tsatsas a 14th street pilgrimage:      
 
new york, october 1-10,2011
 
October 5th, 2011: Fifth day of A 14th Street Pilgrimage

I began today with tea and a shared poppyseed streudel at the Hungarian Pastry Shop, where my friend Jeanne-Marie mentioned that the Cathedral across the street has a beautiful exhibition of artworks relating to water. Beautiful indeed: some amazing paintings by Greg Amenoff & April Gornik, among many other works tucked (tsatsa-like?) into the great church's many chapels and alcoves. I left a tsatsa on the central candle-offering altar in the nave. Heat radiates from all those prayers up into the cool stone vault, reminding me of the sense of collective devotional gestures that drew me to pilgrimage practice in the first place.

   

Then back downtown for round two of my Chelsea gallery wanderings, the two-day highlights of which were Do Ho Suh, Nick Cave, Richard Serra, Anne Pibal and the La Carte d'Apres Nature show curated by Thomas Demand at Matthew Marks. Interesting to see how many galleries are taking on museumlike roles of presenting new projects and retrospectives that are not in any simple sense for sale.

I returned to 14th Street for the AiOP Korhan Basaran dance performance at the Norwood Club. A few new discoveries on this by-now familiar street. Repeated and applied attention finds new objects each time & I am reminded of the Shikoku and Mt. Heian devotees who travel their choses route dozens, even hundreds of times in their lives. I notice the Teamsters' HQ, with a pack of Newports tucked behind the pipes out front; shopfront locks and barricade mechanisms; real estate ads; ornate griffin-bearing doorways; call boxes for upstairs shops and apartments; and a new variation on the theme of the ATM money-shrine.

   
 
             
Aside from the pleasure of discovering new spots, there is the fact that public spaces are inherently self-renewing. Even if I were to leave tsatsas in the same spots day after day, I would not see the same weiner-dog strolling two days in row, the same man bearing sheaves of gladioli at the subway turnstiles, the same October sunshine or lack of it. Ephemeral public art is not just unpredictable for those who encounter it; it also brings awareness of the changing world to those who make it.
 
14th Street project pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
     
 
     
 
       

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Art in Odd Places 2011: RITUAL is guest curated by Kalia Brooks, MoCADA Director of Exhibitions and Trinidad Fombella, El Museo Del Barrio Exhibitions Manager/Assistant Curator. Festival Producer, Lucia Warck Meister. Founder/Director, Ed Woodham.

Art in Odd Places (AiOP) aims to present art that stretches the boundaries of communication in the public realm by presenting artworks in all disciplines outside the confines of traditional public space regulations. AiOP reminds us that public spaces function as the epicenter for diverse social interactions and the unfettered exchange of ideas. www.artinoddplaces.org