Something(s) I learned today
Apologies to Hüsker Dü for ripping off their title, or consider the title an homage to their spirit – whichever feels appropriate. (As a hero-worshiping queer, I offer you the very song live in Philly in 1983 via YouTube. Enjoy.)
Matt Chambers and Alexander Wolff are collaborating on an exhibition at Steve Turner, opening July 16. This I learned (more about) today. Shall I tell you stuff? Not now I shan’t! As I see it I have twenty-five days to tease you, to drop hints, upload the occasional image, and dangle a potent quote to two. How’s this one for example, “Our collaboration is only good because we fight so much. The paintings we delivered yesterday still look like they’re fighting!”
Quoting from the library’s website, “In 1929 Surrealist artist Max Ernst published the first of a series of collage novels.” and continuing, “This was to be ‘the ideal picture book of this age’, and the future was to leap forth from it. ‘Children’s eyes, wide with awe, that open like butterflies’ wings on the shore of a lake’. The time had now come – according to the introduction – for ‘the first hundred visions of fairies’. These prophetic words came from André Breton, the executuve director of surrealism.”
What a bizarre and lovely idea, that an anti-bourgeois, avant garde art movement might style their intellectual leader an “executive director.” Of course there is an overbearing quality to this also, as perhaps there was to Breton himself. There was an awful lot of exclusion among the members of that movement.
Cool images though. Link to bibliotheek website with additional images and informations.
Not meaning to, I have gotten hoovered up into the KB website and will share some of its glories with you. Yay.
BIG OLD HUGE LINK TO 2ND CANNONS PUBLICATIONS WHERE YOU MAY PURCHASE “ALICE COOPER / SUZI SIMPSON” FOR YOURSELF. MAKE CERTAIN THAT YOU DO.
IF YOU’RE ASKING ME, I’LL QUOTE IGGY POP, “BANG BANG – I GOT MINE!“
YUP, AS ALWAYS THE FIRST COPY (IN AN UNNUMBERED EDITION OF 500) HAS MY PAYPAL ALL OVER IT.
A bit of a quote from Christopher Bollen interviewing Kelley Walker in April, 2010 Interview Magazine:
“CB: And now you’ve also added Whitney Houston to your visual lexicon, reprinting every frame from her music video for “How Will I Know.”
KW: In some respects the piece comes from a very embarrassing place. It’s an embarrassing image, which I think prevents it from becoming so easily sublimated-it doesn’t play the sort of cool game like, say, [Jean-Luc] Godard as an image. It’s also a silly song. And there is something amazing and extremely tragic about Whitney Houston that is very American.
CB: When did she first creep into your work?
KW: I was doing a show at Power House in Memphis. It was two weeks before the opening, and they were becoming very nervous about my works. Two of the pieces were already purchased by museums and the insurance the gallery had to carry was really high.
CB: They were worried the chocolate would melt?
KW: There was no climate control, so they refused. So I basically made new work. I bought Whitney Houston’s The Greatest Hits and printed every video still.”
Another thing that I learned today: Christopher Wool takes awkward photographs of his work for his website and this ‘works’ better than pro-perfect shots. Good to know. Since representation isn’t the original (work of art), perhaps less attention to credibility of simulacrum will pay off. When a viewer has work to do in imagining, a better notion of the piece might be communicated? (It helps that Wool makes really super cool looking pictures anyway that he does it.)
brief break so you can look while i continue……
xo and soon
A couple more Kelley Walker pix and then, well, more.
A friend recommended I check out the Kelley Walker exhibitions to which I have linked and from which I have grabbed images today. My tales of my Guyton/Walker mission of conceptual understanding tugged at his heartstrings. He alerted me to the press release for Walker’s 2009 show at Capitain Petzel. Which is here linked for those who are curious.
I think, or have thought, of this work as really, really dry. Plus it hurts me to consider, knowing as little as I do of printing processes. I tried in my “On The Road With Guyton/Walker” posts to get my little head around the ideas – bumpy was my road, but enlightening still. However, I got all caught up in the apparent cold-blooded smartness of what I was seeing.
The Whitney Houston work bumped my head off its holier-than-the-work perch and I had a revelation of sorts, well it went like this in my story-making mind:
“Gee, I thought his (Walker’s) stuff was all cold and conceptual. Irony laden, even. But look! Imagine yourself a queer boy, a teen or twenty-something, coming out into a world where Whitney’s ‘How Can I Tell’ is the song of the day, of your (and of my) kind. Young Walker-dude is smart to discern the falsehoods and emptinesses that are delivered by such promising images. (Images are at best and at worst advertisements, nothing more, he tells himself. Do not put feeling there nor accept meaning from there.) BUT, he also notices that along with/behind/after/inside (if you can desaturate the culture from her presence) the Whitney on the screen, on the floor, plastered in posters, dancing singing being black and fine and and and and just….. being used…. up – breaks his (my) queer little heart. ‘And there is something amazing and extremely tragic about Whitney Houston that is very American,’ Walker said in Interview.”
In his press release Walker notes the nascence of unregistered queer private dance clubs in NY in the 1970s. The progenitor of this model was “Love Saves the Day” at The Loft in 1970. He also notes (and further research helps me understand) the method of printing called CMYK, which makes use of a background such as paper (neutral or white in color) and applies colorants to subtract portions of the reflected white light creating (in our eyes or other detector) color. Whew.
Um, start with the white room of a gallery, add standing screens printed with colorants taken from video stills of your fave tragic singer’s MTV hit, arrange them in a fashion that pleases you (in the case of the CP show in 2010 these were arranged sequentially) add viewers, and you’ve got a portrait. If not of the singer then certainly of the method and means used to create her as a color saturated cultural substrate, from which that same culture would capture the reflected light. Soul-killing indeed.
I could go on about culturally normative queerness also being a soul killer, but I’ll let you think about that one on your own.
Link to Contemporary Art Daily 2010 exhibition announcement with more info to add to CP press release.
Thanks friend for the recommendation.