Archive for November, 2010
I want to talk more about what I think the prevailing influences are on the “art comics” being made today. This conversation should have begun with Gary Panter. Sure, I know there is the undeniable influence of Jack Kirby (most creators read superhero comics at some point), Robert Crumb, maybe Dave Sim, Moebius, Art Spiegelman, etc. But all the influence is of all these guys has been so abstracted. The one that is less adulterated is Panter. His work is so diverse and extensive, that it certainly serves as an example of why these brief history posts are unfairly reductive. Nevertheless, the guy who create Jimbo and won an Emmy for Pee-Wee’s Playhouse title sequence is the best entry point for understanding much of today’s comics avant garde.
In 1980, Panter wroter the “Rozz-Tox Manifesto.” Read it here. This document explained Panter’s idea of artists (particularly in America) admitting that they worked within a capitalist system and using this as a means to reach a larger audience (or market) rather than seeing it as an artistic straight-jacket. Whether this manifesto is a document of hope or immense self-delusion, the methods described seem to have served Panter well – he has earned a living off of his work for over thirty years, and never, in my opinion, does it show signs of compromise for market.
Here’s a link to info and excerpt from my new book, Entrance to a colonial pageant in which we all begin to intricate. It’s a pageant. It will be published by Tarpaulin Sky Press. Let me know if you want to review it.
[I got this link from someone while searching for an image of Aase Berg. Forgot where, but I'll try to find it again to give the proper credit.]
I’m going to write a quick post and add to it as I go along because I’m a little bit of a hurry.
In some ways this is a sequel to mine and Lucas’s comments on the wounded bodies of Ronaldo Wilson’s poetry, bodies that seem to not just leak, but leak media, like the surveillance footage of the BP well pouring media (turning poems into photographs, movies into fantasies etc).
It’s also a prequel of sorts to these posts, and to some of Joyelle’s posts, as Aase Berg’s poetry has had a huge influence on mine and Joyelle’s thinking about art and poetry – the titles dark matter, tranfer fat in fact are like key phrases around our proverbial dinner table, and of course Joyelle’s talk about “unnatural motherhood.”
I was in an airplane yesterday re-reading JG Ballard’s brilliant and silly novel “Crash” while around me two nutso children were leaping around, shouting, crapping, grabbing my book etc. I realized this experience of trying to read Ballard’s novel on an airplane with smelly kids mucking around was like an installation version of Aase Berg’s poetry. Ha ha, I laughed. And then I thought about this a little….
The thing that’s striking me incredibly powerfully this time on reading this book is how powerful the vaginas are. This book has more vaginas than even the most graphic of porno books (are there still such things? If so I want to write one!). And like Joyelle’s idea of the “evil eye”, the vaginas move outwards; they aren’t receptive, they cast outwards. (continue reading…)
Here’s an interesting blog for those of you who know Swedish: http://bernur.blogg.se/
Can be found on slate: http://www.slate.com/id/2275733/
This article is based on the distinction between “New York City” writers and “MFA” writers:
“The best young NYC novelists go to great lengths to write comprehensible prose and tie their plots neat as a bow. How one longs, in a way, for endings like that of DeLillo’s first novel, Americana, where everyone just pees on everyone else for no reason! The trend toward neatness and accessibility is often posited to be the consequence of the workshop’s relentless paring. But for NYC writers—despite their degrees—it might be better understood as the result of fierce market pressure toward the middlebrow, combined with a deep authorial desire to communicate to the uninterested.”
But my favorite discussion happens in the comment section. One commentator says he/she can’t imagine Bolano in an MFA situation, and another points out that a lot of the books are actually in some ways about workshops.
Also: A lot of discussions about the lack of what I (don’t know where I got it from) called “filters” in the post below: complaints about the inability to sift through all the novels. But of course does anyone ever complain about the inability to sift through all the movies, Internet sites, TV shows? This is why I like the corny phrase “filter” – you can just move through it and find different paths.
is a poem I wrote and this week’s text at ABJECTIVE. My attempt at an anti-anti-utopian project that doubles as a healing narrative.
Examples of gay or queer Earth mothers: C.A. Conrad, Antony Hegarty (of Antony and the Johnsons), Bolaño’s Mauricio ‘the Eye’ Silva, Bolaño himself, Meredith Monk, Clarice Lispector, Madame Satã, Omar Little, Louise Bourgeois, Hélène Cixous, Ryan Trecartin, my friend Annmarie, this female wildebeest.
Of course not all gays are Earth mothers, e.g. Ricky Martin. And as the list suggests you certainly don’t have to be homo to qualify. Just kind of chthonic/shamanic/queer/hypersexual/violently maternal.
There’s an interesting review of the new Gagosian show of picks from Rauschenberg’s immense career. It kind of ties into the “filter” discussion here, as it’s about filtering the best work from Rauschenberg’s career. It also discusses him in terms of not the traditional Great Artist who is too pristine to engage in activities other than his/her own art (a trope I criticize below), but actually engaged in a lot of activities:
“He danced, composed, gave away money and initiated diplomatic missions, always on behalf of art.”
[I wanted to add, that when one goes through the Öyvind Fahlström archives (letters, exhibitions, ideas, performances etc), Rauschenberg comes off as a really great guy. Fahlström was critical of Rauschenberg's (and other American artists') political naivete, but Rauschenberg seems to have been a big supporter of Fahlström's work.]
Apropos of Lucas’s comment on my Bolaño/Beuys/Nazi post below, I’d like to explain specifically how Bolaño’s short story ‘Mauricio ‘The Eye’ Silva’ figures into this theory of Art’s Evil Eye that I’m building around Bolaño’s work. I’ve written it all out in a lengthy essay (as I’ve mentioned before– I’m obsessed with this essay) in which this story plays an important role.
“Mauricio ‘The Eye’ Silva” is one of those Bolaño stories in which a narrator comes in contact with a figure who then delivers the story through a kind of ventriloquism or double speech, and then is destroyed either in the frame narrative or in the narrative itself. In this case that figure (as so often) is the title character; Mauricio ‘the Eye’ Silva is a photographer who relates to the narrator/interlocutor how he rescued two boys from an Indian brothel and fled with them to the countryside where he raised them as his children until they died in an epidemic.
In my essay, I show how ‘The Eye’ is doubly inscribed in this story as The Moon, often shown as drifting across the sky, emerging or disappearing into shadow, and casting a light-like gaze which becomes entangled in the tree; in this sense the double image of The Moon/Eye recalls the montaged image of Moon and Eye at the beginning of Chien Andalou. In that movie, (continue reading…)
Swedish poet Johan Jönson will give a couple of readings next week:
Wednesday, Dec 1:
(with John Wilkinson)
*“Orbital – A Trans-Atlantic Discussion About Contemporary Poetics.” The panel will be held in 244 DeBartolo Hall, from 4-5 p.m.
* A reading at U of Notre Dame bookstore at 7 pm.
On Thursday Dec 2nd:
(with Cole Swensen and Sarah Riggs) at Myopic Bookstore in Chicago, at 7 pm.
Yet another posthumous release is in the works, but this one is said to be the seed of 2666. It’s titled Los sinsabores del verdadero policía, which translates into something like The Woes of the True Policeman.
Von Archimboldi and Amalfitano return! But will they cross paths with Auxilio Lacouture, the Mother of Mexican Poetry? According to Bolaño’s editor, characters from other books find their way in, as well. He even goes so far as to say the book is as great as 2666.
If you speak the language, here’s a documentary about him featured on Spanish TV last month, available for streaming.