Daily Postings
art : portfolio

Portfolio

by Lauren Clay

“Walls become panoramic vistas, referencing fractal geometries, viscous lava flows, and ’60s psychedelia.” —Peter Halley

Lauren Clay’s work begins with an investigation of the artifact, a meditation on a culturally resonant object. It is an oblique approach to the act of self-expression. She concentrates on the transformation of the artifact through a process of spatial manipulation. Her process eschews narrative and representation, focusing instead on the power of morphological and spatial changes to metamorphose the artifact.

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art : interview

Barnaby Furnas

by John Reed

“Our world is totally dominated by rectangles.”

In 2004, when I was walking around the Barnaby Furnas show Works on Paper, taking notes for the short review I would write for TimeOut, I had the vague notion that I should really be talking to the artist. Since then, the world has been remade in pixels—Wikipedia knows all, and we are creatures of the clouds—and Furnas's epic imagery has zoomed out, micro to macro, from the scale of the human, blood and guts, to the scale of the planetary, oceans and mountains. Marianne Boesky Gallery, too, has taken on grander proportions, still in Chelsea but now in a ground-floor space, so I built up my courage to upsize my own operation, requesting an installation walk-thru of First Morning with the artist. With drills whining, hammers slapping, and big paintings going on the wall, we sauntered through his sixth solo show.

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art : portfolio
art : portfolio
art : oral history

Gerald Jackson

by Stanley Whitney

I’m very pleased to present this introduction into the world of Gerald Jackson. I think you will find him a very rare and extremely creative human being. I have known Gerald now for over thirty years and continue to find our conversations inspiring, funny, and poignant. As an artist, his work goes from video to painting, sculpture to fashion, and music to performance.

Stanley Whitney So Gerald, I’d like to start with your early life. You’re from Chicago. Can you give us a little background about when you were born, your parents, your history?

Gerald Jackson I was born in Chicago. My father and his brothers ran a numbers racket. So my earliest memory was: I woke up, and I was in a suit. Men were walking around, guys in their suits. There was a big wheel that they would spin and get their numbers. And we were all dressed up.

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art : interview

Camille Henrot

by Michael Barron

“We also looked into hysterical and mythological bad dads. And so we twisted all this material into questions like ‘Has your father eaten your siblings?‘”

At the recent opening of Camille Henrot’s solo show at Metro Pictures, I stood in a line, waiting to use a telephone. There were eight of them, all occupied by people with receivers cupped to their ears. But one in particular, stylized and colored like a Nickelodeon TV show prop, had caught my attention. Its occupant, a young woman whose bunned hair threatened to topple from her head, widened her eyes and furled her brow as she listened to the voice on the other end. Finally, she hung up and shot me a nonplussed look. “So weird…” she said. Then, as if proffering advice, she suggested, “I just pressed ‘0’ for every question. Maybe you can keep hitting ‘1’ then come find me to compare answers.” I picked up and heard a male voice who, friendly enough and definitely assertive, had me run a gamut of bizarre questions, such as, “If your dad has fathered more than nine children, press ‘0‘ / If your father has eaten any of his children, press ‘1‘.” For a non-native English speaker like Henrot, who expatriated from Paris to New York in 2011, hotlines are a demonstration of how easily language can bewilder and command.

Being misunderstood has given Henrot an appreciation for the exotic. In her first work completed in New York, Is It Possible to Be a Revolutionary and Still Like Flowers (2012), Henrot created a series of installations inspired by Ikebana—the Japanese art of floral arrangement notorious for its opaque techniques—to explore a grand metaphor for translation and the limits of cultural understanding. Henrot’s most famous work to date, Grosse Fatigue, is a thirteen-minute multimedia narration of Google images, Youtube videos, and a spoken word voice-over that explores the diversity of creation myths and underlines one of humanity’s greatest gifts: its ability to tell stories.

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art : interview

Ethan Greenbaum

by Andrianna Campbell

“It’s nice when you can make connections in hindsight. Your life feels like chaos, then you realize there are patterns.”

It was after 6PM on a warm night in my Brooklyn apartment, where Ethan Greenbaum and I spent a few hours before he had to meet his wife, the artist Sun You, for dinner. He chastised me for not being as serious as when I interviewed other artists. In the early days of my writing, he had been an especially harsh critic, at least for a friend. So, my writing developed very much in conversation with him as an artist. Once, I read him a short story in his kitchen, which was a fictional retelling of a story he had told me. It was sort of a portrait of the artist as a young man. I thought it hilarious; he said it was boring.

