Dusty Wright's Culture Catch - Smart Pop Culture, Video & Audio podcasts, Written Reviews in the Arts & Entertainment http://culturecatch.com/node/feed en First Contact http://culturecatch.com/node/3794 <span>First Contact</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/users/millree-hughes" lang="" about="/users/millree-hughes" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Millree Hughes</a></span> <span>November 16, 2018 - 10:08</span> <div class="field field--name-field-topics field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Topics</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/art" hreflang="en">Art Review</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/203" hreflang="en">painter</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/510" hreflang="en">painters</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/115" hreflang="en">gallery show</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="1160" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2018/2018-11/rose-gold.jpeg?itok=ZKMM7Khr" title="rose-gold.jpeg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1150" /></article><figcaption>Rose/Gold, oil on canvas, 2015</figcaption></figure><p><a href="http://www.jocelynhobbie.com" target="_blank">Jocelyn Hobbie</a>'s new paintings are hanging at <a href="http://www.fredericksfreisergallery.com" target="_blank">Fredericks and Freiser Gallery</a> at 536 West 24th Street in New York, open every day, apart from Sunday and Monday, from 10am until 6pm. She appears to be harking back to an earlier time when the artist's job was to praise youth and beauty and the skill of the other craftspeople of the day. Like Franz Winterhalter who painted the court of Queen Victoria and exalted Charles Worth the father of haute couture. The dressmaker, the fabric designer, the dyer, the hair cutter. And the painters themselves, who can cause a frisson by rendering a little application of lipstick on the lips of a lovely, just formed woman. </p> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="1278" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2018/2018-11/fairisle-and-geraniums.jpeg?itok=gpLL00Ki" title="fairisle-and-geraniums.jpeg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1200" /></article><figcaption>Fair Isle and Geraniums, oil on canvas, 2018</figcaption></figure><p>In "Fair Isle and Geraniums" the geraniums are understood in a highly plastic way. They remind me of the flowers of the '70s rock album illustrator, Alan Aldridge, who amped up Nature in his book <em>The Butterfly Ball</em> so that dimensionality and depth of pigment trumped light and shadow. In a Jocelyn Hobbie painting everything is made out of a material that you would never mistake for a photograph. On a surface that is very far from a backlit phone. This is not a reproduction. The medium is the message.</p> <p> Warhol created "The Manufactured Painting" where the individual subsumes themselves so that the work can be about  mechanical reproduction. The idea is that "the studio" becomes a fantasy about "the factory."</p> <p>The influence of this concept has become so prevalent that the disappearance of touch has become desirable in some modern work. Jeff Koons has most famously employed his assistants to paint his paintings with the directive to not allow a brush mark to be seen. To act like photograph reproducers.</p> <p>Hobbie's pieces remind me of Kehinde Wiley's most famous paintings. Portraits where the skin is highly modeled and the clothes and backgrounds are more flat, referencing decorative surfaces. But Hobbie is hypersensitive to color where Wiley's choices can at times look approximate, as if they were chosen from a color chart. And his skin surfaces can look artificial where hers emanate light. It's inevitable when a portrait is made by a studio in China, full of workers, rather than by a single artist. But Wiley deliberately sacrifices touch for effect. He's making hip hop court paintings! The conceit that it is the work of a great studio is in keeping with its ambitions </p> <p>Hobbie is keeping it small, intimate. You are here in the gallery with "the thing." There's a dialogue, however unequal, between you and it. This is because there is the presence of another person in the room.</p> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="1045" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2018/2018-11/ikat-bouquet.jpeg?itok=GFA1tW_o" title="ikat-bouquet.jpeg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1200" /></article><figcaption>Ikat Bouquet, Oil on canvas, 2018</figcaption></figure><p>"Ikat Bouquet" is backed up by a deeply plumbed aqua blue, as you can see. If this is a glorified fashion "shoot," the model is appropriately detached. The rendering of the face abandons anatomy for effect. The cheek bone shading goes on forever. Hobbie points out visual aspects without conceptualizing them. Painting is a phenomenological project.</p> <p>Perhaps what's been forgotten is that when a painting is not the hand of a single auteur something about the work dies.</p> <p>This is because the onlooker seeks contact with the maker. Without that there is no dialogue.</p> <blockquote> <p>"It's always based on the two poles, the onlooker and the maker, and the spark that comes from the bipolar action gives birth to something-like electricity." Marcel Duchamp</p> </blockquote> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=3794&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="LkIZZLONlC3Ys2gW5qsv1Utfb_Vn7sLPN78xs8SW49Q"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Fri, 16 Nov 2018 15:08:41 +0000 Millree Hughes 3794 at http://culturecatch.com http://culturecatch.com/node/3794#comments Video of the Week: "Alexa" http://culturecatch.com/node/3793 <span>Video of the Week: &quot;Alexa&quot;</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/users/dusty-wright" lang="" about="/users/dusty-wright" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Dusty Wright</a></span> <span>November 15, 2018 - 08:57</span> <div class="field field--name-field-topics field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Topics</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/music" hreflang="en">Music Review</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/127" hreflang="en">music video</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><div class="video-embed-field-provider-youtube video-embed-field-responsive-video form-group"><iframe width="854" height="480" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/tYQyKFud64w?autoplay=0&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> <p align="left">British folk/indie singer-songwriter <strong>BEANS ON TOAST</strong> new single and video for "Alexa" is required viewing for all tech savvy, tech-challenged, and music lovers alike. This clever animated video -- using discarded Amazon boxes -- is a cautionary tale that examines the future of AI, voice-activated Internet controls, and Amazon's continued world domination. The video begins with Beans saying: <em>"And this one's got an intro that goes 'ALEXA play Beans on Toast... ALEXA' so nobody can listen to it on their Amazon Echo." </em>This is a funny but thought-provoking tune warning us about our <em>Brave New World</em>.</p> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=3793&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="SLpblTKUrSI5pOGX7VFJHsTX-gixRBmWoZbbr0qGh10"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Thu, 15 Nov 2018 13:57:32 +0000 Dusty Wright 3793 at http://culturecatch.com http://culturecatch.com/node/3793#comments Reconstructing Memories http://culturecatch.com/node/3792 <span>Reconstructing Memories</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/user/349" lang="" about="/user/349" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Dom Lombardi</a></span> <span>November 13, 2018 - 17:17</span> <div class="field field--name-field-topics field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Topics</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/art" hreflang="en">Art Review</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/203" hreflang="en">painter</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/605" hreflang="en">art exhibit</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="1397" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2018/2018-11/buick-exposure.jpg?itok=2v7eeKLe" title="buick-exposure.