Archive for the Politics Category

Visiting HOMU

Posted in Art Industry, performance, Politics with tags , , , , , , on November 14, 2010 by michaelchernoff

On my recent visit to New York City I came upon a educational/performance venue titled the The Homeless Museum of Art. I noticed the stand on West 20th St between 10th and 11th ave in Chelsea at noon…I returned at a quarter to 4. It’s is Director Filip Noterdaeme and his Public Relations Official was a stuffed coyote named Feliz. He was nice man but sometimes tongue and cheek with his analysis of me and the Panamanian woman who sat in the other small chair next to me. I enjoyed the his disertation of our lives and visit…it was like a tour guide telling us what we should know and feel for an art object.

The museum was exhibiting minuscule works such as Goya on Goya as tiny card picture of a Francisco Goya Painting submerged in Goya brand Olive Oil in a small jar. Filip and I had a pleasant exchange of our enthusiasm for Goya food and products. Another favoirte was “Eau d’Abramovic”  which is said to be comprised of a block of ice Marina Abramovic who was unknown to until yesterday. The museum showed who the seld described grandmother of performance art is. The bottle of the essence of her performance was titled as Filip Noterdaeme

The purpose of HOMU is a retaliation against the MoMA and institutions like it for high expenditures on facilities and raising prices for the public. The HOMU has been endeavouring against the institution since 2002-present. Despite its gawky street showings and not being near the MoMA I respected that this performance was not a joke and was not lending itself to be pitied or given money…instead self righteous with dark humor. In the website its prescribed a homeless person be given a donation of 5-150 dollars. The museum has gone so far as to also have crashed the opening reception of the new MoMA in 2004.

I went to the MoMA on friday and although I appreciate the collection of work and availability of it I do sense some evilness or self-satisfaction from the institute…even if Guerrilla Girls and O Superman were shown. Professor Kevin Wixted organized a meeting with one of staff of MoMA who also started as intern there so we could gather more info. Maybe I am bitter because I didn’t receive an internship with them last summer or that I realized I don’t want to work for a museum…but I could just sense shit from it when subjects like accepted elitism and corporate model were attached to MoMA. In my mind anything corporate doesn’t have much to do with making art only displaying and selling it. Therefore MoMA shouldn’t;t act like they have a real hand in making anything other than reception. Also certain secrets couldn’t be let out becasue jobs could be endangered. It was like we were meeting the Mafia of Art scene. I wonder if Steve Poleski meant them as well.

I’m a supporter of HOMU and I hope to see their actions on the street again another time I am in town. I’m not sure if the stand is always in the same place but since 2009 its made rounds and has everything a modern art museum should have minus a cafe and bookstore. Winter is coming and the stand may still be there, Filip was cold when I shook his hand to transfer heat.


Art Scenery

Posted in Art Industry, Music, Politics, Projects with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 13, 2010 by michaelchernoff

When I googled Albany NY artwork…one of the 3rd image that came up was the one above. It pretty much sums up what the visual arts environment is in the city as dull. There is practically nothing exciting here even-though NY state is a powerhouse supporter of American and international art efforts. Buffalo and Rochester seem to have more going on there than the state capitol. Even small towns in Massachusetts like the Clarke Institute and Mass MoCA exist there and yet Albany has nothing close to a contemporary art museum. The Art History Museum in Albany has a bunch of early American imitation Romantic sculpture and painting but almost never new art except for regional competitions. A lot of the private galleries in Albany seem stuck on themselves and give exclusive shows but guess what? They are located in Albany so nobody cares that much about their prestige. In the end there is no scene here and if there are people in the city that think there is they had better high tale it somewhere else if they want a career. Troy NY has the actual scene and everyone in Albany doesn’t comprehend that they have real contemporary institutes. They have an Arts Center and but its named the Capitol Region Arts Center…I know where it belongs.

After graduation I have no intentions of looking for work in Albany because there is not a future. There is no fertile support from city government or any grand institution…just Lark Fest. Aside from a few intelligent entrepreneurial artisans the rest are a rabble of makers who can’t get over how unwanted their bad pen drawings and acrylic paintings are. Sometimes I see the same drawings up in galleries and stands for consecutive years. Usually after a years time it’s a sign to stop promoting your failing work and make something better and hide it away for the day you become a superstar and have retrospective show in 20 years. The only gallery I affiliate with is the UAG on Lark Street. They are open and nice people and its fine for a quick show. But I don’t get the sense that anyone is building a major career there even among the names of the makers I appreciate. I don’t where publicity can come from in Albany that is outside its bubble. I haven’t had a major show yet solo or group wise but there seems to be some seriousness missing in the landscape.

There are no public competitions which is sad. Another sign of poor quality thinking in the city is all the unimaginative and juvenile graffiti all over Albany. In Spain they had more great graffiti than the cities could handle. Business owners pay artists to muralise their store fronts so that they don’t get vandalized out of respect. Some sites have been eliminated by Spanish government with so much excess. A little could stand to come over here. Instead of allowing hacks to tag the walls of Albany juried graffiti and mural contests could happen. There is so much available space in Albany. Work would be encouraged and paid for and the city would get a face lift.

Even UAG slackens a little as much as I consider the best open gallery in Albany (there are only 2 in the city I haven’t visited). Last night for a second time I went to the gallery to hear live music from rock and noise bands. On the one hand its positive that the gallery lets these young musicians use the small space as a free venue. And yet…the sound system is terrible, there is no one from the gallery supervising the event, the room itself probably isn’t the best for listening, and there is no advertising. I guess that’s a good deal for a band that isn’t paid for the event. Also you cannot really mosh or dance in an area where you might knock work of the walls and shatter glass frames from Michaels. I did hear some good bands like


LOFI Kabuki

X.N.T. (Jazz Trio: They do a lot of improvising but they sounded better than the last time I heard them perform)

Unfortunately I would not encourage bands to play at the gallery. There is not much profit unless you can really attract a crowd through a posse. In the end the creative world of Albany is a bad joke. Maybe if build a new arts museum, a public school that excels in visual arts instead of theater and music, have a real gallery district with regular hours, and city art competitions; then there could be a start for something better than half-assed attempts of pretending their a cosmopolitan air in the city of Albany.

The disgracefulness of Memory

Posted in Family, Politics with tags , , on October 13, 2009 by michaelchernoff

I was google searching random names of people I know and I decided to enter my deceased grandfather Merton Chernoff. To my disappointment I didn’t find much information on him. Mostly what came up was the real estate listing of his home. But what I found horrified me…my grandfather’s name was listed on website compilation of jews who are anti-Israeli simply called a SHIT list (see masada2000). Not only that it is linked to conservative anti-palestinian website that is disturbingly similar to white racist sites.

For the record my grandfather was a high school history teacher who was a peace protester and member of the communist of the party. I can only speculate that his name was gathered from sleuthing by this degenerative assholes who like desecrate the names of the dead. My grandfather was not pro-Israel, but he was not for imperialism in general. I just want these bitter people to know that as an activist and educator my grandfather was appreciated. I remember his students that I’ve met as reflecting on him as a teacher that guided their principles and taught them lessons they carried on for their whole lives.

And for anyone that thinks he’s some un-American fink he served in both WWII and the Korean war. But more disappointing than this is the little information there is about Merton Chernoff. Maybe someday I can expand and connect with the people who actually knew my grandfather.