Weird world of Martin Creed at Park Avenue Armory
New Yorkers looking for a weird, fun, artsy night should get tickets to the limited run of Martin Creed: The Back Door at the Park Avenue Armory now through August 7, 2016. This is experiential art on a large scale. The cavernous Wade Thompson Drill Hall – at 55,000 square feet one of the largest unobstructed spaces New York -- is pitch black and empty, inviting clandestine canoodling, dashes in the dark, or just silent contemplation of huge screens where an old woman (Creed's mother) appears to have a spoonful of hummus on her tongue.
Martin Creed exhibit includes challenging video installations
The Martin Creed art installation at the Park Avenue Armory includes an Ikea-store-like path (no escape) which leads from one small video screening room to the next. Films include ascending numbers in various fonts with a Scottish voice over and two scatological clips of women vomiting/defecating followed by a close-up of a man’s member in various levels of elevation.
Funhouse atmosphere dominates the Park Avenue Armory for Martin Creed show
Playful visitors will be attracted to the small room with only light shining on the screen, which obviously invites the creation of shadow puppets. In a large, high ceiling hallway, black curtains whip closed and snap open again, encouraging visitors to hasten through before being caught up in velvet. Parents who have ever envied children’s fun in ball pits will enjoy the capacious room filled with large white balloons up to their eyeballs. Elbowing one’s way across a sea of latex -- especially if one has already made a couple trips to the well-stocked bar on the exhibit's late Thursday and Friday nights -- is a great way to forget about your day of adulting.
And in the spectacularly ornate Veteran’s Room, a polished cream-colored grand piano stands quietly until it startlingly begins slamming its keyboard cover and lid repeatedly with shuddering, strident notes and loud bangs. In other rooms, surrounded by luxurious wooden lockers or glassed off silver trophies, Martin’s installations repeat little-to-big piles in an array of humorous executions: chairs, shipping boxes, one-inch pieces of paper.
In Martin Creed: the Back Door, the real art is a three-way combo of the ornate beauty of this 19th century landmark, the playfulness of the art, and the attitude the visitor brings. Have a drink, have a laugh, and you’ll end up participating in a weirdly wonderful evening to remember.