October 2013 Archives

October 27, 2013

OPCW Verb List

Richard Serra, Verb List, 1967-68, image: moma.org

When the US's demand to destroy all of Syria's chemical weapons was first being discussed in September, I heard a report on NPR about the Office for Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, and how they went about their mission. It struck me as an almost sculptural process, a cross between Paul Shabroom, a Matthew Barney gallery installation, and Richard Serra's Verb List.

5 March 2007

Now that the OPCW is on the ground, has won the Nobel Peace Prize, and is completing their inspections and such, I thought I'd pull together some news accounts of these CW destruction techniques for reference. When I get a bit more time, I'll try digging through the OPCW's site for official protocols and such. At some point, like Jeremy Deller's bombed out car from Iraq, I guess this stuff should be exhibited.

A slightly facile FAQ-style AP article, Chemical Arms Inspectors Gird For Risky, Dirty Job" [npr.org]:


Inspectors can use any means they deem necessary to render equipment inoperable, including techniques that are crude but effective. Options include: taking sledgehammers to control panels; driving tanks over empty vats or filling them with concrete; or running mixing machines without lubricant so they seize up and become inoperable.

From the Washington Post, same day Chemical weapons officials say coordination with Syrian government has been 'efficient'":
He said OPCW officials charged with destroying Syria's chemical weapons production capabilities by Nov. 1 will use "expedient methods" to fulfill their task.

"It might be a case of smashing something up with a sledgehammer. It might be a case of smashing something up with some explosive. It might be a case of driving a tank over something," he said, or filling vessels with concrete, ruining valves and running bearings without oil so that they get stuck.

That won't take long or cost much money, he said, but disposing of the chemicals themselves "is going to cost a lot."

From a McClatchy report on Sept. 30, "Experts optimistic Nov. 1 deadline can be met for ending Syria's chemical threat" [miamiherald.com]:
Once combined, the chemicals result in a mixture that is unstable and dangerous to handle. But before they are mixed, the chemicals generally are far less dangerous.

The equipment needed to mix those chemicals is easily destroyed, said Ralf Trapp, a chemical threat consultant who was among the original staffers who set up the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. "You can drills holes, cut pipes and flanges, remove wiring, crush computer boards, fill tanks with concrete," he noted.

Disposal of the separated chemicals also is relatively easy, he said. One, an alcohol, "can simply be poured out onto the desert to evaporate without any risk," he said.

A quick search has not yet turned up any photos or documentation of these practices, b

October 24, 2013

Collection Daniel Loeb

Collection Daniel Loeb, 2013

I'm inordinately pleased with this, especially the TION TOIN. So I'm now going to search around for some other stellar quotes from Christopher Wool collectors which can become paintings. Dan's a genius for this kind of stuff, though, he'll be hard to beat.

UPDATE: A few more after the jump. It feels like they're just scratching the surface. It's like how there are some people who totally should have a Warhol portrait, there are quotes that should really be a Wool painting. It really just should happen.

Previously, related:Now a painting? Who do I think I am?
base image via #ChristopherWool/@Alipechman


Felix Gonzalez-Torres actually made a lot of paintings. Most are Bloodworks paintings, gesso and graphite grids bisected by a diagonal line, referring to a doomed medical readout.

But in 1988 he also made Forbidden Colors, four 16x20-in acrylic monochromes in white, green, red and black. He showed the piece, along with four framed photostats, in a project installation at The New Museum, 25 years ago right now.

The paintings are now owned by MOCA. The text Felix wrote for the show is below [reproduced in Julie Ault's 2008 Felix monograph, via fernandocestari]:

'INSTALLATION BY FÉLIX GONZÁLEZ-TORRES September 16 - November 20, 1988

When I was asked to write a short statement about the work in this space I thought it would be a good opportunity to disclose and, in a certain sense, to demystify my approach. I hope that it will guide the viewer and will allow an active participation in the unravelling of the meaning and the purpose of this work. Many may consider this text redundant; and unnecessary intrusion, or even a handicap. It is assumed that the work must "speak for itself," as if the divine dogma of modernism were able to deliver a clear and universal message to a uniform "family of man." Others know this is not true that each of us perceives things according to who and how we are at particular junctures, whose terms are always shifting. Preferably the exhibition gallery will function as an educational device, simple and basic, without the mysteries of the muse, reactivating history to affirm our place in this landscape of 1988.

