Artist Yoko Ono will present a series of installations and audience participation works around Washington, D.C., as part of Street Scenes: Project for DC, a public art program curated by Nora Halpern and Welmoed Laanstra.
Ms. Ono will exhibit ten trees around the city, as part of her ongoing Wish Tree project, which she began in the 1990s as a way of encouraging the public to become participants in the art process. The trees will be installed at the steps of the Jefferson Memorial at the Tidal Basin as part of the National Cherry Blossom Festival, at THEARC in Anacostia, and at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden on the National Mall .
“As a child in Japan, I used to go to a temple and write out a wish on a piece of thin paper and tie it around the branch of a tree,” Ms. Ono said. “Trees in temple courtyards were always filled with people’s wish knots, which looked like white flowers blossoming from afar.”
With her Wish Trees, which are part of a city-wide project called IMAGINE PEACE, Ms. Ono is invoking the intention of the initial 1912 gift of cherry blossom trees to the United States from the nation of Japan, and she asks that we contemplate all aspects that the words inspire. Ms. Ono invites people to write a wish (either a personal or a global-minded one) and tie it onto a Wish Tree. At the end of the installation, the Washington, DC, wishes will be collected and added to the other wishes generated by the Wish Tree projects she has mounted around the world and become part of her Imagine Peace Tower, which will be inaugurated in October 2007 in Reykjavik, Iceland. Following the Street Scenes installation, the trees from the Tidal Basin and the trees at THEARC will be planted in the Anacostia community. The Wish Tree installation at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden will become a permanent artwork, gifted to the museum by the artist.
In addition, Ms. Ono will visit the site at the Japanese Lantern Lawn, just west of the Kutz Bridge at Independence Avenue & 17th Street. SW, on the other side of the Tidal Basin, where the first cherry blossoms were planted in 1912. The artist will ask participants to “whisper a wish to the bark of the trees.” Ms. Ono will also present text pieces, including disseminating IMAGINE PEACE posters, and ribbons that read, “this line is a part of a very large circle.” These artworks will be free to the public and will be distributed at three locations: the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, THEARC and Provisions Library.
An IMAGINE PEACE billboard will be installed on the Verizon Center (at the intersection of 7th Street and G Street, NW) and will be on display through April 30. A poster page will be placed in the March 29 edition of The Washington Post Express (circulation almost 200,000), in the hopes that they will wind up hanging in offices and homes around the city and surrounding areas.
“This project,” say Street Scenes co-curators Nora Halpern and Welmoed Laanstra, “is part of our effort to turn the streets of Washington, DC, into a living art gallery. Ms. Ono’s work celebrates the universal longing for peace: whether it is individual peace of mind, peace for a local community, or a more global aspiration. By installing components throughout the city, the project seeks to unite the varying neighborhoods of Washington and their residents and workers in the desire for progress and understanding–in matters large and small, at home and abroad.” Street Scenes: Projects for DC was created in the spring of 2006 by curators Nora Halpern and Welmoed Laanstra.
IMAGINE PEACE is the third installation of Street Scenes: Projects for DC. The overarching concept of Yoko Ono’s project parallels the working philosophy of Street Scenes: Projects for DC: art and the ideas it generates can unify a city and all of its neighborhoods by creating an experience shared by those who are art aficionados and those who are not.
For hundreds of years
Shakespeare’s play Cardenio has been missing…
Has it been found?
Join us for a world premiere
of this play about Love, Loss, and Sheep.
Featuring Kimberly Gilbert, Maia DeSanti,
Scot McKenzie, David Bryan Jackson,
Chris Davenport, Ben Shovlin,
Terence Aselford, Mark R. Ross,
Steve McWilliams and Kathy Cashel.
With music by Kathy Cashel.
Preview April 11, 7:30pm (Pay What You Can)
April 12-14, 19-21 at 7:30pm
April 15 & 22 at 6:30pm
Woolly Mammoth Theatre
Melton Rehearsal Hall
641 D Street, NW (7th & D)
Washington, DC, 20004
Tickets are $10.
Purchase by phone at 202-393-3939
or online at www.woollymammoth.net.
