Kara Walker

Kara Walker

Kara Walker

Tonight, I had the opportunity to see a Kara Walker piece in person at the ICA in Philly. I blushed when I saw it, remembering all the times in art history or installation classes where we were shown the PBS specials of her work.

I was especially shocked because when I heard that the ICA's guest curator was Kara Walker, I assumed it wasn't THE Kara Walker but coincidentally someone by the same name. D'oh. Although I wasn't particularly impressed with the curation of her show, I did enjoy seeing one of her own pieces there.

Also, tonight featured programming by Data Garden, which I've only been exposed to twice now, but who are doing really great things. From my limited knowledge and experience with them, I love this idea of audience engagement. And I'm not just talking about the attending audience, I'm thinking more locally, and who knows, maybe then nationally and globally. I attend a lot of arts events, and I don't know, maybe I'm going to the wrong venues, but Philly seems to be lacking that quintessential pulse that an art scene should have. It seems to me that Data Garden is trying to correct that, and thank god.

I guess to me, a lot of what's happening in art/music/all that is still set up in a traditional setting: there's the work, on its stage, and there's the viewer, observing. And I can appreciate a pretty picture just as much as anyone, but I feel like it's not quite cutting it anymore. I think people want connection now, and I think they need it more than ever with current lack of communication and integrity. Hell, that's why I even attending KAWS' opening at PAFA a few months back. His work is okay for me. But I went because I knew the scene would feel alive; there'd be a buzz in the air that keeps the damn thing going. It's just as important as the work itself.

P.S. Also was delighted about the way that the door lady placed the wristbands on everybody. I never saw anyone be more gentle and precise and with intention. What impressed me most was the way she ever-so-carefully tucked her fingers here and there to get the bands just right. And it made total sense because she had a linoleum block in progress sitting next to her. You can spot an artist who works with his/her hands anywhere. How sweet.