Friday, October 3, 2008
I am not sincere, even when I say I am not.
— Jules Renard
Basically, I'm for anything that gets you through the night—be it prayer, tranquilizers or a bottle of Jack Daniels.
— Frank Sinatra
Popular art is normally decried as vulgar by the cultivated people of its time; then it loses favor with its original audience as a new generation grows up; then it begins to merge into the softer lighting of “quaint,” and cultivated people become interested in it, and finally it begins to take on the archaic dignity of the primitive.
— Northrop Frye
Three o'clock is always too late or too early for anything you want to do.
— Jean-Paul Sartre
Gabba Gabba Hey!
The limbo bar for political leadership is so low these days, the only thing I find truly surprising about the favorable punditry reaction to Sarah Palin's debate performance is that no one complimented her for not audibly farting during the event. I am immensely suspicious of the media in this election cycle, even more so than in the past. Their livelihoods depend upon their ability to perpetuate and sex up the drama, the political theater, the horse race. I was gobsmacked last night that both David Brooks and Mark Shields on PBS had remarkably kind words to say about Governor Palin's performance. I watched the same debate and saw a beauty queen holding on for dear life. I lost count of the number of questions she failed to answer, as I did the number of times she trotted out the alluring rubric "maverick." She was so full of inane, folksy blather, repeating herself ad nauseum, I was hoping she might just descend into complete gibberish, jauntily swinging her arm while proclaiming "Yabba-dabba-doo!" to the camera.
In a rather feckless article in today's Times, Brooks —who is often able to extract himself from his right-wing leanings long enough to make a solid point—writes about Palin through a Koolaid-filtered lens, softening all the edges of a frightening performance into an acceptable mush. I read right wing columnists because you always need to challenge your own preconceptions. Well okay, I read William Kristol mainly to check in with the ca-razy, elitist white man who is completely full of crap.
By contrast, while I rarely agree with Charles Krauthammer, I kind of enjoy the high art of his smugness. It's hard to find a more condescending conservative columnist, in print or in person. And while his column today is rife with back-handed compliments, he articulates a solid example of why this remains, more and more each day, Obama's race to lose. Unlike his Democratic predecessors, Obama seems immune to the desire to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. He continues, in every way, to out-game everyone else and Krauthammer actually serves up a perceptive angle on his methodology.
I'm still finding it hard to get people to agree with me that it's going to be a landslide, but I stick by my prediction. If you want to check the spread on a daily basis, visit Real Clear Politics, which collates numerous national polls and provides a running average. Today, it's +5.6 Obama. Most compelling perhaps is the line graph tracking both candidates from August 2007 to the present. McCain's red line staggers forward like a man just trying not to die, while Obama's line—which also contains ups and downs—has remained more consistent and more favorable and continues to steadily rise.
Exhibitions Continuing @ HW thru Oct 21
gallery hrs Tues to Fri 11am to 6pm, Sat 1 to 4pm
Chinua Achebe: The Importance of Stories
Sat, Oct, 4, 5 & 8pm
"This portrait of the Nigerian-born writer examines how one of Africa's greatest living authors—and modern Africa itself—were shaped by a history of racism and colonialism. In an interview, Achebe discusses Africa's colonialist history, the nature of indigenous African religious and philosophical beliefs, and the artistry and human significance of literature. Also screening a short narrative video A Barber's Wisdom (2000, 26min) by Nigerian filmmaker Amaka Igwe."
• Katherine Sehr @ Nina Freudenheim op Sat, Oct 11, 6-8pm (thru Nov 19)
• Carrianne Hendrickson at Shy Rabbit (Colorado) op Sat, Oct 4, 5-8pm (thru Nov 15)
• MIna Bellivia, Dave Derner, Mike Dominic, Gavin Kenyon, Josh Knoblick, Gina Miccinilli, Brian Porter, Jay Wholley @ Upton Gallery, Buff State, closing reception Thurs, Oct 2
• Kyra Avery @ Chow Chocolat op Fri, Oct 3, 5-9pm (thru Oct 23)
• Sam Van Aken @ RoCo op Fri, Oct 3, 6-10pm (thru Nov 23)
• Jonathan Rogers @ NACC op Fri, Oct 10, 7-9pm
• Sonia Penaranda-Taggart, Maria Fernanda del Bufalo, Geraldine LIquidano @ Galleria Blanca (Orchard Park) op Fri, Oct 10, 6-10pm (thru Nov 10
• paintings by Catherine Parker during a tenor/soprano/viola/piano performance @ Slee Hall, UB, Fri, Oct 10
• Cynnie Gaasch @ Studio Hart op Fri, Oct 17, 6-8pm (thru Nov 22)
Max Streicher @ the Castellani
op w/ artist talk TONIGHT, 5:30-8pm (thru Jan 18)
Bruce Adams @ the Center for Inquiry
op Thurs, Oct 9, 7-10pm (thru Dec 24)
Being Absent @ Artspace
op Fri, Oct 10, 7-10pm (thru Nov 15)
