Last night, on Oct. 10, 2001, The New York art world gathered In the atrium of the Whitney Museum, satellite space at Philip Morris across from Grand Central Station on 42nd Street for a little party celebrating a new installation by the hot young artist E.V. Day. A veteran of the 2000 Whitney Biennial — her work there was bought by a British supercollector Charles Saatchi — Day first came to public notice in “Greater New York” in 2000 for a set of four exploded pink plastic sex dolls suspended from wires in a front gallery at P.S.1.
This time around. her installation, entitled “G-Force,” featured 200 pairs of thong underwear in either pink, blue or while, each stretched out on an armature, the lot suspended far overhead in flight formations, like squadrons of geese, or jet planes. “I was going to make 1,000,” she said, with the sense of budgetary overkill thet would make the Joint Chief’s proud. What was at first fun celebration of post-feminist sexuality haa now become a pointed symbol of battling the Taliban’s fanatical repression of women’s sexuality. Yikes.
If you need proof of the annoying postmodernist proposition that artistic meaning is a construction, look no further. A week ago, following the dire events of Sept. 11, everything in en art gallery looked like an elegy. Today, it’s all about war. An Art in America editor Stephanie Cash pointed out, the magazine’s October Issue went to press several days before the destruction of the World Trade Center. Nevertheless, it seems timely and to the point, with the aggressive Moslem symbolism of Shirin Neshat on the cover, and inside things like Hiroshi Sugimoto’s photo of a wax dummy of Arafat and Frank Stella’s slag- heap sculpture Moby Dick.