...more recent posts
Here's one I think goes here, or it could go into that thread about the bomber guy who Jim was wondering about. I think I saw him today and the reason I say that is because I think I remember a picture of that abortion bomber guy or I could be thinking about a guy from Florida (who is maybe in jail or just not hiding in NC?). I'm not sure but the thing is this guy I saw today was a masterpiece of malevolent geekiness, right out of central casting, even down to the tape on the bridge of his black rimmed glasses. Its Mardi Gras here in New Orleans so there's a lot of freaks in town.
Quiet Sunday morning on Rocheblave. I'm unloading tools. A block and a half a way scavengers are searching the Canal Blvd. neutral ground for lost treasures ( drugs, money, beads, and aluminum). Last night was the big Endymion parade. Frankie Muniz (?) was Grand Marshall. A half block the other way, on Bienville, The Baptist church is serenading the neighborhood with electronic hymns, nothing too inspiring but it lets you know you are in a God fearing vicinity, which can be a helpful reference point.
Across the street Muddy is tidying up in front of his very small sagging house. His mom is back in the hospital. The house is reminiscent of those "cribs" that were to be found in the neighborhoods surrounding the infamous Storyville district a hundred years ago. Muddy is pulling weeds from the small flower bed which is occupied by one large bush, and the diminishing weeds. He and I are working leisurely at similar, what could be called Sunday morning, speed.
The first time the late model panel truck with California plates passed, Muddy and I just shook our heads and went on working. After the fourth time, and without conferring, we are both pretty much done with this character, and find ourselves meeting in the middle of the street for his fifth pass. "What's up with this guy," I wondered out loud, and Muddy said, "I know, I was gonna stop him this time."
So we do, we stop him, we the protesters against protest. I asked him for some of his literature so I could refer to the correct group when I wrote George Bush to thank him for unleashing this version of conservatism on America. The man was fronting for a right to life organization that was making its point of how awful is abortion by showing on the side of this panel van a six by eight foot photograph of a red bloody late term aborted fetus. See how awful this is?, this is what your tax dollars pay for was the basic message of the pamphlets he retrieved from the back of the van, inside which he appeared to be camping.
Also in the back of the van were these three foot square canvasses stacked side by side, six or eight deep, each, if it is fair to judge from the one that was visible, being representations of aborted babies. The canvasses had an aged patina, and I came to think of them as art while standing there behind this guy's van, telling him in effect not to pass this way again. And then there came to me the conflict which perhaps is required of "good" art and I thought what would someone like NY's Guilliani make of these pictures. Would they be good things, or bad things? If there was a seminar I would attend so that I could move away from this nonplussed state from which I suffer and into that glare of enlightenment. The seminar would be called "When Conservatives become too Liberal." There would be free food.
"Afghanistan's ancient and imposing Buddhist relics are seen as 'idols.' "
.....now out of favor with the Taliban rulers, their destruction has been ordered.
My friend has really been talking up this show at P.S. 1 featuring the illustrated manuscript of Henry Darger. There's quite a few references to Darger on the web. This one is quite informative. He died in 1972 at the age of 80 (or so.) But it wasn't until some time later that his "secret" manuscript was found by his landlord.
"His landlord was cleaning out his room after his death and came across a startling discovery: alone in his room, Darger had created a beautiful and violent fantasy world, primarily embodied in a 15,000 page epic narrative, 'The Story of the Vivian Girls, in What is known as the Realms of the Unreal, of the Glandeco-Angelinnian War Storm, Caused by the Child Slave Rebellion.' Illustrated by several hundred large watercolors paintings as well as smaller drawings and collages, the Vivian Girls are seven preadolescent sisters, princesses, sometimes depicted as hermaphrodites, who fight against and ultimately prevail over evil deeds prepetrated by sadistic adults. They are aided in their battles by various Christian armies and also by Blengins, dragon-like animals, both fearsome and gentle, that are absolute protectors of children. The illustrations range from calm and pastoral to brutally violent."Looks interesting. I love the idea that someone would create a 15,000 page illustrated manuscript and then never show anyone. That's some dedication to your craft. Any of you art folks ever hear of this guy? Do you think it might be worth the trip?
jesus says --
Can You Say ? (You Can See) :
Marianne Boesky 535 West 22nd Street, Chelsea Through March 10
"Art and poetry: made for each other. So it has always been. Poets write about art; artists turn to poetry for ideas. Sometimes the two disciplines meet in collaboration; occasionally that collaboration is forged in the work of a single person. All these variables are aired in "Poetry Plastique," in which image and word are flexibly intertwined.
Organized by Jay Sanders, who is on the staff at Boesky, and the poet Charles Bernstein, the selection covers a stretch of recent historical ground. At the early end are scribbly, word-peppered Blakean pages by Robert Smithson from 1962 and a labyrinthine written piece by the arch-Fluxian Jackson Mac Low from 1975. The 1970's are well represented here, with work by Carl Andre, Wallace Berman and text- and-image collaborations by Arakawa and Madeline Gins.