This work is mostly personal. It is about those very early hours in the morning, while still half asleep, when I tend to visualize information, to see panoramas in which the fictional, the important, the banal, and the historical are collapsed into a single caption. Leaving me anxious and responsible to anchor a logical accompanying image scanning the TV channels trying to sort out and match sound and sight. This work is about my exclusion from the circle of power where social and cultural values are elaborated and about my rejection of the imposed and established order.

It is a fact people are discriminated against for being HIV positive. It is a fact the majority of the Nazi industrialists retained their wealth after war. It is a fact the night belongs to Michelob and Coke is real. It is a fact the color of your skin matters. It is a fact Crazy Eddie's prices are insane. It is a fact that four colors red, black, green and white placed next to each other in any form are strictly forbidden by the Israeli army in the occupied Palestinian territories. This color combination can cause an arrest, a beating, a curfew, a shooting, or a news photograph. Yet it is a fact that these forbidden colors, presented as a solitary act of consciousness here in SoHo, will not precipitate a similar reaction.

From the first moment of encounter, the four colour canvases in this room will "speak" to everyone. Some will define them as an exercise in color theory, or some sort of abstraction. Some as four boring rectangular canvases hanging on the wall. Now that you've read this text, I hope for a different message.

For all the PWAs.


I don't think I've ever seen Forbidden Colors in person. It was in a group show at White Columns in 1993, and MOCA showed it once in 2002. That's it. I've noticed it in the catalogue raisonne, of course, though without really paying the piece much attention. Really, I didn't understand the reference. And the photo didn't really reproduce the green panel; it looked black.

UPDATE Thanks to petitemaoiste, who just tweeted that the piece was also included in John Farmer's 1995 collection show, "The Compulsion to Repeat."

It's interesting, though, how you notice things, or take notice of them, when your own frame of reference changes.

[The ban on the Palestinian flag, its colors, and any "artwork of 'political significance'" was lifted in 1993 as part of the Oslo Peace Accords.]

Domenico Veneziano / Washington Monument, 1984, image: peter freeman/artsy

So I didn't spot this Ellsworth Kelly postcard collage at Peter Freeman's booth at Frieze Masters, and I love it. It makes me want to see more. And to wonder why we haven't?

Kelly's used collage and found shapes and forms to develop his paintings and sculptures since the very beginning. He's made postcard collages to explore scale and shape and site, too. They're little glimpses into the way he sees. He makes them for himself, and he sends them to friends.

This example, made using photo torn from the newspaper and a postcard from the National Gallery of Veneziano's St. John in the Desert has some postal markings on it, so I expect it's the latter.

Statue of Liberty, 1957

Can we have a show of these, please? Or at least a book? I guess the closest so far is that amazing Drawing Center show in 2002, Ellsworth Kelly Tablet: 1949-73, curated by Yve-Alain Bois, which had collaged up pages from the artist's sketchbooks.

Upper Manhattan, 1957

But these postcard collages are not just, or not all, preparatory works; they're social, too. Their intimate scale, non-preciousness, and exchange function remind me of Felix Gonzalez-Torres's Polaroids and Gerhard Richter's overpainted photographs. The absolute least gesture and material required to convey the artist's observation.

Study for a Blue and White Sculpture of Les Tuileries, 1964, like many of the smaller images, from a slideshow at nyss.org

They inevitably also function as postcards, seeming to mark a visit to a place, and the artist's reaction or memory there. In the Guggenheim's 1996 retrospective catalogue, Roberta Bernstein called them "souvenirs of experience." The light on the Seine, the bridge near the Taconic, the sliced coffee lid at Agnes Martin's place. Kelly talks of seeing things others don't, thus the unsuitability of an off-the-rack postcard.

