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28 Jun 14:25

Required Reading

by Hrag Vartanian
Probably the best "fuck you" image to emerge in a while came from this week's #ElectricYerevan protests against energy hikes in the Republic of Armenia. (via @onewmphoto)

Probably the best “fuck you” image to emerge in a while came from this week’s #ElectricYerevan protests against energy hikes in the Republic of Armenia. (via @onewmphoto)

This week, USC’s embattled dean speaks, famous artists review books, defending gallery assistants, and more.

 Carolina Miranda of the LA Times spoke to Dean Erica Muhl of USC’s Roski School of Art & Design about her embattled program:

Q: Why do you think you only have one student for the fall?

A: The negative publicity may have affected recruitment efforts. But we have an incredibly strong program, and we will continue to support it. We are going to support an International Artist Fellow [a fully funded position], who will attend in the fall. We are looking to pause recruitment and then continue to recruit at a later date.

 The New York Times Book Review asked five well-known artists to review a book. They are:

  • Wangechi Mutu on The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
  • Joan Jonas on Why Look at Animals? by John Berger
  • Jacolby Satterwhite on Mature Themes by Andrew Durbin
  • Kader Attiaon on African Art as Philosophy: Senghor, Bergson and the Idea of Negritude by Souleymane Bachir Diagne
  • Ed Ruscha on Oklahoma Tough: My Father, King of the Tulsa Bootleggers by Ron Padgett

This week’s edition is also the Art Issue.

 Jerry Saltz rightfully defends art-gallery attendants, saying that an ArtNews column by Hannah Ghorashi is particularly troubling in its attitude towards gallery employees:

And that’s the underlying problem: the way Ghorashi confuses the well-off gallery directors, with their revealing, standoffish policies about pricing, and their employees, who are just trying to hold down jobs. I’ve written before about the kind of hostility often directed at the people who work at the front desks of galleries.

 Avshalom Halutz believes the oppression of Israeli culture starts with the occupation:

Only a few courageous artists have dared to regularly speak out against the occupation and the oppression of Palestinians. Only a few have objected to performing on the stages of communities in the territories, even when subjected to much public pressure, or have taken direct action against the occupation. Anyone who hasn’t fiercely fought the occupation shouldn’t complain when he finds himself occupied by the very same forces.

 US photographer Mary Ellen Mark died May 25 at the age of 75, but one reporter at NPR decided to track down the subject of Mark’s most famous photograph, of a 9-year-old girl in a kiddie pool smoking a cigarette. Chris Benderev tried to find out what happened to her:

“When she came along and took those photos, I thought, ‘Well, hey, people will see me and this may get me the attention that I want; it may change things for me,'” Ellison says. She thought someone would see the images and come rescue her. “I had thought that that might have been the way out. But it wasn’t.”

Jacobson, the New York photographer, says Mark was not the type to give her subjects false impressions. But he says, “In any photographic encounter, the one person that always benefits and always is in a more powerful position and always knows more is the photographer.”

 Some Yale bro stole (or appropriated, depending on your perspective) two female college students’ art, and this is what they did:

The realm of appropriation isn’t exclusive to men, of course: there are actually plenty of women artists that use appropriation and use it well. Penelope Umbrico uses appropriation to make a statement on absence and erasure; Sherrie Levine appropriated photos as a form of feminist hijacking. Both of these women took from a canon that commodifies people less powerful than them and made an ethical statement on gaze and power. What Prince and Arctander has done represents and perpetuates the opposite.

It’s not a coincidence that Prince and Arctander both chose women as their source material—and most recently, trans women specifically, as well as non-binary people of color. It’s methodical, and not without historical precedent. More established white artists have always happened to be interested in experiences that aren’t theirs. If art is about perspective, it’s also always about power: the production of it, the reclamation of it, and the violent reversal of that rebellion, too. So I can’t even say that what happened to our original photo is simply theft, and not art—I know it’s art. It’s just bad art, it’s lazy art, it’s art with a backbone of misogyny and it replicates the very ideology that the original photo pushed against. It reminds us that our stories are easily stolen—we’re only as visible as you let us be, within the confines of your control. We’re only rewarded when it’s through your lens—when you control the narrative.

 Does this mean emoji are losing their luster? Chevy sent out a press release in emoji:


 There has been a great deal of controversy surrounding the Confederate flag and its appropriate place. Many people have suggested museums as the best location, though in this piece Aleia Brown disagrees:

It is a symbol of white supremacy, and museums should acknowledge it as such. The designer for the second national flag of the Confederacy described it as a representation of the fight to “maintain the Heaven-ordained supremacy of the white man over the inferior or colored race.” The exhibit should also acknowledge the role the flag played in South Carolina’s past. The flag that’s captured national attention this week came to Columbia in 1962, as a reaction to black people fighting for and winning rights during the civil rights era.

 An animated history of the Atlantic slave trade, which took place over 315 years, consisted of 20,528 voyages, and directly impacted millions of lives. Some trends:

There are a few trends worth noting. As the first European states with a major presence in the New World, Portugal and Spain dominate the opening century of the trans-Atlantic slave trade, sending hundreds of thousands of enslaved people to their holdings in Central and South America and the Caribbean. The Portuguese role doesn’t wane and increases through the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries, as Portugal brings millions of enslaved Africans to the Americas.

In the 1700s, however, Spanish transport diminishes and is replaced (and exceeded) by British, French, Dutch, and—by the end of the century—American activity. This hundred years—from approximately 1725 to 1825—is also the high-water mark of the slave trade, as Europeans send more than 7.2 million people to forced labor, disease, and death in the New World. For a time during this period, British transport even exceeds Portugal’s.

