Mir 2, installation view
Smack Mellon Studios
56 Water Street
Through Nov. 18
The Soviet space station Mir, or a witty approximation
of it, is on manuvers in Brooklyn, manned by a crew of weekend cosmonauts
under the leadership of the artist Ward Shelley. Mr. Shelley, who recently
created an ingenious, Orgone Box- ish crawl-through environment at the
Pierogi gallery in Williamsburg, cooked up the idea for the Mir project;
but the final product is a collaborative effort, and it suits Smack Mellon's
two-story interior to a T.
| lounge, an extravagance put together with serious, hands-on
skill by some 20 sculptors, performers, and sound and video artists, the
core group being Mr. Shelley, Peter Soriano and Jesse Bercowetz. Think of
a Thomas Lanigan- Schmidt tabletop sculpture made monumental, or an early
Matthew Barney environment on a tight (very tight) budget, or the installations
of the self-taught artist Emery Blagdon and you get something like the idea.
All, or most, hands will be on deck today from 3 to 9 p.m. and tomorrow and Sunday from 2 to 6 p.m. The crew will actually be living on board for four days from Thursday through Nov. 18, and the show will be viewable during regular gallery hours. The Saturday I was there, everything seemed to be working just fine, which is more than one can say of the original Mir. And with once-affordable Brooklyn neighboods like Dumbo gentrifying at a horrific clip, artists in outer space may just have to be the next frontier.