Library Artists Chosen
Very good news from the Seattle Public Library this week: The four artists chosen to propose permanent installations for the snazzy new building-to-be are Ann Hamilton, Gary Hill, Gabriel Orozco, and Tony Oursler. All four artists are well known and widely exhibited; Hamilton was the American representative at the 1999 Venice Biennale. In February, the artists will meet with architect Rem Koolhaas for an orientation to the building, and then each will create a proposal (including site location) to be formally presented to the art committee. There's a total of $450,000 to $600,000 available for these works, and the artists' budgets are also subject to approval. What a coup for a city whose main museum's collection largely ignores topnotch contemporary art, even local-boy Hill; our collective visual literacy will be raised by day-to-day exposure to innovative, difficult art. EMILY HALL
Keep Your Eyes on the Sky
A caped figure was recently spotted distributing a newspaperesque flyer titled The Bugle to various points throughout Seattle. This masked man, later identified only as "The Messenger," is apparently on a mission to declare 2001 the "Year of the Superhero," and to encourage membership in an organization called C.A.P.E.--Citizens in Appreciation of Powerful Entities. As outlined in The Bugle, C.A.P.E. is comprised of community-level "Action Teams," which will hold "pro-superhero or anti- supervillain" rallies, organize superhero art, and/or participate in a superhero parade to be held in August. More information can be found at www.capehq.org.
In Arts News was able to track down "The Messenger" and ask him a few questions:
"Just 'cause it's about time. It hasn't been done before. And I have to say that as the Messenger, I'm not a member of C.A.P.E.--C.A.P.E. is a civilian organization. I'm just the liaison."
What are your hopes for C.A.P.E.?
"By the end of the year, C.A.P.E. hopes the populace at large will have a greater understanding of powerful entities--not be afraid of them because they're different, and not take them for granted."
How does one gain superpowers?
"It can happen a number of ways. Historically, it's been freak accidents in the lab or arriving from another planet, but lately there's been an increased frequency of people feeling them coming out from the inside: increased potential being realized." TRACI VOGEL
Hell and Hamlet
Jackie Hell, co-hostess of Pho Bang and multi-talented performance artist, recently demonstrated a flawless response to an unnecessary quip from current Hedwig cast member, thespian Sarah Rudinoff. In an interview with Tablet, Rudinoff made a point of distinguishing acting from drag, remarking, "I'd like to see Jackie Hell do Hamlet." So, at Pho Bang, Ms. Hell did the melancholy Dane. Holding a grotesque mannequin head with Shakespeare's lines taped to the back, Hell launched into Hamlet's "To be or not to be" speech, at one point feigning inability to read from her cheat sheet. "I wasn't really trying," Hell told me, "but a bunch of theater people in the audience said I did it really well. They were shouting for me to do more, actually." JEFF DeROCHE
Con Works Crime
On Wednesday, January 24, between 2:00 and 9:00 a.m., beloved arts center Consolidated Works was burgled. The burglars swiped some tech equipment and the petty cash drawer. In much better news, the poster for Con Works' Imagined Landscapes series has been selected by the hoity-toity art mag Graphis for inclusion in its 2001 annual. Boo for burglars, yay for Graphis. DAVID SCHMADER