In the final decades of the trans-Atlantic slave trade, Portugal reclaims its status as the leading slavers, sending 1.3 million people to the Western Hemisphere, and mostly to Brazil. Spain also returns as a leading nation in the slave trade, sending 400,000 to the West. The rest of the European nations, by contrast, have largely ended their roles in the trade.

By the conclusion of the trans-Atlantic slave trade at the end of the 19th century, Europeans had enslaved and transported more than 12.5 million Africans. At least 2 million, historians estimate, didn’t survive the journey.

 When you fly, make sure there are no cat stowaways:

 And this beautiful response by Hollywood star and former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger:

Screen Shot 2015-06-27 at 10.52.20 AM

Required Reading is published every Sunday morning ET, and is comprised of a short list of art-related links to long-form articles, videos, blog posts, or photo essays worth a second look.

29 Jun 02:42

I can only imagine….


Those were the days. Roll out of bed, grab some (probably way too dirty) jeans off the floor, grab a t-shirt (doesn't matter which one or what shape it's in) and some flip-slops. Walk out the door in under 10 minutes. 5, if I was in a hurry.

That was when I was a boy. Now it's an hour, minimum, if it's something "casual." Formal? Dressy? Better not be anything I'm supposed to show up at before noon, because I won't be ready!

I can only imagine….

05 Jul 04:31

Ah, “freedom.” Well, that’s just some people talkin’.

by Sophia, NOT Loren!

Can’t see any fireworks from where I’m at. Can hear them, along with the boom and rattle from the movie that people are watching downstairs… home theater systems are fantastic, if you want to watch a film. Not so fantastic if you want to stay away from whatever crap is playing, because there’s not a single room in the house where you can’t hear it.

I’m alone, lonely, bored, and for the next few days there’s a man living here which means I’m even less safe than usually, at least emotionally and mentally. Oh, and of course I end up fully fucking clothed most of the time, which I HATE.

I guess this is the unfortunate contrast to just how awesome last night was. I rarely get more than a moment or two of fantastic before something crappy washes it all away.

And that fucking dog up the hill is freaking out even more than usual, no thanks to all the explosions…

I wonder who bothers worrying about all the soldiers with PTSD on this night when we’re celebrating “FUCK YEAH, ‘MURRICA!” How many veterans are sleeping on the streets tonight while the blasts in the air send a huge “fuck you for your service, we lied about that whole ‘giving a damn’ by the way” message?

I need someone to hold me through this crazy, crazy mess. Tomorrow’s going to be back to Business As Usual, I suppose, and I’ll do better then… I’d just go back to sleep but there’s no chance of that for a few hours — not with all the noise.

Filed under: General
29 Jun 01:00

Dominant women and powerful men

by Stabbity

As much as I bitch about stupid bullshit I’ve found on Fetlife, sometimes you find sparks of brilliance there too. This quote from ShaktiSama (the thread it’s from is mostly shitty, but if you want to see some asshole ask whether dominant women are actually dominant then knock yourself out) is so great I built an entire post around it.

A lot of dominant women love powerful men …

The reason is simple: the more power you bring to the power exchange, the better fed we are as the receivers of your power. Yes, sue me–I’m greedy. I want the surrender of a king. The devotion of a prince. The broken weeping of an ogre.

When you put it like that, is it any sort of surprise that dominant women can be attracted to powerful men without wanting to submit to them? Even some dominant men talk about how much of a charge they get out of a strong woman choosing to submit to them, why wouldn’t dominant women feel the same way? Seriously, it feels amazing when someone you think is awesome chooses to submit to you.

It’s also pretty great when people hold up their end of the power exchange. I can’t have a power exchange if you don’t bring any to exchange any more than I can have a potluck if you don’t bring a dish to share.That absolutely does not mean you have to be the kind of jerkwad who keeps going on and on about how “alpha” he is, it just means that you need to have some sense of your own worth. Guys, there’s nothing more attractive than a submissive man who knows he doesn’t have to submit to you but chooses to do so because he thinks you’re great. I want to feel your submission as an act of will, not just have it tossed in my general direction.

I think this is related to Ferns’ concept of organic power in that while I want to feel like the balance of power between us is tilted in my favour, I also need to feel that my submissive does have his own power and can resist if he needs to. I can’t have any fun putting someone on their knees if they just throw themselves there, after all. There needs to be sort of a metaphorical counterweight on the other end of the power exchange for it to work for me.

Personally, I also enjoy the role reversal of someone powerful choosing to submit. You’d expect a powerful man to be in charge which makes it that much more fun for me if we switch things up. I just really love the perversity, for lack of a better word, of taking a strong, intelligent human being who’s good at all kinds of stuff and just ignoring all that and treating them like a toy. I guess I have to respect you to want to go to the trouble of disrespecting you :)

The more power you bring to the exchange, the more satisfying it is for me. There’s nothing submissive about it and if you can’t see that, you’re just too dumb to be looking for dominant women.

22 Jun 06:44

dingoinnuendo: antareklause: dingoinnuendo: i bought 46...




i bought 46 doughnuts at the store today

If each pack has 12 doughnuts, wouldn’t it be 48 doughnuts??

i have 3 packs of 12 and 1 pack of 10 because they were all out of 12’s i know how to count my doughnuts son

21 Jun 06:48




26 Jun 13:40

On Bristol Palin's Pregnancy Announcement

by Melissa McEwan
[Content Note: Reproductive policing.]

