I went to the new gallery opening at the Soap Factory this weekend and was a bit shocked. To begin I'll drop a disclaimer, I love the Soap Factory, I think it's one of the best galleries in town, without a doubt. Before this gallery I've never been disappointed when I've gone.
This opening was fun, as usual, cheap wine, good music, good company. Birthday Suits rocked, Seawhores rocked (though I only caught a little of their set). But the gallery was not very interesting. Entering from the double doors at the top of the stairs to the deck that room and the subsequent room where patchy. I don't want to dog the artists, because there was some really good pieces in the room, but not enough of them that it cast a glow over the room. Which, I believe, is the hope of curating. No one will ever like every peice in a room, but the room should be themed in a way that casts a glow over the room so that it feels coherent while being diverse, colored whiled being tinted and spotted. But a lot of the art in the room was trite, had trite obvious titles, images and themes. There was something everywhere that was a major turn-off about the room, and the next room. They seemed to fit together and to have very little to do with the rest of the gallery.
The large room after those two was done by Faggot. This was patchy as well, but in a much better way. I actually think this is the best room in the new gallery. The room is like a giant collage of many films, posters, signs, clothes. It's a little oppresive in it's over-saturation of objects, but it's good for an exhibit that's supposed to be a little in your face and obstructive.
The room where the wine is generally served and the music enjoyed was a huge disappointment. I'm not going to argue that concert posters aren't art (the entire room is concert posters) because they are, and there are some really great posters in there, very talented artists. But there are not enough concert poster artists in the city to have a constant gallery of them somewhere. It's the same people who have been in the concert posters galleries over and over. It's really killing the vibe. If I see a flyer or an anouncement for a gallery like that I don't go. It's getting redundant. More importantly, at an opening for a gallery like this it really creates an awful atmosphere. Concert poster artists are more driven to sell their product than other artists. I don't mind a price sitting underneaeth the information placard. I don't feel like there is any air of selling out in such practices, so I'm not going there. It's just that when you get all of these artists together who are selling concert posters and have tables in front of the displays, with catalogues of posters sitting out, it feels more like a flea market than a gallery. It's so much more aggresive than a gallery should be.
That's all I guess, I was just disappointed because the Soap Factory is usually so awesome, and it wasn't that great. It's worth checking out. But meh. Faggot is playing a show in there later this month and on the 13th they're screening a film so mayabe go then. But meh.
Oh yeah and the short films are really good. That was a great part of the gallery, better than they usually are. But I've already rambled so much I'll allow that to suffice. You should go to see the movies, good stuff, one that resembles Nanook of the North if it was a short directed by Tarantino (which I generally use Tarantino as a bad adjective, but this time I mean it in a positive fashion) and one that is like Bubsby Berekley films mixed with Gondry, very cool, moderatly confusing I don't know if there was supposed to be music and it wasn't working or if it was just intended to be a silent dance number, but it was really great. There. I'm done.