I received the jet black invitation with glowing neon text for Overtime at the Bass Museum. It featured an image of a fellow in drag laying in front of a projection of himself in a different drag outfit. The fellow in the image, artist Kalup Linzy would be hosting the night while DJing and playing some short videos. Not doing further research into the artist or the current exhibitions, I decided to go to learn more on the fly.
I had no trouble finding parking nearby, and an ocean breeze made the summer night more tolerable than usual as I crossed the street to the museum. Disco music and the kind staff greeted me simultaneously as I entered. Across the room I could see Kalup Linzy as he manned the DJ station between two large tv screens playing his shorts. Sweet Liberty was serving up tasty beverages that mixed beet juice and vodka, a combination I wouldn’t have dreamt up, but thoroughly enjoyed. I got closer to the tv screen to recognize a familiar face on the screen with Linzy, it was James Franco and the interaction between the two was entertaining even without sound.
I explored from room to room finding impressive work at every corner. A colorful and playful exhibit by Karen Rifas, titled Deceptive Constructions, encompassed an entire room. Call and Response was the theme of a second exhibit which included recent acquisitions by Jennifer Allora & Guillermo Calzadilla, Sandford Biggers, John Giorno, Mika Rottenberg and Lawrence Weiner. They Are Waiting For You is an immersive installation including objects found in waiting rooms as well as a video projection.
DESTEFASHIONCOLLECTION was what was most attractive to me. It is a series of capsules where 8 different artists were commissioned to re-interpret fashion objects, providing their own narrative in whichever medium they desire. The Bass Museum explains the concept as “Each year from 2007 through 2014, DESTE commissioned an artist to survey that season’s international fashion offerings and to select five related items with which to execute a capsule project, reflecting on the formal, representational, material and social economies that circulate between art and fashion. The DESTE Foundation for Contemporary Art is a non-profit institution established in Geneva in 1983 by collector Dakis Joannou.” This is the first time the entire series is being exhibited in the US and it is not to be missed.
My know nothing approach worked out and I had more fun than anticipated. I did not get to stick around for the screening of Kalup Linzy‘s film with audio but I have viewed some of his work since; please check it out on your own, I guarantee you will laugh, cry, and want to hug your loved ones. Thank you to the Bass Museum for always providing stellar programming and introducing us to such talented artists.