Ethan is always moving, making, thinking, listening to philosophy podcasts, reading New Yorker short fiction, and he’s always able to—on the spot—produce a witty interpretation of something as if he’d been thinking about it for years. That his art has been the opposite for so long—so layered, nuanced, and slow to reveal itself—has always been a bit of a mystery to me. This new Pop-inflected work co-mingles with that earlier, almost obsessive need of his to create an aura with materials that seem not to deserve it: plastic, Formica, and now plaster and plastic wrapping. As we sat down at my desk, we drank beers but wanted whiskey. The moment seemed like it had been a long time coming, so I turned on the mic and got serious(ish).

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art : review

Marina Abramović’s Goldberg

by David Brody

“In the coy manner of Yoko Ono, we were instructed: ‘Listen.’ (No duh.)”

At the time of her 2010 MoMA retrospective, “The Artist is Present,” Marina Abramović spoke in an interview about the challenge of documenting and transmitting (that is, re-performing) her art. Perhaps, she mused, the best documentation would be a story about the event told by a performer or viewer. Both parties, of course, must be “present” for a work of performance art to exist; and in its imperative to shock viewers into such presence, she went on, performance art was superior to painting, sculpture, and all other forms—all except music, which she ranked highest among the arts.

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art : interview

Celia Paul

by Hilton Als

“Pictures unpainted make the heart sick.”

Women, and their spirits, permeate the work of painter Celia Paul and writer Hilton Als. Paul, for example, has often relied on her mother and four sisters as models for her exquisitely delicate, practically dissolving, portraiture. Her technical style with her chosen media—both oil and watercolor—feels both physically immediate yet completely mnemonic. If she doesn’t personally, deeply, know the person she paints then the image leads to nothing—to where it all began—a blank canvas. Hence: the significance of her beloved mother. This is where the story turns, as some might say, a wee bit weird: Her student paintings of her mother served as a point of introduction to the visiting tutor Lucian Freud—soon to be (temporary) mentor, lover, and father of her son, Frank. Paul, at the time, had been entranced by Freud’s paintings of his own mother.

The first chapter of Hilton Als’s debut book, The Women, begins with a mystery: “Until the end, my mother never discussed her way of being.” The writer’s mother—reminiscent of those of Paul’s and Freud’s—serves as a model for artistic exploration. I see Als, just like Paul, merging with (and often dissolving into) his subject matter. Or, better yet, trading places. My favorite example, at the moment, can be found in White Girls, his second book. It occurs in the chapter, “I Am the Happiness of This World.” In it, Als proclaims: “I am Louise Brooks.”

This interview, published on the occasion of the Celia Paul exhibition (curated by Als) at the Metropolitan Opera House’s Gallery Met, adds yet another woman to the equation. This time she’s even more of a phantom. Her name is Desdemona (apparently in opposition to Eudaimonia). The show—which includes a small (of course dissolving) portrait of Als—is pegged to the Met’s current production of Verdi’s Otello. Paul’s self-portraiture, the images of her family, and a few of her ocean wave paintings, feel, somehow, perfectly in place here. In keeping with the theme of the deliquescent, Als suggested that their interview appear without his questions. BOMB has dutifully granted that request.

—Chris Chang

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art : portfolio
art : portfolio
art : interview

Ryan Foerster

by Ashley McNelis

“If this is what this material does now, just treat it as a positive thing.“

Since his teenage punk years in his hometown of Newmarket, Ontario, Ryan Foerster has circumnavigated the traditional path that artists generally follow to success. He is a dropout of the International Center of Photography and the Ontario College of Art & Design, and (while his studio is in Tribeca) he is based in Brighton Beach. Since approximately 2007, Foerster has used elements of alt process photography, found objects, and the effects of nature to make his work. His method is nostalgic but also fresh and irreverent. His preference for working outside of the mainstream extends to his installation style as well. The Shoot the Lobster installation (organized in collaboration with Bob Nickas and Jose Martos) in Miami in 2012 involved leaving photographs, printing plates, and found objects exposed to the elements where they were installed in a grassy roadside lot. 

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art : interview

Shana Moulton

by Bean Gilsdorf

“She isn’t all completely me, but somehow she’s a part of me, or some sort of art-making tool.”

I first encountered Shana Moulton’s work at the Banff Centre in 2012, where I was participating in a residency on experimental comedy. Comedy—like many other fields—is often thought of as a man’s game, and here was a woman making radically potent observations on uncertainty and longing while moving through the world wearing a neck brace and some terrifically unfashionable clothes. “Cynthia,” the character that extends from Moulton, is a figure that embodies both satire and tragedy—one minute swept up in a life-affirming pas de deux with a container of yogurt, the next attempting to assuage her existential dread with eye shadow or bath salts. The friction between these two positions never resolves, and Moulton continues to explore points along the continuum; she produces videos, objects, and live performances that portray Cynthia’s persistent reaching toward something that can’t quite be grasped.

