Friday, September 01, 2017

Nick Cave - "Until" at MASS MoCA 2016-2017

It's almost time for Nick Cave's Until to be dismantled from football-field-sized Building 5 at Massive MASS MoCA in North Adams, MA. The installation and dismantling of this incredible exhibit are as impressive to me as the actual piece itself.

And here it is:



A gentleman is visible in the lower-right, for scale.



According to The Boston Globe, Cave's installation features 16,000 wind spinners, 24 chandeliers, 10 miles of crystals 13 gilded pigs, thousands of ceramic birds, fruits, and animals, 17 cast-iron lawn jockeys and millions of plastic pony beads.

Closeup of a wind-spinner, featuring a die-cut revolver. Other spinners feature tears and targets.



In the center of the gallery, a former textile and electronics factory, is a vision of heaven made from crystals, chandeliers, ceramic knick-knacks, and seemingly everything that my Grandma Tocha ever hoarded during her long life.



If you're over age 12, you can climb up one of the ladders and see what's up there.



It's scary up there, and secret-garden-like, if the garden was made from the inside of someone's fevered mind. The lawn jockeys, once-demeaning caricatures planted in the front yards of U.S. homes, may have had a dual purpose, signalling safe houses on the underground railroad. On this floating island, they're holding dream-catchers made from twine and badminton rackets.



We live in a world jam-packed with stuff, with abundance beyond human imagining. What lives in the heaven of our minds? Cave thought to ask the question, "Is there racism in heaven?" A question that makes me bow my head in sadness.



And what does this grandma's parlor of a heaven make of our world below?





Ceramic birds survey our whirling human-made violent nature.




A corridor of beaded tarps continue the installation.



From a distance they look like woven rope.



But they're beaded. Here are the millions of pony beads.


So many beads

Beaded.



You can survey the entirety of Until from more than one mezzanine level in MASS MoCA's surreal industrial layout.



And finally, at the end of the gallery, a cascade of Mylar strips, billowing from a rack of oversized industrial-strength fans. Jackson's footage of this shiny, rustling coda is at the end of this one-minute film below:

Nick Cave "Until" - MASS MoCA, September, 2017 from Miss Lisa on Vimeo.


There's a video-installation room made up of staring eyes and a hint of Cave's soundsuit output—the surreal identity-erasing costumes he's known for (see below).







Until ends September 4th. I will never forget it. Cave readjusts our vision of the world where everything is recognizable yet drastically altered. If you ever get a chance, have yourself a Nick Cave experience.

Monday, August 28, 2017

San Francisco Rise and Resist! Counter-Rally and LovedUp Mobile Dance Party - August 26, 2017


Rise and Resist! with MC Cleve Jones on bullhorn, ready to rally
After a white-supremacy rally at Crissy Field was called off for August 26th, San Francisco went ahead and held numerous counter-rallies as scheduled. This included the stylish Come Together rally of LGBTQ-rights activists in the Castro who were met up by a group of equally stylish dancing activists from the LovedUp Mobile Dance Party at Dolores Park. Together, we all electric-slid down Market Street to the Peace, Love and Understanding music party at Civic Center.



We danced and chanted and sang, thousands strong.



Here we go! Tunes provided by the LovedUp Mobile Dance Party bicycle-toting sound system,.



Plenty of signage, good vibes and big hearts.



I haven't seen an official count in the media since Saturday, but it was thousands. My guess would be at least twenty thousand, if not more. I parked myself on the side of the street a few times and people just kept coming, and coming, and coming.



This sign won cinematic signage reference of the day. This sign has been approved by The Craft fan-favorite Fairuza Balk. An excellent job in cult-film signage.



This is my kind of super-hero.



To the two ladies riding unicorns down the street while playing satirical ditties on ukuleles: I love you.




DANCE DANCE FACISTS (sic) FUCK OFF - sign o' the times



Activist Honey Mahogany commands attention with her regal radiance. I see she's co-starred in Peaches Christ's production of The Craft. This moment in photographs, brought to you by The Craft.



The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence have been stepping up for human rights and helping me cope with my Catholic upbringing in a healthy manner since 1979. Hail to you, Sisters!



As the Sisters posed for this photo, I heard one of them say to the little girl, "I love your wig!"



Heather Heyer remembrance shirt. Heather's mom Susan Bro announced the formation of the Heather Heyer Scholarship Foundation this week. Rest in power, Heather. We will remember you.



Dancers from a Dance Planet - who are these wondrous dance pixies? If anyone knows, tell me because they deserve all the accolades.







Sending love around the world.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Anti-Nazi Protesters: Say it with Sousaphones

Are you pro-humanity and for civil rights? Tired of KKK/Nazi sympathizers marching down the streets of the United States, home of the free? Get your message across the humorous, nonviolent musical way — with a sousaphone. If you don't have a sousaphone on hand, a tuba will do. Remember, practice makes perfect, so be sure not to practice too much for that raw, galumphing, nonsensical sound. The perfect soundtrack for any Nazi-rally occasion.

