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Installation view of Tris Vonna-Michell’s Wasteful Illuminations (2008) at X Initiative
Courtesy the artist and X Initiative
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A New Kind of Boom
by Jerry Saltz



In mid-August at the Queens Museum, the intrepid artist Duke Riley -- once arrested for piloting his makeshift submarine too close to the Queen Mary 2 -- staged a mock battle between art museums in a Flushing Meadows pool. Employees of various institutions, ensconced in homemade ships, laid siege to each others’ vessels; the crowd was encouraged to get in the water and throw tomatoes. Riley conjured something intoxicating and joyous that had been missing of late: the ambition, competition and sheer effort it takes to make art and museums great.

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