Alicia J. Rose
Hitchcock’s smart, pop-inflected blend of jangly psychedelia
and punk attitude has been pretty irresistible for 30-odd
years. This August, Yep Roc records will release Luminous
Grooves, the label’s second box set of the Brit rocker’s
oeuvre; it contains three vintage ’80s albums (two studio,
one live), and two discs of unreleased material. You can
check out what he’s been up to lately tonight (Thursday)
at the Linda, where Hitchcock will put on a solo show.
The WAMC Web site has as apt a description of Hitchcock’s
lyrical interests as you’ll find anywhere, noting that they
“tend to include surrealism . . . characterizations of English
eccentrics and melancholy depictions of everyday life.”
(You know, the average interests of the average English
iconoclast.) You want further proof of his reputation as
a writer? At Hitchcock’s 2003 birthday concert at London’s
Queen Elizabeth Hall, actor Alan Rickman read one of Hitchcock’s
poems. We ask, what’s cooler than getting the imprimatur
of the original Die Hard villain?
Robyn Hitchcock will perform tonight (Thursday, July 10)
at 8 PM at the Linda, WAMC’s Performing Arts Studio (339
Central Ave., Albany). Tickets are $25. For more info, call
465-5233 ext. 4.
Edmier: & Episode 1
baby boomers were the first generation to grow up with televisions
in their homes; by the 1970s there were innumerable shows
directed at children, ranging from educational to pure entertainment.
The 1970s provide much fodder for the artist Keith Edmier.
If you missed his retrospective last year at the Center
for Curatorial Studies at Bard, now is your chance to catch
up on some of his personal history. Keith Edmier: &
Episode 1 will open tonight (Thursday) along with Steve
DiBenedetto: Edge Dwelling at the University Art Museum.
The unifying factor in Edmier’s museum installation is a
re-creation of a television set loosely based on Chicago’s
WGN-TV’s Studio 1, where children’s shows such as Bozo’s
Circus, Garfield Goose, and The Ray Rayner
Show were produced. Edmier explains that he was partly
inspired by the museum space itself: “I was looking through
old photographs of the museum as well as a Ray Rayner book
about television, and I noticed an architectural relationship
between the museum and that of a sound stage. Even the second
floor balcony resembles a catwalk.”
re-creating the set using personal source material, borrowed
items, and reconstructed elements, Edmier explores the very
mutable boundaries of memory. In many ways, Edmier’s artistic
process resembles the theory of memory consolidation: Neuroscientists
believe that each time a memory is recalled, it must be
rewritten in the brain, thereby, becoming essentially a
new memory—or more like a photocopy of the original. By
using archival and original material intermingled with reconstructed
or substituted objects, Edmier conflates the past and the
present, in essence reconsolidating his memories.
He says, “I wanted to explore, through this exhibition,
the things that influenced me early on to see if these were
the things that made me an artist. I was particularly interested
in things like Dirty Dragon and the Blob from the show Gigglesnort
Hotel, or the special effects from movies like King
age 13,” Edmier says, “I started corresponding with Dick
Smith, the special-effects make-up artist for such films
as The Exorcist and Altered States. I sent
him photographs of my amateur attempts at copying his work.
Smith later introduced me to Rick Baker, who gave me my
first job in film working on Captain EO with Michael
In addition to elements from these various phases in his
life, Edmier includes clown imagery throughout the exhibition.
He says that “the clown is an ambiguous figure who is neither
child nor adult. The clown becomes a vessel onto which anything
can be projected.” Similar to the clown, Edmier has chosen
to accent the exhibition by painting the walls in the same
background color used for bluescreens. This intense blue
becomes invisible when images are projected onto it.
This exhibition not only brings together elements from Edmier’s
past, but it also has allowed him to reconnect with some
of the people who were influential early on in his life.
The show becomes a creative timeline that follows into the
mid-1980s, when Edmier left for Los Angeles.
Edmier: & Episode 1 and Steve DiBenedetto: Edge
Dwelling open today (Thursday, July 10), and continue
through Sept. 21, at the University Art Museum (Fine Arts
Building, University at Albany, 1400 Washington Ave., Albany).
There is also an artists’ reception today (July 10) from
5 to 7 PM; there will be an “artists in conversation” program
on Sept. 16 at 7 PM. For more info, call 442-4035.