Yesterday, Bristol Palin, the oldest daughter of former vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin, whose teenage pregnancy was hidden for the first part of Palin's campaign, made an announcement on her blog that she is again pregnant. Under the headline "Big News," this is the entirety of the post:
(I'm announcing this news a lot sooner than I ever expected due to the constant trolls who have nothing better to talk about!!!)

I wanted you guys to be the first to know that I am pregnant.

Honestly, I've been trying my hardest to keep my chin up on this one.

At the end of the day there's nothing I can't do with God by my side, and I know I am fully capable of handling anything that is put in front of me with dignity and grace.

Life moves on no matter what. So no matter how you feel, you get up, get dressed, show up, and never give up.

When life gets tough, there is no other option but to get tougher.

I know this has been, and will be, a huge disappointment to my family, to my close friends, and to many of you.

But please respect Tripp's and my privacy during this time. I do not want any lectures and I do not want any sympathy.

My little family always has, and always will come first.

Tripp, this new baby, and I will all be fine, because God is merciful.
Because Palin is part of a politically active anti-choice family, and because she herself is anti-choice, and because she is Christian and unmarried, and because she is conservative and says shitty antifeminist things, there are a whole lot of people making a whole lot of jokes, and pointing out her hypocrisy, and reveling in the schadenfreude of it all.

I don't have a single joke to make, nor do I feel the tiniest bit of schadenfreude. I just feel really damn sad after reading that pregnancy announcement.

That doesn't mean I don't care that her politics are garbage. Frankly, the fact that she espouses anti-choice and sexually repressive beliefs is part of what makes me so goddamn sad reading this, because she's clearly internalized all the attendant shame around sex and choice inherent to those beliefs—and now she does not feel like she has any meaningful choice but also can't be happy that she's pregnant.

It's just "a huge disappointment" to people who love her and to total strangers who share her beliefs. She's just trying to keep her chin up, because life is tough. She doesn't want sympathy because she is pregnant. There is absolutely no joy in this announcement. It's shame and resignation. That ain't funny.

She couldn't even reveal this information, with which she's struggling and which she know will disappoint people, on her own time frame, because the people who make a pastime out of policing the Palin women's reproduction have forced her to disclose it before they do. That isn't funny, either.

None of this is funny. It's tragic.

The reason I advocate for comprehensive reproductive rights options and reproductive justice is because I don't want pregnant people to feel shame about unwanted pregnancies, and because I want them to have the choice to terminate unwanted pregnancies, without judgment. This is the exact opposite of that.

I don't wish a sad, disappointing pregnancy on Bristol Palin. What I wish is that she felt like she could get an abortion without shame, if being pregnant is not what she wants.

And I wish she could use this experience to understand why other women might want that option, even if she doesn't, and that it's okay.
28 Jun 20:00

"Activist Judges" Means You Made A Ruling I Don't Like

by Zandar
Republicans use their political power to destroy those that do not agree with them, whenever possible. This week's evidence of this: Sen. Ted Cruz's ridiculous response to Obergefell v Hodges. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) has proposed a constitutional amendment that would subject Supreme Court justices to periodic judicial elections in the wake of rulings that upheld a key portion of the Affordable
28 Jun 21:48

Connected WorldsProject by Design I/O is a huge interactive...

Connected Worlds

Project by Design I/O is a huge interactive installation for children for the New York Hall of Science, featuring an ecosystem of virtual animals to play with:

Connected Worlds is a large scale immersive, interactive ecosystem developed for the New York Hall of Science. The installation is composed of six interactive ecosystems spread out across the walls of the Great Hall, connected together by a 3000 sqft interactive floor and a 45ft high waterfall. Children can use physical logs to divert water flowing across the floor from the waterfall into the different environments, where they can then use their hands to plant seeds. As the different environments bloom, creatures appear based on the health of the environment and the type of plants growing in it. If multiple environments are healthy creatures will migrate between them causing interesting chain reactions of behaviors.

Connected Worlds is designed to encourage a systems thinking approach to sustainability where local actions in one environment may have global consequences. Children work with a fixed amount of water in the system and have to work together to manage and distribute the water across the different environments. Clouds return water from the environments to the waterfall which releases water to the floor when it rains.

More Here

03 Jun 11:52

Do You Realize Mad Max: Fury Road Is A Miracle?

Do You Realize Mad Max: Fury Road Is A Miracle?

I’m serious. Mad Max: Fury Road should not exist. It should never have gotten made. It certainly shouldn’t be as awesome as it is. And yet somehow, against all odds, this impossible cinematic masterpiece is in theaters right now, in defiance of reality itself.

Obviously, the fact that Hollywood decided to make a new Mad Max film 30 years after the last movie came out isn’t that exceptional. If there’s a franchise that anyone has nostalgia for — or at least awareness of — there’s a decent chance that Hollywood will make another in hopes of cashing in. Generally, these tend to be remakes or reboots, so the first miracle is that Fury Road isn’t a needless reboot, but a new chapter in the Mad Max saga. I can’t imagine how much Hollywood execs wanted to remake The Road Warrior, or give a new origin story for Tom Hardy’s turn as Max. I don’t know how director George Miller managed to convince the studio that modern audiences didn’t need to be coddled.

Actually, I don’t know how Miller was hired to direct the movie at all. Yes, Miller was the creator, writer and director of all three Mad Max movies, but when has Hollywood ever shown a creator loyalty? That’s not a studio executive’s job. Their job is to make as much money as possible, and given Miller’s track record, there’s no way he should have been hired, creator or not.

