BOMB 130, Winter 2015

The cover of BOMB 130

Theaster Gates, Paweł Althamer, A.G. Porta, Martin Wilner, Paola Prestini, Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin, Pierre Guyotat, Eugène Green, Cristina de Middel, Bethany Ides, Leeza Meksin...

Pier Paolo Pasolini's Selected Poetry, Edited and Translated by Stephen Sartarelli

by Jonas Mekas

"There has never been a revolution in America that could be called Marxist, and thus Americans have no direct experience of it. For Europeans, Marxism is a living experience. So I consider your fight a political fight outside of the Marxist fight, outside of the Marxist scheme. Therefore I love your new cinema, and do not love the Italian one. I do not like the new Italian cinema, because it is qualunquista. Much avant-garde Italian literature, by the way, is also qualunquista."

Finnbogi Petursson's Second/Second

by Scott Turri

On his second stop at Wood Street Galleries, Icelandic artist Finnbogi Petursson returns with Second/Second, his first solo US exhibition, featuring two large installations involving sound, light, and water.

Erik Satie's A Mammal's Notebook

by Anthony Huberman

One way to understand the work of Erik Satie is to imagine a place somewhere between two opposite artistic poles: James McNeill Whistler and Robert Filliou. The former was a well-known American painter born in 1834, while the latter was a less well-known French artist born in 1926.

Simon Critchley's Memory Theatre

by Nova Benway

“Who speaks in the work of Samuel Beckett?” asks Simon Critchley in his probing 1998 essay on the nature of the Irish writer’s narrative voice. (“It’s not I, that’s all I know,” goes Beckett’s line in The Unnamable, as if in response.) The significance of voice animates much of Critchley’s writings on philosophy, literature, and art, which have long been concerned with the interplay of life and thought as well as author and text; indeed his The Book of Dead Philosophers, which reads thinkers through their diverse circumstances of demise, is a particularly committed and comical take.

Ralph Lemon's Scaffold Room

by Jenn Joy

A love letter composed from a scaffold. Isn't this the way we live now? Along the edge of catastrophe always in proximity to desire: as we enter the gallery we see Okwui Okpokwasili on top of the scaffold stage jumping, jumping, jumping on a pink mattress encased in plastic.

Takashi Makino's 2012

by Marianne Shaneen

Takashi Makino's thirty-minute film 2012—screened as part of the New York Film Festival's Projections series in October—drenches the audience with sounds of prolonged resonant scraped string textures and images of shimmering blue clouds of drifting particles. Panes of swirling atoms, scratched lines, and densely patterned fields rotate and pan in different directions, inducing an expansive sensory meditation on the nature of perception.

Kate Soper's Here Be Sirens

by Andrea Ray

Kate Soper’s Here Be Sirens explores, through beautiful harmonies and curious discords, the constraint of fixed roles and the desire to release oneself from them through the activity of research—finding the origin of the fixed identity being key to redefining and freeing oneself. Calling on an ancient example of a frightening femme fatale, in Soper’s work, the figure of the siren stands in for any fixed subject identity.

Numero Group's Music from the Mountain Provinces

by Clinton Krute

The allure of "ethnomusicological" records is, for me, only partially derived from their exoticism. Though I'm certainly attracted to strange sounds, I've found myself increasingly interested in the culture of such records themselves: their packaging, marketing, and the stories of the people who made incredible efforts to document this music.

Martin Wilner

by Francis Levy

Martin Wilner is an artist and psychiatrist. For his ongoing Case Histories—a series of portraits each completed over the course of a month—subjects send him daily dispatches that are woven into the drawings. Novelist Francis Levy calls the process "a mini analysis of sorts."

Paola Prestini

by Helga Davis

Composer Paola Prestini is the creative director of the soon-to-open Original Music Workshop. With vocalist Helga Davis, she elaborates on her Italian and Mexican background and her collaborations with artists of other disciplines.

Pierre Guyotat

by Noura Wedell

The French writer speaks to his translator about his latest autobiographical novel to appear in English. Titled In the Deep, it deals with the link between desire and his early literary output, as well as the effect of his Catholic upbringing and World War II on his imagination.

A.G. Porta

by Margaret Hooks

The Catalan author of The No World Concerto talks about his early collaborations with Roberto Bolaño and the slew of novels that followed a lengthy hiatus from writing.

Cristina de Middel

by Pradeep Dalal

A favorite album of mine is Os Afro Sambas by legendary Brazilian musicians guitarist Baden Powell and the songwriter Vinicius de Moraes. My CD is a reissue that includes a great track called "O Astronauta." The word rolls off the tongue with a lilt and a beat, so much more musical than astronauts, or cosmonauts, their equivalent in the Russian space program. And then there is The Afronauts, which is the title of a fable-like project by the Spanish artist Cristina de Middel.

