Monthly Archives: February 2010

Reader Feb 28, 2010

– Matthew Barney’s commentary on Drawing Restraint. Hysterical. (via c-monster)

– I’ve missed William Powhida and Jennifer Dalton’s opening at Winkleman Galleryv and subsequent events thus far for their exhibition #class but there is a slew of events yet to come. The exhibition, in c-monster’s words, plans to “terrorize Chelsea for a month”, with art yoga, guerrilla gallery tours, ask-the-dealer session, chalkboard writing, balloon popping, and dear Amanda’s Battleship. It’s a riot and a half and will dedicate a couple hours this weekend and the rest of March to experience #class.

Mr. Shut Up will look at your art.

What does feminist art look like today, who is making it, and what does it entail? “many artists deploy body performance, craft process, gender masquerade, domestic aesthetics, historical revision, or center core imagery to make decidedly unfeminist work; however, the ways contemporary feminist artists adopt and transform these strategies is, in my opinion, more fascinating.  Feminist artists who adapt historical models and imbue them with contemporary content often fall short of making work that is sufficiently critical (“craftivism” comes to mind) or sufficiently, well, art.  It is not so much that good feminist art needs to balance critique and aesthetics; rather, it needs to prove that something is at stake within its critique by engaging its audience with something compelling, provocative, beautiful, or terrifying…Why would [insert normative white male artist’s name here] want to make work that is explicitly personal instead of making work that reveals the politics limiting access to culture production?  Facile as it seems to redirect this question towards white male artists, the simple rephrasing sheds light on the double-standard motivating my perplexed response to Imag(in)ed Malady.  While an artist who is a feminist might view art as a forum for political dialogue, it is more than her desire to engage in this dialogue that motivates her to make art.  And this is what is still at stake in feminist art: an adequate space for expressions of subjectivity that go beyond demands for subjectivity—art that’s not preoccupied with its plea for legitimacy.” (via c-monster)

112 minutes with Francesco Bonami. He is a pretty dull artist and from the reads of it, completely unaffected by criticism, which makes him awesome. “It’s a myth that curators change the career of an artist. The work of an artist changes the career of an artist.”

– Pure. Envy. The collection of James Wagner and Barry Hoggard. Here is the inventor of their collection. Sigh.

When artists write art criticism: “There is the concern of whether an artist might be reluctant to criticize harshly an exhibition at a gallery with whom he or she might want to show in the future.  My solution is simple:  I don’t write about bad work.  This may sound at first like a bit of a cop-out, but I don’t think so…I think that the best response to bad work is to ignore it…I don’t think of myself as a critic; I go out, I look at art, and I report on what I see that I like.  My main motive is to make people aware of what’s out there, and to motivate them to get out there and see it; any actual criticism that occurs is incidental to this goal.”

The Korean art scene in Chicago. I find this irrelevant.

110 Art Websites.

– c-monster on Collecting Biennials.

Bereaving the lack of reviews on works by women artists. It’s a repetitive cycle. There aren’t enough reviews of works by women artists because there aren’t enough shows of works by women artists because perhaps, PERHAPS, there aren’t enough works by women. Someone might stone me for saying that but the main issue here that everyone should be working towards is getting more women artists into shows, of course considering the quality, context, form, aesthetic, and politics is aligned to proper good art etiquette. Plus, Anaba, my eyes are wrinkling and strained from your baby blue and orange font color atop a navy blue background, please make it easier for me to read.

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The Bug, The Spider, & The Butterfly at Roos Arts

I recently wrote an exhibition review/essay for my dear Heige’s gallery Roos Arts and the show wittily titled The Bug, The Spider, & The Butterfly: Gerben Mulder, Xavier Noiret-Thome, and Janaina Tschape. The exhibition started with a preview at Janaina’s studio in Brooklyn, then made it’s way up to the gallery in Rosendale, New York. Here’s my essay:

Painting embraces a multitudinous identity, allowing its history, process and value to be scrutinized and manipulated. It cannot be categorized, historicized or defined without neglecting an inherently elusive alternative.

Three artists in this exhibition explore this medium with both scrupulous and uninhibited intentions, accumulating and subtracting layers of it’s material and history, it’s conceptual and philosophical ruminations. Here, the distance between a painting and its maker is measured with varying perspective; calling upon Painting as an omnipotent, albeit vulnerable and impressionable, force to be reckoned with. While one artist builds a painting with layers of cultural and personal flair, another discovers a merging of self and nature within a canvas. The finished work is both a rhetoric and representation of itself, both commentary and living reflection of Painting and its surrounding audience.

