BOMB 132, Summer 2015

The cover of BOMB 132

Featuring a cover with hand-drawn verse by Eileen Myles. Interviews with Carolee Schneemann, Nicole Eisenman, David Humphrey, Maggie Nelson, Justin Vivian Bond, Robert Grenier, Leigh Ledare, Chris Kraus, Moriah Evans, and more.

Caroline Woolard

by John Haskell

With entrepreneurial gusto Woolard calls attention to injustice; and then, moving beyond that, she asks: How can we change a system that perpetuates injustice? For her it’s a real question, and to answer it she uses, first of all, collaboration.

Moriah Evans

by Lawrence Kumpf

An interest in disobedient bodies notwithstanding, for Moriah Evans dance emerges through rigorous choreographic structures. Her most recent piece, Social Dance, was presented at ISSUE Project Room earlier this year.

Carolee Schneemann

by Coleen Fitzgibbon

Breaking the Frame, a film by Marielle Nitoslawska about Schneemann’s unique legacy, serves as a departure point for an exchange about the “beauty paradox,” historical and contemporary patriarchies, and the artist’s ongoing subversion of gender codes.

Robert Grenier and Paul Stephens

CAMBRIDGE M'ASS, originally published by Lyn Hejinian's Tuumba Press in 1979, marked Robert Grenier's shift to visual poetry. Celebrating its recent reprint, Paul Stephens talks with him about the oversize poster-poem, where poetry is both map and maze.

Maggie Nelson

by A.L. Steiner

In her new book, The Argonauts, Maggie Nelson refracts gender theory through the prism of her experience forming a non-heteronormative family.

Self Veil

Kept trying to unwrap her here

It was a gift. Because it was.
Lifted in its frame of invisible stickiness

Kept prying at the edges of before

Utopia Parkway
after Joseph Cornell

He spoke of neighborhood thieves and his passion for a singer
whose name we’ve long forgotten.
He lived on donuts.
He prowled junk shops for pictures of exotic birds
and ballerinas, old maps, a tarnished figurine.
He looked like a haggard tramp. Tramp thin.
His house was a firetrap.

(The aftermath)

The very first days following my mother’s death, my father and I were alone. Then my brother and his girlfriend joined us. And then my uncle, aunt, and cousin. It was nice to have company there. It helped make things lighter. It gave the days the form of a social gathering, and so we could organize getting food, make conversation over the dinner table, talk over what had happened and would happen now . . . and my father, my brother, and I couldn’t retreat inside ourselves. We had company. It made everything float, in suspended reality.

About a week after her suicide, we had her funeral.

Translated from the Spanish by Montana Ray.

So they invite you to Nueva York, all expenses paid, to participate in an event for Stonewall, twenty years after the police brawl starring the gay girls who, in 1964, took over a bar in the Village. So they tell you the story, and you feel obliged to cross yourself at the site of the event. A dark little bar, shrine of the homosexual cause, where the sodomite tourism comes to deposit its floral offerings. Because there, in the window, they display the faded photos of the hippie-dippie veterans who, for I don’t know how many days, resisted the law’s harassment, the police raid that tried to oust them unsuccessfully. How could you not shed a tear in this gay Lourdes grotto, sacred altar for thousands of visitors who take off their Calvin Klein visors to respectfully pray for a few seconds while parading past the club.

“Dear Aaron,” writes Henry. “The first thing I realized was that I didn’t want to be out of touch, and the next thing I realized was that I had no one left but you to be in touch with. This is what I deserve for all my talk: to be stuck on my back writing letters to the void. And I can’t just unroll some fanciful metaphor about the lone white daisy sitting in a medicine bottle on the windowsill, either. If I want to speak, I have to posit a mind like my own on the other side, a mind with its own demands and desires which will probably want to know how I got here, and I think I’d better answer at least a couple of your questions as a demonstration of good faith.

“I am a person who reads a great deal without having the ability to be powerfully influenced by what I read. Books have not changed me in the slightest, which might as easily be a failing as an asset."

so I buy
a Diet Coke &
a newspaper
a version of “me”
about me on the
earth & its sneakers
& feeling like
the earth’s furniture
but that can’t be
true or like
the coke & the Times
it’s true for a little
while. I’m not
the earth’s furniture
not entirely &
I seem to want
to go about this
in the entirely
wrong way.

