29 July 2007

great expedition, partly thwarted


On July 15th, Dorthy Spears wrote in The New York times about an installation by Karen Kilimnik at the Powel House in Philadelphia. It seemed intriguing and I was embarrassed not to recognize Kilimnik's name or artwork. So yesterday seemed like a good day for an expedition. I really enjoyed a trip to Eastern State for the Janet Cargill/George Bures installation a couple years ago so I figured I could go see the Kilimnik installation and the related show at the Institute of Contemporary Art and fit in a visit to Eastern State if it worked out that way. It didn't work out quite like I expected. I hadn't checked the times for NJ Transit, the Powel House, ICA, or Eastern State until Saturday morning. I just missed the 10:14 train to Philadelphia and then it was late getting to Trenton so I missed the connection. Finally got to Philadelphia and the Powel House at about 3 pm to find a sign on the door that said "closed for special event, sorry for the inconvenience, please come back." Sigh. Off to the ICA. The red room with derivative works was vaguely amusing, not as much as the "Museo de Reproducciones Fotográficas" at Triple Candie in June. The Ramp Project by Phoebe Washburn was however splendid, with a barrel vault. The walls were slabs and chunks of leftover wood, something like shingles, with the occasional aquarium many with golf balls. I wasn't finding much of Kilimnik's work familiar until I got to the gazebo with the ballerinas superimposed on a constructed landscape with the bird sounds over the ballet music. Also at the ICA was the project space with "Crimes of omission" -- one was a certificate on the stolen chewing gum, photographed at WalMart with the photos developed in the photo center there, by Michael Linares. http://www.icaphila.org/ Rather than spending my time at a restaurant getting something to eat, I took off for Eastern State and found it just closing. Oh, well. I walked back to the center of town and had something to eat. Stopped off at a favorite dive bar The Post to find they no longer had dancers and were about to be replaced by Tomboi. Yet again "oh well" and off to 30th Street Station for the ride home. I'm reading Name of the rose and enjoying it more.

On Thursday, we had a department managers meeting. Carol announced that the head of info technology was investigating an organizational climate assessment software package. I was horrified. Most everyone seemed to be nodding. To paraphrase Bob Dylan, you don't need a weatherman to see which way the wind blows.

While cruising the internet for this year's SAA Visual Materials Section t-shirt, I came across the t-shirt designed by a library school student for the SAA student chapter at the University of Wisconsin. It pays hommage to the paper clip and the caption is "intelligent design." http://www.cafepress.com/cp/tf.aspx?tf=379199 I rather wish it was just the paper clip on the front; the back has several drawings that seem to me to explain the "joke" that doesn't need explaining.

1 comment:

e said...

Wow. Software to determine what is obvious to everyone? As Mary told me the other night on the phone, I have my soul back. I didn't realize how damaging an environment I was in until I left. Okay, I think I knew.