Daily Postings
art : interview

Los Angeles Studio Visits #2: Hailey Loman & Jakob Brugge

by Molly Surno

A series of conversations about location, process, and practice.

The Los Angeles Studio Visits is an attempt to understand how architectural structures inform artistic practices. The nature of our quotidian relationship to room, the physical world, and sound drives this series as I go through the city meeting with artists to discuss what concerns they are working out in their studios. 

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music : interview


by Andrew Aylward

Splash Mountain, LA, and the definition of "psychedelic."

Kayla Cohen is a Los Angeles-based singer and guitarist whose mesmerizing work is released under the name Itasca. Her latest release, Unmoored By The Wind, comes via the New Images Ltd. label and follows her 2012 debut full-length album Grace Riders on The Road. Cohen’s songs have the uncanny ability to create an atmosphere all their own, transporting the listener directly to the Californian landscapes that inspired the current collection. Cohen’s voice is at once haunting and enchanting, and it rests at least in part in the lineage of Sibylle Baier and Linda Perhacs. Psychedelic drones linger in the sound field on Unmoored By The Wind, lending an air of acid folk that might be induced by a mind-altering substance or merely by the West Coast sunlight filtering through the evening. Or maybe it comes from the rough-hewn, home-made quality of the recordings.

Cohen offers more than just a heavy vibe on Unmoored however, with songwriting on standout tracks like “Nature’s Gift" that shows a mature writer with a firm grip on form as well as atmosphere. I spoke with Cohen—who lives in LA but was visiting her parents in Westchester County, New York—about musical development, her “fanbase,” and, you know, the artistic process.

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literature : interview

Atticus Lish

by Jesse Barron

Hardship, the borough of Queens, and new American pilgrims.

It’s been a while since we had a great novel about being poor in New York where poor did not mean broke. The difference between the two conditions may be how reasonably you can hope they’ll change, and Atticus Lish’s Preparation for the Next Life is a book about people hoping to change their lives in a city that will not let them.

Preparation is a violent and unfashionable book. Unfashionable in that it's not concerned overtly with consciousness, subjectivity, voice, politics, or making art, but instead with money and the law as the impersonal determinants of fate. Lish knows—or just as validly, conveys he knows—the institutions that are often least visible in American fiction, like prison, and the parallel economy of the undocumented. To find a predecessor for this kind of cross-sectional social novel, where the lawyer’s office is as vivid as the basement squat, you may have to go back to ‘90s DeLillo or ‘70s Robert Stone.

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art : oral history project
literature : word choice

from The Crocodiles

by Youssef Rakha

1. On the twenty-first birthday of a poet, ostensibly of our group, whom we knew as Nayf (his real name’s not so very important)—on June 20, 1997, to be precise—the activist Radwa Adel went to visit a relative in one of Cairo’s neighborhoods. I don’t remember which. There is no documented account of this journey by the Student Movement’s (or the Seventies Generation’s) most celebrated female icon (i.e. the activist, though we might call her intellectual, writer, great thinker: they’re all synonyms); there’s even a dispute over whether the relative in question lived on the eleventh floor or the twelfth. But what I have picked up over the years, in casual conversation with close friends of hers from the circle out of which our group grew, is that Radwa Adel played with her relative’s children for a little while, then took herself off for an afternoon nap in the bedroom with the balcony. There was nobody at home but the young children, and no sooner had the bedroom door swung back behind her than she went out onto the balcony and jumped over the wall.

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theater : interview

Lisa Dwan

by Elianna Kan

Finding the hope in the one-woman plays of Samuel Beckett.

The Samuel Beckett estate is notoriously strict about granting performance licenses to productions that don’t adhere to the playwright’s original stage directions. These rigid stipulations, coupled with the seeming absurdity of Beckett’s texts, call upon an actor to wholly become a vessel for the playwright’s vision. Irish actress Lisa Dwan seems well on her way to becoming just that kind of legendary interpreter of Beckett. Ben Brantley, in his New York Times review of Dwan’s one-woman hour-long trilogy recently performed at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, called her “an instrument of Beckett, in that way saints and martyrs are said to be instruments of God.”

