"In New Yoooooork, concrete jungle where dreams are maaaaaade of, there's nothing you caaaan't doooo!" Yeah, bit of Alicia Keys there. You've probably guessed where I am right now, unless you either think I'm being enormously cryptic or you're pretty stupid. But I'm going off topic right now. I have good news and bad news. The good news is we got upgraded to a suite because the receptionist liked us! And we have a view of the Empire State Building from the room! But you know what the Empire State Building looks like, I'm not going to post a picture. And the suite isn't really relevant to you guys out there, so on to the bad news. The bad news is that my mum forgot to print out all her notes about things to do here (we've been before when my dad goes on business, so we've already been to all the tourist sites), so she's forgotten all the interesting places I was going to blog about :(.
But we did go somewhere interesting today, we went to the iconic Guggenheim Museum. Frank Lloyd Wright's architecture is really awesome there, and I got the most zoomed out picture I could without stepping into the road :). And inside the only thing you were allowed to take a picture of were these tubes with coloured plastic inside. Apparently once you were allowed to go on to the upper floors and tip the tubes and watch the plastic inside run about, but Health & Safety deemed it unacceptable because you had to lean over the rails (damn you risk assessor!).
But the real highlight of the museum was the Gutai exhibition. The Gutai were a Japanese art group in the 50s and 60s, who tried to make art less about abstract expression than the actual process of the art and interaction with the audience. And their avant-garde lack of expression is why I find it unnecessary to show pictures of their work here (you weren't allowed photos anyway); they made the kind of work that you can simply describe and still provoke interest. Such artworks include the man who ran through twenty one screens of paper and got concussion at the end, the woman who made a dress from light bulbs (Ha, Lady GaGa, youre not the first one) and the bell that the audience could ring that sounded like a fire alarm (again, Health & Safety made us only ring it once every hour. GRRRR.). To put it like the exhibition brief, the Gutai "mentally reframed the commonplace", which you'll see is in my new blog description.
So I was inspired by the Gutai, and decided to make an avant-garde work of my own. Just my luck that when we were walking back to the hotel through Central Park (one of my favourite parks in the world, it's good to be back after two years), someone had written on the street a list of exercise drills, and been stupid enough to leave the chalk around. I had a brain wave that perhaps this could be an interactive piece, that people could come along, pick up the (washable) chalk and write a new, funny or serious, exercise drill on the list. I started it off with a silly drill and a spot of blog promo (see picture)! Oh, and people in New York, if you go to Central Park, keep an eye out!