April 25, 2005

Soak it Up

A friend sends me a high five:

hey dude, quick note, I'm going to berlin this Monday until next monday the 2nd. Phil will be there installing a pardo show, and talk is robbie is going out too. What are you doing next week, Berlin? J

Jxxx, Phil, Robbie too? Yeah-heh!

So I cruise the airline websites: German Wings, no... BerlinAir too expensive... Easyjet yes!

I'll be in Berlin for the rest of the week! A great way to see the city, with friends.

Alas, Stephanie decided to stay behind: too much of a guy thing, living standards will be very sketchy: toothbrush in the pocket, don't know where we will sleep. Besides, there are a few things brewing here that she has to attend to (more on that later).

The last time I saw Jxxx, he said: "Don't blog everything we do, Dennis." Yes of course, I'll be discrete. Maybe I'll get to put black bars across the eyes in the fotos!

A 5 day excursion, and lots to do in the studio (a VIP studio visit soon, work for the show in August, requests for art fair work in the air...). What the hell. You only live once. Do everything, soak it up.

Posted by Dennis at 10:12 AM | Comments (0)

April 23, 2005

Ahora

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Cadmium Yellow Light just cracks me up.

Posted by Dennis at 7:13 PM | Comments (3)

April 22, 2005

Ahora

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Posted by Dennis at 4:07 PM | Comments (3)

Such is the Life

On the topic of studio angst, the first and last paragraphs to bookend " Automated Storyteller
The curse of the prolific author
By Andre Mayer
:


We have this enduring mental image of the author at work. He or she is sequestered in their den, hunkered in front of a typewriter. (The computer has been a tremendous boon to writers, but there?s just no romance in the phrase ?word processor.?) The cigarette on their lips has smouldered to the filter, they?re nursing their sixth cup of coffee and struggling to craft a sentence that won?t cause them to throw up their hands in futility and jettison the page to the wastepaper basket. Such is the life of an artist: intense, grueling and without exception, an ordeal...

What ensues a lively article about studio life. Funny stuff.

Then he winds it up with this:


...George Murray, a poet and co-editor of the literary blog Bookninja.com, sees the near-annual release of a new Stephen King novel as ?the literary equivalent of watching a skinny Japanese dude scarf down 100 hot dogs in an eating contest; you are kind of grossed out, but gotta hand it to him.? Murray harbors a unique theory about what distinguishes a genre writer like King from a so-called serious artist like Joyce Carol Oates. ?It seems with Oates the hotdog eater is a performance artist commenting on the nature of consumption and American hegemony,? Murray avers. ?With King it?s just a guy eating 100 hot dogs, then looking like he?s going to die of nitrate poisoning.?

Posted by Dennis at 3:40 PM | Comments (2)

Be Mistrustful of History

ArtNet reproduced the text of a Kuspit speech, a revised version of a lecture given at the SITAC (International Symposium on Contemporary Art Theory) conference in Mexico City in January 2005.

He is delivering the usual scholarly treatment to the problem of the contemporary and historical in art. It's not so bad. A pretty deep subject to be sure, one that requires a Kuspit to handle it. I think about how museums have come closer to galleries in their function... about how difficult it is to get a handle on just what happened as modernity became postmodern... about the dilated character of art today...

Here's the first paragraph:

The Contemporary and the Historical by Donald Kuspit

It has become excruciatingly difficult and even impossible to write a history of contemporary art -- a history that will do justice to all the art that is considered contemporary: that is the lesson of postmodernism. If writing history is something like putting the pieces of a puzzle together, as psychoanalyst Donald Spence suggests, then contemporary art is a puzzle whose pieces do not come together. There is no narrative fit between them, to use Spence's term, suggesting just how puzzling contemporary art is, however much its individual pieces can be understood.

Deeper into the essay, he pulls a memorable quotation:

"Be mistrustful of history," the Spanish poet Pere Quart wrote in his poem Ode to Barcelona, and he is right. "Dream it and rewrite it," he said, because it is only a dream -- a wish-fulfillment -- and thus never true to reality. History is an attempt to find consistency in -- to read consistency into -- the inconsistent contemporary. Replacing the healthy flexibility of the contemporary with the rigidity of history is an attempt to channel creativity in a certain direction and finally to control and even censor it.

Well, feel free to mistrust my own fevered dream of art history that I am about to unfurl for you now. I happen to have in my files, a diagram of how the modern evolved into the postmodern. It has a lot of problems, but alas! I think of Didion's words (colophon) as I look for the sermon in the suicide:

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In short, this is a description of how the modern became the postmodern in recent art history. Here are a few points to pin a few ideas together:

It is important to be able to define what it is to be modern. (It is amazing to me how many people in either the art or architecture worlds can't do this!) Here's my definition: To be modern is to reconcile the life you are lilving with the things you are making. This perspective is most certainly a reflection of my architecture undergraduate degree. The general view of the emergence of the modern in architecture is one of the disruption of the canon by rapidly developing modern technology. New building materials and techniques required an attempt to reconfigure a classical canon into a new (contemporary) one. Over time, efforts continued to fail as new innovations continued to disrupt any attempts to craft a stable narrative.

There are many other voices and narratives (one of the points of Danto's speech, as I uderstand it), but I tend to think of the modern project generally as a reach for transcendance, in blunt terms: to attempt to touch G-d through material means.

There was a crisis at the end of the fifties. Young artists like baby Warhol, baby Rauschenberg, Baby whoever-was-destined-to-contribute-to-Pop Art... they looked at the Rothkos, the DeKoonings and other greats and realized that they weren't going to touch G-d any better than the grizzled masters. So they took the Oedipal turn and flipped the paradigm:

Instead of touching G-d through material means, they endevored to touch everyday life through conceptual means.

I love the Lawrence Weiner quote: "We had to question the answers given to us in school." Artists at the end of the fifties and the beginning of the sixties questioned the answer of high modernism and flipped it on its head. A true revolution, Coprenican, like the invention of zero or negative integers. A cone of innovation reached an apotheosis and disappeared at its zenith. And what appeared was a raging mountain stream, a torrent of innovation that prized the conceptual over the material. Pop was followed by the Minimal, followed by the Conceptual, followed by Theory. The fruit of the postmodern tree was the conceptual, to be sure (Sol LeWitt, as far as I'm concerned). Art had to be dematerialized. It had to be in its essence, an idea. The stream flowed and broadened over time into a grand and stately river, soon into a slow and wide delta. That is where we are now: silted, fetid, and oozing out to sea, to be evaporated into oceanic clouds, ferried along the winds to mist the mountaintops.

Once again.

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And what of painting? Implicated by its materiality, dammed as the ultimate patriarch of art, painting had to play the fool to get along after the inversion of the pyramid/cone, the revolution. Painting had to decry itself: bad painting, the Homer Simpson guise, the anti-aesthetic, the turn of the volume of paint to zero, the monochrome, reductions of all sorts, the subordination of paint to other art forms (photography, for instance). To be a painter in the thirty years before the 90's, one had to hide the paint in one way or the other, one had to paint in alienation. And even in the resurgence of painting in the 90's some artists had to communicate in an infantile language (verbally and pictorially), or otherwise take cues from the graphic arts to rate relevance.

