Disco Fever … at the Guggenheim?
In the era of museum as theme park, every institution jumps at the chance to play DJ. On Saturday, the Guggenheim turned its Rotunda into an art-house disco with the spacey sounds of Krautrock, all inspired by the overlooked and largely forgotten Düsseldorf disco the Creamcheese Club. Despite its, well, cheesy name (after Frank Zappa’s Suzy Creamcheese), the fringe space served as a hangout hub for everyone and anyone that you would have wanted to meet in post-war Germany: Joseph Beuys, Gerhard Richter, and Binky Palermo (who bartended for a bit) — all of whom exhibited work inside — as well as the Zero Group artists — Günther Uecker founded it, and Heinz Mack designed the bar — and, of course, the Krautrock kings like Neu!, Can, Cluster, and Kraftwerk, who all played many of their formative performances inside the basement bunker (and the latter demonstrated an amazing pull in New York in 2012, when they played eight sold-out MoMA shows). The Guggenheim couldn’t quite manage to copycat: The original rockers weren’t on-site this time, and instead, new-media maestro R. Luke DuBois and PS1 Warm-Up musical curator Zack Layton unearthed original synthesizers to play as instruments and lured psychedelic group Oneida to jam out for hours, and even gave carte blanche to light artists Brock Monroe and Joshua White to create real-time, live, groovy projections that reflected off the Zero Group show hanging in the Rotunda. And while the heaviest hit of intoxicant being passed around was the nostalgia (the curfew was midnight, after all), one thing was clear: The appeal of dance parties never dies, even in the watchful confines of a museum.