Kate Gilmore and Breaking Stuff

A few weeks ago I visited artist Kate Gilmore's studio in Long Island City with my art class and whoa! I am all about this lady. I'm pretty sure I'm not going to be able to be eloquent about this one, try as I might. In general, my reaction to art is so visceral, so immediate and internal, that I have  hard time verbalizing exactly why something is so fucking amazing. To be honest, I don't even know where to begin.

If I had to say, I think it begins sometime last September, when art became something I had to theorize and conceptualize and it wasn't just about doing something I liked. I'm not sure what would have happened if I had said, well here's some stuff that I made because I think it looks nice, or because I had fun making it, and no it doesn't have any deeper meaning than that (although I guess if I think about anything long enough I could bullshit some meaning into it). But I didn't do that. I tried to come up with something bigger than me, with ideas about existence and life and all that crap that frankly I feel unqualified to philosophize on, whether it be in a visual form or not. 

And I felt, and still feel, kind of suffocated by these concepts and demands that I feel being placed upon me. I'm not sure what I'm supposed to make because I'm pretty sure it has all been made before. I'm getting to a dangerous point where I really think anything can be art, but I'm not sure if that is right. And I'm sort of sick of feeling like I'm totally inadequate, that what I think and feel and make and do just isn't good enough. I feel a little bit trapped, like I'm trying to make myself into someone and something that I'm really not - an Artist.

So with all of those terrible angsty emotions floating around all the time, seeing Kate Gilmore's art, I really appreciated what she was making and doing because it felt really natural. She is not trying to be someone she isn't, or make something she doesn't want to. Watching her videos also might be a cathartic experience for me. Because she gets to smash stuff, obviously. I've never been one to lash out on things around me, but I hear that it feels pretty good. So some of her videos make me imagine feeling really good, and then other ones make me imagine feeling terrible, like being stuck in a too-tight-space, which is something I feel often, but metaphorically! not actually, like in "Main Squeeze."

S0... there's all that. Then I definitely think that her work speaks to the "femininity" question in general. She is the woman in all her videos, but the work isn't about her, she says (and I agree, you can feel that there's something bigger going on), so much that what she wants to do is easier for her to do herself because of the physicality involved. She uses her body as a tool, and she needs and wants it to be a strong (literally), curvy, womanly body. She wears heels and dresses, further emphasizing that femininity, and many of her titles and themes evoke issues of the traditional role and place of women in society. This last bit may be reading too much into it, and not what she intends in the art, but I definitely felt it was there.

Anyway - enough talking. I think her stuff is really, really amazing. Please check out her website if you want to see more, and let me know what you think!

Friday Night Lights made me stop reading my Google Reader

What more endorsement do you need? I could go on ad nauseum about how much I love this show and all the characters and the cinematography and the music and yeah, you get the point. It's awesome, and totally makes me wish I was back in high school, which is no small feat.


I was very excited about this at first, but now I think I wish it was a graphic novel. 

Sweet! Just read this and found out that there WILL be illustrations! It's totally back on the reading list. 


Ladies and Gents, Mr. On Kawara

On Wednesday I visited On Kawara's latest exhibition of his work One Million Years at David Zwirner. Inspired by Jerry Saltz's "minutes" from his visit to the collection, I jotted down my thoughts during my visit. The idea was that they would be helpful for the review that I am currently trying to write for a class. They are not proving to be such...so I thought I would share here instead! Huzzah!

