BOMB 134, Winter 2016

The cover of BOMB 134

Featuring interviews with Jem Cohen, Tom Burr, Maylis de Karengal, Portia Zvavahera, SO - IL, Sarah Ruden, Michael St. John, Stephen Collier, Mayo Thompson.

Tom Burr

by Alan Ruiz

“Some people are happy calling me an artist, others a Conceptual or post-Conceptual artist, others say sculptor, and others use a string of modifiers. Someone suggested once that I was simply performing these categories, which I like.”

Stephen Collier & Michael St. John

“Stephen and I went drinking and eating one night from Canal Street to Esplanade (the length of the French quarter). We spent hours talking about New Orleans and art, both of which I love.”


by Troy Conrad Therrien

“The idea of misunderstanding is very much part of our time. In our firm, we are from all these different backgrounds, working in this Babylonian city, so we are also interested in process and the unintentional things emerging from that. It acknowledges our contemporary chaos.”

Mayo Thompson

by Keith Connolly

“People discouraged me when I sang as a child, said, ‘You can’t carry a tune in a bucket.’ People still say that. Well, fuck it. I haven’t been trying to carry a tune. I’ve been essaying, expressing my interests in abstract terms, devil take the hindmost.”

My father lived for most of his twenties, held a steady job and a woman.
That’s what I told the teacher when she asked me what my father did.
Then he killed the woman, I said. With a hazel switch. With quick, even

Max Galyon

by Jacqueline Humphries

This fall, Max Galyon, at my invitation, mounted an exhibition of his paintings and sculptures in my studio in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. The show was intended to create a setting for spontaneous conversations between artists outside of any commercial context, and was open to the public on certain days.

4 June 2010, Edinburgh. The brightness of the morning. Sky flat. No clouds. When he came into her room with coffee she was already awake. She didn’t tell him to go away or chuck a pillow at him. She didn’t swear at him or hide her face in the duvet or ask him to go fetch tubes from the kitchen only to block his return with a chair. She was sitting up in bed, eyes closed, a notebook on her lap, pen moving slowly across the page. b? She put the pen down and opened her eyes.

Fred Dewey's The School of Public Life

by Ammiel Alcalay

Unafraid to call the regime we live under a tyranny—as a certain segment of the population certainly knows it to be—Dewey's concerns are with the abolition of public life and self-governance, the disappearance of politics, the creation of fictions, and the 'organization of unreality' that dominates and subjugates our lives.

I don’t remember exactly when I wrote “George
I’m sure it was in the spring of 2013 traveling
Greyhound upstate to visit Joe and his newborn.
The poem flowed haphazardly then, breaking down
the page in random lines. After a few months’ time
it slowly boiled over, the fat hissing into couplets.
I lived on 7th Street between 1st and 2nd then.

Maylis de Kerangal

by Jessica Moore

"The novel is a race, and I can see the finish line from the first sentence: it’s an intuition that magnetizes the entire text. The closer I get to the goal, the faster I want to go."

Patricia Spears Jones's A Lucent Fire

by Rachel Levitsky

Jones's poems insist on making vibrantly possible American, black, female, queer, poor, jazz, assimilated, heroic, unemployed, crazy, displaced lives that, considering the constant assault on them, can appear merely endangered and precarious.

Mike Goodlett

by Ben Durham

Goodlett’s drawings merge exquisitely rendered detail with saturated blocks of spray-painted color. Background and foreground fit together like puzzle pieces, the curvature of each silhouette a perfect accentuation of the other’s shape.

Portia Zvavahera

by Netsayi

“I’m a Zimbabwean and I should show in my paintings where I’m from. In our culture, when you have a dream about dogs, cows, or whatnot, it means an evil spirit is coming to attack.”

Sarah Ruden

by Eric Banks

“Hippias Minor is such a handy introduction to Socrates as a personality, to this method of argumentation, to the culture of Athens where you have all these hot-shot foreign speakers like Hippias coming in and making the intellectual fermentation even stronger.”

From the train I could look out onto the infinite blue of the sea. I was still exhausted, wakeful from the overnight transatlantic flight to Rome, but looking out at the sea, that Mediterranean sea that was so infinite and so blue, made me forget it all, even myself. I don’t know why.

Jem Cohen

by J.P. Sniadecki

“In Counting, I was counting almost everything I encountered: street life, light, weather, animals, and some intangibles, political or social or economic currents, and certain seismic changes in my own life.”

BOMB Specific

by Carolina Sandretto

“A solar is a peculiar multicultural habitat; the apartment tenements represent the complex layers of Cuban society. Everyone lives in tiny converted rooms with almost no privacy.”

Fia Backström

by Robert Fitterman

The greater question of what constitutes an art as a lesser art becomes a dizzying conundrum when the greater art institution frames the lesser to be greater.

“I am merely opening a dossier,” says Roland Barthes, again and again, throughout his three final seminars in Paris in the late seventies, each course posthumously converted to a book, each book divided into annotated weekly lectures, subsectioned into brief semi-independent scholia. More than lecture notes but short of sustained essay, each book is agile, esoteric, and unsynthesized, pivoting continually to consult yet another tangential text or discipline.

BOMB 134
Winter 2016
The cover of BOMB 134