Friday, June 27, 2008

Modern Cat and the Mediterranean Sea

Modern Cat and the Mediterranean Sea
Wood, acrylic, paper, plexiglas
170 x 80 x 70 cm

Rabbit Ears

Bettina Buck, Rabbit Ears, 2006

27.06.08 - 31.07.08 Rokeby Gallery

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Hotel Palenque

Robert Smithson
Hotel Palenque, 1969-1972. Thirty-one chromogenic-development slides,
with audio recording, Dimensions variable

Hotel Palenque perfectly embodies the artist’s notion of
a “ruin in reverse.” During a trip to Mexico in 1969, he photographed an old, eccentrically constructed hotel,which was undergoing a cycle of simultaneous decay and renovation. Smithson used these images in a lecture presented to architecture students at the University of Utah in 1972, in which he humorously analyzed the centerless, “de-architecturalized” site. Extant today as a slide installation with a tape recording of the artist’s voice, Hotel Palenque provides a direct view into Smithson’s theoretical approach to the effects of entropy on the cultural landscape.

Nancy Spector


Carlos Bunga
Ruins , 2008
Art Unlimited- art Basel

A calculated Journey into a calculated experience

Gabriel Kuri
Fake food, dishes, 2 chairs, Ikea carton, 2007

Monday, June 23, 2008

Ferienhaus, Reinerzau, Jungbauernhof, Deutsche Werkstätten, 1923

Annette Kelm
Ferienhaus, Reinerzau, Jungbauernhof, Deutsche Werkstätten, 1923, 2008,
Johann Koenig Gallery, Berlin
Curated by: Nicolaus Schafhausen, Zoë Gray
Witte de With Contemporary Art Center, Rotterdam
June 13, 2008 - August 24, 2008

I See A Darkness

Bonnie 'Prince' Billy - I See A Darkness

Sing me Back Home

Love, Death, and Country Music
By Dana Jennings
Faber and Faber.

Dana Jennings was born in the fall of 1957 to 17-year-old parents who had married only eight days earlier. "The first thing they bought of any consequence was a gray and white Sylvania record player" on which they listened to songs from "a squat glistering stack of 45 rpm records" and the two long-playing albums they owned: "Rock and Rollin' with Fats Domino" and "Johnny Cash with His Hot and Blue Guitar." These albums "became my nursery rhymes," Jennings writes. To this day "the behind-the-beat rhythm and blues of Fats Domino and his Crescent City brethren still thrill me, but it was Johnny Cash who marked me for life. My Gothic hick childhood began with that record; Cash's music steeled me for a dirt-poor world of tar-paper shacks, backwoods Grendels (my relations), and freight-train seduction."
If you're thinking this took place in Tennessee or Mississippi, think again. Jennings was born in rural New Hampshire and grew up in Kingston, a town of fewer than 1,000 residents. The local accent was Yankee cracker, but it was cracker all the same, and the music people listened to was played and sung by the likes of Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline, Jimmie Rodgers, Roy Acuff, Ferlin Husky, Loretta Lynn, Lefty Frizzell, the Carter Family, Bob Wills, Merle Haggard and the greatest of them all, Hank Williams. "The myth," Jennings says, "is that country music is purely a white, rural, and Southern art," whereas the reality is that "country musicians come from all over," from California (Merle Haggard) to Nova Scotia (Hank Snow) and just about all stops in between. Country music of what Jennings accurately calls the "golden age of twang" isn't about Dixie, though there's plenty of Dixie in it. It's about country:
Country music made between about 1950 and 1970 is a secret history of rural, working class Americans in the twentieth century -- a secret history in plain sight. . . . Country music knows that the dark heart of the American Century beat in oil-field roadhouses in Texas and in dim-lit Detroit bars where country boys in exile gathered after another shift at Ford or GM. Bobby Bare might've pleaded in 'Detroit City' that he wanted to go home. But we all knew he wouldn't, that he couldn't. Country profoundly understands what it's like to be trapped in a culture of alienation: by poverty, by a [lousy] job, by lust, by booze. . . . If you truly want to understand the whole United States of America in the twentieth century, you need to understand country music and the working people who lived their lives by it."

