FOR ART’S SAKE!
Stanford University is sure on top of the latest social trends. Now that things like civil liberties and secularism have gone the way of pashmina shawls (Why do so many of you still insist on wearing those? That was, like, literally eight seasons ago! Buy a jacket!), it seems university president John L. Hennessyhas decided to throw out artistic freedom, too. As reported earlier this month in several West Coast papers, Hennessy has vetoed a planned outdoor sculpture by artist Dennis Oppenheim that had been approved by his own Panel on Outdoor Art. The 22-foot-high work, appropriately entitled Device To Root Out Evil,takes the form of an inverted church with its steeple staked into the ground. This work frightened the university’s conservative element, and the President’s Office made a decision based on what the reaction might be,, Oppenheim said in a statement. This is the first time that a sculpture was ever rejected by the University President.. A version of the piece is still planned for Daniel Libeskind’s forthcoming addition to the Denver Art Museum.
HARVARD’S HYGIENE, KARIM BLISTERS
Over at Harvard, it’s the gender wars that are getting messy. In response to a bathroom shortage at the Graduate School of Design, administrators recently made most of the loos unisex. And it’s caused a total, um, blow-out among women students and staff. Tempers are rising,, warns one unhappy female camper. We’ve had plenty of arguments about whether men should be required to lower the seat. Apparently, they don’t all feel like flushing, either.. Ew. Meanwhile, female students are horrified by the thought of sharing their most private moments with male instructors, who should be ashamed of themselves for other reasons, too. Some of them touch the door handles without washing their hands,, our restroom reporter gasps. No male membersser, staff memberss could be reached by press timeeIn other plumbing news, Nooch, the new Karim Rashid>designed Chelsea hotspot, has had problems of its own. Andrew Yang, a contributor to these pages, has filed an eyewitness account of a recent Saturday night water malfunction. Water, trapped above the latex paint, had formed two large bubbles on the ceilingg he reports. They were dripping, like coffee, onto the vagina-shaped bar.. [Disclaimer: the views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of the columnist.] Rashid tells us the problem precipitated from a leak in an upstairs apartment. And I resent the term vagina-like,” he snapped.
At deadline, the Port Authority had just shut down Terminal 5, an exhibition of art including Tom Sachs, Dan Graham, and Vanessa Beecroft at Eero Saarinen’s former TWA terminal at JFK airport. The reason? Its rowdy opening night party, where violations allegedly included smoking, graffiti, and vandalism in the landmark building. (We’ve also heard rumors of suspicious white powders, lewd acts in the VIP room, and champagne revelers on the tarmac. Apparently, security guards were too busy fingerprinting foreign-speaking grandmothers in customs.) We, however, prefer Susan Saarinen’s response. Catching one drunk guest bowling beer bottles, the architect’s daughter ran over and lashed out, My father didn’t design this building for idiots like you to be bowling bottles!! Come hang out in the Meatpacking District, Susan! They need you.