Monday, May 17, 2010

A week in New York, uh, five days actually

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As my nephew Léandre is visiting from Switzerland, I have been going out more than usual. And floored, again, by what this city has to offer. In one single week:

Started on Wednesday with Carousel event on the Lower East Side. Comic strips/graphic novel artists were presenting their work as slide shows on a large screen with voice over. It was such an essential Lower East Side event, with a cool assortment of New York eccentrics, and a totally unique show. Just loved it. Plus we had a bottle of beer in our hands, uh, my hand, as my nephew is 18. Proceeds from the drinks go to the theater so we were actually doing a charitable act by drinking which is a very enjoyable experience. We totally enjoyed Jason Little's postmodern fable and were swooned by Doug Skinner's gorgeous black and white drawings accompanied by a poetic text. In the vein of Herriman's Krazy Kat. Puzzled by his awesome performance and the European flavor of his art, I checked him out and found that he composes music, is a ventriloquist, actor, has made videos, am I forgetting anything? 
Carousel apparently organizes these slide shows regularly. Anybody who's into graphic novels/comix art/bande dessinée or just plain visual art with a twist should check them out. Just too cool, too much fun for words.

Friday went to see "Women without Men", a film by Shirin Neshat, at the Quad. Visually stunning, she was present after the screening for a Q & A about her visually stunning film. The main role was played by an artist friend of hers, who was acting for the first time. Incredibly touching and convincing performance. The film is interesting and daring and explores narrative possibilities. The combination of realistic and fantastic characters didn't quite work for me. And the theme of the orchard was somewhat contrived. But. Salute anyone who goes and makes a first full length feature which is compelling, because we know how hard that is.

Saturday at Roulette to hear John King's compositions. Unfortunately we were late because we went to Roulette's headquarters in Tribeca instead of the performance space on Greene St. Now you know and won't make the same mistake. So we missed part of the first quartet which was intriguing and horizon widening. SAPPHO, twelve arias inspired by Sappo's poetry was the most beautiful and poignant thing I've heard since Bach's Matthew's Passion at BAM last spring. The music and singing captured the essence of Sappho's poems, their beauty, their simplicity, precious fragments somehow handed down to us through time of a woman, a poet who felt and loved and sang on the Aegean coast a long time ago.

Sunday at the Queen's Museum of Art for the opening of a very very cool exhibition, the Curse of Bigness! Inspired by the model of New York city  and the Unisphere, it offers some fun and clever pieces of art. My son Numen (in the photo below, against a painted background) enjoyed the giant churros and the tiny dumplings which were served at the opening.

Contributed by  - -  Arabella Hutter


  1. wish i'd been to all of these but esp the sappho concert, love your writing, and these snippets of why i love new york

  2. You're so right, I really think you would have enjoyed every one of these shows! Well next time, we'll go together.