Do you know what Miller was doing before he returned to Mad Max? In the last 20 years, he has only directed three other movies: Happy Feet, a CG cartoon about a bunch of dancing penguins, Happy Feet Two, and Babe: Pig in the City. Three movies not just for kids, but for little kids. Movies that contain no action to speak of, no violence, and nothing in common with Fury Road. He literally hadn’t made an action flick since Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome in 1985, and it wasn’t even a very good movie! Yes, Miller was tapped to direct a Justice League movie several years ago, but that fell apart, and no one gets to put “almost” on their resume.

Do You Realize Mad Max: Fury Road Is A Miracle?

Look, I know it makes sense to normal people that you would only let the creator of Mad Max make a new Mad Max movie, but Hollywood studio executives are not normal people. They’re cocaine-addled lunatics who are terrified at the idea of losing potential box office revenue. From that viewpoint, hiring Miller is a legitimately risky decision. He’s woefully out of practice, his last action film was mediocre anyways, he’s 70 years old… there’s no reason to suspect he could make a summer blockbuster, let alone a modern summer blockbuster, let along a goddamned action movie masterpiece. There are plenty of other movie directors out there who, while they may make crappy movies, still make movies that almost always make money. As nightmarish as it is to consider, from a studio exec’s point of view, it would have been more fiscally responsible to give Fury Road over to a Brett Ratner or a Len Wiseman or one of their ilk.

But not only was Miller hired, he was given a massive $150 million budget and, more insanely, he seemingly also had complete creative control. You know who gets that deal? Practically no one. Maybe guys like Chris Nolan, who have churned out enough summer blockbusters over the years that the studio doesn’t feel the need to second-guess their every decision.

The reason I know that Miller must have had almost total control over the movie is because he was allowed to make decisions no studio executive would have or should have allowed, no matter how much cocaine he/she was on. Here five things I can’t believe Miller was allowed to do:

• Have Max be the sidekick in his own film.

• Hire Nicholas Hoult, one of Hollywood’s youngest, most attractive stars, then shave his head, paint him bone white, and have him play a character with disgusting chapped lips for the entire movie.

• Get rid of Max’s iconic car in the first few minutes of the flick.

• Ignore conventional action movie structure in order to present one giant, two-hour long car chase.

• Give the main villain a name that will confuse every one all the time, because they assume there’s been some kind of error and the character’s real name must be “Immortal Joe.”

These are all reasons the film is awesome, but they’re also not things the studio should have allowed. These aren’t safe decisions. But then again, there’s nothing safe about Fury Road.

Do You Realize Mad Max: Fury Road Is A Miracle?

Was Miller blackmailing the president of Warner Bros. or something? Did he find a genie? Because those are the only two reasonable solutions for why Fury Road got made now, which, by the way, is yet another miracle. Reportedly, Miller has been working on Fury Road since 1998 and very nearly got it made on several occasions. At first Mel Gibson was going to reprise the role of Max, which would have been a disaster, because Gibson is an anti-Semitic loon. Then it was going to be a a 3D CG animated movie, which probably would have been lame and looked terrible, and even if it was good wouldn’t have been nearly as good as the movie we eventually got.

Ignoring the fact that most films that languish that long in development hell never, ever, ever get made anyways, so many random things had to happen to prevent us from getting an earlier, crappier version of Fury Road. The movie had to be thwarted, over and over again, for nearly 20 years so we could get this version of Fury Road — so Miller would have this specific idea, so the studio would give him that much money, that for god knows what reason the executives didn’t interfere with Miller’s vision, and that Gibson wasn’t involved.

So I’ll say it again — Mad Max: Fury Road shouldn’t exist. It shouldn’t have been possible. It certainly wasn’t plausible. Hollywood executives are paid to prevent this sort of potential disaster from ever happening. And yet somehow, one 70-year-old man who had been stuck directing children’s movies for two decades took a somewhat beloved franchise from the ‘80s and not only made one of the most badass movies of all time, but also created a legitimate masterpiece of the action genre.

If that’s not a miracle, I don’t know what is.

Contact the author at

Bookmarked at brandizzi Delicious' sharing tag and expanded by Delicious sharing tag expander.
27 Jun 05:27

kidsinthehallpics:Where do you wanna eat?


"How about AT THE Y?!" ~wink, wink~


Where do you wanna eat?

27 Jun 05:09

shebebutlittlesheisfierce: Natasha Lyonne’s outfits on “Slums...


Natasha Lyonne’s outfits on “Slums of Beverly Hills” appreciation post.

28 Jun 19:45

"Cops standing in front of big drug seizures look great on the evening news. But it sells a lie that..."


The War On (some classes of people who use some kinds of) Drugs is working *exactly* as intended.

Cops standing in front of big drug seizures look great on the evening news. But it sells a lie that we’re winning, just like George Bush on an aircraft carrier declaring that a war was over that still rages on today.

It’s not only that we can’t win this war, it’s that we’re destroying ourselves fighting it. We are literally addicted to the War on Drugs. A half-century of failed policy, $1 trillion, and 45 million arrests has not reduced daily drug use—at all. The U.S. still leads the world in illegal drug consumption, drugs are cheaper, more available, and more potent than ever before.

Our justice system is a junkie, demanding its daily fix of arrests, seizures and convictions. It needs drugs. It’s as hooked as that guy sticking a needle into his arm even though he knows it’s killing him.