My buddy Lauren Gentile started a new blog called The Contemporary Collectors Club DC. This woman knows a lot about the business of art, something many collectors don’t understand well, and I for one am glad she’s imparting some of this knowledge.
Many of us art collectors buy art because we like looking at it, or maybe it makes us uncomfortable to look at, but we buy it anyway because it challenges the way we look at the world. This approach to art collecting works well because ultimately, we must live with our art regardless of its value. But maybe secretly in the back of our minds, we’re hoping to build a collection that will grow in value and that just might possibly include something really significant. The next Damien Hirst or Ryan McGinness or something like that. Does thinking about art as a business taint the experience? Naaah, I think it adds to the adventure.
Lauren Gentile brings to Irvine Contemporary a knowledge of the economics in the international art market, expertise in valuation and art advisory services, and art collection management experience. Ms. Gentile holds a Master’s in Art Business degree from Sotheby’s Institute of Art in London, where she wrote her thesis on fine art as an alternative asset class and art investing. She also brings a thorough background in art history, and holds two B.A. degrees from DePaul University in Chicago. She has studied art history, Italian and German at The School of the Art Institute in Chicago, the Goethe Institute, and the University of Florence.
p.s. That painting behind Lauren is by Dalek. It’s awesome. I want it.
Please see the March 26, 2007, issue of The New Yorker for excellent punk fashion advice from Jimmy Webb, a renowned salesman at Trash and Vaudeville in the East Village. The man understands pink and punk. For those of you who taunt me for my pinkness, I say, “Anything pink rocks!” Ha!
More words of wisdom from this fashion sage:
Rule #1: “Anything pink rocks.”
Rule #2: “Anything animal print rocks.”
Rule #3: “Anything skintight.”
Rule #4: “A necklace has to hang just above the cleavage, on the bone between the shoulders, if the dress allows it.”
Rule #5: “You should never look at only one thing.”
Perfect conditions for beginner surfers this time in Playa Guiones. Three to four foot waves. Hot. Sunny. Not too crowded in the water. We walked on the beach early each morning and watched the sunset each evening, but I never saw the green flash.
We got lost only once while walking home on the beach . . . at night . . . without a flashlight . . . and no moon . . . and ever so slightly inebriated.
“I think I recognize that palm tree.”
“Isn’t that the log we sat on this morning?”
“The sand just changed texture.”
Everyone in Playa Guiones seems to be on the lam, escaping from something or someone or just taking a break from reality. Little clues here and there, but I didn’t want to probe too much.
“One more year and my credit rating will be cleared.”
“They had to take me out of there on a stretcher.”
“Turns out, it wasn’t my baby.”
Best memory: swimming in the black ocean at midnight under a billion stars and the Milky Way, unadulterated by artificial light or even moonlight, and enveloped by another billion bits of phosphorescent plankton. It was like swimming inside a snow globe filled with glitter. We splashed water on each other so we could see the glowing particles sparkle on our skin.
I checked out the new Modernism show at the Corcoran last night. Very well laid out and neat to see how Modernist design affects our daily lives even today, from chairs to teapots to clothing to architecture and so on. One of the featured chairs looked almost exactly like the ones around our dining table when I was a kid.
Modernism: Designing a New World 1914-1939 is the largest and most comprehensive exhibition on the subject ever staged in America, and the Corcoran Gallery of Art will be the only American venue. The exhibition explores the foundation and meaning of Modernism, and it contains some of the most seminal works of modern art, graphic and product design, and architecture produced in the first half of the 20th century. It traces the historic development of modern form through social, industrial, and political upheavals of the 1920s and 1930s. It investigates the role of the factory and mass production; the spiritual aspect of modern life; the period’s fascination with the healthy body and organic forms found in nature; and national identity.
Another great artist talk at the Phillips Collection last night featuring Angela Strassheim. She spoke about her beautiful but often unsettling photographs that began with a job as a forensic photographer. These images are taken from a recent show called Left Behind, photographs she made of her born-again Christian family and other remembrances from growing up in the Mid West.
