Wednesday, April 25, 2007

It's been awfully quiet around here. I've been preparing to install the DCAC show--which is only a couple of weeks away.

Read more about the show here--and over at Lenny's blog, too.

Whenever a show is pending, vast areas of my life tend to go into remission. So you probably shouldn't expect to hear much more from me until after May 11th.

At that point, everything will reboot, I swear.
Postcards have gone out. If you'd like to receive one, please feel free to e-mail me.

Friday, April 13, 2007

I have a pick for Barabara Probst at G Fine Art in this week's City Paper.

Read it here.

Last weekend, I also saw Andy Moon Wilson's show at Curator's Office just before it came down...I have to say, I enjoyed it much more than I guessed I would. I'm always hesitant to embrace gallery art that uncritically employs the visual language of underground comics, or that seems to be all about navel gazing, youth culture, and marking time. That's what I assumed the show would be about: Drawing doodles on business cards as a way to comment on the meaninglessness of a wage slave existence.

Instead, I found those little business cards pretty satisfying--particularly the ones in which Wilson makes little number puzzles, or codes and keys, or hypnotic patterns, all a bit reminiscent of Simon Gouverneur. When Wilson blurs the line between Zen-like self-subtraction and absent minded, impulsive creation, he's got my attention. Even the cartoons--full of guns, tanks, and sword-swinging barbarians--were pretty charming, particularly as a commentary on gender, stereotypical maleness.

So Kurt Vonnegut died. Many have talked about Slaughterhouse Five (1969) and Cat's Cradle (1963), and about Vonnegut's humanism--he was honorary president of the American Humanist Association. At fellow humanist Isaac Asimov's funeral, Vonnegut famously announced, "He is in heaven now." Big laughs.

Less, I think, has been said about Rabo Karabekian, the failed abstract expressionist protagonist of Bluebeard (1987) whose pictures consist of strips of colored tape on Sateen Dura-Lux housepaint. One of Karabekian's dark secrets is that his strips of tape actually represent the auras of people, and his abstract pictures tell little stories: Polar bears chasing eskimos across the ice, for example.
Worse still, Sateen Dura-Lux turns out to be unstable. Karabekian's paintings self-destruct, melting into puddles on the floors of banks and corporate offices everywhere--a reference, I think, to the conservation problems attending the more volatile of Jackson Pollock's paintings. Good stuff.

Friday, April 06, 2007

I went to National Airport yesterday with Jefferson to pick up Laurie Anderson. She’s incredibly polite, gracious, and very, very quiet—and also funny, as you'd expect. For some reason, we ended up taking her on an impromptu tour of the National Arboretum. Why not?

Last night, she gave a lecture at the University of Maryland about some of the projects she’s worked on recently, and showed her film, Hidden Inside Mountains. The film was mostly atmospheric light effects—no actual lights used, mind you, just projections against billowing cloth, screens, figures, window frames.

The actors were all twins and triplets, all remained silent; text would flash on the screen in Japanese and English. Typical Laurie Anderson fare: Curious gnomic statements, sometimes dramatic, usually quirky, mostly in plain, everyday language. The soundtrack featured singer Antony’s bizarre androgynous warbling, as well as a lot of crackling feedback and drones, which are fine by me.

Anderson was disarmingly direct, claiming to have no answers, little insight into why she does what she does—mostly suggesting that people need to remember to enjoy themselves.