The Wassaic Project: Our Favorite Art from Summer Festival 2011 (PHOTOS & VIDEO)


Photos by Alex Goldmark

We spent a very wet weekend at the Wassaic Project, the artist residency and summer festival that’s part of the emerging scene the Times dubbed “Williamsburg on the Hudson.” Indeed, rather than asking fellow campers and attendees where they were from, it was a quicker bet to just say, “So, which neighborhood in Brooklyn are you from?”

At the center of the festival are the works of 100 artists in the seven story former grain silo. While we didn’t enjoy the artwork nearly as much as we did in the 2010 festival — overall, it just didn’t pack as much of a technical or emotional punch for us as it did last year — there still were a number of gems.

There were some great performances outside of the silo, too. The music lineup was augmented by sound mixing as beautiful and clear as we’ve ever heard in any outdoor venue. It began to pour rain Saturday afternoon, and a particularly magical moment happened when the whole festival moved into the tiny hamlet’s only bar, just in time for the amazing Electric Junkyard Gamelan to perform for festival goers and locals alike.

Here, in no special order, are some of the highlights we enjoyed over the weekend.

A real highlight for us was Joshua Frankel’s animated/live action film Plan of the City, which was exhibited in a loop with other works in the silo. Frankel also curated an outstanding selection of animated films by other filmmakers, which were shown in the festival’s cattle auction barn-turned movie theater.
Detail from All the Trappings: (s)wallow by Angela Zammarelli

[The Knowhere Machine by Sena Clara Creston

RemembeWhen Tomorrow Came by Ghost of a Dream
To view this installation, the viewer has to step into a wooden box, where they’ll find themselves in a chamber with a glass floor and ceiling, lined with lottery tickets and light.

As you step onto the mirror wearing booties, the experience feels like you are stepping out into infinity before falling to your death. It’s both disorienting and surprisingly delightful.

Arch 1000, Check 1000, Look 1000 by Amy Podmore
Utilizing half a male mannequin, a parachute, and a grate to create the Marilyn Monroe-Seven Year Itch effect, Amy Podmore’s installation seemed to be a crowd favorite (though it made one baby we saw scream with fear).

The Stairway Vista by Ryan Frank
Like a number of Wassaic pieces, this one was built right into the building.

The Case Studies by Man Bartlett

Glenn Beck In Ice by David Grainger

REFUSE, REFUSE by Ben Thorp Brown

The installation, of 123 water jugs, was accompanied by this sign:

what moves you?/I came here out of curiousity by Shamina de Gonaga, Gala Narezo and Chantal Fischzang

You Are Where You Are by Jeila Gueramian, Sound Design by Scott Anderson

Pastoral Portrait (Wassaic) by Caroline Burghardt
And finally, this simple but very site specific painting, located on the camping field, won us over.

The Wassaic Project gallery will be open Saturdays and Sundays through Labor Day weekend