Monday, August 21, 2006

Looking at Art with Jacques & Pierre, or Vision Thing

Artist's Choice: Herzog & de Meuron, Perception Restrained
Museum of Modern Art, New York
June 21 through September 25, 2006

In our contemporary secular climate -- post modern, post faith -- art has assumed some of the duties of religion. It channels our vision, informs us what is "really there" behind the veneer of mere appearance. It anoints us with significance. But should art stand in for faith, who will be its theologians, its explicators or apologists? Who will inform the masses?

The artists themselves? Artists certainly do not lack the ego to don priestly vestments. But many are too solipsistic, too insular, and too impatient to provide a useful model for pedagogy. If the audience doesn’t "get it" right away, artists often can’t be bothered to explain. In fact, the very act of explanation might be viewed with suspicion: as pandering, as a capitulation or failure. Since, in the typically austere model, the work’s intrinsic and visible qualities should be strong enough to obviate any need for explanation. What’s more, the elitist mechanism of the art world does not particularly encourage or reward artists for explaining their metaphysic to the world at large. Their target audience is smaller, although more rarefied. As long as they are able to impress one dealer, two museum trustees, three critics, four curators and five major collectors, everyone else will surely follow in due course.

The role of public advocate is more readily assumed by architects. They are inured to the necessities of a client relationship. Architects, even star architects with a Pritzker in their portfolio, constantly need to sell the importance of their work to government committees, corporate presidents, zoning boards and the like. And while architects do not lack for ego, they must be ready to socialize, to defend and cajole and explicate, to offer up a persona for public consumption. Perhaps that’s why so many invest in designer eyewear, as a talisman of their unique vision. If we can believe their jargon, and their eyeglasses, we are well on the way to approving their designs for living.

What would happen if architects were allowed to curate an art show? Would they become more dogmatic and unapproachable? Would they maintain their typically conflated posture: true visionary meets super salesman? Or would other factors intervene?

The particular case study is Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron, of the respected, well known Swiss firm Herzog & de Meuron. They have designed the Tate Modern in London, the extension of the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, the de Young Museum in San Francisco, the Schaulager kunsthalle in their hometown of Basel. As well as various sports arenas (in Germany, Switzerland and Beijing – the last in progress for the 2008 Olympic Games), plus apartment buildings, private residences, factories, schools, office buildings. They are currently engaged in the design of a condominium/townhouse complex for Ian Schrager and Aby Rosen in New York’s NoHo neighborhood, and of the Parrish Art Museum in Southampton. They have their Pritzger (2001). But the one commission that eluded them, the prize just out of reach, was the expansion of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, perhaps the world’s foremost temple of art. Their design made it into the final three, but they ultimately lost to Japanese architect Yoshio Taniguchi.

Perhaps as a peace offering, to indicate they are still held in high esteem by the museum’s mandarins, H&dM were tapped to curate an Artist’s Choice exhibition at MoMA. This is only the eighth Artist’s Choice since the inception of the series in 1989, and they are the first architects so chosen. What they make of this opportunity is Perception Restrained, a particularly trenchant critique of institutional power and of the conventions of viewing art in a museum. The exhibition, which perversely crams art works into walled off sepulchers where they are essentially hidden from view, or else places them high on the ceiling, touches on a number of loaded issues. On visibility and invisibility, on Situationism and the society of the spectacle, on the postmodern packaging of culture, on the preciousness of the art object, on the fortress mentality of the museum.

Most tellingly, Perception Restrained is an archly conceived exercise in petulance, an elaborately intellectualized expression of sour grapes. But what else did MoMA expect? With a self conscious gesture reeking of noblesse oblige (seemingly patting themselves on the back while admiring themselves in the mirror -- not an uncommon posture for many MoMA personnel) they graciously extended the olive branch to H&dM, beckoning the architects back to the house they did not get to build. H&dM responded in an all too human way. They bit the hand (that didn’t feed them), but with cunningly deadpan subversion and piss elegant politesse. The rarefied pas de deux between all powerful, super rich patron and aggressively intelligent servant, set in the higher precincts of the cultural elite, has hardly been demonstrated to better advantage. And, as H&dM can hardly be unaware of the recent critical backlash against Taniguchi’s design, it is certainly a propitious moment for institutional critique: right inside the lost commission, the "scene of the crime".