There should be no surprise then that Pop has a sustained relevance in our time. But we should be taken aback that an era such as this has lasted without its own critical overhaul, now surpassing fifty years! Have we stopped questioning the answers given to us in school, even the answers that happened to have started off as questions long ago?

It was as if that to be able to see the stars nearest the sun, we had to cover it up. The stars are the other art forms: installation, photography, performance et al. Painting is the sun. And over time, we forgot that we are standing there, hands aloft. To be sure, every argument requires artiface but we eventually mistook the artiface for fact. We took it for granted. We forgot about the sun.

?Que pena!

Posted by Dennis at 1:32 PM | Comments (6)

Decompression

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It took more hours than I had originally anticipated here in the hyperbaric chamber that is my studio to heft myself up to this painting. I don't know how the process of cognitive jelling works, it's just that usually, I can't just walk into a studio and bang out paintings. Instead, I have to do this writhing thing.

I'll spare you the details.

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On the way to painting this painting, I encountered other ones along the way.

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So I took a few notes and kept moving towards my destination, a mix of old school -the kind of painting done before coming to Spain, where flat screeds of paint prepare a ground with a sheet of wet pigment that usually initiated the work. Knocking one into the other, I hoped for some frission/fission.

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Posted by Dennis at 10:43 AM | Comments (1)

April 20, 2005

Ahora

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Posted by Dennis at 1:09 PM | Comments (0)

April 19, 2005

ZARDOZ

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(This is a screenshot of the great unsung John Boorman movie, Zardoz. A film as loved as much as it is mocked. By all means, see it for yourself and choose which side you're on.

I thought I had lost this and many other shots when my digital camera went nutty and swallowed them all up without a trace. And then one day, they inexplicably reappeared. And I took this as a sign to post them online.... on occasion. Someday, I'll post some kind of text and explicate... someday.)

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Posted by Dennis at 5:41 AM | Comments (0)

Bigger or Better

I should check out Terry Treachout's Artsjournal blog more often.

Take a look at this, in light of the commentary exchange Brent and I had in the last post:

My point wasn?t that plays were no longer worth writing, or that all new plays were bad: it was that in a mass culture, live theater is not a major player in the cultural conversation, simply by virtue of the fact that comparatively few people see it. To write a play is not an efficient way of attracting the attention of very large numbers of people, and the novel (by which I mean serious literary fiction, not The Da Vinci Code), it seems to me, is headed in the same direction.

Is that bad? Only if you?re the sort of ?artist? who treats your art as an instrumentality, a means of accomplishing something exterior to art and its true purposes. If you write plays (or serious novels) in order to advance a cause (or to make a lot of money), you?re probably wasting your time. If, on the other hand, your interest is in art for its own soul-illuminating sake, you?re in the right business. Merely because very large numbers of people don?t go to the theater doesn?t mean that plays aren?t worth writing and producing. Quite the contrary, it means that those of us who love theater?and I love it passionately?are thereby freed to concentrate on its unique properties, undistracted by secondary considerations.

Here's more, if you haven't hit the link yet:

All of us now living have grown up with the mass media, whose effect on art has been at once to democratize it and to distort the values of many artists. I?m for democratizing the arts?or, rather, democratizing access to the arts. I believe devoutly that far more people are capable of appreciating serious art than are currently experiencing it. I don?t believe, however, that everyone is capable of appreciating it, nor do I think that a work of art is in any sense better because it is being experienced by a larger number of people. Ubiquity is not the same thing as importance, and those who hanker after the former are unlikely to achieve the latter....

...One piece of good news is that arts journalism is being transformed before our eyes by the rise of Web-based new media?and just in the nick of time. The old mass media were and are zero-sum operations, as advocates of literary fiction have been discovering to their dismay in recent years. Allocate more space (or air time) to one topic and you have that much less space available for all other topics: novels compete with memoirs, classical music with jazz, theater with film, indie flicks with special-effects extravaganzas. Now that most of us live in one-newspaper towns, and now that newspapers themselves are struggling for survival, that?s turned into an iron law.

The Web is different: it permits you to publish a ?newspaper? or ?magazine? of your very own without having to pay for ink, paper, bricks, and mortar?much less a graduate degree in journalism. What it doesn?t guarantee, however, is that such ?newspapers? will ever be read by millions of people, or that their publishers will be able to give up their day jobs. Artblogging will never be a true mass medium because serious art doesn?t appeal to a mass audience. And what?s wrong with that? Bigger isn?t better, and the world doesn?t owe artists a living, much less critics and editors.

That's about right.

And he finishes this way:

Art isn?t religion, but it has something important in common with religion: it?s a form of soulcraft. Souls can only be changed one by one, and each one is as supremely important as the next. Hence there are no small audiences, only small-souled artists. Blessed are the arts that can be experienced by a mere handful of people at a time, for theirs is the kingdom of beauty at its most intense and precious.
Posted by Dennis at 12:10 AM | Comments (1)

April 17, 2005

Mug

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So I figure it's about time I turn the camera around for a self portrait.
And in doing so, I think of the words of Tony Cu?ha, my friend and photographer:

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"OK, Dennis. Face the camera."
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"Tilt your head forward a bit, it's a better angle."
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"And glare a little bit like 'I'm gonna get you'."
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He also said: "Smile like a criminal.", but I didn't want to this time.
UPDATE:
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Oooh I'm going to get you.

Cold Snap and the last chance to sport the chill protection stylin'. I start out with what I regard as my least flattering foto for what is essentially a vanity post -well the least I can do is end comically (but the cold this winter was no joke).

Posted by Dennis at 11:54 PM | Comments (3)

Faster, Please.

Awesome:

Thousands of previously illegible manuscripts containing work by some of the greats of classical literature are being read for the first time using technology which experts believe will unlock the secrets of the ancient world.

Among treasures already discovered by a team from Oxford University are previously unseen writings by classical giants including Sophocles, Euripides and Hesiod. Invisible under ordinary light, the faded ink comes clearly into view when placed under infra-red light, using techniques developed from satellite imaging.


click the related links too!

UPDATE: Here's the Oxyrhynchus Papyri website so you can keep abreast of the breaking discoveries to come.

Posted by Dennis at 12:59 PM | Comments (0)

April 16, 2005

Facts on the Ground

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BLOGPOST IN PROGRESS

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Posted by Dennis at 9:55 PM | Comments (0)

Ahora

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Posted by Dennis at 9:55 PM | Comments (0)

Clouds

non objective contraposto

a critical mass of contingency

Yellow hunks like the Van Gogh posters on classroom walls.

You can't do the same thing too long else you might not be able to see it.
So I work in different clustered arrangements, and one arrangement is layered over another.

Like looking at stars.

This critical mass thing is about an exact balance between density and economy*.

Just cut out everything that you don't like.

I tell myself...

* I remember typing a snide remark about an engineer's mentality... just look at me now: "density and economy".

well, well.

wretch that I am

Posted by Dennis at 9:55 PM | Comments (0)

April 15, 2005

Wrestling

Here's an article via ArtsJournal from which I could write a few blogposts. However at the moment, I've got so many blank canvases on the wall... and I'm pacing and fretting and scraping too much. Greco eyes.

It might look easy...

