All notes from Archives | Notes on Looking

Sandeep Mukherjee: Mutual Entanglements

As I sat staring at the pattern on the back of the seat in front of me during a three-hour flight from Houston to Los Angeles, I contemplated Sandeep Mukherjee’s impressive painting installation, Mutual Entanglements, at Chimento Contemporary, the last art exhibition I saw before leaving on a four-day trip to Florida to visit my family. I was without a book or a pen during the flight; all I had was the back of the seat and my mind’s wanderings. Bus, train, and plane upholstery share common features. They are designed in hideous patterns in order to complicate the eye’s perception, disallowing the passenger to recognize the dirt and grime built up over months and years of excessive use. Often multi-colored grids or complicated crossed eye-inducing patterns, public transportation seat fabric pushes the viewer’s gaze out as it holds everything in. Mukherjees’s paintings are not hideous. They are physical, finely tuned palimpsests of dignified expression. Imagine a landscape pulled apart, ripped and torn, piled up and spread flat. Ten large panels cover two adjacent walls, forming a wide V with a Serra-like effect that dwarfs the viewer and echoes the massive weight of steel from afar. I am pulled forward. Gradually, the heaviness dissipates; the thin, errant edges and misaligned contours of the individual panels reveal their independence while holding onto solidarity through color and a general schema. The deceptively thin material provides a sturdy enough surface for the rigorous but gracefully applied array of mixed media resting on top of one another. Melded markings, mulch, foliage too thick to traverse—one must find another access point. I remember sitting...

Dominic Quagliozzi: Poems

Part A (2006) Middle ground obscurity Faceless outside of the crowd. Disabled to the point of acceptance Accepted to the point of disability. Juggling seasons of unrest with excitement of discovery is too lofty for any man. Real world expectations to death I am one man within two. Remind me which one you know.   Part B (2015) The welcome of a hero Isolation was the most crowded affair. This mighty end to the Mighty struggle met with a gracious and accepting host. A continuation through an end, the unconscionable excitement too lofty for any man. Strangers welcomed within as the party of life rages on I am one man, containing two. Remind me which one you...

“But all I can see is Red, red, red, red, red now What am I gonna do” : William Kaminski’s Haunted Heck

What is sleep you ask, what is dream I ask, what is real you reply. Being scared makes you freeze, makes your body shut, having fear means there’s an action to be taken, fear is a bravery you need to work through. I was reminded that there is also terror, terror makes fear breakable, terror shakes you to the core of your being and never leaves you be. We were the first in line for the second night of LIVE THRU THIS KURT COBAIN HAUNTED HECK. We decided to enter sober. Standing in front of the red corridor, you asked me to hold your hand. I said I would never let go. I reassured myself. It would be too obvious for a ghost to enter a haunted house; they have more fun inside our beds. I was wrong. We smiled at the tiara-wearing girl (Hole – Live Through This) in the entrance and walked in. I asked you if you want to be in front of me or behind me; you moved to my front, taking my arms above your shoulders and crossing them over your heart. Your upper back was on my chest, my chin was above your head; walking with spread legs, I realized I couldn’t protect you even if I wanted to. Passing through the first room where Kurt was sitting on a toilet making sick noises, we had to almost touch him in order to maneuver our now-one-body through the room, startled by our reflection in the bathroom mirror. We entered into Courtney’s closet – she came out of the rack and started shouting, you...

Jay Erker: Living Together

This doesn’t mean as much as you might think; or it could mean a lot, if you want it to. It’s been awhile since I have written anything so I really have to bite into this one. Literally. I bit into the wall of Jay Erker’s show. I left my bottom teeth marks on the outside of a small window cut-out and the impression of my top teeth on the inside. I could sense what she wanted: for me to not be afraid of doing what I felt like doing. I shouldn’t be uncomfortable, or feel like I didn’t belong. Therefore, there was no reason to act accordingly, as in the way I felt I needed to act at the previous four galleries I had visited earlier that day. I sank my teeth into the wall where images had been sketched by the artist and other patrons who attended the opening. I was surprised by the near lack of bathroom humor; given the artist’s anarchistic and gratifyingly crude behavior. There was some though. The other opening is a dick fest, someone scribbled confidently. Eat Pray Love, wrote another. The latter was less offensive, but perhaps that’s because I haven’t seen the end of the movie and sadly I’ve been to plenty of dick fests. Moments after sitting down with Jay, with her magnetic disposition and a demeanor that fluctuates between extremely serious and socially-conscious and carefree, articulate and bad ass (I am not sure if those are even opposites), we were drinking whiskey and talking inconclusively about community in relation to our art practices. She is studying to become...

The Rational Dress Society presents: JUMPSUIT, a manifesto

The Rational Dress Society presents: JUMPSUIT, a manifesto We, the members of the Rational Dress Society, propose JUMPSUIT: a single, multi-use garment to replace all clothes in perpetuity. We suggest that the rejection of choice (otherwise defined as the yoke of relentless consumption within the capitalist paradigm) might open us up to new possibilities and better ways of living. What if you never had to pick out an outfit again? In the nineteenth century, apparel production was standardized and ready-to-wear clothes were produced in greater quantities. For the first time, people were able to conceive of fashion as a site of mass social intervention. The feminist dress reform movement of the 1850’s marks the beginning of modern counter-fashion. The Victorian crinoline and corset were heavy, binding garments that limited mobility. Feminist reformers believed that fashion was a conspiracy to render women physically dependent on men by restricting their movements, thereby cultivating a slave mentality. Women like Susan B. Anthony and Amelia Bloomer were among the first to envision a model of clothing that would bridge the gap between the sexes. Fifty years after the debut of the Bloomer, women began to wear pants in larger numbers. The 20th century offers many examples of avant-garde and utopian experiments in dress, from the Tuta of the Italian Futurists, to the collectivist garments of the early kibbutz movement. In 1971, the clothing retailer Nordstrom went public, marking the beginning of a new era in the fashion industry. The neoliberal economic policies of the 1970s and 1980s led to significant changes in the garment industry and the emerging dominance of global fashion conglomerates. The...