Archive for April, 2011

Cruickshank-Hagenbuckle on Paul Legault's The Other Poems

by on Apr.07, 2011

(Geoffrey Cruickshank-Hagenbuckle conducted this interview with Paul Legault, whose book The Other Poems is coming out from Fence Books this spring.)

I No Longer Go by “Emily Dickinson.” You Can Call Me “Queen Emily Dickinson” Now.

GC-H: We might take the title of your next book, The Other Poems, to mean simply “some more poems,” and stay suitably degage’, but let’s push instead for the monster mother much maligned major Modern narrative and go with Lacan’s Big Other. A dispositif, or motor apparatus, Freud’s topologies chart a hydraulics of erotic force: the unconscious as transformer, a powerhouse plus scrambler. If we shunt this through Lacan’s “The unconscious is structured like a language.” then your The Other Poems acts like some ex con, teardrop tattooed on his cheek, bomb strapped to his chest, wearing a black T-shirt reading in big block letters “I am here to fuck things up!”

“The exactness of your pants will bury Greek drama in its hall of coats lit by match light.” That’s not a legitimate statement, Paul.

389: When I’m dead, people will be nicer to me. They might even remember my name: Saint Emily Dickinson. *

PL: The only real way to answer a question like that is in the language of a manifesto.

The subjectivity of the hive mind is the reason for the objectivity of its constituents.

The only creative act that can be implemented must be the arbitrary decision of the greater system.
(continue reading…)

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Camille Rose Garcia (yet another post on gothic ornament)

by on Apr.07, 2011

What I like about this clip is the way she focuses so much on the narrative of the painting, as if the paintings were actually indeed illustrations to the story (I have in fact a copy of her illustrated version of Alice in Wonderland). One show (“The Soft Machine”) is not only based on a literary reference, but is accompanied (at least in the retrospective book I have here) by a little fairytale called “Creepscake’s Bakery” complete with “once upon a time” narrative structure. But instead of the text generating the images (as would be the normal way of seeing illustrations), it’s the other way: the images generates text.
(continue reading…)

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We the False-Conscious Bombers of Planet Earth, part one

by on Apr.06, 2011

V for Victory

“One should not act or speak as if he were asleep.” -Heraclitus

~ ~ ~

Suspect my every word, sleepwalker. We, first of all, because who are we. Are we asleep, are we sick, are we sickening? Is a drunken sleepwalker to be woken? Are people to touch one another through a radioactive fog? The body politic stumbles through dreams, false-conscious projections. All the bombs are ours. This will not be true tomorrow. What will. Bombs dropping are roses, are razor blades, are fig leaves, are the Obama (non)Doctrine, are emancipation, are budget deficits, are…
(continue reading…)

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Garbage In/Garbage In the Necropastoral: On the Road to Kimp'o Landfill: Kim Hyesoon & Camile Rose Garcia & Césaire

by on Apr.06, 2011

The remains of an albatross chick whose mother fed it plastic plucked from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch

Camille Rose Garcia's Sleepwitch. It uncannily mimicks the decomposed form of the dead chick, while also presenting a system which cannot cleanse itself of toxins but recycles them as counterfeit-nutrients, a distributive system which spreads poison, poison which then saturates the picture plane, creates the visual rhythm; to 'take in' the picture, the eye follows the poison; vision is bio-identical to poison

The Road to Kimp’o Landfill
by Kim Hyesoon, trans. by Don Mee Choi

Cut my hair short again
I don’t want to pull out
the names etched onto my hair that grows daily
As rain fell, garbage bins from the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th floor
must have been turned upside down
Hair fell profusely
I kissed in a place where garbage came down like rain
I kissed where I vomited all night long
Every time I sang, vomit flew in[…]

