Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Into the Sunset

There's nothing like a deadline. On its very last night, Pat and I saw MoMA's exhibition "Into the Sunset: Photography's Image of the American West." I loved it. I loved: the classic images by Edward Curtis; some surprises by Timothy O'Sullivan, who documented the 19th century West before dying at the age of 42; Ed Ruscha's much-seen Every Building on the Sunset Strip"; Cindy Sherman's poses; everything by Robert Frank; Dennis Hopper's intersection; and David Hockney's dizzying image of the decidedly non-blossomed Pearlblossom Highway, created with wacky perseverance out of manyMANY polaroid images (online, in reproduction, the polaroids read almost as brushstrokes). I certainly got the difference between the spare expanses of the land versus the violational expansions of alleged civilization. I guess you might call this one a show for Boomers if not a Boomer show.

BUT the biggest discovery of last night wasn't "Into the Sunset" or even the performance group Stars Like Fleas; instead, it was an appliance.
The MoMA restrooms have the most extraordinary Dyson Airblade hand dryers, complete with odd little icons and numbered instructions telling you to 1. Insert hands and 2. Draw out slowly.

There are commercials on You Tube as well as a healthy discussion by detractors. I was too taken by the hygienic maw to objectively analyze the machine. We got "Into the Sunset" and into the hand dryer on the same night.

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