I’m baaack!!

Posted on Friday May 25, 2012

Like Jack Nicholson in The Shining, I’m Baaaack!!! Okay, so New York City is more populous than the Overlook Hotel, but there’s enough crazies here to make you worried – look, there’s one now, over in that mirror. Oh, is that me? Maybe I should have de-frizzed my hair this morning, and got a better sleep on the plane on the way over from Sydney.

Two nights here, just enough to get my bearings again before I start my summer school next week at the School of Visual Arts. The school will be held at SVA’s studio in 16th Street, Chelsea, just a block away from the Chelsea Markets and the Highline. I’ll have a studio that’s 9 x 7 – feet, not metres – so that’s going to require a bit of spatial reorientation. My guess is it’ll take me two days to fill it.

The SVA studio building in 16th St

The other spatial challenge will be my executive suite at SVA’s residential college, George Washington Hall, on Lexington Ave. At 10 x 8 feet, it’s bigger than my studio. The building looks mighty salubrious from the outside, but maybe I’ll be surprised when they let me in on Sunday. Still, for just over $1K for the month, it’s cheap accommodation for Manhattan.

My new home – the George Washington Hall

Once more, I delighted in walking along the High Line. For those who don’t know, this is an old overhead rail track that’s been turned into a greened walkway, winding between Upper Chelsea and the Meatpacking district. (Damn, I should have packed more meat! A slab of tofu won’t save my bacon.) It’s a relaxing change from tramping the sidewalks, and there’s a selection of public art along the way.

One of these is a work by Sarah Sze, a former SVA Masters student, who’s currently a Hot Property on the NYC contemporary sculpture/installation scene. She just had a big write-up in the New Yorker. Her High Line work, Still Life for a Landscape (Model for a Habitat), looks like a birdhouse that’s been extruded from a single point, and stretched along one axis into a trapezoidal form. I waited for a while, to see if a Great Tit would fly in to gorge on some of the pieces of orange impaled on it, but it didn’t happen. The Lesser Buttocks also stayed away, as did the Dimpled Elbows. Maybe they’re all thrown by the distorted reality. But hey birdies, this is New York. Get used to it.

Sarah Sze’s Still Life for a Landscape


Sarah Sze