Opinion: End Toxic Discrimination
“Growing up in Brooklyn taught me one thing: how to work with the community,” Adam Victor assured a packed auditorium at a June 21st public meeting. The overflow crowd gathered at the Automotive High School in Greenpoint would have none of it, though. Mr. Victor, as well as his foes, clearly knew the spoils: yet another power plant along the North Brooklyn waterfront.
Mr. Victor, owner of the dubiously named Clean Point Energy company, offered one of the most bewildering Power Point presentations imaginable: a dizzying array of inscrutable charts and random statements, such as a new 1000-1500 megawatt steam and electricity generating power plant will actually “improve the area environmentally.” Sensitive to the needs of a blue-collar community now home to many artists, he spoke of new jobs, money for a community center, and, yes, “aesthetics.” Ever so generously, Victor even promised to sponsor a $100,000 prize for the best design for his proposed new plant.
As the local activists (see Bridget Terry’s report on page 3 of this issue) grilling him repeatedly exposed, Victor knows far more about dollars than environmental sense. A local landscape already populated with waste stations, power plants, a lingering oil spill, and all manner of city sludge hardly needs more electric power. What North Brooklyn does need, however, is more direct transmission of its political power. Time and again, local politicians have joined the neighborhood in stopping toxic threats, but these victories are by their very nature transient. When, for example, will Greenpoint be properly zoned for future inhabitance?
With the city elections fast approaching, locals here and elsewhere should select their allies carefully. Slickly packaged and far more polished, the leaders we will choose from may not be as cartoonish as Mr. Victor and company, so if we’re no vigilant, in the end we may again become, well, not winners.
79. (Brooklyn Navy Yard, Columbia County)
NOV 2021 | The Miraculous
An artist in his mid-30s living in New York and working in a 300-square-foot studio in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, finds himself consumed by frustration and anger. Although he is having exhibitions, after the shows close his paintings inevitably return to his studio, unsold. Hes not sure he wants to go on being an artist. A psychiatrist he consults helps him to understand that his anger revolves around his feelings about race, class and entitlement. Eventually the psychiatrist recommends that he begin working with a physical trainer, who has him start boxing and working out with a punching bag. Around the same time the artist, who is half-Choctaw and half-Cherokee, has been meeting with traditional Native American artists who tell him how the practices of dancing, drumming and beading have saved their lives. These experiences lead him to make a breakthrough in his work. Instead of focusing on painting, he begins to adorn Everlast vinyl punching bags like those he has been using at the boxing gym in extravagant styles inspired by Native American beadwork, pop culture, and everyday life. Along with beads, he adds tassels, sequins, brass and steel studs, yarn, chains, and sundry items. Some of the bags feature beaded texts quoting everyone from Simone de Beauvoir to Public Enemy.
Brenda Goodman: Hop Skip JumpNew Work 2022By Andrew L. Shea
MARCH 2023 | ArtSeen
These paintings work not in the realm of intellect, but that of feeling. Goodmans is a formalism that is never escapist or hermetic, but instead tied to an encyclopedic spectrum of human emotions, including terror, despondency, anger, hope, joy, even love. As she prepares to enter her ninth decade, Goodman has once again come upon a new abstract language that, somehow, remains intimately in touch with those important realities.
Walter De Maria: Boxes for Meaningless WorkBy Amanda Gluibizzi
MARCH 2023 | ArtSeen
Just as youre about to step into Walter De Maria: Boxes for Meaningless Work, you might notice a short, high-pitched sound underlying the other noises that occupy museum galleries. Its the chirping of crickets, and because it emanates from a speaker hung near the ceiling, it seems to envelop the vestibule, both placeable and unlocatable.
Eve Fowler: New WorkBy Ksenia Soboleva
FEB 2023 | ArtSeen
The exhibition of Fowlers work currently on view at Gordon Robichaux shows us that her feminist pursuits are far from abandoned. Fittingly titled Eve Fowler: New Work, the solo show consists of a film, a series of collages, and a nine-channel video installation.