Monday, June 9, 2008

Mandy Greer at BAM

In Arts:

Mandy Greer's Dare alla Luce at Bellevue Arts Museum (through Aug 3rd) is one of the strongest shows by a local artist I have ever seen. Mandy has consistently put together strong shows ever since I became aware of her work when she was an Artist-In-Resident at the Frye (in 2002) so I had very high expectations for this new body of work at BAM. I knew that she had essentially been given the opportunity to spend an entire year creating this show and what wonders would come of it?

Plenty of them-it turns out. Dare alla Luce is essentially a dark jungle room created in the style of Greer's earlier work (like the above pictured) with hundreds of yards of woven yarn, sewn fabrics, misc buttons and shiny things, and wall painting. Her work has matured from the very direct, and blunt pieces like the lovely deer above, to a more subtle nature. Entering the room almost feels like entering the scene of a Silly String fight-that is if Silly String were a couple inches thick and green and black. It's a gorgeous, affecting piece and I can't recommend it more highly. I don't feel the need to really go into great detail all about the work-but in addition to this new work, several of her stronger works from the last several years are on display, including a video performance that she did as part of her BAM show.

The video/performance work, while earnest, honest, fun and cute, is not nearly as strong as her physical objects. While entertaining, I think it slightly cheapens Greer's work and adds a strong element of "silly" which is dicey. Greer's work already dances a line of cute vs dark and I think it needs to stay leaning towards the dark-the performance only pushes it away from that.

However, all-in-all a great show! Check it out. 4.5 Molos (I can't believe I'm still rating art shows-what a chump, huh?)

Oh, and be sure to check out the Sherry Markovitz upstairs if you make it to BAM. Sherry's decorative animal heads are stunning. Mandy owes a great debt to her-they are both UW MFA graduates actually-Sherry is a generation older.

We had another excellent First Thursday at Fat Tiger last week. Much thanks to gameover (aka Joshua) for his excellent wall painting design and mixed media work Fame&fortune. That kid has got some serious skills and moxie.

at 108 Occidental Gallery was excellent as well. I'm very happy to have an opportunity to show some of my strange forest creature drawings in a proper gallery settings and the response was excellent. I do not like trying to have 2 shows the same night, though. This is not a good thing-bouncing from one to the other. But such is the life of a young artist I suppose. (If I can still be called that-shoots I'm 31!) Much thanks to Cait and Justin for putting this show, and this gallery together! I hope 108 continues to kick ass indefinitely.

In Film:

I haven't gotten in my review of Indy 4 yet. Let's do that now. Well, what can I say, I was entertained. That's probably the best thing I can say about it. Basically the movie felt forced. Really forced. The plot, the story, may have been ridiculous but that stuff was no more ridiculous than the previous Indy films, what was different with this one was the very uncomfortable dialog that all the characters spewed. Sure, Ford is old, but does that mean he forgot how to be a cocky, lovable goofball? Apparently so.

And another thing-what the hell is up with the soft-focus blown up colors filming? That smacks of lazy direction-hey maybe if we put a lot of soft focus lens shot in there people wont notice how old Harrison Ford is...or maybe it will be loads easier to blend in the CGI effects if the whole movie looks incredibly fake. Either way it pissed me off. But overall, still pretty fun. 2 Molos

National Treasure 2
- yep I saw it. It was exactly like the first one. Exactly. A nice piece of fluff. 2 Molos

- Wow. Why? It's very hard to understand why Will Ferrell would make this picture. Why he'd do what, 4 sports-related comedies in a career-let alone a in a row? Maybe it's only 3, but it seems like 4. In any case, horrible movie. One or 2 good bits with a bear, and that's about it. So much wasted talent. If this movie was re-written by say...the Aptow guys (not to be all on the Aptow bandwagon-but basically they work hard on their movies-and write them well) they might have had something. Enough. 1 Molo

In Music

I got really excited at the record show the other day and bought like 6 albums-Giant Panda's Electric Lazer, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Local H, Vetiver, Portishead, and the re-release of Viva Voce's first 2 records. I haven't had a chance to really listen to them all as of yet, but they all sound good.

Giant Panda is a nice very good strongly produced hip-hop throwback album with a lot of west coast flavor-refreshing to my indie rock world. The new nick cave sounds excellent and so does my old friends Local H. Okay, maybe I'm not really friends with Local H, but to still be a fan of this band almost feels that way. No one still listens to them, but they are still excellent and the songwriting had matured a great deal through the last few albums. Also, the new Portishead sounds very good-I'm not sure why it hasn't been getting better response, but I guess people expect things to sound exactly the same way they did in 1994.

Best records of 2008 (that I have heard):

1 Grand Archives Grand Archives
2 Devotchka A Mad and Faithful Telling
3 M83 Saturday = Youth
4 Neon Neon Stainless Style
5 Vampire Weekend Vampire Weekend
6 Tapes N' Tapes Walk It Off
7 Sun Kil Moon April
8 Stephen Malkimus and the Jicks Real Emotional Trash
9 Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds Dig Lazarus Dig
10 Portishead third
11 Giant Panda Electric Lazer
12 MGMT Electric Feel