Artist’s Choice is a long running but relatively infrequent series at MoMA (as compared to, say, the Projects). Particular artists have been asked to draw work from the museum’s collection, in order to illustrate a thesis or to reinterpret the collection in the context of their own work. It started in 1989, when Kirk Varnedoe invited Scott Burton, the sculptor of benches and plinths, who responded with an exhibition of Brancusi’s bases as sculpture in their own right. Subsequent exhibitions were organized by Ellsworth Kelly (1990), Chuck Close (1991), John Baldessari (1994), Elizabeth Murray (1995), Mona Hatoum (2004), and Stephen Sondheim (2005).

H&dM certainly fulfill the mandate on contemplating the meta- with Perception Restrained. As might be anticipated from architects, it is the manner of display rather than the actual art selected for display that they find instructive and essential. H&dM make it clear, in their accompanying brochure, that the choice of objects in the show does not reflect any personal aesthetic preference. "Everyone knows that the holdings of MoMA are unparalleled in quantity, quality and density. How could we possibly pick out the gems when we only have gems to choose from?"

So while art is the ostensible subject, this is decidedly NOT an art review, as the selection seems almost incidental. The art serves merely as a prop for the real issue, which is space. Space energized for display. The spectacle, and the paradoxical failure, of exhibition. H&dM never actually engage in a direct critique of the Taniguchi galleries at MoMA. This would be unseemly, ungracious and decidedly uncollegial. They instead choose to locate the problem with the viewer. "The problem facing the Museum is not a lack of first-rate art but rather a lack of perceptive attention on the part of museum visitors, despite the spectacular galleries in the new extension. The art is there, spread out in a panorama, professionally illuminated, impossible to overlook – but it is not seen."

The unfortunate, clueless visitor just won’t concentrate! Great riches are laid out before him, but he won’t pay attention. (H&dM obviously refer to the casual museum attendee, and certainly not to their peer group of art adepts or aficionados, whose practiced eyes will never waver from the prize). The solution? Make the art less accessible. Make viewing it a challenge, through simple spatial dislocation and interference. "Our project is an attempt to offer a spatial alternative to the existing galleries for a limited period of time and in a limited space, a site of heightened concentration and density that functions like a kind of perception machine. By obstructing and putting pressure on perception, the installation intensifies the viewing experience and makes it more enduring, more selective, and more individual." In other words, hide the art, or at least obscure it, in order to foreground the very act of viewing. Purify the experience by making it an ordeal, a trial. Create difficulties to vision, because only then, with the consciousness of surmounting a barrier, will the audience become truly aware and appreciative of the art on display. Less (visible) is – you know – more (visible).

The main, entry space of Perception Restrained is a dark room filled with rows of long benches. Fifteen video screens are mounted on the ceiling, with loops (ranging from 37 seconds to 14 minutes) excerpted from various Hollywood blockbusters and a limited avant-garde repertory. Included are three ultra violent, kinetic scenes from Scorcese’s Italian-American urban crime melodramas -- Goodfellas, Taxi Driver, and Mean Streets. The Robert Duvall intoned "I love the smell of napalm in the morning" air cavalry attack from Coppola’s Apocalypse Now. The bullet ridden finale of Bonnie and Clyde. Werner (no relation to Jacques?) Herzog’s Aguirre, the Wrath of God and Woyzeck (both starring Klaus Kinski). A trinity of Warhol films from his Paul Morrissey period: Trash, Flesh and Heat. And of special interest to a Swedish audience: Vilgot Sjöman’s I Am Curious films, both Yellow and Blue. In order to view the clips, one must either crane one’s head upward, lie flat on the bench, or use thoughtfully provided hand mirrors to reflect the images above.

H&dM indicate the choice of films does not reflect their artistic taste (although the art house selections do seem a fond relic from their student days), but "simply confirms an undeniable shift in imagery that has taken place in recent years. The moving image with explicit reference to violence, drama, and sex has received growing attention while traditional artistic mediums require special exhibitions with blockbuster potential in order to be perceived at all."

