The sold-out event at the Hirshhorn boasted all its usual tricks — bright lights, fog machine, over-priced cocktails, and guided art tours. This iteration offered a few changes in the normal Hirshhorn After Hours routine: no band and the galleries closed at 10 pm, rather then at the end of the night.
Personally, this was just an okay After Hours. The very first After Hours I attended featured the apparently popular indie band Fools & Horses along with DJ Yum Yum. It also offered crafts, which I keep hoping will return to the event (my friend & I made delightfully poorly painted tote bags in the color field art tradition). This was, of course, in October, 2007, long before the event was advertised in the Express or really anywhere else. One might assume that bigger notoriety as an event that draws a huge crowd of 20 and 30 something hipsters would give the Hirshhorn the ability to bring in more up an coming musical artists. Alas, after offering bands such as Dan Deacon and Hooliganship, the lack of a band was fairly glaring.
DJs izzy b and nyko skyye kept the beats coming, but the second big change was also rather disappointing. Since the biggest draw to After Hours is the ability to get inappropriately drunk and stumble through the modern art galleries, closing them at ten left one rushing through Walead Beshty’s exhibit and the downstairs gallery’s Strange Bodies exhibit with nothing but a one drink buzz. The drinks and food appear to be back from one of their older caterers, as well, which is a shame because the drinks from the “green friendly” company they used last summer were probably the most delicious (and strongest) I’ve had at the event. Sadly, I forewent a delicious smelling pulled pork sandwich for a third (vodka?) mojito, so I cannot report back to you whether the food was better or worse then last November’s bratwursts.
The evening ended with people getting sloppy enough to leap into the fountain, which seemed extremely painful as the fountain is both shallow and filled with dividers that can be seen clearly from the surface. The last dude in not only got his messenger bag soaked but also got escorted out by three security guards. It’s a good time, and the new attendance cap made for a less crowded sweaty time. Hopefully the next After Hours will be a little drunker and a little more “after hours” in the museum — either way, I’ll be there.
On to the interviews with some of the most notable Hirshhorn attendees!
This was Will’s 2nd After Hours; he attended last fall’s event and said that he enjoyed the presence of a both a band and a DJ in comparison to this one. However, he’d still attend the next one. He was also wearing this sweet LED Equalizer shirt, which sadly just shows up as a box of lights in this photo.
It was Mariska & Gastone’s first Hirshhorn After Hours, but they both said they enjoyed the vibe and the “spirit of all the people having a good time.” When asked if they would attend the next After Hours, Gastone replied “Yes, but I think we will both wear big hair for it.”
I met Valentino when I asked if he could take a photograph of the group of people I was with. A delightful French-Italian, he has lived in DC for two years, and told me his job was “making women happy.” I asked how he was enjoying his first After Hours, and he told me, “I love it. I love it so much I want to make a hole in the ground here and make love to it, but with a condom because you never know.” He’d like to see more women in bikinis at the next After Hours. He also threatened me, telling me I better not make fun of him on my blog because he knew where “you kids go to school. Haha, just kidding!”
More reading: Interview with DJ izzy b