Need inspiration? The Internet has you covered.

This rendition by Sousaphonist Matt Buck appears to be a mix of Laurel and Hardy's "The Dance of the Cuckoos" theme with Wagner's "Ride of the Valkyries," accompanying a KKK march in Columbia, South Carolina. Buck started the trend that's sweeping the nation and the world. Kudos.



This Sousaphone player took his musical message to the 2016 Republican National Convention to satirically accompany the rants of far-right homophobic religious zealots.



British talk show The Last Leg sent their in-house tuba player (or perhaps he's a contract worker—the way of most employment in the modern age) to follow then-presidential candidate and white-supremacist Donald Trump around Scotland in his ubiquitous golf cart. Bravo.



The Sousaphones Against Hate regale 45's dark tower on inauguration day.



Tuba in the shop? No worries, gather your best clown friends and head on down to the nearest white supremacist hate-speech rally and clown the hell out of it. This brings up the question of who appears the most ridiculous—the cheerful red-nosed jokesters, or the bitter guys in pointy hats espousing racial superiority.



Sadly it's beyond simple satire now that 31-year-old Heather Heyer was murdered while standing up to neo-Nazis in Charlottesville, Virginia. My deepest condolences to her family and friends. She was brave and she deserved better, as did the injured and recovering counter-protesters who fought hate in Charlottesville. Nazis and fascists: you are not wanted here. If you show up spewing vitriol based on skin color, cultural affiliation, gender, or sexual orientation, you deserve to be mocked until you turn tail and slink away. Equality and justice for all.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Art is Fun

Working on my legacy, one ink blot and doodle at a time—maybe not a Legacy legacy, but every experiment tends to lead to something else entirely as we plod forth toward our oblivion. During the dog days of summer, which came early in California with a record-breaking heat wave that felt like an oven had been turned on full blast for 19 hours a day, art is refreshing. Like a cool minty glass of iced tea, scribbling is the inner world gone external.

Exploring the concept of doubles with ink-blot prints and charcoal on Bristol board. Throw in a white gel pen and you get: large protruding eyeballs.




Double kitty from acrylic ink and charcoal pencil.




Twins.



Card collages made from found papers, painted journal pages, photos and vintage prints.





My Dad turned 80 last week, so he got this card.



Father's Day card. My Dad really is the number-one dad. I wasn't exaggerating.



I still have to send this one to its recipient. Hopefully she doesn't read this blog. I doubt she does. She's busy and this blog doesn't exactly come up on anyone's daily feed, which is good for under-the-radar experiments and thoughts.




Art inspired by the Spark! Summer online class taught by Lynn Whipple and Carla Sonheim.
My art site: www.lisa-mcelroy.com - still working on this but here it is.

Thursday, June 08, 2017

March for Truth San Francisco featuring Trump Russian Nesting Dolls and Jazz

Yes, it's true the March for Truth set for San Francisco on June 3, 2017 was cancelled to the chagrin of marchers throughout the Bay Area. But the problem of getting a permit together in time for the event, did not curtail the march in full because luckily the hard-working and cheeky folks at Indivisible SF planned a Flash Mob for Truth, and you don't need a permit to host a flash mob.

Still, calling it a Flash Mob for Truth, sounds a little goofy and surreal. Although, the event itself was both those things in the best possible way. Thank you, Indivisible SF for your massive effort to put together a delightful day of music, sing-alongs and political theater PLUS bigger-than-life Trump Russian nesting dolls.

We started off at the Powell cable-car turnaround at Market. Saint Gabriel's Celestial Brass Band appeared, on time, tuning up, and ready to play. I was so excited to see a New Orleans style marching band, I cannot emphasize this enough. I've participated in many political marches since the 1980s but lately there's been a plethora of incredibly talented dedicated musicians joining in. I didn't set out to film all of them, but I just keep noting how special it is that this is happening at all, and the fact that it's being set to traditional American music, makes it even more soulful.

Let's march! For Truth! For Justice! For the end of this corrupt administration! New Orleans Jazz forever!




IMP PEACH MINT

"Nostalgic for Nixon" (note "FBI agents" in foreground)

"RESIST" umbrellas help protect from sun damage

St. Gabriel's Celestial Brass Band in action

Down Market Street

A fairly long walk to the Embarcadero - so many horn solos

Trump nesting doll with "FBI" at Justin Herman Plaza


Trump, Pence, Kushner, Page, Flynn and tiny Putin nesting dolls

Let's Rally!

Indivisible SF MC Steve Rapport gave an extraordinary account of the Trump administration's shortcomings, read as a prose piece of insane, horrifying and all-true descriptors. One of the best uses of adjectives to damn corrupted power players who have no business being in power. The unveiling of the nesting dolls was well served by Rapport's summation.





More jazz, with marching, if that's what moves you.