BOMB 133, Fall 2015

The cover of BOMB 133

Featuring interviews with Nari Ward, Jim O'Rourke, David Diao, Rachel Rose, Tonya Foster and John Keene, Alice Notley, Deana Lawson and Henry Taylor, Annie Baker, and more.

Jim O'Rourke

by Jay Sanders

O’Rourke and Sanders go over the complex layerings—from lyrics to mixes to the LP’s cover—in O’Rourke’s recent pop album, Simple Songs.

Nari Ward

by Lee Jaffe

Ward’s Jamaican roots and home in Harlem have been recurring themes in his numerous installations. He speaks with Jaffe about three key works.

Annie Baker

by Elianna Kan

New York sees two of the playwright’s most recent works performed this fall, The Flick and John. She talks with Kan about her fondness for Chekhov’s plays, writing for certain actors, and the music of speech.

Notley’s body of work consists of over thirty-five collections of poetry and prose. To consider her oeuvre, in her interlocutor’s words, is to court “cerebral and sensory overload.”

David Diao

by Matthew Deleget

Diao’s first comprehensive retrospective, at the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art—fittingly, in the painter’s native China—is the occasion for a conversation that looks back at fifty years of artistic production.

Rachel Rose

by Aily Nash

Rachel Rose’s video art creates palimpsests registering diverse personal and historical experiences. Nash prompts the filmmaker to describe her process in relation to the materiality of video.

Deana Lawson & Henry Taylor

Amid recollections of a joint trip to Haiti, photographer Deana Lawson and painter Henry Taylor parse the art of portraiture in each of their different mediums.

The Babysitter at Rest

by Jen George

Winner of BOMB’s 2015 Fiction Contest, selected by Sheila Heti

I’ve been given a fresh start, a new beginning. It’s almost like being reborn, but without birth and childhood.

Cameron Rowland

by Ian Edward Wallace

Of the various collected objects in Cameron Rowland’s studio—a fluorescent orange work coat, a bundle of street-sweeper bristles, several pot-medal badges—the most abundant are books. Antonio Negri and Michael Hardt’s Empire features alongside works by political scientists Cedric Robinson and Naomi Murakawa, and Cornel West’s writings on genealogical materialism.

Ester Partegàs

by Eduardo Abaroa

“The river, as it flows, resembles the air that flows over it,” wrote Ralph Waldo Emerson. Ester Partegàs turns us into victims of a comparable mirage.

Limited third person invented regional dialect, occasionally slipping into omniscient mode; gender unclear; no dialogue tags to distinguish inner speech from exterior description; speaker has only recently awakened after an inordinately long sleep; content of dictation revolves between the remembrance of speaker having known that they were sleeping and yet were unable to wake up ...

Where he grew up there were no museums, or art collections, or the possibility of being exposed to any form of art that was not reproduction. Even the reproductions were of poor quality, mostly black-and-white, postage stamp-size shadows of the real thing. The beauty they represented came to his life in other ways.

Blind Boone’s Pianola Blues

They said I wasn’t smooth enough
to beat their sharp machine.
That my style was obsolete,
that old rags had lost their gleam
and lunge. That all I had
left was a sucker punch
that couldn’t touch
their invisible piano man
with his wind up gut-
less guts of paper rolls.

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BOMB Specific

by Katherine Hubbard

Notes from Utah. Notes on gray. is a performance-lecture that explores the relationship between the human eye, the camera, and cognitive perception.

Fran Ross's Oreo

by Rone Shavers

Originally published in 1974 and the only novel written by Fran Ross before her untimely death in 1985, Oreo walks the line between so many different worlds (highbrow/lowbrow culture, literary/genre fiction, black/white racial dynamics, and feminist/womanist gender politics), that it can only be described as postmodern.

Guillaume Apollinaire’s Zone: Selected Poems, translated by Ron Padgett

by Dylan Furcall

In 1969, The New York Review of Books published Vladimir Nabokov’s famous condemnation of those liberties taken by Robert Lowell in his adaptations of the Russian poet Osip Mandelshtam. Nabokov acidly mused, “I can easily imagine Robert Lowell himself finding one of his best poems … adapted in some other country by some eminent, blissfully monolingual foreign poet,” such that Lowell’s phrase “leathery love” would be bastardized to “the football of passion.”

Samuel Beckett’s Happy Days

by Amber Power

Winnie is buried to her neck in scorched earth. A black revolver rests beside her chirping and disembodied head. Willie, her companion, feebly scratches on all fours at the impossible mound that separates them—at one point nearly rolling down its face into an empty abyss below.

Tonya Foster & John Keene

Foster and Keene discuss the strategies for black resistance in their respective new books—the poetry volume A Swarm of Bees in High Court and Counternarratives, a collection of short fictions.

BOMB 133
Fall 2015
The cover of BOMB 133