Friday, February 25, 2011

Soylent Green

The pop-up "green space" Park Here closed a couple weeks ago, after an extended run at Openhouse Gallery, "New York's pop-up retail space."

I took a stroll through the indoor park, over the Astroturf "grass" and under the faux trees, past the ladies selling cupcakes and the signs about yoga classes, into a weird world where people were behaving as if they were in an actual park.

When I'd read about Park Here, I expected people to behave as if they were looking at a spectacle. But instead, they set out blankets--as if they could get dirty--and were sitting on them with snacks and babies. People were lounging around, reading the newspaper and chatting. Had they actually planned to spend the day in here?

I kept thinking: They're being prepped for the post-apocalypse, when the air will become unbreathable, when grass and trees will have all been incinerated--and they're ready for it. They're perfectly willing to accept a future in which nature is reproduced in plastic and kept indoors. As long as there are cupcakes and wi-fi.