Paul Kasmin Gallery, in collaboration with Rail Curatorial Projects, brought surrealism to life last Thursday evening. Inspired by “Bloodflames Revisited,”curated by Phong Bui, “Bloodflames Revisited: An Ode to Summer” featured the words and movements of poets and dancers at both of the gallery’s two Chelsea locations.
Paolo Javier and Rachel Levitsky individually read poetry pieces inspired by the show. Dancers Sarah Maxfield, Aretha Aoki, and Emily Wexler then performed crowd-silencing choreography. With darkened faces and bloody noses, they crept through the gallery and rubbed straw from the floor in their hair. They then led guests from the gallery’s Tenth Avenue space to its 27th Street location, leaving a trail of scattered straw behind them. Barry Schwabsky next read a selection of poems published by Rail Curatorial Projects as well as his own pieces. Javier, Levitsky, and Schwabsky then performed the night’s finale with a reading of a poem by Klara Pam Dick.
An homage to the 1947 surrealist show by gallerist Alexander Iolas, “Bloodflames Revisited”— which tilted and projected art displayed at unconventional angles — features orange-painted walls and a raised red walkway above the straw-scattered floor. The show features the works of several artists chosen by Bui including Deborah Kass’Daddy (2008), Lee Bul’s Untitled sculpture W4-2 (2010), and Daniel Joseph Martinez’s installation Redemption of the flesh: It’s just a little headache, it’s just a little bruise; The politics of the future as urgent as the blue sky (2008).
“Bloodflames Revisited”is on view at Paul Kasmin Gallery through August 15.