Saturday, March 06, 2004

Art News

"The danger isn't over when the art emerges from its package. Skluzacek remembers the damage to a valuable canvas caused by a King Charles spaniel. "The dog attacked a 19th-century British landscape painting that had a hunting scene with a rabbit in it," says Skluzacek, who was asked to appraise the damage. "The dog ate the rabbit," she explains. One of heiress Doris Duke's dogs walked through a painting, according to Charles von Nostitz, a New York restorer, but it wasn't clear what the dog was after.

Cats can be destructive, too. Dorit Straus, vice president and worldwide fine-art manager at Chubb, received a claim for a large Abstract Expressionist painting that had been damaged when a cat urinated on it while spinning in the air in an epileptic fit. Von Nostitz once worked on a Roberto Matta painting worth several hundred thousand dollars that had been knocked into a lamp and torn to pieces by a cat. "This was one of the cats in the Friskies commercials," von Nostitz adds, in recognition of the temperamental nature of celebrities. "
"Ordinary Canadians"
"The American People"
The Valley of the Shadow: Two Communities in the American Civil War (from Metafilter)

Friday, March 05, 2004

Sasha Frere-Jones on the "Goodbye Babylon" gospel box: "The idea of blood as somehow cleansing when it's outside your body is a terrible and powerful idea. Walking up from New York's Bowling Green subway station last week, I became aware of the big hole to my left--Ground Zero--as I listened to Joshua White sing 'I Don't Intend To Die in Egypt Land.' His performance is low-key, less hysterical than much of Goodbye, Babylon. He sings, 'I don't intend to stop till I reach the promise land/ I don't intend to die in Egypt land.' The words jolted me and made me look up. The site is covered with American flags--some official placards welded to the fence, others homemade tributes made from flowers or bits of paper. And there, inside the perimeter fence, is the only visible relic of the two towers: two steel beams welded together to make a cross. Goodbye, Babylon makes the agnostic in me want to jump and shout. The empiricist in me can't help but notice the road out of Babylon is paved with sorrow and blood, usually someone else's."
act fast and download The Kleptones present..."Yoshimi Battles The Hip-Hop Robots" "This is not Art- This is a mixtape."
Beau Dick
at Vancouver's CAG--Supernatural--Beau Dick and Neil Campbell --Curated by Roy Arden
Exhibition Dates: March 12 – April 25, 2004
"Traditional Northwest Coast artists have almost entirely been excluded from exhibiting in a contemporary art context, usually exhibited with other First Nations artists or within the context of the anthropological museum. Supernatural aims to question this aesthetic apartheid, producing another opening for serious consideration of the relationships between cultures and their traditions. "
Picture Sheffield
mysterious, semi-permanent rainbow over Sheffield University
kudos to Altercation's Charles Pierce for coming up with not only "The Avignon Presidency" but "C Plus Augustus".
thanks gmtPlus9 for Rudy Burckhardt - An Afternoon in Astoria (flash)

Thursday, March 04, 2004

more great Brooklyn sights at Satan's Laundromat--
"New Kantacky Fried Chicken and Eleven-Seven are across the street from each other and SUPPOSEDLY under the same ownership."
lovely Smiths article:
" There was one devotee in particular, a young man who spent his recreational periods at our school thumping first-years and selling single cigarettes, and I watched as he paid homage to this camp bedazzler onstage and danced around with unfettered joy wearing his mother's beads. I had no choice but to recognise that the world was suddenly making itself available for improvement, and it was all Morrissey's fault."
Eric Alterman on our friends in the press:

