I thought Hirokazu Koreeda was going to be making a samurai jidai-geki. Wait, he did, in 2006. Hana yori mo naho. Here's a review: "The only samurai movie with pink flowers on the cover."

Odd then, that even considering how much they talk about his films being somehow representative of Japan, the period movie doesn't come up at all in his interview with Shimon Tanaka, published at The Rumpus.

The Rumpus Interview with Hirokazu Koreeda
Previously: A 2004 interview with Koreeda after Nobody Knows won for best actor at Cannes

Hans Ulrich Obrist - My last question, Olafur, is one I've asked you many times before: what is your favorite unrealized project?

Olafur Eliasson - I would like to build a museum--to reevaluate the nature of a museum and build it from scratch, not renovate an old one. It should be both an art school and a museum and in between the two there should perhaps be a little hotel--a place where people come and spend time.

HUO - A relay?

OE - Yes, and maybe the rooms themselves will be the artworks. Maybe the way people end up spending time in the hotel rooms will be what the students do and the museum shows. Maybe the life in this building is what, from a museological point of view, will be the performative element. And the building itself is just the form -- it's a content machine.

HUO - Ah, yes--another vessel! This is our vessel interview, and that should be part of the title.

OE - A vessel interview--it's its own vehicle.

HUO - Thank you so much.

from "The vessel interview, part II: NetJets flight from Dubrovnik to Berlin, June 2007", published in Olafur Eliasson & Hans Ulrich Obrist: The Conversation Series: Vol. 13 [also in pdf: part II]

Especially interesting since Olafur was just coming off a soon-to-be-unrealized renovation of the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington.

Also, I would like to see this blanket of which they speak, Skyblue versus landscape green, the one NetJets Europe commissioned from Olafur in 2005 in exchange for use of the plane.

Last September was the first anniversary of what's now called the Saffron Rebellion, where Burmese monks took to the streets to protest the military government. As a commemoration of that movement, the Stedelijk Museum showed the first of three parts of Indian artist/documentary filmmaker Amar Kanwar's work in progress about the Burmese resistance.

The title of the project is The Torn First Pages, 2004, which is a reference to the private, anonymous rebellion of a bookshop owner named Ko Than Htay, who was imprisoned for tearing out the first page of everything he sold, pages which contained mandatory praise for the junta.

Parts of footage for The Torn First Pages come from Burmese democracy activists, who surreptitiously tape and smuggle their work to Kanwar in India.

Kanwar talks about the work with the Stedelijk curator above:

I felt that everybody who writes, be it a poem, be it a novel, be it a fashion magazine, whatever, in one way or the other is indebted or connected to Ko Than Htay, because he's tearing the first page out from any author. It's not necessarily a specific book. So in a way, I felt that artists of all kinds, writers of all kinds are connected to this. And in many ways what this is all about is your own relationship with authority and your own defiance. Your own need for defiance. Your own articulation. It's not necessarily that this articulation is going to become public or recognized. So in some way, in order to understand Burma, if one can understand Ko Than Htay and this act of tearing the first page, you can understand what's happening in Burma. And if you can understand that, you can understand your own life, regardless of where you are.


The Torn First Pages is about presenting evidence of a terrible series of crimes, evidence of amazing resistance. In a way, it's about saying maybe poetry also has a presence, a validity, in a court of law.


Everything you remember, there's a way to remember. If you remember in a particular way, if you look in a particular way, you're looking only so that it clarifies you in the present. The purpose of clarifying you in the present is only so that you can take a step forward. In that sense, the act of remembering is really the act of moving forward in time.

Longtime readers of may remember my swooning at Kanwar's work when I saw it at documenta 11 in 2002.

Amar Kanwar- The Torn First Pages (Part I), 5.09.08 - 1.10.08 []

Errol Morris is unfurling another fascinating investigation of a 19th century photograph on hit NY Times blog. Today, in part 2/5, he talks with author and Civil War historian Mark Dunkelman about a breakthrough in researching the life of Amos Humiston, who became famous as the Unknown Soldier who died at Gettysburg:

ERROL MORRIS: As you read the letters for the first time, did you feel that Amos was coming back to life?

MARK DUNKELMAN: Yes. My whole idea of him was changing because I knew nothing of his personality or his personal experiences during the war. He was sick on occasion during the war. He mentions his comrades caring for him like a brother. And he referred to his hands. He said they looked like bird's claws. That was great stuff. That was the key to me. That was the key. He could speak again. He could be a living person again instead of a corpse in rigor mortis on the battlefield.

Whose Father Was He? (Part Two) [nyt]

Agnes Varda, who's DV mini-masterpiece The Gleaners was formative in my own decision to start making movies, tells Artforum:

I've been making films for so long, for over fifty years now, but I really think I have two paths of work--cinema and installation.
Varda talks about an installation opening at Harvard's Carpenter Center, which was one of several shown previously at the Fondation Cartier.

500 Words | Agnés Varda []

February 13, 2009

Musical Commentary Track

I caught a few minutes of Joss Whedon on Fresh Air yesterday; for the first half of the show, he was talking about the making of Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog, and the awesome-sounding DVD, which includes Commentary! The Musical! the world's first singing DVD commentary track.

Joss Whedon on Fresh Air, 2/11/2009 []
Buy the Dr Horrible DVD at Amazon [amazon]

Or if you do, don't have ellipsis in the name, because Schnabel will inevitably fill in the blanks with his name.