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1200" /></article><figcaption>Buick Exposure, acrylic and gesso on bed sheet, 81 x 77 inches, 2018</figcaption></figure><p>Elise P. Church: <em>Say, sea</em></p> <p>happylucky no. 1 gallery, Brooklyn, NY</p> <p>I am always impressed by how a spirited art gallery exhibition can enliven the most dismal of days. Even with many of the nearby stores shuttered on one particular block of Nostrand Avenue, <i>Say, sea</i> at happylucky no. 1 gallery easily brightens my chilly and overcast Sunday afternoon.</p> <p><i>Say, sea,</i> is one-person exhibition comprised of recent works by Elise P. Church that reveal a most curious way of reconstructing the missing mementos of a past life. Having often moved back and forth between homes in coastal Massachusetts and Bermuda in her youth, Church lost or misplaced all of her early photographs and souvenirs. To replace them, Church continually scours the Internet to acquire similar photographs to the ones that have vanished. Overall, the images would have to be of or referencing the sea or seaside living, as all of her childhood homes were at or near the sea. In addition, to make them more relevant to her particular past, all would be dated from the 1960s and '70s to correspond to her era. Then there is the title of the exhibition, which comes from a poem by Emily Dickinson titled <i>Part Three: Love, XI</i>, with the last two lines reading: "Say, sea," "Take me!"</p> <p>It is sometimes good to know the background and intent of an artist or exhibition, but it is not integral to the success of this show. Walking through the exhibition and not knowing the background information, you can sense that this work is about a person dealing with loss, especially since many of the paintings and photographs are fragments or contain small to large portions of the composition cut away and removed. The painting techniques used by the artist, which come off looking like watercolors overall, are executed on fragments of fabric and sheets of paper giving the exhibition a feeling of weightlessness or buoyancy, which in turn suggests movement or transference.</p> <p>As stated in the exhibition essay, Church begins her work with an acquired photograph. In her large pieces, these become the aforementioned paintings that read so well as memories softened by time and hardened by loss. The small snapshots, on the other hand, are cut into, reduced and overlapped photographs that result in alluring little abstractions. Despite their size, the results are quite potent as each leaves us with just enough information to pique one's interest. With each of these intimate works, which have cryptic titles and recent dates, Church brings us to her experiences as a child, her feelings, her memories of sights, sounds and smells coupled with the texture of discovery, and the newness of things when a young mind is filling up with impressions and perceptions that spawn a lifetime of learning.</p> <p>happyluck no. 1 gallery is located at 734 Nostrand Avenue in Brooklyn. They are open Tuesday to Sunday from 1 to 7pm. <i>Say,sea,</i> runs through November 25<sup>th</sup>.   </p> <p> </p> <p>      </p> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=3792&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="rhdttNnKN_C94xy6hiE_uqRT3y8oYHEFtVxmnmIZr7I"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Tue, 13 Nov 2018 22:17:53 +0000 Dom Lombardi 3792 at http://culturecatch.com http://culturecatch.com/node/3792#comments Carving The Perfect Person http://culturecatch.com/node/3791 <span>Carving The Perfect Person</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/users/leah-richards" lang="" about="/users/leah-richards" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Leah Richards</a></span> <span>November 10, 2018 - 13:03</span> <div class="field field--name-field-topics field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Topics</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/theater" hreflang="en">Theater Review</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/88" hreflang="en">off broadway</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/89" hreflang="en">theater</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="886" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2018/2018-11/sycorax_credit_al_foote_iii.jpg?itok=TIxVH6mS" title="sycorax_credit_al_foote_iii.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1053" /></article><figcaption>Photo Credit: Al Foote III</figcaption></figure><p><i>Sycorax, Cyber Queen of Qamara</i></p> <p>Written by Fengar Gael</p> <p>Directed by Joan Kane</p> <p>Presented by Ego Actus at HERE Arts Center, NYC</p> <p>November 1-18, 2018</p> <p>Over time, Caliban, enslaved by the magician Prospero in Shakespeare's final single-authored play, <i>The Tempest</i>, has undergone a transformation for scholars, writers, and theater artists from some sort of fishy monster and sexual assault perpetrator to a representation of the colonized subject, often particularly Afro-Caribbean. In telling the story of Caliban's mother, who appears in <i>The Tempest</i> only through Prospero's none-too-flattering descriptions of her as a bent and ancient crone and a devilish witch, <i>Sycorax, Cyber Queen of Qamara </i>joins a tradition of "writing back" to canonical texts that includes works such as Jean Rhys’s novel <i>Wide Sargasso Sea</i>, which recounts how the Jamaican first wife of <i>Jane Eyre</i>'s Mr. Rochester came to end her days locked in an attic in England, and Aimé Césaire's <i>A Tempest</i>, which rewrites Shakespeare's play in sympathy with the subjugated islander and inserts Yoruban trickster Eshu into Prospero's stately nuptial masque of Greek goddesses. With <i>Sycorax</i>, playwright Fengar Gael creates a sympathetic backstory for her titular Algerian witch, but she also complicates the straightforward rehabilitation that audiences might expect.</p> <p>The play opens with present-day Sycorax (Sandra Bargman), now part of the 500-year old sorceress demographic, explaining that she has waited hundreds of years to tell her side of her own story and is now live-streaming it to as close as the internet can get to literally everyone in the world. We watch her younger self (Lauren Capkanis) pour her energies into carving small wooden animals as her religious family pushes her away from reading and towards marriage, while her brother, Rachid (Nick Giedris) is allowed to continue his education. In Algiers, she is set apart not only by her literacy but also by her blue eyes, which put her under suspicion of being a witch -- rightly, of course, but this Sycorax is someone who wants to use her budding skills to remake the world in ways that will help others. She retains that desire to help others even through an unhappy stint as one of the multiple wives of an older man, but she is nevertheless eventually exiled for using magic, despite her magic having helped the very men who exile her and despite her being pregnant.</p> <p>She lands up, of course on the deserted island on which <i>The Tempest</i> takes place, here identified as Qamara (and widely thought in Shakespeare's play to have been at least partly inspired by the Bermudas). There, she surrounds herself, and eventually Caliban (Michael Pichardo) as well, with a small menagerie that she creates with the help of the pagan god Setebos and her grandmother's cloak, a symbol of female community and power. They all live in pastoral happiness until Sycorax attempts to carve the perfect man from a tree as a companion for her lonely son and a helpmate for both of them. This man turns out to be Ariel (Nick Giedris), and Ariel turns out to be a bit of a problem.