Here’s my weekly recap of my favorite discoveries found online this week.
Duro Olowu’s “More Material”
I’ve been so preoccupied with work, life, drought-proofing our yard (we removed 2/3 of our lawn, *self-aggrandizing pat on back*), that I’m having gallery withdrawals. If I could transport myself to any show, here’s where I’d go right now. Designer Duro Olowu pulls from many inspirations in music and art in his fashion which is why his show “More Material” at Salon 94 in N.Y. is a sensorial parade. Olowu’s group show features a collective of artists, photographers, designers, and entertainers whose work touches on the duality of femininity and rebellion. I love how this show assembles a diverse group of artists whose work connects to Olowu’s vision for the show, while also serving as a platform showcase for the designer’s Spring 2014 line of intricately designed capes. Anyone who knows me knows how much I love a cape!
Panic in the Disco
“Let’s Dance-How we turned DJs into Superstars” by Ian McQuaid
I spent my 20’s in underground clubs, where in the 1990’s in San Francisco there were an overabundance of house, hip hop, techno and acid jazz venues. During that time the DJ was the architect of the evening and these “inscrutable masters of records” held the power to levitate a room.
Tank Magazine recently published this fantastic essay on the state of dance music and it’s transformation from group transcendence to performance art. In a technological age of social media that enables detachment from the physical world, I am not surprised that the role of the DJ has been recast from the behind the scenes “experience maker” to becoming the experience themselves. “Silent Disco” is a perfect example of detachment while the proliferation of the celebrity DJ plays into shift in focus over music (I was so tempted to name names here, but you know). Music no longer becomes the shared experience, the shared experience comes from the uniqueness of the delivery. Speaking of experiences, I suggest playing Barbara Tucker’s “I Get Lifted” while you read this article and you may get a feel for the good ol’ days this piece transported me back to.
No Touching! Ovation’s New Web Series “Touching the Art”
Ovation TV just launched a new web series that tackles the ever vexing question, “What’ is Contemporary Art, and why don’t people get it?” In an irreverent, tongue in cheek format, Ovation’s new series attempts to bring humor and accessibility to pressing issues in Contemporary Art, bridging the gap between art insiders who deal with these themes and outsiders who may be intimidated by the art world. The premier episode aired today, and I loved that the all female panel (particularly their reasons for it).
As an outsider who loves Contemporary Art, I really loved the show; I think it will resonate with “Franconian” millennials who would like the pacing and dry wit of the moderator who shifts between the roles of artist and skeptic (plus it’s only 5 minutes; why are web series so short?). The themes were solid and the topics entertaining. While they tried to appeal to multiple demographics, you could tell Ovation wanted to keep the show self-aware enough to avoid dumbing down the content. As a result, there’s still quite a bit of insider art world lexicon that will likely turn off people not following Contemporary art in Los Angeles or New York, on the flip side it’s rapid pace and quick fire responses will give outsiders a glimpse into the evolving dynamics that shape the artistic landscape of L.A., and it just may encourage people to do a deeper dive on their own. I think it’s a fantastic forum that delves into the many topics I see explored by my favorite arts writers on Twitter, and I think it’s great that they have a new forum for them to share their ideas. Can’t wait to see more!