So this post serves to hand the link off (good stuff) and sidestep the essay impulse, offering instead a big FYI to the blogosphere and to underline a quote from William Kentridge in the last sentence of the article:

?No critic?s review of an exhibition has ever been harsher than what that artist has dreamt up at 3a.m. on his own.?
Posted by Dennis at 7:45 PM | Comments (7)

April 14, 2005

Scrape Off

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Start all over again.

from Brent Hallard's recent comment:

But for him they were not good enough. He would tell me about this idea that he wanted to make this something, something that you just couldn?t help staring at--that helped or held your attention with the minimum of effort. I thought a tall order.

Thanks, Brent.

Posted by Dennis at 3:06 PM | Comments (2)

April 13, 2005

Giving Hoots

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So now, I take a harder look at the agenda:


* who has been given, and who has taken, voice in the recent text-based mini-boom?

Giving and taking a voice? How paternalist! It's like asking for your allowance. Or taking it. It brings to mind the beginning of "Sideways" where Paul Giamatti's Miles taps in to his mother's secret money stash. And then the tempo slows down sadly (reminding me of Leaving Las Vegas) as Miles lingers on the family fotos in the wreckage of his debasement.

If you got a voice, sing.
After that, it's all gravy.

It's just that simple.


* how have blogs and other electronic and web-based delivery systems challenged the traditional printed page?

The challenge to the printed page has happened only in the bigger media-verse (NYT et al). In the artworld, either it hasn't happened (although there are many more art bloggers out there, thank G-d) or has yet to happen or it won't happen. Since the artworld is powered by prestige, the humblness of a weblog won't topple the social architecture of the traditional printed page and all that goes with it.

But it might fill in the gaps, doing things that the big art media can't do. And that's alot.

Or maybe I'm wrong. Maybe it will challenge by being more alive. Why not?


* how do these initiatives distribute activism, gossip and ?conventional? criticism?

Distribute activism?

Distribute?

(I sense an engineer's mentality.)


* what has happened to the question of ?style??

A question for the ages, convulsively asked in every generation.


* what part do institutions, academies and local communities play in all this?

(Shake it off, Dennis.)
Well.... what parts can we invite them to play?

Lemme see...

They can reinvest into publishing (PRUESSPRESS!) by irrigating flegling presses with money, backing projects, more discussions, more symposia like this one.. they can get more active in the exchange of ideas. You know, the institutions can reinvest to serve the dialog, and don't just take the ticket price and pad your 401K's.

UPDATE: Here's Rupert Murdoch on the role of newspapers in the digital age.

I just saw a report that showed Google News?s traffic increased 90 percent over the past year while at the excellent New York Times website, traffic decreased 23 percent. The challenge for us ? for each of us in this room ? is to create an internet presence that is compelling enough for users to make us their home page. Just as people traditionally started their day with coffee and the newspaper, in the future, our hope should be that for those who start their day online, it will be with coffee and our website.

To do this, though, we have to refashion our web presence. It can?t just be what it too often is today: a bland repurposing of our print content. Instead, it will need to offer compelling and relevant content. Deep, deep local news. Relevant national and international news. Commentary and Debate. Gossip and humor.

If there are any qualities that maintstream media shares with artworld media, then this speech is a goldmiine (see UPDATE2 below). I suggest this guardedly because of the special differences between the art world and the mainstream media, but they share institutional similarities and there is a shared population. A public that's changed for the mainstream media has also changed for the little-big artworld.


* have these ventures disturbed or simply rearticulated ideas of the local, the metropolitan, the regional and the international or global?

Or outer spacery or even farther?

Rearticulation is never simple. It's a heartbreaker. Don't do it, son. It'll be disturbing if you venture in that way.

UPDATE: Thinking about the Murdoch link above, check out his divisions:

-Deep, deep local news.

-Relevant national and international news.

-Commentary and Debate.

-Gossip and humor.

(blogs perform three of these functions)

***

Ideas. Yes.

More, please.

Faster, faster.

UPDATE2:
Unpacking the Murdoch speech, looking for the fruit of his brainstorm
(if not a goldmine, at least it's a copper mine):

The challenges of the online world
Rupert Murdoch
April 14, 2005

First he defines the new consumer:

I think we need to better understand the mindset of the digital native. What do they want to know, and where will they go to get it?

-They want news on demand, continuously updated.

-They want a point of view about not just what happened, but why it happened.

-They want news that speaks to them personally, that affects their lives. They don?t just want to know how events in the Mideast will affect the presidential election; they want to know what it will mean at the gas-pump. They don?t just want to know about terrorism, but what it means about the safety of their subway line, or whether they?ll be sent to Iraq.

-They want the option to go out and get more information, or to seek a contrary point of view.

-And finally, they want to be able to use the information in a larger community ? to talk about, to debate, to question, and even to meet the people who think about the world in similar or different ways.

***

Then, he figures out what has to change and where the opportunities are:

...we must challenge ? and reformulate ? the conventions that so far have driven our online efforts.

-( our internet site to be a...) the place for conversation. The digital native doesn?t send a letter to the editor anymore. She goes online, and starts a blog. We need to be the destination for those bloggers. We need to encourage readers to think of the web as the place to go to engage our reporters and editors in more extended discussions about the way a particular story was reported or researched or presented.

-Strapping on bloggers and new media to the old media... the concept of using bloggers to supplement daily coverage of news on the net. .. broadening our coverage of the news; giving us new and fresh perspectives to issues; deepening our relationship to the communities we serve. (So long as our readers understand the distinction between bloggers and our journalists, and so long as proper safeguards are utilized, this might be an idea worth exploring.)

-the converging media audio/visual frontier (tomorrow, ordinary people like bloggers will have the presentational capacity of today's media giants- what will this mean?)

-online marketplace: advertizing and (classified?)

Posted by Dennis at 3:18 PM | Comments (2)

Laboratory Paintings

Young Alberto (+-22 yrs.) stopped to hand over the ARCO catalogs that Aaron gave me this Winter. Thickly muscled and a boyish smile, Alberto is an young artist from Tossa, going to school in Barcelona. He's taking a break from the university because since his mother died, his little brother has become quiet.

Alberto is taking the time to draw out his little brother.

Alberto knows that he has to get out into the big art cities: Berlin, London, NY or LA someday. In the meantime, an art fair catalog will have to do. And it looks like something clicked. Alberto wants to start a kind of painting that he calls "laboratory paintings", this as he forms a circle with his hands, gazing through them into a painting in his imagination.

He wants to begin by painting perfect.... perfect circles. We talked about science and art. We spoke of perfection and what it might mean to be human. We talked of craft and strategy and what that might mean.

I say: You go, Alberto. Go for it young friend.

Posted by Dennis at 3:17 PM | Comments (1)

Talking about Writing about Art in LA

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I'ved been checking out Art.Blogging.LA more regularly nowadays and this morning, I came across this little tidbit:


Are We On the Same Page? :: Panel Discussion

Everyone might not be able to agree about art publications in Los Angeles, at least it seems that the topic of the need for Los Angeles publications is in full force. (See the "Art Criticism Panel Today" at artLA and the recent "Arts Journalism" panel last month). Well get ready because here goes another one - this time focusing on independent publishing on the arts in Los Angeles. It's a diverse line-up of people and I think, or I hope anyway, that this will provide some focus and in-sight into people who are doing writing about art with a DIY touch.

Are We On The Same Page? :: LA art journals, artists? publications and independent publishers & imprints
Sunday 17 April starting at 4pm
@ LACE (?Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions) - 6522 Hollywood Blvd.

