Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Some Reviews

Mike Kelly, “Day is Done”
At the Gagosian Gallery

Well, ol’ Mike Kelly’s arts are pretty big here. I imagine that a lot of people will compare “Day is Done” to a haunted house, and they’re right, it’s kind of like a haunted house. Kelly takes photographs from yearbooks from the 80s, blows them up, then re-stages them with his friends. He is also obsessed with goths, so many of the pictures are of 80s vampires and assorted morbidities. The pictures encircle a frenzied mixed media installation which involves some pretty hilarious video pieces (mopey 80s vampire working at what looks like a real estate agent's office, pasty-faced ghoul stumbling through a bush) and amusing works of sculpture, many based on poorly-designed high school stage sets. It got to be sensory overload about a third of the way through (also, the gallery does not boast a bathroom), but it’s probably worth a trip some time real soon, before it closes. Bring your own grease pencil so you can circle the differences between the pictures!

Issue Project Room, on the lovely Gowanus

I went to an experimental fiction reading here. All the pieces were pretty good, but the space was especially interesting. Issue Project Room is a converted silo, staffed by extremely rude hipsters, on the Gowanus canal. It features an enormous wrought-iron gate before which guests are invited to stand for an hour or so while the hipsters ignore them (S. Grant and I happened to arrive at the same time as one of the readers, who was LIVID and had been waiting for a long time in very cold weather – the hipster who unlocked the gate barely apologized, so you can imagine how they treat the normal guests). It also features a robust $10 cover charge and a delightfully unprofessional, under stocked bar that offers beer (wait, actually no beer) and wine for the same low prices found at Le Cirque. The reading space is upstairs in the silo next door - readers are allowed to use an interior staircase, the public is invited to go outside. The actual space is quite lovely, a huge round room with what looks like a nice a/v setup and a fine upright piano, and the rest of the building looks like it would be an amazing place to live and write, say, postfeminist fiction in which the heroine is named “Cervix.” Hear me, O Internet, and strike down the hubris of these hipsters! Let them realize that their rad hangout would be more rad if they knew how to act!

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

More like Harry Potter and the New Russian. For me and E. Hastings, Victor Krum absolutely made this movie (actually, I thought it was the most skillful and least boring of the movies – although the rumors you hear that it is impenetrable to those who haven’t read the book are extremely true). Try watching the movie and imagining that whenever he is not onscreen, Krum is in a disco wearing a transparent vinyl shirt, hijacking cigarette trucks, beating people to death with tire irons, drinking tea while holding sugar in his mouth, playing dominoes with a guy who is wearing one of those shirts that lacw at the collar, etc. His touching gift to Hermione as he returns to Durmstrang for the summer? An eightball and a $100 bill.

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