Solo(s)' April Project #3; Robeson Senior Show; Filmideo
Friday (the 22nd) the third of four weekly events this month opens at Solo(s) Project House.
4 WEEKS - 4 PROJECTS presents:I don't know what this show is to be, but it seems not to be video, so I might attend. Index Art Center has another Filmideo on Saturday from 6-10pm for those who like/can stand video art. I won't be there, however. "To each his own." (I just made that up. Catchy, huh?)
Tomorrow[,] Friday, April 22nd, 7-10pm
LNY's work revolves around his interest in the relationship and influence that urban areas have on an individual's identity. This is a topic LNY has explored internationally and is for the first time working in Newark, New Jersey. "Adoration" is a juxtaposition of Newark citizens and architecture translated through a series of site-specific wall drawings. www.lnylnylny.com * * *
Solo(s) Project House
972 Broad St. Newark NJ 07102
Fotos today are from the Fine Arts Senior Thesis show in the Robeson Galleries' Main Gallery and Rumble Room on the campus of Rutgers-Newark, Downtown.
As for LNY, that is plainly not a name. Is it an initialism (not acronym, a series of initials that forms a word), in which the formative letters are pronounced separately (el en wie)? Is it to be said "el New York"? "él.nee? él.nie? perhaps la.níe (like "lanai")? I don't know. What I do know is that it is an annoying affectation, like the singer Prince's adopting a wordless symbol for a name. Prince came to his senses after a while, and dropped that ridiculously pretentious affectation. Perhaps LNY will drop his pretentious affectation too someday. As to whether I am so annoyed by that foolishness that I won't go to the show, I do not yet know. I'll see how I feel around 5pm Friday.
I missed last week's Project #2, because I didn't get an email notice and hadn't put it on my AOL calendar with a reminder from AOL's automated system. This week I did get an email notice, which at the end says my address was added on April 20th, so perhaps Solo(s) changed its email service, because I had been receiving notices with fair regularity until last week.
I also had not received advance notice from the Robeson Galleries of the opening on Wednesday, April 13th of the Rutgers-Newark Fine Arts Senior Thesis show this year. (The exhibit will be up thru the 27th.) One of the participating artists, Sophia Sobers, however, sent me an email invitation, so I heard of it in time to attend.
I mentioned to Caren King, who assists Anonda Bell in running the Galleries, that I hadn't received an email announcement from the Galleries, and she said they were rushed in getting the current show up because they had to work with painters who had to repaint the walls because the last show — of which I had also not received email notice — had had a wide purple stripe around the room that had to be painted over. If I were a suspicious type of person, I might wonder if these arts organizations are trying to tell me something, by deliberately not sending me notices of their art events.
I told Caren, "You need a serf" to tend to email announcements. She smiled and said she is the Robeson Galleries' serf. I clarified that she needed a student serf (as, for instance, one who works for the Galleries for extra credit in an art course).
This week I did receive an emailed 'new newsletter' from the Robeson Galleries with info about the Senior Thesis show. Would I have received such a notice if I hadn't asked Caren about not getting an email notice/invitation? Let's say I would have.
In any relatively small community, people perceive slites, intended or not, and react to them. I'm not an art critic, so don't mount a soap box to influence attitudes toward any artist or show. Still, anybody with a personality will clash with other personalities. Even people with almost no personality will annoy people who can't stand people who don't have a distinctive personality.
Or the people in charge of a program or venue will decide they'd just rather not have someone attend their events.
In any case, Sophia Sobers invited me to the Senior Show, where "Senior" means not "old folks", like me, but students about to graduate, like Sophia. Hers was thus a senior-to-senior invite.
This large display is by the little girl on the left, Sophia Sobers. I asked her how long it took to do, and she said the entire semester.
