Hey kids. So its been a little while. The Brewery Art Walk is this weekend, and us here at Raid Projects will have our doors open from 11 – 6 both days. The walls have been painted, and the art is hung. It will be a little group showing of work from yours truly, and roommates Max Presneil and Terri Thomas. Do come won’t you? There’s a free beer with your name on it.
And in other news:
-- Daybreak – 2250 AD by Andre Norton was kind of ‘ehn’. Pretty typical sci-fi paperback fare. Methinks there are better seminal post-apocalyptic tales out there, as this one sort of just bumbled along confusingly. Still, it’s supposedly the first. My favorite character was Lura, the slightly telepathic mountain lion.
-- BRD Trilogy by Fassbinder – Well we can’t all aspire to make 35 films before we die of coke and sleeping pills at 37, fuck everything that moves (male or female), and generally be a total badass, but we can watch the fantastic work of someone that did. And that someone, of course, is another one of my dead heroes, Rainer Werner Fassbinder. Near the end he made the BRD Trilogy – The Marriage of Maria Braun, Veronika Voss, and Lola. Together they comprise everything one needs to know about cinematography and acting, separately they provide a compelling portrait of three women dealing with Fassbinder’s motherland of Germany, after WWII. I confess to being more drawn to his earlier work (Fear of Fear, Chinese Roulette, Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant), but the BRD trilogy shows the final polish of an experienced filmmaker taking bold formal risks and ambitious structuring with the confidence that only being prolific allows.
I am struck by a comparison between him and fellow German artist Martin Kippenberger, whose big show at MOCA left me a bit underwhelmed. Both German, both monstrously prolific, both drunken badasses, both died prematurely. Perhaps its because my exposure to painting is more involved than with film, but I am not completely bowled over my Kippenberger’s output. Much of it seems unconsidered, dashed-off, and weak. Much of it is truly inspired. Upon first viewing the show, the sheer volume of work was amazing. But after a second look, it seemed that he tried his hand at several different conceptual strategies that had already been established. Furthermore, I found myself taking issue with the celebration of the Pollock-esque behavior he seemed to embody. Perhaps it is because I am painter myself looking down the barrel of some lifestyle clichés that I question the tired stereotype of the alcoholic asshole painter. At least with Fassbinder there is the issue of his, shall we say, “advanced” sexuality that breaks him free of any real stereotypes.
I see Kippenberger as a character foil to the other force of nature in modern German painting – Gerhard Richter (a non-dead hero). It seems that, in a way Kipp (my little name for him) was trying to be in many ways the kind of artist Richter was not. Unfortunately, one of the things Richter didn’t do was die young.
-- Louise Bourgeois at MOCA. That's what I'm sayin'. I'll hit that up next week, probably Friday.