"'a massive array of evidence,' 'a detailed and persuasive case,' 'a powerful case,' 'a sober, factual case,' 'an overwhelming case,' 'a compelling case,' 'the strong, credible and persuasive case,' 'a persuasive, detailed accumulation of information,' 'the core of his argument was unassailable,' 'a smoking fusillade... a persuasive case for anyone who is still persuadable,' 'an accumulation of painstakingly gathered and analyzed evidence,' 'only the most gullible and wishful thinking souls can now deny that Iraq is harboring and hiding weapons of mass destruction,' 'the skeptics asked for proof; they now have it,' 'a much more detailed and convincing argument than any that has previously been told,' 'Powell's evidence... was overwhelming,' 'an ironclad case... incontrovertible evidence,' 'succinct and damning evidence... the case is closed,' 'Colin Powell delivered the goods on Saddam Hussein,' 'masterful,' 'If there was any doubt that Hussein... needs to be... stripped of his chemical and biological capabilities, Powell put it to rest.'"
Gustavus Myers, A History of Canadian Wealth, ch 16: "There was," he said, "a little line of railway--I passed over it since --along the sea coast from Victoria to Nanaimo, a distance of 70 miles, the construction of which was scarcely necessary ; and to promote the construction of that railway nearly all of the coal lands of the Island of Vancouver were granted to a syndicate, the greater proportion of the capital being held in San Francisco by the Southern Pacific Railway magnates. I pointed out this fact at the time but the lobby influences here, the backing here, were too strong ; the grant was made, the coal lands have gone ; and the other day we were informed, in discussing the militia estimates, that the reason coal was so high when purchased in Vancouver Island, was that there was a monopoly, and we ourselves created that monopoly by the grant of the Nanaimo Railway Company."
Nanaimo 1892: "The nomenclature of the streets and squares is an interesting study which affords a clue to some of the distinguished and enterprising capitalists who promoted and have fostered and developed the coal industry of Nanaimo until it has arrived at its present immense proportions: there are Roberts street and Lubbock square (1), after the well known bankers of London, and Fitzwilliam(2) and Milton(3) streets, in honor of the scions of the noble Earl of Fitzwilliam, who have in early days made the tour of the province, notable, Lord Milton, whose travels in the upper country are part of Colonial history. The memory of the late Justice Haliburton, a former chairman of directors of the Vancouver Coal Company, and of world wide renown as the writer under the nom de plume of 'Sam Slick,' is perpetuated by one of the longest streets. And the honorable directors of the company, Galsworthy(4), Tendron(5), Prideaux(6), Selby, Irwin and Fry, Campbell, Young and other supporters of the company's adventure with other celebrities, such as Robins, Finlayson, Robson, Dunsmuir(7) and others, are handed down to posterity as familiar household words." 1. Absorbed in the last decade. I think my friend Rob might have been the last person to have had it as a postal address. 2. The old library was on this street. 3. Always identified with the poet in my mind. 4. Gone 5. Gone 6. I lived on this street. 7. The muddy truckpath at the bottom of our yard is still called "Dunsmuir Avenue" on the maps, a joke well into its second century.
thanks Coudal Partners for the splendid Chicago's grid mile by mile
I hope that "Cold Mountain" at least causes a few people to pick up the incomparable William Bartram, 1739-1823. Travels Through North & South Carolina, Georgia, East & West Florida, the Cherokee Country, the Extensive Territories of the Muscogulges, or Creek Confederacy, and the Country of the Chactaws

From the alligator attack chapter, which must have given Coleridge many a sleepless night:

"I now prepared for my return to camp, which I succeeded in with but little trouble, by keeping close to the shore, yet I was opposed upon re-entering the river out of the lagoon, and pursued near to my landing (though not closely attacked) particularly by an old daring one, about twelve feet in length, who kept close after me, and when I stepped on shore and turned about, in order to draw up my canoe, he rushed up near my feet and lay there for some time, looking me in the face, his head and shoulders out of water; I resolved he should pay for his temerity, and having a heavy load in my fusee, I ran to my camp, and returning with my piece, found him with his foot on the gunwale of the boat, in search of fish, on my coming up he withdrew sullenly and slowly into the water, but soon returned and placed himself in his former position, looking at me and seeming neither fearful or any way disturbed. "
Panoramic Photography | Shipbuilders at the Gray`s Harbor Yards of the Grant-Smith-Porter Co., Aberdeen, WA
Lotte Jacobi portraits

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

Hilary Mantel : Some girls want out:
"Rudolph Bell's book Holy Anorexia (1985) concentrates on Italian saints, and is especially rewarding for connoisseurs of the spiritually lurid. St Maria Maddalena de' Pazzi lay naked on thorns. Saint Catherine of Siena drank pus from a cancerous sore. One confessor ordered Veronica Giuliani to kneel while a novice of the order kicked her in the mouth. Another ordered her to clean the walls and floor of her cell with her tongue; when she swallowed the spiders and their webs, even he thought it was going too far. Scourges, chains and hair shirts were the must-have accessories in these women's lives. Eustochia of Messina stretched her arms on a DIY rack she had constructed. St Margaret of Cortona bought herself a razor and was narrowly dissuaded from slicing through her nostrils and upper lip. St Angela of Foligno drank water contaminated by the putrefying flesh of a leper. And what St Francesca Romana did, I find I am not able to write down."
Dream Anatomy