</p> <p>All of this eventually brings us to the arrival of a certain exiled Duke of Milan with his daughter and his boatful of books, but there is another layer to <i>Sycorax </i>as well. She is, after all, the Cyber Queen of Qamara, and the characters who populate the flashbacks are actually fully functioning avatars complete with downloaded memories magically harvested from the past.  This adds a dash of <i>Black Mirror </i>to the proceedings as it emerges that Sycorax is treating these avatars as her own USS Callister crew. In doing so, even if her behavior stems from the traumas of her early life, she is reproducing the very oppression and enslavement for which Prospero is criticized. Prospero may be far from a paragon of virtue, but by the end of <i>The Tempest</i>, he at least doles out forgiveness all around, rejoins his family, and renounces his power. Will Sycorax choose such rapprochement?</p> <p>The unvarnished criticism of gender roles in the earlier part of the play, then, evolves into something more a bit thornier by the end, but its cheeky sense of humor is constant, and it combines that sense of playfulness with an almost storybook aesthetic and feel. Capkanis is spirited as Young Sycorax; Pichardo’s Caliban is suitably wide-eyed; Kelly D. Cooper and Taylor Graves make a great comic double act as a blustering Prospero and vapidly teenaged Miranda; and Giedris, as the singing, rhyming, lustful, resentful, rebellious Ariel, delivers a funny, physical, scene-stealing performance.   </p> <p><i>Sycorax, Cyber Queen of Qamara </i>and its long-lived protagonist take on issues from patriarchal oppression to self-aware AIs and still leave room for some solid laughs from a semi-anthropomorphic hen (Brianna Fernandez). For anyone who has ever wanted to know more about Shakespeare’s mysterious "blue-eyed hag," Setebos has at long last answered your prayers. - <em>Leah Richards</em> &amp; <em>John Ziegler</em></p> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=3791&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="z_6dRPwM6TkJIPmXpLJ40X7ZHmDq5F4ZXvYVKMYFsiU"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Sat, 10 Nov 2018 18:03:01 +0000 Leah Richards 3791 at http://culturecatch.com http://culturecatch.com/node/3791#comments Song of the Week: "Cocaine and Abel" http://culturecatch.com/node/3790 <span>Song of the Week: &quot;Cocaine and Abel&quot;</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/users/dusty-wright" lang="" about="/users/dusty-wright" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Dusty Wright</a></span> <span>November 6, 2018 - 10:03</span> <div class="field field--name-field-topics field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Topics</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/music" hreflang="en">Music Review</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/127" hreflang="en">music video</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/620" hreflang="en">Video of the Week</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><div class="video-embed-field-provider-youtube video-embed-field-responsive-video form-group"><iframe width="854" height="480" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/ZzjtLm0G49E?autoplay=0&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> <blockquote> <p>"The distance from the man that I am to the man I want to be \ The time it takes to realize time is the distance I need"</p> </blockquote> <p>On this election Tuesday, I wish we had more politicians this honest. Thought I'd share this raw and haunting acoustic-driven confessional from the LA-based singer-songwriter Amigo The Devil (Danny Kiranos). Think Johnny Cash meets Father John Misty. "Cocaine and Abel" is taken from the troubadour's latest album <em>Everything Is Fine</em>, and viscerally produced by Ross Robinson (Korn, At the Drive-In). You can find Amigo The Devil's tour dates <a href="http://www.amigothedevil.com/shows" target="_blank">here</a>. He'll be in Brooklyn on Saturday night, Nov. 10th.</p> <p> </p> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=3790&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="H4CmLiXnEYIxrPLZzCZ1cYx9eTfbK8fF85HlX6h_JlU"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Tue, 06 Nov 2018 15:03:04 +0000 Dusty Wright 3790 at http://culturecatch.com http://culturecatch.com/node/3790#comments Born Reborn In Mixed Mediums http://culturecatch.com/node/3789 <span>Born Reborn In Mixed Mediums</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/users/maryhrbacek" lang="" about="/users/maryhrbacek" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Mary Hrbacek</a></span> <span>November 5, 2018 - 16:15</span> <div class="field field--name-field-topics field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Topics</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/art" hreflang="en">Art Review</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/605" hreflang="en">art exhibit</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/203" hreflang="en">painter</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/280" hreflang="en">sculptor</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/618" hreflang="en">Safarani sisters</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="890" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2018/2018-11/my-sisters-picture-ss.jpg?itok=hcAg5d4u" title="my-sisters-picture-ss.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1200" /></article><figcaption>My Sister's Picture, Oil on canvas overlaid with video projection, 40 x 30 inches, 2018</figcaption></figure><p><em>The Safarani Sisters: Reincarnation</em></p> <p>Elga Wimmer PCC, NYC</p> <p>Roya Khadjavi Projects presents <em>The Safarani Sisters: Reincarnation</em>, a series of fourteen new video-paintings in which the identical-twin Iranian sisters <a href="https://www.safaranisisters.com/" target="_blank">Bahareh and Farzandeh Safarani</a> create a plausible world of visual intrigue.  The exhibit features the artists in a performance-based genre of photography, painting and video. Reincarnation refers to the rebirth of one's psyche into a new body, but here it is the twins' inner life that undergoes a process of transformation. The Safaranis incorporate the ambient play of shadow, light and reflection to stress interior versus exterior reality in their psychologically potent episodic narratives. The video projections create convincing atmospheric visual and kinesthetic effects. Windows play an important role as metaphoric unconscious portals that signify each twin's quest for self-revelation.</p> <p>The twins' purposeful methods to overcome their diffidence generate edgy disquiet images whose compelling video projections infuse the element of time to create believable phantom-like forms that appear and dissolve. Their barely perceptible movements generate a sense of legerdemain and reverie, which forges cinematic effects within the dynamics of the skillfully articulated paintings. This uneasy terrain leads to viewer speculations and mild disquiet at the unconventional yet wondrous ephemeral visual perceptions. The pictorial interiors are refreshed by elusive breezes that engender feelings of anticipation inculcated with repressed angst and suspense. Viewers inadvertently create unpredictable interactive results that intensify the visual complexities as projections cast exquisite shadows that meld their identities into the scenes.