The panel focused on the program developed by the Soros Centers for Contemporary Art (SCCA) network and its role in the modernization of artistic discourse in the former socialist countries.
In English (the language, not the artist), there is a curious phrase for considering an idea: “to entertain a thought.” It marries apparent opposites: thought, which is serious, philosophical, abstract, or interrogative, and entertainment, which is unserious, trivial, and a means of escapism—from thinking, among other things. But when the phrase is used, there’s no intention to invoke the world of cabaret or comedy: it’s Rose English who connects showmanship to theory. In her performances, she uses the conventions of theater and stage spectacle, along with comic wordplay, to interrogate philosophical problems of representation, democracy, and gender identity.
Voluptuous buttocks and full breasts, thick black contours surrounding glorified female silhouettes, ornamental plants depicted in primary colors, two golden mandalas. Executed in her signature style, which oscillates between hippie psychedelia and Byzantine mosaics, Dorothy Iannone’s cover for her book A Cook Book (1969) features her full repertoire of iconic motifs. Plus some pots and pans. The following pages contain more than two hundred recipes handwritten against delightfully colorful backgrounds intermingled with short annotations on life, love, feminism, and moussaka à la Grecque. There is no hierarchy between text and image, food and food for thought. Politics go hand in hand with humor, hunger with sexual appetite. A recipe for one-minute mayonnaise is accompanied by the casual-sounding statement: “Well, it is possible that God is a woman. Sorry.”
"explained away" is organized circularly around the entire upper floor of the museum, creating the effect of being in the middle of an accelerated loop of relationships between sounds, gestures, and images becoming texts (and vice versa). Four site-specific installations and two video rooms, flanked acutely by artworks from the collection delineate an idea of symmetry in the space.
Tibetan singing bowls, gong baths, sheets of shimmering synths, strummed harps, lapping waves, and flutes whose sounds used to resonate, furtively, in “spas, wellness centers, yoga studios, and hippie bookstores” alone: for some time now, it has actually once again been okay to listen to these sonic hallmarks of New Age music—in fact, it has become inexplicably cool to flaunt your Deuter records and Iasos tapes of late. It wasn’t always thus. In this wide-ranging consideration of the critical revival of the long maligned and ridiculed New Age phenomenon, Crystal Vibrations aficionado Dieter Roelstraete asks why the same hasn’t happened to New Age music’s visual pendant—the aesthetic scourge of Visionary art. Might its time have come, at long last? Let’s see, and start by looking.