The Southern California Consortium of Art Schools (SoCCAS) is pleased to present, in conjunction with Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, a panel discussion featuring representatives from eight Los Angeles-based independent arts publishing initiatives: Afterall (Tom Lawson), art.blogging.la (Caryn Coleman), Bedwetter (Christopher Russell), Semiotext(e) (Mark von Schlegell), The Journal of Aesthetics and Protest (Robby & Marc Herbst), the Rambler (Joel Mesler), Tongues (Raquel Gutierrez), and X-TRA (Jan Tumlir). The panel will be moderated by historian and critic, Juli Carson (UCI).

For my eyes, it read: "...blah blah blah Tom Lawson blah blah blah Mark von Schlegell (!) blah blah blah Joel Mesler (!!) blah blah blah Jan Tumlir..." Then I got a little excited, reading on:

"Are We On The Same Page?" brings together for the first time a group of innovative publishing ventures spanning a wide range of initiatives from semi-commercial magazines and journals to alternative blogs, zines and broadsheets. Despite the fact that Artforum started life here in the mid-1960s, the nation?s second city has long been viewed as a place where art publications are occasionally kick-started, only to wither on the bough. This afternoon?s event looks to challenge this received wisdom. Some of the questions on our agenda:

* who has been given, and who has taken, voice in the recent text-based mini-boom?
* how have blogs and other electronic and web-based delivery systems challenged the traditional printed page?
* how do these initiatives distribute activism, gossip and ?conventional? criticism?
* what has happened to the question of ?style??
* what part do institutions, academies and local communities play in all this?
* have these ventures disturbed or simply rearticulated ideas of the local, the metropolitan, the regional and the international or global?

Muy bien, hombres.

Then clicking the link, I find little bios on my pals:


Mark von Schlegell's art criticism and science fiction have appeared internationally. In L.A., his work has appeared in Art/Text, X-tra, Afterall, The Journal of Aesthetics and Protest, and the Rambler. His work with Semiotext(e) began around 2000, when he edited large portions of the Hatred of Capitalism reader. Since then, he?s been on the ground floor as Semiotext(e) begins to reposition itself for change. His first novel, Venusia, comes out in October as the first work in Semiotext(e)?s new line of science fiction.

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I look forward to reading it soon! But what does it mean to be "on the ground floor" at Semiotext(e)?

Here is a description of Venusia from the Semiotext(e) website:

It's the end of the twenty-third century. Earth has violently self-destructed. Venusia, an experimental off-world colony, survives under the enlightened totalitarianism of the Princeps Crittendon regime. Using industrialized narcotics, holographic entertainment, and memory control, Crittendon has turned Venusia into a self-sustaining system of relative historical inertia. But when mild-mannered junk dealer Rogers Collectibles finds a book about early Venusian history, the colony -- once fully immersed in the present -- begins losing its grip on the real. With his Reality-V girlfriend Martha Dobbs, neuroscop operator Sylvia Yang, his midget friend Niftus Norrington, and a sentient plant, Rogers wages a war to alter the shape of spacetime, and in the process, revisions the whole human (and vegetable) condition.

(his midget freind Niftus? This, I gotta read.)

And now, Joel's bio:


Joel Mesler received a MFA for Fine Art from SFAI, but when he moved back to Los Angeles in 2000 he found his interests lay in the organization and dissemination of art production. Mesler began to define himself as an artist of ephemera. He founded Diannepruess gallery in Chinatown, an important early space in the area and began to publish books and music. By 2002, he decided to convert the gallery into a full-time press. Since then Pruess Press, from its new location on Bernard Street, has pioneered alternative artworld distribution and resisted high-market gentrification of art production, producing artist prints by international and local artists, publishing the Rambler newspaper and assorted artist books, launching the film company 2/3/2 studios (already with four productions behind it), a record label and producing the web-site pruesspress.com.

Funny, the tag as "an artist of ephemera"... I'm still chewing on it. And I think I broke a tooth on "...organization and dissemination of art production...". Jeez.

But it would be very nice to sit in on the discussion.... ah well.

Posted by Dennis at 12:00 PM | Comments (0)

Dan at Iconoduel

Have you been checking out Dan's blog, Iconoduel?

Interesting.

A snip:

Bois entertains a number of approaches to the painting, ranging from what might be considered a psychological approach to the artist's intent and a textual reading of the work's title in terms of existentialist thought current among the Ab-Ex painters, to more purely formalist concerns and consideration of the work's phenomenal appearance to viewers (with various technical notes pertinent to this), all of which points appear tightly connected. Bois' main purpose is the consideration of the painting as a pivotal work in Newman's oeuvre.

(The second essay, devoted to Newman's Galaxy, is far shorter and more strictly focused on matters formal and technical. An earlier Bois lecture covering both works can be found here.)

Whatever you ultimately think of Bois' take on Newman, please at least consider this essay in terms of our previous discussion: (1) the quality of writing and critical use of unnecessary or tedious jargon; (2) the critic's deference to artist and object; (3) his concern for historical context and significance; (4) critical understanding of technical methods and material history; and (5) our ability to incorporate or recuperate (if deemed necessary) Bois' thoughts into a more object-centered discourse and whether Bois brings anything at all of value to the table. Forget, for the moment at least, the question of the role of judgment in criticism, which is, I think, a far bigger question than just that of the value of theory (and possibly marginal as concerns the relation of theory to art history).

Last, but not least, tell me if you can: is there joy in Bois' soul?

Wow, actual criteria for criticism:

(1) the quality of writing and critical use of unnecessary or tedious jargon;

(2) the critic's deference to artist and object;

(3) his concern for historical context and significance;

(4) critical understanding of technical methods and material history; and

(5) our ability to incorporate or recuperate (if deemed necessary) Bois' thoughts into a more object-centered discourse and whether Bois brings anything at all of value to the table.

Posted by Dennis at 3:06 AM | Comments (0)

Yesterday's Lunch

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A big shout out to Dean Geleynse for sending me an autographed copy of Yoshitomo Nara's MOCA Cleveland catalog.

A lunchtime delivery. Thank you, sir.

An excerpt:

The moment the works have found their way into the world and take their place before an audience is by no means a proud one. I don't believe everyone responds to my art with an open mind, nor do I expect this. Although I do believe that on this little planet there are people who, in hte face of all obstacles, truely understand one another. They transcend differences of language, race, and culture to share a zeitgeist of mutual respect. While it may be merely a question of being the same age, or sharing the same interests, the fact that people can value one another deserves nothing but our gratitude.

I would be happy if the world could respond to my work with a spirit that transcends mere art history or criticism.

But there are always those people who would rather decieve. Ignorant of what is genuine, they flash their big grins in the face of human suffering.

Ah, I must stop complaining, since nothing will come of it.
Somehow or other, as long as the feeling lasts, I plan to continue giving shape to the things in my heart; I will endeavor to practice my art to the utmost of my powers.
This practice is not for the sake of others, but to reveal to myself, as faithfully as possible, what it means to be alive today.

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(Pic from Dean Geleynse featuring Tracey, Yoshitomo, Jason and Dean himself.)
Right after the K21 opening, Yoshitomo attends his show at MOCA Honolulu. Dean writes: "The show looks great.... really great installation, Nara himself layed out the exhibition. As a special bonus, Nara and some 6 local Hawaii artists built this installation together, its a hut.....that was very cool.....It looks like a artist studio with papers, discards laying around..... That was my favorite in the show.".

