Knit Pick

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009



If you gave Yayoi Kusama a crochet hook, she might mount the kind of fuzzy spectacle you’ll find on the corner of 47th St. and Lexington Avenue this week. “Covers,” a collaboration between choreographer Carrie Ahern and fabric artist Olek, is a silent performance/installation piece in which two women wrapped (or trapped?) in bolts of kooky knitwear move in slow motion in a storefront gallery itself webbed in wool. It’s as if a spider on acid had spun out of control, trading silk for yarn and catching moving mannequins in its web.

Between the buzz of fashion week in Bryant Park and the bustle of people rushing along Lexington Avenue at rush hour (the only time the women appear) the performance is a midtown island of calm, craft and counter-consumerism. Nothing here’s for sale.  Step closer and you’ll notice random crochet-covered objects—an iron, a sled and a t.v. —along with crazy little phallic sheaths (and balloons) dangling from the ceiling. While the two artists perform in a trance, a third figure, wearing a head-to-toe fitted number (half burqua, half spidey-suit) knits maniacally in the corner, stopping only to glare at random spectators. This is an only-in-New York moment:  Linger, and you’ll be glad you did. Hurry past, and admit you’ve lost your sense of urban wonder.  The Covers women are at the Lab Gallery, next to the Roger Smith Hotel, September 16, 18, 21, 23rd and 25th from 5:30-6:30.