Tuesday, March 02, 2004

all of Calvin and Hobbes apparently
amongst a bunch of Metafilter stuff on Seattle kid's show hosts this profile of clam house eccentric Ivar. I remember his Acres of Clams sponsored Monty Python for the local PBS affiliate.
By request, I have added a search feature to this blog. It lives at the bottom of the scroll where the archives are now too.
Delmore Schwartz on Wallace Stevens, Master of Reality:

"Finally it would be wrong, in thus emphasizing his original genius, not to speak of how traditional his poetry is, how Stevens continues and renews the greatest rhetorical mode in English, the mode of blank verse in which Shakespeare and Milton wrote. Here, from the conclusion of Academic Discourse in Havana is a passage which representative at once of Stevens' eloquence, his possession of poetic tradition, his conception of the poet's role and conviction that poetry may be 'an infinite incantation of ourselves':

... Is the function of the poet here mere sound,
Subtler than the ornatest prophecy,
To stuff the ear? ...
As part of nature, he is part of us.
His rarities are ours: may they be fit
And reconcile us to our selves in those
True reconcilings, dark pacific words ...
Close the cantina. Hood the chandelier.
The Moonlight is not yellow, but a white
That silences the ever-faithful town.
How pale and how possessed a night it is,
How full of exhalation of the sea. ...
All this is older than the oldest hymn,
Has no more meaning than tomorrow's bread
But let the poet on his balcony
Speak and the sleepers in their sleep shall move
Waken, and watch the moonlight on their floors.
This may be benediction, sepulcher,
And epitaph. It may, however, be
An incantation that the moon defines
By mere example opulently clear...

How, reading such passages, which are a multitude, can we fail to understand the poet's triumphant affirmation: 'What more is there to love than I have loved?' and lived? The Hoon--the human alone--which he calls himself in a number of poems became in his recent work Jocundus; his poems became 'the auroras of Autumn'; Peter Quince "at the clavier" became "Professor Eucalyptus," declaring that "the search for reality is as momentous as the search for god," making continual "addresses to the Academy of Fine Ideas," and once more reporting, in the last poem of his collected volume, on "the thing itself"; a bird's "scrawny cry," in the first morning, is that of a "chorister whose c preceded the choir," it is a part of "the colossal sun's choral rings" and it is truly "a new knowledge of reality": Prince of the realm and of English, majestic voice, sovereign of the mind and of light, master of reality."
Yawning Animals
"Fourth Term"
"Trade Barrier"
FDR Cartoon Collection Database
Happy Centennial Dr. Seuss!!:
"Geisel had a contract to write a children's book. The purpose of the book, initially, was to build and rehearse early reading vocabulary. He was told that he could write whatever he wanted so long as he only used words from a list of some 250 very simple words. That was it. He could not use any word that was not on that 250 word list. Well, he kept getting stuck, starting a story line using words on the list and then finding himself unable to advance the story or even back out of the plot because he would have to use a word not on the list. Eventually, he switched strategies. He stopped thinking in terms of plots and characters and started with the words themselves, finding rhymes and rhythmic combinations and playing with associative linguistic slides from one word set to another. "
Dr. Seuss' War Cartoons
Metafilter has this detailed how-to for Russian Tea--
so why not bust out some Lower East Side cupcakes?

"On a recent afternoon, I watched the girls ice in tandem. The flick of the wrist, the descending wad of butter cream that doubles the size of the tiny cupcake, it all looked so familiar.