Dwan’s journey with Beckett began in 2005 when she first performed his breathless monologue Not I. In 2012, the German theater director Walter Asmus—Beckett’s longtime friend and collaborator—suggested Dwan perform Not I together with two other pieces—Footfalls and Rockaby—as a trilogy, something that had never been done before. All three plays revolve around the agony and hysterical ecstasy of experiencing the passage of time and force the actor into a meticulous, sometimes painful, physical regime in order to practice and perform these works accurately and evocatively.

I was curious as to what drew Lisa to this trilogy and Beckett in general, so I caught up with her by phone on a rainy Saturday afternoon while she rested in her hotel room prior to the evening’s performance at BAM.

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literature : interview

Alina Gregorian

by Sarah Gerard

Dramaturgy, flags, and tangible abstractions.

I like to imagine Alina Gregorian teaching the Odyssey to her class of Merchant Mariners. She doesn’t teach them anymore, but she once told me she was sure they’d connect with the epic’s soldiers. Actually, I like to imagine Alina starting with the soldiers and then leading them to love the Odyssey’s myth and magic. In my wildest version of this fantasy, they have made figurines of the Sirens, Penelope, and Achilles, and are moving them about on a game board, making Vines on their iPhones. Much of what I love about Alina is her appreciation for play and her reverence for technology. I think of Alina on the Long Island Rail Road, on her way to teach these Merchant Mariners, taking streaky photos out the window, or making GIFs—smashing grass, gravel, and movement into pixelated rainbows.

I first met Alina at Hofstra University, and have had the privilege of watching her unique mind give itself over to creative impulse in the forms of poetry, story, photography, painting, translation, and video. She is an artist and an educator, a champion of other artists, and a community organizer with her reading series, “Triptych.” Her poetic work is delightful and puzzling, recalling her visual work in the way it organizes images three-dimensionally—she explains, “like furniture.” Her book Navigational Clouds is out this fall from Monk Books, and Flying Bark will be published next spring by Coconut Books.

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art : interview

Laura Buckley

by Rob Sharp

Technological distortion, motherhood, and painterly approaches to video.

Laura Buckley describes her video installations as “painting with light,” her work variously playing with music, rotating mirrors, and multiple projectors, her wires laying bare on the floor, displaying her means of construction. Her use of video blends analogue, abstract, and painterly forms along with homemade footage, shot on phone and video camera, purposefully incorporating the everyday. Glimpses of her children sometimes appear, fusing her life and work.

Buckley is currently shortlisted for the Jarman Award, and her nominated piece, The Magic Know-How (2013), is currently on tour across Britain before being shown internationally by the British Council. The award’s winner will be announced in December. I caught up with her to find out more about her process, and the experience of being an artist and mother in London.

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film : interview

Albert Serra

by Steve Macfarlane

Casanova, Dracula, and art in the age of digital filmmaking.

Albert Serra’s maniacally self-effacing The Story Of My Death is a shadow play of European philosophies, clearly shot in DV but somehow blown up to widescreen—nearly panoramic—35mm. The twilight years of the Enlightenment, embodied in the flesh by a grape-gobbling, cheese-snuffing Casanova (Vicenç Altaió), give way to darkness and temptation in the countryside as the aging lothario’s remote getaway is visited by none other than his new neighbor Dracula (Elisu Huertas). To describe Serra’s vision out loud is to parody it, but the picture is drenched in allusions, meanings, and whispers of games; as a viewer, your guess on the narrative significance of any individual scene is as good as anybody else’s. One way of putting it might be that the thirty-eight-year-old Catalan filmmaker builds a narrative with isolated tableaux—his shots linger in my memory like the Met’s most opulent still lifes.

Albert Serra, with glistening jewels wrapped around his knuckles, and with a classic rock soundtrack as backdrop, persistently employed an increasingly meaningful neologism—“performatic”—over the course of our serpentine discussion. He told me he submitted forty-nine scripted scenes to get the movie made, wrote an additional 128 more, shot everything, then spent a year editing The Story of My Death down to a total of fifty-three. Infamously, he shot in a 4:3 aspect ratio and then—without remorse, it seems—cropped his images down, printing them in a vertically tight strip that looks as if somebody cluelessly left the CinemaScope camera setting on. Though his explanations of on-set techniques made me blush, only a fool would call Serra sloppy. Every one of his answers was a passionate counterdefense, hammered out one syllable at a time.

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literature : interview

Andy Fitch

by Amaranth Borsuk

Feet first, mouth second, thoughts third.

