Saturday, September 04, 2010

A Wildness

-for Michael and Robert

Nearly in the sea like "water is in water,"
Land within land, dreams with dreams

But then there are things we see with our desire
The deaths we are also with, apart inside us

Swell sometimes, speak to me a barometric
Of address and the consequences of not speaking

Of withdrawing from what we say, to another
Wilderness the dark will not pray for us

The dark will be a ground we recover in the night
Illegitimate, turning to those other bodies

Those others who are the only spirit, the only health
We will have known, going to them like conditions

To imbibe the harm that also involves us
Like forms for an approaching wreck.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Lauren Kelley, Adam Pendleton, Deana Lawson, and Sharon Hayes (@ Art21)


My last art destination this past weekend was PS.1.’s Greater New York show. Though I saw the show when it first opened (and meant to write about it then), I’m glad I am writing about it now after the smoke has cleared, the scathing reviews (such as this one) have been published, the verdicts passed, etc. A lot of works I had first seen in the show and not paid much attention to I had a new appreciation for, such as Leidy Churchman’s Painting Treatments, featuring bodies being covered in paint and other materials, and Ishmael Randall Weeks’s installation of architectural models and other architectural paraphernalia. But for the most part, I realized that there were a handful of works that I most wanted to return to and spend more time with, having had to speed through them during my first visit to the show.

Why Poets Theatre Now?

Here is my review-essay of The Kenning Anthology of Poets Theater 1945-1985, ed. David Brazil and Kevin Killian, at PAJ: art + performance.

My initiatory experience of “poets theatre” occurred in the fall of 2002. Writers, scholars and artists were gathered at SUNY-Buffalo for a conference called Prose Acts, which focused on the West Coast literary and cultural movement now commonly referred to as New Narrative. Among the participants in the conference, organized by music and art critic Brandon Stosuy, were Dennis Cooper, Eileen Myles, Robert Gluck, kari edwards, Matthew Stadler, Lawrence Ytzhak Braithwaite, Dodie Bellamy, and Kevin Killian. At the close of the conference, Kevin Killian staged his play The Vegetable Kingdom (co-written with the San Francisco-based designer, Rex Ray). In The Vegetable Kingdom, the participants of a game show with the same name as the play, go in search of Linda McCartney who one of the participants claims to be her biological mother. On the way, the game show’s co-hosts attempt to pit McCartney against her arch-nemesis, Yoko Ono. This attempt culminates in a hilarious scene in which a stoned-out-of-her-mind McCartney and super mystical Ono face-off. The dialogue is peppered with witty plays on pop cultural reference (one of Killian’s signatures) and high camp humor. The result is a carnivalesque, topsy-turvy post-identity politics play paved by critical intelligence.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Bidoun Magazine's Library and Brion Gysin at the New Museum (@ Art21)


Also moving in the exhibition were documentary materials tracing Gysin’s longtime friendship with William Burroughs who, in a video included in the exhibit, laments that Gysin’s work was not more supported and economically rewarded in the artist’s lifetime. Among these materials were Burroughs’s film collaboration with Gysin, Towers Open Fire and a series of letters and papers responding to Gysin’s discovery of the “cut-up” composition technique. Though I have long heard repeated Burroughs’s famous dictum that language is a “virus from outer space,” I don’t think I fully understood the meaning of this phrase before encountering his letters with Gysin regarding cut-up, in which Burroughs argues for a kind of writing that will not only provide language with a new content (software), but which may actually change the hardware.

Blogging at Art21

I will be blogging at Art21 for the next two weeks.