Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Pizzilla, the worst awesome story ever.

Photo by Crystal A. Suh, figure by Susie Suh

A few years ago, I came up with a story for my sister while we were bored and sitting around the table. I drew the corresponding pictures to this story on a napkin. I wish I had saved it. I did however remember to it down soon after.
This is it:

We go to the pizza store and get the anchovies and we go “Yuuuum!” and the peoples go “ewwww,” but we say “yyuumm” and “chomp!” And they go “ewwwww,” and then we say “noooo” and then they say “yyeeaaahh” but then we say “noooooo” and then we see Godzilla and then he says “rarrrr!” So then we say “whooaa!” and then he goes “yeeeaahhh!” And then we go “rarrrrrrrr” and then he goes “noooooo!”And then we go “YEEAAAHHH!” and then we eat godzilla and then they go “YEEAHHH” and then we go “YUM!” and then we eat the peoples.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The New Old

This isn't the post I promised but considering I'm the only one that knows about this blog, I didn't think anyone (I) would mind. I'd rather keep this active than let it stagnate trying to find an old review.

Featured today is another old work because of two reasons, 1. The subject of new works created from old, sourced pieces came up in recent conversation and 2. I suck and am lazy- wanna fight?
It's a cento* I wrote (perhaps comprised is a better word?) that was featured in the NY Ghost in June of '07. Though I started out simply compiling quotes that attracted me, I found a startling continuity within the chosen passages on the subjects of psychosis, masc vs. fem thought and duality within the self. Incidentally, most of the male authors I used are among my favorite writers but the women have the last say. That wasn't intentional.

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poetry, a cento is a work wholly composed of verses or passages taken from other authors; only disposed in a new form or order. The term comes from the Latin cento, a cloak made of patches; and that from the Greek κεντονιον. The Roman soldiers used these centos, or old stuffs patched over each other, to guard themselves from the strokes of their enemies.


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THE BEAUTY of the pneumatic rifle was that it could be fired with the muzzle inside the van without deafening everyone around it-there was no need to stick the muzzle out the window where the public could see it.1 Or, I could just sit in the bushes and pump the hand pump until the plumbing was superpressurized to 110psi. This way, when someone goes to flush a toilet, the toilet tank will explode. At 150 psi, if someone turns on the shower, the water pressure will blow off the shower head, strip the threads, blam, the shower head turns into a mortar shell.2
“You want all those retards in watchamacallit, Nebraska, staring at your Texas dick video on MTV openmouthed, blasting the ass, not realizing that it’s all a joke, getting cunt-tickled and fucked thinking that after you shot your girlfriend in the head and the slimiest red hot sexy ass Nazi guy she was partying with that you meant it? Huh? You didn’t dick for stuffing mean it, Leon. You liked the girl you shot in the head, a tasty blonde fuck. The girl you shot in the head was a flower to you, Leon. Your image, Leon. I’m just helping you shape your image, okay?”3
Tyler Durden is a separate personality I’ve created, and now he’s threatening to take over my real life.4 He talks so fast that even his friends have a hard time understanding him. It’s like listening to a foreigner and deciphering only shit, motherfucker, bitch, and the single phrase You can’t kill the Rooster... Asked how he came up with that name, he says only, “Certain motherfuckers think they can fuck with my shit, but you can’t kill the Rooster. You might can fuck him up sometimes, but bitch, nobody kills the motherfucking Rooster. You know what I’m saying?”5 When words fail him, the Rooster has been known to communicate with his fists, which, though quick and solid, are no larger than a couple of tangerines.”6 The first night we fought was a Sunday night, and Tyler hadn’t shaved all weekend so my knuckles burned raw from his weekend beard. Lying on our backs in the parking lot, staring up at the one star that came through the streetlights, I asked Tyler what he’d been fighting.7
“You are aware of only one unrest; Oh never learn to know the other! Two souls, alas are dwelling in my breast, And one is striving to forsake its brother.8 Why should I always be torn from the desire of my heart? Yet you had sworn you would be my companion, always beside me; That you swore by the stars, or by the light of your eyes. 9”
This would go on for hours.10 Barking and barking. Barking and barking.11 “Stop. Please,”12 I tended to lose patience with some of the longer dream sequences, but for the most part13 You can be as strong as you wish to be.14
“Bitch, I’m here to tell you that it’s going to be all right. We’ll get through this shit, motherfucker, just you wait.15 You weren’t really fighting me,” Tyler says. “You said so yourself. You were fighting everything you hate in your life.”16
“You exhaust me with your foolishness and reward my efforts with nothing but pain, do you understand me?17 I am becoming aware of just how lost inside my life you really are18 ”
“Hey, man, I’ve been a fan of yours like forever,” I hear him say. “Forever, man.” 19
I got the point. He needed to work here, but he didn’t have to like it. He had sealed his heart when he’d left home. His real life was in an unlivable land across oceans. He was a ghost. Hanging on.20 I wanted to tell (her) him that if only something were wrong with my body it would be fine, I would rather have anything wrong with my body than something wrong with my head, but the idea seemed so involved and wearisome that I didn’t say anything.21
I am not choosing between men.22

1. Hannibal- Thomas Harris (449)
2. Fight Club- Chuck Palahniuk (69)
3. Bolded Profanity- Why Are We in Vietnam- Norman Mailer (8,9,13,33,123)
The Informers- Bret Easton Ellis (157)
4. Fight Club- Chuck Palahniuk (173)
5. Me Talk Pretty One Day- David Sedaris (61)
6. Me Talk Pretty One Day- David Sedaris (65)
7. Fight Club- Chuck Palahniuk (53)
8. Faust- Goethe (11.1110-1112 p145)
9. The Art of Love- Ovid (The Loves- lines xvi)
10. Fight Club- Chuck Palahniuk (59)
11. Fight Club- Chuck Palahniuk (165)
12. Fight Club- Chuck Palahniuk (165)
13. Me Talk Pretty One Day- David Sedaris (92)
14. Hannibal- Thomas Harris (464)
15. Me Talk Pretty One Day- David Sedaris (68)
16. Fight Club- Chuck Palahniuk (167)
17. Me Talk Pretty One Day- David Sedaris (173)
18. The Informers- Bret Easton Ellis (125)
19. The Informers- Bret Easton Ellis (125)
20. Jasmine- Bharati Mukherjee (153)
21. The BellJar- Sylvia Plath (149)
22. Jasmine- Bharati Mukherjee (240)

Sunday, January 11, 2009

The Whitney, Finally Taking My Advice (like everyone should).

Back in the spring of 2007, the Whitney held an exhibit entitled, "The Legacy of F. Holland Day." It was to be something of an homage to him and to the genre of self-portraiture in general.

It was weak. Totally weak.

<--This is a picture of him looking for the actual exhibit he never got from the Whitney, you know- the good one you would expect for a world renowned icon of photographic history. Incidentally, I wrote a review* of the aforementioned exhibit and in it, I expressed my love of the Other thing I happened to see there, which was Alexander Calder's Circus. Now, almost two years later, they are having a special exhibit: Alexander Calder: The Paris Years, 1926-1933, it's up until February 15th.
Can I get a "Hell, Yes!"?

For those that don't know, these are the sculptures that usually reside at the Whitney. These are what stirred my love for this man:

Cirque Calder 1/2

If you liked that, it goes on in Video #2,

Cirque Calder 2/2

Now, I'm not going to say that they are having this expanded exhibit because of me but feel free to thank me anyway.
Next time I'll post another example of how the Guggenheim finally followed my advice, you'll be a believer ;).

*And now, here is the review I wrote for my class/ Prof. Editha Mesina. It's important to note here that they didn't bother to get any outside pieces, only put together what they already had.
Also, I know it's long but frankly, I don't know why you're reading this blog in the first place. If that's not a good enough reason, referenced are many noteworthy photographers who are good to know about, just because.

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The recent collection of self portraits at the Whitney Museum was, in general- disappointing. Despite the fact it showcased fifteen artists, it seemed incomplete in its lack of theme and dismally small space which was more like an amputated limb than a featured exhibit. While I am sure that the curator’s intention was compiling the photographs under the general theme of “Self-Portraiture” with the pretense of displaying the variety in it and it’s possible relation to F. Holland Day- I believe that with the clout of the Whitney, it is necessary to live up to such a grand undertaking by doing “too-much” rather than “too-little” because too little is always lacking. Self-Portraiture is too large a theme and so diversely explored that displaying so few pieces is simply a mockery of the form. Would it have killed them to bring in other pieces from outside their collection? In an exhibit such as this, where so much of the gallery is over taken by paintings ( and sculpture,) Size Does Matter.
This is not to say there were not some thought-provoking and interesting pieces present, but this I credit more to the artists than any particular choice of the Museum since some of the pieces were hit or miss with varying degrees of conceptual ism. Lucas Samara’s Skull Milky Way, for example was both aesthetically pleasing, nontraditional and inventive because of it’s use of (literally) inner-self portraiture. Why he used pins- I don’t know but it makes you feel tingly and prickly if you stare at it for too long.

