posted by Caroline Picard

Here is article I wrote about shamanism. It’s actually about shamanism as it was depicted in an exhibit in an apartment gallery over the summer. In some way that show became a vehicle for me to think about whether or not it is possible for a Contemporary (Urban? Though I’m not sure that makes a difference…) American can appropriate/incorporate shamanic practice (though shamanic could stand in for any kind of ritualistic practice embedded in another culture) without sacrificing a degree of potency or, in this case, collapsing under ironic influences….I don’t know. I feel like it’s dangerous to draw a conclusion wherein one’s access to foreign cultural understanding is limited, but it seems just as dangerous to assume that one is capable of fully understanding a community (particularly it’s spiritual habit) by virtue of possessing/recreating its signifiers. The latter feels a little imperial. The former could lead to the celebration of biggots. Neither is ideal.

Regardless, you can read the essay by going here.

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Not-so-new post on BAS

April 12, 2010

posted by caroline picard

i put together a number of blog posts and formulated them into an essay. while i’m pretty excited about the result (and psyched as all hell to have the thing published) i wish i had figured out the “real” ending. basically, the ending that i have here, it’s what i want, except it’s missing something and i can’t figure out what. like, something about the stability of an art piece and the stability of identity, i wonder if we assumed those things weren’t stable, maybe that alone would drastically change our ideas of market and comodities. in any case, thanks again BAS, and check it out!

posted by Caroline Picard

I got very excited when I saw this review come along in March 19th’s NY times/ Art in Review. You can see the article in its original context by going here.

Future Phenomena: A project in the works by Amanda Browder

‘#class’

HOLLAND COTTER

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Published: March 19, 2010

Winkleman Gallery
621 West 27th Street
Chelsea
Through Saturday

Can we talk? That seems to be an urgent art world question, partly because of an economic shakedown that sensible people — i.e., the writers of art fair news releases — keep saying is over, or never happened. But New York artists, in need of jobs or apartments or ways to pay their art school loans, are pretty sure that it did happen, and that it isn’t all that over, even if the Armory Show really had an extraspecial year.

Winkleman Gallery is doing its part to keep the conversation on the boil with an exhibition called “#class,” organized by the artists Jennifer Dalton and William Powhida, who is on loan from Schroeder Romero & Shredder Gallery. The pair have turned the main exhibition space into a combination lecture hall and conference center, with big tables, sit-up-straight chairs and wall-to-wall chalkboards in a constant process of being filled and erased as the show’s events come and go.

So far, the schedule has included discussion panels titled “Success,” “Access,” “The Ivory Tower,” “The System Works” and “Bad Curating.” To get competitive juices flowing, the artist Amanda Browder of “Bad at Sports,” a Chicago-based art podcast, offered a presentation called “Battleship,” which pitted Formalists against Conceptualists, artists against dealers, and painters against the world. A bruiser, I hear.

The art historian and critic Mira Schor, author of an excellent new book called “A Decade of Negative Thinking” (Duke University Press), read an essay on the potentially positive aspects of failure and anonymity. And the writer Joanne McNeil led a panel on the notion that the art world isn’t as racially integrated as it likes to think.

So the show’s program is substantial. And there’s even something for gallerygoers in search of art on the wall. The chalkboards — think 1960s Cy Twombly — make for very entertaining reading. And Ms. Dalton and Mr. Powhida have small, conference-approved text drawings in the gallery’s back room. (They’re for sale, but with stipulations way too complicated and finicky to go into here.)

Bottom line: artists are artists’ best friends, and there should be more gatherings like this one.

Final thought: class, as in social class, is the elephant in the art fair V.I.P. rooms, in the art school studios and in Chelsea galleries. Please, can we talk? Yes we can: Friday at 2 p.m. in the gallery, the estimable art critic Ben Davis will present his “9.5 Theses on Art and Class.”

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

Correction: March 23, 2010
A review in the “Art in Review” column on Friday about the Aipad Photography Show New York, at the Park Avenue Armory, misspelled the surname of a photographer who has an electronically animated self-portrait in the show. She is Shirley Shor, not Shore.

Another review in the column, about “#class” at the Winkleman Gallery in Chelsea, misstated the given name of the woman who moderated a panel about racial integration in the art world and misidentified her occupation. She is Joanne McNeil, not Joan, and she is a writer, not an artist.

And another review in the column, about an exhibition of R. Crumb’s drawings for his illustrated “Book of Genesis” at the David Zwirner Gallery in Chelsea, misstated the address of the exhibition. It is 519 West 19th Street, not West 29th Street.

posted by Caroline Picard

Devin King, author of the not-yet-officially released Green Lantern Press book, CLOPS, published an interview he conducted with Stephen Lapthisophon on badatsports. What follows is the introduction.

Before Stephen Lapthisophon moved to Dallas in 2008, he worked and taught in Chicago for over 25 years. He’s represented in Dallas by The Conduit Gallery, has shown work recently in San Antonio at Unit B, will be doing an installation soon for The Henderson Art Project and currently teaches art and art history at The University of Texas at Arlington. I spoke with him over a few weeks last summer about his installation practice.

Through this, I’ve been interested in how his installations, paintings, and text/image essays effectively erased old conceptions of relationships between objects and their histories. As you’ll see, we spend a bunch of time trying to nail down exactly what he’s getting at. Lapthisophon says its an attempt to rethink our surroundings. I’m not sure we ever answered the question.