</p> <div class="video-embed-field-provider-youtube video-embed-field-responsive-video form-group"><iframe width="854" height="480" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/O2pta6rP1qM?autoplay=0&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> <p>Each format is an intense multiplex scene that progresses as the artists inscribe intricate emotions onto the canvases using both photography and video projections, to build deepened self-identities as women. Through this exposure or "unveiling" the sisters enhance their relationship as twins, and their sense of themselves as Iranian woman artists. The artists gradually defeat their trepidations by scrutinizing uncertainties in a visual discourse, which ultimately strengthens their consciousness and confidence.</p> <p>In passages that parallel Dutch Masters and Renaissance interiors the artists sit, stand or recline, seemingly absorbed in profound thought, contemplating quiet rooms imbued with light that emanates from prominent windows and empty mirrors. The video imagery forms apparitions glimpsed briefly at illuminated windows in bare rooms, as the women speculate on their inner and outer surroundings. The immobility of quiet figures suggests parallels with women in rigid societies where culturally imposed boundaries hinder them in their daily movements, their education and experiences, and limit the scope of their prospective achievements.</p> <div class="video-embed-field-provider-youtube video-embed-field-responsive-video form-group"><iframe width="854" height="480" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/84neDpGOV3k?autoplay=0&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> <p>The Safarani sisters engage in hidden internal strategies to realize progress as women and as human beings by cultivating their resolve to collaborate in their quest to conquer culturally imposed fears and hesitations. In many cultures, twins are assigned a sacred symbolic role; in Greek mythology, as progeny of Zeus the Dioscuri were instated as the Gemini constellation in the firmament for eternity. In ancient China, "twins" are affiliated at once with both discord and harmony (p. 69, <em>1000 Symbols</em>, Thames &amp; Hudson, 2002). The show demonstrates an impressive degree of creative cooperation.</p> <p>The video-painting entitled "5:30 a.m. In the Basement" (oil painting on canvas overlaid with video projections, 60 x 36 inches, 2018) reveals a sister engaged in wiping bright red blood off the floor, positioned near a door stained with a red handprint. This printed self-signifying cipher represents a universally recognized style of signature whose imprint has spiritual connotations as an evocation of divine power. In India, doors with handprints are thought to protect the family home. Hands epitomize Islam’s five reverent precepts:  prayer, faith, fasting, charity and pilgrimage (p. 159, <em>The Book of Symbols</em>, ARAS, Taschen, 2010). In various cultures blood frequently connotes suffering and sacrifice. It is related to childbirth and to life force, associated with rebirth. Here it may suggest the exigency to strive to relinquish living a life devoid of progress. The basement personifies a dark, moist womb-like underworld whose substructure we build on, in order to attain psychical, developmental or instinctual evolution, to hide or to keep our secrets or our valuables.</p> <p>In Islam the basement is a hidden place where mystics are said to withdraw in search of union with the Almighty. (P. 574, <em>The Book of Symbols</em>.)</p> <p>In other works, blue or white light is projected through shielded semi-transparent window frames to shape forms on the floors that glimmer within the restrained interiors. White light, which is associated with "spirit," exudes a sense of purity; it is linked to innocence, to virgins, to wedding dresses, and to enlightenment while blue light has profound metaphysical connotations. (P. 545, <em>The Book of Symbol</em>s, ARAS, Taschen, 2010.)</p> <p>The use of soft warm brown, green, gold and yellow contrasted with pale ultramarine blue augments the artists’ enigmatic passage of developing consciousness in a mood of expectancy, heightened by the subtle employment of video images of objects such as a cuckoo clock, drapery, and figural phantasms that appear and disintegrate in a believable invented scenario.</p> <div class="video-embed-field-provider-youtube video-embed-field-responsive-video form-group"><iframe width="854" height="480" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/uIihoOE4ErA?autoplay=0&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> <p>In "Late Afternoon Gaze 1" (oil painting on canvas overlaid with video projection, 60 x 36 inches, 2018) a sister makes direct eye contact with the viewer against a drapery backdrop, as she confronts her need to establish a forbidden connection. In a sequential work, “Late Afternoon Gaze 2” (oil painting on canvas overlaid with video projection, 50 x 36 inches, 2018), with her face in shadow she retreats behind a sheer or "veil," denoting a regression from her previous self-assertive maneuver. In recent centuries the veil has carried political importance in societies where removing it becomes a gesture of independence in terms of cultural and religious identity. Veils are a traditional means to disguise, conceal and separate.  Spiritual revelation would be tantamount to "unveiling" or revealing the transpersonal reality beyond the realm of the sensate (p. 530, <em>The Book of Symbols</em>, ARAS, Taschen, 2010).</p> <p>The video-painting entitled "<a href="https://youtu.be/Q4E2HStUu7A" target="_blank">Awake</a>" (oil painting on canvas overlaid with video projection, 120 x 72 inches, 2018) arrays a sister clad in a dark dress, lying in an empty room on a floor filled with puddles of diffused reflections.  She covers her face in an apparent attempt to shrink from the inevitability of her metamorphosis. In the double format work entitled "<a href="https://youtu.be/cWS9du96RwI" target="_blank">Twilight Reincarnation</a>" (oil painting on canvas overlaid with video projection, 108 x 72 inches, 2018), the two sisters, one reclining and one hesitantly standing, seem suspended as they calmly assess their place in the poignant irrevocable path they have chosen.</p> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="708" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2018/2018-11/awake-ss.jpg?itok=WfNsfkgW" title="awake-ss.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1200" /></article><figcaption>Awake, Oil on canvas overlaid with video projection, 120 x 72 inches, 2018</figcaption></figure><p>The home is a center of rituals and sacraments in our relationships, a place of safety and of solitude that replicates in our subconscious our origins in the mother’s womb.  It is the center of belonging, which provides shelter and containment. It can be a place for nurturing the self, a place of avoidance, and also a place of deprivation of life in the world. The human psyche is often thought of as a house with various levels that advance through time.  Here the house symbolizes both a sanctuary and a prison.</p> <blockquote> <p>"Home is the goal of epic odysseys, spiritual quests and psychic transformation." (P. 556, <em>The Book of Symbols</em>, ARAS, Taschen, 2010.)</p> </blockquote> <p>A window is often referred to as the "eye"of a home which frames images with a sense of suffused psychic potency. It is a translucent threshold where elemental outside and inside forces merge to create conditions conducive to the psychological expansion that leads to self-knowledge. (P. 564, <em>The Book of Symbols</em>.)</p> <p>"Blue Curtain" (oil painting on wood panel overlaid with video projection, 72 x 48 inches, 2017) presents the transparent, veiled back view of a nude standing woman as she faces a window, in a scene that mingles eroticism with psychic transfiguration. In contrast, the opaque black veil is linked to irreproachable morality.</p> <div class="video-embed-field-provider-youtube video-embed-field-responsive-video form-group"><iframe width="854" height="480" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/ZxWqbRw-FRg?autoplay=0&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> <p>In "My Sister's Picture," Farzandeh and Bahareh offer insight into their performance-based collaborative process as one twin confidently photographs herself while the other scrutinizes her mirror image, enabling the viewer to participate in the genesis of the multivalent process, as their conscious self-knowledge expands. The twins gradually grow to trust their power to control the sheer curtains, which function as two-pronged barriers that both protect them and prevent their exposure to the outside world. The mirror is a light-infused symbol of our ability to contemplate and reflect, as a vehicle for redemption. Mirrors embody the power of the unconscious to expose unknown potential wisdom.  Schopenhauer compared the mirror to human intelligence (p. 592, <em>The Book of Symbols</em>, ARAS, Taschen, 2010).</p> <p>The artists draw on women's societal issues, psychology, filmmaking and art history to create amalgams of painting and video that examine their liberating interior odyssey symbolized by the interior settings of their artwork. This autobiographical exhibition relates in eloquent uncanny images and postures the conflicts that surface when one examines internalized societal false certainties, to uncover one's potential. These realizations may precipitate new beginnings based on previously inconceivable personal truths.</p> <p>This daring, inventive exhibition mixes video with painting in an imaginative effective process that enhances and invigorates both genres. It is a perfect bridge that produces a new means of honing and articulating visual art. <em>Reincarnation</em> is an unusually sensitive glimpse into the private domain of twin sisters who miraculously support and encourage one another in their liberating disclosures. In the context of courageous performance-based imagery they present their insightful journey of awareness by exposing their internal conflicts. The sisters have explored their similarities, but they haven't yet delved into what makes each one distinctive. They cooperate on the same art-piece and video in an unparalleled model of two minds working in parallel harmony. In this unique balance of performance, video and figurative painting, Farandeh and Bahareh have made a persuasive narrative of young women coming into their own in the context of their identity as artists and as Iranian women. The show provides an engaging example of an ingenious new, invigorated hybrid genre. It is rare, especially for sisters, to maintain a practice that excludes the strife and competition that dominate the outer world of art and the milieu beyond.</p> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=3789&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="3NMfeweAqlO8U-H4lQUsR9jINtGo2hIB94rSlYqOODk"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Mon, 05 Nov 2018 21:15:11 +0000 Mary Hrbacek 3789 at http://culturecatch.com http://culturecatch.com/node/3789#comments A Costly Triumph of The Truth http://culturecatch.com/node/3782 <span>A Costly Triumph of The Truth</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/users/dusty-wright" lang="" about="/users/dusty-wright" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Dusty Wright</a></span> <span>November 1, 2018 - 10:00</span> <div class="field field--name-field-topics field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Topics</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/film" hreflang="en">Film Review</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/189" hreflang="en">movie review</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/588" hreflang="en">A Private War</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><div class="video-embed-field-provider-youtube video-embed-field-responsive-video form-group"><iframe width="854" height="480" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/wSPiztNsmDA?autoplay=0&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> <p>This masterpiece is one of the finest films ever made about how individual looks at war. It's born a very micro but also a very macro examination based on the very real award-winning journalist and war correspondent Marie Colvin. This brave human ultimately lost her life in 2012 in Syria, but suffered the psyche wounds one would expect when trapped in a"private" view of man's death and destruction of fellow man. <em>A Private War</em> will resonate with the viewer long after the final credits have faded. </p> <p>Rosamund Pike's Oscar-worthy performance shakes you to the core. We feel her pain and frustration as her heroic, but life-threatening journeys consume her every waking moment as she pursues the truth in both her actions and words. She literally lived in the middle of every conflict she covered and so afforded her the profound truths that her newspapers, periodicals, and columns covered for the rest of the world to ingest. Whether her words struck the right chord in each individual reader depended on that individual's view of the world.</p> <p>As Marie Colvin once so brilliant wrote:</p> <blockquote> <p>"Our mission is to report these horrors of war with accuracy and without prejudice. We always have to ask ourselves whether the level of risk is worth the story. What is bravery, and what is bravado? Journalists covering combat shoulder great responsibilities and face difficult choices. Sometimes they pay the ultimate price."</p> </blockquote> <p>And for me, that quote is the essence of of the critically acclaimed documentary filmmaker Matthew Heineman's adaptation of her life. Quite a remarkable piece of filmmaking for a feature film debut. Kudos to writer Arash Amel, as well. Based on a Vanity Fair profile from 2012, where much of the writer Arash Ambel based this script, we see how her fearless and rebellious spirit cost her loving relationships, created mental health issues aka PTSD, cost her an eye, and ultimately her life. The film also depicts the journalistic relationship Miss Colvin had with renowned war photographer Paul Conroy (Jamie Dornan).</p> <p>This harrowing but thoughtful movie should not be missed.</p> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=3782&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="1ALo823tTjmkj88AbbGLcPNY6z0u4ZAhXpiJ7J1-srA"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Thu, 01 Nov 2018 14:00:00 +0000 Dusty Wright 3782 at http://culturecatch.com http://culturecatch.com/node/3782#comments Happy Halloween 2018! http://culturecatch.com/node/3788 <span>Happy Halloween 2018!</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/users/dusty-wright" lang="" about="/users/dusty-wright" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Dusty Wright</a></span> <span>October 30, 2018 - 20:56</span> <div class="field field--name-field-topics field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Topics</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/literary" hreflang="en">Literary Review</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/612" hreflang="en">fiction</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/613" hreflang="en">story</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/614" hreflang="en">short story</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><article class="embedded-entity"><img src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2018/2018-10/legend-of-the-sassafras-monster.jpg?itok=UciEPoou" width="1200" height="900" alt="Thumbnail" title="legend-of-the-sassafras-monster.