Aware of its potential to educate, propagandize and create revolutionary consciousness, Lenin called film "the most important art". H&dM seem to agree, but ruefully. The vulgarity and accessibility of film is a fashionable gripe among the chattering classes. Its inherent noise and motion allow it to dominate other forms. But film is just the appetizer to this show. Off to the sides of the central viewing room is the main course, the meat, potato and veggie: three sequestered chambers, viewed through horizontally slotted windows or apertures reminiscent of castle crenellations. Objects are stuffed into these semi accessible, "perceptively restrained" vaults in super salon style, cheek by jowl, with the haphazard density of a dragon’s treasure trove, and are segregated according to the logic of MoMA’s own curatorial departments. One bunker contains examples from Architecture and Design (45 objects), the second has Photography (36), and the third has Painting and Sculpture (25). The history of modern art in 109 easy pieces, courtesy of MoMA and H&dM.

In the design vault are chairs by Alvar Aalto, Charles Eames, Verner Panton and Arne Jacobsen. An Ettore Sottsass portable typewriter. William Morris's Strawberry Thief printed fabric. A cake service and TV from Philippe Starck. Some original Tupperware. A wheelbarrow from Gerrit Rietveld. A spatula from Karlsson & Nilsson, and (in a discreet nod to themselves) a maquette in folded copper of one of H&dM’s early commissions, a railroad signal depot in Basel.

The photography bunker contains few surprises. The expected names all contribute (except there is nothing from Robert Frank. Why?). Diane Arbus, Man Ray, Lee Friedlander, Edward Weston, William Eggleston, Robert Adam, Robert Mapplethorpe, Larry Clark, Andreas Gursky, Thomas Struth, Thomas Ruff, Cindy Sherman, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Gregory Crewdson, Collier Schorr, Gillian Wearing, Oliver Boberg, Rineke Dijkstra.

In the rarefied Painting and Sculpture vault, only the strong survive. A Cézanne self portrait. Picasso’s paper maquette for his sheet metal Guitar sculpture. Matisse. Mondrian. A Giacometti bronze. A Balthus portrait of Joan Miró and his daughter. Dali, Calder, Louise Bourgeois, Frida Kahlo, Joseph Beuys. A Francis Bacon study. Pollock, de Kooning, Ad Reinhardt, Franz Kline. Jasper Johns. Donald Judd. A Warhol self portrait silkscreen. A Gerhard Richter landscape. Sculpture by Bruce Nauman, Jeff Koons, Robert Gober, Charles Ray, Matthew Barney.

An exhaustive (and exhausting) list, but not particularly revelatory, because the choices are drawn from artists and designers well known within the modernist and postmodernist canon. The objects are already spoken for. They have a place in art history and an appreciable, collectible value. Could this be the very point? The Swiss are bankers to the world. Perhaps it is no accident that H&dM feel most comfortable placing the work where it will be safe, in a protected, inaccessible bunker. It is their reaction as good citizens of MittelEuropa. Architects are devout servants of capital, of real property. Their livelihood, after all, is in the creation of more real property.

But let us take H&dM at their word, and view their entombment of the object as paradoxically liberating, even a bit subversive, because it makes us see the work from a new perspective. Let us also accept their critique of spectacle, and of the packaging of culture in our contemporary, image saturated society: that in order to compete with film, other art forms must establish a new density, or be incorporated into a new blockbuster format, in order to signify to the mass audience and thus aggrandize the exhibiting institution. This thesis would hopefully be illustrated by the physical parameters of Perception Restrained. But in fact the objects in the bunkers are not as easily seen as the film clips above our heads, which again win by default. Not exactly the liberation of the object as posited by H&dM. In this case, at least, their theoretical musings on perception seem to outstrip their praxis.

But in their institutional critique, H&dM seem right on target. Like the universe at large, MoMA has periods of expansion and contraction. The cosmology of the museum, if you will. In its shiny Taniguchi shell, MoMA might seem poised on the cusp of a new era of exploration: to boldly go where no institution has gone before. But space is a funny thing. While the museum has stunning interior vistas, atria, and stairways to heaven, as well as a plentitude of cafes, restaurants and bookshops, its actual usable space – as measured in ease of crowd flow, navigability from gallery to gallery, transparency of spatial intentions, sheer ease of use – might leave something to be desired.

In sucking the air out of Perception Restrained, H&dM are sounding a cautionary note: that claustrophobia might soon be the order of the day throughout the entire museum, with its huge permanent collection, its expanding public, and its archaic, departmentalized organization. The new MoMA might already be outmoded, and ill equipped to survive a population explosion in its audience. The argument is positively Malthusian, but no less compelling. To paraphrase from a film H&dM did not show on their ceiling: "Soylent Green is art."

