NOTE BENE: Unbelievably, I don't think I've yet used The Clash for a blog overture yet, so let's rectify that shameful situation. Even on their most iconic rock and roll record, London Calling, The Clash were sufficiently free=spirited to knock out this pseudo jazz epic. This clip is from 30 years ago so it's officially a nostalgia trip, but so it goes.
"For his gallery exhibition at Hallwalls, Kevin returns to Buffalo with what has become an Award-Winning film, Erie, and an exhibition of objects and materials from his films. Central to the exhibition is the billboard, installed for three weeks south of Buffalo along Route 20, depicting an African-American auto worker and advertising jobs in the industry. Both a work of public art and an intervention into our Rust Belt landscape, the installation in an unsettling and uncanny way shed light on the history of our community and the sense of loss and anxiety felt by Americans and Auto Workers last summer. An aspect of his HARP residency, he will continue his work with students from the Buffalo Academy of Visual and Performing Arts to realize the creation and exhibition of materials that reflect the themes of Erie, AMC, and Costars—the process of filmmaking, and the role of visual culture on the migration of African-Americans and thus the shaping of American communities." — Carolyn Tennant, Media Arts Curator, Hallwalls
Buffalo News preview Dabkowski
Originally commissioned by the gallery labotanica for the exhibit "Screwed Anthologies", David Dove and Lucas Gorham bring their long history as collaborators to their exploration of an expansive (yet particular) musical sensibility. With trombone, guitar, lap steel guitar, loops and effects, "Screwed Anthologies" (which became the name of the duo) improvises without preconceived structure. Preset compositions/forms are not used, but the two access the thick and languid feel of DJ Screw's mixes as a guide through their own sound world, sounding something like a record of improvised music slowed down, with a dose of low drones, some achingly-slow-to-a-crawl blues, and a sampling of DJ Screw tracks (selected from the hundreds of mixtapes released by DJ Screw in his lifetime). Screwed Anthologies connects seemingly disparate musical genres with a deep sense for how regionalism, experimentalism, tradition, and technology cross the lines of genre. Screwed Anthologies makes electro-acoustic improvisation with a love of the layers, thick textures, soulful expressiveness, deep bass, and unusually slow tempos that mark the music of DJ Screw. DJ Screw was an artist who (in his short life) left a profound legacy that was both intensely regional and extremely influential beyond its region. His music was absolutely experimental, yet not self-consciously avant-garde. It had the urgency of improvisation in its raw construction and immediate creation (DJ Screw made somewhere between 600 and 1000 hundred-minute tapes in only 8 or 9 years). "Screwed Anthologies" crafts music with a strong influence from their fellow Houstonian, DJ Screw. They make it in acknowledgement of aesthetic undercurrents that connect artists across the lines of genre. They make music influenced by an artist who was one of the most radical to ever emerge from their city.
Verigo @ Indigo (thru July 10)
Artists' talk/book signing Tues, June 15, 7pm
op @ Buffalo Arts Studio June 18, 7—11pm
The Art of War op @ CEPA June 19, 8—11pm
Art of War, CEPA Gallery's ambitious summer exhibition, will feature an international group of artists whose work addresses global conflict through conceptual art. The artworks explore violent tensions around the world, from the U.S. presence in Afghanistan and Iraq, the Lebanese Civil War and the Israeli/Lebanese conflicts, the 1995 East Timor political revolution, and the creation of counter-insurgency schools in Panama, as well as broader realities such as global terrorism, and the application of surveillance, interrogation, and incarceration.
"The artworks that comprise Art of War address the "war condition," according to Sean Donaher, Interim Executive Director. "We are not putting forward any specific opinions on global conflict, but rather allowing viewers to see, through unique expression, the common symptoms of all conflict. Our hope is to create new launching points for thought and communication that will allow viewers to gain not conclusions, but insight."
The familiar symptoms of this "war condition" include sudden and unforeseen acts of violence against innocent people; the effect of that violence on individuals and traditions; the repression of civil liberties; censorship of the media and the arts; the free-market abuse of limited natural resources; and the development of protest, counter-insurgency, and resistance fighters.
Artists included in the exhibition are Walid Ra'ad, Carlos Motta, Martha Rosler, Tom Nicholson, Daniel Joseph Martinez, Trevor Paglen, Chitra Ganesh & Mariam Ghani.
June 19 @ Mohawk Place
If This Knox is A-Rockin'...
Elena Lourenco @ Big Orbit thru July 17
"I wanted to interview Tim as soon as we met. By the time we scheduled a meeting, I already had a million burning questions rolling around inside my head, but when I entered his studio and saw the small exhibit set up just for me, my questions flew out the window and I was left fumbling for words."