I met Andy Fitch at a 2009 MLA panel on public art. Having arrived late, I missed the introduction Andy and his collaborator Jon Cotner gave to their presentation about “Conversations Over Stolen Food,” a pranksterish project they had undertaken in New York a year earlier. As they read an exchange from the piece, it gradually dawned on me that Andy was reading Jon’s half of the conversation, and Jon was reading Andy’s. What made this ephemeral interaction a form of public art? Bewildered and intrigued, I continued to follow their work, including Ten Walks/Two Talks, published by Ugly Duckling Presse, a book that introduced me to Andy’s practice of walking composition, which provides the heart of his new book, Sixty Morning Walks, a diaristic text whose flâneur-like narrator—a roving eye or “I”—stitches together the city’s landscape by threading his way through it. Andy’s writing practice, which is often audio-based, fascinates me with its simultaneous insistence on embodiment (we are always aware of the language as emanating from a body) and rejection of bodily fixity (one has the sense this speaker would prefer not to locate himself at all, as evinced by his willingness to exchange language, and by extension bodies, with his collaborators).

In October Andy and I met in Fort Collins, Colorado to read from our forthcoming collaboration, As We Know (Boulder: Subito 2014). A book that attempts to intervene into the history of male editors redacting and reshaping the work of women writers, it uses erasure to not only reverse that gender dynamic but also explore the potential for co-authored identity. As We Know uses a summer audio diary Andy kept as its textual source, presenting his redacted transcript with “my erasures” tunneling a path through his language and toward my own narrative. Trying on Andy’s poetics has expanded my sense of what it means to walk and talk, to be a writer situated with respect to race and gender, and to acknowledge the limitations of that perspective. The best way to understand the how and why of his writing seemed to be through making, inhabiting the embodied experience of composition. So, we set out for a morning walk of our own along the Poudre River amid scattered showers.

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literature : word choice

The Golden Room (Lucy’s Lips)

by Elizabeth Crawford

We were lying on our backs looking at the tourists moving. After my intoxicating speech, we three trembled on the stone. Phragmites would not dip his feathery mind in water again. I remember saying to him: You know, that was a beautiful song, Phragmites. Fakesome weather.

It occurred to me that the back has no mouth, the back takes in what it is and only what it sometimes is is an elaborate stairwell to the mind. I slept against the rock-crusted throne. How low I was to have a throne compared to my cot on the high summit. The ovenbird was here on this lower level. I was dreaming, and in my dream Lucy was translated. Her lips were fleshy, partly opened and partly closed. The white lips were wet as vertical rectangular white blazes on the path. So Lucy was not the place itself but the melting signal and crack in the cairn. Self-housed, she moved in time as the blood moves and was not outside the running line of chronometricals.

Some people say men are chronometricals and women live as “the place,” but it is a whitewash as one corner of the hour cannot be accounted for on the grandfather clock that is no totem to anyone’s clan.

Beneath the stone was the face.

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art : interview

Michele D’Aurizio

by Sam Korman

Opening—and closing—a gallery.

My recent conversation with Milan-based curator and writer, Michele D’Aurizio revolved around Gasconade, a nonprofit art space that D’Aurizio co-founded in 2011. I have followed the gallery for the past several years, and its program of largely Milanese artists (and a couple of international counterparts) seemed to sharpen over that time, responding to something specific and heretofore mysterious to me. In spite of my distance (I lived in the US), and having never seen an exhibition in person, my interest grew through the dark humor that surrounded and seemed to penetrate the otherwise traditional presentation of solo and group exhibitions, as well as specially commissioned projects. Hence, it felt less like the gallery made broad claims to a new direction in art, and more like its stakes were pointed, personal, and immediate. What seemed to happen at Gasconade was the generation of an attitude by which, as I discovered, its contributors might dig themselves out of the trenches of their immediate cultural environment and help them better understand a new urban bourgeoisie that has been growing internationally the last several years. So, D’Aurizio and I spoke about some of the exhibitions, but the interview, as with the gallery itself, was not contained by matters related to the specific day-to-day of the space. Rather, it became a conversation about those things which the gallery aided in understanding and challenging: the recent historical and contemporary issues that the artists and gallery sought to disrupt, how to responsibly record such provocations, and what it means for the catalyst of a young scene to grow up, or not. There’s more information about the exhibitions on Gasconade’s website, but the following conversation should likely be read as an exit interview.  