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /></article><p><em>The Legend of The Sassafras Monster</em></p> <p>Native Americans -- like many indigenous cultures -- believe in the spirits of nature and so the natural world inspires them. It would come to pass that many, if not most of their myths and legends would been passed down and ingested by "white" settlers who decided it was easier to conquer "Native Americans" then co-exist in their natural world. And with any myth or legend, sometimes the facts get twisted and  turned into something that the original story teller, or witness as it may have been, never intended to share with anyone else for fear that the myth or story would become true. Such was the "myth of the Sassafras Monster." But I digress... one must first understand that this story starts with nature and in particular a tree -- the sassafras albidum also called Ague Tree. A species of Sassafras tree native to eastern North America, from southern Maine and southern Ontario west to Iowa, and south to central Florida and eastern Texas. It occurs throughout the eastern deciduous forest habitat type, at altitudes of sea level up to 1,500 m. It's aromatic leaf, bark and root are used as a flavoring, used in traditional home medicine, and as a tea. It was once used to flavor root beer, too. And for certain Native American tribe, it was part of their sacred rituals. It was believed that essence of sassafras could bring health and wellness and offer safe passage during certain "manhood" rituals. And this is where my "monster" story begins.</p> <p>I grew up in Northeast Ohio and heard about the Sassafras "monster" from my Grandfather Mac, my mom's father. He had heard about the "monster" from his grandfather who had fought alongside some of the Chippewa during the Civil War. One of the Chippewa braves had heard about a strange ritual from his father who was a member of the tribe where the legend began.</p> <p>Grandpa Mac told my brother David and I the story one dark and stormy Halloween eve. I had just turned thirteen and my younger sibling was ten.</p> <p>The year was 1777, a year removed from 1776 and the new Americans "declaration of independence" from their British tormentors; it was the first year of nationhood. The country was giddy with the future. But what of our Native American brothers and sisters? How would it impact their daily lives, their rituals, their journey? What would become of their freedoms?</p> <p>It was late spring during the month of May. Outside a small village in Ohio, on the banks of the Cuyahoga River, a river very much needed by the Chippewa (Ojibwe) tribe for their livelihood. It was not only their fresh water supply, but it was bountiful with fish and fowl. It also served as part of a young brave's rite-of-passage manhood ritual. For example, in many Native American cultures, the transition is often ceremonial, featuring some feat of bravery or strength against pain, such as success in a first hunt, or surviving painful tattooing or piercing. But the Chippewa's "Vision Quest" / Right of Passage was something that could provoke fear even from the older braves that had endured the ritual many decades previous. Just as important as the quest, the young Native American boys were forbidden to share their "journey" with any of the other boys about their experience for the rest of their lives. Only the elders were permitted to discuss things with them.</p> <p>During the typical vision quest, a young boy fasts, prays, and seeks his spirit helper which usually presents itself as an animal, and which becomes the young boy's lifelong aide and guide. In some places, vision quests are supervised by, or discussed afterwards, with elders. Many tribes would include local terrain -- hidden caves, small islands in the middle of lakes, remote wooded areas removed from their tribe's camp -- as part of the vision quest. The Chippewas favored a certain tree indigenous to the region of their river and water camps. The mighty sassafras. It was that genus of tree that was included in their "brave" ritual. Legend has it that a young brave-to-be was strapped to the trunk of the largest sassafras tree found many, many miles from their camp. And <i>only</i> on a "new" moon night. The darkest night of the lunar cycle.</p> <p>In the early dawn light of one of the darkest days of a late spring day in May a young Chippewa boy known as Broken Tooth from the Sandy Lake Chippewa tribe and son of Biauswah, the chief of the Sandy Lake <a href="https://www.accessgenealogy.com/native/chippewa-tribe.htm">Chippewa</a>, was summoned before his people. Today he would begin his journey into adulthood and the beginning of his quest to become a "brave." He was led from the camp by a "guide" --  Ahmik  (aka Beaver) -- with only a few meager provisions for their two-day long journey into the thickest and darkest region of a heavy forest far from the safety of their encampment. That thick forest could spook even the bravest Chippewa as many believed that the "lost" ghosts of their ancestors and spirit beasts haunted that forest.</p> <p>When the young brave was far enough away from their teepees, his "guide" would locate the biggest sassafras tree he could find and at dusk lash the young pre-teenager to the trunk of the tree. He would be left alone for the entire evening, left alone to summon his spirit animal for protection from the ghosts and real life predators (bears, mountain lions, etc.) roaming the forest. A fire was built to help illuminate the area and to keep any feral beasts away. Moreover, the fire also helped the nearby guide navigate the darkness of the forest if he needed to "assist" the young brave-in-training especially if he heard a cry for help.<b> </b>Rare that a guide was ever summoned as that could have been construed as a sign of weakness during a rite of passage.</p> <p>But on this particular vision quest, only an hour from daybreak, a faint cry from Broken Tooth was heard by his guide Ahmik. Startled, Ahmik cautiously made his way towards the "tree" in case a bear might be lurking nearby. Imagine his shock when he arrived at the tree just as dawn was starting to rise and Broken Tooth was not there. Yet the twine that had lashed Broken Tooth to the trunk of that massive tree remained tight and unbound. It was if the young teen had been swallowed whole by the sassafras for nourishment. The tree's knotted face looked down on the brave as though it was smiling at him; holding some dark satisfying secret.</p> <p>Broken Tooth's body was never found, ever. Not a trace. Ahmik was convinced that the sassafras had indeed consumed Broken Tooth. And that his soul was damned to haunt that forest for eternity! In fact, that tree was never used for any Chippewa rituals ever again. And before the year was out most of his tribe fell victim to a smallpox outbreak that would wipe them out. The few who survived were convinced that a Broken Tooth Sassafras curse caused their demise.</p> <p>For my tough-as-nails grandfather Mac that "tale" provoked a rising curiosity and a need to test his own mettle, try his hand at self-exiled bravery. It was a hot summer morning in August 1913, a new moon loomed after dusk. He convinced some of his young teenage friends to go camping at an old hunter's camp near Chippewa Lake in northeast Ohio. It was a magical place that his father had brought him to a few years before to go deer hunting. On the hike out to the camping site he shared the "Broken Tooth" story with his cocky pre-pubescent friends. They were in no mood for make-believe, but they still remained intrigued by the promise of testing their "manhood." One in particular, the toughest of the lot -- Colin O'Hurley -- taunted the group that it was all a myth and that my grandfather was looking to prank them. But Grandfather Mac remained steadfast and threw it back at Colin, stating that he was "probably too chicken to be lashed to a mighty sassafras tree on this moonless night." The other boys joined in and dared Colin to take the "sassafras" challenge. If he was indeed the toughest amongst them, he would certainly let them tie him to a sassafras in the middle of the woods. Colin laughed them off, stating it would be easy-peasy.</p> <p>After finally arriving at the old cabin the boys quickly set up their temporary camp -- built a fire, spread out their sleeping bags, smoked some cigarettes, ate some beans from a can, and started teasing Colin about tying him up. Mac pulled out some clothing line rope from his rumsack and smiled menacingly at Colin. As there was still a few hours of summer daylight, Mac suggested they hike a few miles down from the cabin near an old abandoned stone quarry tucked away in a wooded area. He was certain the quarry would be lined by a few dozen sassafras trees! The boys pressed Colin until he finally agreed.