BOMB 108 Summer 2009

BOMB 108
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Harry Dodge & Stanya Kahn by Michael Smith

“We shared the desire to twist issues, to address them obliquely, to traffic in gray areas or in-betweeness.”

Jacques Roubaud by Marcella Durand
Jacques Roubaud Body

“I wanted to destroy my memory, because of some sadness in it. I’m very different from Mr. Marcel Proust, because he wants to recover the past, but the past cannot be recovered.”

Bill Callahan by Jon Raymond
Callahan 02 Body

“Cathedrals just seemed like big power chords to me. Or the biggest Marshall Stack you’ve ever seen. That’s what they were built for. They’re reverb units.”

Guy Maddin & Isabella Rossellini
Maddin 6 Body

“So few people understand what melodrama is. It’s not real life exaggerated, as so many people feel. It’s not the truth exaggerated. Exaggerating the truth would deform it, make the art dishonest. Really good melodrama is the truth uninhibited.”

Carrie Mae Weems by Dawoud Bey
Carrie Mae Weems 01

In 1976 I had been making photographs for a couple of years. I had certainly been looking at a lot more photographs than I had actually made.

Nam Le by Charles D'Ambrosio
Nam Le Body
Dike Blair and Joe Bradley
Blair 01 Body

“Curating is always a kind of self-portraiture.”

Nature Theater of Oklahoma by Young Jean Lee
Oktheater Final Body

“Will it be a show if there is no script? If we just stand there in front of a curtain? If we open the curtain, is it then a show?”

First Proof

Four Photographs by Lou Reed

The Bar On Tompkins Square Park by Frederic Tuten
Frederic Tuten

In the fifth installment in BOMB’s Fiction for Driving Across America series, Frederic Tuten reads his story “The Bar On Tompkins Square Park,” originally published in BOMB 108’s literary supplement, First Proof.

Wayward Sleep by Tara Goedjen

This First Proof contains the short story “Wayward Sleep.”

Wandermoment by Hildebrand Pam Dick

This First Proof contains the poem “Wandermoment.”

This Is The House That Horse Built by Colum McCann

This First Proof contains the an excerpt from the novel This Is The House That Horse Built.

Ugly Duckling Presse by Alan Gilbert
Ugly Duckling Presse

It’s tough being a bohemian these days. 

Seconds by Adam Simon & Matthew Sharpe
Adam Simon 01

This First Proof captures the collaboration between Adam Simon and Matthew Sharpe with text and paintings respectively.

Artists on Artists

Michael Combs by Rob Fischer

Michael Combs’s sculptures mix the Waspiness of traditional animal mounts with the taboo fetish sexuality of carved wooden birds wearing leather masks, emerging from leather strap-ons, and draped—flaccid—over Winchester gun stocks. 

Dan Wolgers by George Negroponte
Dan Wolgers 01

Dan Wolgers is in his third decade of delivering snapshots of the improbable, a kind of shock therapy, to his native Sweden. 

Xaviera Simmons by Adam Pendleton
Xaviera Simmons 01

Fellow artist Adam Pendleton discusses Xaviera Simmons composed and staged, yet disquieting, images.


BOMB Specific by Carrie Moyer

For the past several years, I have been looking for forms that are nearly representational, that hover somewhere between abstraction and figuration, and generate the preliterate force of the Venus of Willendorf.

The Wick by David Kramer
108 Thewick Body
Dan Graham by Mike Metz
Graham 01 Body

Metz explores the public work and solitary life of Dan Graham.

Editor's Choice

Trevor Paglen’s Blank Spots on the Map by Nick Stillman

Ten years ago, during my first ever trip to Long Island, I was arrested in Montauk for federal trespassing.

Secret Identity: The Fetish Art of Superman’s Co-Creator Joe Shuster by Shoshana Shmuluvitz
Article 4836  ​Joe Shuster 01

The notion of secret identity is celebrated cross-culturally; worldwide, the entertainment and service industries exploit its implicit escapism, that very human urge to live out something beyond the ordinary, out of the grasp of the everyday. 

Version Fest by Melissa Potter
Article 4847  Joe Baldwin

Having just celebrated its eighth incarnation last April and May, Chicago’s Version Fest is a 10-day mash-up of curatorial projects, public interventions, musical events, and academic forums.

Ugly Duckling Presse by Alan Gilbert
Ugly Duckling Presse

It’s tough being a bohemian these days. 

Daniel Kane’s We Saw the Light: Conversations Between the New American Cinema and Poetry by Abigail Child
Kenneth Anger

The era is largely the 1960s—the Beats and New York School are active and on both coasts, poets and filmmakers are meeting in productive, transformative ways. In We Saw the Light, Daniel Kane distills these relations, referencing letters, social networks, historical group formations, and interactions between these men (and they are usually men)—whether as audience, scriptwriter, actor, collaborator, or even “houseboy.”

Two Books on Graffiti by Matthew Aaron Goodman
Article 4850 Grafitti   To C

What does it mean to paint your name someplace you’ve been—a heavily trafficked location or a highly visible object, like a train, that perpetually traverses an entire city? 

Bobbie Oliver by Mimi Thompson
Article 4804 ​Bobbie Oliver

Working for Isamu Noguchi in the 1980s, Bobbie Oliver saw the time this artist took to study a stone before altering it in any way.

Treeless Mountain by Montana Wojczuk
Article 4852  Treeless Mountain

Brenda Wineapple, author of the new Emily Dickinson biography White Heat, recently spoke on “nudging narrative,” the massive effort needed to create a “biological narrative” out of the messy stuff of life. 

Sun City Girls: Singles Volumes 1 & 2 by Corey D'Augustine
Article 4853  Singles 1

The Sun City Girls were two brothers from Michigan and their friend Charles. 

Phillip Lopate’s Notes on Sontag by Jonathan Lethem
Article 5755  Lopate  Cover Copy

Who’d have guessed that Phillip Lopate’s Notes on Sontag would turn out to be a characteristically Lopatian occasion, a golden opportunity for his signature marriage of eagle-eyed erudition and vernacular ruminations and asides? 

Charles Reznikoff’s By the Waters of Manhattan by Betsy Sussler
Article 5756 Bythewaters M Copy

Charles Reznikoff (1894–1976) writes prose like a poet, indeed he is one, with his rock-hard choice of words styled into deceptively simple sentences.

Saïd Sayrafiezadeh’s When Skateboards Will Be Free by Lena Valencia
Article 3573 Skateboards1

When a child is raised according to political doctrine, political decisions and personal habits become one and the same. 

Colm Tóibín’s Brooklyn by Patrick McGrath
Article 5758  Toibin Cover Copy

Brooklyn is Colm Tóibín’s seventh novel and it is as close to perfect as a novel can get.

Pep Talk and The New Anonymous by Brian McMullen
Article 5759 Peptalk1Covercopy

The 96-page pilot volume of The New Anonymous identifies its stark black-and-white self as an “annual literary journal that not only publishes all work anonymously but also blindly screens and edits its submissions, ie, the entire publishing process is anonymous from beginning to end.