Spiral Jetty at MAN and a non- recommendation

I can’t help feel the latest entry from Tyler at MAN on visiting the Spiral Jetty site is one of his most heart felt in a long time. Compelling enough to make you want to charter a plane to Utah.

Also interesting to read, on the other side of the wall, Todd Gibson’sreport back from the Whitney. Todd, who has also visited the Jetty site voices some disappointment with the items on display.

Of course you’ve probably already read both of those by this point in the morning.


I screened the movie All The Vermeers of New York last night, and quickly during viewing realized it was a piece that was not only not aging well, but was disastrously bad to boot. This is a story that director Jon Jost tried to etch out parallels between the NYC greed of the early 90’s and the decadence of 17th century Dutch life. The entire piece hinges on two characters who meet up in the Vermeer room at the Met. I loved this movie in my youth, but my youth was before living in New York City and obviously before knowing what makes a good movie.

There are painfully long, long shots that make you want to jump through the screen and enter the editing room to cut the editors hands off. There is an entirely “where the fuck did this come from” monologue from the male protagonist that after two minutes it was realized was taking place on one of the observation decks of the World Trade Center (that I still find unbearable to think about). There are unintentional comical scenes that take place in a broker’s office (that additionally go on and on) that remind you in 1990 there were no cell phones, Windows 95 interface or even in a room full of people shouting the same urgency that would occur now. The young female character lives in a described shit hole apartment that was larger and far more beautiful than anything I ever existed in while living there. A weird memory piece of a Manhattan I never knew. The best part of the movie is a bizarrely isolated, completely unrelated scene to the rest of the movie that features Gracie Mansion in her gallery as herself having an argument with an artist who is trying to get an exorbitant advance off of her. Weird, funny and completely not worth watching again! Full apologies to all those with me last night.

Footnote: If greg.org has not added it to his rental que yet, you might rethink it. That being said, it could bring on a curious wave of nostalgia.

Footnote II: But of course one of the last things I did myself when visiting the Met a few weeks ago, after seeing the Max Ernst exhibit was to return to the Rembrandt and Vermeer rooms there. I was so insanely tired that day.

Art Crit Bingo

We all survived each other and a fruitful but marathonesque five hour studio crit of the students work on Friday.

I came across this site: Art-Crit-Bingo which I think is hilarious. One student told me they could start making a list of additions that came out of their own crits including like “horizontality” & “predilection”.

And it is true, as they say on the site:

For those of you that doubt that art school uses its own languages, we proudly introduce art-crit-bingo. To keep you entertained during those endless hours of art critique, your friends at hippocrit.com have made for you “art-crit-bingo”

As someone who has been out of art school for a long time, I promise you that you lose your art speak chops quickly, finding places such as the grocery store or banks not a logical place to practice said language.

I remember when I got out of grad school myself I compiled a list of my most hated art speak words that I hoped to never hear again. Top of the list was vernacular, a particular overused V word of my era.

vernacular – The standard native language of an area. May also refer to architecture, furniture, or some other art or craft of a region, culture, or period. Vernacular architecture and furniture is made in local rather than cosmopolitan traditions of design and construction, reflecting the needs of ordinary people’s lives.


For those needing to get up to speed quickly or for a nice refresher, here is ArtLex art dictionary.

P.S. My strong second runner was:

multiculturalism- – A movement to broaden the range of cultures we study, in reaction to the prevailing opinion that the great accomplishments have been made almost exclusively by males of European descent (DWMs). Also see African American art, art therapy, chinoiserie, ethnic, ethnocentrism, ethnosphere, humanism, isms and -ism, orientalism, political correctness, xenophilia, and xenophobia.


But that entire thought bubble seems to have gone the way of other things of the 90’s like Milli Vanilli and Wayne’s World, which at least seem to hover on in the collective land of nostalgia.