Art in Odd Places ‘RECALLed’ at The Lodge Gallery [RECAP]
Many New Yorkers have stumbled upon Art in Odd Places (AiOP), the visual and performance art festival that takes place in, you guessed it, odd places. The annual event happens along 14th Street from Avenue C to the Hudson River every October.
This year, in celebration of their 11th anniversary (an odd number, of course), The Lodge Gallery teamed up with AiOP for a retrospective, bringing some of the works indoors. The two-week exhibition is “Art in Odd Places: RECALLed,” a play on “RECALL,” which was the title of this year’s festival. Also included in the exhibit is special programming and performances by some of the artists
We checked out the opening event last week. Among our favorite installations was “Chance Meeting Doorknob Hangers” by Linda Hesh. The hangers, similar to the “Do Not Disturb” signs on hotel doors, were originally installed on every doorknob on 14th St., and spouted such phrases as, “Is it really you?” and “I was just thinking of you.” The interactive hangers translated well to the gallery, where viewers could remove them and take photos of themselves with the pieces.
Another intriguing performance piece was by LuLu Lolo. Dressed as Joan of Arc, she asked attendees, “Where are the women?” in order to provoke discussion of the lack of monuments of women in the city. (There are 150 monuments of men in New York City and only 5 of women.) Lolo also asked strangers which women they would nominate for a monument. (Ruth Bader Ginsburg, HELLO?!)
We were also quite fond of “Embassy of Good Will: One Hour of Free Help” which was set up by Dutch artists Marieke Warmelink & Domenique Himmelschbach de Vries, who had traveled all over the world offering one hour of free help to anyone who asked. The artists then collected the tales and created an interactive mobile monument, sharing experiences and acting out the stories.
And we really liked Tim Thyzel’s sculpture, “Umbrella Tumbleweed,” made from 50 broken umbrellas, all found in the street.
There was far more to see, and many thought-provoking subjects were tackled. Though it is exciting to discover these performance pieces and installations while wandering down the street, there is also something to be said for seeing them collected in one room. That way, among other advantages, there is no need to hunt down such creativity and risk missing one or two while avoiding broken umbrellas that haven’t yet become works of art.
Art in Odd Places: RECALLed runs until October 28 at 131 Chrystie Street. For more information, and a full list of participating artists, check out The Lodge Gallery’s website, along with AiOP’s site.