On a quiet residential block near the BQE in Greenpoint, a vacant former convent and schoolhouse came alive on Saturday thanks to a collective called Rabid Handsand 60 or so artists they invited to collaborate with them on an exhibition utilizing “sound as the organizing and uniting principle.” The four-story, single-day show, called “Sequence of Waves,” had almost as many rooms as artists, with no bathroom, broom closet, or dishwasher left uninvolved. Most of the works were site-specific installations invoking both sonic and visual concepts; many were interactive and could be “played.”
The seven hours during which the exhibit was open to the public also included a full schedule of musical performances, and huge crowds turned out, at times creating gridlock. The budget for this spectacle, according to Rabid Hands’ Nick Chatfield-Taylor — who dutifully manned the door all day, politely soliciting donations — was nonexistent; artists relied at least partly on salvaged materials.
It would be hard to call the combined show of effort and creativity on display (and the overall sensory experience of exploring the sprawling exhibit) anything less than epic. Even if some rooms disappointed, the exhibit as a whole was still above and beyond, certainly not the kind of thing that happens every week even around here, the center of the cultural universe. That this affair was one-day-only is a shame, but so it goes — a film crew is moving into the freshly de-installed space first thing Tuesday morning.