w/ Chris Barr, Robin Brasington, Veronique Cote, Hans Gindlesberger, Insoon Ha, Andrew Hershey, Soyeon Jung, Elizabeth Knipe, Dietmar Krumrey, Adriane Little, Arzu Ozkai-Telhan, John Park, Julie Perini, Leah Rico, Geoffrey Alan Rhodes, Penelope Stewart, Orkan Telhan, Elinor Whidden
• David Schirm & Justin Thompson @ Buffalo Arts Studio thru Nov 1
• OP Art Revisited at the Albright thru Jan 25
• Lyle Ashton Harris @ UB Art Gallery thru Oct 18 Artvoice Yau
• Amanda Besl @ Lemberg Gallery (Ferndale, MI) thru Oct 11
• John Opera @ Andrew Rafacz Gallery (Chicago)
• Connie Coleman & Alan Powell @ Squeaky Wheel thru Oct 31
• Mark Duquette @ Alleyway Theater thru Nov 30
• Trans-Evolution: Examining Bio Art @ CEPA thru Dec 20
• Carnegie Art Center Members Exhibition thru Oct 17
• Alice O'Malley @ Nina Freudenheim thru Oct 8 Buffalo News
• Michael Goldberg @ Anderson Gallery thru Jan 18
• Paul Alico and Elizabeth Kumrow Capuano @ Chateau Buffalo thru Oct 10
• Charles Houseman @ Meibohm Fine Arts thru Oct 11
• Pictures of Working Life Taken By Working Hands at NCCC thru Oct 10
• Catherine Linder Spencer at Daemon College thru Sept 28
• Priscilla Bowen at Olean Public Library thru Oct 25
• Gerald Mead: The MacKrell Collage Archive Project @ Springville Center for the Arts thru Oct 18
• Michael Goldberg @ UB Anderson Gallery thru Jan 18
• Lavinia Kirdani @ Sp@ce224 thru Oct 4
• Gerald Mead at Studio Hart thru Oct 11 Artvoice Jackson-Forsberg
• Joel Lewitsky @ Betty's thru Nov 9
• David Schirm, Justin Thompson @ Buffalo Arts Studio thru Nov 1
• Kenn Morgan, Robert Schultz, Robert Minick, Gene Witkowski, Jerry Greenburg, Lukia Costello @ Artspace thru Nov 1
• Rita Argen Auerbach, Stefani Bardin, Priscilla Bowen, Doreen DeBoth, Marion Faller, Jackie Felix, AJ Fries, Courtney Grim, Katherine Gullo, Biff Henrich, Thomas Kegler, Kevin Charles Kline, Ryan Legassicke, Coni Minecci, Michael Morgulis, Barbara Murak, Nancy Pelosi, James Paulsen, John Pfahl, Christy Rupp, Noreen Spurling, Christopher Stangler, John Yerger @ Kenan Center thru Oct 5
• Fine Arts League of Buffalo 55th Annual Juried Open Exhibition @ Art Dialogue thru Oct 10
• Monica Angle, Georgia Trimper, Barbara Baird @ Springville Center for the Arts thru Sept 20
• Max Streicher: Metamorphosis at the Castellani op Fri, Oct 5
• Lukia Costello at The Rabbit Room thru Nov 1
• Diane Baker at The Mansion on Delaware (indefinitely)
"Yet popular is not really the word for them. They’re too strange for that. And to perpetually temperature-taking art-world eyes, they have always stood a little outside the coolness loop, a tad beyond the pale, a touch too much."
NY Times Cotter
“Everything gets messed with. It’s just the nature of street art. You can’t be too precious about it.”
NY Times Ryzik
"Apparently, Liza took her MacArthur Genius Grant, moved to South Africa, hired some Zulus to fabricate her work (no joke) and discarded the provenance of joy and humor, which was once hers alone, to deliver political lectures in the form of hackneyed new work that is formally derivative, to the point of mimicry, of Mona Hatoum, especially a beaded cage at Lever House, which has everything Mona in it but the latter’s claustrophobic menace."
“We are such spendthrifts with our lives. The trick of living is to slip on and off the planet with the least fuss you can muster. I’m not running for sainthood. I just happen to think that in life we need to be a little like the farmer, who puts back into the soil what he takes out.”
Well, there's half a jar of Paul Newman Italian Sausage pasta sauce in my fridge right now. Other than that, I don't have much to say or add—I mean, who doesn't like Paul Newman or mourn his passing? By all accounts, a fine actor, husband, father, humanitarian. While not even remotely among his best, my personal favorite Paul Newman film—because I was 12 when it came out and it costarred Steve McQueen—is The Towering Inferno. A preposterous, star-studden mess of a disaster movie, Newman was great as the ethical architect undermined by unethical contractors and who, in the midst of a scenario where important, tuxedoed people were trapped on an upper floor of a skyscraper, seemed to be the only one who managed to freely move between the floors of the burning building.
NY Times obit
A Good Neighbor
Marian Griffiths 1922—2008
NY Times obit
Something I listened to this week...
Juana Molina's Segundo is a pretty engaging blend of wispy, acoustic vibes, soft, Sunday-morning voice, and subtle textures of electronica. It doesn't blow me away, but having said that, I've listened to it several times over the last few months. This may because it's one of those albums easily relegated to very late night listening or very early, not-had-coffee-yet background muzak. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
The Meat Puppets have been around for more than twenty years and have outlasted their SST label peers Husker Du and The Minutemen. This is a great album in every direction. Smart, crisp production, great singing and playing. And despite the suggestive album cover, it does not sound like Megadeth. It's hard but it's melodic.
We can't all be heroes because somebody has to sit on the curb and clap as they go by.
— Will Rogers