September First Friday Picks

By Katherine Rochester
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 4 | Posted Aug. 31, 2011

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Now you see it: Rob Wynne’s In Cog Nito is studded with language.

Hadassa Goldvicht at Marginal Utility
Update: Artist Hadassa Goldvicht and her work are trapped in Venice thanks to Hurricane Irene, so Rights of Passage has had, well, difficulty with passage. In place of Goldvicht's show, Marginal Utility will have a different, provisional video installed which will be viewable from the doorway. This newly conceived show is titled Songs For The Peacemaker and runs through the end of the month.

Taking the Lord’s name in vein, using religious metaphors, saying, “Bless you” after someone sneezes­—this is the stuff of stealth ceremony and the subject of Jerusalem- and New York-based Israeli artist Hadassa Goldvicht’s second show at Marginal Utility. “Rights of Passage” is a multi-channel video composition exploring Ultra Orthodox and Hassidic lingual rites of passage as they crop up in daily routines. Traditionally, rights of passage stand as markers for progress. Rejecting such linear, universal benchmarks, Goldvicht’s installation reveals simultaneity in ritual, regression as well as progression. Inherited from a tradition of bodily effacement in the name of a cleaner, purer religious subject, “Rights of Passage” reveals the body as the site of compulsive ritual. In Goldvicht’s work, rights of passage sanctioned by religious ceremonies dissolve into infinitesimal, behavioral ticks enacted in the continuous moment of being alive.

6-11pm. Through Oct. 23. Marginal Utility, 319 N. 11th St.

Neysa Grassi and Rob Wynne at Locks Gallery
Philadelphia-based Neya Grassi’s paintings from 2001–2011 are like slow food—carefully belabored to fortifying effect. In her solo exhibition, Rose Gatherer, hieroglyphics emerge from highly gessoed ground; faint shapes peek out from veils of gloaming color; delicate washes swirl into grave vortices. The effect is contemplative and cumulative, a mirror, perhaps, of the time spent creating each painting (up to a year). Looking at a Grassi is akin to pondering a rose beneath a storm cloud as you craft a haiku. Hard to visualize? Just go see it. Swerving sharply away from abstraction, Rob Wynne’s exhibition, In Cog Nito, is studded with language. Spanning works from the 1970s to present day, In Cog Nito explores the relationship between text and representation via embroidery, collage, sculpture and print. With a distinct resemblance to gilt puffy paint, a recent suite of poured glass sculptures spur a free-associative chain of possible meanings despite their literal enunciation. Linked by their deference to poetry (Grassi’s title is plucked from a Rainer Maria Rilke poem), both Grassi’s and Wynne’s exhibitions are accompanied by catalogue essays from eminent poets or scholars of the craft. 

5:30–7:30pm. Through Oct. 8. Locks Gallery, 600 S. Washington Square. 215.629.1000.

Miss Rockaway Armada at the Philadelphia Art Alliance
It hatched by the river, and has since burst forth in a multilayered, multipurpose sculpture cum sea-faring vessel. As a wondrous armada of rafts fashioned from junk of all varieties, “Let Me Tell You About a Dream I Had” is Miss Rockaway Armada’s newest campaign to model sustainable living with a punk-rock crust. Commissioned by the Philadelphia Art Alliance as part of the Philadelphia Exhibitions Initiative, the project is conceived as a procession of parades, picnics and performances throughout the summer, coming to rest in the form of a static exhibition at the Art Alliance galleries on Sept. 30. Self-described as “a small group of people with extensive experience making big insane projects,” the Miss Rockaway Armada knows how to carve up castaways to create raucous performances with an off-the-grid ethos. Like any summer blockbuster, their rafts are transformers, morphing from river raft to parade float depending on the situation at hand. Best known for sailing down the Mississippi river while performing a multitude of variety shows in cities along the way, the eco-friendly flotilla has pitched their anchor in the Schuylkill. “Let Me Tell You About a Dream I Had” is a site-specific project native to Philadelphia—a city with enough interesting trash and can-do creativity to catch the attention of even the most advanced gleaners.

Free outdoor parade and performance, Sept. 3, 5pm. Parade: Broad Street to Clark Park (via Spruce St.); live performance at Clark Park (6:30-8:30pm). Philadelphia Art Alliance, 251 S. 18th St. 215.545.4302.

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Comments 1 - 4 of 4
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1. Anonymous said... on Sep 1, 2011 at 11:22AM

“As an insider to the Miss Rockaway Parade planning I want to add this important detail: the "parade" is really an insane bike tour through Center City and West Philly during which all manners of absurdities will spring forth; in order to experience it, bring your bike to Broad and Spruce at 5pm. It's a parade in reverse-- the spectators move and the spectacle lies hiding along the route. See their promo here:
or the facebook event here:

Thanks for the shoutout PW!”

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2. 77777 said... on Sep 1, 2011 at 01:31PM

“a $170,000 critical mass ride. awesome.”

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3. Anonymous said... on Sep 1, 2011 at 04:33PM

““a $170,000 critical mass ride. awesome.”

ha. hardly. unless critical mass is also a collection of floating rafts and a museum installation. don't comment about things you're dumb about.”

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4. 77777 said... on Sep 2, 2011 at 08:27PM

“nope, still lame.”


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