- It’s Time to Legalize Drugs: An Open Letter to Congress and the President - The Daily Beast
06 May 17:30

batsvsupes: got emm


got emm

27 Jun 14:46

kevlarsunshine: afternoonsnoozebutton: The Onions coverage on...

Courtney shared this story from Super Opinionated.



The Onion’s coverage on gay marriage has been on fire (x).

I really hope that movie gets made before they all die, and that it wins literally all the Oscars. Including “Best Visual Effects,” probably for the buck-wild Pride Parade scene.

28 Jun 23:59


28 Jun 15:40

Long-Exposure Photographs of a New Zealand Cave Illuminated by Glowing Worms

by Christopher Jobson



The twinkling lights dotting the ceiling of this dazzling cave system are the work of arachnocampa luminosa, a bioluminescent gnat larva (also called a glowworm) found throughout the island nation of New Zealand. It is believed that the light, emitted mostly from females, is how the insects find mates. These long-exposure photos by local photographer Joseph Michael capture small communities of worms amongst 30 million-year-old limestone formations on North Island. You can see more shots from the project titled Luminosity, here.








29 Jun 02:14


29 Jun 05:59

thelightoftheblind: Slayer, Dead Skin Mask


Slayer, Dead Skin Mask

28 Jun 14:19

Wobble StringsCurious tech project from the Naemura Lab of...

Wobble Strings

Curious tech project from the Naemura Lab of University of Tokyo uses a fast strobing effect to stringed instruments to visualize the oscillation of strings played to the naked eye:

Because a CMOS sensor scans video line by line in sequence, fast moving objects are distorted during the scanning sequence. The morphing and distortion are called the rolling shutter effect, which is considered an artistic photographic technique like strip photography and slit-scan photography. But the effect can only be seen in a camera viewfinder or a PC screen. It is usually not perceived by the naked eye.

To cope with this limitation, Wobble Strings allows the rolling shutter effect to be observed in real time using spatially divided stroboscopic projection. The system can produce a wobbly slow-motion effect by generating animation of sweep lines. It also alters the color and texture of strings using a projection of the color and texture sweep lines. Guitar players can monitor their strings’ oscillation, and the audience can experience an artistic visual effect that corresponds with the guitar sound.


The Naemura Lab have a Tumblr blog [nae-lab] here

28 Jun 11:03

Dirty Hands and Dirty Minds Can Make for Good Art

by John Yau

John Ashbery, “The Painter” (2014), collage, 15 x 20.5 inches (all images courtesy of Tibor de Nagy)

I have known John Ashbery since 1975, which means that either I should excuse myself from writing a review of his collages — especially since I wrote about them in 2008, (The Brooklyn Rail, October 2008) when he had his first exhibition at the age of eighty-one – or that I am in the position to know his work (the poems and collages) better than most people, and therefore have a duty to write about them. I will let the reader brood over that muddle, particularly since I don’t think what follows even qualifies as a review, which implies a critical distance on the part of the writer.

Guy Maddin, “Untitled (#29)” (2015), collage on bookcover, 13 1/8 x 9 inches (click to enlarge)

I do know that I had no intention of writing about the two exhibitions currently at Tibor de Nagy (June 18–July 31, 2015), John Ashbery & Guy Maddin: Collages and Richard Baker: The Doctor is Out, when I went to the gallery. However, after seeing the serendipitous pairing of Ashbery’s and Maddin’s collages with Baker’s gouaches of paperback book covers, I changed my tune.

Like a pun that unexpectedly springs to mind, the pairing would not let me resist saying the obvious: this is a gathering of humbly made works by three individuals who love the vernacular, and who especially prize that moment when a commonplace object — such as a cartoon, movie still, art reproduction, or book cover — can suddenly and swiftly transport you to a heavenly place of the imagination. The key word is “transport,” a derided possibility in an age of very good copies, shiny outsized baubles and “uncreative” writing.

At a time when the art world’s nattering nabobs of positivity seem enthralled with lavish materials, production costs, price tags, auction records and other boorish spectacles, I find it refreshing to see work that requires little more than a pair of scissors, a pot of glue, paint brushes and gouache. As for materials, how about old book covers, used paperbacks, faded postcards, reproductions of famous and not-so-famous works of art, and vintage celebrity photographs — stuff found at flea markets and dusty, secondhand stores.

Guy Maddin, “Untitled (#07)” (2015), collage and whiteout on bookcover, 9.875 x 7.75 inches (click to enlarge)

Made out of printed and painted pieces of paper, this small gem of an exhibition reminds you that you don’t have to rent a huge studio and hire scads of assistants and managers — in other words, be rich — to make art. I remember the late Holly Solomon saying to me, back in the early 1980s, that things began going wrong in the art world when “artists decided they wanted to be like their collectors” — rich people who didn’t make anything, had others do their bidding, and never got their hands dirty, even when they went into the garden. In addition to being a pioneering dealer of the Pattern and Decoration movement, Ms. Solomon seems to have possessed a talent for the oracular.

Ashbery, Maddin and Baker are not averse to getting their hands dirty, to cutting, pasting and painting. They love movies of all kinds, from black-and-white silent films, to the works of Luis Bunuel, Man Ray and Jacques Tati, to early David Lynch and the wonderfully trashy Ed Wood. Add to their love of movies, from the high to the shabby, a love of books of all kinds, alongside cartoons and memorabilia, and you get an idea of their shared passion for the ephemeral. In different ways, each of them has memorialized a fleeting moment, revitalized a forgotten or neglected possibility, and juxtaposed disparate fragments.