That's absolutely true, and Sing Me Back Home makes a powerful argument for it. Though I have serious reservations about Jennings's prose -- more on that later -- his inquiry into the great underlying themes of country music is astute and deeply informed. He takes country music seriously but never gets pompous or pretentious about it; he appreciates its humor and raunchiness as much as he values its commentary on the life of "the permanent poor white underclass -- both those who had stayed in the country and those who had strayed to the city." He doesn't draw a parallel between the history of country music and the history of jazz, but one needn't be a musicologist to understand that both genres reached their zeniths relatively early in their development -- jazz between the mid-1920s and the mid-1950s, country during the period outlined by Jennings -- and gradually lost much of their creative spark and originality as they achieved maturity. The founding fathers of the two genres, Louis Armstrong and Jimmie Rodgers, actually made a recording together in 1930 ("Blue Yodel #9"), the symbolic importance of which cannot be exaggerated: black and white together, at the dawn of American music.
The genres took different paths: Jazz went abstruse and elitist while country went slick and pop, but both lost track of their roots. With the exception of the singer Iris DeMent, Jennings doesn't find much to praise in country today: "What's marketed as country music today is actually country-style music or, to be postmodern, country music about country music." Basically this is true, though it too glibly dismisses the likes of Marty Stuart, Jerry Douglas, Ricky Scruggs and the incomparable Alison Krauss, who are trying to locate country in an altered landscape while remaining true to its soul. But its glory years fell roughly between the end of World War II and the early 1970s, between Jimmie Rodgers and Willie Nelson.
"Country music for decades was poor-people music, made by poor people and bought by poor people," Jennings writes. "It sprang from the heart and the gut, and, like R&B and soul, it was a music of exile, meant to make being banished to the margins, if not a matter of pride, then at least more tolerable." Those are the opening sentences of a chapter called "Hungry Eyes," taking the title of one of Haggard's most beloved songs as a guide to country's long connection to Americans who were going hungry, scrambling to keep their heads above water and not always succeeding. "Of all the great country singers of the 1950s and '60s," Jennings writes, "Haggard articulated rural blue-collar life best, explaining to his listeners what their lives meant and making them understand that those lives counted." Run your eyes over just about any list of Haggard's songs, and you'll see the entire country canon in miniature: "Misery & Gin," "Workin' Man Blues," "The Bottle Let Me Down," "Ramblin' Fever," "Mama Tried," "The Roots of My Raising," "Sing Me Back Home," "Always Wanting You."
It's all there: love, hunger, work, the road, booze, family, faith, infidelity, prison, loneliness, nostalgia. Chapter by chapter, Jennings explores every one of these themes, always with specific songs as points of reference. A few chapter headings from the table of contents tell the story: "Crazy," "There Stands the Glass," "Folsom Prison Blues," "King of the Road," "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry," "Lovesick Blues." If you love country music, those are the stations of the cross, song titles that immediately conjure up not merely the songs themselves but other songs of similar import. In "There Stands the Glass," for example, Jennings cites not merely the Webb Pierce classic -- the "national anthem of barroom tunes" -- he also rounds up "What's Made Milwaukee Famous (Has Made a Loser Out of Me)," "Honky Tonk Man," "White Lightning," "Chug-A-Lug" and the Loretta Lynn classic "Don't Come Home A-Drinkin' (with Lovin' on Your Mind)," which within a single lyric manages to incorporate drink, sex, love, marriage and domestic abuse, written by a woman who "knew what it was like to be left home crying and lonely with the kids while her husband went off carousing, knew what it was like to be a glorified sperm depository."
All of these are matters with which Jennings has personal acquaintance. In his "particular chicken-scratched swatch of New Hampshire, postwar prosperity was a rumor." He "was born into a ramshackle husk of a house that had no indoor plumbing except for cold running water that froze in the pipes come winter -- and the occasional hot running rat." His family "lived in 'the other America,' busted, hurting, silent." His "was a family of mangy foxes, a sly, shifty, and shiftless lot, who, when faced with authority, licked its shiny boots. We had adulterers, drunks, and glue sniffers (ah, Testors!); wife beaters, husband beaters, and child abusers; pyros, nymphos, and card cheats; smugglers and folks who were always sticking their cold, bony hands where they didn't belong."
Incredibly, Jennings made it out of Kingston. He got himself to the University of New Hampshire, then into writing and journalism; he's published several novels and is an editor at the New York Times. The examples of his prose quoted herein make plain that he writes lucidly, but there are times -- too many of them, for my taste -- when he thumbs his nose at "the prissy conventions of grammar" and flexes his hardscrabble bona fides. One such passage, for example, is sandwiched between two perfectly conventional paragraphs. "Weren't nobody happy when Ma got pregnant with me in 1957," it begins, "what with her being barely seventeen and all and the father being my old man, who wasn't nobody's idea of a young go getter. Me? I can't complain -- I got borned, didn't I?" Et cetera. Obviously Jennings chose to go bumpkin as a way of emphasizing his deep and lasting intimacy with the music about which he writes, but for me it doesn't work. It sounds contrived and artificial. A North Carolina newspaper editor of many years past liked to call such prose "shucks and nubbins," and it seems as fake now as it did then, all the more so when the reader is fully aware that the writer is perfectly capable of using the king's English.
This is Jennings's choice and he's entitled to it, but I wish he'd resisted the temptation. Sing Me Back Home is, at its best, a very good book and a useful addition to the rather sparse literature of country music, but its lapses into mannered yokelisms diminish it considerably.

