“Hi,Thurston!” I said smiling, leaning by the doorway of the SculptureCenter at the gala for Dan Graham. Silence. Sonic Youth member Thurston Moore walked past me with nary a glance.Well, excuse me!
artist Graham is quoted as say ing art is his hobby, but we know
different. He’s known for his mirrored pavilions, site-specific
sculpture and video and film installations— often littered with
musicians.The couple hundred guests were wildly enthusiastic when
Graham took the stage.“I’m an Aries,” he said.
It was my first
visit to the Long Island City art enclave and, boy, was it a doozy.
Amid the urban wasteland near Dutch Kills Street was a huge glass
structure housing a funky converted trolley factory, where the art
stars milled about. “You gotta be warm in that,” I said, gesturing at a
blonde in a mink. This crowd looked well-heeled. “$50 at a tag sale,”
the lady said. Smart move.
Whose bright idea was it to have post-punk duo Japanther play
noise rock in the outdoor courtyard? The group worked with Graham a few
years ago, creating Don’t Trust Anyone Over 30, a multimedia live
puppet rock opera that toured the country. Of course, Graham is way
over 30. The hibachis scattered about to keep us warm didn’t, but the
burning wood smelled more like the country than the Queens industrial
zone. Waitstaff stood ready with trays of warmed whiskey and S’mores
ingredients. Needless to say, the senior gala attendees didn’t stay,
but not to worry, a band of merrymaking teen and twenty-something
The kids came out strictly for Japanther, and the
plummeting temps made it so much better. Hair whipping their face, the
boys of Japanther sang, “1-2-3-4/ Fuck the cops!” adding to the fun. To
paraphrase what one headbanger later tweeted, that shit was
gnarly—Mother Nature was PMSing and Japanther put that bitch in her