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More "live drawing" done in my cubicle earlier today.
I haven't seen these photos by Grace Graupe Pillard in person, or projected, which is how they're being shown at The Proposition, 559 West 22nd Street, New York, through June 25. The thumbnails certainly get across the sickening disconnect between us Americans going about our business in our lovely cities while another country is ripped apart by an unprovoked war we started. Yes, we did experience some of this in two American cities 3 years ago, 9/11 was horrible and tragic, but what did attacking Iraq have to do with that? (Don't answer that, Jim Bob.)
Not drawn in my cubicle. I did this at home (reposted earlier today with changes). Update: revised yet again and reposted.
"Aye-aye-aye" [mp3 removed] My first real house track (I originally said "techno house" but don't want to put off anyone who envisions "pounding" and "Berlin" when they see the t-word--the little electro touches don't make this piece any less friendly). I have some other plans for this tune, but this is the basic concept.
An addendum to two recent posts, the one on hippies and the one
on Gary Wilson's Mary Had Brown Hair.
Bill's comment reminded me that the Mothers of Invention's We're Only In It For the Money,
which Wilson's record was compared to here, also contains "Flower Punk,"
a song ridiculing donning beads and moving to Haight (written in 1967!). That has nothing to do with Wilson--I was thinking in my comparison more of the mood of "Let's Make the Water Turn Black" and "Idiot Bastard Son" from the same LP* which are kind of wistful and hook-y in addition to having a sonic sculpture aspect (and being weird). "Flower Punk" offers solid proof, though, along with the more-sardonic-than-you-remember commune scene in Easy Rider
, that not every baby-boomer bought (or buys) into the generational mythology--that the seeds of the present day critique of "codes of representation" vis a vis hippies, to the extent that's going on, were already well sprouted back in the day. Zappa preferred "freak"--sort of the wised-up, media-savvy, L.A. version of long haired non-conformism. Nevertheless, it's the earth mama and Neal Cassady dropping the hammer that we fondly eulogize, or recycle in the art world every ten years. *The LP as opposed to Zappa's disastrous 80s CD remix. --music nerd
Modern Art Notes
spotted a funny headline over a recent NY Observer review
by neocon grump Hilton Kramer: "Realist Richard Baker Confers His Anxiety On Tulips, Lemons." It's the bored headline writer's revenge for having to read a by-the-numbers, ridiculously hedged review. Kramer's main point (I think) isn't that Baker makes still life subjects anxious, but that the artist dissipates his talent in not-so-clever pictorial tricks calling attention to the paint medium. A more accurate (and Kramer-like) tag would be "Self-Reflexive Shenanigans Drain Needed Anxiety from Tulips, Lemons."
Been thinking about hippies lately. Not just me, the art world is going through (yet another interminable) hippie phase, inspired by "the rise of the new art collectives" and/or the salesmanship of gallerists Daniel Reich and John Connelly--some cynics say they're one and the same phenomenon. (Not saying I'm saying that, but have had a couple of impassioned discussions with people in the last week who think the 2003 Holland Cotter article
identifying art collectives as a national trend was either part of an elaborate marketing scheme or a lazy writer being handed a package by a dealer--"collectives" being a more or less constant, short-lived byproduct of kids meeting up in art school.)
Christopher Hitchens, in a recent diatribe about how much the left sucks, sought to condense the whole 60s counterculture down to one image of lame misguidedness: the commune 20-somethings in Easy Rider
scattering seed in the dusty furrows of the land where they have to come to "make their stand." That socks it home all right--but doesn't give the film credit for being a smart and subtle critique of the very phenomenon it was selling: right after the shot of the barefoot seed-sowers, the camera pulls back and lingers over a western landscape that is mountainous and dry, dry, dry. Just as you're thinking that, Peter Fonda says, "Do you get much rain out here?" (And then later, incongruously, opines "They're gonna make it.")
The photo above is a work from Justin Samson's current show at John Connelly Presents
. I assume this is a sculpture Samson made and am guessing it was for a residency at Andrea Zittel's Joshua Tree, CA, studio/project space High Desert Test Sites
, so no actual hippies were involved. Below is the Mondo Mondo Trading Post, which Matt Savitsky and Kevin McGarry erect outside strip mall coffee shops, bookstores and the like to trade Perler bead souvenirs
. Again, no bonafide tuning in, turning on, or dropping out is occurring--day jobs are preserved while we are reminded of our buckskin past, just as in Little House on the Prairie
reruns. I actually like McGarry's and Savitsky's project, and I like the Samson photo, but am just wondering--what is it with artists and hippies these days? Is it yet another media critique? (They loved the 60s back in the 80s too--loved to make fun of them--as in Kenny Scharf's sardonic black light rooms and Halley's Day Glo paints.) Is it some unironic yearning for "the real" amongst all the Starbucks simu-culture? A little of both? Can those be mixed?