P.S. 1...maybe it's something in the water

PS1 Highlight Exhibit

Just last weekend, not one week after my lackluster MoMA visit, I ventured out to Queens to see my friend. It was another rainy weekend, so we skipped the outdoor beer garden festival to attend the indoor/outdoor party at P.S. 1 in Long Island City. It was the first of many in the summer season. P.S. 1, MoMA's little sister, is a contemporary art gallery converted from, what used to be, an elementary school, hence its name.

Outside, the agricultural exhibit, complete with livestock, was nice. It was a lovely interactive exhibit with vegetation artfully housed in recyclable cardboard tubing. It was a little wet from the scattered rain showers, which was great for the vegetation, but not so much for the grass seating. However, with the same base, they also created a few water-proof seats using rubber sheathing and tacks. It would eventually be the perfect perch for people watching.

Inside, I could have done without the angry political exhibits (mostly installations), probably in celebration of Independence Day, but still, not what one would expect from a renowned gallery in terms of concept and execution. There was one nice Olafur Eliasson piece, but not enough to keep us inside. So we stuck to people watching outside. The sun made its entrance every so often, keeping us satisfied for quite some time in our drum chairs. So I sketched.

Sitting on grass drums


Then the ten-piece band started tuning their instruments. Well, at least we thought they were. We noticed the conductor, yes there was a conductor, swinging his baton, leading the musicians in a unified chaos of sound. The rhythm was non-existent, and what sounded like tuning instruments was actually experimental…something. Well, I never claimed to be a music aficionado. Needless to say, the crowd, save for a small handful of people, was not enthralled. My friend was lucky enough to have been to another summer event here when the Scissor Sisters played and Bono performed, unannounced. This time, a DJ saved our sense of rhythm and beat by spinning between breaks. I was hoping that, eventually, some fabulous surprise performer or band would show up. No such luck.

Soon enough, the rain fell again, so we decided to make our exit, relieved we had good reason to leave the party early.