BOMB 131, Spring 2015

The cover of BOMB 131

Rosa Barba, Barbara Kasten, Matana Roberts, Tom McCarthy, Alejandro Zambra, Tatiana Bilbao, Agnieszka Kurant, Soon-Mi Yoo, Rae Armantrout, Jeffery Renard Allen, Colin Dickey, Jeffrey Yang...


The music we heard on our radios that morning was nothing new to our ears; it was what the soldiers played whenever they make a coup. The brassy, instrumental military music had been playing since dawn, and every now and then a deep male voice interrupted with the same announcement: "Fellow countrymen and women. The New Ghana Proletariat Revolutionary Council, N.G.P.R.C., is now in full control of the Castle and the radio stations in all nine regional capitals. We advise everybody to remain calm and to stay tuned for a speech. By the Leader of the Revolution. At ten o'clock."


Pseudo-Dionysius tells us, “We must begin with a prayer before everything we do, but especially before we are about to talk of God” (Divine Names Chapter 3). What is prayer? Our Lord tells us often how to pray—“Our Father who art in Heaven,” (Matthew 6:9-13)—and when to pray—“pray without ceasing”—and even what and whom we should pray for—“And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith” (Matthew 21:22) and “Therefore, confess your sins together and pray for one another” (James 5:16). Our Lord, in his wisdom, even tells us how not to pray—“When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.” (Matthew 6:5, see also Luke 18). But this doesn’t quite answer the question, my brothers and sisters: What is prayer?

Line and Light

by Jeffrey Yang Melissa McGill


Ceiling turned to sky
Time to timelessness
Further from the center to the outer stations, along darkening tracks along opposing banks
Through the fjord the sound, river iced over
Night valley emptiness, seawater tide, shored

I had waited, who knows how long—a few minutes, or a half an hour—sitting under the blare of industrial fluorescents, until the bus finally arrived out of a low fog. It was a forty-five minute ride, over the mountains, from Santa Cruz to San Jose, my destination. Boarding the bus, I fed my five dollar bill into the machine, and slunk toward the back, waiting.

He is Tom at the same time that he is too preposterous to be Tom. (Root distinction, difference: Juluster is a rare one, but he belongs. Tom never belonged. Tom never could belong. A challenge—what blind person isn’t?—Juluster is both cooperative and independent in ways that Tom never was, never could be.) He looks somewhat like Tom.

Samara Golden

by Kristin Lucas

I went on a few adventures as a prompt for writing this response to Samara Golden’s The Flat Side of the Knife. I was drawn to the way that Golden’s installation tethered me between a realtime physical presence and a timeless, psychically charged, illusionary space.

Christian Thompson

by Sean Lowry

Weaving fragmented histories into stylized atemporal surfaces, the work of Australian artist Christian Thompson gently conjures ghostly origins and seductively deepens viewer subjectivity.

Kevin Kline and Bruce Schultz

by Zachary Lazar

The remarkable thing about A Stranger to Me, Kevin Kline’s new series of tintype photographs, is how they manage to say something new about New Orleans, carefully refracting its essentials through a personal story—a love story.

Renée Green's Other Planes of There

by Thom Donovan

Renée Green’s collection, Other Planes of There, which spans over twenty years of the artist’s career, holds an alluring sense of return for me, offering a kind of fossil record of an evolving debate among progressive artists and cultural critics. It becomes clear that this discourse—which concerns the role of art in cultural politics, the reemergence of submerged cultural histories, a movement beyond institutional critique, the curation of “globalism,” and the correlation of ethnographic and aesthetic practices—haunts the archive of contemporary art.

Seth Price's Folklore U.S.

by Ben Fama

Seth Price’s Folklore U.S. documents a series of installations and exhibitions stemming from his dOCUMENTA (13) contribution, which included the Folklore U.S. SS12 fashion show (with collaborator Tim Hamilton), an exhibition at Hauptbahnhof, and a series of shop windows and garments for sale at SinnLeffers. The book is bound with a thick iridescent linen paper that wavers between green and purple as you tilt it to and fro.

