Sunday, June 29, 2008

The Sea of Poetry

So its been awhile. Working, packing, moving. To the Brewery Art Colony, actually. Raid Projects will be my home and studio starting next week. You must come by. I've been practicing my martini making skills and I need test subjects. Bring your own olives.

Saw some art. Here's the highlights.

Ali Smith -- "We Find Ways" at Mark Moore Gallery. Big. Sexy. Paintings. Super indulgent, celebratory fits of paint collide and sweat on these giant canvases. The marks and globs reach, stretch, and navigate the oceans of space and move in and out as much as they do up and across. The forms in her painting seem like blown up microscope slides of some kind of primordial, multi-celled, bubblegum colored organism, caught in a fit of furious, many hued rapid development. One feels that these paintings would reach out an assimilate the viewer if they stood in front for too long, and be broken down into the elemental lines, shapes, colors, and forms that these wonderful works heroically present.

Marlene Dumas -- "Measuring Your Own Grave" at MOCA Grand Avenue. Though not every one of these paintings grabbed me, there are moments in this show that are moving in the most eloquent and understated way. Simple formal moves by Dumas make it seem that all the typical conventions of painting are in fact metaphors for mortality. The double sided coin of sex and death finds such a haunting delivery system in the paint and in the presentation.

Lawrence Weiner -- "As Far As The Eye Can See" at MOCA Geffen Contemporary. Fantastic. I floated through this show, through the sea of poetry that Weiner presents on the walls (and floor) of the gallery. Typographically designed abstract instructions for possible artworks vinyled to the wall make it seem as if one's thoughts have been given life and hover about simultaneously. My favorite -- "Draw a line from the first evening star to the last morning star." Interspersed are blobs of paint, some interior structural damage, and a wall perforated by buckshot. These seemingly arbitrary records of action are in fact some of Weiner's instructions carried out. The videos and objects emblazoned with his words upstairs offer a nice complement, but to meander around this space and ponder the absurd poetry of Weiner's words is one of the most delightful museum experiences I've ever had.

Other than that, Antonio Ballester Moreno at Peres Projects got some talk from everyone I was running into. My jury's still out, but I think I might come around. My co-worker at the Hammer Museum Nathan Danilowicz had some fucked up results of his Fucked Up Drawing Parties at Bonelli Contemporary which was the best thing I saw in Chinatown last night.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

" "

I can't seem to get any of my thoughts past the declarative quip stage.  Perhaps writing more like this will help.  Until then, this is a greatest hits collection of things I know I think I believe (that wasn't non-committal), all in the succinct, poetic style I have been getting drunk and saying too loudly to people over the years...

"Painting is the most legitimate form an image can take."

"Hanging anything on a wall is a painterly act."

"The two most frightening things in life are art and love."

"All art is political."

"All art is narrative."

"All artworks are documentations of a performative activity."

"Painting is undead.  And as we all know, the only way to kill the undead is to kill the brain.  So as long as there are brains in painting, it will never die."

"Video art is people exercising their ability to make their own TV to watch, which is exactly why its not on TV."

"The consequences of being seduced by practicality are just as painful as the consequences of being seduced by poetry."

"Poetry is the only thing that illuminates the night (Godard).  The moon illuminates the night.  Therefore, the moon is made of poetry.  That's why all the bitter hearts say its made of cheese."

"I'M A FORCE OF NATURE!!!" (I have never said this with my indoor voice)

"Its better to go too far, than it is to not go far enough." (I stole this from someone, I know.)

"There is no thinking in painting, because in painting, painting is thinking." (Not me, but Gerhard Richter.  But its the best.  And I swap out the word painting for whatever.)

"Commit to making a mas...." you know.

"You gotta get smart before you get art."

"I'm just trying to live poetry."

I know there's more.  The quotes around them somehow make them seem less serious...interesting. If anyone out there remembers any I've missed, don't hesitate to chime in.  Or if you have something else to add.  These things I say are supposed inspire debate, not end it.