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Boo Who?: Mystic Pizzazz, Ghost Writing and Arrant Spelling

Strange Powers, July 19 – September 17, 2006
curated by Laura Hoptman and Peter Eleey
produced by Creative Time
at 64 East Fourth Street, second floor

In 1983 I curated a group exhibition called Totem, with work from fifty artists filling three galleries in the 420 West Broadway building in SoHo. The show dealt with figurative imagery and, without going into any particular detail, conflated the (then) predominant school of Neo Expressionism with l’école de East Village painting. In her Voice review, Lucy Lippard called it "intellectual Halloween". This was not meant as a compliment.

Totem itself is long gone, as are two of its host galleries (the third moved to Chelsea). The memory of the show is dim and fading, but the epithet endures. "Intellectual Halloween" again came to mind when I viewed Strange Powers, Creative Time’s current group spook-a-thon, summer séance and assembly of the contemporary art coven. A show of crystal balls, magic wands, things that go bump, darkened rooms, voices from beyond, and investigations into the paranormal, its inherent theatricality is heightened, or at least highlighted, by its chosen site: an actors’ rehearsal loft on East Fourth Street above the main stage of Tom Noonan’s Paradise Theater.

Here, in the off-off Broadway Neverland of a non profit theater, which is reported to be haunted (perhaps by the ghosts of unemployed actors, who have plenty of time to do spooky voice overs), Creative Time attempts to cast its itinerant spell.

When Marshall McLuhan said the medium is the message, he was not, to my knowledge, referencing an actual spiritual clairvoyant. But who knows? TV is certainly a voice (and image) from the beyond. Think how many recent horror films use the device of an evil spirit emanating from the TV screen (The Ring, Videodrome, etc.)

McLuhan was a social scientist. Art is not a science. Perhaps that’s why we call it art. But art can appropriate the look of science, and certainly of pseudo science. Art can revel in fashionable superstition, taken from mass cultural forms such as airport novels, movies and TV. (I’m thinking X-Files, but name your own poison.) As a "high" form, art can be made more democratic and cool, and can borrow interest, by incorporating ectoplasmic reveries from the popular imagination, of street corner theosophy. The garden of the hyperreal readily yields to the slough of the paranormal. Madame Blavatsky, are you there? Give us a sign.

In fact, art is eminently positioned to confront the occult. The usual adjectives addressing the artistic process already acknowledge its "strange powers." Art is magic. It is intuitive. It is transformative, alchemical. It provides a door to an alternate consciousness. As Bruce Nauman noted in his famous spiraling neon sign from 1967: "The True Artist Helps the World by Revealing Mystic Truths."

Kind of says it all, doesn’t it? And with a mudra that shapes his mantra. This was just three years before Robert Smithson executed Spiral Jetty. Was there something in the air? Certainly there was a tendency in postminimalism, conceptualism and Arte Povera -- work from the late 60s through the early 70s – to reach out towards the ineffable, to give shape or direction to the incorporeal, to deal with ritual and performance, to deconstruct the existence of the object while stressing its essence.

In the wake of Nauman’s deadpan elegance, precision and brilliant brevity – which continued in his future work, although nothing by him is included in Strange Powers -- any further investigation into the mystical or magical purposes of art might seem redundant, if not presumptuous. But that never stopped curators from stretching their muscles, if the spirits so moved them. As recently as December 2005, the Metropolitan Museum hosted The Perfect Medium: Photography and the Occult. The Philadelphia ICA presented The Big Nothing in summer 2004, devoted to the immaterial and evanescent in contemporary art. An exhibition called Spiritus, at Magasin 3 in Stockholm in 2003, dealt with art and its relation to séance imagery.

There are, of course, many more examples of this curatorial fixation, each with its own particular take on the mystical, the spiritual or the paranormal. Some find it in abstract painting, some in photography, some in performance or video, some in sculpture or relics. Some in spoken word, whether or not it emanates from the crypt. In assembling their particular Wunderkammer, their chamber of eldritch curiosities, the curators of Strange Powers – Laura Hoptman of New Museum and Peter Eleey from Creative Time – seem determined to eschew any one point of view, incorporating works which range widely by subject, medium and practitioner.