I have long been obsessed by this poem by Kim Hyesoon, translated by Don Mee Choi, and its necropastoral ecologies/economies, here turned on the vertical plane of an urban highrise where garbage falls from the upper stories ‘as rain fell’, falls like and as rain via rain’s distribution system, takes the symbolic vector of rain. Intuitively, the verticality of the apartment building strikes me as an esophagus or digestive tract, catching all this falling hair and garbage and rain and vomiting it back up and out; the speaker is one more micro-organism in the gut of this building, absorbing and releasing toxins. The speaker’s hair is etched with what she ingests. She wants to cut it off of her, cut herself off from its memorial function,refuse to be a memorial register– but more and more of hair/garbage falls as rain from the sky. No hole can be left, no absence not immediately re-filled ‘profusely’. There is a scarcity of nutrients, but plenty to eat. Garbage is what is the case. Garbage in/Garbage in to the urban ecosystem, the global ecosystem, the body. So it is with Camille Rose Garcia’s paintings; see image and caption, above. (continue reading…)

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Ambient Shame, Bhanu Kapil, and National Poetry Month

by on Apr.06, 2011

A feral child

To celebrate National Poetry Month the right way, Bhanu Kapil pursues the question of shame among women writers of color in a Harriet post brilliantly titled “Asian Vampire Sensuality and Other Problems”:

“There’s that, and also shame: the complicated mixture of shame, vulnerability and aggression that comes with —

With what? I can’t really talk about it. Without exposing my own body to view.”

Bhanu nevertheless offers performance as a way of working out this feeling so that the body is “in a different time.”  She evokes “[t]he scream that comes at the beginning of life. Or love.”

This sounds to me like a purposeful reorientation of intensity—or in Bhanu’s words, a recirculation and redistribution of shame—that opens the latter up as an aperture to different spatiotemporal planes.  Different sites of the body.

Bhanu’s discussion brings to mind many of the thoughts on mediumicity explored by Joyelle, Johannes, and perhaps others on this blog.  For instance, is ambient violence also ambient shame?  Is the text by a marginalized writer sometimes a medium of ambient violence/shame if such violence/shame is that which “runs from the book to the reader as redundancy, repetition, and coercion”? (continue reading…)

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with greetings from sweden

by on Apr.05, 2011


This song is about Little Lovis who never spits out her tobacco (snus) when she´s giving head
See more of Little Lovis videos here

She belongs to a tradition of swedish dirty singers like Onkel Kånkel, Eddie Meduza, Johnny Bode & Lillemor Dahlqvist


Johnny Bode & Lillemor Dahlqvist – Saturday night at the brothel


Johnny Bode & Lillemor Dahlqvist – Jerk me off with white gloves on


Eddie Meduza – Jerking off


Onkel Kånkel – Puttin on the Frits


Onkel Kånkel – Gaybusters

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Art Crimes: Free Binayak Sen Graffiti

by on Apr.05, 2011

Graffiti supporting Dr Binayak Sen has been proliferating all over Delhi, claiming public spaces that range from walls to park benches, public toilets, billboards, buses, and police checkpoints.

In Dec 2010, physician and human rights activist Dr Binayak Sen was convicted of sedition and sentenced to life in prison for “colluding with” Maoist insurgents.

Here are some images (curated by Tara Franziska on facebook):

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Excessive Ornamentation: Gothic Wallpaper

by on Apr.04, 2011

I’ve been writing a little about “ornament” and how it’s almost always accompanied by the term “excessive” when applied to art or writing. Ornamentality is both tasteless and evil. It leads you astray – away from depth, centrality (God? Daddy?) into some kind of miasmic energy. This applies of course to a wide range of arts – but due to the current favorite topic of Montevidayo, we can see how it most definitely applies to “lowbrow” artists like Gary Baseman and Camille Rose Garcia who not only make ornamental art but include wallpaper in their art and even make their own wallpaper for show. It is also true that the “gothic” has traditionally been seen as lowbrow, as too “expressive,” as tasteless, as mass culture, and importantly as feminine (That’s a woman in the wallpaper! Not to mention in the creek!).

This from Wilhelm Worringer’s 1908 “Form in Gothic” (originally in German):
(continue reading…)

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Montevideo vs. Montevidayo

by on Apr.03, 2011


My friend Rodrigo lives in Montevideo, Uruguay, the city real and imagined.  His family moved back a few years ago after having fled Uruguay during the dictatorship.  We both majored in cultural studies in college, so I thought he’d be a great person to ask eight Montevidayan questions, which he kindly and thoughtfully answered below.  My favorite answer is #8.

