1) A young woman in skinny jeans pauses outside the entrance of Spaced Out: Migration to the Interior. She pulls her cell phone away from her ear and peeks in at the pink shag carpet lining the floor and Fred Tomaselli’s Diary (1990). She tells whoever is on the other end of her phone call to hold on a minute as she turns her head toward the bouncer, “What the hell is going on in there?” she wants to know, “Is this some kind of surrealist circus or what?”
Jim Lambie, Zobop, 1999; Red Bull Content Pool // Greg Mionske
2) There is a Jim Lambie piece on the floor. It’s called Zobop (1999). Benny, the maestro who leads the installation effort, says that these Zobops aren’t usually in group shows. Most often they stand alone, because when they are in group shows they have a tendency to overwhelm everything else. He would know. We agree that it works well here. Plus the vinyl tape is reflective, which makes the floor radiate. If you stare at your feet and soften your focus you will experience a kind of vertigo. After a few beers this is not a highly recommended manner of engaging with Lambie’s Zobop.
Ryan Trecartin, A Family Finds Entertainment, 2004.
3) Ryan Trecartin videos are like twisters on the plains of contemporary art, swirling vortices that suck up everything in their path. But that’s not happening here. Trecartin’s video, A Family Finds Entertainment (2004), is screaming at me as I watch the adjacent flat screen. It’s got Takeshi Murata’s Shiboogi (2012) and it seems like a worm in the brains of Trecartin’s blitzed out family.
Sylvie Fleury, Later, Later, 2012; Red Bull Content Pool // Greg Mionske
4) This show is an example of what it means to go over the top. If a group of young curators decided to take some notes and move ahead with this insane style of curation, they might call themselves Maximalists.
Rona Pondick, Head in a Tree, 2006-08; Red Bull Content Pool // Greg Mionske
5) Here is a giant goopy metal head with bad teeth and a wicked smile. Could be male or female. The concrete plinth gives nothing away. Oh. I see. It’s Ugo Rondinone’s SUNRISE. east. january (2005). Why do you think it’s facing west? Well, it’s obviously waiting to see the sunset. And here, twelve paces to the left, is Rona Pondick’s stainless steel Head in a Tree (2006–2008), which is a very literal title. These two metal heads are like sentinels in front of the long dark bar where drinks are being made and slung like no tomorrow. Red Bull vodka seems to be the drink of choice. You start out feeling like SUNRISE, but in the morning you’ll surely feel like a Head in the Tree.
Image of the curator, Phong Bui; Red Bull Content Pool // Greg Mionske
6) Is the curator here? Yeah. That’s him over there. The short guy with the bald head. His name is Phong Bui. He runs the Brooklyn Rail. No one knows how he manages to do everything. He’s a publisher who is an artist who is a curator. They say he managed to install this whole show in a week and a half. Can you believe it? Well, just look at it. If you can see it, why not believe it?
Kazumi Tanaka standing with her installation, Insomnia, 2010; Red Bull Content Pool // Greg Mionske
7) Have you been downstairs? It’s insane. It’s like the B-side of the album, if upstairs is the A-side. What’s so crazy about it? Well, for one, the whole floor is covered in pink shag. For two, the walls and ceiling are painted Pepto Bismol pink. For three, there are lights on the floor and on the ceiling. For four, have you ever seen anyone use pink packing peanuts as a curatorial tool? No? Ok, just go downstairs.
Jon Kessler, Lost Boy #2, 2012
8) Two young women sit on the pink shag and watch a video being projected on an overturned dinner table. The remnants of a large Chinese meal are strewn all around the floor. The whole thing looks taken straight out of a Chinatown restaurant. In the video old, young, fat, skinny New Yorkers do hip hop dance moves to a generic beat on the city’s streets. It’s hilarious. Totally random. Everyone in the video is grinning. Cao Fei’s Hip Hop NY (2006) always makes people smile.
Artist Will Ryman standing in his work, Infinity, 2014. We prefer calling it the "sole room".; Red Bull Content Pool // Greg Mionske
9) Someone has brought a child. The kid is running in circles around the B-side of the exhibition, yelling “wheeeeee” as he goes. Daddy! He yells, you never told me art could be fun!
#spacedout Fred Tomaselli, 'Geology Lesson'
Fred Tomaselli, Geology Lesson, 1986.
10) There is so much texture to this show it’s like having your sense of touch scrubbed through your eyeballs. Dead space? What dead space? This entire place is throbbing with life.