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literature : interview

Helen DeWitt

by Mieke Chew

“If you don’t like a language, you can go write your own.”

Helen DeWitt’s personal library is on display as part of The Library Vaccine, an exhibition of six distinctive collections at Artists Space in Soho. The books, shipped from DeWitt’s home in Berlin, are exhibited on one side of the gallery. The facing wall is covered in Xeroxed passages of books in different languages, printed emails, and screengrabs of her works in progress. Between, there are books on five large, white tables.

A viewer might wander around this space with the impression that to see “The Library of Helen DeWitt” is to see inside the mind of a writer. One might think the point is to view the books she holds most dear. This would be a mistake. Many of the books are included precisely because they represent a failure in DeWitt’s eyes. Without her guidance, it is up to the viewer to decide which contain great poetry and which are examples of what not to do with a book. This is not a test, but rather an argument expressed through objects.

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music : interview

Will Oldham

by Gary Canino

Performance, reinvention, and alternate realities.

It might seem mysterious that Singer's Grave a Sea of Tongues, the latest album from the ever-prolific and confounding Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, shares nine of its eleven songs with his 2011 release, Wolfroy Goes To Town. Bonny's eleventh album, released last month by longtime label Drag City, is neither a remake nor a rehash, but more of a recreation, an attempt to build an alternative reality around the framework of this collection of songs, from the ground up.

Reinterpretation is certainly not a new approach for Will Oldham, the singer-songwriter, performer, and occasional actor. Oldham, who went by variations on Palace and Palace Brothers in the ’90s, has been known as Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy—a sort of manifestation of Oldham’s more performative impulses—since the release of the now-classic I See a Darkness in 1999. In the intervening years, Oldham has made a practice of building complete worlds around each release, and frequently revisits and updates older material. On the 2004 album Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy Sings Greatest Palace Music, Oldham revisited, with slicked-up Nashville studio musicians, the “greatest hits” of his lo-fi Palace years. Oldham’s work often foregrounds the layers of character and performance that other artists present as “authenticity,” while never sacrificing a core of emotional truth. In this sense, he follows in the footsteps of American songwriters from W.C. Handy to James Brown to Carol King to Bob Dylan to R. Kelly, investing his work with equal elements of poetry and theater.

Singer’s Grave a Sea of Tongues, produced by Nashville-based Mark Nevers (who has worked with everyone from Billy Ray Cyrus to the Silver Jews) presents an alternate reality view of the Wolfroy material, classic country arrangements and all. The album allows equal space for prominent pedal steel and gospel back-up vocals by the McCrary sisters, but the songs themselves stand out, more than structurally sound enough to handle a rebuild. The album also continues Oldhams’s fruitful collaboration with guitarist Emmet Kelly, who has appeared on almost all of his records since 2006’s The Letting Go. One of the few exceptions was the self-released album Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, a collection of new songs, performed solo with Oldham on voice and guitar. The album is available from Oldham’s Palace Records and was, notably, not released digitally.

The 2012 book-length interview by Alan Licht Will Oldham on Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy—modeled on Cassavettes on Cassavettes—explores the development of Oldham’s various personas over the course of his career. It was also meant to ensure that Oldham would never have to do another interview. However, he happily agreed to talk on the phone about this new record, what makes a recording “definitive,” and Dick Cheney, and was a joy to talk to.

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art : portfolio
literature : word choice


by Gil Lawson

I attended every single event at this year’s Left Forum.

I wore a sort of dress, though it wasn’t really a dress—that would be insane. It was a long shirt styled to look like a dress, styled to be worn as a dress. That is to say it was a dress intended to be read as a shirt, and it cost me eighty dollars. I can pull it off. My high-soy-diet breasts, or appearance thereof. At least two spatial disruptions underneath the heavy fabric of the dress I wore to this year’s Left Forum.

It was very difficult to move around freely. Each year they hire a number of volunteer seraphim. It is easy to tell. They wear the blue lanyards. It is their responsibility to make sure no one attends any event for which they did not pay, and to make sure that no men are caught in dresses. I paid for nothing and wore the dress I just described.

