Up on the Roof

East Coast, Other
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
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The party is definitely pool (noodle) side. (Photos by Matt Chaban, except where noted)

The party is definitely pool (noodle) side. (Photos by Matt Chaban, except where noted)

Last night was the opening party for No Soul For Sale a (very) temporary show (it closes Saturday night) at the old Dia space on West 22nd Street organized by X Initiative. The crowning achievement–literally–is a lounge designed by LA-based architect Jeffery Inaba and his eponymous firm. An amusing if uncertain follow-up to Dan Graham’s former installation, the new piece, entitled Pool Noodle Roof, is meant to provide both comfort and unease.

Composed of 15,000 individual pieces of pool noodle foam tubes, each X-shaped (get it?) seat took five hours to make. With 150 seats scattered about the roof, well, you do the math. Part of the time involved in construction was getting the patterns just right, as the chairs spell out a secret message, “bububluooopppp,” which Inaba explained is the sound of something either sinking or rising, a commentary on the uncertain state of art and design (markets) and the world in general.

Pristine beauty. (Jeffery Inaba)

Pristine beauty. (Jeffery Inaba)

But more than anything else, the chairs made for a nice respite from the downright sweltering conditions inside the building. Sadly the capacity crowd was crammed into the Dan Flavin-lit stairwell because strict fire marshall’s would only allow 150 people up at a time. Still, it was well worth it, seeing as this is apparently the show of the moment. (Is Jerry Saltz ever wrong?)

How comforting.

How comforting.

For the remaining four nights of the exhibition, there will be live events on the roof, so don’t think you’ve missed the party yet. Do hurry, though, before the whole brilliant (colored) thing sinks for good.

Or is it rising to heaven, seeing as how Inaba plans on donating the chairs to local communities groups. Assuming, of course, they can stand the relentless abuse of the art world.

Inaba soaks up the sun... and praise.

Inaba soaks up the sun... and praise.

Bububluooopppp!

Bububluooopppp!

Dan Graham once slept here. Sorta.

Dan Graham once slept here. Sorta.

After hundreds of ours of back-breaking work, these babies are built to last.

After hundreds of ours of back-breaking work, these babies are built to last.

Somebodys had one too many.

Somebody's had one too many.

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