Our Trip to the Northeast

November 4, 2009

posted by Caroline Picard

Last Thursday the Green Lantern went off to the Northeast. We landed in Boston in order to do a reading at Whitehause Family Records in Jamaica Plain on Friday night.

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Nate ended up playing acoustic in the beginning of the evening. I read a little something from the Gazette, Chris played a set, as did Luke and then Devin King read the response he’d written about the Gazette; the same one he read at the Whistler a few months ago. Some of the photos are kind of dark, but hopefully you’ll get a sense for the ambiance of the place. There seem to be a bunch of folks who live there; the house itself is large and leggy with numerous door to other rooms which, from the glimpses supplied, seem to boast their own largess. The people there were really nice, though we spent the most time with Kate and Brian. Otherwise, housemates appeared to enter the front door, come in the living room, spend some time watching out show, and then leave quietly–in what direction, I’ve no idea.

I really liked thinking about how the Northeastern architecture might influence alternative exhibit/art spaces–namely because they seem so undeniably domestic. Even the apartments I happened upon during my trip felt more like mini houses inside of larger houses. In any case. Whitehouse Family Records was decorated with years and years of detritus, art project and collective inspiration. There were Jimi Hendrix flags in the windows, paintings dedicated to the Beatles. There was a chandelier decorated with drift wood and horns and glass beads. An orchestral noise-machine composed of similar materials stood in the corner. We sat on a carpet in the living room, lights dimmed, and listened. It was great.

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As all this was taking place, I was also installing a show in Providence, at AS220. That meant that every day, Devin and I drove out to Rhode Island to install the show, “Isolated Fictions.” “Isolated Fictions” is a group show featuring the work of Deb Sokolow, Jason Dunda and, in this manifestation, Rebecca Grady. As well, of course, as the Gazette. Neal Walsh was of great help–he had just opened up a small room in the AS22o’s project space; that room is to be dedicated to print projects. Thus it was a good match. In addition to helping us with the installation process, he also brought us to the Atheneum Member’s Library in Providence, where we got to see an original copy of the Gazette.

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This library is awesome and feels totally haunted in that way that old places filled with old books and old wood feel haunted. The library was allegedly built in 1828, at the same time that the state built its first prison. The library was built with the intention to educated new immigrants who came to the region for work. It was believed that if the state provided the illusion of power (via education) the emerging lower/working class would not revolt. In the event that they did revolt, Rhode Island also built a prison.

Of additional note is the card catalogue: at a certain point in the 1900’s, a woman went through the library by hand, copying down library cards for all of the books, by hand. In that elegant, spidery script of our forefathers. Her index cards are still prevalent.

This is Providence at Night: On the Night of the Opening

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The Main AS220 Space:

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Our Show at the Project Space:

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