Negotiations have been going on for a few months but it's now offical, a number of my films are going into the MoMA archives. I have to admit it was a head scratcher for me, my stuff isn't well known or great but I didn't put up any arguments. It turns out the museum is collecting films made by filmmakers who were living in and active in the east village in the 80's so I squeaked in despite being kind of peripheral to that scene. Also, the assistant film curator, back before she was at MoMA, was on a selection panel for a film festival I entered Buoy in. She argued unsuccessfully that it should be included in the programming but remained a fan.
Yesterday I shipped a hard drive with the complete elements for Buoy as well as an exhibition copy. I'm going to get my super-8 and 16mm films scanned to the highest resolution possible before shipping the camera originals and negatives because once they have them I will no longer have access to the material.
I'm told that one or two of my early films will be included in this show in October but so far it seems they haven't nailed down the programming so nothing's certain.
Alex, I haven't submitted our collaborations yet but I would like to so let's talk.
Gerald Holtom's peace sign circa '58 (N.D.)
From the outset, he was blatantly fraudulent. Reeking of unabashed insincerity, he cannibalised every -ism he encountered, chewed it up and joyfully spit it back into the faces of the establishment. David Bowie used to say that he wasn’t really a rock star, but an actor playing a rock star. The same could be said for Picabia: he played the role of an artist, producing an oeuvre of spectacular fakeness—fake Cubism, fake Surrealism, fake Social Realism, fake Romanticism, and finally, in his last works, fake Dadaism. For a half century, Picabia brilliantly trolled the art world. Everything he did was purposefully “wrong.”
Krazy Kat has been described as a parable of love, a metaphor for democracy, a “surrealistic” poem, unfolding over years and years. It is all of these, but so much more: it is a portrait of America, a self-portrait of Herriman, and, I believe, the first attempt to paint the full range of human consciousness in the language of the comic strip. Like the America it portrays, Herriman’s identity has been poised for a revision for many decades now. Michael Tisserand’s new biography Krazy does just that, clearing the shifting sands and shadows of Herriman’s ancestry, the discovery in the early 1970s of a birth certificate which described Herriman as “colored” sending up a flag among comics researchers and aficionados. Tisserand confirms what for years was hiding in plain sight in the tangled brush of Coconino County, Arizona, where Krazy Kat is supposedly set: Herriman, of mixed African-American ancestry, spent his entire adult life passing as white. He had been born in the African-American neighborhood of racially mixed, culturally polyglot 1880s New Orleans, but within a decade Herriman’s parents moved George and his three siblings to the small but growing town of Los Angeles to escape the increasing bigotry and racial animosity of postbellum Louisiana. The Herrimans melted into California life, and it was there that George, with brief professional spates in New York, would remain for the rest of his life.