In Graham Harman’s recent book on the French sociologist of science Bruno Latour (Prince of Networks: Bruno Latour and Metaphysics), Harman describes Latour’s philosophy as “play[ing] out amidst microbes, tape recorders, windmills, apples, and any real or unreal actors that one might imagine.” Moreover, Harman continues, “Latour has no real interest in the pathos of depth: though his actors can always surprise us, these surprises always emerge at the surface of the world, not from some veiled underworld ruled by the shades of [philosophers, theologians, or poets.]” Against Harman’s description of Latour, Lapthisophon welcomes the irrational and poetic in our own responses to his work–Lapthosophon’s work with disjunctive elements reinforces Latour’s image of actors (be they objects, ideas, pictures, or personas) and their surprising emergence at the surface of a world of shifting relations.

You can read the whole interview by going here.

Kate Zambreno will read at The Parlor Tuesday, March 2nd at 7pm!

Kate Zambreno is an editor at Nightboat Books and a former senior editor of the Chicago alt-weekly, Newcity. Her reviews and essays have appeared in The Believer, Bookforum, Rain Taxi, and elsewhere. She keeps the literary blog Frances Farmer Is My Sister at http://francesfarmerismysister.blogspot.com.

Kate will read from her debut novella O Fallen Angel (Chiasmus Press), a triptych of modern-day America set in a banal Midwestern landscape, inspired by Francis Bacon’s “Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion” as well as Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway.

Of the book the performance artist Karen Finley wrote that “Kathy Acker would be proud” and Chris Kraus compared it to Angela Carter’s fairytales.  Books will be available for sale.

Following her 30 minute reading, Kate will take questions from the audience.

As always, the event will be recorded and published on-line for your repeated listening pleasure on iTunes and at www.theparlorreads.com

All readings take place at 1511 N. Milwaukee Ave, 2nd Floor

For more information, please visit www.theparlorreads.com or contact theparlorreads@gmail.com

The Parlor is a monthly reading series sponsored by Bad At Sports Podcast (www.badatsports.com).

posted by Caroline Picard

This essay, originally written for the ARC Digest boook and then used for FLAT’s publication about apartment spaces was posted on the BadatSports blog. You can read the whole thing by going here, though I’ve included the first paragraph/quote, what was written by one Sarah Stickney who used to live in the space….The quote was taken from a small publication created/curated by Young Joon Kwok and Rachel Shine called “It’s Your Turn.” Their silkscreened, small edition 7″-size publication was also about DIY exhibition practices and how they are important.

On the matter of public (1) space : or my apartment gallery is an arctic explorer

“‘Oh, you have a roommate?’

“ ‘Yeah, she’s actually here right now, but she’s sick….Don’t do that—she’s trying to sleep.’

“I heard them but pretended to remain asleep by keeping my eyes closed; [closing your eyes] is what passed for privacy then. My ‘room’ was in a corner of the kitchen on the other side of a folding screen. If you were tall enough, you could see me from either side at any time. The above exchange took place during the installation of a show when I happened to have a cold. I lived at the Green Lantern from 9/06 to 8/07. Recently out of college, I moved to Chicago to get my bearings. I had just spent two years living in the French countryside with no heat, no car, no Internet, no noise, no zines, no sushi, no shows, no jargon. When I moved in, I had never owned a computer. Suddenly I was in the middle of an art scene.

“Any Chicagoan who’s hip to the jive knows that an apartment gallery poses a unique set of problems. Someone actually lives there—sleeps and cooks and poos there—and yet the obligatory neutral space of the gallery must remain white-walled, spacious, antiseptic. At the GL in the earlier days, the gallery was clean, airy, spare, while on just the other side of a makeshift wall was a seething and barely-controlled chaos. A visiting friend once described the living space as ‘under a great deal of pressure,’ like the lack of density in the gallery half had to be balanced by ultra-density in the living half. This density consisted of, among other things, a large mounted buck complete with antlers, a five foot plaster statue of a fat man with an umbrella, a bong made out of steak shellacked to a milk carton, a taxidermied rooster, two large Chinese screens, many works of art in various stages of undress, two living cats…enough plates and stemware to host a diplomatic gala, a sink doubling as a bookshelf, a home-made up-ended ‘bar,’ an enormous vintage fridge, a miniature vintage stove, an easel, double-stacked books, innumerable trinkets ranging from delicate Eastern figurines to an ancient can of spam, an old-fashioned sandwich press, two Dictaphones, one enormous toaster (not in use) and a tiny one (in use). People liked throwing around comparisons to Alice in Wonderland, but that was legit. The fact that the two-foot high pepper mill was three times as tall as the delicate teapot, for instance, made me wonder if I’d accidentally swallowed a pill. And keep in mind that I’ve listed perhaps a sixteenth of the contents of those two or three improvised rooms. I haven’t even mentioned the huge quantities of building supplies, the aluminum ladder, the planks and tools and cans of paint…” (2)

posted by Caroline Picard

A few weeks ago, Jac Jemc read a selection of her work at the former Green Lantern Gallery space. She read to a full house and it was fantastic–I even figured out how to work the camera on my phone (though I apologize for the hand-jiggling. I haven’t meditated long enough to keep things steady). You can download the entire reading here, along with an intriguing question-answer period in which she talks about her process, the role of time in her work and the weight of naming things.

Here are some images from the evening: