Before the Earth was covered mostly in water, there lived a people who worshipped petrochemicals and spent vast sums of money on things called “art objects.” I kept revisiting this thought as I worked: these far-future humans, or maybe even post-humans, puzzling over this funny piece of sculpture—which was now, thanks to my careful ministrations, almost completely free of water stains. It did somehow get me through the day.
Spasm to Spasm
Even during my lifetime, the world, or at least its representation, has become clearly funnier. It’s not just cultural products, films or TV or magazines, YouTube videos of men and women fist fighting on city buses; I mean that I myself, for example, and seemingly everyone I meet have gotten noticeably funnier. I feel an impulse to preface almost every remark in conversation with something light or even with an outright joke, as a sort of aperitif.
I Was Asked to Write About the Experience of Occupy Wall Street and Directing Light Onto Fist of Father
can we begin at the energetic?
can we all meet there?
our beliefs are not our own.
“we” is quoted culture.
Toward a History (and Future) of the Artist Statement
Some are self-doubting, like Adolph Gottlieb’s: “Surrounded by my materials, canvas, paints, oils, brushes, etc. I feel like a relic of the past because paintings are still among the few things made by hand.” Others process-oriented, as with Karel Appel: “I make myself free, I stand aside, I squeeze myself dry. Then I am ready to begin painting.” Some are droll: “Rembrandt is beautiful, but sad. Boucher is gay but bad. ‘Great Painting’ has never made anyone laugh,” observes Jean Dubuffet.
Painting Under Obama
Months later, as I wandered around the Bushwick open studios, it became clear to me that metallic colors had become (along with neon hues) major signifiers of the “Shwicky” look: the blend of irony and earnestness that denotes, somehow, that the artist is aware of her impossible position in the world, simultaneously seeking ideal truths and the mythical rent of $1.00/sq. ft./month.
Why would anyone who opposes torture interrogate painting?
Painting Has Issues
It’s hard to know what to think of all the paintings being made right now. A curator recently told me that he feels “the conversation” is so diffuse, at this point it’s next to impossible to talk about contemporary painting as a coherent subject. The heterogeneity of current painting production can leave us feeling deep in the potpourri, unable to separate the orange peel from the rose hips.
Dear Yoko Dear Sierra
I decided to address my feelings in a personal letter to you because I need not only to get rid of my sense of guilt but also to tease out some of the issues raised by this type of exchange. (If you want, you can share this letter with Rivane.) Though I usually prefer email, I feel a letter is closer to the spirit and original context of your tree. While I long ago mastered the skill of writing profusely detailed exposés to Santa, I am not experienced in writing to a famous artist.
Through the horse-blood infusions, Laval-Jeantet claims to have effected a shift in her consciousness in which she experienced the world as an herbivore: sleeping little, being unusually nervous. “In my opinion,” she said, “my essence was not changed, but I was able to respond to an eternal frustration: I could finally feel Animal Otherness in me, outside of a purely anthropocentric point of view.” Of the prosthetic cat device, she wrote, “As soon as I put them on and got used to this strange way of walking, the cats came up to me, sniffed and jumped on me, playing with me in the same way as they played between themselves.”
William Pope.L and David Giordano