To avoid the seraphim, I had to crawl underneath a number of chairs. While I was in this compromising position, men fumbled at my knickers. They did this by extending one long arm beneath the seat, down to where I was crawling, all the while with their heads cocked as though listening. Early on I would yawp when they touched me, but it quickly became apparent that this was not entirely kosher. I learned to move quicker so I was touched less frequently and for shorter periods of time, and that was how I responded to the long arms of the men.

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art : interview

Rachel Lee Hovnanian

by Dorothy Spears

Plastic babies, Fruit Loops, and albino mice.

Dorothy Spears Rachel, your work addresses issues related to food, beauty, and self-perception. It also examines social conventions and how humans interact, say, around the dinner table. What has drawn you to these subjects?

Rachel Lee Hovnanian Well, I was raised in a household of writers and artists. My parents both painted; they were friends with lots of artists, and so as a little girl I spent a lot of time in studios. And my mother, who was a great cook, decided she wanted to teach cooking, because growing up in Texas, food was not a big part of people’s lives. As a result, food was important in our home. It’s natural for me to combine the two.

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Art : Interview
paper clip
film : interview

Robert Greene

by Pamela Cohn

Exploring performance in documentary film.

The recent professorship bestowed upon filmmaker Robert Greene by The Missouri School of Journalism in Columbia comes with the title Filmmaker-in-Chief (really). The prolific thirty-eight-year-old could be considered a cine-polymath of sorts since he works in both narrative fiction and documentary/nonfiction film as a producer, director, and editor – on his own films, as well as those of others, including Alex Ross Perry’s recent hit Listen Up Philip.

His is also an emerging critical voice for the never-ending debates surrounding international nonfiction cinema, a topic that’s been close to my heart for a long time. I first met Robert in Columbia at the True/False Film Festival many moons ago when he was exhibiting his feature début called Kati With an I about his much younger half-sister and her drama-filled life. To this day, he is still working with the same producers, 4th Row Films, run by Douglas Tirola and Susan Bedusa, and the same cinematographer, Sean Price Williams.

His latest directorial effort is Actress, a project in which he’s raised the bar on performance in documentary, an obsession, he tells me, he will be devoted to exploring for at least his next twenty-five films. His previous documentary Fake It So Real, about a group of wrestlers, dealt directly with this topic. But for Actress, Greene forged a unique and intimate partnership with his main protagonist, Brandy Burre, a professional actress. The two create a semi-improvised film that explores Burre’s troubled psyche as she is going through a major identity crisis. Simultaneously, the relationship with the father of her children is disintegrating. Burre’s home, where most of the film is shot, is in the picturesque bedroom community of Beacon, New York with just a few feet separating her house from Greene’s. The town, as Greene shoots it, is a Cheever-esque locale that exudes the strange melancholia typical of American suburbia.  

Greene has just completed a successful crowd-funding campaign for music rights clearances for a few of the songs in Actress. He stubbornly refused to replace them because they are too integral and necessary to his story. The campaign had some urgency since the film is set to have its US theatrical release this month through the film’s distributor Cinema Guild. Actress will also have its European festival premiere at CPH:DOX in Copenhagen as a selection in its main competition for the DOX:AWARD. Also appearing in the same competition is a film that Greene edited, Amanda Rose Wilder’s Approaching the Elephant, a beautifully realized profile of a grammar school in New Jersey that untethers itself from conventional classes and school rules—unconventionality and rule-breaking being subjects Greene holds forth about regularly when he talks about nonfiction cinema in his regular column for Sight & Sound Magazine.  

One of Greene’s forthcoming projects has also been selected for this year’s CPH:FORUM. Kate Plays Christine is a continuation of the kind of work he did with Burre. The film follows actress Kate Lyn Sheil of House of Cards as she encounters her own ambivalence about the film industry while role-playing a thirty-year-old TV host named Christine Chubbuck who committed suicide on live television in Sarasota, Florida in 1974. 

Greene and I convened over a Beacon-Berlin Skype connection in early October just as he was launching his crowd-funding campaign. At 8 am in New York, Greene, fueled by coffee and his own boundless energy, spoke to me in a flood of staccato exhortations about his cinematic passions.  

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Literature : Interview

Will Chancellor

by David Richardson

Reenactment as research, rain forest idealism, and the gods of antiquity.