By Jonathan Yardley
Sunday, June 15, 2008; Page BW15

Charcoal Overload

Katerina Christidi | 15.05 – 21.06.2008, Ileana Tounta Gallery

Untitled, 2008, charcoal on canvas, 207 x 180 cm

Saturday, June 21, 2008


Pablo Picasso for Madoura baluster vase painted and incised with two stylized owls
in brown and black on a glossy white ground.

Teleport Fargfabriken Inaugural Exhibition

The Angelo Foundation Promotion Booklet in Ostersund,
Sweden being presented by Roland Percent and Leo Sky

Curatorer Jan Åman and CM von Hausswolff
Utställningsarkitekt: Andreas Angelidakis

Adelle Lutz, Albin Karlsson, Angelo Plessas, Anita Gordh, Andreas Angelidakis, Annika Larsson, Armin Linke, Bajki, Brody Condon, Carsten Höller, Carsten Nicolai, CCA Kitakyushu, Chris Anthony, CM Lundberg, Cory Archangel,David Lynch, Elaine Tin Nyo, Ernst Billgren, Erika Blumenfeld, Finnbogi Pétursson, François Roche, Farshid Moussavi, Fredrik Wretman, FRONT, Young Hea Chang & Heavy Industries, Henrik Samuelsson, Helene Billgren, John Duncan, Joachim Koester, Jana Winderen, Jenny Wiklund, Jesper Waldersten, Jörgen Svensson, Jurij Leiderman, Jan Håfström, Erik Håfström, Jan Svenungsson, J.G. Thirlwell, Jacob Kirkegaard, Jean Pierre Khazem, Katarina Norling, Karl Holmqvist, Kerry Skarbakka, Lena Bergendahl, Leonid Tischkov, Linda Jansson, Liz Cohen, Leif Elggren, Mats Theselius, Manu Luksch, Marie Sester, Maurizio Cattelan, Max Book, Miriam Bäckström, Militärligan, Miltos Manetas, Mathias Johansson, Mai Ueda, Michael Esposito, Nanna Hellberg, Nico Dockx, Nils Furto, Nathalie Djurberg, Ola Pehrson, Pablo Vargas Lugo, Peter Geschwind, Payam Sharifi
Rirkrit Tiravanija, Dave Falconer/Russell Haswell, Selmer Nilsen, Mike & Doug Starn, Städelschule, Emanuel Swedenborg, Tiina Aste, Tobias Rehberger, Tobias Bernstrup, Ulf Linde / Marcel Duchamp, Veronika Valk, Jorge Garcia-Robles / William S Burroughs

Teleport Fargfabriken inaugural exhibition at Fargfabriken North at Ostersund, April-June 2008

Friday, June 20, 2008

Drawn to Enchant

Drawn to Enchant: Original Children’s Book Art in the Betsy Beinecke Shirley Collection, 2007

Gold and Jade Fill the House

Anne Mie Van Kerckhoven
Shangai Demoire- Gold and Jade Fill the House, 2007
Collage on Paper

Private Places

Jorg Sasse
W-88-05-02, Lintorf 1988
28 x 36 cm
11.0 x 14.2 inch

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


Brancusi, La coupe , 1917

The cat

Come, my fine cat, against my loving heart;
Sheathe your sharp claws, and settle.
And let my eyes into your pupils dart
Where agate sparks with metal.

Now while my fingertips caress at leisure
Your head and wiry curves,
And that my hand's elated with the pleasure
Of your electric nerves,

I think about my woman — how her glances
Like yours, dear beast, deep-down
And cold, can cut and wound one as with lances;

Then, too, she has that vagrant
And subtle air of danger that makes fragrant
Her body, lithe and brown.

