Archive for the ‘ Exhibitions ’ Category

Superhero Fashion at the Met.

 

Fashionistas, meet the big-screen Superheroes. Not a combination most would find to be most natural, but where there is leather and latex, there must be those who would adore it. “Superheroes: Fashion and Fantasy” is an exhibition hosted by the Metropolitan Museum of art until September 1st and as ridiculous as some of the outfits truly were, it is absolutely worth the suggested admission price.

The exhibition is divided into eight types of bodies, about which you can read at length here. The bodies are: graphic, patriotic, virile, paradoxical, armored, aerodynamic, mutant and postmodern. And they are all jealously guarded from photographers, perhaps due to all those involved besides Marvel and DC: Dolce & Gabbana, Armani, Gareth Pugh and many others whom I list here on equal terms because my knowledge of fashion does not extend very far at all. I can, however, separate the ridiculous from the ridiculously gorgeous and unfortunately, quite a few of the things I saw there were pretty horrible. I get the concept and the intricate design and whatnot, but really, an orange inflatable jacket does not make me think of the Hulk at all. What I did enjoy was the Hulk as an apparent embodiment of fetishism where the outfits involved rubber hoses extending from the crotch, gas masks, and loads of leather. Even Catwoman had nothing on that. Continue reading

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Chocolate Extravaganza: 10th Annual Chocolate Show

Chocolatiers and chocolate lovers of all ages packed the streets and avenues created within the Metropolitan Pavillion on November 9th through 11th for the 10th annual Chocolate Show — a frenzy fueled and inspired by, you guessed it, chocolate. Beelzy and I threw ourselves into the turmoil and later, D42 worked her charms on doormen and made an appearance as well.

Join us! Walk down Chefs Avenue, or Coco-Bean Street to find what your caffeine-addled body desires. 65% coca? 85%? –This is no Hershey bar. You can’t just love sugar, you must appreciate the fine concoctions of cocoa. Some of the greats are here to provide you with a taste explosion, to challenge your palate and your sense of sophistication: Dagoba, Knipschildt, Amano Artisan. Continue reading

Mythic, Perhaps, But Epic It Is Not

Mythology is a rich topic and there is much writing on the subject. At the American Museum of Natural History Mythic Creatures exhibit you will see a number of century-old books behind glass as well as a menagerie of quotes and quirky historical facts highlighted on information posts to make the scarcity of everything else less obvious.

But then, what can possibly be presented as proof of creatures classified as mythic? For each of the creatures separated into those of the deep, the earth, the air and power there are figurines and paintings as well as ancient (and no so ancient) texts and a video of available research such as the genetics laboratory where supposed Yeti hair is found, again and again, to just be matted horse hair. Continue reading

Ripley’s Believe It or Not Odditorium

You buy your ticket underneath the hanging skeleton of Super-Croc who “didn’t just live at the same time as the dinosaurs, he ate them!” The body of the monstrosity extends over the entrance and you walk into the main hall of Ripley’s Believe it Or Not Odditorium.

The gaudiness of the marquee incited in me the feeling that the place will be a rip-off. Its incredibly centralized, tourist-trap location —Times Square —did not help lessen my dread. I expected one large hall and maybe one or two more rooms after following the staircase. Instead, I spent hours looking through room after room after room of the collection.

If you are a fan of the show, then the odditorium hardly holds surprises. Nonetheless, it is a different experience —looking at six-legged calf skeleton on TV versus seeing it well-lit and rotating in front of you. If you haven’t seen too many (or any) episodes, then the appeal is like that of any sideshow. In any case, the episodes are played for your benefit in various rooms, including a small theater dedicated specifically to that purpose and placed at a point when all you really want to do is sit down anyway. Continue reading

The Annual Mermaid Parade at Coney Island

I’ve never been to a parade before (barring Mardi Gras, which really should have clued me in) and was pretty excited about it. We saw some mermaids on the 4 train to Brooklyn and followed their progress (as they were ogled and chatted up by leering men) all the way to Coney Island. The crowds were insane and the closer we got to Coney Island, the more colorful the characters who joined us on the train became.

Turns out we should have just stayed up in the train station. The best view of the parade was from the train itself as it pulled into Stillwell Avenue. For the rest of the time, as the photos will mostly show, we were stuck behind a mass of people climbing over each other to get a peek at proceedings.

So, first, we couldn’t see much, and then we couldn’t move much. Somehow baby carriages were smashed through the crowd, and this didn’t help the general feelings of hostility festering in the 90 degree weather. Finally we just muscled our way into the parade itself and followed it along until an escape could be found. This is why so many pictures are taken from the back if they aren’t taken from the sides.

[EDIT: ROCKYOU SLIDESHOWS ARE OBVIOUSLY UNRELIABLE PIECES OF SHIT, SO… if all you see below this is an error message, check the pics out at flikr]

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Completely soaked through with sweat we sought ice cream and a passage back to Manhatten. I’ll admit that being an hour late probably didn’t help with the whole experience, but next year we will probably skip the parade and just go to the Mermaid Ball.

Revisiting Dead Bodies Under Glass

Skin Man

In 2006 I have had the good fortune to stumble over the Body Worlds Exhibition (in no way associated with the subpar Bodies Exhibit currently in New York) while it was in Philadelphia. This article was the result of my visit.
Some years ago I heard about a peculiar German exhibition consisting of human corpses. The most disturbing exhibit was supposedly that of a dead pregnant woman, on display with her eight-month-old fetus still inside her. In my mind I created a morbid image of a woman’s abdomen cut open with skin flaps stretched and pinned away from the body (a la High School frog dissection) with the fetus inside exposed and grimacing at the viewer. This image was not inspired by horror films, at least not horror films alone, but other exhibitions I have gravitated towards in my travels. Continue reading

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