There is strength in casting the net wide – it guarantees a survey – but also the danger of abandoning focus, of dilettantism, of assembling a sloppy conglomeration filled with the usual suspects. What I would call group-itis, which allows for the old and (mostly) the new, the quick (to schmooze) and the (well reputed) dead, the borrowed and the (gothic black and) blue. Twenty-one artists (or artist groups) in all.

First, the props. Could a show called "Strange Powers" be complete without a magic wand or crystal ball? Jim Lambie is almost as well known for his psychedelic power sticks as for his taped floors, wrapping bamboo staves in thread, cloth, wire and other common materials for a jolt of mojo in the mundane. One of his wands is suspended in a vitrine, seemingly floating in mid air. How does it do that? Hocus pocus or monofilament?

Eva Rothschild offers not one but two glass orbs displayed on a plinth, seemingly ready for divination, or bowling. One is crystal clear, the other murky black. The good, the bad, and the chiaroscuro? I stared at them for a while, waiting for an image or revelation to take shape within. Nothing. But like Rothschild’s metal sculptures, these orbs seem to be harnessing the lessons of minimalism for a "new age".

In a nod to Uri Geller and the film Poltergeist, Paul Pfeiffer presents a bent spoon, housed like a relic under glass. It is an early piece (2001) and blends well with his better known media appropriative videos. Interestingly, due not to psychic forces but to the old, warped flooring of the building, the spoon would visibly vibrate whenever anyone walked near it. But why bend spoons and not forks or knives, oh unhappy spirit? Wasn’t there room under the glass for an entire place setting, or for a basketball spinning at the end of a hundred NBA inspired fingers? Now THAT particular video by Pfeiffer WAS indeed magic!

Several works had previous lives in other exhibitions and were resurrected for Strange Powers. The most notable, perhaps, is "The Ghost of James Lee Byars", a pitch black room (sealed behind double curtains at both entry and exit, to prevent even a single ray of light from entering) which the eponymous artist created in 1969 to house his ghost, when appropriate. As Byars passed away in 1997, it would seem a propitious moment.

Byars was an aesthete and an art dandy, and employed a particularly charged alchemy of materiality and shape, and a hieratic sense of performance. Gold leaf, blown glass and a black top hat figured symbolically in his work, which combined elements of eastern mysticism and Fluxus. There was a three gallery posthumous retrospective of his work in NY this spring, which followed an exhibition at the Whitney. Whether or not you sense his ghost in the chamber, or the ghost of Christmas past, is entirely up to you. But it is certainly very, very dark in there.

Also brought back for a return engagement is Jonathan Monk’s set of six letters to Alighiero E Boetti, the Italian artist and mystic who died in 1994. As was done when the piece was previously exhibited, all the letters were mailed to Boetti’s last known address in Rome. Of the current batch, only one has been returned as undeliverable. Did the others wind up in some spiritual way station? Were they in fact forwarded to the artist at his new, postmortem address? Or have they merely been lost, incorrectly filed or otherwise mishandled by the Italian postal system? How much does circumstance and accident feed into our acceptance of magic – or do we hold out for a definite, empirical proof which might never come?

Douglas Gordon once participated in a show in LA (in 1997) by sending a letter to the curators there, urging them to "do something evil." He reprised this letter to the curators of Strange Powers, who responded by having a curse placed on a tube of black paint, which was then used to create a rectangle on the wall, over which Gordon’s framed letter is mounted, as if to mediate, mitigate or absorb the evil. Gordon currently has a retrospective up at MoMA. Had I seen him at Strange Powers, I might have asked whether he referenced another letter enjoining him to "do something interminable", which led him to make 24 Hour Psycho.

Workers of the paranormal world unite! You have nothing to clank but your chains! Strange Powers would be incomplete without some homage to the workaday psychics, healers and clairvoyants who ply their arcane trade in this world or the next. Or somewhere in between.

Euan Macdonald is represented by the projected video of a woman who enters through an orange curtain, clasps her hands together, stands alone and still with a mild, direct gaze for about four minutes, and then disappears from whence she came, behind the curtain. She is middle-aged and self possessed, even a bit dowdy in her loose fitting blue ensemble. The piece is called "Healer," and apparently the woman is just that, a psychic healer from New Zealand.

We cannot help but reflect on the significance of her (otherwise unremarkable) gaze and posture. Is this the face of psychic renewal? Was there some actual healing going on as we watched? Of course, were it entitled "Housewife", it might trigger a whole different set of responses. These are the ambiguities of perception and deception that color Macdonald’s work. The piece is also up in Times Square, as part of Creative Time’s 59th Minute series.

