Art-trash: On Chelsey Minnis and CAConrad

by on Dec.16, 2011

My new review of Chelsey Minnis and CAConrad is up at Jacket2. Won’t you read it?


Here’s how it starts:

“CAConrad is the son of white trash asphyxiation whose childhood included selling cut flowers along the highway for his mother and helping her shoplift.” — author’s bio, The Book of Frank

“This is a cut-down chandelier …
And it is like coughing at the piano before you start playing a terrible waltz …
The past should go away but it never does …
And it is like a swimming pool at the bottom of the stairs …” — opening page, Poemland

“What a trash
To annihilate each decade.” — Sylvia Plath, “Lady Lazarus”

The argument

As these epigraphs so clearly emblematize, Art is asphyxiation; annihilation; anachronism; inebriation; something “cut-down”; something shoplifted; like trash, it makes more of itself; like the past, it should go away but it never does. Like a cough, it doubles up or doubles down on terribleness. It preempts itself by making multiple knockoff versions of itself; it is never sufficient because it is always more than enough. Through perverse excess, Art trashes conventional value, reassigning it to odd and ill-made receptacles which inevitably can’t hold; the chandelier is cut-down; asphyxiation has a baby; Art leaks and spills Art.



1 comment for this entry:
  1. DeWitt Brinson

    Okay, I will!