Muy bien, se?or.

And here's a review too.

Plus: Thanks too, to Michael Zink, a very smart and amiable gallerist from Munich who sent me the replacement copy of the K21 catalog.

Posted by Dennis at 1:20 AM | Comments (1)

April 12, 2005

Pendulum, Swing.

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Big news.

We have been thinking about this for some time now. In fact, this was built into our plans from the beginning, it's just that we didn't know how long we would be staying in Spain on this first swing of the pendulum. Sometime around the winter holidays, we began to ask just how long we will be staying in Tossa before we return to Los Angeles. We took three months to chew on the question and now we have an answer:

We are planning to return to Los Angeles this Fall, that is, October to have a date to plan by.

(!)

For those of you who either don't already know about us and are trying to assess just where Dennis Hollingsworth is coming from, here's the overall madness for the method of living between Southern California and Catalonia: Our dream is to split our time between the United States and Europe. Back in the beginnning of the 90's we strained to buy a little cabin of a shingled house on an overgrown hillside overlooking metropolitain Los Angeles. It was crazy at the time, but we did it. Then, at the end of the nineties at the height of the dot com boom, we followed the lead of my family and purchased this property in Tossa de Mar. It was totally nutty and in time, it turned out to be the very best possible investment at that moment. And in that moment, we formulated the ambition to live in both places. Perhaps it will be summers in the Costa Brava and winters in sunny California. Perhaps it will be year for year. Who knows? But first thing's first, and we know that the time is ripe for building the foundation for this dream to come true one day.

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When we left Los Angeles back in 2003, we didn't know how long we would be gone. We rented out our house to friends and stashed our stuff in the attic and basement and we were off, eastbound. Stephanie had a job offer in Dallas. She wanted to experience the retail side of the fashion industry. (That's about when Dean Terry helped me create this blog.) We knew that the company was undergoing an ambitious restructuring but little did we know then that it would last two more years before it was sold to Koreans as it imploded. Six months into that experience and we had asked ourselves just what we were waiting for, so we pushed on Eastward for Spain.

We didn't know exactly how long we would be here, but we knew that we had to return to Los Angeles someday. At the very least, we have a house in LA for Christsakes. And sure, shivering through the coldest Winter in Tossa in 25 years, might have contributed to the idea of a return next Fall. Among the improvements that we will have to do to this building in Tossa over the next few years is to build out the heating system, that's for sure.

There are many reasons for a return this Fall. Stephanie's got ganas in the states for her work as a design director in the fashion industry. And I need to get back there so it is easier to work with my galleries in NY, LA and Tokyo. My galleries in Europe will need me to be strong in those arenas too.

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When we left LA, people kept reacting as if we were moving to Mars. Or it was like in the time of the Clipper Ship and that was the last time that they would see us. I remember repeating: "We aren't leaving LA, we are going to Spain. But still, people kept waving us off as if we were one of those Einsteinian thought experiment time travellers accelerating at near speed of light and into another time. The words "We'll be back" seemed to fall on deaf ears.

G-d bless them.

Some people here in Tossa might feel the same way, and we are lucky that they might. Very lucky. The next six months are ticking away and it is both pleasant and rueful. I too am aware that deep down inside, that I feel the same way too. But, chances are good that we will come back and Kiko will be hanging out at his abuela's house next to Codolar Cove and Ramon will be at the BusBar slammin dominos around seven thirty in the evening, and Elena will be at l'Study and Evariste will be behind the bar at Bar Josep.

Posted by Dennis at 11:36 PM | Comments (4)

Something's Happening

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Something's Happening

Posted by Dennis at 1:48 PM | Comments (0)

Last Sunday

We've had such a great Sunday in Barcelona and we met such wonderful people. But I can't really blog about it yet. First of all, I'd blow it. These people are solid, real, intelligent, open and caring. But it would get too gushy if I blogged on (the downside of have few qualms about expressing emotional sentiments, something I have to control)... look, it just won't work. Plus, I don't blog business. It's bad form and it would make for bad business. And anyway, there are too many other people to get involved in the shennanigans that is this blog.

All the more reason why I'm glad I didn't bring my hefty Olympus C-5050 Zoom: it alters reality too much when you pull the big dog Olympus out at the dinner table.

And then there is the little thing of spending the next six hours crafting a story teeming with special observations and epiphanies and feelings of the moment...

(Sometimes there is so much to blog, it's overwhelming.)

***


But let me cut and paste an excerpt from a recent letter to Andr?, who had introduced us in the first place*1


I'm happy to report a wonderful afternoon with Miguel and his wife Maria*2. They are charming, funny, informed, without pretension, committed, intelligent... I cold go on and on. Stephanie and I had a very very nice time with them, a Sunday in Barcelona on a very beautiful day.

The gallery is a couple of city blocks away from the Plaza Catalunya, a very central location. It is on the first floor (one level above the street), in a building that they live in as well (the top floor with a very large terrace). The show that was up was a Spanish Painters (I get the sense that Miguel shows Spanish artists, mainly painters and at least one conceptual sculptor... he was excited to find that I was born in Madrid). Not knowing the Spanish scene intimately, I estimate that when the Franco era came to a close, Spain emerged into the world during the heyday of the Transvanguardia or NeoExpressionism of the late 70's to early 80's. I think this is where Miguel's intellectual/cultural coordinates start from and I think he has evolved from there... to where, I am still assessing. Since he was a painter before he was a gallerist, he has a central passion for painting that I really appreciate.*4

Professionally, he is crazy for the scholastic/critical/historical aspect of archiving artworks. I have learned a little about the critical community in Spain, that it is very literary, driven by a few authoritative news sources (like the New York Times) and prey to fashionable trends and power struggles amongst the intelligencia. (But, so what else is new?) I guess this is all to say that it is like artworlds elsewhere, but more so*3. Miguel is keen to tell me all about it and he keeps his ship tight by pushing his archiving to extremes. For example, he has just published a 25 year anniversary catalog and the back end of the book documents for each artwork, every exhibition it had been shown in, every review that referred to it, and in some cases, a little essay in one or two paragraphs by a VIP in the critical/literary world. He is also digitizing all reviews, his backroom is preoccupied with this project. Contradictorily, he is resisting the internet (but he can't do it for long!).

*1 It is rare when introductions work, rare for me at least in this artworld. Whether it is me trying to introduce fellow artists/friends to my galleries, or my galleries introducing my work to other galleries, the times that this actually succeeds are exceedingly rare. Exceedlingly rare. ?Pero como no? It's a matter of chemistry and circumstance, isn't it? There is a matter of naturalism that you have to attend to. You can't force these things.

*2 Maria is a lawyer, a judge and a teacher of law. She knows art but prefers to live it non-professionally, leaving that to Miguel. Conversations with her can go anywhere with depth and ease.

*3 Like a greenhouse, a hot house. The history of isolation in Spain has left a mark that isn't entirely bad.

*4 Unlike other former artist-turned-gallerist/dealers that I have known, I didn't sense a lingering desire to possess the identity of an artist. With Miguel, I detect an evolution of an idea of art creation that goes beyond the studio... by this I mean that his gallery is is art form. You can see this in the archive mania and the attention he pays to the critical community in documenting their efforts and integrating and linking these efforts (literally?) to each physical artwork and show. It is painstaking, and only those who are under a sort of spell can take such pain. It's like some collectors that I have met, those who have gone over (like Coppola's Kurtz?) to an activity that parallels artmaking itself.

