Institutional bacon

Phil Ford

Biking in to work this morning before sunrise, zipping past frat houses just beginning to stir, I catch a whiff of something that catches me a sledgehammer blow of reminiscence and nostalgia  — the smell of what can only be described as institutional bacon. You know, the steam-tray bacon that you find in every dorm cafeteria. Its faux-homey comfort perfectly captures the mingled excitement and dread of the beginning of every academic year.

So it's that time of year, which means I have little time for writing anything except syllabi, so today I'll let someone else provide the content. Ben Piekut, a rising new scholar in the 1960s avant-garde, has created a large and ambitious video project, Henry Flynt in New York. Henry Flynt has been a figure in the New York avant-garde scene for more than forty years, and although he's created a steady stream of fiercely individual work, he's probably best known for doing things like picketing Lincoln Center and MOMA (here, pictured with Jack Smith):


(Source here, at Flynt's own website, with some other cool photos.)

Piekut's film project is decidedly minimal and low-key — his camera follows Flynt around as he visits sites notable in the history of the New York avant-garde and delivers his own opinionated reminiscences. Check it out.

About Phil Ford

Chairman of the Committee for the Memorial to the Victims of Modernism
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