"I cannot group Chris Hausbeck into a specific artist category--except that he's my favorite kind. He isn't starving, pretentious or hip. Rather, he has soot under his nails, a blue collar background and came to our meeting in a thrifted Wegmans tee."
"We still want to believe that Obama is on our side, willing to fight those bad corporate actors who cut corners and gambled recklessly while regulators slept, Congress raked in contributions, and we got stuck with the wreckage and the bills. But his leadership style keeps sowing confusion about his loyalties, puncturing holes in the powerful tale he could tell."
"I don't know about you but I feel invigorated by the oil spill. Invigorated to question why the First Amendment must continue to protect the lies and propaganda promoting bogus environmentalism. Shouldn't there be a stiff retrospective penalty on BP for polluting our minds in the midst of televised sports and soap operas?"
"If you’re like me—which unless you are an elf-eared performance artist who lives in a Troll Museum with a Chihuahua named Reverend Jen Junior, you are not—you know how tough it is to get a job. Luckily, the U.S. Census Bureau appears every ten years to magically divvy up employment to the unemployable."
"Undeniably, Marina turned out to be a bigger babe magnet than Justin Timberlake, especially if your definition of "babe" is inner beauty blossoming on the surface of the face: everyone who arrived became a babe."
"Fairey’s real failure here has to do not with his "art" but his politics. Following the (accidental?) success of his Obama Hope poster, which sparked a wave of optimistic political art...Fairey should have gone deeper into partisanship, not deeper into pop."
"Sir Anthony Caro (b1924) appreciates the power of the book. Not only is there a 14-volume catalogue raisonné of his work, compiled by Dieter Blume, and a number of useful exhibition catalogues, there is now a five-volume set of monographs on different aspects of his achievements. Caro has done so much and so variously that it is about time we set about considering the extent of his originality and inventiveness."
"For over seven decades, but in especially mordant, tough and compelling ways over the last 30 years of her career, Bourgeois—perhaps the last twisted sphinx of surrealistic psychology, and the final vehicle of Abstract Expressionistic seriousness—turned the stuff of childhood trauma, oedipal desire, raging fury and human sexuality into moving sculptures. "
"She was born in 1911 to a bourgeois family on the outskirts of Paris. The pain of family life, which was to become the grist to her artistic mill, her form of lifelong therapy, derived from the death of her mother when she was eight, the tyrannical and humiliating ways of her father and his love affair with her governess."
"Ginsberg and Mr. Orlovsky wrote and spoke openly about their relationship, which they deemed a marriage. Because of Ginsberg’s prominence, the two men were social pioneers, the first gay “married” couple that many people had ever heard of."
For your Netflix queue...
(1974, dir. Alan J. Pakula) THE PARALLAX VIEW
Without question, ONE OF MY FAVORITE FILMS OF ALL TIME. And I mean OF ALL TIME. In a decade that saw many terrific films, Pakula's über-paranoid thriller looms large as a cinematic masterpiece. In truth, it's not the plot or premise of the film that attract me that much, though the story of a reporter following the trail of Kennedy-esque assassination plot to its dark, conspiratorial ends is a handy conceit around which to build a narrative. The film montage that our hero is forced to watch near the end, as he is "tested" for his assassin tendencies, remains a compelling and effective film montage (even if it does borrow its concept somewhat from A Clockwork Orange). Plot-wise, the film makes no bones about articulating that there is a corporation called Parallax that is in the business of recruiting assassins. But it's the wild artistry of how this story is woven that utterly rivets me each and every time I watch this lean, mean thriller machine.
I adore the concision of the film—the script with zero fat or filler;the economic use of musical cues (through the theme that is used IS hugely effective); the performances, particularly Warren Beatty in his best Handsome Stupefied Guy role ever; but most of all, the spectacular photography by Gordon Willis. Willis did other, bigger films (like the first two Godfather epics), but this is my favorite example of his work. A dp who rarely moved the camera, but could compose a shot like nobody's business. The film, ostensibly about politics and paranoia, is also about fear and perception and the shifting planes of reality. It's an example of a film that I would pretty describe as perfect. A+++
Something I listened to this week... Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night
(1975) CURTIS MAYFIELD • THERE IS NO PLACE LIKE AMERICA TODAY
I'm pretty much a sucker for Curtis Mayfield, who I think is one of the finest American composers of the 20th century and long overdue as the subject of a serious documentary or PBS American Masters episode. A short album of only seven songs, there are realistic songs of urban drama (a Mayfield staple), but there's also So In Love, an iconic love ballad (another Mayfield staple). By no means his best -known album, but it easily stacks up to any other. Highly recommended.
Something I listened to this week...
Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night