I'm thinking of taking courses at Essex County College, which old folks can do for free. But I can do so only if there is also free student parking, because ECC is right Downtown, and parking in Downtown Newark is a bear (not to be confused with the Newark Bears, our splendid minor-league baseball team in its beautiful stadium close in to Newark's skyscrapers — or what pass for skyscrapers in this medium-sized American city). I need to know more about digital fotografy and videografy, website design, and some other things (hey, buddy, there's a lot you need to know). I don't need credit for it, since at 66 I am not about to embark on a new career, and I already have a bachelor's degree in the ever-so-useful Political Science. My grand-nephew, Joshua Bristol, is graduating from San Jose State in California next month, with a degree in philosophy. We sure do know how to choose majors in my family.
My PoliSci degree did, marvel of marvels, actually do me some good when I was being interviewed by hostile Canadian journalists in regard to my political organization, the Expansionist Party of the United States. XP advocates that various parts of the world join the Union as States of the United States, and Canada is one such area, which we'd like to see enter the Union as seven States. When challenged as to my qualifications to speak to Canadian issues and offer such a suggestion, I was able to respond that I have a bachelor's degree in Political Science from the City College of the City University of New York. (So there.) I did not mention that after my first semester on Dean's List at City College, I qualified for "independent study" and wanted to do something about Canada, but City College, only about 300 miles from the Canadian border, had no one who could serve as my advisor in such a study, so I wasn't able to do that. At that point, I turned off to City College. I later discovered that City had a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa that I might have worked to qualify for, except that I had completely turned off to City College when I couldn't do independent study on Canada, a mere 300 miles away. NY is a border state but City College, a major institution, did not have anyone to serve as advisor? Absurd.
Later, a consortium of U.S. colleges formed to promote Canadian Studies. I was, alas — as so often has happened in my life — ahead of my time, so could not take advantage of that consortium's pressure on American academia to study Canada, one of our two (only two!) bordering neighbors. If you are not ahead of your time, be glad, because it is REALLY frustrating.
I have also been to all ten provinces of Canada, which relatively few Canadians have done, and knew, when I was following events there fairly closely, more about Canada than do the bulk of Canadians. I know that because I took a test in the Canadian newsmagazine Maclean's and scored significantly better than the great majority of Canadians.
There was an animation running in the Rumble Room, which turned out to be by Sophia also.
In any case, I am now much more interested in Newark than in Canada, tho I did take my last vacation, as such (a long weekend, in July 2009), in Montreal, Québec with my "ex" (from about 1966, whom I had not seen since about 1967). Québec is pronounced, in French, kae.bék) . In English, without the written accent, Quebec is pronounced kwi.bék or kwee.bék. Its license plates proclaim it "La Belle Province" — tho I would much prefer it be "Le bel état" (state) — and it really is "bel/le" (beautiful) in many parts, but so are most places on this threatened planet.
Of course, different places require different esthetics, such as an appreciation for the sere landscapes of deserts and arid plains, or the chill, white glare of the Arctic or Antarctic. (Please say a K-sound before the T in both those terms, órk.tik and aant.órk.tik, not ór.tik and aan.tór.tik.) NJ has no extreme natural landscapes, but it does have the Turnpike-area "lunar landscape" that some people think representative of NJ overall, as against the lush greenery of the Pine Barrens, the pristine beachscapes of southern Ocean County, the Great Falls of the Passaic at Paterson, or the historic millraces of historic, rural New Jersey.
Sophia introduced me to Krystle G. Cortez, who consented to pose by her part of the show, the entire near wall of the Gallery as you enter.
I have several major interests, to which I have devoted considerable attention and writing for years of my life. When I get really tired of one, I switch to another. Sometimes I art myself out in Newark (Gaetano has complained that I show too much art as a proportion of this blog, and sometimes I have to agree). So sometimes I switch not just to other topics in regard to Newark but to others of my major interests altogether, such as politics and spelling reform. There are some political issues regarding Newark that I want to address, such as the criminal mismanagement of the City's finances — we still can't pay our water bills online; why the heck not? — and the City sold major City assets, such as buildings, for $40 million, but will have to pay back $125 million! A lot of people should go to PRISON for that. But such matters are so unpleasant, and do not lend themselves to easy illustration by fotos I have taken, that I have not been able to bring myself to address them.
