As we’re all aware, the Lower East Side is ground zero for the imminent hipster-pocalypse. Recently, a rogue moose head took vengeance on hunting-lodge chic (it’s expiration date was already 2007) by falling on a patron at White Slab Palace. And Friday night at Half Gallery, at the opening of artist Hannes Bend’s first solo exhibition, there occurred surely another portent of evil.
Bend’s œuvre that evening featured a series of “candy casts,” including praying hands, a crucifix and a wall-mounted trophy buck. Anyone who’s visited Half Gallery knows that space is at a premium, but we firmly believe what transpired next was not the result of over-crowding and one young woman’s attempt to dodge a skeevy old man, but another warning from above. When the candy hands were knocked to the ground, sending shards of sugar across the wine-sticky floor, the room fell silent. “It looks more interesting,” someone finally volunteered. “That’s like $7 worth of sugar,” another added. Bend, however, was visibly angry. We spoke to the culprit outside. “He looked at me like I had just beaten my child,” she said. “I need to get out of here.” Frightened by the turn our night had taken, we soon followed, contemplating whether the art was sacrilegious or simply still edible.