Aaron Young and Nate Lowman Gush Over Rita Ackermann During Dinner and Dom at New Artist Hangout Acme

The scene at ACME last night, with Rita Ackermann's video series "WARFILMS" on the walls
(Courtesy BFA)

NEW YORK — Indie it-girl Chloe Sevigny and Nate Lowman were just a few of the bold names sitting around an all star table in the cellar of Acme, the new Downtown artist hotspot that recently opened on the corner of Great Jones and Lafayette streets. Terence Koh was there, too, clad in all white, and the art set was downing bottle after bottle of a very special 2003 Dom Pérignon vintage. It was an art world celebration for sure, albeit of nothing in particular. "Tonight reminds me that the spirit of creation and collaboration is still alive," said Rita Ackermann, whose recent video series "WARFILMS" was on view throughout the evening.

Projections of computer screens playing footage of Muammar Gaddafi and Rachel Black flashed like specters on the walls, part of the Hungarian artist's latest artistic endeavor. Post-dessert, the images both lit up and served as the backdrop to a performance by Koudlam, the French sunglasses-at-night-clad, self-described symphonic composer. After the one-man digital orchestra set, we sat down at Lowman's table. While he declined to comment on the artwork, he did share the story of how Ackermann led him to New York.


"The first time I ever visited New York, it was her stained-glass window piece in the old New Museum, when it was still in SoHo, with a Bob Flanagan installation inside the building that were the reason I moved here," he told ARTINFO. And did he ever let her know? "I might've got drunk and told her once actually. I don't know. It's uncomfortable when people fan out on each other." After his show at Milan's Massimo de Carlo gallery, he's taking the next couple of weeks to "chill out in my studio and think about a way to make better art." Has he made any progress? "They're secrets. Tricks of the trade I can’t tell you."

Meanwhile at the bar, Aaron Young, a former neighbor of Ackermann's from their Lower East Side days on Forsythe Street, was happy to give us his take. "At first I was like, 'What are these layers all about?' I thought it went brilliantly — layers and layers of different things of significance and compelling current events that actually solidify each other one after the other. It’s not narrative but it does come across as something when you add it." He's currently working out an upcoming top-secret May performance in Lebanon: "I can’t give out the details, I have to go there," he told us. "It has to be site-specific."

As the night started to devolve from elegant dinner party to raucous after-party, we found Ackermann nestled with her boyfriend, looking very happily cloistered in a dark corner booth. With her assistant running interference, she gave us a very brief proxy interview. What inspired her use of these images? "The Internet," ersatz Ackermann told us. And was she a fan of Rebecca Black? Two enthusiastic thumbs up.