St. Maarten, 1974

In at least one case, the private, unique postcard became a published edition.

St Martin Horizontal Nude, 1974

If I'd realized that it started with a postcard, I'd have been less baffled by the big lithographs that pop up occasionally at auction.

Saint Martin Landscape, 1979, 16x22-in

Postcards are obviously useful for sculpture, space, and scale. They're ambitious and offhand at the same time, a powerful proposition that can be discounted, but not unseen.


This 1980 postcard collage of Riverfront Stadium reminds me of Ground Zero, the newspaper collage Kelly sent to Herbert Muschamp in 2003:


There's one other instance I can think of where Kelly's postcard collages and his monumental sculptural situation are linked, the imposition of sculptural form on photogenic tourist vista: his 1998 sculptural installation on the roof garden of the Metropolitan Museum.

I've found this over and over: 1998 is invisible online. There was a lag between the internet and digital photography, and archival digitization projects privilege the dusty. Ellsworth Kelly Metropolitan is a predictably beautiful search on flickr, but it doesn't yield any images from the pre-flickr era. Which is really too bad, because as I recall, they were picture perfect.


UPDATE:: Whaddyaknow, here's a picture of Totem on the roof of the Met, which I just randomly found in a 2010 NPR story about the closure of Carlson & Co.

Anyway, point is, we need a show. So please send all the Ellsworth Kelly postcard collages to me, and I will exhibit them.

Previously, suddenly related, souvenirs of virtual experience: Ellsworth Kelly on Google Art Project


I somehow missed the announcement for this when it was published in 2011, but here's Anne Truitt Minimalism, Color Field, Morris Louis, Kenneth Noland, Bryn Mawr College, Psychology, James Truitt, edited by Eldon A. Mainyu.

It's a 112-page collection of Wikipedia articles for $56. And it's one of the 6,910 titles by Mainyu for sale at Barnes & Noble. It's the on-demand publishing equivalent of Artisoo's Amazon Art mashup of Google Images and Chinese Paint Mill. And it, too, caught Anne Truitt in its indexical merchandise net.

Whoops, he just cranked it to 6,911. Here are the bestsellers:


Which you'll note veers to the alphabetical pretty quickly. I would guess that so far, BN has sold copies of seven Mainyu books.

Anyway, Mainyu's not alone. He fronts Aud Publishing, which is just one of the 78 Wikipedia-centered imprints launched in 2011 by the Mauritius- and Germany-based book mill known as VDM Publishing. The division was apparently created and staffed by running the text of Foucault's Pendulum into a Pynchon Name Generator:

Dismas Reinald Apostolis, Dic Press
Gerd Numitor, Flu Press
Agamemnon Maverick, Ord Publishing
Elwood Kuni Waldorm, PsychoPublishing
Indigo Theophanes Dax, The

The! Every one of them has several thousand titles and several hundred thousand Google results, tracing the invisible contours and channels of publishing's automated datascape.

The crazy thing is, now I actually want to see some of these books, see how they turned out, but also see how they were spidered together. Because that Truitt title is not just an automated grab of the first ten links in the Wikipedia entry. Or at least it's not now. Maybe it was in 2011.

permanent_food_4_adaweb.gifWhat would assembling a more complicated or randomized chain of Wikipedia links yield? Is there a Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon-like connectedness between any and all bits of human knowledge [on Wikipedia]? Is there poetry or literature to be found/made there? Could an algorithm surfing through Wikipedia produce meaning or newness, or something beyond the temporary frisson of WTF juxtaposition?

I think of magazine projects like Maurizio Cattelan & Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster's Permanent Food, which solicited and compiled tearsheets from around the world, in hopes of creating what Maurizio called a magazine with no personality. [I forgot ada'web also did a web version, Permanent Foam. 17 years later, I guess I should be more surprised that one of the 14 links actually still works.] Then there's the more associational daisy chain of visuals that was Ruth Root's wondrous press release for her 2008 show at Kreps. And of course, The Arcades Project.

