Elliot Schwartz by Richard Milazzo

BOMB 56 Summer 1996
Issue 56 056  Summer 1996

Discover MFA Programs in Art and Writing

Elliot Schwartz 01

Elliot Schwartz, Untitled, black and white photograph, 1995, 16 x 20 inches. Courtesy Sidney Janis Gallery.

The portrait of Rigoletto; the funny, wooden figure (carved by someone who once worked for Frank Lloyd Wright) with the Meerschaum pipe bowl upturned and ridiculously poised as a cap on his head; and the blurred Cirque du Soleil figures swinging on poles, all seem to revolve around the clownish realities of fate and the fickle nature of looking at the world. Strewn as they are with the pitfalls of revenge, sudden reversals of fortune, inscrutable acts of love, and overseen by a balancing act which we are all more or less generally familiar with. Through the fierce spectrum of a black and white photograph we are plunged into a precarious universe of uncanny transformations. In this “imaginary,” more real than real world, we must come face to face with the poetic but frightening, implacably interlocked coordinates of our souls and anti-souls, our unknown (dangerous and innocuous) neighbor’s perceptions of us and our (naturally) unknowable (equally dangerous or innocuous but luxurious) conceptions of ourselves. And come to terms with just how quickly the ironical is willing to exchange places with the subliminal, and the tragical is willing to take the place of the humorous and the absurd. Are we puppets-on-a-string standing near a subway ledge or representatives of the pinnacle of subjectivity and consciousness (freedom-on-a-stick) attending the latest (loftiest or lowliest) performance of our favorite scenario at the theater or circus? You choose. I’m going to meet Elliot on the outskirts of the Fontainebleau forest.

Elliot Schwartz 02

Elliot Schwartz, Untitled, black and white photograph, 1995, 16 x 20 inches. Courtesy Sidney Janis Gallery.

Falling Sky by Cristina García
Between a Laugh and a Yelp: Robert Feintuch Interviewed by Albert Godetzky
A painting of a naked man from behind leaning against a crutch and holding a small brown club titled, Fat Hercules, by Robert Feintuch

Painting at the tattered ends of masculinity.

On Animal Empathy: Viktor Kossakovsky’s Gunda Reviewed by Conor Williams
black and white film still showing a closeup of a mother pig nuzzling her small baby with her nose.

An elegant portrait of a mother pig.

Masculine Feminine: Garin Nugroho Interviewed by Ivan Talijancic
a cross-dressing Indonesian dancer applies makeup while holding up a small, portable mirror.

Cinematic portraits of the Indonesian lengger dancer and choreographer, Rianto.

Originally published in

BOMB 56, Summer 1996

Featuring interviews with Martha Plimpton, Irvine Welsh, Jeffrey Vallance, Nick Pappas, Mark Eitzel, Lee Breuer, Ornette Coleman, Cheick Oumar Sissoko, Janwillem van de Wetering, and Ada Gay Griffin & Michelle Parkerson on Audre Lorde.

Read the issue
Issue 56 056  Summer 1996