'Certain colors sell better,' says Williams, auburn-haired in a do-rag, mixing a moody shade of blue. The best-selling color, she says, is pink. 'Male, female, they all want the pink. Peach never really sold so well--'"
Ginger & Fred in the TLS
"Still holding her, but now with one hand moving surely to the back of her waist, Astaire leads Ginger into a walk. It's a don't-you-remember walk, until, at the end of the phrase, he arches right back, pulling her with him, so that they tip together, enough to make it a matter of risking her balance and his. From here on,though there remains a rich didn't-we-used-to-have-fun subtext, we're in the present tense, fast and funny. The stops and starts, the hesitations and sudden spurts, the fun of finding how well they work together again, the little mime/dance quarrel, a whole series of suddenly-tipping-over steps, the rapid side-by-side hops and tap phrases, the whirling spin-turns: the alchemy of dancing with a partner has never been made more immediate. "
Breaking Out Vancouver Hip-Hop: "Such an estimation was confirmed for me on a recent excursion to East Van's Butchershop Floor, a space where a gaggle of tragic hipsters had gathered to watch a band of art-school ironists skewer rock 'n' roll conventions. Revolted by a surfeit of sarcasm, I stepped outside, where a trio of teenagers calling themselves Main Offenders were peddling copies of their debut EP (The Upper Hand) for $10 to passersby. At one point, a stranger toting an accordion stepped up and started playing a riff, over which MO's beatboxer ILL-Literate laid a drum pattern, inviting his mate Aspire to spit a freestyle. Over the next two minutes, the spindly teenager hurtled passionately along, wowing a dozen onlookers with his spur-of-the-moment rhymes. If it's always darkest before the dawn, Aspire's astounding improv suggested that the sun may soon rise on Vancouver hip-hop. And as for The Upper Hand, it was worth every penny. "
Sleeping by the Mississippi--photographs by Alec Soth
"Over and over again I fall asleep with my eyes open, knowing I'm falling asleep, unable to prevent it. When I fall asleep this way, my eyes are cut off from my ordinary mind as though they were shut, but they become directly connnected to a new, extraordinary mind which grows increasingly competent to deal with their impressions."

Charles Lindbergh, writing about the twenty-second hour of his transatlantic flight in The Spirit of St. Louis.

Monday, March 01, 2004

* Dusted Reviews - Arthur Russell *: "It's too late, though. There is only this music, an open, rolling form that saturates all physical space not designated by architectural limit. It is something palpable everywhere, an excessive sensual immersion: the doorways, the inner ear, in the narrow area between pant and legs. All over your face. Preserved by its wax entombment, but ultimately contextually destroyed. Here are the records we listen to at home alone. That Alicia Bridges 12" that you found at your local thrift store. This work may lack the socially definitive answers and clues, but ultimately it points to the city. It's like the complete field recordings of Alan Lomax, minus the carefully compiled tomes on Folk and World music. Beautiful, moving work that sings of social interaction and lifestyle, but not quite enough clearly to explain it all on its own. "
The Happy Poster Project print 'em
elegant S F-J on Arthur Russell : "The gray scrim of irony that settled over the nineties shortly afterward would not have been a nurturing environment for their art, either. Russell and Haring both saw that dance music was the avant-garde's silent partner. History and hip-hop have proved them right. "

Sunday, February 29, 2004

Audrey Brown: "Like Emily Carr, Brown was 'discovered' by a member of the eastern establishment, professor Pelham Edgar, and her fame spread rapidly. Among her admirers were Prime Minister Robert Borden, who sent her a cheque to buy a typewriter, and Queen Mary, wife of George V. "
Audrey Brown centennial: "Born Oct. 29, 1904 in Nanaimo B.C., Audrey A. Brown was the 5th of 8 children born to Rosa Elizabeth and Joseph Miller Brown. She was one of Canada's most celebrated lyric poets in the 1930's and 40's. An avid reader, Audrey Brown had just 4 years of formal education. She began writing at age 6, and often illustrated her early work with drawings of fairy themes--a practice continued in her later children's literature. She first published locally at 16 and later made her living chiefly through freelance newspaper pieces. Audrey Brown continued to write into her 70's. However, with changing expectations in Canadian literature in the latter half of the century, her mode of verse, which echoed a 19th C. style, became increasingly ignored. In 1928 the Victoria College (Toronto) professor Pelham Edgar became an early Brown supporter, and in 1931 her first book, A Dryad in Nanaimo, gained national attention. A number of books followed including the biographical Log of the Lame Duck (1937) which drew from her extended time at hospital subsequent to a diagnoses of rheumatoid arthritis at age 18. From 1935 to his death in 1937, Brown had an active correspondence friendship with former Prime Minister Robert Borden.
Her awards include: Officer of the Order of Canada (1967); the Lorne Pierce Gold Medal (1944); the Memorial Gold Medal of the Canadian Women's Press Club (1936), and a number of honourary memberships."
Atget's Haunted Paris
Jo-Ann Kelly great British blues singer/guitarist