Bill Chappel, a James Street activist, is very concerned that Mayor Booker may try to put over on the people of Newark, again, the Municipal Water and Sewer Authority we roundly defeated last year. We need to let everyone in City Government know that there is no way they can get away with such a crime, but they ALL face recall (if that's legal in NJ, something I need to investigate, when I have time (ha!) if they try it. Bill Chappel is probably about my age, 60s. Where is the indignation among younger Newarkers? The 1960s generation changed this country, in most regards for the better. But I don't see young Newarkers, or Americans more generally, as having anything like the passion for social justice that we had. Am I mistaken? If I am not mistaken, I have two questions to ask: (a) what is wrong with younger people? and (b) how can this Republic survive the presently one-sided war by the rich upon the rest of us?
As regards Newark arts, I am more a tourist than connoisseur, dilettante than expert. I like pretty or striking visual things. I don't spend a lot of time looking at any given artwork to try to understand it. It either makes a connection with my intellect or my emotions immediately, or I let it go. By far most people who visit a gallery or museum do the same. Artists might want people to think more about what they are trying to say, but it really isn't up to the viewer to figure out what an artist is saying. If an artist wants to reach viewers, the onus is on the artist to make plain what s/he means, or at least create an image that makes so great an impression on the viewer that s/he thinks about it hours or days later, until s/he finally realizes what the artist was trying to say. If no one "gets" what the artist was trying to say, even days later, the fault is not likely to be among all the people who saw it, is it?
I am an expository writer, not a literary artist. I rarely write poetry; never fiction; and I do not push off onto readers the responsibility to understand what I am trying to say. Rather, I try to say it, myself, clearly. That's what writers do. It is not, however, what a lot of artists do. They want to be puzzles, enigmas. They think the more inscrutable they are, the more important an artist they are. I beg to differ. If your art has a message, it will rarely be the viewer who is to blame if they don't "get" that message.
I initially misspelled "dilettante" as "dilletante", because "dilettante" is just plain wrong in English, suggesting that the word's stress falls on the -ETT-. This craziness is why I am a spelling reformer. I'm gradually writing a book on the subject, but it needs very extensive appendixes, and I don't have the time to generate them. I need, for instance, intelligent college or high-school students with perfect American English (educated New Jerseyans have the best "English" in the world) to help generate the comprehensive lexicon of respelled words that people will need once my reform is adopted. I can't do it all, esp. when my computer has slowed to a crawl and I don't know of a quality repair shop in Newark.
I can't even update this blog every day, but have an actual, written list of dozens of topics that I have not been able to get to, and I have as well hundreds of fotos with which to illustrate those discussions. Nor can I update my political blog every day, nor my gay blog. I'd like to have a spelling-reform blog too — but I also would not be able to update that every day. I need help, a lot of help, to do everything I should do before my time runs out (remember, I'm 66, in a country where the life expectancy for a white man born when I was, mere days before the start of 1945, was 65.9 years). (You're right about that, buddy. You need help. Professional help.)
Earth Day. Friday the 22nd is also Earth Day, which was, for three years, also "Beautiful Newark Day". Unfortunately, the people who created Beautiful Newark Day conceived of it as a limited-duration project, and discontinued it last year (or was it the year before?). Can somebody else take it up? We need to do the kinds of cleaning up and planting of flowers (preferably perennials), shrubs, and trees that the "Beautiful Newark" project got us to thinking about. Perhaps the people who participate in Green Drinks Newark at Rio Rodizio restaurant the 4th Monday of every month, can discuss this and come up with a plan of action. (See the trilingual English/Spanish/Portuguese Green Drinks Events webpage.)