Bethany Ides

by Suzanne Joelson

For the past decade my sense of Bethany Ides's work was based on hearsay, bits and scraps, or long distance perception. After seeing Initial Contractions last year, I understood that this myopic blur and the piecemeal comprehension was a quality of the work.

Leeza Meksin

by Sophie Pinkham

For her installation at Airplane Gallery in Bushwick this past summer, Leeza Meksin took a basement, a dank place full of exposed piping (paging Freud), and made it fabulous.

Here Comes Kitty: A Comic Opera

by Richard Kraft

When Richard Kraft asked me to collaborate on Here Comes Kitty: A Comic Opera (forthcoming from Siglio next March), I hadn’t seen any of the collages that would make up the bulk of the book; he simply told me about them over the phone. I jotted: “menagerie,” “alchemy,” and “putting heads on bodies.” Then, in the spirit of Cage and Cunningham, we worked together apart.

"The island's not that big," says Branko's wife Djurdjica as she fills his cup with thick, strong coffee.

Everyone says this over and over like a kind of mantra. Kunicki gets the message—he wouldn't have needed to be told, anyway, that the island is too small for anyone to disappear on it. The island is just over ten kilometers across, with only two real towns, Vis and Komiža. Every inch of it is able to be searched. It's like rifling through a drawer. Plus everyone knows each other, in both towns. And then the nights are warm, the grapes in full flourish on the vines, the figs nearly ripe. Even if they had gotten lost somehow, they would have been fine—wouldn't have frozen or starved to death, and they could hardly have been devoured by wild beasts, either. They would simply have spent a warm night on sunburned grass, beneath an olive tree, against a backdrop of the sea's sleepy rumble.

David Vandeloo lives in Berkeley, CA. His poems have appeared recently in Volume 7 of BafterC, and his chapbook, ARKANSAS, is forthcoming from Cannibal Press. In June, he completed a triptych assembled with wood, paint, different metals, images, shadows, fabric, a flashlight, a photocopier/camera, glass, sand, and seeds. This poetry sample was selected by CAConrad as BOMB’s 2014 Poetry Contest runner-up.

Woodchuck was wandering on a path through woods one day when his leg caught in some vines.

At first say the people who tell his stories Woodchuck was surprised and laughed at himself for being so careless but it was harder to extricate himself from the cords at his feet than he expected.

Poems and Drawings from Window-book

by Semezdin Mehmedinović

There’s a content to forgetting, just as there’s a content to remembering. After eight years, I went back home. There still wasn’t any glass in the windows, just sheets of plastic and, in a window in the living room, a piece of plywood winnowed out from rain and snow. All the walls were peppered with bullets, but the contents of the premises hadn’t changed much. Books still on shelves, paintings on walls ... Everything just like it was. In the bathroom I found a glass bottle shaped like a pine cone. Pino Silvestre—cheap aftershave. I opened the bottle, it was empty, but the familiar scent still wafted out. Eight years didn’t exist for me: had I not come back, I’d never have thought of the glass pine cone, it would have remained forgotten, even though many events of my youth, because of it, smelled like needles

Leonard changed lanes without using his blinker, as was his habit. Still, when he slipped into the exit lane of the freeway as suddenly as a fish leaping out of water Niamh tensed her shoulders and glanced back reflexively at Helena, sleeping in the back seat with her neck at an angle that made it look broken. Niamh saw Leonard looking at her from the corner of his eye, but she didn’t say anything. It was Leonard’s belief that one ought to surprise the other cars on the road, because if you let people know what you’re doing before you’ve done it, they’re sure to try and stop you. Niamh had heard him explain this theory many times, and she could tell that he was watching her now in the hope that she would betray some reaction, so that he could have the pleasure of telling her, in his deep, soothing voice, that the problem, Niamh, is that if you’re constantly waiting for others’ permission, you’ll never get what you want. You can’t wait for the world to scoot over and make room for you. You have to force your way in.

Astra Taylor's The People's Platform

by Orit Gat

Was the Internet intended for you? It’s hard to think about it structurally without throwing personal use into the mix. Taylor, a documentary filmmaker (Zizek!, Examined Life), does just that in her speculation on what a sustainable digital future may look like, emphasizing the role and space of culture in a digital society where the arts are stuff given out for free—bait to lure users in for more exposure to advertising.

Theaster Gates

by Tom McDonough

Writer and critic Tom McDonough asks artist Theaster Gates about channeling surplus, reclaiming vernacular art forms, and his ritualistic approach to urban revitalization in Chicago's South Side.

Paweł Althamer

by Nell McClister

The Polish artist recently mounted a new participatory installation on Hydra Island in Greece, where Nell McClister prompted him to talk about the core of his collaborative projects: community, experimentation, and spirituality.

Eugène Green

by Nicholas Elliott

American-born French director applies the paradox of the Baroque worldview to the composition of his films, and most recently, to La Sapienza. Nicholas Elliott probes Green's interest in the tension between spirit and reason.

BOMB 130
Winter 2015
The cover of BOMB 130