Photographer Miranda Lichtenstein invited a psychic named Sondra Shaye to enter the loft prior to the installation of the show and clear it of all negative vibes and associations. To make it safe for art, as it were. Lichtenstein photographed this act of spiritual cleansing, and exhibits a photo of the performance, which combines a sense of documentary with the implication of transcendence (see image at the top of this review). And while Shaye looks quite capable of neutralizing the unrequited spirits of snubbed actors, I might doubt her abilities when up against that swatch of cursed black paint.

Certain powers are especially useful within the subculture of the art world. Anne Collier seems to have participated in half the NYC group shows of 2006, particularly since her inclusion in the Whitney Biennial. What abstruse incantation does she use to enchant and enslave the curatorial will? Many fellow artists are dying to find out. If not paranormal, her omnipresence is certainly super normal.

Does she in fact suffer from overexposure? Not in the photographic sense: her images of piles of magazine and record album covers are generally crisp, arch and conceptual. But the Aura Photographs shown here are a bit different, products of a specially modified Polaroid camera that can be found in specially stores dealing with the psychic and supernatural, with associated paraphernalia like metal sensor strips and computer printouts hooked up to the camera. When artist friends (including John Baldessari) visited her studio while she was still living in California, Collier brought them to the store and had these photos done. They purport to reveal the inner state of the sitter rather than any outward, objective appearance. In addition to their pseudo scientific claims of mapping an inherent spiritual energy, the Aura Photographs graze the edge of abstraction.

Spells are not just spoken incantations. They also have a written, calligraphic identity that was central to the life and work of Brion Gysin (1916 - 1986), the beat poet, expatriate, Sufi adept, and longtime companion of William Burroughs. Together with Burroughs, he developed the fold-in and other textual devices to enhance or alter literary creativity.

Gysin lived much of his life in Tangier and in the Mediterranean, where he was a student of the Kabbalah and other paths that stressed ritual, magic and inscription. The drawing above, reputedly written under the influence of LSD, has letters going both backwards and forwards, a method typically used in spells and ancient alphabets like Boustrophedon (literally "as the ox plows" in Greek), where successive lines were alternately inscribed left to right and then right to left.

Peter Coffin also delves into the power of inscription. His series of interlocking circles seems to inhabit a middle ground between mechanical drawing and the ritualized channeling of thought, energy and attention. In other words, magic. As an adjunct to this drawing, there is a tub of pastel colored chalk on the front desk. When visitors ask about the work, the gallery attendant is empowered to draw a chalk circle around them on the wooden floor. This enclosure – by pentagram, circle or other geometric device (drawn by chalk on the floor or a stick in the dirt) -- is a common magical practice, meant to isolate the individual, either as protection from the evil without or to isolate the energy within. As Strange Powers continues its run, the chalk circles are meant to proliferate, intersect and overlap, mirroring the density of inscription in the drawing on the wall.

The Center for Tactical Magic is a San Francisco based collective that attempts to harness latent psychic energy to promote the social good. Their installation, "Vital Psigns", investigates the telepathic connection between humans and plants. Viewers are asked to focus positive and negative thoughts on three similar potted plants (the middle one, a control, is supposed to be ignored). The results are as expected: the plant subjected to positive vibes flourishes, while the "negative" one withers.

In addition, they are distributing DIY Hex stickers at the front desk. Viewers are encouraged to envision a particular organization or corporation that perpetuates a social or political ill, write the name of that organization in the red circle in the center of the sticker, and affix the sticker to the property of that entity – which will then be cursed. In a notable reversal, the second time I came by to view the show, someone had affixed a sticker to the gallery door after writing the words "Creative Time" inside the red circle, thus effectively cursing the exhibition, if not the entire organization. Which provides us with a final cautionary lesson: that no one is immune from judgment, that magic is a two way street, and that the "strange powers" it unleashes can entwine both practitioner and recipient.

My apologies to Joachim Koester, Sophie Calle, Trisha Donnelly, and those few others whose contributions I was unable to discuss due to constraints of space and time. Their work, like everything else in Strange Powers, can be viewed from 4 – 7 pm on Thursday and Friday, noon – 7 pm on Saturday and Sunday.