</p> <p>They couldn't wait to tie up the cocky Colin and leave him to "satisfy the hunger of the sassafras monster." They built a fire for their friend, teased him some more about wetting himself in the middle of the night, lashed him to the tree, and left their friend all alone in the fading dusk light.</p> <p>They laughed and joked all the way back to the cabin, certain that Colin would be taught a lesson, knock his ego down a few pegs...</p> <p>In the wee hours of dawn the boys awoke in the cabin, quickly got dressed, and set off to "rescue" Colin. But a pea soup-thick fog had descended over the wooded region and it hindered their ability to travel with speed and ease. From their approaching vantage they could barely make out which sassafras tree that had been used. Pressing on they finally spotted that beastly tree. But they could not make out if the ropes still entwined their brave comrade. As they stumbled forward they yelped for Colin, announcing their arrival. Suddenly some faint moaning could be heard and the noise stopped the boys cold in their tracks. They cautiously moved towards tree. A few weak embers glowed in the remaining ashes of the fire that had built the night before.</p> <p>As they circled towards the front of the tree, they stopped dead in their tracks...</p> <p>The ropes clung tightly to the trunk of the sassafras tree yet their beloved comrade was gone! They were stunned. They started screaming for him. But Mac was frozen. His mind racing. Could it be true? Was Colin swallowed by that hideous tree?</p> <p>They searched that quarry and surrounding forest for most of the day calling out for their "brave" friend, praying he might be hiding from them. That he had somehow pulled the most amazing prank of all. When it became apparent that he could not be found the boys returned to their cabin and nervously agreed that they would have to summon help. They quickly packed and hiked to the local sheriff's office. Thinking it was all a hoax the sherif was slow to respond to their search and rescue request. But ultimately search parties were deployed and once the local authorities realized that their friend was indeed missing a call was put into the local FBI field office to investigate Colin's disappearance. Mac and his friends were all subjected to heavy interrogation, too. But the boys never deviated from their story. Days turned into weeks, weeks into months, but alas no clues to Colin's disappearance were ever uncovered.</p> <p>A year later Colin's parents held an empty casket service for their missing son. The boys were devastated.</p> <p>Colin's case remains unsolved to this day. In the end everyone who'd gone camping on that tragic night believed that the "sassafras monster" must have swallowed their friend and that his restless spirit still haunts the forest around Chippewa Lake.</p> <p>Regardless of the veracity of the myth, I shudder every time a new moon descends upon the land. And I never venture into a forest were a sassafras tree might be looming. Especially on a new moon night!</p> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=3788&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="8-Q4o7quWFtOjKrm1Z5tnOFQYf5_QQwyIxBdjGtkNH4"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Wed, 31 Oct 2018 00:56:30 +0000 Dusty Wright 3788 at http://culturecatch.com http://culturecatch.com/node/3788#comments Men In Rooms http://culturecatch.com/node/3787 <span>Men In Rooms</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/user/529" lang="" about="/user/529" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Bradley Rubinstein</a></span> <span>October 29, 2018 - 16:12</span> <div class="field field--name-field-topics field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Topics</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/art" hreflang="en">Art Review</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/510" hreflang="en">painters</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/281" hreflang="en">art</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><article class="embedded-entity"><img src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2018/2018-10/carousel-001_0.jpg?itok=yg7KBXyL" width="1200" height="636" alt="Thumbnail" title="carousel-001.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /></article><p>Bruce Nauman: <i>Disappearing Acts</i></p> <p>MoMA PS1</p> <p>Through February 25 2019</p> <blockquote> <p><i>"I talk, you listen."</i> Bruce Nauman</p> </blockquote> <p> </p> <blockquote> <p><i>"Sculpture is the art of intelligence."</i> Pablo Picasso</p> </blockquote> <p> </p> <blockquote> <p><i>"No sense makes sense." </i>Charles Manson</p> </blockquote> <p> </p> <p>Dear Dusty. Sorry for the delay. I got your letter and the m/s last Tuesday. My landlord Lana -- you met her once, I think --  found me this morning passed out in the hallway, hungover. It's ok. She's seen me worse off. With young girls, or 1 time naked after mistakenly picking up a cupcake I swear to god looked like Hedy Lamarr with an afro. She turned out not to be so nice when I couldn't pay her. One time these 2 German girls came from Hamburg to visit me. I tried to fuck both of them, finally settled on the older one 19 while the other one went to the Brehmer &amp; Cross to wait. I gave her a real pounding, 1 or 2 inches at a time at first, I kept punching at the tunnel, good hard strokes. "Oh god Frank! It's so BIG Frank! HOLY SHIT IT’S PURPLE, FRANK!" she went on and on. Maybe it was all the beer, but I gave her 3 or 4 good long strokes then gave up and ate her out. The girls stayed 4 days and nights until I got bored and then it was 4 or 5 cans of beer and a couple little cans of vodka mix with rum because we were out of vodka just to get them out.</p> <p>I am going to go by the post office to mail you the new poems, but I want to stop off at the Black Sparrow. There is a new bartender there called Bruce [<i>First Hologram Series: Making Faces B</i>, 1968] who used to work days but now he just does nights. He says the tips are better at night and he is trying to save up money so he can move out full time to work on a dude ranch. [<i>Setting a Good Corner (Allegory and Metaphor)</i>, 1999] Kid is ok. He is a composer. He doesn't know shit about Mahler, but he brought in a tape recorder that he had a tape on of a symphony he composed. Modern shit, but the title of it was <i>DEAD DAD</i> so who the fuck am I to say. It wasn't half bad.</p> <article class="embedded-entity"><img src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2018/2018-10/makemethinkme-1.jpg?itok=y_SCjn1i" width="1200" height="1776" alt="Thumbnail" title="makemethinkme-1.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /></article><p>That screenplay shit I told you about was just some "artist" wanting to do a student film. I told him to fuck off because a) he didn't seem to have any money, b) he wants to do <i>Boners</i> when I had specifically told him it had to be one of the longer shorts from <i>Mother's Pussy</i> and c) I think he just wants to fuck me.