Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Last week, I went to the Summer of Love exhibit of Psychedelic Art at The Whitney. The pieces were exuberant and exciting and I think it's great that they're in a freaking museum. But clearly, most or all of the video installations weren't "art" so much as they were "trippy looking stuff for you to look out while stoned".
As I was not stoned, there was much snickering.
There was a free tour going on, and my friend Judy and I caught up with them right after the guide (who may not have been alive in the 70s, let alone the 60s) was discussing a video piece the group had just peeked in on. Tour Guide Girl claimed that people would go to concerts, not just for the music, but also for the video art behind the stage. Judy doesn't quite remember it that way, but I was willing to allow that maybe the video artists themselves were interested in each other's work.
We listened to her a while longer, and goshdarnit if there weren't Art Nouveau influences in some of them thar concert posters. Before much longer though, the urge to heckle became too much and we left the group. This proved to be the right decision, since when we bumped into them again at the end of the tour, Tour Guide was discussing the Kent State Shootings in which "many" people died. I may have hurt myself from rolling my eyes so much. Two is a couple, Three is a few, and Four is some. Many is more than 10, at least.
Now, four students killed is four too many, but Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young have a freaking song about it that includes the actual number. She should've been able to remember how many it actually was instead of being all vague and, "Who needs historical details when you have Art?"
Even better, she should've spent her time talking about the giant latex swirl of colors on the floor that was being protected by 3 guards. If it was supposed to be something besides "really cool", I would've liked to have heard about it.
The highlight of the exhibit for me (besides the giant latex thing) was the framed LSD tabs. It's not that the artwork was particularly fantastic, but there were acid tabs. In frames. In the freaking Whitney.
It simply does not get more awesome than that.