Snail Mail Mania: Art at Orgy Park

Installation View of "December's Letters" at Bushwick Gallery Orgy Park

Installation View of “December’s Letters” at Bushwick Gallery Orgy Park

See this review published on Bushwick Daily December 27, 2013

Brooklyn Neighborhood Bushwick goes Old School in Orgy Park’s recent exhibit “December’s Letters”

Orgy Park brings it back to an analog era where salutations were hand written rather than emailed.

“December’s Letters” began as an invitation to “air dirty socks.” Founder and curator Steve Mykietyn asked friends, acquaintances and colleagues worldwide to mail letters to the gallery, which were then put on view for visitors to read. Some hand written and others typed, Mykietyn wanted to “celebrate our vices, depression and other dirty laundry” on the darkest day of the year (December 21, otherwise known as the Winter Solstice).

This collective pathos corresponds to Orgy Park’s mission as “an intimate celebration of community, meeting people and exchanging fluid ideas.” The affectionate ease, and underlying sexual tones, of the exhibition and space recall 1970s ethos of free love, intimate communication, and dematerialized art. The exhibit nods to great conceptual artists like On Kawara, who in his “I Went and I Met” series mailed postcards to his friends detailing aspects of his life (1970s).

While On Kawara was transcribing mundane facts, he was doing so appropriately using the only means of communication at the time other than phone calls or telegrams. Today, cards and letters are saved for special occasions, like Holidays and Birthdays, and are discarded almost as quickly as they are read.

Such antiquated correspondence initiates a nostalgic return to pre-digital days of Walkmans and Collect Calling. How did one even express love and remorse before texting? It is unlikely one will ever use a payphone to call an ex outside of their apartment like Rob Gordon in “High Fidelity.” Lets face it, writing letters is a thing of the past, and people only ironically use pay phones in the subways.

In exchange for the index of the hand is the swiftness of the keys, and analog forms of heartfelt communication have long been upgraded to the digital age of 4G, snap-chatting, sexting, and status updates.

What better place to revel in the past and read handwritten salutations than Bushwick. When asked why Mykietyn decided to make this Brooklyn neighborhood home, he enlisted the psychedelic lyrics of George Clinton and the Parliament Funkadelic to explain: “Starchild here, doin’ it in 3-D. So good, it’s good to me. Starchild here, citizens of the universe Gettin’ it on, partying on the Mothership” (“Mothership Connection—Starchild”).

As “citizens of the universe”, stay tuned for Orgy Park’s next show in March 2014.

“December’s Letters”

Dec. 21 through Jan. 6, 2014

Orgy Park

237 Jefferson Street 1B

Brooklyn, NY 11237

www.orgypark.com

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s