Posts Tagged ‘Philadelphia’

Art in the Age

Published March 22, 2010 by Molly

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Shopping is only fun if you can find something truly worth spending money on, and that task is a tough one to undertake these days. Luckily, Art in the Age exists as a perfect antidote to mall fatigue.

The site takes its title (and philosophy) from on an essay by the German cultural theorist Walter Benjamin, who mourned the loss of “the aura” of objects as a consequence of mass production lessening the spiritual value of its commodities. (You might have to read that sentence twice—we’re tryna distill an entire essay into a sentence, so, you know. Some stuff is lost in translation. The full essay is here, scholars!)

ANYHOW, Art in the Age sees Benjamin’s essay as the spark of inspiration to form a beautiful collection of well-crafted and aura-filled products. Some examples include letterpressed notecards, zines, this incredible Edgar Allen Poe alliteration print, books by Elizabeth Peyton and so much more. Start emptying your piggy bank!

Dead of the Living Night

Published November 17, 2009 by Graham

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Let us conjure memories of watching bizarre horror films on VHS, the rapturous enticement of strolling down the “Horror” section of the video store, and the awe of preteen terror derived from demonic animatronic faces oozing with gore.

In Dead of the Living Night, a show curated by Jonathan Cammisa and Jonah Birns for Philadelphia’s always-rad Space 1026, we’re given a unique opportunity to revisit those dark Hollywood dreams of yore. What they’ve created is an interactive experience of amplified pre-DVD unease, like a Disneyland simulation of the all too recent past. Waxing nostalgic about a generation raised on the fabric of VHS, Cammisa and Birns explain that the project began with “a like-minded fascination-turned-obsession with childhood fantasies and fears; the inability to look away when you now you should, combined with the desire to stay up all night fantasizing about the greatest adventures and abilities only imaginable.”

Original VHS tapes line the walls in the dark, cramped hallway, a single bulb hanging overhead. In the adjoining room an interactive “magic beast” ride allows people the fantasy of flying on the back of a giant, movable creature. You are taken through the clouds into space and then the beyond. Outside, an old television set sits atop a stack of life-sized monster corpses, playing a video where high-speed editing and tongue-in-cheek cuts splice together gore and terror, assaulting you to the point of absurdity.

If you find yourself in the tri-state area before the show closes on November 27th, don’t miss out on Dead of the Living Night. And for extra credit points in VHS Nostalgia 101, check out Fantagraphics‘ beautifully designed ode to video box aesthetics: Portable Grindhouse: The Lost Art of the VHS Box.

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Rosenbach!

Published May 25, 2009 by Dallas

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If you happen to be in or around Philadelphia anytime from June 2 to September 13 WLYS suggests stopping in on the Rosenbach Museum and Library. The museum which houses The Maurice Sendak Gallery the exclusive home to thousands of original Sendak works will be hosting A Sendakian Sampler Drawings A-Z. The mini-exhibit will cover 26 Sendak-approved topics arranged alphabetically from Acrobatics to Zilch. A sweet afternoon for the whole family. And if you can’t make it to Philly but are still interested in picking up a piece of your own check out this page of limited edition Sendak prints. Spruce up your studio already!