THE SHED: This post is about our going to a performance at THE SHED, New York’s newest and avowedly avant-garde performance space. The point of this is as much about the building and checking out HUDSON YARDS as it is about the performance, in this case, REICH RICHTER PART. More on that below. Tickets are $30. We are going to an 11:15 performance (80 minutes) on Wednesday, April 24th and we will try to find a new and groovy Hudson Yards spot for lunch afterwards. And, hey, it will be fun just to check out this new place! MWC’ers, pls. go to SIGN UP! and get your tickets – capacity limited! THE SHED opens on April 5th – so we will be among the first to experience this unique work and performance space!
Slowly, inexorably, Hudson Yards – that gigantic building project on Manhattan’s West Side which most of us have buzzed past on 11th Avenue many times over the last several years – has risen. And in addition to the wild, shwarma-like silhouette of the building-sized sculpture THE VESSEL, the other commanding shape and silhouette in this new development is THE SHED. That’s New York’s newest performance space which morphs based on its use by having a building-sized shell slide back and forth over the main part of the building which then resizes and reconfigures the space. THE SHED is an audacious effort – architecturally and artistically. Its mission is to provide a space and curate experiences which bring established and emerging artists together across disciplines and at prices which are not out of reach for most New Yorkers. We’re talking hip hop, classical music, painting and digital media, rap, theater, dance, sculpture – no art form is being ruled out at The Shed.
THE SHED-commissioned REICH RICHTER PART is a world premiere showcase of two collaborations with the well-known artist Gerhard Richter. This will be an immersive live performance and exhibition exploring the shared language of visual art and music. The first part of the performance will be the Richter-Part collaboration which marries an Arvo Part choral composition with the visual (digital?) experience of a new work by Gerhard Richter. The second part of the performance is a film which fuses the repetitive visual themes of Richter’s “Patterns” with the repeating musical structures of the composer Steve Reich’s work. While some aspects of this, particularly the Richter works, may be familiar – experiencing them in conjunction with the other artist’s works will provide a whole new perspective.
The restaurant scene at HUDSON YARDS is getting off to a slightly rocky but exciting start. The much ballyhooed collection of 25 restaurants featuring celebrity chefs from all over the world – including Thomas Keller, Jose Andres, David Chang, Costas Spiliadis and the Adria brothers – is a main attraction of the new development. But overwhelming first day – first week – traffic forced the closure of BELCAMPO’s take out section while they rethought how to handle traffic after they experienced hour-plus lines within ten minutes of opening. The possibility of a soft opening didn’t quite pan out. There have also been criticisms about the lack of diversity and gender balance in both the ownership and operation of the restaurants and the narrow ethnic representation of the food offerings.
BUT, sometimes in New York the “buzz-o-meter” is all that’s required to evaluate the “success” or potential of any new endeavor. By that measure, HUDSON YARDS (including its restaurants) is doing just fine, thank you – as thousands check it out and register opinions. And by the time we go – APRIL 24th – the opening nightmares will have been largely addressed. There’s a lot to be said for being among the first – but not the actual first – to experience something.