So it seems entirely possible to make an engrossing read, maybe even a story, out of a Wikipedia surf session. Someone has to have done this already, right? But I guess the gantlet Mainyu has thrown down is to find the genius in the automation, to see if you can write the bot that creates the iconic literature of its time.


So like you, I'm sure, I was baffled and amused listening to avant-garde cellist and frequent Nam June Paik collaborator Charlotte Moorman's answering machine recording on Ubu.

It takes a minute to get your bearings, and then you realize it really is John Lennon complaining about a review in the Village Voice by "a couple of bastards, whoever they are," and also mentioning an ad Yoko placed in the same issue.

And then there's a spitting mad John Cage demanding Charlotte or Howard Wise write a letter to the Village Voice "protesting Fred McDarrah's censorship of my name from that article, or I'm never doing anything for you or anybody else ever again," which, hello, what?

What had Cage been so ignominiously ignored in? It wasn't even clear what year the tape was from, though Moorman's callers mention Thanksgiving [and the recording title says Nov. 24 - Dec. 6]. If Howard Wise was mentioned, perhaps it was Moorman's performance of a Cage composition at the gallery.

Well, stop worrying, because Lennon's reference to Ono's ad means it's 1971, when Ono advertised her own One Woman Show at The Museum of Modern Art, and its accompanying catalogue, even though the museum was not on board with it.

Ono hired a guy with a sandwich board to walk around in front of the Modern for two weeks, Dec. 1-15, advertising a show that was technically not inside. [Though it confused enough people, apparently, that the membership desk put a little sign up, with Ono's ad, saying "This is not here," which was, by so doing, no longer true.] Anyway, the citation given for Ono's Voice ad is usually Dec. 2, 1971. And the ad does run in that issue.

But the version Lennon was calling Moorman about, "on page 31," was actually from the week prior, Nov. 25. It's up top, reproduced, I believe, for the first time online, not counting Google's still unindexed archive of the Village Voice. NBD.

Which is where Fred McDurrah's article is found, too. It was a report from Moorman's 8th Annual Avant Garde Festival, a roving project that infuriated and entertained the small New York art world with impressive regularity. 1971's version was held in the 69th Regiment Armory, and was backed by Barbara & Howard Wise. McDarrah's ostentatiously jaded account was meant to disparage the multi-media, performative, absurdist circus, but he actually makes it sound kind of interesting. Or maybe reading about it now, during Frieze Week, it just seems normal.

McDarrah writes that Moorman secured the Armory by promising "the Colonel in charge" that there would be "no nudes, no sex, no politics, no dope, no nothing." Not all of her artist invitees seem to have gotten the message.

I looked at my watch and decided it was time to ask the soldiers the standard "what-do-you-think-of-this-stuff question...A veteran of all the wars who was covered with stars, badges, ribbons, buttons, and braid summarized his feelings: "It's ridiculous, stupid, the whole damn thing. All those people smoking marijuana back there. I saw them. And using a federal building too. A bunch of kooks. I could bow them bastards to hell. I'd go up in the balcony with a machine gun. I even saw some naked. I'm glad I'm being transferred out."
Yow, OK then. Did New York's know how close it came to starring in an art world-meets-Kent State-themed prequel of Inglourious Basterds?

Anyway, sure enough, Cage isn't mentioned anywhere. Though he's probably glad to have missed the near massacre. In another, later message on Moorman's machine, a calmer, more sheepish Cage apologies for not attending a big event, so I'm going to guess that it was Cage's composition, not his presence, that was snubbed. Unless it was Cage who McDarrah called Moorman about; he left his own message when he heard he'd misidentified someone sitting "cross-legged in the corner and mix[ing] his 'ohms' into the abysmal hum and drone of 1000 sounds" as Steve Reich.

And it turns out all I had to do was look a little further. Because computer artist Fred Stern, who did get namechecked in the Voice article, turned Moorman's recording into a slideshow, synced with clippings and snapshots. Very helpful.

Charlotte Moorman's Answering Machine Message Tape [youtube]

October 13, 2013

The Confederacy Is Present

Carhartt product placement? image: @catblackfrazier

Talking Points Memo calls it "Rage & Performance Art," which is complicated only if you let it.

Senators Ted Cruz and Mike Lee and former half-term governor and Fox News personality Sarah Palin headlined a protest at the WWII Memorial today. They were decrying the memorial's closure as a result of the government shutdown. The shutdown they orchestrated and perpetuate. Personally.

The protestors, Tea Party Republicans and truckers, siezed the barricades and marched them up 17th Street to the White House, where they waved a Confederate flag and demanded President Obama come out with his hands up.

image: @davidfrum

On a process note, it's interesting that where Sforzian moments were once centrally conceived for and executed by professional photojournalists, nowadays photo-op political stunt events are disseminated through amateur snapshots.


One thing that hasn't changed, though, is Karl Rove's Sforzian dictum that you should be able to get the message even if you have the TV sound turned off. And I think that comes across loud and clear.

As in this photo from [decidedly non-amateur, non-bystander] Texas Republican congressman Steve Stockman, which includes a flag behind Palin that cites John Locke's "appeal to heaven" to call for revolution against the government. [via andrewsullivan.com]

the blue gloves

The Guardian commissioned this animated short by director Jonathan Hodgson about the ongoing hunger strikes by prisoners in Guantanamo. The content and text are all based on testimony of five men who are still imprisoned six years after being cleared for release.

The disturbing treatment depicted in the film is largely dictated by the US military's standard operating procedure regulation manuals for handling prisoners and administering force feedings.

Guantánamo Bay: The Hunger Strikes - video animation [guardian]
Previously, related: Standard Operating Procedure


So like twelve years ago, I stumbled across this photo in some dealer's bin. It's a portrait of a young woman with hair pulled back, a braid just peeking out across the back of her head, and she's wearing a very plain, even severe outfit. There's a great rhythm of contrasts between the sitter's hair and forehead, her cheeks, and her dress and shawl.

On the back was written "photograph by Berenice Abbott, N.Y.," in one hand [but not the signature Abbott's known for], and in another,

Mrs Joseph Barber
2 col cut
Sun Soc

Which meant this was Mrs Barber's engagement photo? Pretty modern. And it was a print submitted to a newspaper with a wedding announcement, where it ended up in a morgue for decades.

So I bought the print, and figured I could sleuth it out and authenticate it. Abbott would have been a bold choice for a wedding portrait in 1935-6. Most Abbott portraits we've seen are of sitters we know: in Paris she famously photographed James Joyce and Eugene Atget, for example.

Mrs. Barber was not, for example, included in the portrait portfolios Abbott published at various times; she's not one of the 42 portraits on the website of Commerce Graphics, the outfit which acquired Abbott's archive. Of course, they didn't have a website when I got the photo. Google Images had barely launched, and still kind of sucked, in fact. So the only way to research was through books, where Mrs. Barber didn't appear, or through newspaper archives, where, eventually, she did.

Joseph Barber Jr., of Andover, Harvard, and Columbia Journalism School, was an editor at The Atlantic Monthly when he married Eileen Paradis, a graduate of Mt Holyoke College and the University of Grenoble, on 15 February 1936. He would later become the magazine's managing editor and hold editing and reporting positions at the Washington Post. A collection of Barber's reports for The Atlantic was published in 1941 as a book, Hawaii: Restless Rampart. In it, he maps out the monopolistic plantation feudalism of the island territory's politics, as well as the massive US military buildup of the book's title. He quoted an army official as saying, "We intend to make the price of taking Pearl Harbor so prohibitively high that no enemy would want to pay it."

Anyway, Eileen Paradis. The only mention I could find of Paradis at the time was her wedding announcement in a Boston paper [on microfiche!], where she was reported to have worn "an oyster white chiffon gown made on Grecian lines," with a matching veil held by a gold wreath, and a gold belt. Which sounds like it'd match the hair. But the photo in the Globe that day was for Miss Mary Redmond Davidson, who had announced her engagement to Mr. Samuel Loring Ayres, Jr.