John Ashbery, “Desert Flowers” (2014), collage, 9.75 x 14 inches

Here are my short biographical takes on Ashbery, Maddin and Baker (think of them as “program notes”). John Ashbery, who has written fiction, criticism, and plays, is best known for his beguiling poetry, which drives some people to bang their heads against the nearest wall, and others to celebrate their oddness, humor and beauty. He made his first collages while a student at Harvard, inspired in part by the Surrealists, but only started showing them in the last decade.

Guy Maddin, who was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, is a filmmaker and installation artist whose debut feature film was Tales from the Gimli Hospital (1985-88). According to the film critic J.Hoberman: “Maddin’s most distinctive trait is an uncanny ability to exhume and redeploy forgotten cinematic conventions.” Emma Myers described Maddin’s recent film, The Forbidden Room (2015), as “a series of cavernous, roiling story chambers in which viewers can safely enjoy an onslaught of deranged narrative excess without enduring any actual bodily harm.” One of “the story chambers” is Ashbery’s screenplay of a lost Dwain Esper movie, How To Take a Bath (1937).

Richard Baker, “Despair” (2015), mixed media on paper, 12 x 10 inches

According to the gallery press release:

Ashbery wrote his own adaptation of the long-lost Dwain Esper exploitation film How to Take a Bath, which Maddin then filmed. The finished film, a short, is now included in Maddin’s latest feature The Forbidden Room, which has been described as “a film treatment in collage”.

Richard Baker is a painter who has expanded beyond painting to make things from whoopee cushions and the cheap, throwaway 3D glasses you get at movies to chocolate bars and marshmallows. Known for his large still-life paintings of incongruent objects, Baker branched out a few years ago and began painting gouaches of actual books, their scuffed and dirty covers.

He is married to the terrific poet, Elizabeth Fodaski, and his art can be found on the cover of Robert Polito’s poetry book, Hollywood and God (2009).

Richard Baker, “Sodom or The Quintessence of Debauchery” (2014), mixed media on board, 12 x 10 inches (click to enlarge)

Add to this pairing of collages by Ashbery and Maddin the gouaches of book covers by Richard Baker, all of which have to do with psychotherapy — which the artist stretches to include various mental states (“despair), sexual acts (“sodomy”) and literary studies (“Hamlet and Oedipus”) — and you get a wonderful stew, at once modest, unpretentious and wholly satisfying.

At the same time, the collages, especially those by Maddin, can be unsettling (a face cut away), creepy (a behatted monkey sitting alone and forlorn at a table in an empty nightclub), or, in the case of Ashbery, funny and innocently gay (two young men from the 1930s standing by the side of the road in their shorts, hitchhiking). They don’t do much to their source (be it a postcard, art reproduction or book cover), but the changes they do make transform it into something unexpected and delightful. There is a good deal humor in these works, a sense of the absurdity of the world and everyday life, all shot through mystery, wonderment and love. Their orchestrations of the disparate are an all too rare delight in this lucre-obsessed world.

John Ashbery & Guy Maddin: Collages and Richard Baker: The Doctor is Out continue at Tibor de Nagy (724 Fifth Avenue, Midtown, Manhattan) through July 31.

28 Jun 12:04

The Monday Morning Teaser

by weeklysift

Update: It’s actually Sunday and I’m not running behind at all. Thanks to the commenters for pointing this out before I actually started posting articles.

I’m moving slowly on a rainy morning. The featured post today will be “Slurs: Who Can Say Them, When, and Why”. The conservative freak-out over President Obama saying “Racism, we are not cured of it. And it’s not just a matter of it not being polite to say nigger in public” provides an occasion for me to collect some thoughts that should be obvious, but for some reason aren’t to some people. I’ll try to keep it amusing, with relevant clips from Clerks 2 and Life of Brian.

Since I’m getting a late start, it might be 10 before that appears.

There’s an amazing week to cover in the summary: two major Supreme Court decisions; Confederate symbols started coming down — not just in South Carolina, but all over; the TPP is back from the dead; and President Obama’s eulogy for the shooting victims in Charleston might go down as one of the great American speeches. Expect that around noon.

And I’ll close with something celebratory: a video of two actual, non-animated, boogying elephants.

28 Jun 13:03

July 2015: Probably a Very Bad Month for Abortion Rights

by Erik Loomis

Been feeling good about the nation in the last few days? Well, that’s fine and all. It’s the weekend. Now get back to fighting to preserve basic reproductive rights for women that are under severe attack from your Confederate-flag waving, gay marriage hating states.

If the Supreme Court doesn’t step in by the end of June, almost every abortion clinic in Texas will stop providing terminations, leaving only eight clinics in six cities to offer services to the 27 million people in its borders. That scenario is devastating. It also might not be the worst thing we see happening as July unfolds. July 1 is also the implementation date of a number of laws that were passed this legislative session, and depending on certain judicial decisions the state of abortion access may be dramatically changing starting in just a few more days.

A last-minute temporary injunction of Kansas’s new ban on D&E abortions will keep that state from losing the ability to offer abortion services past the first trimester, a situation that would have occurred otherwise as of July 1. District Court Judge Larry Hendricks announced on Thursday that the ban will be put on hold for now while litigation surrounding the law continues. Without the injunction, abortion clinics must either induce labor to end a pregnancy that has proceeded past 14 weeks gestation, or simply tell the patient to carry her pregnancy to term.