Other work is new. Mr. Bernstein collaborates with Richard Tuttle on a witty sculpture made of plump, strung together 3-D letters, and with Susan Bee on a noirish painting in which Emily Dickinson and Mickey Spillane face off. Dickinson's attenuated handwriting finds an echo in Mira Schor's word paintings. The show enters the digital realm in a rich text-and-image work by Johanna Drucker and Brad Freeman, and in Tan Lin's computer-generated poetry pulsing away on three monitors.
The day after the show opened, the gallery was host to a series of related panel discussions and readings. Poets and artists participated. A big audience turned up. It was great. The buzz of voices and ideas made the art in the room — and Chelsea itself, for that matter — feel alive and interactive. Some of the pieces really need that charge; they look staid and hermetic without it. But others do fine on their own, and the cross-disciplinary concept behind the show is ripe for further exploration.
Perhaps Mr. Sanders and Mr. Bernstein already have further plans along these lines. Meanwhile, art and texts mutually ignite elsewhere in the city these days: in Cy Twombly's not-to-be-missed "Coronation of Sesostris" paintings, based on a poem by Patricia Waters, at Gagosian Gallery (980 Madison Avenue, at 76th Street, through tomorrow); in a collaboration between the painter Max Gimblett and the poet John Yau at Ethan Cohen Fine Art (37 Walker Street, SoHo, through March 10); in a series of collaborative prints by contemporary Puerto Rican artists and poets at El Taller Boricua (Lexington Avenue at 106th Street, through tomorrow); in an exhibition of contemporary text-based works, "A Way with Words," at the Whitney at Philip Morris (120 Park Avenue, at 42nd Street, through March 30); and in a jewel of an exhibition of artists' diaries, with bold little drawings and sonnet-size personal jottings, at the Archives of American Art (1285 Avenue of the Americas, at 51st Street, through May 31)."
- HOLLAND COTTER for NYT
Art expert Rudolph Giuliani clamping down on free speach, again !
`Avant-Garde' Artists Come in From the Cold (War) By STEPHEN KINZER ELLESLEY, Mass. (For NYT) —
"Although the 1950's are often described as somnolent years in the United States, they were also a time of artistic ferment, when dissonant music and abstract painting burst into the public consciousness.
But in recent years some scholars and curators have come to believe that this ferment was not really so radical, and that although these artists considered themselves consummate outsiders, their work often served to promote rather than subvert mainstream values.
The case is made at the Davis Museum and Cultural Center at Wellesley College here in an exhibition called "Cold War Modern: The Domesticated Avant-Garde." The show, which runs through June 17, links artistic innovators not to a tiny adventurous audience but to the mass culture of the times."
Jan Dibbets, 'Early Works' @ Gladstone 515 w 24th, through 2/14 by Roberta Smith for NYT
"In the late 1960's and early 70's, Post-Minimalist and Conceptual artists of all stripes picked up the camera to record earthworks, performances and temporary installations. But few used it with the strict yet subtly witty formalist intent of Jan Dibbets, a prominent Dutch artist who is 60 and has been showing in New York since 1969."
The new trend in New York area galleries and museums is claiming a show is "digital" whether it is or not. "Glee," a
slightly-above-average abstract painting show that closed January 7 at the Aldrich Museum, began its press release with
paeans to the Internet, Y2K, and the "digital revolution," then waited until paragraph 2 to mention that the show was about
"artists' renewed confidence in painting in the face of new visual technologies." (The strategy worked--it led Tim Griffin, art
editor of _Time Out New York_ to inattentively include "Glee" in his fall roundup of digital shows.) Griffin himself then
curated "Compression," (which also closed in January) at Feigen Contemporary, including Michelle Grabner (painter), Diti
Almog (painter), Dike Blair (sculptor/installation artist), and some artists who use computers, all tied together with dialogue
about "image compression technology," "flagship stores," and "economic mainframe(s)." Now we have "Jello," curated by
artnet columnist Max Henry (through Feb. 17 at Frederieke Taylor, 535 W 22, NYC), which claims to be based on a
"coalescing digital zeitgeist," even though only 3 out of 11 artists work with digital media. The show's highlight, digitally
speaking, is Daren Kendall's video, in which strategically cropped and Rorschached footage of a high school wrestling
match yields a very funny post-human blob of multiplying heads and arms--equal parts Paul Pfeiffer, Jerry Uelsmann, and
H. P. Lovecraft. Unfortunately, the "digital zeitgeist" simply isn't big enough to include Charles Long's
orange-extension-cord-with-elephantiasis, a Dan Flavin light bulb (!), and all the weak paintings Henry packed into the