BOMB 105 Fall 2008

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Claire Fontaine by Anthony Huberman

Claire Fontaine lives in Paris. Her “assistants” are Fulvia Carnevale and James Thornhill, an Italian-British artist duo.

Remembering John Giorno
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In memory of poet and contributor John Giorno we revisit this poignant conversation with Marcus Boon.

“People think that when a poem works, it’s because of the lines of a great poet—Baudelaire, T. S. Eliot, Whitman, or whoever—but it’s not so. The lines, when they magically work, are the reflection of your mind. It’s almost like the poet is making a mirror that nobody can see.” John Giorno

Richard Maxwell by John Kelsey
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“That question is not about the character that’s written on the page there. That question is about you. There’s a kind of compulsion when you’re acting to make it believable, to make it credible. That’s not my concern. That’s going to happen. Whatever happens will be real. It will be real in some fashion.” 

Rachel Harrison and Nayland Blake
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“That’s an exciting aspect of exhibiting work for me—it’s not the audience we know, it’s the audience we don’t know.” Rachel Harrison

Peter Cole by Ben Lerner
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“I used to want to separate the poet from the translator in me, but that’s no longer possible, nor is it desirable. On the contrary.” 

Roman Signer by Armin Senser
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“Curiosity is already a sign of intelligence. Cows are not stupid at all. They view the landscape meditatively when they take their siesta.” Roman Signer

Kelly Reichardt by Gus Van Sant
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Director Kelly Reichardt first gained widespread notice with her 2006 film Old Joy, a paean to post–9/11 political and personal miasma played out in the campfire conversations and road-trip recollections of two longtime friends in the Cascade Mountains of Oregon.

Alan Vega by Brain McPeck & Matt McAuley
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Matt McAuley and Brain McPeck of the band A.R.E. Weapons take a studio timeout with Suicide’s Alan Vega. They discuss his new record, Allen Ginsberg, Charles Mingus, and how Iggy Pop changed his life.

First Proof

The Poet’s Ghost by Carmen Boullosa

This is a true ghost story.

Dubravka Ugrešić by Svetlana Boym
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I met Dubravka Ugrešić in 1996 at an orientation session at the Bunting Institute at Radcliffe College, where we were asked to sit in a close circle and tell our life stories in front of perfect strangers.

Martyrdom by Anne Waldman

dialogue was something like this:

how long will you away and acting so odd and

Harriet Hosmer: Lost and Found by Patricia Cronin

Who gets written into history? Who is forgotten? What are the conditions under which eradication can occur?

Three Poems by Ted Mathys

Rain in Detroit

Aircraft on the tarmac strut

Jesmyn Ward by Rebecca Keith
​Jesmyn Ward

Rebecca Keith speaks with author Jesmyn Ward about her National Book Award-winning novel Salvage the Bones.

You Are Here by Donald Breckenridge

First Friday in June

Artists On Artists

Holly Zausner by Josiah McElheny

Josiah McElheny on how Holly Zausner’s videos explore the limitations of our physicality and “our struggle with the physical and psychic burdens of the body.”

Robert Brinker by Roberto Juarez
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Roberto Juarez on the way that Robert Brinker’s paper cutouts balance warm, Disney-like comfort with strident sensuality.

Chris Lipomi by Kathryn Andrews
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Kathryn Andrews on Chris Lipomi’s shockingly expansive and daring self-installation The Cave Project.

Editor's Choice

Kent Mackenzie’s The Exiles by Nick Stillman

The mythology around Kent Mackenzie’s 1961 film The Exiles is better known than the film itself. 

Light Industry by Lauren Cornell
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Home to operations as disparate as a handbag factory and the sound art gallery Diapason, Brooklyn’s new six-million-square-foot industrial complex, Industry City is responding to NYC’s fast and uneven gentrification by merging industrial and cultural production.

Joseph Grima’s Instant Asia by Carlos Brillembourg
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Just when we thought of Asia as fertile territory for the monumental interventions of a handful of star architects, Joseph Grima features a few projects that let us in on the true nature of the architecture shaping contemporary China, South Korea, and Japan. Although Grima’s methodology, which he calls a “Polaroid of a changing continent,” is fragmentary, the result is holistic. 

Amitav Ghosh’s Sea of Poppies by Betsy Sussler
​Amitav Ghosh

Sea of Poppies is a miraculous book about even more than the 19th-century opium trade, which is an exciting tale in and of itself, fraught with voracious greed, power-mongering, and racism. 

Gary Panter by Brian McMullen
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PictureBox, 2008

Here’s something revealing: If you send Gary Panter $225 and one to three keywords—sex, girls, and robots being the most popular words the artist receives—he’ll make you an original six- by eight-inch drawing based on those words.

New Orleans Funk, New Orleans: The Original Sound of Funk, Volume 2: The Second Line Strut by Ben Lasman
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It’s an iffy conceit, packaging a glut of obscure tunes from the same period and place, and then inventing a genre to cohere them. 

Mike’s World: Michael Smith and Joshua White (and other collaborators) by Nell McClister
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Everywhere you look in Michael Smith’s first midcareer survey—a cacophonous carnival of videos, skits, installations, publications, and drawings—there’s “Mike:” a pasty, caterpillar-browed, small-time entrepreneur with American values and a fondness for JFK.

Federico Fellini: The Book of Dreams by David Kramer
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Rizzoli, 2008

What makes dreams so confounding and revealing is their juxtaposition of things known or remembered with the complete mysteries that lurk in the subconscious.

Matt Wolf’s Wild Combination: A Portrait of Arthur Russell
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Arthur Russell was known as Charlie while growing up in rural Iowa in the ’50s.

Informal Architectures by Terence Gower
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Based on a workshop and exhibition at the Banff Centre in 2007, Informal Architectures is more a compilation of documents (artist statements, interviews, and articles by workshop participants and exhibitors) than a typical work of architectural history or criticism.

Francine du Plessex Gray’s Madame de Staël: The First Modern Woman by Francine Prose
​Louise Vigee-Lebrun

Known for sparkling conversation, provocative novels and essays, and the fame and diversity of her lovers, Madame de Staël was, as Francine du Plessix Gray persuades us in her perceptive biography, “the first modern woman.”

Peter Manseau’s Songs for the Butcher’s Daughter by Katie Przybylski
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Let’s begin with an image Peter Manseau’s character Itsik Malpesh always returns to: a toddler clenching her fist in the air to stop a mob, mid-pogrom.

Susan Howe’s Souls of the Labadie Tract by Samantha Zighelboim
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Souls of the Labadie Tract, Susan Howe’s sprawling collage of American history, poetic innovation, and soul-bearing personal excavation, commandeers a lyric expedition into both the strange and the familiar.