</p> <p>You know that feeling you get when you feel like you've forgotten something like your room key or that something is missing like your soul? Bruce understands that. That is something. Most artists never understand that. The absent, the void, the feeling of nonexistence. Bruce gives form to these things. [<i>Seven Wax Templates of the Left Half of My Body Spread over 12 Feet</i>, 1967] Things that are seen, holes the size of a body part, the space under a chair, a beautiful woman vanishing around a corner. In the nocturnal life of the studio, the empty bathtub where you were 2 minutes before. He grapples with the anxiety of the psychological world. Like Victor Hugo wrote on emptiness and inhabiting. Ouasimodo's cathedral was "egg, nest, house, country and universe …one might almost say that he had espoused its form the way a snail does the form of its shell. It was his home, his hole, his envelope. He adhered to it like a turtle to its carapace. This rugged cathedral was his armor." There was a big shoot-out last night outside the Sparrow. A real Punch and Judy show. [<i>Crime and Punishment (Punch and Judy), </i>1985] I didn't actually see it. I heard some shots and figured it was some SLA shit or Manson, or the IRA. Bruce didn't want to go out. He said, “It will be on tv in 10 minutes anyway." Bruce likes his violence second hand I guess. It's the city does this. Turns real people into animals. [<i>Leaping Foxes</i>, 2018] Concrete walls. Endless streets. All the protest signs in Zapruder Park. Fuck You. NO. Get out of my head. All you need is love. [<i>Human Nature/Life Death/Knows Doesn’t Know,</i> 1983] I had left the racetrack a loser, after the 9th, so clearly my luck wouldn't be improved walking into a riot. Bruce is right. It will all be on tv in 10 minutes.</p> <article class="embedded-entity"><img src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2018/2018-10/neon-art-by-bruce-nauman-artists-i-lobo-you3.jpg?itok=9YSxNs6P" width="1200" height="1599" alt="Thumbnail" title="neon-art-by-bruce-nauman-artists-i-lobo-you3.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /></article><p>Tried to look for some symphony music on the radio and passed by the news. It didn't mention the shootings today. I guess it's not a real story unless somebody dies. There are always so many angles on these things, whoever knows what the truth is. Bruce says, "the real artist reveals mystical truths" or some shit. Poetry. Well, I think maybe the tv brought it into the streets. Maybe it's an overdose of Marx. Sometimes I wonder what Hem would have done, then I laugh because we know what Hem would have done. Ha Ha. Oh, lovely Mahler.</p> <p>I am lucky to have you as a friend. I am sending you some new poems. I will have the new novel <i>Blowjobs</i> soon. January if I don't get murdered, for better or for worse. We must first look for centers of simplicity in our lives, in our many rooms. [<i>Double Steel Cage Piece,</i> 1974] Bruce said the other night "we are just in different rooms at different times, with different people." He knows death and waste and glory and some of the rent paid and courage. And moving toward the sun. He said: "frustration is something that gets you into the studio and gets you to work through it. It's not evident in anything that is finished. Knowing when it’s enough and you can leave it alone." I hope I remember these things. The cat with a bird in its mouth, the rifle sticking out of the window, the screaming clowns, the rats at night scurryingly oblivious. Walking into the water and becoming one with the sea.</p> <p>Mr. Rubenstein is a painter and smart culture aficionado, he is the author of <em>The Black Album: Writings in Art and Culture. Order it now at <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Black-Album-Writings-Art-Culture/dp/173222191X" target="_blank">Amazon</a>.</em><br />  </p> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=3787&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="pkSWS5ho3H8NyAKXx3YlyZRla9BUTXCE9Mxkgi2iXM8"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Mon, 29 Oct 2018 20:12:14 +0000 Bradley Rubinstein 3787 at http://culturecatch.com http://culturecatch.com/node/3787#comments Birth of A Star http://culturecatch.com/node/3784 <span>Birth of A Star</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/users/mark-weston" lang="" about="/users/mark-weston" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Mark Weston</a></span> <span>October 25, 2018 - 10:21</span> <div class="field field--name-field-topics field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Topics</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/film" hreflang="en">Film Review</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/120" hreflang="en">film review</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/446" hreflang="en">film</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/189" hreflang="en">movie review</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><article class="embedded-entity"><img src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2018/2018-10/casey-killoran-viral-beauty.png?itok=mmFcdIQJ" width="1200" height="675" alt="Thumbnail" title="casey-killoran-viral-beauty.png" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /></article><p>Right now, the entire world seems to be in love with the Bradley Cooper/Lady Gaga vehicle <em>A Star Is Born</em>.  </p> <p>But guess what?  There is another film out there that is so indy it is mini-indy – make that micro-mini-indy -  and in it, you can witness the actual birth of an actual star.  Her name is Casey Killoran.  She plays a Staten Island millennial named Marsha Day in a movie called <a href="http://www.viralbeautymovie.com" target="_blank"><em>Viral Beauty</em></a>.</p> <p>For those of us over 40, that sounds like the title of a medical drama.  But the younger crowd will instantly know that it is about our social media and internet age.  Marsha Day becomes a social media celebrity when her online quest for a boyfriend goes viral.  Marsha is a beautiful young woman who is curvaceous, and thus becomes an icon for real women everywhere and a target for vicious fat-shaming.  </p> <p>The film is formulaic and literally skin deep, as Marsha meets her Prince Charming and struggles to lose thirty pounds to fulfill the contract of her diet product endorsement. And, if the film was made with less panache and a lesser cast, it wouldn’t be worth your time.</p> <div class="video-embed-field-provider-youtube video-embed-field-responsive-video form-group"><iframe width="854" height="480" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/-W89yoX43qI?autoplay=0&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> <p>Director David Tyson Lam provides a jaunty landscape, both on line in its verite blogging and in its gorgeous depiction of a latter day romance with New York City that goes beyond the boundaries of Manhattan.  The music is great and the cast of kookie internet bloggers is hysterically funny – led by the celebrity narration provided by a winning, if too-loud Perez Hilton.  And the tuxedo cat Mister Kittsy almost steals the show.</p> <p>But <em>Viral Beauty</em> will not be remembered for its story, direction, cinematography or commentary on our celebrity culture.  <em>Viral Beauty</em> will be known as the film that introduced Casey Killoran to Hollywood and the world.  Ms. Killoran employs a Staten Island accent that is so authentic it alone captures a certain type of New York milieu – a working class cousin to the Boston Southy characters made famous by Matt Damon and Ben Affleck in <em>Good Will Hunting</em>.  The film essentially charts Ms. Killoran’s character’s make-over from ugly duckling to – ahem, “viral beauty” – but Ms. Killoran is so touchingly real, so full of enthusiasm and joie de vivre that her natural beauty is evident from the first moment to the last.  Behind the working class veneer, Ms. Killoran imbues Marsha Day with both impeccable comic timing and a deep emotional intelligence.  </p> <p>In short, Casey Killoran carries this movie, exhibiting a range that more experienced actors rarely achieve.  Yes, I am gushing, but I defy you to see this film and not fall head over heels in love with her. </p> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=3784&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="crMIBLUqFeYYDM3gNidlRhqNIuTyMz4e92azxaQTr4Q"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Thu, 25 Oct 2018 14:21:32 +0000 Mark Weston 3784 at http://culturecatch.com http://culturecatch.com/node/3784#comments