Tag Archive | F Word

Martin Creed, The Back Door at the Park Avenue Armory

Armory Drawing Room
All Photos and Videos By Gail

To have experienced The Back Door, Martin Creed’s interactive art exhibit installed throughout the Park Avenue Armory, was like walking into and exploring an authentically disquieting dreamscape version of Disney’s Haunted Mansion for adults who dig weird art.

Martin Creed Small Canvases

As the most mainstream-accessible part of The Back Door, two collections of small-canvas paintings can be found in the Armory’s first floor Board of Officers Room. It got much less-safe from there.

Small Canvas Painting

Crossing all media including painting, drawing, music, dance, theater, film, sculpture, fashion, and more, Martin Creed’s practice considers our everyday existence and the visible and invisible structures that shape our lives. Creed continues his ongoing exploration into rhythm, scale and order in The Back Door;  the artist’s largest installation in the US to date, which is a survey of his work from its most minimal moments to extravagant, larger-than-life installations.

Installation with Dress Form

Utilizing both the Wade Thompson Drill Hall and the historic interiors of the building, Creed re-imagines the space with opening and closing doors and curtains, a slamming piano, and a room full of balloons, among other new works made for this exhibition. These materials and situations, when grouped together, create a playful spectacle within a framework that provides the viewer with a fascinating way to counter our visually overloaded, choice-saturated culture.

Half the Air in a Given Space Signage

The most popular work in the exhibit is called Half the Air in a Given Space, which is a room filled half-way to the ceiling with large, inflated white latex balloons.

Half The Air

It was recommended that you queue up for this room as soon as you arrived, as there might be a wait of 10 minutes or more. They only let six or so people enter the room at one time. This is why:

Half the Air in a Given Space Signage

Once you squeeze your way into the room, the balloons, which are about 17″ in diameter, will be over your head, and you will need to gently bounce them upward and away from you in order to navigate your way to an exit on the other side of the room, which is marked by a red Exit sign. I wouldn’t recommended this experience to anyone who is prone to panic attacks or who has claustrophobia, or for a small child, but otherwise it is quite fun and there is no need to freak out.

Half the Air in a Given Space Signage

As you can see, I was able to get these fun photos while submerged in a sea of Balloons! When would you ever have the chance to do this again? There were assistants at the room’s exit door, to help you get out.

In the above video, I am in a room called The Parlor, in which the overhead lights flash on and off at one-second intervals for a piece called The Lights Going On and Off. The door on the other side of the room opens automatically, so it is impossible to be trapped in there. Again, no need to panic!

Wade Thompson Drill Hall

Next, I entered the Wade Thompson Drill Hall, which is a massive room the size of an airplane hangar. There is a screen suspended from the ceiling about midway into the room, which shows nearly static film clips of people doing mundane things like sitting and staring.

Film Clip Woman

This is a woman sitting in a room.

Film Clip Room

This is the room she is sitting in. There are six short films ranging in length from 1 minute 30 seconds to 2 minutes.

Exhibition Continues Sign

Across that room to the right, you will see the above sign with an arrow. Follow it to an open door and enter an entirely new space.

Funny Walks

You are now in a long corridor that extends the length of the building, which is divided into 9 small kiosks, each showing a different short film. The first one shows different people crossing the same street, one at a time, while demonstrating a “funny walk,” as the famous Monty Python sketch would call it.

Naked Man

Another film is this naked man standing in a room with occasional close-ups of his ass.

This  video clip is from a film that shows a numerical countdown.

This one is called Fuck Off. Either there was no video, or it just wasn’t working, for this audio-only clip of someone using the F Word, a lot. (Warning: NSFW)

Squatting Woman

I didn’t stick around long enough to find out why she was squatting.

Parental Advisory

When you see this sign, you are about to watch a video of a penis going from flaccid to erect, and back again. Hashtag-trying-too-hard.

These Roving Musicians are fun to stop and listen to as they wander through the various rooms. Those curtains they are seen walking through open and close by themselves, and constitute a separate artwork called A Curtain Opening and Closing.

White Grand Piano
The Veteran’s Room

Grandfather Clock
A Large Piece of Furniture Partially Obstructing a Door

Field and Staff Room

In the Field and Staff Room, you will see chairs stacked on top of other chairs and tables stacked on other tables, a row of small cactus plants in front of a mirror (lower right in the above photo) and a video installation.

