September 21, 2007

Young stunt

"Aaron Young: Greeting Card," Seventh Regiment Armory, New York, NY. Through Sept. 23. In the NYTimes, Roberta Smith reports:"If there was any doubt that we live in a reasonable facsimile of the Gilded Age, it disappeared Monday night during 'Greeting Card,' Aaron Young’s enormous paint-by-motorcycle spectacle in the vast, emptied-out drill hall of the Seventh Regiment Armory. For nearly 10 minutes, a dozen bikers wheeled, skidded and fishtailed their heavy machines across a 72-by-128-foot surface of plywood, burning random lines through a layer of black paint to reveal shades of fluorescent orange beneath....As spectacle, 'Greeting Card' was a bit thin and not as much fun as the anticipation. Assault on the senses via noise and smoke seemed to be the main point....After 'Greeting Card' is dismantled on Sunday night, Mr. Young will divide its 288 panels into individual paintings ranging in size from a single panel to as many as 150. These will then begin a second life as saleable works meant to hang on walls. Perhaps they will buy Mr. Young enough time to figure out a more profound way to make paintings or other kinds of art."Read more. Check out the slide show.

In an earlier NYTimes article, Carol Vogel described the dress rehearsal as a loud and smoky pep rally. The well-prepared drivers were electrified. "Mr. Young said that given the challenges of the synchronization and the safety concerns, nothing had been left to chance. A month ago he did tests in an empty parking lot in the Bronx near Yankee Stadium....To inspire the riders involved in 'Greeting Card,' he gave each a photocopy of the Pollock painting. 'The spiral motion is the template,' he said. The 10 bikers — five stunt riders from Team G Unit along with five friends — will each have a designated 23- by 43-foot area on which to perform zigzags, power slides and circles. The neon lights on the bottom of each bike will allow the audience to follow the movements through the smoky haze. 'I want it lit like a boxing rink, very hard-edged,' Mr. Young said."Read more.

Read more.