Last Days Of Disco Balls

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Rhonda Lieberman on the opening of Helmut Lang’s exhibition, “Next Ever After,” at the Journal Gallery in Williamsburg:

If a New Yorker cartoon had to sketch a perfectly “hip” awkward situation, they couldn’t have done a better job: a bunch of not particularly friendly people lurking around a fallen disco ball in a space too small for them not to feel conspicuous. It was fabulous.

Nearly two weeks ago, the Times’ Horacio Silva had described the disco ball as “found,” which has had me envisioning a world of perpetual morning-after, littered with disco balls, where the main activity consisted of squinting at the unexpected sunlight and picking glitter out of each other’s hair like a troop of overdressed baboons.
Or not. It turns out the ball was from Lang’s boutique, which makes it as “found” as one’s car. And it had been left outside “in Long Island,” the slightly too self-conscious, “a little school in Boston” way of saying “the Hamptons.”
Which completely changes the question of the disco ball from, “Where the hell’d he find it?” to “why the hell’d he keep it?” A dazzling symbol sentimentally yet unceremoniously hauled out and dumped on an 18-acre beachfront estate in East Hampton and left to weather away in over-fabulous isolation. With a 4-foot disco ball in tow. [ba dum bum.]
Lang didn’t make the Brooklyn opening. As his assistant told Lieberman, the artist was “on Long Island.”
Ball Drop [artforum]
Now Hanging [sic]: Helmut Lang’s Artwork [nyt]
The Journal No. 21 contains an interview with Lang by Neville Wakefield [thejrnl.com]
Previously: Miuccia Pravda