There is so much more to report, but it will have to wait for another blogpost.

Posted by Dennis at 12:57 PM | Comments (0)

April 10, 2005

Ahora

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Posted by Dennis at 8:23 AM | Comments (5)

April 9, 2005

Ahora

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Posted by Dennis at 6:06 PM | Comments (1)

April 8, 2005

Tossa Vacation Rental

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Kiko took us over to his apartment last week so I can take some pics for this special advertizing (only for my friend Kiko!) blogpost. Kiko and his family have been spending their time at their home next to the Codolar Cove (the abuela's house, the house Kiko grew up in), so much so that they want to rent out their apartment for the summer tour season. Kiko is such a good friend, such a golden hearted fellow, how could I refuse?

..or how could you?

What follows is a tour of the apartment in nine pics, here we go:

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This is a close up of the view of the castle and the lighthouse.

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Turning the camera down over the balcony toward the apartment's complex swimming pool.

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About face into the living room. The apartment has three bedrooms, four if the diining room is converted into an emergency summer bedroom. Bathrooms: two.

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This is his daughter's bedroom. (There's no pic of the Master Bedroom, but it is indeed a master's bedroom.)

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Right and a view into the entry.

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Here's Stephanie and Kiko, surveying the kitchen.

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This, a view towards the back towards the mountains from the kitchen/utility room.

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An exterior shot from the side. Parking is to the rear, there's a garage too.

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The beaches are fantastic, packed with people. Cafes on the sand. Rentals for all water sports. The snorkeling is pretty good if you haven't been to the Great Barrier Reef lately. Great bars. I'll buy you a drink. Kiko will get the next round and then it's your turn. The coffee is great. Walking from Kiko's apartment to the beach is very nice, with many varied pueblo urban environs for your strolling pleasure. There's many walking trails in all directions, motor sport rentals too. A car rental will get you out into day trips: the mountains, Girona, and Dali country up North. Or a bus will get you to Barcelona and back for a comfortable day visit to the city. You'll be relieved to get back to Tossa after wiggling thru BCN streets all day long.

OK, now that you have all the visuals, here's Kiko's deal:


Summer Rental, Tossa de Mar, Kiko (and Teresa, his wife) Style.

-100 Euros per day for June, July and September.

-150 Euros per day for the month of August.

-10 Day Minimum.

-Families or Couples preferred... or maybe he will talk to you for exceptions.

You can contact me via the comments or an email at dennis@dennishollingsworth.us or later directly to Kiko once I get his new email address.

Have a great summer!

Posted by Dennis at 8:51 PM | Comments (0)

Lazarillo de Tormes

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Today in our Spanish lesson, we touched on Joaqu?n Cort?s, the famous Spanish dancer. This, I did not know beforehand. So, now I google:

Si Antonio Banderas es el embajador de Espa?a en lo que respecta al cine, Joaqu?n Cort?s lo es en cuanto al flamenco. Es raro que alguien venerado en el mundillo del arte gitano sea al mismo un fen?meno de fans. Y adem?s con fans en todo el mundo. Pero por algo Joaqu?n es el rey del flamenco para masas ?muy a pesar de algunos puristas- y tambi?n un nombre respetado en las altas esferas del flamenco.

Translation: He's a pretty good dancer.

The palabra "gitano" comes up and Elena, our teacher tells us Joaqu?n is a gypsy, and we talk at length obout gypsies and the cultural legacy in Spain. Apparently, the gypsy tradition is mixed into Spain at a fundamental level. Flamenco comes from this, so says Elena.

I risked fashioning a stereotype by associating the literary tradition of the picaro with Spain. I mentioned a book that Elena didn't know, Sallinger's "Catcher in the Rye". Holden Caufield was a character outside of society, apart, critical, sometimes, most times hostile. My first awareness of this kind character type was in John Fante's "Ask the Dust". Googling, I can't find the text online in a free download, so I settle for this summary site:

Like C?line's Bardamu, Svevo's Zeno, or Dostoyevsky's ?Underground Man,? Fante's literary alter-ego is a stewing cauldron of nihilistic self-absorption, and every bit as memorable. He is given to febrile rants and arias of grief, often switching from first-person to second to a self-aggrandizing third within the space of a page, sometimes a paragraph. When he's not chastising himself (?You are a coward, Bandini, a traitor to your soul, a feeble liar before your weeping Christ?), he's indulging in delusions of grandeur (?I stood before the mirror once more, shaking my fist defiantly. Here I am, folks. Take a look at a great writer! Notice my eyes, folks. The eyes of a great writer. Notice my jaw, folks. The jaw of a great writer.?). For all his arrogance, Bandini is an endearing buffoon, and his confessional outpourings are shot through with black humor. Here's Bandini walking the streets of downtown LA:


I took the steps down Angel's Flight to Hill Street: a hundred and forty steps, with tight fists, frightened of no man, but scared of the Third Street Tunnel, scared to walk through it?claustrophobia. Scared of high places, too, and of blood, and of earthquakes; otherwise, quite fearless, excepting death, except the fear I'll scream in a crowd, except the fear of appendicitis, except the fear of heart trouble . . . Otherwise, quite fearless.

The prose has the immediacy and colloquial fluency of the Beats, whom Fante prefigured by over a decade. Charles Bukowski, dogged champion of free-form verse, called Fante ?my God,? and was responsible for bringing his work to the attention of Black Sparrow Press. In the preface to Ask the Dust, Bukowski describes the day he discovered the book in the Los Angeles Public Library, carrying it away ?like a man who had found gold in the city dump.? Fante, he writes, ?was not afraid of emotion. The humor and the pain were intermixed with a superb simplicity . . . [the] book was a wild and enormous miracle to me.?

After attempting a description of this in my crude Castellano in class today, Elena hands me this book, apparently (notice my hedge here, I don't want to come off like I really know this stuff) a classic in Hispanic literature: "Lazarillo de Tormes". Evidently, this is the origin of the literary tradition of the Picaro in Spain... as far as I can tell so far.

And guess what? I found a site where you can download a Spanish/English version of the book, "Banned by the Spanish Inquisition". Click here, and click "download" in the left hand margin. You can get your own PDF! How fantastic!

Now, if I can do the same with "Ask the Dust"...

Posted by Dennis at 6:51 PM | Comments (0)

Late Last Night

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Posted by Dennis at 3:02 PM | Comments (4)

Hieronymus Bosch

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Here in this post,. pics taken again from the Prado, the room devoted to the great H. Bosch. Please forgive the lack of analysis (I've got some painting to do), perhaps later when time permits and the spirit moves.

Here, some googled bio:

Bosch was a pessimistic and stern moralist who had neither illusions about the rationality of human nature nor confidence in the kindness of a world that had been corrupted by man's presence in it. His paintings are sermons, addressed often to initiates and consequently difficult to translate. Unable to unlock the mystery of the artist's works, critics at first believed that he must have been affiliated with secret sects. Although the themes of his work were religious, his choice of symbols to represent the temptation and eventual ensnarement of man in earthly evils caused many critics to view Bosch as a practitioner of the occult arts. More recent scholarship views Bosch as a talented artist who possessed deep insight into human character and as one of the first artists to represent abstract concepts in his work. A number of exhaustive interpretations of Bosch's work have been put forth in recent years, but there remain many obscure details.


