Monday, September 03, 2012

What's New on Governor's Island?

Went with GH and SH to Governor's Island yesterday. We walked along the promenade to Picnic Point, where we had lunch at Eva's. Pulled pork sandwich, corn on the cob, blueberry pie, Shiraz, yum. We looked directly into the distant face of the Statue of Liberty, through the legs of Mark di Suvero's giant steel sculptures.

The Sculptors Guild was holding an exhibition titled "Process" in one of the old four-storeyed buldings. I liked Elaine Lorenz's organic-looking sculpture of fiberglass and resin. Jeremy Comins's work also caught and held my eyes. The wooden frame hung on the wall reminded me of homely shelf displays and of a box of children's blocks. The single figure sitting and clutching his knees looked quite sad. The work had a strange mixture of domesticity and isolation.

We sat down on a lawn, under another di Suvero piece, and chatted and read the papers desultorily. The New York Times told the history of New York City through 50 objects, beginning with a fragment of mastodon's tusk and ending with the campaign poster of Taiwanese-American Grace Meng, who won the Democratic primary for New York's newly redrawn 6th Congressional District. If she wins the general election in November, she will become the first Asian American member of Congress from New York City.

I always enjoy talking to SH about his art and career. When he asked me what's new in poetry, I couldn't say straightaway. Unoriginal poetics? Ambient poetry? Hybrid artefacts like Anne Carson's Nox? Poetry seems to be taking its lead from the other arts, instead of working with them at the vanguard.


Ms. said...

Seeing our city through your eyes is a treat--I haven't been to the island all Summer and i love the boat ride and the old buildings, the out of the city thank. My recent post is a kind of travelogue as well since i visited the Morgan on the last day of for poetry, well, i don't consider myself a true poet so have no opinion on it's current direction...but, if you wish for a vanguard, be it....:-)

Jee Leong Koh said...

I love the Morgan. The recent renovations make sense for a museum, but the place loses further the sense of being a private home.