Badlands Unlimited's New Lovers Series

by Mónica de la Torre

The New Lovers series was inspired by Maurice Girodias’s legendary Olympia Press—publishing house of Bataille, Beckett, Nabokov, Jean Genet, and many others. Don’t expect to find lasting literature or criticality in the series’ first titles. In their pages, all bodies, if fuckable, are uncomplicatedly young and beautiful.

BOMB Specific

by Lyle Ashton Harris

Lyle Ashton Harris's work explores intersections between the personal and the political, examining the impact of ethnicity, gender, and desire on the contemporary social and cultural dynamic. 

Alasdair Roberts

by Clinton Krute

The Glasgow-based singer just released a self-titled album of music rooted in and pushing Scottish folk traditions. With Krute, he touches on individuation, syncretism, and the risks of nationalism.

Raphael Rubinstein's The Miraculous

by Anthony Graves

Referencing Bas Jan Ader’s In Search of the Miraculous, Raphael Rubinstein’s The Miraculous is a concise, deceptively ambitious book of aphoristic descriptions of artists’ lives. It is also a present-day echo of Vasari’s Lives of the Artists. Unlike most books on art, Rubinstein avoids interpreting artistic products and focuses on the creative propositions and sometimes absurd processes that follow.

Anne Garréta's Sphinx, Translated by Emma Ramadan

by Tyler Curtis

Though she wouldn’t join the Oulipo for another fourteen years, Anne Garréta’s 1986 novel, Sphinx, is quintessentially Oulipian. Whatever that “quintessentially Oulipian” quality may be, at its most irreducible, is subject to debate, though the core of the novel resonates with at least one concern shared with the rest of her cohort: language (and therefore our experience of the world) is made possible by its socially agreed upon constraints, yet the malleability of such constraints is infinite.

I Love Taylor Mead and Gay Power: Taylor Mead Columns 1969–1970, Both Edited and Published by John Edward Heys

by Bob Holman

It’s been two years since Taylor Mead left us to take his role as the Jester Fool Poet of the Great Bohemia in the Sky, but he is still a very living presence on the Lower East Side. He’s especially missed at the Bowery Poetry Club, where “The Taylor Mead Show,” his weekly solo show with random cassette orchestra, set the standard for avant-garde performance during its nine-year run. It would be great if Taylor’s 600-page autobiography, Son of Andy Warhol, were to ever see the light of print, but these two slender, slapdash volumes will do to remind us of Taylor’s unstoppable verve and genius.

Shelley Marlow's Two Augusts in a Row in a Row

by Kevin Killian

Brooklyn-based Shelley Marlow, a first-time novelist, has created a memorable protagonist in Philomena/Phillip, a late-bloomer if ever there was one, a performance artist and researcher in 2001 New York. Born to Jewish atheist parents who accepted her coming out as a lesbian but who are now giving her grief over her “drag king trans butchness,” Phil is ping-ponging between romances and identities while trying to right the anomie of transitioning in a rapidly gentrifying world right before the September 11 attacks.

Lauren Bakst and Yuri Masnyj

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Sam Messer

by Mary Reid Kelley

Siddhartha Gautama
Grew rather stout from a
Devotion unremitting
To sitting.

Jesus Christ
Frowned as men diced.
Were he on the ground,
He’d break up the round.

Leigh Ledare

by Chris Kraus

Leigh Ledare’s projects involve interpersonal triangulations in which the camera plays a crucial role and all parties, viewers included, are implicated. Upon A.R.T. Press’s publication of a book-length dialogue between him and Rhea Anastas, Ledare revisits recent works with novelist Chris Kraus.

Justin Vivian Bond

by Joy Episalla

Bond keeps expanding a performative repertoire that’s equally personal and political. On the occasion of V’s gallery exhibit in London, Episalla queries the self-designated “trans-genre artist.”

Samantha Gorman and Danny Cannizzaro's Pry

by John Cayley

As the title of a literary publication, this word—Pry—must serve as a kind of invitation, an invitation to read. As a single-word sentence, it is an imperative. As a gesture, it encourages us to perform, implying that there should be an intrusion, a prying open, a gesture that reveals something interior, perhaps secret—something, at least, worth getting into.

Nicole Eisenman and David Humphrey

The painters discuss facial symmetry and mirror neurons, the interplay between image and texture, and their shared interest in storytelling through figuration.

BOMB 132
Summer 2015
The cover of BOMB 132