25 September 2022

Pharoah Sanders 1940-2022

This is one my favorite songs..

as is this..


also he's on this..

and of course I have given this many times a listen....

19 September 2022

T. V. Sankaranarayanan 1945-2022

One of the reasons I started this blog was to complain about T.V., but for those in need of clarification, I wasn't complaining about Tiruvalangadu Vembu, on the screen right here forever.

14 September 2022

Jean-Luc Godard 1930-2022

Predictably I won’t be able to gather my thoughts on Godard’s death into one blog post right away but.. 

* Bazin's speculation "If the plastic arts were put under psychoanalysis.. the process might reveal that at the origin of the plastic arts there lies a mummy complex" was a coy way of suggesting the unprecedented potential for film as a sarcophagus, with Godard's oeuvre to become thereafter the most advanced mummy of all for this sad occasion.

* The point at which you’ve gone to so many gallery shows you are sick of attempts at referential postmodernism came long ago for me and I embrace the path into the unknown horizon that results from this phenomenon. My enjoyment of Godard, however, the most postmodern and referential of them all, was never affected by this. The grandfather clause, as well as his ability to in turn keep it new and express so much through this proliferation of quotations. There was no one whose films I would anticipate more up to and including right now, with the only certainly being surprise. The essay style from the late 60s on, imho began to reach its full potential with Notre Musique and did not let up with the subsequent offerings until the last breath. 



* One such postmodern gallery show: four years ago when Miguel Abreu exhibited the models Godard made for his Collage(s) de France installations which he intended for attendees to walk through in his 2006 Pompidou Center retrospective. After reportedly “relations between the artist and the museum had soured” the museum displayed the models for the installations at the show rather than executing them at the intended scale, which seemed to me to be Godard’s version of Langlois’ museum, which also encountered much institutional resistance. I can think of no better way for Paris to remember Godard than installing these rooms by the Cinémathèque française in Bercy, and indeed any backwater could immediately have one of the headiest things going for miles by attaching these rooms to their municipal museum. 



* Recently, no other major director embraced the manifold functions of the cell phone camera for the future of cinema like Monsieur G, especially in Film Socialisme and Goodbye to Language. Or was it Godardian parody? Notre Musique: Godard recounts the story in Malraux's book about Picasso when in 1858 the peasant girl Saint Bernadette of Lourdes was asked to identify the Virgin Mary that had been appearing to her, and after being shown many paintings using natural settings and perspective, was shown a Byzantine icon and said "it's her!" Godard: "An icon: no movement, no depth, no artifice. The sacred." At the end of the lecture, Godard is asked "Can the new little digital cameras save the cinema?" He is silent, with the high-key lighting without fill, for celluloid, creating contrast on his face that, in the past, video couldn't handle.



* Staring at my computer from time to time I occasionally entertain ‘should my social media avatar be a Godard image’ but that last shot of 2 or 3 Things I Know About Her never gets old for me, in addition to the obvious meanings you can invent others. 

* Four days ago I was listening to Bolivia's President Arce promote the managed ‘plural’ economic model by saying “the state is us” and of course I immediately thought of the line from Notre Musique: “A young German CathoIic said, in 1943: ‘The dream of the individual is to be two. The dream of the State is to be one.’ She was beheaded.” Bolivians know better than anyone how the European races will export their tortured Hegelianism but the show must go on. 


r.com/KawsachunNews/status/1568443542040715264?s=20&t=N2vxRxYjZKGlzUgT_8-I2* In the Goodbye to Language extras there’s an interview in which he complains of holding forth in a bar during a festival or shoot and no one wants to stay up and chat. Such a tease! When there’s a lapse in the conversation you work the word ‘Cinemascope’ into a sentence and he goes off on a tangent that I can’t fully appreciate (as in the case of that interview) until you think up the next question, gazing two spaces away like an undeveloped pawn longing to protect Queen Agnes’ adolescent tears outside the door of Chez JLG in Faces Places.

11 September 2022

What's up for one more day, v. 2022, faves of the fairs

I liked Spring/ Break this year and it was very sparsely attended Saturday morning in contrast to the nonstop mob scene at fairs like Armory.  If you do make it out there tomorrow you can choose to use the half price coupon code HYPER502022.  The highlight for me was a room of canvases and works on paper by the German artist Juliane Hundertmark, which I'm told were inspired from the drums of war in Europe though I was unable to extract with more specificity Hundertmark's take on the Ukraine war from the curator.  But in the tradition of Grosz with touches of Dix, Beckmann, and Ensor, she focuses on the class relations of the war, pertinent to both Europe and the US.  


Red Cake, 2022, 135 x 150 cm, oil and collage on canvas

Cake, 2022, 135 x 150 cm, oil and collage on canvas


I tend to repeat the blog line that Armory was "must see" in 1913 and this year, well..  A lot of global galleries made the trip to NYC at this stage of the pandemic to detain your interest for a few hours.  Without question and somewhat predictably the highlight for me was the Luisa Rabbia outside the Blum booth..


Luisa Rabbia, Tree of Life, 2021-2022, oil on linen, 213 x 121 cm


Also enjoyed Terence Koh's pandemic inspired works on paper at the Edlin booth, two of which depict bursts of luminosity such as this one that incorporates a mirror..


Untitled, 2021, Graphite, colored pencil, charcoal and mirror on burnt paper  

Of gallery shows I was rushing through Chelsea on the way to Armory.  Piri' Miri Muli' readers can surmise my return there next week is preordained because Tàpies is opening at Pace, which means that if the elevator doesn't work at Hauser as it didn't yesterday I'm not going to walk up the five flights to see the Christina Quarles show.  Enthusiasts of Baselitz will encounter woodcuts and drypoints from the Eighties at 531 w 24th, enthusiasts of Martínez Celaya will find oils of 2022 at 515 w 22nd.