- Nine hundred thirty seven thousand three hundred forty two BC (937, 342)
- The years are descending.
- Girl: 937,336 (slight pause) oop (giggle, sigh, pause) 937,334 BC
- Noise outside from trucks very loud and makes it difficult to hear the counting/reciting sometimes.
- Reflection of window of the front of the gallery falls directly on the window in front of the readers, standing in the southwest corner. Can’t see the man reading at all - his voice is a ghost voice, making it seem more like a recording than a reading.
- Nature of performance? Despite it claiming to simply allow visitors to “view the process of CD production”
- If a performance, then it breaks the 4th wall. I made eye contact numerous times with the female reader. It wasn’t weird like it is when an actor catches your gaze. But I thought maybe she thought I was weird for just sitting and listening to the years pass.
- It crossed my mind that I should stay and listen to new readers, a new cast.
- And then I thought, wow, everyone always says, Well each person has their own experience of art, but this is truly a different piece of art because the readers change.
- Is this even art? Is the art the books? Perhaps the final CDs produced from these sessions?
- What about the nature of fulling exposing a process? We see the “sound techie,” the computer, the performers, etc.
- Why are 1969-1996 not part of the time continuum? Kawara is still alive, so… ?
- Then: Oh my god will they ever record all of it? They are only on 937,185 BC! (Note from later: "It is believed 2,700 CDs will be needed to complete the reading of [the work]. On average, if 27 CDs are produce yearly, the entire project will take 100 years to complete." - Press Release. Um so no... they probably won't).
- At some point I stopped listening and wasn’t hearing the words anymore.
- What happens to mistakes on the recordings? How does the editing process work?
- Strange: around 11:25 am, the readers took a break, had their photograph taken, posing as if they were reading, and then continued on.
- I found it VERY obnoxious that the tops of the Plexiglas cases displaying the tomes were dirty. DIRRRTY.
- A girl came in during the break and didn’t stay to hear them read! Didn’t experience the “process” at all. Harumph.
- If you listen carefully I think it almost sounds like a conversation. Even slight pauses are pregnant. Normal voice intonation starts sounding like a rollercoaster
- Man: Nine-hundred, thirty-seven thousand, fifty-five… BC
- Woman: Nine-hundred, thirty-seven thousand, fifty-four BC
- Man: Nine-hundred, thirty-seven thousand, fifty-three BC
- Woman: Nine-hundred, thirty-seven thousand, fifty-two BC
- Why must they read? What is the difference between reading and counting? Counting and reciting? Reading and reciting?
- Looked at my watch at 11:00 am, but didn’t note what “year” it was, and now I feel like I don’t know how much time has passed, even though I can look at my watch and see it is 11:24 am. Becomes like “Lost” – not asking where we are, but when we are. (Doo doo doo ... Twilight zone music.)
- AWESOME when they paused to turn the page, could hear the page turning. All of a sudden felt like, where did time go? Because it was not anticipated like when the woman arrived to photograph the readers.
- I got bored! I am a bad person! I don’t appreciate art!
- Last two years as I left the gallery to the cacophonous cement truck outside: 936,973 BC; 936,972 BC
- TIME PASSED: approximately 30 minutes and also 375 years. 


from "Lobster Claw vs. Tentacle"

These are some little drawings I made while I was in Argentina. I took the Polaroids from the window in my bedroom. It took up one whole wall and I loved waking up warm from the sun. This year I live in a little cave with hardly any light at all and consequently I find myself sleeping in later than I ever have. It has made me realize that I actually have 3 things to look for when I am apartment hunting soon: pet friendly, close to the subway, and natural light in my bedroom. Hopefully I won't come up with too many other demands before I have to start looking, otherwise I will never find anywhere to live. This post is seriously lacking in the snark department, and for that I apologize. I'll be back on my A game soon, I promise.

marker on polaroid, buenos aires, argentina, 2008


cork board

This is what hangs directly above and behind my computer. And so I stare at it quite often since I spend an unhealthy amount of my time at my computer, sitting on my awkwardly almost-rockingchair-chair. You can see postcards and photos, a quote from Borges, a list of places I want to go, a receipt entitling me to 6.99 (!!!!) off of my next purchase at a children's book store (you're jealous right?) and stamps, so that I never have an excuse to not write someone a letter telling them that I love them, or that I miss them, or that I think they're pretty fucking cool.

Oh, I also kept my voting stubs from when I voted for the first time in a presidential election and Mr. Obama himself was elected, even though my mom told me I didn't need them anymore. I totally need them! They're like... historic! For me anyway.

In other news, today I wore my ugly-sleeping-bags-for-my-feet boots and they kept me super duper warm when I had to trek to the ends of the Earth (aka Chelsea). I espied them on sale a few years ago, because it was May and everyone else was like, "I love spring and wearing sundresses and open-toed shoes and laying in the grass and having picnics," and I was like, "This is a very delayed gratification purchase, but I think one day I will be happy to have these boots." And today I was. Even though they're kinda ugly. I think that is an aesthetic I am into these days: kinda ugly. Let's see where it takes me.