Xavier Noiret-Thome utilizes an unhindered vocabulary to build paintings that are as much about Painting as they are about the world at large. This practice of metapainting opens more doors than can be entered at once, addressing the viewer with a cascade of references on a single painting: Ranging from his personal life, art history, pop culture, animation, and abstract geometric forms, each shape and layer are coalesced in fragmented and playful harmony.

Read the rest here and check out all the images!!

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My doppelganger Jo ann Kim

I officially have a doppelganger folks. Jo ann Kim (so bizarre to see my name spelled like that) sent me an email this morning to say she is “a mid-twenties, picses, korean artist who loves crafting, biking, blogging, tanning, cooking- esp. baking, and lived in California- specifically Los Angeles her entire life.” She ended the email with “are you my doppelganger from the east???”

YES! YES I AM!!

Her website Super Nova Warehouse shares her wonderment in the art and food realm, just like mine. There’s a deadpan humor in it, just like mine. I believe SNW is an art collective and they had a show in Pasadena. I’ll find out more.

I think I need to jump on a car and drive over to LA to meet this presumed twin sister from another azn mother.

Love it.

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Justine Reyes

I recently spent a weekend upstate and whilst strolling about the main street in Woodstock strolled into Center of Photography and immediately fell in love with the photographs of Justine Reyes. She’s based in NY and I wrote this for Beautiful/Decay:

On a recent visit to The Center for Photography in Woodstock, New York I had the pleasure of viewing the works of Justine Reyes. A series entitled Vanitas included photographs reflecting old Dutch still lifes in a similar vain but with a most sharp and contemporary air that was both refreshing and humorous. Nothing was lost in translation, only visually and contemporaneously heightened, as Reyes transferred paintings of a historical past into photographs of a transient present. The usual suspects are depicted here: skeletons, peeled fruits with skins dangling off the edge of the table/picture plane, bouquets past their prime and on the brink of decay. Monochromatic shades, deep rich colors, ominous but peaceful environments, sharp spotlights, spacious foregrounds with deep recessions, all are clearly marked in each photograph as the artist masterfully reflects a movement and style of the past.

Read the rest here.
Also, check my flickr photos from my trip. Notice how I’m trying to be all “fine art photographer” noticing “exquisite details” within super close ups. Right. It was a great impromptu off-time with the usual kimchi omelette for breakfast, veggie curries for dinner, starring at the computer while starring at the trees, hiking and pond jumping, it was super relaxing.

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Reader: Feb 24, 2010

Elizabeth Gilbert on nurturing creativity: creative ventures and what it will do to our mental health, where the fear comes from? Not comfortable with the idea of art leading to anguish, suicide, torture, self-deprecating acts. How to cultivate positive creativity, distance art from anxiety to create. Starting with ancient Greece, divine attendant spirit that creativity was speaking wisdom to humans. Rome called them a genius, a magical divine entity that live in walls in the artist’s studio. Pressure of then BEING a genius has killed a few. Utter maddening capriciousness of the creative process, is often irrational, paranormal. Amen. But, internalized tormenting conversation with an external genius does not have to be. Ole to you nonetheless, keep showing up.

– Bourdain curing puppets

– OMG my astrology this week is priceless: AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): “We cannot change anything until we accept it,” said psychologist Carl Jung. “Condemnation does not liberate, it oppresses.” Make that your hypothesis, Aquarius, and then conduct the following experiment. First, choose some situation you would like to transform. Next, open your heart to it with all the love and compassion you can muster. Go beyond merely tolerating it with a resigned disappointment. Work your way into a frame of mind in which you completely understand and sympathize with why it is the way it is. Imagine a scenario in which you could live your life with equanimity if the situation in question never changed. Finally, awash in this grace, meditate on how you might be able to actually help it evolve into something new.

Oly interviews photographer and creator of the HBO series The Black List Project, Timothy Greenfield-Sanders. If I were to start taking portraits and interviewed powerful Asian Americans, I doubt it would be half as powerful or recognized. Asians tend to shy away from the lime-light and are just a little too difficult to differentiate one from the other. However, I have been thinking about creating a radio show similar to This American Life, called This Immigrant Life. You can only imagine what it’d be like.