From the WSJ's article on Spectacle: Elvis Costello with..., the Sundance Channel's excellent-sounding new TV talk show about music:

But the first few shows are marred by an almost amateurish laxity. Julian Schnabel, the artist and director (and Lou Reed's neighbor in downtown Manhattan), steps out of the audience to join Mr. Costello and Mr. Reed onstage and hijacks the conversation.
I still remember vividly the artist panel discussion at MoMA for the Cy Twombly retrospective, where Rob Storr talked to Serra, Marden, and Francesco Clemente. The first question was by an unidentified idiot in the front row, only it wasn't a question, but a rambling speech. Storr finally kind of interrupted to identify the speaker as Julian Schnabel.

[update: shoulda listened to me, Morley.]

Steve Rosen found a 1981 interview with Indian filmmaker Satyajit Ray at the flea market. He transcribed a bit onto Airform Archive, starting with an encounter Ray had with the 1913 Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore:

Satyajit Ray: I'll tell you a story here. In 1928, when I was seven, I went with my mother to Tagore's university. I had my little autograph book, newly bought, and my mother gave the book to Tagore and said, "My son would like a few lines of verse from you." And he said, "Leave the book with me." Next day I went to collect it, and he brought it out and said: "I have written something for you, which you won't understand now, but when you grow up you will understand it." It's one of the best things he ever wrote in a small manner, and what it means is this: "I have travelled all around the world to see the rivers and the mountains, and I've spent a lot of money. I have gone to great lengths, I have seen everything, but I have forgotten to see just outside of my house a dewdrop on a little blade of grass, a dewdrop which reflects in its convexity the whole universe around you."
At first, I thought this sounded incredibly ballsy, but Tagore's and Ray's Brahmin families were close.

From the dewdrop, Ray and the interviewer continue in a discussion of the microscopic, but the power of the quote seems to me to be about ignoring the beauty and profundity of the world right in front of us.

Ray would go on to study with Tagore, and in 1961, Nehru commissioned him to direct a documentary of the writer's life.

...the essence as a dewdrop on a little blade of grass... [airform archives]
Satyajit Ray [wikipedia]


I first encountered filmmaker Stan VanDerBeek's work in Aspen Magazine. His 1964 collaboration with Robert Morris, Site, combined dance/performance, art, and film. Performers create a physical, 3-D approximation of camera wipes and reveals using large black and white panels. Though Morris and VanDerBeek made it years before, it reminds me of early video art work from WGBH that explored the functions and visual properties of the new technology.

Throughout his career, VanDerBeek was an "advocate of the application of a utopian fusion of art and technology." [That's from his E.A.I bio on Ubu, btw.] Which would be interesting enough on its own. But until I get down there to see the actual show, what I find most fascinating about Guild & Greyshkul's current survey of VanDerBeek's varied output is the intricacies of how his family began dealing with it after he passed away.

Two of G&G's artist-owners are VanDerBeek's children, and the process they went through--part biographical, part familial, part art historical, part archive/conservational--is just awesome. Sara VanDerBeek's discussion with Brian Sholis is at

The image above is Panels for the Walls of the World, a 153-panel "fax mural" which VanDerBeek sent from MIT to various places around the country in 1970. Phase I, above, was transmitted to the Walker Art Center. There were four "phases" of Panels, and it's possible that a significant percentage of all the fax toner in the country in 1970 was exhausted printing out VanDerBeek's murals.

Stan VanDerBeek runs through Oct. 18 at Guild & Greyshkul; Navigate from this crazy page, too [guildgreyshkul]
500 Words | Stan VanDerBeek by Sara VanDerBeek [artforum]
Films of Stan VanDerBeek [ubu]

Wes Anderson and Jason Schwartzman, "Live at 01"

"Recorded entirely on location at
Borders Store 01
Ann Arbor, Michigan"

I was almost too busy rolling my eyes at these two smug knuckleheads doing a promotional prowl of the CD and DVD aisle to notice the real eyeroller: the corporate reverence for "01" as if a giant, shitty, homogenized bookstore can somehow be unique because it's the one they've cloned everywhere else. [via fimoculous]

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Since 2001 here at, I've been blogging about the creative process—my own and those of people who interest me. That mostly involves filmmaking, art, writing, research, and the making thereof.

Many thanks to the Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Program for supporting that time.

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greg [at] greg [dot ] org

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about this archive

Category: interviews

recent projects, &c.

Our Guernica Cycle, 2017 –
about/kickstarter | exhibit, 2017

Social Medium:
artists writing, 2000-2015
Paper Monument, Oct. 2016
ed. by Jennifer Liese
buy, $28

Madoff Provenance Project in
'Tell Me What I Mean' at
To__Bridges__, The Bronx
11 Sept - Oct 23 2016
show | beginnings

Chop Shop
curated by Magda Sawon
1-7 March 2016

eBay Test Listings
Armory – ABMB 2015
about | proposte monocrome, rose

It Narratives, incl.
Shanzhai Gursky & Destroyed Richter
Franklin Street Works, Stamford
Sept 5 - Nov 9, 2014
about | link

TheRealHennessy Tweets Paintings, 2014 -

Standard Operating Procedure
about | buy now, 284pp, $15.99

CZRPYR2: The Illustrated Appendix
Canal Zone Richard Prince
YES RASTA 2:The Appeals Court
Decision, plus the Court's
Complete Illustrated Appendix (2013)
about | buy now, 142pp, $12.99

"Exhibition Space" @ apexart, NYC
Mar 20 - May 8, 2013
about, brochure | installation shots

HELP/LESS Curated by Chris Habib
Printed Matter, NYC
Summer 2012
panel &c.

Destroyed Richter Paintings, 2012-
background | making of
"Richteriana," Postmasters Gallery, NYC

Canal Zone Richard
Selected Court Documents
from Cariou v. Prince (2011)
about | buy now, 376pp, $17.99