IMG_2450

I felt like I was back in the ’60s.

Painting in the North Corridor
Abstract Painting in the North Corridor

Veterans Room 2
Veterans Room

Even if art is not your thing, you would probably have enjoyed its distractions as you explore an amazing historical building and imagine what types of ghosts must inhabit this obviously haunted space.

Find out more about Martin Creed’s The Back Door, which has now closed at This Link!

Park Ave Armory Exterior and Signage

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Must See Film: The Other F Word

The Other F Word Movie Poster

Three Words: Punk Rock Dads. Without going into any detail at all, just the idea that anyone would make a documentary film about Punk Rock Dads is so golden. I mean, seriously: taking the ultimate anti-authoritarian pop-culture figure and putting him in the position of being the iron-fisted authority in a child’s life is both wildly fascinating and unbelievably hilarious. So, convincing me to check out the new film, The Other F Word, (the “F” standing for Fatherhood) directed by Andrea Blaugrund Nevins was a total no-brainer. Because, Punk Rock Dads! The LA and Orange Country Punk Rock scene of the late 70s / early 80s was HUGE for me when I was a teenager and into my early 20s. Being aware that a number of the “kids” I grew up with in Southern California would be featured musicians in the film, I knew this would be an enjoyable viewing experience, but honestly, I had no idea what I was in for. As riveting as any scripted drama, unbelievably funny and deeply – often unexpectedly – emotionally gut wrenching, The Other F Word is one of the best movies of 2011 and is way up there on my top 10 list of best music documentaries I’ve seen. I just loved this movie so much and can’t recommend it highly enough.

Blaugrund Nevins interviewed about two dozen Punk Dads for the film, and she got a really good mix, but the ones that get the most screen time are Pennywise frontman Jim Lindberg (whom I’d call the “star” of the film), Art Alexakis (Everclear), Fat Mike (NOFX), Lars Frederiksen (Rancid), Mark Hoppus (Blink 182), Ron Reyes (Black Flag), Flea (Red Hot Chili Peppers), Pro-Skating legend Tony Hawk, Drummer Josh Freese and Tony Brandenburg (The Adolescents). All of these guys are clearly just in love with being Dads and are entirely devoted to their children, who range in age from infants to grown teenagers. The guys come off as being really cool people in addition to being great Dads, and a lot of candid and funny moments got captured on film.

Lars Fredrickson and Son
Lars Fredriksen and his Son

I loved the part where Lars Fredriksen (who has a tattooed forehead and sports a cheetah print buzzcut) jokes in one scene that the quickest way to clear a playground of kids and their moms is to “have the punk rock dad show up with the camera crew.” There’s also a very “punk rock” scene in which Josh Freese and his son play catch with a dirty diaper, and any scene that Fat Mike is in steals the show! It is not surprising that many of the Dads reveal that they are determined to be “the dad [they] never had.”

Fat Mike and Daughter
Fat Mike and His Daughter

In addition to the many scenes of these guys interacting with their children and relating hilarious anecdotes about their personal experiences with parenthood, the film spends an entire section discussing what it’s like to be a working musician whose band’s financial success is the basis of how they put food on the table. With the possible exception of Flea, Josh Freese or Mark from Blink 182, who probably never have to work a day job again if they don’t want to, none of these guys are in millionaire Rock Star bands, but rather are working-class musicians who must tour up to 300 or more days per year to support their families. It’s surprising how many of the guys featured in the film admit that they never got into music to make money, but now, 20 years into it they’ve managed to earn a steady and viable income playing punk rock music. Like the story of the Golden Handcuffs, the downside to “realizing the dream” while making a living in a changing musical environment is that it requires them to be away from their kids for such a major part of the year that they miss out on first days of school, ball games and birthdays. Many wonder aloud in this film if it is worth it. One, ultimately, decides that it is not.

You may still be able to find The Other F Word showing at a theater near you (visit This Link for theater engagements), but if you’ve already missed out on seeing it on the big screen, the film will be released on DVD and Blu-Ray on January 31st, and is well worth owning. Executive Produced by Morgan Spurlock and Jeremy Chilnick, The Other F Word will appeal to music fans – and fans of these featured bands in particular – cool parents and anyone who loves a good documentary film.

The Worley Gig Gives The Other F Word Five Out of Five Stars!! Watch the Trailer Below!