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art : portfolio

Portfolio

by Dana Lok

“Traditionally, a painting treats you to the front and center seats. I like the idea you might get a seat that’s off to the side.”

A few years ago, my practice consisted of primarily making abstract paintings. I worked through a structure I called “Slow Frames,” which offered you two sequential views of an abstract scene, like two frames lifted from an animation. Seeing a second view of the scene implies that even an abstract painting promises some other, continuous world inside its frame. When I began to very carefully let imagery seep into my work, it came from a source already essentially temporal, constructed, and graphic: a cartoon.

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art : interview

Pauline Boudry / Renate Lorenz

by Risa Puleo

“We insist on repeating moments of liberation, as a kind of sustainable practice.”

Mining images, music, texts, events, and actions from the past, Pauline Boudry and Renate Lorenz look for moments of queer history that are often inscrutable, invisible, or illegible. Working with a regular crew of friends and collaborators to re-perform these moments—often in one take on 16mm film—the pair re-present history, reimagining possibilities for the present and reinscribing agency beyond projected ideas of normalcy and other forms of categorization. Central to Boudry / Lorenz’s practice are questions of visibility, representation, and recognition that address the stakes and potential liberating effect of each form of image-making.

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art : interview

Kembra Pfahler

by Brienne Walsh

“To me, it's just a privilege to even still be walking, because I saw everyone die of AIDS in the ‘80s.”

Kembra Pfahler is a downtown legend: a punk rocker, screen goddess, curator, and performance artist who moved from Los Angeles to the East Village in the early 1980s. Over the course of her time in New York, she’s modeled for Calvin Klein, sings lead in the death punk metal band The Voluptuous Horror of Karen Black, and founded a performance art movement known as “Availabilism,” the tenet of which is to use whatever’s around at any given time to create performance—as an expression of some ineffable part of oneself. In Kembra’s case, she’s strapped bowling balls found on the street to her feet, cracked eggs from an otherwise empty fridge on her vulva, and used Grindr to post close-up pictures of her face in blue body paint and a bouffant black wig—which is probably how you recognize her, horny gay men of the East Village. In her most famous performance, which she did for Richard Kern’s Sewing Circle in 1992, she had her vagina sewn shut by an Asian woman—performance artist Lisa Resurreccion—while wearing nothing but a “Young Republicans” t-shirt. When asked why she did it, she told DisinfoTV: “I just told my mother I was very upset.” There’s a deep rage in Kembra’s work at the way the female body is treated by society.

Meeting at her apartment—the interior of which is painted entirely in red—she told me to arrive on time for our interview because she had a packed schedule, so I arrived twenty minutes early. As I was parking my bike outside of her apartment building, I noticed a slight, high cheek-boned woman in sweatpants taking out her keys to enter. I paused. Missing were the characteristic drawn-in eyebrows Kembra sports in public, but the woman had the unmistakable aura of someone very special. We talked for nearly two hours.

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art : interview

Bradford Nordeen

by Suzy Halajian

“The context for creation is collaborative, it’s peer-based, it doesn’t emerge from a bubble. So why should these works be viewed so discreetly thirty years on?”

It’s late and dark. And the only way to enter the Echo Park storefront of Machine Project is through the back alley, where a green light is flickering and an OPEN sign hangs on the metal door. It’s here that Bradford Nordeen of Dirty Looks and his Los Angeles co-curator Clara López Menéndez have converted the space’s basement, Mystery Theatre, into a porn theatre on March 20, 2015. “Sesión Continua: a porn theatre in Echo Park,” presented screenings of classic, hardcore works of gay and lesbian erotica over the course of 24-hours.

Converting spaces is nothing new to Nordeen, who has been running Dirty Looks (DL) since 2011. The roaming platform for queer experimental film, video, and performance makes use of a range of spaces, from historic bars and former bathhouses to theaters and DIY project spaces and arts institutions. There is something very casual in Nordeen’s approach, a “sure, let’s try it this way, this time” effort. But one conversation in, and it becomes clear that this informal approach sits alongside the experimental nature of his work, and that it somehow balances his deliberateness in collaborating with certain artists and showing specific works. There is a significance and urgency of having these works seen, time and time again.

It is unmistakably personal work for Nordeen.

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art : portfolio
art : review

Two Stanley Whitney Books

by Chris Chang

“No rulers ever used.”