Meanwhile, July 1 is also the start date of a new 48-hour, face-to-face waiting period the Tennessee legislature passed earlier this spring. That waiting period, as well as a law requiring all abortion clinics meet much more stringent, medically unnecessary “ambulatory surgical center” regulations, was signed by the Governor in May and also will be enforced at the first of the month. A request for an injunction was filed late on June 25, and it is unclear yet if a judge will block it.

One never knows what Anthony Kennedy will actually do so maybe the Court does step in here. I remain skeptical. The gay rights movement has had a lot more victories in recent years than the women’s movement and one can argue that gay men now have more rights than women of any sexual orientation. The fight for freedom must include the right to accessible abortion. That’s in real trouble for large swaths of the nation.

28 Jun 14:01

Weekend Words: Blue

by Weekend Editors

Mary Cassatt, “The Blue Room” (1878), oil on canvas, 90 x 129 cm. National Gallery of Art, Washington (Image via Web Gallery of Art)

The Guardian reported this week that Queen Elizabeth appeared “unimpressed by a painting given to her by the German president, Joachim Gauck.” The painting, which depicts the Queen as a young girl riding a blue pony, is called “Horse in Royal Blue.” The Queen was quoted as saying, “It’s a funny colour for a horse.”

All political power is primarily an illusion. Illusion. Mirrors and blue smoke, beautiful blue smoke rolling over the surface of highly polished mirrors, first a thin veil of blue smoke, then a thick cloud that suddenly dissolves into wisps of blue smoke, the mirrors catching it all, bouncing it back and forth.

—Jimmy Breslin

Blueness doth express trueness.

—Ben Jonson

Beelzebub called for his syllabub in the hotel in Hell
Where Proserpine first fell,
Blue as the gendarmerie were the waves of the sea,
(Rock and shocking the barmaid).

—Dame Edith Sitwell, “Sir Beelzebub”

No one can tell what goes on in between the person you were and the person you become. No one can chart that blue and lonely section of hell. There are no maps of the change. You just… come out the other side. Or you don’t.

—Stephen King

There is no blue without yellow and without orange.

—Vincent van Gogh

Oh, the blues ain’t nothing but a good woman feeling bad.

—Georgia White

Whippoorwills call, evenin’ is nigh
Hurry to my blue heaven
Turn to the right, there’s a little white light
Will lead you to my blue heaven.

—George A Whiting, “My Blue Heaven”

Mozart has the classic purity of light and the blue ocean; Beethoven the romantic grandeur which belongs to the storms of air and sea, and while the soul of Mozart seems to dwell on the ethereal peaks of Olympus, that of Beethoven climbs shuddering the storm-beaten sides of a Sinai. Blessed be they both! Each represents a moment of the ideal life, each does us good. Our love is due to both.

—Henri Frederic Amiel

We have a beautiful
Her green lap
Her brown embrace
Her blue body
we know.

—Alice Walker, “We Have a Beautiful Mother”

It suddenly struck me that that tiny pea, pretty and blue, was the Earth. I put up my thumb and shut one eye, and my thumb blotted out the planet Earth. I didn’t feel like a giant. I felt very, very small.

—Neil Armstrong

The man bent over his guitar,
A shearsman of sorts. The day was green

They said, “You have a blue guitar,
You do not play things as they are.”

The man replied, “Things as they are
Are changed upon the blue guitar.”

And they said then, “But play you must,
A tune beyond us, yet ourselves,

A tune upon the blue guitar
Of things exactly as they are.

—Wallace Stevens, “The Man with the Blue Guitar”

So, so you think you can tell
Heaven from Hell,
Blue skies from pain.
Can you tell a green field
From a cold steel rail?
A smile from a veil?
Do you think you can tell?

—Roger Waters and David Jon Gilmour, “Wish You Were Here”

28 Jun 13:59

Things I read this fortnight that I found interesting

by stavvers

And now for your semi-regular linkdump.

I interrupted Obama because we need to be heard (Jennicet Gutierrez)- If you read one thing this week, make it this. The “White House Heckler” lays out the things the President wanted to silence her from saying.

This Is Why Everyone Cheering Gay Marriage Should Stand With the White House “Heckler” Now (Bea Esperanza Fonseca)- Where next? Very neatly answered.

Against Students (Sara Ahmed)- Thorough takedown of the absolutely dreadful shite being spouted about higher education. This is a fucking must-read.

NHS Gender Identity Symposium – Some Basic Demands (Queer Blue Water)- The bare minimum UK-based trans people want from the state.

Why the Charleston AME Church Shooting was not a “hate crime” (Kojothelibsoc)- How the language used to discuss the Charleston massacre erases what is actually going on.

Dylann Roof is not an extremist (Zoe Samudzi)- In a similar vein, because there’s a lot of fuckery going on in the white media.

This Is What It’s Like To Recover From An Eating Disorder During Ramadan (Hussein Kesvani)- Examining the intersections between Islam and eating disorders.

‘Now I have the money to feminise my face I don’t want to. I’m happy that this is the face God gave me’ (G2)- Laverne Cox being all-round incredible.

Is it a slippery slope if we remove the Confederate flag? Yes, and that’s a good thing for America (Shaun King)- Removing the Confederate flag could force conversations that need to happen.

In Defense of Casual Romance (Kitty Stryker)- Casual romances are something I’d love to see more of.

We Need To Talk About The Furiosa Comic (Ana Mardoll)- Thorough takedown of the Furiosa comic, which seems to have failed everywhere Fury Road succeeded.

What If We Treated All Consent Like Society Treats Sexual Consent? (Alli Kirkham)- Good 101 on how ridiculously consent is treated.