1. Describe a typical day in Montevideo.  A hot date with your city, if you will.

A date would involve a stroll on the promenade which rings the city, a view onto The River Plate, a shared yerba mate with a lover, as the red sun sets over the water.

2. What are some examples of low brow art in Montevideo?

The Murgas performances during carnival.  Grown men don tacky costumes and perform cacophonous songs that mix bowdy humour with superficial political commentary.  They compete amongst themselves and the most popular wins.

3. What kinds of animals do you see on a stroll?

Lumpenproletariat whose humanity has been completely demolished through structural poverty and crack cocaine. (continue reading…)

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Johannes Goransson's Lowbrow Day…. (Gary Baseman)

by on Apr.02, 2011

Johannes is in NYC for his brother’s 40th (happy birthday, Jesper!) and snuck out of the Man United bar (a football bar, not a gay bar, I guess) to go on a Lowbrow tour of Chelsea, pausing first at H & M for some lowbrow Scandinavian shopping.

Here’s what he saw:

Wait, how did Divine get in this post?

You’re going to reap/Just what, you sow….

[I added Gary Baseman to the title, since he’s the artist of this show (though I managed to tear through quite a few).]

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The Theory of Lowbrow/Lowbrow as Theory:Some Speculations on Art Forum, Juxtapoz, HiBrow, LoBrow, and Camille Rose Garcia

by on Apr.01, 2011

I just wanted to add a few words to the lowbrow debate which is going on around Josef Horacek’s post. The point has been raised that lowbrow needs (more) theory, and/or needs critical distance. I think there is theory all over lowbrow. I think lowbrow is a theory.

The Theory of Lowbrow 1: Its NAME is its theory. Its name takes a term and uses it to mark off an intellectual, political, asthetic space. That’s a theory, and that’s theory. It’s just not the same ‘theory’ as is deployed with evident expertise in the pages of Artforum , which journal I subscribe to and love; I like its decadently luxurious production values and both its world-weariness and its piquant enthusiasms, which is like hearing Sophia Coppola describe her favorite colors or sandwiches on the set of Marie Antoinette in a lengthy New York Times Sunday Magazine profile in, like, 2006. Or this improbable, deliciously staged ad for Louis Vuitton, in which Coppola pere and fille are in drag as themselves (and have to drag themselves around on the ground by their elbows or prop themselves up with portable directors’ chairs?)

I love how Artforum comes to my house with a bored expression on its face, as if it were its own expensive purse. In Artforum theory is like the credit card decal on the door to the boutique; you implicitly pass by it, you register it whether you recognize it or not; and your little groomed magnetic credit card strip perks up a little bit between the thighs of your wallet.

But I digress. And also I buy Juxtapoz off the news-stand when I am in the campus bookstore. That may be the difference between Artforum and Juxtapoz. One you buy when you’re out in the world doing something; you consume it. One shows up at the house in drag as itself and drags itself in for a snarky chat. Both are great.
But I digress.

The Theory of Lowbrow 2: The ideal artist is a graffiti artist. Yes, this is a theory. If Baudelaire could write permanent art theory on the topic of cosmetics, fashion plates, dandies, the painter of modern life, some guy hardly no one cares about except in regards to Baudelaire, then we can invert this and see Lowbrow as a visual and aesthetic theory developed around the graffiti artist. The attributes this artist embodies are 1)quickness of execution 2)impetuousity = virtuosity 3)improvisation 4)interacts with real places and points in time (i.e. loyalty to certain cities, nostalgia for certain points in time 5)mild to moderate criminality 6)Often non-traditional training or learning disability which identifies a kind of criminal school of art running under or in beneath conventional schooling or training. Learning from one’s peers.7)The Lowbrow artist is a geek and a loser, among losers.

That’s David Choe.
(continue reading…)

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People Are the Disaster

by on Apr.01, 2011

Footage from The Allnighter (1987), starring Susanna Hoffs of The Bangles fame, directed by her mother.

Disclaimer for those heading to their Netflix queue: video makes movie seem more exciting than it is.

Music: “The Sound of the Crowd”, The Human League.

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