A theme from the week, from the weekend, could be being in the right place at the wrong time. Is time a place? A theme is being super early, or super late. On Sunday I showed up for a rehearsal I wasn't called to. Like, by a month. I was humiliated but they were nice about it. It was like from a movie, from Smiley Face or A Woman Under the Influence. Funny and tragic. Taking everything too seriously. the way I always do. I take everything so seriously that it almost appears as if I don't care at all. I'm so obsessive and neurotic that I become lazy. This is a neat trick, the myth or circularity.
Break the cycle.
So instead I went to some art stuff. Went to some art stuff. I saw Andrew Norman Wilson's installation, Wether, at Chapter NY. I liked it, but I also thought it was a little bit creepy or scary. Anything that's legibly alchemical freaks me out, a little. Also boxes, cubes. Squares are inherently scary, right? All those corners? All four of them? In Chinese, four is considered unlucky because the Mandarin word for "four" (肆) sounds like the word for "death" (死). I'm okay with leaving four out of things. The whole four elements thing I find a little specious anyway. There's no room for Love, for Consciousness, and also I don't feel like Air should get to be it's own element, if we're excluding electricity. I'm rambling.
Anyway I ran into lovely Ross on my way to the opening and I was talking to him about how the installation was pretty, but also kind of scary, for the box/cube fear, and Ross said that fear can be good. I thought "Hmm." It's not the first time I've heard that sentiment, but I did stop to think about it a bit. Fear can be inspiring, I guess. Fear can also be paralyzing. You have to be careful how scared you get, I guess.
I went to this reading but it seemed empty or like in the wrong place. I mean I went to the place, it was the right place, but there was no one there except for the staff, and they seemed to be preparing a soup. I was intimidated. I hadn't been invited. Not personally. It was in all likelihood a free and public event but still. I just got drunk at the sculpture show downstairs instead.
I also went by Untitled to see a show of frankly fantastic new paintings by Henry Taylor.
Served Up, 2009
I was unfamiliar with his work before, but I really loved the paintings at Untitled. Definitely worth a trip to the LES to see them. The sculptures didn't really grab me, but sculptures rarely do. One of those openings you sort of stumble into, but are so glad you did. There was a cute little kid running around the gallery, and he knocked into me as I was holding a beer, and I spilled it on his jacket. He didn't seem to notice, and ran off, but I was kind of worried that the little kid (I'm guessing he was between four and six) would find his parents and be reeking of beer, but that's not my problem, really, is it.
I found the Chinatown bakery that, for a few weeks in a row now, has taro buns on sale on Sunday nights, which is perfect for art opening crawls through the neighborhood. I mean they're on sale because they're a little bit stale but I don't care.
I've been smoking, more than I should, obviously. I need to organize. I need to purge. I need to collect myself, and then I need to purge.
I went to Tanja Grunert to see Beyond 1.1, curated by Mitra Khorasheh &; Bethsabee Attali, featuring work by Charlotte Becket, Angelica Bergamini, Anoka Faruqee, Rachel Garrard, Paul Jacobsen, Dorothee Recker & Lisa Ross.
Angelica Bergamini, Respirado (Breathing), 2007
Really great show! Packed! Gorgeous and mean and smart. Some of the curatorial conceits were a little lost on ragamuffin me (dig the curator's text on the website) but that didn't dampen my experience of the show. I didn't stay for as long as I should have, and I'd like to come back.
I don't really go in for nature or nature art or the beauty of the natural world. I don't respect nature. Nature doesn't respect me, either. But this show gave me some things to think about-- I'm thinking of the ideas of fearful symmetry, of historical humor (isn't it funny what we used to think was true?). I'm thinking of how if you take a wide enough view, which is impossible, on some level, not to do, then there's a kind of beauty in the tautology there-- it's true because it's true. It's wrong because it's wrong. I think the show seemed to touch of themes of, if not the ineffable, than the inevitability of nature. I highly recommend it.
Thursday night I saw Sleater-Kinney, perform. It was a fucking trip. They were wonderful. I don't know if it was totally the transcendent experience I was hoping for. Actually it's just that they didn't play "Good Things". They were pretty fantastic. I hadn't seen them perform live since before One Beat, so it was kind of weird seeing all the later songs live. And the new stuff was fantastic. I geeked out, it was lovely.
My play is happening for one more weekend only, and I really want you to come. Just before the show on Saturday, I found out via the internet that the Casual Dots were playing in Williamsburg that night and promptly had a conniption. After the show, I ran over to Union Pool and was told that I was the last door ticket they let in. But I got in.
I saw the Casual Dots perform.
I'd never seen them before. I've only ever seen Kathi Wilcox perform in The Julie Ruin in the last few years. I saw Quix*O*Tic a couple times in the early 00s, but have long been a big fan of Christina Billotte. They were fucking amazing. I've loved this band for so long and I never ever ever thought I'd ever get to see them live. PLD told me he saw an interview where Kathi says they're making a new record, and the handful of new songs they played were awesome. They also played the songs from the old record, including one of my favorite songs in the whole wide world, "Hooded":
I really had such a fantastic time I can't even tell you. Really. I am on cloud nine that I got to see them. Okay.
The train this morning had bad air. It made me feel bad.
AND my snow boots broke. Just in time for more snow. It's kind of awful, right.
So, two lovely little things.
A: You can read a new piece I wrote, and also hear me reading it, and also see a glowingly lovely intro from Tommy Pico, over on TOE GOOD POETRY.
B: an idea I'm fooling around with