And finally look at this terrible little fluffy home invader!


28 Jun 09:30

glukkake: asylum-art:DarkAngelØne“Native American digital...




“Native American digital artist, DarkAngelØne, collaborates with photographers to create fantastic gif artwork that transforms original still pictures into moving masterpieces. ”

What’s interesting to note is that the artist claims not to be an artist. Instead, DarkAngelØne writes in his About page that he sees himself “as someone who just likes to play with pictures”. A humble attitude for someone who comes up with the stuff you can see below.

I like the inspirational aspect in this. It opens a window to look out into what modern technology is only just starting to allow us to do with it creatively.

how i wish i could see at all times

26 Jun 12:04

eastiseverywhere: The OnionTibetan Teen Getting Into Western...


The Onion
Tibetan Teen Getting Into Western Philosophy

US (2004)

This thing oughta be framed and placed in every Asian art museum in the West.

28 Jun 07:07

What happened at the Dyke March today

by Violet Blue

So, every year here in San Francisco on the day before the parade, there’s the Dyke March and Pink Saturday. There’s a lot of important history behind both of those things, and I recommend investigating them beyond this post. Every year, I go to both, which is pretty easy to do because the Dyke March goes from Dolores Park, down the traditional march route through the Mission District, and then ends back up in the Castro, where everyone chills out, dances, drinks, eats, and the streets are closed to cars for the party (called Pink Saturday). It’s a “take back the night” sort of event.

This year, something changed with who runs the organization of the combined event. I’m an outsider so I don’t have all the details on a lot of this, but I can tell you what happened as far as I understand it. Usually the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence organize it, and get donations to do so during the event. They do a really amazing job every year, security is tight but that’s reassuring, and the streets are clear and clean by midnight. The morning after Pink Saturday, you’ll walk out into the Castro and you can’t really tell that 100,000 people were just partying wildly in the street.

But the Sisters didn’t run it this year. Someone ran it who had no fucking idea what they were doing. And they had the entirely non-brilliant idea of changing the time of the march, the march route, and the time of the event’s shutdown. It not being the Sisters’ event, they couldn’t call it Pink Saturday and tried to re-brand it as “Pink Party.” I heard, from people in the street while everyone was asking what the fuck was going on (I’ll get to that in a minute), that proper community outreach wasn’t done, and the new schedule was probably going to impact the services at local churches, who usually re-schedule their Saturday services around the march.

Anyway, they decided to start the Dyke March 2 1/2 hours early. Before they started it, they ranted on the microphone about how they were saving the Dyke March, and talked shit about the Sisters, which was really fucking classless and disrespectful. They spoke as if they were going to run it form now on. Then they said, let’s march.

The Dykes on Bikes revved their engines, parked around the corner from where they traditionally park, now out of view of Dolores Park. There were much fewer than usual. The new organizers started the march. And everyone was completely confused.

Before they started the march, Dolores Park and the surrounding area looked like this:


After they started the march, and marched away with some of the people, Dolores Park and the surrounding area looked like this:


This is when all us total strangers started asking each other what the hell was going on. We stood there, wondering what to do. My friends asked if we should go with the march, and I said I didn’t want to, that I wanted to see what might happen. After a few minutes of nothing, we decided to go to the Big Gay Karaoke House Party we go to every year, which is along the old Dyke March route — used to be you could sit on the porch and cheer on the dykes as they went by.

So we walked past a barrier of motorcycle cops, and another gate, and just outside the gate, I turned around and saw this:


I told my friends to stop. I walked out into traffic. And saw a wall of dykes, marching. Through the cops, who decided there were too many to stop. (I have it on good authority one of the cops actually high-fived one of the marchers.)


I stayed in the middle of the intersection. The wall surged forward, over the barrier and into the intersection of Guerrero and 18th.



They were chanting. They were powerful. They were angry, and it was a righteous anger.

They were taking back the Dyke March.


And the march was massive. Blocks and blocks of women smiling and yelling, “Whose streets? OUR STREETS! Whose streets? OUR STREETS!” And I yelled with them, shooting photos with one hand and making a fist in the air with the other one.


I went to take a picture of this person, and they said no — you belong in the photo, and pulled me in.


We all walked with the march down to our house party, and then parked our platforms and drank beer on the porch, cheering on the dykes, who streamed past for a long time.

Upstairs later, I noticed this new paint job on 18th:



After some epic gay karaoke, we ambled out to get food, and people were literally dancing in the street all down 18th, in front of Bi-Rite, and they were insanely happy, and friendly. But then at 7, the police started clearing the street, and the street sweepers came (this usually happens at midnight). People danced on the sidewalk — until the cops cleared them along. There were tons of police, it was way too early to kick everyone out, and they were visibly frustrated.


We walked back to my apartment, and saw that they were trying to shut down the Castro, too — four hours before the party usually ends. Before dark. If you’ve ever been to Pink Saturday, or you know anything about it, you know that this makes no sense, and it flies in the face of why being in the Castro on that night (night in particular) is important.

I noticed that one half of the event had like no police, and security was so lax in places that it was worrying (we weren’t checked, or stopped, or anything). So, I really hope everyone gets home safe tonight. Like, please.

I hope The City gives the Sisters everything they need — like, MONEY and support — to run the event next year.

If you want to see all the photos I took of the Dyke March, they’re in this Flickr album. I’m in the Pride parade tomorrow with Senator Mark Leno, so if you watch it on TV — look for me!

28 Jun 05:25


28 Jun 03:18