One woman’s question at the end of the talk struck me as a powerful example of how disconnected we have become from each other. The woman said she thought that the Rockwellian/Christian families that Strassheim depicts don’t exist anymore so they are becoming less and less relevant. The photographer’s response was that all the people who live in her parents’ hometown are exactly like the people in these photographs. The questioning woman was super-coiffed and looked like she lunched with the ladies at the tennis club three times a week between her weekly manicures and Talbots shopping expeditions. For crying out loud, who does she think elected W to the presidency?? We believe these people are bigoted, prejudiced, and small-minded. In a twisted way, we are no less so. We live in an insulated, liberal world where we think we’re so open-minded and accepting of different viewpoints and it turns out we’re no better than the very people we scorn.
I wish I could own this painting by Erik Sandberg. As consolation, I own a drawing that the artist made in composing the work (see below). Both are gorgeous. The drawing shows off Sandberg’s exquisite draftsmanship. It reminds me of one of those crazy Dutch painters, like Bosch, where lots of surreal characters populate a minimalist landscape. The subject is modern and relevant. Parade represents Sandberg’s ideas of the ways in which beautiful people abuse ugly people and how this treatment can make the beautiful ugly inside, which then manifests itself on the outside. (Apologies, Erik, for the serious oversimplification!)
Our new friend Stephen Heighton (a great NY art collector and not only because he collects works by Adam Stennett) called last week to say he was coming to DC for a weekend visit. I jumped into action and threw together a dinner party on Saturday that I hoped would dazzle a jaded New Yorker or at least show him that DC is not a complete backwater. I don’t know if we succeeded, but it was a helluva fun night. Veuve comes through again!
A few people stayed until 2 AM (which turned out to be 3 AM because of the switch to daylight savings time!) and the evening ended with Iona looking up all our Chinese astrological signs on the internet. Ok, so I totally don’t believe in this stuff, but please don’t hate me because I’m a monkey!
I’m an Earth Monkey and turns out that a celebrity who also shares this sign is none other than . . . Renee Zellweger!! Although I screamed with amazement when Iona announced this fact, not so deep down, I expected it.
The spunky Monkey is the original party animal! Charming and energetic, Monkeys crave fun, activity and stimulation. They truly know how to have a good time and can often be seen swinging from one group of friends to another, attracting a motley crew in the process. Always upbeat, they are considered minor celebrities in their circle thanks to their sparkling wit and that rapier-sharp mind. Perhaps surprisingly, Monkeys are also good listeners and tackle complicated situations with ease. This Sign’s natural curiosity lends it the desire to become knowledgeable on a broad range of topics. Monkeys have a show-off side that loves nothing more than to dazzle their pals with all they know.
The Monkey tends to be rather accident-prone due to a certain lack of very high morals. This Sign’s first interest is pursuing its own pleasure; this is not a malicious interest, it’s just the way the Monkey is. However, this kind of carefree self-involvement can lead to all kinds of scrapes. In love, the Monkey makes a fun, exciting lover — but one that may have the potential to stray romantically. The good news is, the Monkey’s glib manner and witty repartee can often get this Sign out of a scrape. Perhaps not everyone will be won over by the Monkey — but do you think the Monkey really cares? The Monkey’s world, full of devil-may-care energy and revelry, isn’t for everyone. Remember, though, it’s not that this Sign is mean; it might just be a bit too curious for its own good. Monkeys often feel the need to try everything at least once, which can make for a merry-go-round of relationships.
The Monkey’s love of self-indulgence can also lead to other types of trouble. This Sign may have limited self-control concerning food, alcohol and other pleasurable activities. It’s party time all the time for the Monkey, yet when it leads to a monster hangover or a shattered heart (generally someone else’s, not theirs), this Sign might actually show a touch of remorse. They won’t flat-out admit the error of their ways, but at least they’ll pull back and try to tone things down — for a while.
Monkeys must try to learn to think of others ahead of themselves, at least some of the time. This Sign’s world will be more complete once it realizes the world doesn’t revolve around it.
The most compatible match for a Monkey is the Rat or the Dragon.