Saturday, October 18, 2008

The Ghost Who Walks

A Whiter Shade of Pale

When I was a kid, I used to smuggle comics into my bedroom. Comics were banned in our house. My favorite was the Phantom. "The Ghost who walks cannot die". I used to dream that I could buy myself a Phantom ring by mail order, but I knew the risk would be too great.

I remembered my secret comic days today while watching John McCain on the telly. He looked so white. "He's SO pale!" I remarked to my husband, Joe Six-Pack. "Does he look so pale because he's ill, or because Obama is black?"

McCain reminded me of Casper,the friendly ghost. The "Angry Ghost" more likely. Comic book time. The U.S. elections ...

The Hype that is Art

I read the reviews the other day - oh boy! There was a review of an exhibition somewhere in New York, showing a number of videos taken with a cheap cell-phone, of people looking at pictures in an art gallery.

A couple of the videos were linked to on-line, and so I took a look. Not bad, black and white, Guggenheim backdrop, no sound. Sort of like an early Bergman without the sound or picture quality. The Guggenheim backdrop certainly helped. But after I'd seen one video I'd seen them all. And I wondered.

As I've often done on some of the manifestations of "art" I've seen in Manhattan. I remembered the girl peeling onions in a SoHo performing arts exhibition. A lettuce being mashed by a grinder at the Guggenheim in the nineties. A sign near a ladder in some major gallery, stating, "This is not an exhibit".

How does one get accepted in today's art world? Maybe it's who you know. Perhaps it's the originality of the concept? Or is art now a democratic "right", like the right to arm bears? What could I contribute to "art" of the early 21st century? Obviously talent is not a pre-requisite. And who chooses good art over bad? If the man who exhibited the shredded lettuce had used a used a cabbage, would he have made it to the Guggenheim? What if I wanted to exhibit a work consisting of a ladder and a sign stating, "This is not an exhibit?" And then used my cell phone to make videos of people looking at it? Would that work? I think not.

Hey, what about this? Amateurish photos of "The Readers of New York". I'll add to them over the weeks to come. In truth, it's one thing I really notice about New York commuters - they, like me, love to read. And so here are the first in my series.

The Readers - October 2008

Reade No 3
Stand by - these were all taken within three minutes, at a bus stop on the Upper East Side.

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