Thursday, November 12, 2009

New York By Peer Review - Jesse Presley Jones

Irish Artist and current fellow at the Location One artspace, Jesse Presley Jones is another peer of Dan Cass, with whom I reviewed New York City.

As far as I could tell, Dan and Jesse met in Coober Pedy while shooting a film that was an adaptation of a Bertolt Brecht play. I have to admit I hadn't heard of Jesse or her art before but the Whisper Choir she conducted in Bucharest looked intriguing.

Jesse had been in New York for about a week - so not really a Phyllis-type experience but a great one nonetheless. An Irish artist, I met her at her Soho studio in the Location One artspace. As I walked in I was greeted by angry Richard Bell art - which was even more pointy taken out of the Australian context and dropped into NYC. It made Australia feel like a silly (racist) pimply teenager.

Anyways, Jesse and I meandered East over toward Bowery and the New Museum.

There's nothing like a gaudy artspace to help bond with an artist. It was the loudest, screechiest, over-done art gallery space I have ever been to in my whole entire life. Though it did give us something to tak about.

It's a pretty controversial space. Though no-one can doubt that it has been beautifully built, the heavy involvement of curators in the process has made the space feel like a five-year old chucking a tanty in a supermarket. The building screams attention and detracts from the works.

This was most offensive on the top floor where there was some great installation video art. But instead of being able to quietly sit-down and watch and attempt to 'get' it, the bloody door kept screeching open for the endless thoroughfare of people trying to get in and out of the room.

Having given-up, we had a coffee and checked-out the book store (which was by far the highlight of the whole experience) - which was kinda cool, Jesse kept pointing out books made by friends of hers and one where she herself featured. Needless to say, I was super impressed.

We headed-out and cruised the Bric-a-Brac, street art and cemetaries. Jesse gave some insight into how New York (calm and well-behaved) compared to Dublin (angry and a bit mental). It was also really interesting meeting an artist who was completely 'normal'. Not a skinny jean, hipster do, abnoxious iconic t-shirt or word of wank at all - it really made me think how freaking weird and pretentious the Sydney art scene actually is.

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