BOMB 150 Winter 2020

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Editor's Choice

Peter Brook and Marie-Hélène Estienne’s Why? by Maria Litvan

“I can take any empty space and call it a bare stage. A man walks across this empty space whilst someone else is watching him, and this is all that is needed for an act of theatre to be engaged.”

Céline Sciamma’s Portrait of a Lady on Fire by Mark Lukenbill
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Portraits and hauntings are inseparable bedfellows in film history.

Kirsten Grimstad and Susan Rennie’s The New Woman’s Survival Catalog: A Woman-made Book by Carmen Hermo
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On the 1973 feminist publication that gathered collective and self-help resources into one big, beautiful book.

Becoming Peter Ivers by Clinton Krute
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The life of mutant-pop songwriter Peter Ivers was really something.

Glenn O’Brien’s Intelligence for Dummies by Jeremy Sigler
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A variety of texts by a writer who fancied himself a power broker.

Lana Lin’s The Cancer Journals Revisited by Amber Power
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An interrogation of the ways in which the system of representation surrounding breast cancer can isolate, infantilize, and even erase the women it professes to help.

Elaine Kahn’s Romance or The End by Rob Goyanes
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All loves—and all selves—are fictions. Though that doesn’t mean they aren’t true.

Bruce Pearson by Charles Bernstein

The poet offers a series of keywords—performance, psychedelia, melting—to the painter, framing the complex play between text and image in Pearson’s intricate panels.

Anthony Roth Costanzo by Justin Vivian Bond
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A look behind the scenes of Akhnaten, Philip Glass’s 1983 opera now playing at the Metropolitan Opera, in which the countertenor plays an ancient Egyptian pharaoh who defied gender conventions.

Jacolby Satterwhite by Sean Capone
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The artist mines the visual languages of virtual reality, contemporary dance, music videos, ancient Roman architecture, and West African shrouding rituals to create a “weird, metastasized utopia” of digital social space.

Cathy Park Hong by Ken Chen
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The poet’s new collection of essays, Minor Feelings, threads intense friendships, “bad” English, and standup comedy into a meditation on the Asian-American experience.

Christiane Jatahy by Jay Scheib
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A radical “mirror game” between film and live performance, What If They Went to Moscow?, part of BAM’s Next Wave Festival, plays for two audiences, one in the theater and one in the cinema—then they switch.

Seth Price by Kim Gordon
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On the heels of a theatrical run of Price’s evolving film Redistribution, the two artists discuss the ethics of streaming, artworks on the verge of falling apart, SoundCloud mixes, and the chaos of assigning cultural value in the twenty-first century.

Daniel Kehlmann by Álvaro Enrigue
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On the occasion of the English publication of Tyll, the German author’s latest novel, the two writers and self-confessed “seventeenth-century nerds” consider where research ends and invention begins in historical fiction.

The Investigators by Deb Olin Unferth

Think high-rises, gated communities, all the places that give you a twitch of existential dread. The Amazon shipping facilities, the dying superstores, the prisons and detention centers, the pig farms, all the boxes that hold products and people and animals, the LeCorbusian landscape one skirts over or through, avoids.


An excerpt from Unferths’s novel Barn 8 (Graywolf).

Freefall by Amelia Gray

When she was twenty, the woman didn’t think much about skydiving at all. It was an exotic concept and felt far from her life as it was, though on her walks to class she passed plenty of women her age wrapped in rigging, practicing their barrel rolls on the soccer field.

Ice by Jenny Wu

Of all my clients, I liked Wen Changbao because he never touched me. I just listened to him. For a while I thought of myself as his dog, simply because he was my first friend.

Shoes by Daniel Kehlmann
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From the book Tyll by Daniel Kehlmann, to be published on February 11.

from Some Girls Walk Into The Country They Are From by Sawako Nakayasu

Girl C is supposed to be hard at work today but she keeps missing her stops, slipping. As the train falls out of view once again, she returns to her world of desire, instead of the world of transport and commuting and punctuality. She allows herself to float into the passenger car, and her pockets empty themselves and her clothing flies off-screen as per instructions provided one hundred years ago.

from Elementary Poetry by Andrei Monastyrski
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Elementary Poetry No. 1 is the first in a series of short artist books that the Russian poet, artist, and theorist Andrei Monastyrski (b. 1949) produced in quick succession in the spring of 1975 by drawing on typewritten pages with pen.

from Life Poem (1969) by Bob Holman
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Spring was the melted butter.

Portfolio by Takashi Arai & Jacob Kirkegaard

A selection of daguerreotypes, micro-photographs, and film stills by two artists.

Impractical Cats by Jaakko Pallasvuo

The cats were entering middle age and felt despair. They had come to realize that life was not a project one could complete successfully. Life was not a treat.

In Praise of Drop Shadows by Christopher Page

The computer screen conjures pictorial space, but its apparent depth is paradoxical.