All notes with the topic Wanderings | Notes on Looking

Musing on Blue Violets

  I sent a long love letter to someone; I sent it to the wrong person. The wrong person responded as the right person. It was difficult to read. I was reading words to me as if I were the right person. She responded with an open heart; she exposed herself with little hesitation, tore down her own walls, answered where the other person was supposed to. She took my words as hers, gave her words to me, exposing me further after thinking I had nothing left to give. She believed in her response, forcing me to believe in it just the same, denying me my ability to look away. I owed her my attention. I reread my letter. The places where she once never existed, I could now only see her. Was I there that night he speaks of? Of course I was, or else he would not speak of it; and I would not have this response to offer him. If this is what he meant, then this is what he shall receive from me. I was certain I was there that night and that she was not; it was before I even knew her. But now there she was, there in my words. I read about her, in that moment meant for someone else. There was nothing I could do. I had to be honest and say it wasn’t meant for you, that I had made a mistake. She said she didn’t believe in mistakes. I said I make them often; she said she didn’t believe that either. I thought about what I had written while...

Elvis and the Phoenix heat

In 1990, the good people of the European Union voted It’s Now or Never,  by Elvis as the greatest rock n’ roll song ever. Ain’t that something? Elvis Presley, ladies and gentlemen. The time is 2:30 AM. The dj’s voice carries over the sound of the mixer as it beats my dough. Fifty pounds of mix makes fifty dozen doughnuts. It’s Monday, so I’ll only do this twice tonight, making a hundred dozen doughnuts total, plus another thirty dozen cakes and old fashioneds. I look across the table and up the wall to where the radio hangs from a nail. It is 2:35 now, and according to the thermometer, it’s 110 degrees in the kitchen. I put my cigarette on the edge of my work surface, and walk out to the sales counter. The store is bright, and empty. The AC is on out here, and I stand in the cool, thinking about an entire continent taking time to vote for Best Song. What must it be like there, I wondered? I remember the dough, now idling in the mixer, I remember my cigarette on the table; I worry briefly about neglecting them both, and then I sink back into my own mind, and think about the dj, and what he said. His manner is direct, intimate, and his voice is reassuring. In my mind, he knows what he has to say, so he says it. I am not so sure of my voice. I think about those Europeans and their vote. I think that I love Now or Never because it has been given certainty. It’s not only a song, or even a hit, it’s the best, the best song...

Purple crystal from 1989

  Pervert. You know that guy was AIDS and he probably gave it to you. It burned up his throat and he can’t talk. We put him out as bait. You couldn’t resist. We’ve been watching this park for a while now, tracking perverts like you. We weren’t having sex, that would have come later. I touched his dick with my hand and spoke to him. He was pale blonde, and had blonde facial hair. He looked very sweet. He nodded without speaking, and looked away. I wasn’t surprised to be arrested. Now and again they would focus on a different area and arrest all the guys. Or as many as they could. I didn’t think it would happen to me, but at the same time, I expected it. It’s just what happened. I moved to Phoenix a few days later. I never did get arrested in Phoenix.  ...

Appreciating William T. Wiley

I saw a piece by William Wiley this weekend, at the Santa Monica Auctions preview. Wiley is a funny artist. His work is a little old-fashioned, but for reasons that are good: Wiley’s work is engaged with the world he sees and lives in. It is committed to an irony that is not self-reflexive but is evidence of a skeptical relationship to the larger world. His paintings and works on paper target political figures, environmental concerns, personal life, the art world, and culture. It seems charmingly naive right now to work the way Wiley does, to not announce in scare quotes in one’s art that with this present action, one is making Art. Wiley uses language in his paintings and drawings, in titles and in the bodies of the work. His titles are often acerbic moments of wordplay that lampoon current events, somewhat in the manner of a political cartoonist. In his drawings and paintings he will sometimes script a running commentary that, for me, disrupts my experience as a solitary viewer and places the artist himself in my face and ear and mind. It is also true that Wiley’s paintings and drawings are beautiful, for he is an amazing technician. As an artist, Wiley seems skeptical of the art world, and his work is often critical of art world pretensions. Yet Wiley is not an outsider. He’s been in a Whitney and a Carnegie International. He’s represented the US in the Venice Biennale and Documenta V. William Wiley kind of kicks...