And that's where it stood. A dead end, confirming Paradis/Barber's marriage, but no proof of whether the photo was actually her, and, of course, whether Abbott had taken it. I didn't have a hallway packed salon-style with vintage photographs, and I'm not really into hanging lone pictures of other peoples' relatives, so I put it away.

And I just found it this morning while looking for some documentation of another work. On a whim, I typed "Eileen Paradis" back into Google, and whaddyaknow. Amid all the citations from the alumni newsletters and the Harvard Club directories is a collection of silver and art donated to the Mt. Holyoke College Museum of Art by The Estate of Eileen Paradis Barber (Class of 1929) in 1997.

The Barbers turned out to collect a fair amount of modern art in their day. There were watercolors by Arthur Dove, works by Max Ernst, Isamu Noguchi, Reginald Marsh, Romare Bearden, and John Marin, along with a sheaf of Japanese woodblocks and a couple of impressionist drawings. There were also five photographs, all by Berenice Abbott: three classic images from her Changing New York project--and two prints of Paradis' portrait.

Berenice Abbott, Eileen Barber, prob. 1936, MH 1997.14.4

One print is much lighter, and the background especially looks to have been dodged or retouched. The other is closer to mine, though the image is a little longer. From the jpg, at least, the image looks like the best of the three, which may be why Barber kept it.

Berenice Abbott, Eileen Barber, prob. 1936, MH 1997.14.4a

Mine also has a handling crease on the far left edge and the top left corner, and a little orange spot in the image that looks like a chemical burn, which may be why she sent it to the paper.

So mystery solved. I'm kind of marveling at how something once impossible became instantly knowable. It still feels like magic sometimes around here. I'm also kind of daunted, because I found out this photograph, this piece of paper I'd bought on a hunch, turns out to be what I thought it was. Abbott's famous images are everywhere, and published in editions of hundreds. But this is one of only three known to exist. and what series of happy accidents kept it intact this long?

update: After I published this a scholar familiar with Abbott's work confirmed that Barber's portrait does indeed reside in the artist's archive, among many other interesting portraits of less public figures.

And it was suggested that the Barbers got to know Abbott via the writer Elizabeth McCausland. McCausland wrote about art for many publications of the day, and on many of the artists in the Barbers' collection. And of course, McCausland was also Abbott's partner and frequent collaborator, writing the texts and captions for her photobooks and exhibitions.

So rather than just an avant-garde wedding portrait commission, the photo is likely a document of a friendship and a community of artists and writers.

October 7, 2013


The third edition of the (e)merge art fair was held this weekend at the Rubells' hotel in Washington DC. After not being sure whether I'd be in town, I was, and I went on Saturday afternoon. I'd say it was well-attended, but not crowded.

The fair was smaller than the first/only time I'd been in 2011, with one 32-room floor of exhibitors instead of 2.5. And some of this year's exhibitors took double/adjoining rooms. And in addition to a couple of DC galleries, there were local non-profits and agencies like Transformer Gallery, WPA, and DC's Arts & Humanities agency.

Despite trying to keep up with art making things, I knew almost none of the galleries or artists I saw. (E)merge's emphasis on emerging galleries showing emerging artists felt like a self-fulfilling and self-limiting parameter that makes for a tricky situation in which to buy--and sell--art. It's a set-up that appeals almost exclusively to collectors' impulse purchase reflex, not their investment aspirations, and definitely not their craving for glamor, luxury, status, or social theater.

On the other hand, there seemed to be significantly more artists in the fair's Artists Platform, self-representing artists, collaboratives, and artist-run galleries who were spread out around the hotel's ground floor, deck, and parking garage. They were mostly solid, engaging, and interesting. Baltimore and MICA were heavily represented, the Corcoran, much less so. I left wanting to merge (e)merge with Artomatic.