– Just discovered Daytrotter, a website that uploads a recording session by traveling bands every single day accompanied by songs performed in the Daytrotter studio, illustration of the bands and thoughtful, personal, romantic descriptions of the music you will hear. This one with Balmorhea, a band I just discovered a couple months ago is pretty euphoric. Bon Iver is stupendous as well.

How to reduce stress and restore energy. 70% of stress is nutritional.

Bake Sales regulation OK vending machines and prohibit anything humanmade. “So, to review: Additive-filled, highly-processed vending machine effluence = good. Homemade, chemically-unadulterated zucchini bread = bad.”

– Adobe Photoshop Cook

– YAY! Laura and Ben open their ice cream shop in Greenpoint this Saturday.

Website service for small farms.

Meet Jim. He’s hosted dinner for 130,000 so far. When people consume After Eight there’s no telling when they will leave. Thank you sarah.

On dating. “Maybe it’s that in our society, crazy has become sexy. In a weird way, I sort of liked the bitchy vixen I became when I let my emotions get the best of me.” Amen.

– Liza’s new episode on Food Curated: All about ducks with Savoy.

– Learn to be a local hunter Mar 13th with Jackson Landers, the urban deerslayer.

– Dear Lady Gaga: “look beyond the starfuckers in the crowd.”

Baohaus sounds like a place I need to get to asap. More interestingly, the chef’s blog is a great read, a character he is. “New York Times writing about this blog undoubtedly obscures things because in the context of the dining section: my blog, my quotes, and myself get watered down. This is a very raw, unedited, personal blog. When you try to take it out of its context and put it in line with some other blogs/tweets to point out a cultural movement, its going to get modified to fit the article’s objective. And when you look at me through the lens you usually see “chefs” through, I’m going to disappoint you. My favorite chef is Raekwon. Please don’t try to put me in a box that you put other chefs in, I don’t fit. The titties are too big.”

– Everyone eats, but that doesn’t mean you’re a restaurant critic, douchebag.

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Reader: Feb 22, 2010

The best oatmeal in NY. I probably make the best oatmeal in the world and would avoid ordering it in restaurants. But some of these sound enticing and would definitely like to check out Locanda Verde.

Aboriginal leaders are offended by an Olympics ice dance that involved pulling hair and tongues sticking out.

– I want to buy tickets to Village Voice’s third annual tasting event. 50 restaurants under one roof sounds amazing but $45 on any one thing is not in my budget at the moment. boohoo.

– I also wish I could go to The Future of Food with Y+30 event.

BK Farmyards is starting a Youth Farm and they need to raiser about $3,000 more by this Friday to make this happen. Show your support!

Jamie Oliver on TED Talks. It’s a bit funny how theatrical and zealous he is throughout the talk but I think it’s absolutely amazing what him and many others like BK Farmyards are doing in bringing good food to a family and educational level for the youth.

– Dori Greenspan is my hero and I’m sorry I missed her pop up cookie shop.

Dear Megan shares her beekeeping story. “I was given an opportunity to focus on the betterment of my life in a small but essential way. My bees have been a lesson in patience and presence. It’s a hobby that requires you to slow down and simply look. Fine observation skills are required to assess what it is that the colony needs or doesn’t need. It is my responsibility to care for them to the fullest of my ability before all else, before taking a prize of honey from their home. In my mind, it’s the least I could do for them, the miraculous creatures who unknowingly save me from myself.”

– On the future of food writing. I guess I never thought food writing as to be that grim. It’s flourishing with thousands of food blogs all over the world. 80% is redundant and boring but there are some amazing writers out there that more or less do it as a hobby and I like it that way.

– Here’s a more indepth article about food writing’s future: “the encouraging fact remains that our gluttonous society is hungrier than ever for food news, recipes, information, inspiration, legislation… This is a thrilling time to read and write about food—and if you are interested in either activity, you’ve got plenty of company. What emerged from the panel for me is the sense that market forces will stabilize the field of food writing…eventually. Writers who have the backing—be that a trust fund, an employer, a wildly successful ad-supported blog or even just a day job and a lot of drive—will continue to create well-written, well-researched and well-tested or fact-checked food content, even without the benefit of extensive editorial and art departments. And the humbling gods of internet traffic will give and take away accordingly.”

