BOMB 109 Fall 2009

Issue 109  Cover Final
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Rebecca Solnit by Astra Taylor

Filmmaker Taylor delves into Solnit’s book, A Paradise Built in Hell: The Extraordinary Communities that Arise in Disaster, where the preconceptions of human nature are exposed and the triumphs of civil society are extolled.

Joel Shapiro by Michèle Gerber Klein
D Orsay Modified Flat Body

“Making art that enriches one’s experience is a lofty ambition.”

Karole Armitage by Lukas Ligeti
Karole Armitage 01

The iconic dancer and choreographer is collaborating with musician Lukas Ligeti on Itutu, blending African pop with Western symbolism. They dissect African polyrhythms and Armitage’s movement language of sinuous curves.

Lydia Peelle by Gillian Welch
Lydia Peelle 01

Peelle’s stories in Reasons for and Advantages of Breathing carry a memory of the Southern past that we might find in a short story by Flannery O’Connor or Eudora Welty. A memory that, mixed with the present, becomes something that couldn’t have existed back then but that in all its forlorn glory and hope-riddled despair brings us to the understanding that the past, as Faulkner knew so well, never dies.

Allora & Calzadilla by Carlos Motta
Allora & Calzadilla 01

An unseen tap dancer whose reverberating steps haunt an empty gallery, Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy,” a whistleblower atop a hippo made of mud: Allora & Calzadilla on the politics of site and sound, plus video.

Thomas Bradshaw by Margo Jefferson
Thomas Bradshaw 01

Jefferson describes Bradshaw’s plays as treacherous territories peopled with high-achieving suburbanites and professors gripped by sexual and racial manias. Their most dangerous quality: they act on pure id.

Allen Ruppersberg by Cheryl Donegan
Singing Posters

The peripatetic conceptualist (Where’s Al?) talks with artist Cheryl Donegan about Ginsberg’s Howl, the reanimated past, and the overlooked poetry of authorless signage.

Cherien Dabis by June Stein
Cherien Dabis 01

Dabis wrote her film Amreeka, in theaters now, in response to her family’s Arab-American experience. An immigrant’s tale, the search for a better future in the Promised Land is full of seismic changes.

First Proof

Ventriloquy by Christopher Sorrentino

This First Proof contains the short story “Ventriloquy.”

Human / Nature by Stephen Ratcliffe

This First Proof contains four poems from Human / Nature.

Four Poems by Nicole Steinberg

Four poems by Nicole Steinberg

Four Works by Valérie Belin

This First Proof contains a portfolio of four works by Valérie Belin.

Mrs. Dellums Speaks by Solon Timothy Woodward

This First Proof contains the story “Mrs. Dellums Speaks.”

Two Poems by Paul Guest

This First Proof contains two poems by Paul Guest.

You Look Like You Do by Victoria Redel
Artists on Artists

Micachu and the Shapes by Anni Rossi

This winter, I wrote a blog post about music I had been listening to during a tour of the southwestern US. Some readers chimed in with what they had been enjoying, too.

Tala Madani by Diana Al-Hadid
Tala Madani 01

When I look at Tala Madani’s paintings, I notice a peculiar relationship between what is direct (the manner) and what is ambiguous (the matter).

Dan Schmidt by James Siena
Dan Schmidt 01

Picture a man in New York City, wandering its busy streets. He spies a battered piece of small cast plastic on the sidewalk. Its shape is familiar to the eye and hand; it is intact but not instantly identifiable.


BOMB Specific by R. H. Quaytman & Geoff Kaplan

Since 2001, I have structured my work as if it were a book of paintings with evolving chapters: the story unfolds via the exhibition situations, the past work, the paintings themselves, and the viewer’s place before them.

The Wick by Matt Madden
Article 5794  Madden  Row 1
Editor's Choice

Harold Falckenberg and Peter Weibel’s Paul Thek: Artist’s Artist by Nick Stillman

Officially Paul Thek died in 1988, but really he died twice.

Emory Douglas: Black Panther by David Kramer

Emory Douglas joined the Black Panther Party soon after it was formed in 1966, and quickly began to work on the party’s newspaper, the Black Panther

Michael Almereyda’s Paradise by Lucy Raven
Article 4807 Paradise2

A brand new mother unsentimentally nudges her crying newborn toward her breast just after giving birth. 

Lars von Trier’s Antichrist
Article 3575 Antichrist1

When Antichrist premiered at Cannes, the Internet went buzzing.

R. Crumb’s The Book of Genesis Illustrated by Paul W. Morris
Article 4828 Genesis1

For the last five years, Robert Crumb, the father of underground comix, has been laboring over a graphic retelling of the first book of the Bible. 

Glory Hole and the Hot Tub by Rachel Kushner

Remember the old pulp novels—two-in-one, back-to-back and upside-down? When you finished one, you could flip the book over and read the other.

The Vaselines: Enter the Vaselines by Eric Schneider
Article 4829  Toc

Formed in Scotland during 1986, the Vaselines were a band that was almost a fanzine.

The Fly Girlz: Da’ Brats From Da’ Ville by Cameron Shaw
Article 4830 Web   Toc

In 1985, Sandy Denton and Cheryl James were working dead-end jobs at Sears when Hurby Azor, a coworker and audio production student, asked for help on a college project. 

Wesley Brown’s Push Comes to Shove by Patricia Spears Jones
Article 4831  Bookcover

Since the mid-’70s, Wesley Brown has produced intensely provocative, well-crafted novels and plays in which the lives and characters of African Americans at different points in history are explored. 

Mercè Rodoreda’s Death in Spring by Katherine Elaine Sanders

Open Letter, 2009

Mercè Rodoreda (1908–1983), often acclaimed as the greatest modern Catalan author, worked as a seamstress and wrote novels while in exile in France and Switzerland for over 20 years during Franco’s regime. 

L.J. Davis’s A Meaningful Life by Mónica de la Torre​
Article 3577 Ljdavis1

So much to say about this book touching on the deadening effects of mindless employment, on marital dysfunction, middle-class preoccupations, dipsomania, and realty.

Susan Jennings’s THIS: A Collection of Artists’ Writings by Robert Fitterman
Article 4833  This  Cover

The collection of artists’ writings in THIS, conceived and edited by Susan Jennings, is a convincing testimony to the fact that artists, indeed, can and do work across mediums.