— Roy Campbell, Poems of Baudelaire (New York: Pantheon Books, 1952)

Dedicated to Karolita

Brancusi was a Hippie Carpenter or the Physical Condition of Mockery through Space

Brancusi was a Hippie Carpenter or the Physical Condition of Mockery through Space
175 x 80 x 70 cm
wood, acrylic,varnish

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Lonely Again

Instructions for the Invention of the People. Deutschland Case
kostis velonis

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Someone working on that office?


Black Bag

Takaaki Izumi
acrylic on paper bag with board

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Moon Goddesses


Duane Hanson, Cowboy
1984/89 detail

Instructions for the Invention of the People at Liste

Instructions for the invention of the people. Soviet Case
Monitor booth, 2004/07

Participants in the LISTE 08
Austria: Andreas Huber, Vienna. *Layr Wuestenhagen, Vienna. Mezzanin, Vienna Belgium: dépendance, Brussels Chile: *Traschi, Santiago Chile Czech Republic: hunt kastner, Prague Denmark: kirkhoff, Copenhagen. Christina Wilson, Copenhagen. France: Chez Valentin, Paris. Cortex Athletico, Bordeaux. Cosmic, Paris. schleicher+lange, Paris. Jocelyn Wolff, Paris Germany: *Sandra Bürgel, Berlin. Iris Kadel, Karlsruhe. Johann König, Berlin. Linn Lühn, Cologne. Neue Alte Brücke, Frankfurt. Peres Projects, Berlin/Los Angeles. *schnittraum/lutz becker, Cologne. Micky Schubert, Berlin. Van Horn, Dusseldorf Great Britain: *Ancient & Modern, London. Laura Bartlett, London. Sorcha Dallas, Glasgow. Dicksmith, London. Herald St, London. IBID Projects, London/Vilnius. Mary Mary, Glasgow. Jonathan Viner/Fortescue Avenue, London. Greece: The Breeder, Athens Holland: Juliette Jongma, Amsterdam. Upstream, Amsterdam. martin van zomeren, Amsterdam. Zinger, Amsterdam. Italy: Fonti, Napoli. Francesca Kaufmann, Milano. *Klerkx, Milano. *Francesca Minini, Milano. Monitor, Rome. Raucci/Santamaria, Napoli Japan: Yamamoto Gendai, Tokyo. Mexico: *Proyectos Monclova, Mexico. Myto, Mexico. Norway: Standard (Oslo), Oslo New Zealand: Michael Lett, Auckland. Poland: lokal 30, Warsaw. Raster, Warsaw. Romania: Plan B, Cluj Spain: *ProjecteSD, Barcelona Sweden: Elastic, Malmö Switzerland: Evergreene, Geneva. Freymond-Guth, Zurich. Groeflin Maag, Zurich. Laurin, Zurich Turkey: *Rodeo, Istanbul USA: Broadway 1602, New York. *Elizabeth Dee, New York. Zach Feuer, New York. Foxy Production, New York. Daniel Hug, Los Angeles. David Kordansky, Los Angeles. *Overduin and Kite, Los Angeles. Wallspace, New York.

La Exclusiva (Angelina y Brad)

Amie Dickie, La Exclusiva (Angelina y Brad), 2006
various nails in tabloid on stool, 34 x 34 x 50 cm.

From "Blackberrying" exhibition, Christina Wilson gallery

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

I’ll Open the Window

Our embrace lasted too long.
We loved right down to the bone.
I hear the bones grind, I see
our two skeletons.

Now I am waiting
till you leave, till
the clatter of your shoes
is heard no more. Now, silence.

Tonight I am going to sleep alone
on the bedclothes of purity.
is the first hygienic measure.
will enlarge the walls of the room,
I will open the window
and the large, frosty air will enter,
healthy as tragedy.
Human thoughts will enter
and human concerns,
misfortune of others, saintliness of others.
They will converse softly and sternly.

Do not come anymore.
I am an animal
very rarely.

Anna Swir, “I’ll Open the Window” from Talking to My Body,
translated by Czeslaw Milosz and Leonard Nathan.

Monday, June 2, 2008

French Peasants Paint Burlap

French Peasants paint burlap at an American factory on the Western Front

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Peasantry and Resistance

(Modernity is a Folk Tale Series )

350cm h x 200 cmx 100 cm
acrylic, wood