Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Kiki Dreams

by Drew Martin
Two nights ago I dreamt that I was at the new Whitney Museum of American Art during a move-in period for the artists who needed to fabricate their work on site, or were there to oversee the installation of their pieces. Though the new Whitney at the High Line is at least twice the size of the Breuer building, it was much grander and more open in my dream. At one point I reached down to feel the rough, yet-to-be-polished stone floor (the actual floor will finished with reclaimed century-old pine planks), which was ribbed like a raked Japanese rock garden.

I was following Kiki Smith around, who was looking at the installation of bronze-cast goats she had made for the room, which she complained were too high. Instantly, they lowered and she moved into a well-lit atrium space. I followed her wondering if she was referencing Picasso's goat Esmeralda. She climbed up into a boxy cart with glass sides – something like a vendor’s booth for selling popcorn on the street. In it she was naked and looked a bit pickled in formaldehyde, and her body was contorted and dwarfed into a crude totem-like form. Her privies were large and engorged as if she was giving birth. None-the-less, she gave an impressive speech to a small crowd sitting on the ground. When she got out, she was back to her normal self and we started talking about something, but that part I do not remember. There was a young woman there with white-gold locks; I wondered if it was her daughter, niece, or some other relations.

Pictured here, detail of My Blue Lake by Kiki Smith.