Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Knitting is for . . . cats

***Warning: Adult content!  Well, kind-of.  I didn't intentionally put it in here, but there are some adult-esque quotes floating around this narrative.  Not quotes from me, though.  I can't, though, talk about my latest adventure without including them.  So, stop reading now if you don't want to know about it.  The end.***

A few days ago, my latest adventure began with the following text messages:

"Wassup.  Jst got an email abt this kewl xhibit.  I want 2 go.  U near soho?"

"Yup.  When u wanna meet?"

"30 min at Spring St Physique?"


Now, I was the first person in the above textersation (the murder of the English language facilitated by the world of texting still makes me cringe, but I, alas, must make my messages less than 160 characters like the rest of the world.) and my friend Zakiya was the second texter.  Per our vastly complex communication, we promptly met in Soho and headed toward a new art exhibit entitled (hold your ears, Mom), "Knitting is For Pu$$ies".  Yep.  And I hate to say it, but the name, in all its crassness, was partially what attracted me to the exhibit.  Also, I'm a pretty avid crocheter, so I figured that someone that shares my penchant for both crochet AND vulgarity was someone whose art I should see.  And yes, there was a lot of art to see.

The exhibit, by a female artist named Olec, was on the second floor of the Christopher Henry Gallery on Lafayette Street and, according to the man at the front desk, had been the hot spot of Soho for the past few weeks.  Alrighty, then.  Ignoring an exhibit of penciled pastel lines that I was obviously not cultured enough to appreciate, I immediately climbed the stairs to the dark second floor, made sure the coast was clear of wax figures (long story), and coerced Zakiya into joining me in what was, quite literally, a crocheted studio apartment.  Everything, and I mean everything, was crocheted.  The walls and floor were crocheted.  The windowsills and throw rugs were crocheted.  There was a crocheted sink, toilet, television, clothing rack, wardrobe, ironing board, and a crocheted man/woman sitting on the crocheted bed and pulling back his/her crocheted blanket.  Most of the yarn was semi-glow-in-the-dark, so the room took on a psychedelic quality that reminded me of a glow-in-the-dark mini golf course.  It was crazy and oddly surreal to stand in the room as the only un-crocheted beings.  I thought of the scarves I crocheted for the cast of a recent show and realized that, at the risk of sounding like Captain Obvious,  this had been an insane amount of work.  (Incidentally, I read later that the artist said she had created her impressive work while watching the Lost series on DVD from start to finish - I can relate to that).  We oohed and aahed for a few minutes.

"Um . . . Michelle?  Have you read any of this?" Zakiya asked.

No, I hadn't.  Bad Michelle.  Read the crochet and find the underlying meaning of this artist's hours and hours of toil.  There must be something she was trying to say.  I looked at the nearest inscription.

"Soul is the part of you that sees a lap dance every time you close your eyes."

What?!?!  Hold on a second.  No quotes from God?  The Dali Lama?  Confucious?

"Ur pu$$y is my soul mate."

"My mother hates Mother's Day".  
Really, Olec?  Really?  I mean, with a name like Olec, people maybe just expect you to spout wisdom like your almost-namesake Olmec from Legends of the Hidden Temple (c'mon, you know you watched that show), but did we have to go there?  Well, apparently we did.  And I've got to say that the quotes above were amongst the less vulgar.  I looked at Zakiya whose eyebrows were so far raised that they were actually creasing her normally-smooth forehead and . . . we laughed.  Heartily.  It was actually refreshing for a New York artist to so obviously take herself with an albeit very dirty grain of salt.  After reading the crocheted phrases, I felt more at home in the crocheted apartment.  Somehow, I was a little more at ease, akin to a friend telling a dirty joke at a tense dinner party.  We strolled around the apartment and looked closer at the plethora of woven objects.  As I was sitting at the desk pretending to talk on the crocheted phone, we heard a couple of women near us suddenly realize what was written around them.  Their response?  Laughter much like our own.  We smiled and headed toward the sunlit exit in gallery below.

Perhaps there was some deeper meaning I should have gleaned from the exhibit.  Perhaps there was some profound juxtaposition of the old-world crochet and the new-world verbiage that would shed light on the state of humanity today.  Or, some chick with a weird name likes to crochet dirty phrases while she watches reruns of Lost.  Whatever.  It was fun.  I figured that was what counted.  I thought of my previous textersation with Zakiya and figured Olec would have liked that idea, too.  Perhaps she would have crocheted it on a wall.

1 comment:

Andrea said...

Holy YARN Batman! That is, as you would say, Crazy pants!
PS on THAT...I said "That's crazy pants" to my friend one day and he said, "you're pants aren't that weird"....WTH!?

Anyway, that apartment must have a lot of DUST! how the hell does she clean that!? Blech!