Sunday, April 20, 2008

A Redneck in the Big Apple

I like to think of myself as well rounded. I enjoy multiple genres of music. I've read plays. I'll watch foreign films. I even enjoy playing soccer and watching rugby. I've traveled abroad and have sampled, relished, and gorged myself on multiple culinary experiences. For someone coming from backwoods NY, I consider myself very cosmopolitan, urbane, and well adjusted.

Now art and I go way back (and I'm not referring to the eccentric guy named Art in my church congregation when I was youth...that guy was just plain crazy). During my sojourn in Paris I spent many happy hours in the Musee d'Orsay, the Louvre, and the Rodin museum. That said all of those share the commonality of not having anything in their collection post-1900.

(Although the Musee D'Orsay did have a bit exhibit "The Last Portrait" last time I was back there that had some stuff from the 20th century. It was a fascinating study of death masks, death portraits and death photography. For more info check out their website.


Now wasn't that the longest parenthetical ever? Knowing me it probably wasn't.)

With this culturally whetted pallet, Wife and I were eager to make our trip to NYC to see our friend Julie's short film mocking documentaries. We were not disappointed. Using film archives of a plethora of documentaries she cut them to make it sound like the main historians were having a sordid love affair. It was highly entertaining and goes to prove that history is always relative. At least that's what I'm getting out of it, she can correct me if I'm wrong. Alternatively her lawyers can send me a cease and desist order telling me to remove all descriptions of her content, I'll put it next to the one from Major League Baseball (Express written consent indeed!).

Besides her film there were a number of other compelling pieces on display. There was a short film about a man nailed to the floor of a box that was obviously flipping over and over. It was quite entertaining. There was a film/photo project of a man that built his own island, and who says that no man is an island. I especially found the photo of the brothers in a trench in Iraq very compelling. There were some very cool mixed media pieces too.

That said there were others that appealed to me significantly less. The exhibit of the woman trapped in the box was disturbing in all the wrong sort of ways. Even worse than that was the live action version of Manet's (sorry for those who I told it was Courbet. In my defense they both did pretty explicit work) Dejeuner sur l'Herbe. I can honestly say I didn't think it possible to offended even sensibilities but I was proven quite wrong. Remember I'm the man who specializes in offending others and still has absolutely no inner monologue.

That said I did learn something though about that painting. Evidently Bow Wow Wow did a photographic reinterpretation using the band as the people in the painting for their 1981 album which gave us that all time classic I want Candy. This of course is scandalous because the lead singer was 15 at the time and nude in the photo. Her mother turned her in to Scotland Yard.

All in all though it was an enjoyable day spent in the city. After all where else in the world do you get to see a friend's juried film, eat a deep-fried candy bar, and watch your wife flirt her way out of a ticket? Maybe we'll update our next weekend's trip soon too.


Which leads us to the video of the day. I really don't want to subject any of you to a Bow Wow Wow song, so here's another great Muppet's music video.

3 comments:

Roy @ CNM said...

The Muppet hunters remind me of 2/3 of my HS graduating class...

Kendra Leigh said...

We're glad you didn't go into more graphic detail. That's one piece of (ahem) artwork we'd rather not remember.

dastew said...

I was tempted but my grandparents visit this site. As it is most of my posts aren't what you'd characterize as "grandparent worthy".