Amid the high energy of the bustling crowd, overconsumption and excess that NYC delivers daily, there is culture. It is everywhere, and it feels infinite. That is where the city’s magic lies.

 

Everyday, I turn into this thirsty sponge. I wake up, shower, swallow a quick breakfast, wear my Nikes, and open the front door—I am ready to walk 10 miles and absorb culture. I hope you imagined all this with a kickass and dramatic opening song.

△Three things that stood out to me this week
The Sketchbook Project:
Reading about this project has nothing to do with experiencing the notebooks in the Brooklyn Art Library. I felt like I was given a special key to unlock strangers’ thoughts and secrets. If Nietzsche believed that people are always living in borrowed splendor and hiding behind a mask, he would have been surprised that no mask survived inside these pages.

What is the ideal feminine?
I did a couple of feminist exhibitions that focused on the female body within the present political and cultural climate. Now, I was particularly sensitive to Genevieve Gaignard’s Counterfeit Currency at the FLAG Art Foundation because she used satire to question the self-constructed and culturally affected female ideal, in staged environments. By challenging assumptions with her multiple mise-en-abîme and humor, I just thought that the iconic work by Kruger Your Body is a Battleground has never been more current. Sad.

Brooklyn Pride:
Hundreds of people from different age groups and backgrounds were celebrating love with an incredible positive energy. Within the vibrant parade, there was one detail that brought tears to my eyes. I heard Arab music, and couldn’t believe what I was going to see—a Middle Eastern & North African float. Considering that homosexuality is a crime in these countries, I thought their presence was a bold and wonderful statement.

☐ 1 thing that made sense to me
Design activates our senses:
After being amazed when watching the futuristic Isle of Dogs by Wes Anderson and interacting with the brilliant design projects in the Cooper Hewitt Museum, I realized that graphic design lives in different environments with no limits whatsoever.

Erica Dorn did a meticulous job, from the English and Japanese titles carefully set on a grid to all the crazy detailed props, making Wes Anderson’s love for Futura in his previous movies appear obsolete.

And the inspirational design installations involving more than the traditional emphasis on visible form blew me away in the museum. I was touching, listening, smelling as well as scrutinizing design pieces made by the world’s greatest designers for hours. It made me forget the instant crush I had for the handmade signs in Coney Island the day before.

Sorry Coney, it’s hard to compete with the future.

○ 1 Question
Hey NYC, what the hell with the trash?
I was walking in Williamsburg with a friend of mine, a Moroccan artist born and raised in NYC, and we found ourselves in a street full of trash. He confessed: “You know, there is something I really love about this trash. It reminds me of my childhood. It’s the authentic New York.”

They should redefine the word pollution in the dictionary. It should be something like: the emotional expression of nostalgic people.