But enough of that armchair quarterbacking. Here's some of what I saw that stuck with me, in roughly chronological order. It's like a timeshifted liveblogging highlight reel of my (e)merge visit.

October 6, 2013

American Decay


From grupa o.k. comes this 1972 diagram [drawing?] by Carl Andre, Line of March, which describes a smallish floor piece. And it connects to the second inauguration, on January 20, 1972, of Richard Nixon.

Courtney Fiske blogged about finding a 1973 ARTNews article about Line of March titled "The politics of cheese." Andre had found the index card-size sheet metal pieces for the sculpture on his way to Washington, where he'd planned to protest Nixon's inauguration by installing a work, titled American Decay at Max Protetch's gallery on M Street:

The piece consisted of 500 pounds of cottage cheese anointed with 10 gallons of ketchup, resting atop tar paper, covering an area about 12 by 18 feet, with the cheese itself about 10 inches deep. Although the piece was not for sale, one collector did take home ten small cans of the Sealtest large-curd cottage cheese.

There were those who felt, on seeing the piece, that Andre had taken an obscurantist stance, but they should remember that during the campaign Nixon's lunches consisted of cottage cheese coated with ketchup. It has not yet been determined if the cottage cheese Nixon ate was Sealtest large-curd. At any rate, American Decay, which opened at the Protetch Gallery on Jan. 19, closed on Jan. 20 because of the putrid smell which permeated the premises.

I can't find photos of American Decay, but I will definitely look. It sounds gross, but fantastic.

The student of politics will also note that Nixon's inauguration actually took place on January 20, 1973, a full year after the date in the drawing above. Gilbert & Lila Sullivan had another Line of March drawing in their collection that does have the "right" date.

So now I really have no idea what this piece of paper is.

October 2, 2013

To The Sforzian Barricades!


For a brief moment yesterday, the first morning of the GOP-instigated shutdown of the federal government, anxious confusion reigned. And as folks began realizing that in addition to the hundreds of thousands of furloughed and unpaid workers, and the halt to vital government programs across the country, Washington's museums and memorials were also closed to the public, there was a ray of hope.

A tour group of World War II veterans, The Greatest Generation, were not going to stand for this assault on our great constitutional democratic institutions. So they had someone push them in their wheelchairs into the World War II Memorial as Park Police watched from the sidelines.

Yeah, then it turns out the pushers were some of the same Tea Party extremists in the House who had voted for, nay, clamored for, the government to be shut down in the first place. Last night the likes of Michele Bachmann and Steve King were promising to personally help any veterans group fight their way back into the Memorial any day if they had to. And they just dared Pres. Obama to arrest them all. Ideally, on live cable TV.

Today, with conservative media attention riveted on this Mussolinian plaza which slices the National Mall in two like a hernia operation, Park Police decided to stand aside as congressional tour guides boldly shouted, "Tear down this fence!" and "Stand our ground!" and whatever.

And GOP chairman Reince Priebus himself stood in the glare of cameras and the afternoon sun, brandishing a GOP check and offering to pay to keep the memorial open (for vets) or, in Gawker's words, "to rent the WWII Memorial for shutdown theater," and --hey, how'd those people in the background get past Obama's Black Fence of Tyranny? It's almost like that little fence was put there, in front of the sign, and strewn with police tape, just so, just to be photographed. Can we get a wide shot on this one?

[image tweeted by HuffPostPol reporter @RyanJReilly: "'Go do your job, idiot!' -- protestor to @Reince at WWII Memorial"]

October 1, 2013

Good Government Death Panel


Here is a photo-op House GOP Leader Eric Cantor tweeted out after shutting down the government today. "We sit ready to negotiate with the Senate."

Because yelling at empty chairs on camera is apparently the only good idea the GOP's had in the last five years, and even that ended badly for them.

Since 2001 here at greg.org, 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 greg.org that time.

comments? questions? tips? pitches? email
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about this archive

Posts from October 2013, in reverse chronological order

Older: September 2013

Newer November 2013

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