Getting into Art’s Head Space

by Editorial

One such connector-par-excellence, Victoria Reiss of Transformer Gallery (1404 P Street NW), found the cure for these past rainy weeks in the form of Jennifer Burkley Vasher‘s pharmaceutically playful exhibition, “Careful What Shelter You Choose.” Ropes of rainbow-colored assortments of pills festoon the intimate space in a Valley-of-the Dolls-meets-DNA-helix way; Vasher, who matter-of-factly reveals that her family struggled with addictions, sees the almost mathematical, spiraling wormhole she’s created as both “a rope for a lifeline or a rope to strangle oneself with” depending on whether pills are used … or abused. Reiss and Marissa Long co-helmed the Here & Now weekend extravaganza, also at the 1840 14th Street space, which featured a three-floor collective of powerful local artwork, including the simply breathtaking work (hidden away in a crumbling fourth-floor space) of Lisa Kellner, who had festooned the corners and crannies with organic – and almost tumor-like – silk bubbles in delicate shades of red, coral, and pink. The colorfully coroporeal feeling of being in an endoscope-meets-kaleidoscope was further underscored by the human hair splashed willy-nilly across the walls.

Talking about the young folks, popular counter-culture website and District party nexus Brightest Young Things ( (yes, it’s an Evelyn Waugh reference) threw the ne-plus-ultra of relaunch bashes recently. Local hero-band the Apes performed, surrounded by the “caught in the flash” photographic records of the year’s wildest nights (and most outrageously new-wave outfits) as picked by the crusading BYT nightlife paparrazi. Artist Amy Misurelli Sorensen put the final charcoal touches on a bigger-than-life figure drawing piece while holding a Vodka-Red-Bull; Disco City DJ Chris Burns got the dance party going. And it all took place, appropriately enough, in the sprawling space that would host citywide art blowout Artomatic (1200 1st St NE).

If you can’t get enough of mingling with the urban hipster in his natural environment (warehouses, apparently), we recommend the Modernist Society’s Wonkette-approved and columnist-tested monthly affair at Bourbon (2321 18th St NW) every final Thursday of the month. June’s is extra special, as they’re celebrating a year of wry social interaction and fancy brown drinks with scene-kid-bible Vice Magazine’s Trace Crutchfield, with drinking and dancing to follow. Now, is it art? Well, it’s an art forum, drawing artists and critics by the tumblerful; and as we’ve stated previously, it’s what the doctor ordered. The Modernist Society – and socio-art brandings in the same vein – are getting the artists out of the basement studio spaces, where they can blink like talented moles in the bright lights of human interaction. Writers, performance artists, film legends, political commentators, all brought level by the mediums of retro kitsch and velvety-smooth libations.

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