Apropos of the big clock ticking, Mike Davis, bass player of the quasi-legendary punk ensemble MC5 died last week.An event which had me reaching into the way back machine to Chicago, the glorious summer of 1968, where the Democratic Party held its convention. As part of the festivities, the Motor City quintet gave a free concert in Lincoln Park.Ironically, the only footage of that performance is actual Department of Defense Surveillance Footage
It was a fine old time, powered by hope and youthful exuberance until, reminiscent of Czarist Russia, various agents and provocateurs sponsored by our secret police, disrupted the proceedings. The rest of the story is well documented. I do recall that for a few golden, stolen moments, parts of Michigan Avenue belonged to the people—Right on.
Thinking of Chicago also leads me to recall frequent Saturday afternoons spent on the central staircase of the Art Institute, engaged in people watching and chemically altered daydreaming. Additionally, this great world class museum housed some wonderful paintings by Yves Tanguey,Chicagoan Ivan Albright and unless my memory is faulty, Picasso’s Guernica which were wondrous to behold.
These days depending on the diagnosis, either my adult onset agoraphobia or my penchant for village life keeps me within the calm borders of my suburban zip code. Thus,I don’t avail myself of the various temples of commerce posing as houses of art and creation. If you think I am over-stating that case, note for example, every curator and even the museum director at Boston’s MFA has some donor’s name attached (And you thought David Foster Wallace was kidding in Infinite Jest.) Not to mention that exhibitions of Ralph Lauren’s car collection is that institution’s idea of art.
Russian born photographer Irina Rozokovsky exhibits her photographs at Harvard’s Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts,through March 11, 2012 Her most recent book One to Nothing(Kehrer Verlag) focuses on what Rozovsky opines is an unseen Israel and her presentation attempts to reach beyond the virulent politics of the Middle East.
The Jewish Museum, New York currently houses an exhibition (through 03/25/12) of Photo League photographers mentored by paragons Lewis Hine, Berenice Abbott, and Paul Strand. The exhibition catalogue The Radical Camera New York’s Photo League, 1936-1951(Yale University Press) compiled by museum curator Mason Klein, contains 150 images by the likes of Margaret Bourke-White, Sid Grossman, Morris Engel, Lisette Model, Ruth Orkin, Walter Rosenblum, Aaron Siskind, W. Eugene Smith, and Weegee. Illuminating essays are included in this lovely publication. And in case you are so inclined,The Radical Camera is a traveling show, crisscrossing the country for the next few years
Youthful photographer Zoe Strauss is honored with a mid career showing at the Philadephia Museum of Art entitled Ten Years a ten-year project to exhibit her photographs annually in a space beneath a section of Interstate-95 (I-95) in South Philadelphia.The exhibition monograph Ten Years (Philadelphia Museum of Art)is edited by Peter Barberie with essays by Barberie, Sally Stein, and Zoe Strauss and contains over 200 images, more than half never before published. Karen Rosenberg extolls Strauss’s work:
It’s fair to say that Ms. Strauss has accomplished more in the past decade than many artists do in a lifetime. With more gumption than wherewithal, she spun a single idea into a magnum opus. The question hanging over “Zoe Strauss: Ten Years” is, what comes next?
Lyonel Feinenger’s photography has been hitherto unknown—as the Harvard Art Museums house an extensive Lyonel Feininger Archive in the Busch-Reisinger Museum containing over 18,000 images, its makes sense that a traveling showcase will be a show running from Mar 30 2012 — Jun 2 2012 . The catalogue assembled with an essay authored by Laura Muir, assistant curator of the Busch-Reisinger Museum and won a German Photo Book Award in Gold 2012.
No catalogue exists for the Harvard show but there is a wonderful monograph by Lelia Amalfitano and Judith Hoos Fox, for Lemueix’s recent mid career show The Strange Life of Objects: The Art of Annette Lemieux
Currently reading The Street Sweeper by Eliot Perlman (Riverhead)