Josiah McElheny: The Metal Party

About the Exhibition

Josiah McElheny’s The Metal Party is a re-creation of a party organized in 1929 by students of the Bauhaus in Dessau, Germany. Taking the original “Party” as a point of departure, McElheny (b.1966, Boston, MA) produced a hyper-reflective environment of metallic surfaces complete with mirrored and clear glass spheres that alternated on the ceiling above an aluminum floor. Each viewer, upon entry to The Metal Party is encouraged to see themselves as part of this installation and requested to put on a silver Mylar costume, specially designed by McElheny. Viewers also are encouraged to document their experience with a Polaroid self portrait, many of which are also incorporated into the installation. A sound composition produced by electronic media artists Beth Coleman and Howard Goldkrand of Soundlab Cultural Alchemy fill The Metal Party with an infusion of period jazz music, Bauhaus-inspired experimental instrumentation and contemporary dance rhythms.

The Metal Party is a project of the Public Art Fund, commissioned through In the Public Realm, a program of site-specific proposals and projects by New York artists.

In the Public Realm is supported with public funds by The National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, a State Agency, the City of New York Department of Cultural Affairs, and the Office of the Brooklyn Borough President, and with generous support from, The Greenwall Foundation, The Silverweed Foundation, The JPMorgan Chase Foundation, and friends of the Public Art Fund.

The Metal Party is sponsored by Banana Republic.

The Metal Party was produced with the assistance of Brooklyn Front and Superfine, and is a joint presentation with Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, where the project was on view November 17, 2001-January 27 2002.



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