Chinese in America, Artists’ Space, Dahesh

November 11, 2012

Allison and Katherine

The Museum of Chinese in America is in a very cool, open-industrial SoHo space. It is also interactive; it has drawers that are the height of children which open and snap close. It also has a replica of a 19th Century tea shop with lots of signs saying “do not touch” in English. We were lucky enough to catch the exhibit of Asians in Comic Books, where we discovered that Ras Al’Ghul is actually sort of Asian and that the buck-toothed, cross-eyed, Confuscious-bearded, conical straw  hat-wearing sterotype is alive and well represented in comics. Here’s a picture of Katherin inhabiting the soul of a Dragon Lady:

We also ate buns from the Chinese bakery, which sent us on a huge sugar rush and then dropped us into the deepest despair that corresponded with our visit to Artists’ Space, a completely inexplicable loft space that was showing poster board timelines of the evolution, devolution, dissolution and semi-lution of the Bernadette Corporation. The Bernadette Corporation, as best we could figure out, was started in the 1990s by friends of Chloe Sevigny. They dabbled in clothing, bookmaking, cinema, screenplays and other ephemera, all featuring Chloe Sevigny, because the Bernadette Corporation was friends with Chloe Sevigny. It was pretty noisy in there, what with the televisions blaring, but the two hipsters employed to stare at Apple computers seemed nonplused.

The nadir of the day was realized at the Dahesh Museum of Art, an oddly overheated… giftshop. Yes, modern art has dispensed with the pesky museum and just delivered what the public really wants: more retail space. The art was all loaned out, “To Buffalo?” the guard/cashier told us. But we were free to shop for…. “colonizer stuff” as Katherine put it.

Museum of Chinese in America:       3 stars

Artists’ Space:                                       3 stars

Dahesh Museum/Gift Shop               3 stars


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