Jerry Saltz and facebook: “One of Mr. Saltz’s primary stated goals for the page—which he views as an experiment—is a desire to demystify the art critic in the eyes of readers and artists. To that end, he has gotten rather personal with his Facebook friends, telling stories about family tragedies, career bumps and his diet. A juice fast he took up back in January so alarmed some of his readers that he gave it up at their urging. “Look; you all scared me SO much about me being on what I thought was a good Juice Fast that I just ate a banana,” he wrote. “Hmmmmmm. Good.”

10 menu trends for 2010. Doesn’t sound to too convincing to me. I hate fried foods and sentimental sweets sounds offputting.

On Cathy’s new book The Art of Eating In. I will not take the challenge as it’s a week of birthday dinners and events, but maybe another time. Meanwhile I love her blog and cannot wait to get my hands on her book.

Social media and art includes dear Powhida and Dalton’s #class.

Food and cycling.

Liza interviewed I do have a bag of frozen tater tots in my freezer. Oh, and I am disgustingly addicted to Cheetos. It’s to my great disadvantage that they still produce those magical little cheese fingers.” haha

Response to an article degrading the local food movement. ” We are not a bunch of yuppie foodies stuffing our craws with foie gras, as he and others might have their readers believe. The system we envision, as I said, is one that is: 1. Good – meaning that the food tastes good and is nutritious 2. Clean – meaning that producing the food has only beneficial and not negative effects on the environment in which it is produced, and that there is nothing in the food that isn’t food (and if it wasn’t food 100 years ago, it is not food now) 3. Fair – meaning that the people who produce the food should be justly compensated for their work.”

Some good news in food and sustainability.

– I was actually slightly offended when Ben relayed this story to me in person. I honestly don’t think there is any correlation between being a foodie and a “small asian girl”. Yes asian food more often than not involves sharing, emphasizing family and togetherness, but it’s not what drives a hoard of asian girls to be obssessed about food. Most of the folks I know in the food realm are not asian whatsoever. I never grew up with cooking at home. My personal story about how I got involved with food has no consequence whatsoever with my being asian. So to this I shall respond: irrelevant.

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Housebroken at Flux Factory

Housebroken, the inaugural show at Flux Factory’s new space in Long Island City, was a mind boggling feat that included well over 100 performances and installations embedded within and distributed throughout every nook and cranny inside the old two floored factory. I entered and left not as a viewer passively observing an artwork. I entered and left as a participator having experienced art and life as it happens, simultaneously, shared and performed by everyone. There was a relentless energy I felt reverberating throughout the space, a pride of having done-it-ourselves, a gratitude for sharing it with others, an excitement for just being there, present, reveling in the fact alone that it was happening. The seamless balance between the physical space and the artwork cast a loud but subversive foundation for us to view, admire, react, interact, play, experiment, participate, and revel in.

I arrived shortly after 8 when a line going around the block was yet to form. Upon entry I saw dear Lauren in a lab coat with the words Make it Happen spread on the back. She greeted me by the sign up sheet and had me answer the question “What do you want to make happen? I wrote, love. tonight. (yea…) I was swiftly directed to a gentleman sitting at a desk and for the next couple minutes we analyzed and questioned in the most benign therapy-session way about what and who and how I will “make it happen.” Do I have someone specific in mind to love? no. Do I want a sustainable romantic love or a one night love affair? either. Am I picky about who I want to engage love with? yes. Is there anyone in this room right now that I would make out with? Hell, no. Am I afraid to walk up to someone and shoot the shit while potentially increasing my chance to love and be loved? Hell, yes.

I was diagnosed and treated with a request to spend the evening to talk to at least one gentleman, a complete stranger, and potentially make out with that person that night. We shook hands and I was directed to Tracey sitting at another desk who filled out a prescription form, asked me to fill out my address to follow up with me, making sure I made it happen, tonight,  and photographed me with the form, holding me to the promise I made to cure myself of this wanting. The calendar board had post its with the “it” written down and marked on whatever day so and so wanted to make “it” happen. End of story, I didn’t make it happen, nowhere close. I don’t approach strangers and that’s that. Unless they are spectacularly good looking and there was no such thing there, so I failed. Sorry Lauren.

Heading to the second floor there was dear Ali’s work installed on the walls of the staircase, two guardian angel statues protecting the entrance of the dreamscape wonderland that is Flux Factory. I never can get enough of Ali’s work, the innocent and naive intermingled with a disturbed nostalgia and sadness, the figurative formed by accumulations of geometric shapes and patterns, telling sad untold stories with playful gestures.

