Adam Pendleton, 26, known primarily as a painter and conceptual artist, paces back and forth on a podium. He's a young, shaven-headed, very handsome black man, nattily dressed in a white sport coat, and he's preaching about language—cribbing from the poetry of John Ashbery, speeches by Larry Kramer, intoning in a voice reminiscent of Jack Handy's "Deep Thoughts." He stomps a brightly colored shoe on the podium. Behind him, a black gospel choir hums and sways rapturously in its robes, and the accompanying band responds to his call, ebbing and flowing with his passionate, if amateur, oratory. Substitute Jesus for Ashbery and change the venue—we're at the cavernous Stephen Weiss Studio—and we'd really be in church. This is a seamless, upscale, elegant performance—enjoyable, inoffensive, and not especially challenging. It could run on the Upper West Side with no difficulty. Is this... More >>>