Friday, September 14, 2007

Je ne sais quois

I’ll be out of town for a few days, but I thought I’d leave this snippet of the most recent Deitch-sponsored art parade for people to ogle over.

The parade, which seems to be equal parts (male and female) nudity and performance work I think espouses a certain overarching NYC aesthetic. I say this, because it isn’t the first time I’ve had this thought…and it seems to manifest itself again and again.

The first time it struck me was the first time I visited NYC, I was eighteen and prepared for a world of blaring black, of arched-eyebrow sophistication combined with a certain gritty je ne sais quois. I was wrong, the NYC of 1993 was filled with glittering club-boys and girls, tromping through the streets in impossible platform sneakers and boots, puffy-jacketed thugs in Timberland boots with insane grills, and neo-hippy, vegan, piercing aficionados.

In short: less sophistications, more neon colors and outré-ness for its own sake. (It might also bear mentioning that as I was taking in these sites my hair was cropped close to my head a la George Clooney, I wore tight boy’s tee-shirts, big jeans, and shoes that looked like Frankenstein’s cast-offs).

Even now though, that hallucinatory ethos seems pervasive: a certain lack of subtlety, an embracement of fake fur in faker colors, glitter, and general carelessness. I see it too in the art, jewelry, and clothing being made, as if every voice is screaming to be heard. And, succinctly: I see it in this video.

Or perhaps I’ve lived in the comparative peace and quiet of Jacksonville for too long now.

That being said, the general absurdity and temporal nature of the parade reminded me of the heyday of the Limelight, the Tunnel, other ridiculous clubs of the day, and of a drag performer I once knew named Soigne; it made me smile.


steph said...

the tunnel! the limelight!! thos were the days....

madeleine53 said...

Ha, I bet we were there at the same time, and never even knew it...god, I can't even believe that we used to go out to clubs that didn't get going until 1:00 feel like a different life, a different person.