In the kitchen and dining room there was a couple in silver glitter hats serving soup, plenty platters of campari drinks that grossed me out and two girls in Victorian wear performing modern dance with the dining table. I was most enraptured by this woman’s face expressions, her grimaces clashed with the graceful flips, her arms and legs folding in and around the table.

I’ve been told there were about 15 people living in this factory, with studios for them to work in as well. This led to finding spaces and rooms where items were installed with as much deliberate intention as an artwork. The wall paper, lamp, plant, suitcase table, were placed with an air of precision and warmth.

Down another staircase I went (there were many staircases) and was greeting by a guy with a blond wig and a white suit singing a song about self-help. His looks and voice were unsympathetic, impassioned and dry, matter-of-fact and hysterically monotone. The words self help donned the front and back covers of a book he was supposedly reading from. The piano/beats player glared out of space, robotic and void of emotions. It was one of my favorite performances of the evening.

Next to the performers was a concoction involving a production line treadmill thing covered in cotton, cocked at an angle with a camera, blue light, and a toy airplane hanging above. It set the image for the live video being streamed of an airplane in movement created by the treadmill cotton as background sky for the airplane flying during the day. Pretty straightforward.

Next door there was a guy who looked like a ghostbuster giving electric chaircuts to any adventurous volunteer in need of a trim. The participant was seated and promptly taped and wrapped, eyes and mouth covered, body constricted with little room to move. He was then subject to the hairstylist’s buzz and snaps, the tools of which are connected to pedals and amplifiers that react with a deafening echo, each snip and buzz. It was sadistic yet benevolent, creepy yet tempting. I would have jumped on the opportunity to be blindfolded and wrapped, silenced by the vibrating sounds of scissors and trimmers were I not deathly afraid of his chopping my hair off that took a decade to grow.

Across from him were two white paper coneheads droning in robot talk about sending postcards to your future self in the present moment. They asked for donations to pay for stamps.

On the other side of the room were two studios. Here, again, the space itself were carefully arranged and treated as much like artworks than the artworks themselves. Everything was so consciously placed, mindfully thought out, I took great care to observe each nook and cranny of the space. I don’t know this artist’s name but she came in with a platter of drinks and encouraged me to flip through the book of prints and take whatever I wanted. I took two images of messy abstract fields. I especially loved the small drawings above the flowers.

Man Bartlett‘s studio was minimal and on a table were drawings in process, obsessive fields of circles, tiny tiny tiny shapes repeated one after the other, laborious to no end, compulsive with an inability to grasp in its entirety. Think Daniel Zeller and Yayoi Kusama making love.

Stepping outside I saw standing inside a pigeon coop, with a lair beneath the stairs (more stairs) made of thick branches. There was a girl there speaking with much authority pointing to the grid of nests with prettiest of pigeons hopping around. Created by The Deterritorialized Church, the psycho-geographical social sculpture was a humbling co-existence exercise of humans nesting along pigeons, trapped inside a staircase prison.

Up another staircase I went and caught sight of a mini sculpture wedged between a table and the wall on the stairs. It was an architectural view of a mini world, with stairs. It was precious.

I got to spend a significant amount of time with this wig-infested duo, holding a small portable stereo, in the bathroom line. They were very involved with this wigged stereo, caressing it’s hair, fondling it’s antennae, listening fondly to the dj on the radio, taking turns lip syncing the conversation happening and bobbing their heads to its tunes. They seemed to also be quite drunk and couldn’t walk properly and spent a good 15 minutes in the bathroom doing god knows what. Bizarre.

The bathroom itself was quite fascinating; prints of colored silhouettes engaged in all sorts of sexual activity, voices of two people conversating about being pregnant and sitting on a toilet seat, the door installed with a grid of door lock hooks, a mirror with an image of a scruffy man peering from the side (also by Lauren). It was quite interactive and entertaining.

I left the opening when it started to become unbearably crowded and I finished checking out each corner and crevice of the factory. I asked my friends what they thought of the show and they didn’t seem as impressed as I was. For one reason or another I loved and appreciated the unbiased and balanced intermingling of space, artwork, artist and viewer, all spread along the same visual plane, giving the opportunity to interact and co-perform. Each moment and each spot was an artwork waiting to happen or already happening. Surely the show would look completely different in the daytime and when the performances weren’t all happening all at once. It was energy of the night, of the people, of the simultaneity of it all that was gratifying to me.

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