Captions and better pics here.

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April 6, 2005

Put it Off Too Long

Taxes.

Had to do them.

Grumpy.

Posted by Dennis at 10:23 PM | Comments (0)

April 5, 2005

Ahora

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Posted by Dennis at 3:37 AM | Comments (1)

April 4, 2005

Meade Arble

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Meade and Grada are the other Yanqui expats that we know here in Tossa. We had dinner with them recently, a great view of the Med from their balcony, by the way. Self described hippies, they've been living in Spain since the mid-70's when they were students at the University of Seville. Their arc from then to now involved a stint in a Pennsylvania coal mine, Meade's home town... Meade wrote a book about it that is a reckoning and a coming of age: "The Long Tunnel, A Coal Miner's Journal". From the inside flap:

After drifting indecisively through two universities, one of them in Europe, Meade Arble returned in 1973 to the Pennsylvania coal town where he was born and raised, and where his father had been a physician, and found emplooyment in one of the local coal mines. He had no choice: without a degree, and with practically no job experience, there was little else he could do to support his pregnant wife and their two children.
The Long Tunnel is the journal Arble kept during the year he toiled underground. It takes the reader on an engaging odyssey into the labyrinths of a challenging and at times malevolent subterranean world; Arble's richly detailed portraits of his fellow workers, his graphic accounts of the hazards these men face in the normal course of the day, his mounting indignation at the conditions in the mines and hsi description of a long and demoralizing strike give this book the kind and dramatic power ordinarily found in naturalistic fiction. For all its grimness, The Long Tunnel, abounds in wildly comic episodes: Arble has an ear for the ribald lingo of his comrades, and an eye for humorous situations that arise incongruously in this forbidding miieu...

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Sounds good, huh?

It turns out that Meade and I share a common past: we were both sailors. And with sailors, you have sea tales. Early in the book, Meade fills in part of a backstory, the reason for the first time in the brig:

My father was determined to salvage me, his only son. My sister, two years older, had always been near the top of her class and was everything they hoped for. After Staunton I joined the navy with the hope that they might rehabilitate me. Soon after boot camp, aboard a destroyer escort in Pearl Harbor, I was put over the side on a stage to chip paint. Chipping was normally done in large blocks, and the exposed metal was protected at the end of the day with a coat of dayglow orange paint called red lead. i spent the day in an artistic frenzy chipping a life sized nude girl, hair flying in the wind, and at the end of the day I red leaded her. She could be seen all the way across the harbor, shimmering in the blazing susnset. She was seen in fact by the harbor commodore, who phoned the captain of our ship for an expanation. The incident cost me the first of a couple of trips to the brig...

I had a good friend then who pulled a similar, if crazier move. His name was Hutch, a short tubby redheaded guy (from Pennsylvania as well, by the way) who was all into Tolkein and was teh kind of guy who would pull a long drag with his Camel and say with the exhaled smoke that he is a flat out loser, squinty from the tar and nicotane, the corners of the mouth a smirk. One time, Hutch smuggled an Aussie on board while we were on liberty in Melbourne as the ship made way for Subic Bay, Philippines. Boy, shit hit the fan that day when they discovered the lad chilling out, watching tv in the crew's berthing compartment while we were at sea.

Posted by Dennis at 1:48 PM | Comments (3)

Jeez, Doug

The only reason I would open up an LAWeekley is to catch the latest from Marc Cooper or Doug Harvey. Doug Harvey's art world reviews are consistantly fresh and open and generous while simultaneously sharp and critical, a tough balance. There are few writers like him in the artworld. This week's offering is a review of the getty exhibition: ?Jacques-Louis David: Empire to Exile".

The trouble is, I just can't get past this passage:

After all, if you?ve reached the conclusion that liberty and equality have to be imposed from above, you might as well go whole-hog with the authority thing.
Posted by Dennis at 11:47 AM | Comments (5)

April 3, 2005

Ooh, what they sayin'

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Last night we had a geat dinner at Kiko and Teresa's place with his neice Diana and her boyfriend Antonio. A little after midnight we turn out into the streets for a drink and inevitably we bounce around until five in the morning. Much can be written as I have done before in previous blogposts from captured little moments in the evening which however small seem to have bigger auras about them... but I think I'll set the little fishies free this time.

Catch and release storytelling.

What seems to be a prime candidate for comemorization, the taxidermy of blogging, another butterfly pinned to the board.... a song that can be heard in most bars in Tossa, a song that I would like to select as emblematic of a night out bending elbows in the bars of the seaside sleepy town of Tossa de Mar: Louis Prima's "Just a Gigolo".

Just A Gigolo

I'm just a gigolo
And everywhere I go
People know the part I'm playin'
Paid for every dance
Selling each romance
Ooh, what they sayin'

And there will come a day
When youth will pass away
What will they say about me
When the end comes I know
They'll say "just a gigolo"
Life goes on without me

I'm just a gigolo and everywhere I go
People know the part I'm playin'
Paid for every dance
Selling each romance
Ooh, what they sayin'

But there will come a day
When youth will pass away
What will they say about me
When the end comes I know
They'll say "just a gigolo"
Life goes on without me

***

I ain't Got Nobody (medley)

'Cause I ain't got nobody
Nobody cares about me
Nobody, nobody cares for me

I'm so sad and lonely
Sad and lonely, sad and lonely
Won't some sweet mama
Come and take a chance with me
Cuz I ain't so bad

That's Tossa.

Best sung after a few glasses of wine and a couple of NoCanDo's on the rocks.

Posted by Dennis at 1:06 PM | Comments (1)

April 2, 2005

ZARDOZ

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(This is a screenshot of the great unsung John Boorman movie, Zardoz. A film as loved as much as it is mocked. By all means, see it for yourself and choose which side you're on.

I thought I had lost this and many other shots when my digital camera went nutty and swallowed them all up without a trace. And then one day, they inexplicably reappeared. And I took this as a sign to post them online.... on occasion. Someday, I'll post some kind of text and explicate... someday.)

Posted by Dennis at 4:44 PM | Comments (1)

B?ho

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Posted by Dennis at 1:37 PM | Comments (0)

Left Behind

I read everything Paull Berman writes, This, from the recent BookForum:

My transition from once-born to twice-born turned me into someone who was curious and eager to write about the history of the Left?sometimes in order to promote a political agenda, but mostly for another reason: I wanted to discover truths, if I possibly could?about America and other parts of the world; about political movements; about social theory; about human nature. This is a gloomier project than merely advancing a political agenda. Agendas tend to be hopeful; truths, not so hopeful. A triumphal spirit runs through a great deal of American history, but not through the particular subset of American history that contains the political Left.

A shadow fell across my dinner with Dan when we reminisced about the strike of 1968?the shadow of what had happened to him at Columbia; what had happened to the left-wing movement that emerged from the strike; and what had happened to our common friend, his fondly remembered student and my SDS "brother," who had concentrated in his own person all the disasters of the era. But it is in the nature of the second-born to live in the shadows. The blue sky, in Emerson's phrase, belongs to the first-born, and afterward comes the lifting of the veil and the gazing at Medusa's face.

It is best read in its' entirety... especially after his other books.

