'm not sure. Either way, they take us to a place where the distinctions between "animal" and "human" are not completely clear. At the same time, the sometimes cruel relationship between humans and animals in contemporary society is strikingly apparent.
This piece is exquisite and surprising. The boots make us look twice because they are both familiar and strange. By jarring our naturalized perspectives, they make us think again about the things we consider normal in our everyday lives -- even if they don't change our outlook, they will likely challenge it for a moment.
I can hear you over there -- thinking, "What is this FEAST and why is it in all-caps?" Well, here's your answer. FEAST is an acronym that stands for Funding Emerging Art with Sustainable Tactics. The clever part, of course, is that it is also dinner! A delicious meal made from organic and local ingredients. Here's how it works: you go to a designated location (so far it's been a church basement in Greenpoint, Brooklyn but the next one will be in a park) on a designated Saturday evening. You pay 10 to 20 smackers to get in the door, then you eat, drink (Brooklyn Brewery has brought a keg to the last two gatherings), and read proposals. These are proposals for local art projects of all kinds, from dance to visual art to creating a network of urban gardens. After reading the proposals, you vote for the one you deem most worthy. The gardening network was proposed by K.I.D.S. and s3Cr37 5ch00l (secret school), pictured above. They won the grant at the April FEAST, then gave out seed packs and garden-networking tips (and wore very special hats) at the following FEAST in May. FEAST also features music by a variety of local bands. At the last event there was even an adult version of face-painting: make-up artists that made us all look a little more glam. I was given a Jem and the Holograms worthy blush starburst on my cheekbone (which went undocumented, but this girl has one in the works). The best part of FEAST is meeting other people who are invested in their community, and who generally love food, art, and conversation. Yessssssssssss. There are also some very fashion-forward FEASTers and proposal-makers (below). Very well-done on the all white outfits -- that's a hard look to pull off. And the (other) best part: FEAST founder Jeff Hnilicka gives out all of the dinner's proceeds to the artist or group that received the most votes. At the second and third FEASTs there was enough money raised for two small grants and one large one (1000 bones!) Here he is with the beautiful . . . the coveted . . . bag of money. Horray! It really does feel amazing to see your donation go to making a community project come to life. And these are May FEAST's big winners. Their piece, "The Great Trans-Gowanus Cable" will revisit the history of the Gowanus Canal, which runs through the south of Brooklyn to Gowanus Bay. The project will also explore the ways the Brooklyn community has talked about the canal for the last century and a half. Such reflection will be prompted by the sending of Morse Code messages through the cable that they build, in the spirit of Civil War-era communication technology. In other words -- you can visit this artwork and send a message across to the other side of the canal! Below is an imagining of what the artwork could (but might not) look like. So, FEAST = dinner + art + community. Whether the event inspires you to make a proposal or just to come and eat, it's worth checking out -- or creating one in your own community.