…turn left in 1000 feet. Destination will be on your right. (Notes on Looking email March 17, 2014)

Notes on Looking Contemporary Art in Los Angeles Be aware of the size and weight of your vehicle when you cross or enter traffic. http://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/cdl_htm/sec2.htm   TUESDAY   ZIPPER HALL VICKI RAY NEW TERRITORIES PIANO SPHERES  More here: http://pianospheres.org/   Ray’s selections for the evening’s recital include:   Christopher Cerrone – Hoyt-Schermerhorn Joseph Pereira – Six Settings for Solo Piano (world premiere) (Piano Spheres Commission) Donnacha Denneby – Stainless Staining (for piano and soundtrack) George Aperghis/arr. V. Ray – Recitation 9 Vicki Ray – The Waking (audience favorite from Spring 2013 poll) Vicki Ray – Jugg(ular)ling   “A pianist with a sparkling tone and a gripping rhythmic sense, Ray makes everything she touches a pleasure to listen to.”  (Mark Swed, LA Times)   “Vicki Ray is cinnamon toast with sriraca. I love love love hearing her play.” (Anonymous)   Remember, folks, that’s http://pianospheres.org/ WEDNESDAY   HERE, THERE STEPHEN COLLIER NATALIE JONES ADAM JANES Stephen Collier, Untitled, oil, enamel plywood, sheet rock, xerox, rubber eggs 60×48   ARTIST CURATED PROJECTS http://artistcuratedprojects.com/   https://www.facebook.com/events/610460262352370/ THURSDAY   DOWNTOWN PHOTOROOM INAUGURAL GROUP SHOW   From the slide series Biosphere II © Markus Krottendorfer, 2013   ONE SHOTS AND IMAGINES KAUCYILA BROOKE CLEGG & GUTTMANN MARKUS KROTTENDORFER SONIA LEIMER SHARON LOCKHART JOSEPHINE PRYDE MANDLA REUTER STEPHANIE TAYLOR    ORGANIZED BY CHRISTIAN MAYER   http://www.downtownphotoroom.com/    https://www.facebook.com/pages/DOWNTOWN-PHOTOROOM/178749198981011   SATURDAY JENNIFER SULLIVAN BIG GIRL PAINTINGS     5 CAR GARAGE   http://emmagrayhq.com/2014/tomorrow/jennifer-sullivan-march-22nd   https://www.facebook.com/events/368070069998923/   SUNDAY   Put on your best hat and wind your clock.   http://grooveshark.com/#!/s/Wind+Your+Clock/59N6Bn?src=5  ...

these things (Notes on Looking email from November 26, 2013

notes on looking contemporary art in los angeles SIMONE MONTEMURNO WHEN YOU SIGN YOUR NAME    November 22 through December 28 at metro pcs,  Los Angeles Chinatown 402 Ord Street, 2nd Floor, Suite D. 323-388-5650    http://metropcs.la/   Montemurno’s exhibition opened this past Friday, November 22. The gallery is open Saturdays, from noon to six pm, and by appointment. I recommend Montemurno’s exhibition to you. Indeed, having seen a show she curated at Sabina Lee Gallery, and work of hers at Untitled Art Projects…. I exhort you to pay When You Sign Your Name a visit. Have fun. Say “Hi” to Matt and Ian. photo by metro pcs   RACHEL ROSE SITTING FEEDING SLEEPING   I remember a nudibranch, it was plump and pretty and it glowed; it lived in darkness at the bottom of the sea, where every creature is blind.   I remember a bird, or possibly some other animal, who did not care that I existed; even though in my mind I stood close by and cared so much.   I remember a scene showing peacocks in a zoo, and a voice explaining zoo animals’ lives – or perhaps I’m mixing the film with a news story I heard later. No matter. This scene reminded me of the work of a friend, and so it connected directly to my life; whether by a wrong association or a long acquaintance doesn’t matter. I wondered about the ability of this film to open life to me, to open my life to me; this work of another, an artist with different goals than I, employing different means, and following different...