Posted by Dennis at 11:31 AM | Comments (1)

April 1, 2005

Patron

Ammar got a phone call and was told that he "should be very careful so as to avoid being used by external forces"...

I am not really that important. I am only a dissident, after all, and not a perceived business partner who refuses to play ball anymore. In fact, the whole point of insisting on leaving at this stage, despite assurances that I will be protected, is to be able to avoid getting classified as such. This is the most dangerous position of them all.

For when you are under patronage, you have to play by the rules. You cannot afford not to play by the rules. And since I cannot play by the rules? And since I cannot afford to pay the price for not playing by the rules... I might as well just leave the place where the rules apply, and go to where I can play by some other more acceptable and affordable rules.

Posted by Dennis at 4:19 PM | Comments (1)

Real Estate: Borne

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We went to Barcelona last night. I bought a few supplies at Barna Art, "Materiales de Belles Artes" and Stephanie shopped for clothes. I found this ad on the street in the super cool district called the Borne. Let's see what it says:

-For Sale
-Apartment/Condo
-Borne
-three bedrooms
-living, kitchen, bathroom
-what does "ASEO 1a Planta" mean?
-or "PARA ACTUALIZAR"
-(Area Conversion) 861 square feet Exterior (facing?)
-price: $405,160 US Greenbacks

OMIG*D! over four hundred thousand frickin' dollars for less than a thousand square feet?
AND they claim it has three rooms?

Posted by Dennis at 9:23 AM | Comments (0)

I Could Scream

Check this site out.

Freedom is expanding radically and women are leading it.

A ringside seat, this blog:



I Could Scream

Examining the plight of Islamic women


From today's post:

...Her dress prior to becoming "more" Muslim was the traditional shalwar kameez, a long tunic over pants. There were complaints, though, that prior to donning the biljab, Ms. Begum's costume was nipped at the waist and had insufficiently long sleeves. Several Muslim scholars agreed that former mode of attire was "insufficiently Islamic"

?O Messenger of Allah, what about the one who does not have a Jilbab??. He said, ?Let her use the Jilbab of her sister.?? So the Prophet(saw) made the wearing of the jilbab one of the conditions for the woman entering the public life.

The scholarly output generated about women's apparel is as mind-dumbing as the Human Rights Act. They are both part of a larger zeitgeist. On the one hand, protecting 'victims' and on the other hand, creating them. Life lived according to scholarly opinion or bureaucratic dictates on minutiae has this result: the mind becomes deflected to the surface of things and blind to the ebb and flow of deeper reality. Such negotiations through the vicissitudes of what it means to be human become no more than a series of small desperate measures dispensed in coffee spoons. The search for security is not an innocent one...

Posted by Dennis at 1:05 AM | Comments (0)

Yoshitomo in Honolulu

Just got this in the news:

The Contemporary Museum, Honolulu
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Yoshitomo Nara:
Nothing Ever Happens


The Contemporary Museum, Honolulu
2411 Makiki Heights Drive
Honolulu, Hawaii 96822

http://www.tcmhi.org


Yoshitomo Nara, 'Light My Fire', 2001
acrylic, fabric, and wood
Courtesy Frahm Ltd, London

Yoshitomo Nara:
Nothing Ever Happens


The Contemporary Museum, Honolulu
2411 Makiki Heights Drive
Honolulu, Hawaii 96822

http://www.tcmhi.org

Completing its tour at The Contemporary Museum, Honolulu, Yoshitomo Nara: Nothing Ever Happens, features over 150 paintings, sculptures, and drawings and works on paper from 1997 to 2003. In addition, exclusively for its presentation at The Contemporary Museum, Honolulu, the exhibition includes a multi-media slideshow of Nara's photography. Tokyo-based Nara creates deceptively simple imagery that invites us to reconnect with the defiant spirit of youthful idealism and the desire to make a positive impact on the world. Like the punk rock music that inspires him, Nara's work addresses feelings of alienation and invisibility in a world where it often seems like "nothing ever happens."

In conjunction with Yoshitomo Nara: Nothing Ever Happens is Shaka Nara, a collaborative project directed by Nara with Hawaii artists Ryan Higa, Ryuta Nakajima, Koi Ozu, Cade Roster, David Tanji, and Jason Teraoka. The collaboration takes the form of a "hut" filling the museum's John Young Gallery. Designed and constructed on site by the artists, the architectural structure is intended to resemble an artist's studio containing personal belongings and artworks by each of the participating artists. Built from materials scavenged locally, the hut refers to the type of improvised, utilitarian structure one might come upon in rural areas of Hawaii. The visitor is invited to take a detour through the intimate studio, a physical space which also represents the mental and emotional space of artistic production. The incongruity of its presence within the clean, white space of the museum gallery is disorienting and evokes the solitude that artists both strive for and endure.

Yoshitomo Nara: Nothing Ever Happens is organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland and was curated by Kristin Chambers.

Shaka Nara was organized by The Contemporary Museum, Honolulu and curated by TCM curator Michael Rooks.

Yoshitomo Nara: Nothing Ever Happens is sponsored by an anonymous donor with the additional support of the Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York, The Japan Foundation, Toby Devan Lewis, The Peter Norton Family Foundation, Nancy and Joel Portnoy and Jennifer McSweeney Reuss.

In Honolulu, in-kind support has been provided by The Waikiki Parc Hotel, Horizon Van Lines, and Jon Duarte Design Group. Additional programming made possible through the cooperation of the San Jose Museum of Art, San Jose, California, and the University of Hawaii Center for Japanese Studies, Japan Endowment Special Projects grant, and the Department of Art and Art History.

Public Programs

Tokyo Metropolis
A Special Film Series in conjunction with the exhibition
co-presented by Cinema Paradise Film Festival
Friday May 13 - Thursday, May 19
http://www.cinemaparadise.org (venue TBA)

Nara College Day and Zine Fair
Saturday April 16
10:00am - 4:00pm
The Contemporary Museum, Honolulu

A Conversation with Yoshitomo Nara
Curator Michael Rooks in conversation with Yoshitomo Nara
Tuesday March 29
7:30pm
University of Hawaii Art Auditorium

Yoshitomo Nara: Nothing Ever Happens, Curator's Gallery Talk
Gallery tour with exhibition curator Kristen Chambers
Sunday April 3
1:30pm
The Contemporary Museum, Honolulu

Yoshitomo Nara, Hello Kitty and other Japanese Pop Merchandising Phenomena
Lecture by Professor Christine Yano, Associate Professor of Anthropology, University of Hawaii
Tuesday April 12
7:30pm
University of Hawaii Art Auditorium

Superflat Children: Aesthetics and Politics in the Art of Nara Yoshitomo
Lecture by Marilyn Ivy, Professor of Anthropology, Columbia University
Tuesday April 26
7:30pm
University of Hawaii Art Auditorium


electronic flux corporation / www.e-flux.com
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Posted by Dennis at 12:27 AM | Comments (0)

Prado, Baby.

PradoBaby.jpg

Posted by Dennis at 12:09 AM | Comments (0)

Ahora

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Posted by Dennis at 12:03 AM | Comments (0)

Nikon Down

NikonDown.jpg
No workie.

Crapped out. White screen,

about two years old
"lens error"
"system error"

gonna miss it.

Posted by Dennis at 12:01 AM | Comments (5)