Saturday, February 14, 2009


Columbus has been the only North American stop for the exhibition Andy Warhol: Other Voices, Other Rooms. It was a major get for the Wexner Center and for the city, but leave it to me to wait until it's nearly gone to visit it.

I had purchased a ticket for tonight's Times New Viking ♥ The Velvets, a concert celebrating the exhibition's closing. The ticket was also good for admission to the galleries, so I went down first thing this morning to check it out.

I'm a little more than passingly familiar with Warhol's work, but I certainly don't have a deep knowledge of it. This exhibition certainly could have changed that as I could have spent a few days consuming all of his film and TV work. For instance, Empire, a single shot of the Empire State Building, lasts slightly longer than eight hours. It was one of several projected films in the galleries. Another space was set aside for monitors displaying all of his television work. Factory diaries and other videos line the walls leading to the galleries. It's more than one person can take in.

Frankly, it's more than I would want to watch. I sampled bits from several pieces, but for me Warhol's film work holds greater appeal in concept than as a viewing experience. My impression is that he foresaw a future in which daily life is treated as though we are performers, whether in so-called reality television or in the videos uploaded to YouTube.

Seeing his reproduction of products--the Campbell soup can paintings, plywood containers painted to look like cardboard boxes of Brillo pads--made me think that such work predicted the idea of brands becoming artistic and self-expression. People wear clothing where the brand is the focus, as if it says something about them. As far as I know, Warhol saw it first.

I returned this evening for the Times New Viking concert, which saw the trio joined by a violinist and another guitarist while pixelated Warhol and Velvet Underground-related imagery was projected behind them.

The rock and roll drones were fun to hear even if TNV's versions were, shall we say, pretty rough around the edges. Then again, Lou Reed and Nico would never be accused of meeting the traditional definition of vocal excellence.

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At 9:33 AM, Anonymous LittleWit said...

That sounds like a pretty awesome exhibit. How long is it going to be around or is it already on it's way out the door?

At 11:12 PM, Blogger the secret knitter said...

Today (Sunday the 15th) was the final day.


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