I would like to bring to the reader’s attention the existence of two books—intimately related—yet as different as night and day. But first I must pull a quote out of a piece of (ostensible) junk mail. In the latest Carnegie Hall calendar, tucked away within a blurb for an upcoming performance of Beethoven’s Pastoral, I came across the following bit of cautionary advice: “All painting in instrumental music, if pushed too far, is a failure.” What exactly did the great German composer mean? Was he speaking out of his own frustration—or was he perhaps admonishing a rival? We know that Beethoven did not mean, painting, per se. Tone painting, in which musical sounds imitate nature—birds, babbling brooks, approaching storms, etc.—was apparently a hot 19th-century topic. The technique was considered possibly degenerate yet, if used with moderation, it might fulfill a useful purpose, that is, help create a healthy balance between chaos and the absolute. But a subtextual question remains: How does one push painting, yet alone music, too far?

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art : portfolio
art : interview

M. Lamar

by Risa Puleo

“I am an artist. I am a NEGROGOTHIC, devil-worshipping, free black man in the blues tradition. Those are the things I am now.”

M. Lamar is an artist whose work in music and performance straddles the genres of gospel, opera, punk, goth, and metal and blues traditions. While these sources may seem broad-ranging and disparate, Lamar has found a way to synthesize them into a cohesive musical, political and aesthetic statement. Connecting the virtuosity of operatic voice to that of the gospel soloist, goth’s dark theatricality to operatic grandeur, the mournfulness of the blues to punk’s political agendas, Lamar seeks to understand how colonial and plantation narratives about gender and race underlie daily life in the US.
 
The result of this fusion is vocals that haunt, lyrics that expose endemic problems, and performances of baroque grandiosity that point to capitalist excesses. Through an exhibition at PARTICIPANT INC last summer and a recent performance at Issue Project Room last month, Lamar has produced a series of short videos, prints, and sculpture to accompany his songs, with the videos to be consolidated into a longer film tentatively called Surveillance, Punishment and the Black Psyche, currently in production. 

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art : portfolio

Portfolio

by Cy Gavin

“How does it feel to be a problem? they say, I know an excellent colored man in my town; or, I fought at Mechanicsville; or, Do not these Southern outrages make your blood boil? To the real question, How does it feel to be a problem? I answer seldom a word.”

—W.E.B. Du Bois

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art : interview

Jack Ferver

by Joshua Lubin-Levy

Jack Ferver <----@gmail.com>
To: Joshua Lubin-Levy <----@gmail.com>

I'm only a masochist inasmuch as I'm also my own sadist. I don't like being hurt by others or systems. I do make choreography that hurts me physically and my performances are taxing psychologically for me, and the performers, and anyone who works with me. Is that why you didn't work with me on this one? You came to that first rehearsal at Baryshnikov and then peaced out. I know you're busy. But I'm busy too. I just started back teaching at Bard and NYU and I'm setting this choreography for Parker Posey for the next Christopher Guest film and doing a curation for MAD and another one for YOU and making the piece for next year at The Kitchen with Reid and starting this other work with David. I'm writing this from a car, I don't even know where I am and should be looking at the road, but look: yes to misfits, yes to others, however, I don't think about mismatching or misfitting. I think more about mirroring how I see the world: complicated.
[Quoted text hidden]

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art : interview

Casey Jane Ellison

by Brienne Walsh

“What’s the difference between New York and LA? In New York, you cry in the street, but in LA, you cry in your car.”

I knew Casey Jane Ellison’s work, Touching the Art (2013), was good when I stayed to watch the entire second season twice on a screen in the New Museum’s lobby during “Surround Audience,” the 2015 Triennial; the video is a three-part series in which she interviews various art world luminaries, including Catherine Opie, K8 Hardy, Clarissa Dalrymple, and Kembra Pfahler. I also knew it was good when, at home later in the evening, I re-played it during a dinner party, and my best friends watched it with the same gusto usually reserved for Beyoncé music videos.

Embodying a persona that is, in turn, hilarious, childish, antagonistic, vulnerable, and chummy, Ellison asks female artists, curators, and collectors—males were pointedly excluded from the set—questions that they would generally be too polite or offended to answer, such as, “What is success? Like, should I hang myself?” By disarming her subjects, she allows them to open up. “It’s being rich and being well-loved by everyone you like to have loving you,” Dalrymple responded to the question.

If her career successes over the past year are any indication, she’s certainly loved by more than myself and my drunk BFFs—loved, across all kinds of disciplines. Along with doing a monthly stand-up comedy show at Otherwild in Los Angeles, she was also recently hired by B.B. Dakota, a clothing brand, to create The Right and Left Brains of Casey Jane’s, a six-part series that will air on the brand’s website this autumn.

I recently sat down with Ellison in a coffee shop in Venice, California. Offers of daytime drinking and/or getting stoned—“when in California...”—were politely ignored for a more sober experience.

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art : portfolio