Animal Collective’s Offbeat Art Project Comes to the Guggenheim

March 5th, 2010 by Christopher R. Weingarten Leave a reply »

Photo by Roger Kisby © Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, NY

Boundary-pushing avant-indie crew Animal Collective and video artist Danny Perez took over the iconic rotunda of New York’s Guggenheim Museum last night, bringing their signature weirdness to a capacity audience of 1,500 people. Billed as an “immersive environment for visitors to come and go through,” the unique performance titled Transverse Temporal Gyrus was part rock concert, part art installation, part hang-out session, and part Night at the Museum, where wild things come to life after the sun goes down.

The piece was a mix of Matthew Barney and Wicker Man, as three of the four members of Animal Collective — Avey Tare, Deakin and Geologist — stood nearly motionless for three hours in the center of the room, guarding glowing video orbs and donning black robes, white gloves and creep-tastic white bunny masks. A pool of glass stalagmites jetted upwards, a puffy 8-foot-tall mountain stood menacingly in the background and Perez’s epileptic video art flickered up the rotunda, whose walls were absent of any other art. A 36-speaker system cycled a series of drones reminiscent of the VHS horror films that Animal Collective sites as an early influence — swirling masses of surround-sound gurgles, moans, static, squawks and terror-noise.

After being let in at 9 pm, the crowd started off confused — “Do you think something is gonna happen” was one comment overheard. But once the absorbed the piece’s ambient embrace and gloriously disorienting soundwork, the gallery quickly turned into a wild party. Two people snuck behind the couch-like mountain to cuddle, and soon, tons of spectators were climbing up it like a puffy jungle gym. Two guys in animal masks spazzed out wildly while other people just crashed on the floor; people joyously snarfed P...

Article Source: Rolling Stone : Rock and Roll Daily


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