Making The Scene At RISD Museum Disco

But I’m supposed to be on the list. Check out the hottest new club in town, Kiki’s Backdoor, an installation by Nicole Eisenman for Raid the Icebox Now at the RISD Museum. “Tonight we are going out and we are all getting hammered” features the obligatory velvet rope and  disco ball, and great music — Sex Pistols when I was there. This is great good fun.

And make sure to check out the names of the people who did make the list (Julio Torres?). These busts and statues will look familiar to museum regulars, but they take on a whole new look in this context as they try to look all cool and blasé.

Inside Kiki’s Backdoor, works from the RISD Museum’s collection, ranging from medieval to contemporary, are arranged to draw attention to their humanity. These bold creatures stare at us with frank gazes: we cruise them and they cruise us. Party lights rake across the canvases, casting strips of blue, red, and green across the faces that line the walls of the club, bringing them all into the present moment with us. Out back behind the dumpster, sculptures wait in line to be let in.

Yes, there is a dumpster.

It’s best to approach the installation from the museum side (as opposed to the stairs that go right up from the Benefit side lobby) but if you do sneak in the back way then you can look down your nose as the losers waiting in line.

Nicole Eisenman lives and works in New York and received her BFA from RISD in 1987.

Museum closed December 24, 25, and 31. Hours here.

Now through July 19, 2020, RISD Museum, 20 North Main Street, (directions)

Music plays, a disco ball spins, and a fountain of old cassette tape hangs in the corner of the main room.

Just perfect. (Featured objects and paintings are cataloged here.)

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