Novelist Will Chancellor and I first met two years ago. He and writer Kevin Jaszek were sitting at the bar I tended, each working on the other's manuscript, each wearing a grimace of concentration. I asked Chancellor about his project. A novel, he told me, concerning one Owen Burr, a near-Olympic caliber water polo star who loses an eye. In the book, we follow him from Stanford to Berlin as he negotiates his impairment, a foray into the art world, new love, and his relationship with his father—Dr. Burr, professor of Classics. The novel, A Brave Man Seven Storeys Tall (Harper, 2014), was published this July. We met to discuss the writing at Old Town Bar. In a not uncharacteristic turn, Will began his own interview.

Will Chancellor I wrote my first piece of journalism last week.

David Richardson What was it about?

WC One of the world's greatest rock climbers. He does these free climbs up some of the hardest routes in the world, up huge walls in Yosemite. He does free soloing—no ropes, no equipment—just climbing straight up a three-thousand-foot wall with shoes and a chalkbag. I interviewed him over the phone. It was funny because when I first called he sent me a text message while wedged into the face of Half Dome, saying, “Can we talk in like an hour and a half?” I told him not to worry about me, fucking climb your mountain! So I spoke to him when he was on top and, as he was hiking down, we had our interview.

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literature : interview

Juan Villoro

by Carlos Fonseca

Writing in the midst of political upheaval.

An inheritor of Jorge Ibargüengoitia’s sense of humor, Carlos Monsiváis’s acute perception, and Juan Rulfo’s poetic density, Juan Villoro has gracefully established himself as a central figure within Latin American literature. His versatility, evident in his prolific and protean production, is famous in the Spanish-speaking world. From his early short stories to his famous crónicas, from journalistic essays to academic ones, from children’s books to literary translations of German classics, from books on soccer to monumental novels, his capacity to intertwine, in every possible register, political reflections and literary imagination, provides each of his interventions with an impressive poignancy. His work is an exploration into the perverse social fantasies driving Mexico’s violent modern history and leaves nothing untouched.

His 2004 novel El testigo, winner of the prestigious Herralde Prize, is arguably where Villoro’s literary reflections regarding violence, history, and literature have been most brilliantly embodied. The novel tells the story of Julio Valdivieso, a Mexican émigré intellectual who, after a long stance in Europe, returns to Mexico after the ruling political party loses, following seven decades in power, the elections. His research into the figure of modernist poet Ramón López Velarde quickly leads him into a landscape of violence where history and spectacle overlap to the point of confusion. A novel about what it means to be a historical witness, El testigo remains Villoro’s masterpiece, a monument to his versatility as a writer and to his complexity as conjurer of Mexico’s social fantasies. With the recent events in the Mexican state of Guerrero, where forty-three students from the Raúl Isidro Burgos Rural Teachers College of Ayotzinapa have disappeared, his work seems today of the utmost relevance.

Despite its uncontested centrality and visibility within contemporary Latin American culture, Villoro’s work has only recently become available in translation to an American audience. On the tenth anniversary of El testigo’s publication, and with the English translation of two of his recent titles—The Guilty and Arrecife—forthcoming from New York publishing house George Braziller, Jeffrey Lawrence and I thought it pertinent to interview him on the political as well as aesthetic repercussions of his recent novels. We wish to thank him for such an enjoyable conversation.

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film : interview

Marshall Curry

by Gary M. Kramer

A crash course on manhood caught on camera.

Documentary filmmaker Marshall Curry’s latest film Point and Shoot is a fantastic portrait of Matthew VanDyke, a young man who left his life in Baltimore to become a freedom fighter in Libya during the Arab Spring. It’s a remarkable story, and Curry has made a remarkable film. In fact, Point and Shoot won the Best Documentary Feature prize at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival. 

The film edits together home movies and footage VanDyke shot overseas with interviews between Curry and VanDyke, showing how this young man went from leading a comfortable life to being an active participant in a war halfway around the world. Moreover, Curry’s film shrewdly addresses the issue of citizen journalism, as VanDyke’s footage is not only a document of his experiences in the Libyan war and elsewhere, but also a comment on the culture of immediacy abetted by YouTube and other online media outlets. 

Curry has helmed two Oscar-nominated documentaries: Street Fight, about Cory Booker challenging incumbent mayor Sharpe James in Newark, and If a Tree Falls, about the Earth Liberation Front. He also directed the terrific Racing Dreams, about a trio of kids who want to one day compete in NASCAR. 

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