NYC hearts PICA
Now that’s a party! Tonight took us to the brand new ACE HOTEL for the PICA/NYC party hosted by Paper Magazine. Lemme tell ya, those kids know how to have a good time. The event was a celebration of all the fantastic art and performance that NYC has sent to Portland for the TBA festival and vice versa. Thusly and therefore there were tons of art stars, producers, presenters and groovy gals and gents gathered from places far and wide to celebrate Kristy Edmunds (the rumors are true, so I hear from a very good source. ahem), PICA, not to mention the new curator the much-beloved Cathy Edwards and previous curator the also much-beloved Mark Russell. Here’s some pix, click to see the rest on flickr:
We got there right at the beginning, chatted outside with HERE Arts Center’s KIM WHITENER before heading in to check out the scene. Had a great catch-up with ex-Portlandtonian DREW PISARRA who we know from way back in the early alterna-90’s when we were a performance poet in the great Pacific NW. Saw MEIYIN WANG who was hanging with ZACH OBERZAN (of Rambo Solo), went upstairs to Room 408 (anybody from Seattle remember my friend Matt’s old space Room 608???) to check out the video installation and bopped back down to run into MARK RUSSELL chatting with JEAN-MICHELE GREGORY and MIKE DAISEY. Mike had a few words to say on the solo performance form, you can listen to an MP3 of that here. Had a lovely chat with JOHN KELLY who just opened a retrospective of self-portraits at Alexander Gray Gallery and will be doing his Joni Mitchell thing at Abrons Arts Center soon. He will also be doing the entirety of Court & Spark as part of the River to River Festival – so keep your eyes and ears peeled for that!!! I love John – many years ago I roadtripped to P-Town to do a poetry/performance show with him and a bunch of other artists organized by the fabulous BOBBY MILLER (Bobby, where are you?!) – and nothing teaches you more about a person’s natural generosity and expansiveness of spirit (or lack thereof) than an out-of-town gig in a summer beach town to indifferent locals.
During the Fourteen Toasts section of the evening John sang a magnificent “Ode to Kristy Edmunds” which you can listen to here, in part. Golly, who else did we see? The lovely Aurelia Thierree with Tanya Selvaratnam, Kalup Linzy and friends. Oh and Cathy Edwards, of course, Carla Peterson, Tommy Kriegsmann, Linda Brumbach, Janet Stapleton, David Hershkovits, Barbara Bryan, Kenny Mellman, Larry Crone…phew!…every-freakin’-body! And of course I ran into TOM MURRIN, the completely adored “Alien Comic” who also writes for Paper Magazine and embodies the downtown spirit of creativity, generosity and open-mindedness that we all aspire to. I asked him for journalism tips and he gladly obliged – hopefully I’ll learn something. If you want to learn something about Tom and life in general, go see his show “Alien Comic Au Naturel” next week on Friday, May 29th at 5:30PM at the Bowery Poetry Club. Tom is, rightfully, a legend and you should go check him out if you haven’t before.
Quote of the night comes from John Jasperse who was once wearing his PICA t-shirt in Brazil only to find out that in Brazil pica means cock. When toasting Kristy he said, “And what can be better than supporting your favorite arts organization and advertising what you’re looking for all at the same time!?”
PS: some bonus audio treats from other night at the Kitchen – premium vintage lo-fi iPhone bootleg mp3s:
Sonic Youth’s “Benefit Noise Jam“
Laurie Anderson “Only an expert can deal with the problem“
ENJOY! Give yourself an art-on!!