Goldin’s Nan & Brian seemed atypical of her usual pieces because she was not a victim, and it portrays the two in bed bathed in beautiful light. Additionally, her dominance of him in the photograph is different from the “suffering” aspect of Holland Day’s work and considering she had so many others more similar to this mentality, I felt it was a strange choice that was probably made because the Whitney happened to have a Goldin lying around.

Lyle Ashton Harris made my day with his sumptuous and decadent Billie #21 and Hammond’s Tabula Rosa brought up all sorts of mental stimulants with her nudity which was covered with drawn figures of Asian and non-Asian cartoons. It stirred questions- Tabula Rosa versus filling the body, Buddhism, Spirituality, Swimming?, Crashing Dominoes and sensual Chrysanthemums.

While intrigued with the original audacity of F. Holland Day’s works of sacrilege, I felt that seeing the piece was more of a novelty than the experience I was promised. Perhaps it was because of it’s fame and my previous experiences with the work in books and slides but I didn’t feel that way about The David so I think it was because of it’s underwhelming placement and display choices. It also astounded me that with such a mundane display that his work was the namesake of the exhibit. I felt the same with Francesca Woodman’s small print that seemed like the wall paper she was under because it was so close to the larger collection of dark Adrian Piper prints. This was personally disappointing considering the many beautiful Woodman images that were not included.

Chris Burden’s book, whose theme seems a credit to his name, sounded interesting but I felt I could have seen more from it to fully grasp the tense mentality that only electrocution can bring. Charles Ray’s piece was notably my least favorite as the quality seemed too poor and simplistic which might have been mitigated had I known his real purpose of tying himself to a tree. It just wasn't my taste but I did wonder if it was based on some deeper, more interesting meaning that was simply not communicated to me at the gallery and for that I am disappointed. (Later research would indicate that one of the explanations of this piece is relinquishing will yet maintaining power within art, for me the explanation seemed like, "attempting shock factor".)

Additionally, it reminded me of Collier Schorr’s photograph of a young man in a tree and when I kept thinking of it, I liked it less and less- but that might just be a personal thing.

Was the point here really to show the legacy of F. Holland Day? Are we to assume that just because some of the artists were tortured souls, or they dressed up that they should be in the same exhibit? Carefully choosing outside pieces could have made this exhibit more cohesive or at least more engaging and I’m sure there are other religiously based self-portraits that could have been added as well. Religion, with all of its implications, artwork and myths could have provided the link that the show needed. Not that it had to be the one link but it could have made an interesting exhibit!
While some of the pieces were thought-provoking and/ or aesthetically pleasing, I didn’t feel as though they should have been together, or at least not together in the fashion that they were, which was: arbitrarily in the room the size of a Manhattan closet. Other artists that were not mentioned were also sprinkled in to create a very random experience. Overall, I’m glad I went to see the work but I felt unsatisfied in the end.
In Conclusion:

Dear Editha,

Calder’s Circus= AWESOME.

Photography and the Self: The Legacy of F. Holland Day= Not so much.


10 Reasons Why You Should Eat Your Cat

as inspired by The Economist, January 2009
based on my cat, Byron.

Reason #1: He’s an asshole.

Reason #2: He likes fish and ultimately that’s bad for greenhouse gases.
He’s ruining the planet.

Reason #3: If he could, he’d probably eat pig every day.
Pig farts are disastrous to the Ozone layer.
He’s totally ruining the planet.

Reason #4: YOU won’t be eating fish OR pig by eating him.

Reason #5: You can make your own clothes.
Don’t support sweatshop labor!

Reason #6: Why else have you been fattening him up with cat food?

Reason #7: It would be funny and terrible. Terribly funny!

Reason #8: If you scalp him, you’ll have an amazing hat with pointy kitty ears.

Reason #9: He’s plotting to kill you, you’ve gotta nip this in the bud.

Reason #10: Imagine all the wonderful hipster art you can create with cat bones.