I went to see Andy Lock speak about his Orchard Park: Utopia's Ghosts exhibit at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) He said that he thought the Eastman House presentation was the best he's seen, capturing the essence of the work. The exhibit is a series of images taken at a housing project called Orchard Park just prior to its demolition; from there, he projected them onto a wall of glow-in-the-dark paint and photographed the fading result. The green tint of the paint gives it a "radioactive" feel and evidence of brushstrokes in the phosphorescent paint gives it a pastoral feel as well.
Thematically, I agree that it captures the notion of "idealism lost" — that these buildings were made to provide some kind of idealized housing to folks, but as the buildings aged, that veneer was worn off completely, leaving the stark reality of really quite basic housing. Plus, the exploration of modern ruins is a running theme in modern photography.
Since he had explored this subject so deeply, I asked him why the ephemera was so exciting while the actual inhabitants probably were not? — that an artist will seldom have interest in the people who lived there, yet be fascinated by the vague shadows of their existence. He said that the appeal is that we can project ourselves into a fantasy of what was rather than the detailed reality of what is. So, for instance, when a couple chairs are placed at odd angles to one another, they tell a certain kind of story, but there was probably little similarity between the placement of the chairs and the relationship of the people who used them.
Today is the day Ali and I first met three years ago … who can believe it? Huh? You?
Anyway, we went to the new Italian place Rocco (165 Monroe Ave., formerly The Olive Tree). I saw some notes on RocWiki on challenges in getting reservations [yeah, I know — in Rochester] so we set up ours two days earlier. As it turned out, the relatively small establishment was not completely full at any time while we were there.
The food was very good. Both of us were more impressed with the lasagne that Ali got than with the penne with pepper and spinach that I got. The tomato sauce on the former was the best Rochester has to offer. We had a nice bottle of wine (off the slightly confusing page of "everything is $25").
We decided to try 3 desserts, expecting them to be quite modest in size. My favorite was the maple and almond dish, sort of like a crème brûlée, minus the crisp top. The hazelnut gellato was great too. Although the canoli's were merely tasted (before being stored at my house, and consumed before they lost their freshness on Sunday), the nice lemon zest flavor was perfect.
Later that night, Ali and I headed to The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) to see the bands. Starting off, Stone Baby did some pretty good ambient noise although I got tired of it before they had finished. Likewise, the last band was Mountains who did also performed some good ambient noise — somewhat different and somewhat more engaging than Stone Baby.
Autumn In Halifax played in the middle. I was impressed when I first heard Dave Merulla's solo presentation, but have grown to love the band with "the Leaves" — a semi-rotating group of backup performers. On this particular night, I made a note that they "uncork my dreams and inspires me to create". The meandering melodies and the ambiguous lyrics lead my mind to a place where I contemplate my dreams, goals, and projects in life. It's really a treat.
I headed out to the Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) for a last-minute addition: The Visitor, a film by Thomas McCarthy who was there to discuss it and answer questions. In short, it's about a rather emotionally-closed college professor who visits his apartment in Manhattan only to find that there are two illegal immigrants living there. As McCarthy pointed out, it's not really an illegal immigration "issue film"; I found it to be superbly warm with a bittersweet ending full of hope and possibility.
Overall, it reminded me of a time when I was at Burning Man in 2006 which I wrote about before. I was riding far past the edge of the main city one night, headed toward a light way off in the distance when I suddenly came upon the trash fence (and outer boundary) of the festival. On the one hand, I knew the entire event was bounded, but I had a much deeper and different understanding when I actually touched the gilded cage around me.
Likewise with The Visitor, it points out the same thing about America — in some ways a magical land of freedom, but in others, just a gilded cage no different from anywhere else.
The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Iskanderija, kaman oue kaman(Alexandria Again and Forever) starting at 8 p.m. From the Eastman House calendar: "in the final installment of his critically acclaimed trilogy, director Chahine stars for the first time as his cinematic alter-ego Yehia, who becomes obsessively infatuated with the male star of his latest production amidst the general strike of 1987. Exploring issues of politics while paying homage to the Hollywood musical, Chahine weaves together a deeply autobiographical study of art, obsession, and the power of aesthetic inspiration."
Dryden Theater calendar][all ages]
This page is Jason Olshefsky's list of things to do in Rochester, NY and the surrounding region (including nearby towns Irondequoit, Webster, Penfield, Pittsford, Victor, Henrietta, Gates, Chili, Greece, and Charlotte, and occasionally other places in Monroe County and the Western New York region.) It is updated every week with daily listings for entertainment, activities, performances, movies, music, bands, comedy, improv, poetry, storytelling, lectures, discussions, debates, theater, plays, and generally fun things to do.
Music events are usually original bands with occasional cover bands and DJ's with musical styles including punk, emo, ska, swing, rock, rock-and-roll, alternative, metal, jazz, blues, noise band, experimental music, folk, acoustic, and "world-beat."
Events listed take place during the day, in the evenings, or as part of the city's nightlife as listed.
Although I'm reluctant to admit it, it is a Rochester blog and I'm essentially blogging about Rochester events.
I also tend to express opinions, review past events, make reviews, speak of philosophy or of a philosophical nature, discuss humanity and creativity.
Oh, and it's spelled JayceLand with no space and a capital L, not Jayce Land, Jaycee Land, Jace Land, Jase Land, Joyce Land, Jayce World, Jayceeland, Jaceland, Jaseland, Joyceland, Jayceworld, Jayceeworld, Jaceworld, Jaseworld, nor Joyceworld. (Now if you misspell it in some search engine, you at least get a shot at finding it.)
It's also not to be confused with
or JakesWorld which is a site of a Rochester animator.
While I'm on the topic of keywords for search engines, this update includes information for Thursday, April 23, 2009 (Thu, Apr 23, 2009, 4/23/2009, or 4/23/09) Friday, April 24, 2009 (Fri, Apr 24, 2009, 4/24/2009, or 4/24/09) Saturday, April 25, 2009 (Sat, Apr 25, 2009, 4/25/2009, or 4/25/09) Sunday, April 26, 2009 (Sun, Apr 26, 2009, 4/26/2009, or 4/26/09) Monday, April 27, 2009 (Mon, Apr 27, 2009, 4/27/2009, or 4/27/09) Tuesday, April 28, 2009 (Tue, Apr 28, 2009, 4/28/2009, or 4/28/09) and Wednesday, April 29, 2009 (Wed, Apr 29, 2009, 4/29/2009, or 4/29/09).
indicates an event that's a preferred pick of the day ... probably something worth checking out.
indicates a "guaranteed" best bet for the particular genre of the indicated event.
links to a band's page on GarageBand.com which offers reviews and information about bands.
links to a band's page on MySpace.com which is a friend-networking site that is popular with bands.