Last chance for "NeoHooDoo"
Fri Jan 23 2009
If you need a little mojo-voodoo-hoodoo with your art, look no further than your own LIC backyard; but get thee to the river fast, cuz you'll miss the boat. In our humble opinion, this exhibition is one of the big sleeper hits of the season. Last Saturday, in conjunction with "NeoHooDoo: Art for a Forgotten Faith" (read the TONY review here), P.S.1 presented a mash-up of poetry and performance in another installment of its popular Saturday afternoon series. Bringing the exhibition's core theme of art as a ritual and spiritual process into the realm of spoken word and performance, the event featured readings by Melanie Goodreaux, Steve Cannon and LaTasha Diggs. Diggs began with imagery of mud, chickens, catfish and snakes. Her fluid, warbling tone rose into a ringing yodel in a sequence combining Japanese, Malay and Spanish language to spectacular aural effect. Mr. Cannon's delightfully flip poem, a play on the double meaning of matter, reflected on themes of purpose, disintegration and mortality. Performing an invocation for the late blues singer Bessie Smith, Terry Adkins's Lone Wolf Recital Corps brought a host of dramatically costumed characters and varied instruments to the stage. Through the alternately melodic, jarring and dissonant sounds of bells, drums, gourds and saxophones, a splendidly feathered birdman stomped and sang out, imploring Bessie to come down and "take us to the river, show us the way." Adkins's piece merged a blunt physical presence with a world of ghosts and spiritual yearning.
"NeoHooDoo: Art for a Forgotten Faith" is at P.S.1 through Monday 26.
Photographs courtesy Brian Zegeer