19 October 2008

random acts of MADness

After an early lunch on Saturday with Charles and Don who were down from Syracuse for a Lincoln Center fix, I stopped at the new building of the Museum of Arts and Design (MAD), the much-criticized reworking of the "lollypop building" on Columbus Circle by Ezra Durrell Stone. One of the opening shows is "Second Lives: Remixing the Ordinary." There were a number of interesting objects in the show. The most compelling perhaps was Michael Rakowitz's papier maché reconstructions of objects that disappeared or were damaged during the looting of the Baghdad Museum in 2003. Most of the works in the show were not so overtly political. There were two lovely cupboards using recycled materials: one with panels of recycled wood by Piet Hein Eek and another with panels of recycled steel by someone (the artist list for the show hasn't yet yielded a match in my addled brain). Jean Shin did a wonderful Hiroshige wave out of old LPs. And Devorah Sperber did a great Mona Lisa out of spools of thread (this is for you, Jenni!). On the floor of works from the permanent collection, there's a nice textile work by Elaine Reichek called "Egyptian Curtain" with a quote from Matisse: "I used to buy pieces of tapestry ... a little museum of samples ... my working library" (ellipses in the caption).

My favorite confusing headline from the morning paper is "Keeping Lawmakers Happy through Gifts to Pet Charities." I was expected something about Leona Helmsley and her billionaire puppy. Instead, it was Congressman Murtha and grants to the symphony orchestra in Johnstown, PA. I'll accept that sort of congressional payout more than grants for military-industrial complexes or "bridges to nowhere."

That article was cheek-by-jowl with an article about the dudes that are storming Sarah Palin rallies. That was scary.

After reading some of the paper with my pancakes at Silver Spurs on Broadway, I walked over to see the Banksy Village Petstore and Charcoal Grill installation wherein fish sticks swim in a bowl, gorillas watch the Discovery Channel, a fur coat sits on a branch swinging its tail, chicken nuggets snack, sausages wiggle like sea lions, a bunny burnishes her nails in front of a mirror, and whatnot. On the way to Seventh Avenue, I ran into a guy who had a hard luck story, locked out of this apartment and if he didn't get uptown by 10 a.m., he'd lose his job with "The Drowsy Chaperone." Well, I fell for it, "lent" him a twenty, and he promised he'd leave a twenty with my doorman in an hour or so. There's the "random act of madness" but perhaps my faith in the street story will be restored. I've made more foolish investments in bum rushes. Not that he seemed to be memorizing my address.


nbm said...

I dunno, maybe we should regard those elaborate hard-luck stories as artworks and any "loans" we make as the equivalent of the Met's pay-what-you-will charge, but instead I find them insulting. Just ask! I want to bark, don't insult both our intelligences.

Incidentally, if your buddy wanted to get to his job at "The Drowsy Chaperone," he was going to need more than twenty bucks' cab fare. It's playing in Denver this week.

Sherman Clarke said...

As the stupidity has rolled around in my brain, I've thought "is Drowsy Chaperone even playing any more?" and "hasn't this guy pulled the same story on me before?" I'm major gullible.