This Thursday the decision of where to go was easy: I have been waiting for Richard Saltoun’s screening of The Cockettes’ Elevator Girls in Bondage for a few weeks. The Cockettes are an iconic end of the 60s-early 70s psychedelic theatre troupe known for their anarchist hippy commune lifestyle, gender bending, drag dressing, and heroin. They were fabulous, loud, and covered in glitter. The screening began at 7pm giving me an hour to pop to the private view of Al Taylor at David Zwirner beforehand.
Al Taylor’s private view was one of those openings that made me feel as if I am trespassing and not smart enough to be there. It is amazing that even after a MA and MPhil in Art History and Theology, after years of working in the arts, after going to openings and private views every week for the last three years, there are still times and places that make me feel like an inadequate scruffy five year-old. Don’t get me wrong, the staff were lovely and welcoming and it was an open private view, but it felt very grown-up and exclusive. In comparison to Sadie Coles’ stylish overcrowded hipster-fest on Wednesday, the David Zwirner opening seemed conservative and empty.
The exhibition, like the private view, was quiet and smart. It paired Al Taylor’s drawings with his sculptures, emphasising the importance of the two dimensional in the making of his three dimensional works. I preferred the works shown on the first floor, which were sculptures assembled from broomstick parts. The ideas of 2D and 3D are made more explicit in these works: although they are 3D sculptures, they are hung on a wall like paintings so the viewer sees them as 2D works. If you miss this show you will not lose out, however if you are in the neighbourhood I do suggest that you pop by for a second and then head next door to Sprueth Magers to see ‘The Humans’.
…more glitter than in a primary school art class…
After the serious and solemn Al Taylor opening the gender bending extravaganza of The Cockettes looked even glitzier. Elevator Girl in Bondage was everything I hoped it would be and more: there was more glitter than in a primary school art class, more makeup than on Katie Price, a bit of nudity and some brilliant tongue-in-cheek jokes and observations about communism, socialism, exploitation, and general ignorance in politics and economics. I thought that by the end of the movie I would want to dress up in fishnets and cover my hair in glitter, but I felt like ordering ‘Economics for Dummies’ instead and taking a crash course in Financial Management.
All in all, another great art-filled evening!