P. Inman's Written: 1976–2013

by Ian Dreiblatt

It’s a helpful thought to carry into the work of P. Inman, the DC-based Language poet whose collected verse, Written, has recently been published as an appealingly flat, pumpkin-colored book by if p then q classics. Inman is a realist of language’s tendency to become material: his poems exemplify the ways in which writing both preserves and interrupts language, and how it fluctuates in an ambivalent space between being a record of vanished speech and one of language’s living forms.

Benny and Joshua Safdie's Heaven Knows What

by Sara Driver

Hendricks, the Safdies, and the gang involved with Red Bucket Films are all NYC kids who love cinema. They study films. They adore movies. Celebrating and using their filmmaking and budgetary limitations to the fullest, they have invented their own unique voice in cinematic storytelling.

Margaret Morton's Cities of the Dead: The Ancestral Cemeteries of Kyrgyzstan

by Claudia Steinberg

Margaret Morton reports that on her first long drive through the mountains of Kyrgyzstan she was delighted when a skyline of minarets and domes appeared out of the silvery-blue, thin, stone-dry air, like a mirage. It had taken more than an hour until the ornate city—so eagerly anticipated after the endless ride from Bishkek (the country’s dreary, Soviet-style capital) through the austere and utterly unpopulated landscape—revealed its secret.

The Slanted Life of Emily Dickinson

by Rosanna Bruno

Rosanna Bruno is a visual artist who lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. She received a New York Foundation for the Arts fellowship in 2012 in painting and has received Yaddo fellowships in 2012 and 2014. She loves words and she is currently creating a comic book about the ever-fascinating poet, Emily Dickinson.

Barbara Kasten

by Leslie Hewitt

Kasten’s photographs capture the fleeting interplay of color, form, and light in the geometric objects she assembles. She spoke to Leslie Hewitt about the expansion of their shared medium.

Alejandro Zambra

by Daniel Alarcón

The characters in Zambra's stories and novels can't help being impostors. Alarcón finds out why, on the occasion of the Chilean author's recently published short-story collection, My Documents.

Tom McCarthy

by Frederic Tuten

Tom McCarthy could be considered a conceptual artist whose medium is fiction. His Satin Island is just out. Frederic Tuten, the British novelist's counterpart on this side of the Atlantic, investigates the novel's dizzyingly diverse sources.

Agnieszka Kurant

by Sabine Russ

Agnieszka Kurant’s interests include various forms of surplus, invisible entities, and the phantoms haunting capitalist production. Some of her projects involve crowdsourcing, others outsourcing to nonhuman species: think colonies of termites.

Matana Roberts

by Christopher Stackhouse

Saxophonist and composer Matana Roberts combines music, storytelling, and political activism. On the occasion of the release of Chapter Three in her ongoing Coin Coin series, Christopher Stackhouse prompts her to talk about her background and vision.

Soon-Mi Yoo

by Paul Dallas

In her new film, Songs From the North, Soon-Mi Yoo mines the land of memory, and the dormant conflicts and sorrows that bind the people of North and South Korea.

Tatiana Bilbao

by Terence Gower

For Tatiana Bilbao, an architectural project’s limitations are opportunities to experiment with new approaches. With artist Terence Gower she revisits recent ventures and Mexico’s architectural tradition.

Rosa Barba

by Joan Jonas

During a train ride from New York to Massachusetts, Rosa Barba and Joan Jonas exchanged thoughts on volcanoes, deserts, and poetry, on film versus video, and the layering of time and place in their works.



Imagine you're trying

to locate a lost


by the way its pings

come in relation

to the wobble

of a satellite

beginning to lose


and you feel

no fear.

BOMB 131
Spring 2015
The cover of BOMB 131