Thursday, December 29, 2016

The grounds for hope are in the shadows

The grounds for hope are in the shadows, in the people who are inventing the world while no one looks, who themselves don’t know yet whether they will have any effect, in the people you have not yet heard of who […] become something you cannot yet imagine. In this epic struggle between light and dark, it’s the dark side — that of the anonymous, the unseen, the officially powerless, the visionaries and subversives in the shadows — that we must hope for. For those onstage, we can just hope the curtain comes down soon and the next act is better, that it comes more directly from the populist shadows.

Text: Rebecca Solnit
Zoe Leonard’s iconic 1992 poem, titled “I want a president

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Where did it go?

Once Upon a Time

Once upon a time, a girl with moonlight in her eyes
Put her hand in mine and said she loved me so
But that was once upon a time, very long ago

Once upon a time, we sat beneath a willow tree
Counting all the stars and waiting for the dawn
But that was once upon a time; now the tree is gone

How the breeze ruffled up her hair
How we always laughed as though tomorrow wasn't there
We were young and didn't have a care
Where did it go?

Once upon a time, the world was sweeter than we knew
Everything was ours; how happy we were then

But, somehow, once upon a time never comes again

Bob Dylan - Once Upon A Time - Tony Bennett Celebrates 90: The Best Is Yet to Come - Dec 20, 2016

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

There are two ways to escape

The inferno of the living is not something that will be; if there is one, it is what is already here, the inferno where we live every day, that we form by being together. There are two ways to escape suffering it. The first is easy for many: accept the inferno and become such a part of it that you can no longer see it. The second is risky and demands constant vigilance and apprehension: seek and learn to recognize who and what, in the midst of inferno, are not inferno, then make them endure, give them space.

Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities

Thursday, November 10, 2016

An American Tragedy:Let me recite what history teaches. History teaches

Stein 100A Feather Likeness of the Justice Chair
A feather table: reckless gratitude.
It is that-there that means best.
White the green grinding trimming thing!
The disgrace, like stripes.
More selection, slighter intention.
Rosewood stationing is use journey: curious dusty empty length.
Winged cake: the cake, the plan that neglects to make color certainly.
Time long could winter: elegant consequences monstrous.
So much and guided holders garments are—and arrangements.
Staring then that when sudden same time's necessary, that circular
same's more necessary, not actually aching.
And why special?
Not left straw, the chain's the missing, was white winningly and occasion's entirely strings.
Reason is sullenness: it's there that practices left when six into
nothing narrow, resolute, suggests all beside that plain seam.
Pencils, mutton, asparagus: the table there.
There reddening is not to change that in such absurd surroundings.
Considering clearly, a feather's large second heat is there.
There that thing which smells that whistles that there's denial,
difference, surfeit-dated choices--everything trembling imitation.
Imitation?—imitation is a joy gurgle.
Best bent, likely disappointed.
Cake season's not more than most.
That cake makes no larder likely.
Not a single protection is even temporarily standing.
Sugar and lard there are sudden and shaming.
That single set comes orderly.
There the remarkable witness made no more settlement than blessing.
Increase the way steak colored coffee.
Wheatly that music half-noisy.
Reason's decline is not a little grainy.
This means taste where toe-washing is reasonable.
Salmon carriage?—action hanging.
Scene bits and this nervous draught don't satisfy elevation,
There is no change.
Much was temporary behind that center and much was formerly charming.
Then the then-triumphant showed their disagreeable hidden worries.
The chair asked the speech be repeated, supposing attention-resemblance.
It is just summer.
Another section has a light likeness to pedestrianism.
Which is light?
That used this there.
The chair's justice: nothing-colored mercy.
No, perhaps some is likely.
That is not a genuine bargain.
There preparation so suits white bands' singing and redness that the same sight's a simpler splendor.
No, not the same.
Wishing the same is not quite the same as a different arrangement.
Any measure washed is brighter than an occasional string set.
A precocious nothing discolors that extract sooner than showing its starting.
A bag place chain room winningly reasons with shining hair.
What with supposing without protection, no wound is sudden.
Coloring sullenness rushes bottom reason in gilded country.
What if it shows?
Necessarily, the whole thing there is shining.
Is that anything?
More single women stitch tickets.
To show difference exudes reliability.
Inside that large silver likeness, Hope tables thick coal.
Coal makes morning furnaces darker,
Joy and success are exceptions.
Four suggest a sadder surrender.
Pretence and cheaper influences are staining tender Pride there.
Sort out that little sink.
Why is the size of the baking remainder something that resembles light more than cutting?
This cheese is more calm than anything solitary.
It is still an occasion for bottom anticipation.
Reason's season cracked that which was ripe.
Nearly all were neglected by blessing, not without nervous actions.
He's readily beginning to seed the cheese and estrange the Whites.
The celery curled its lashes at the slam.
Not-so-heated reason will be little able to satisfy another.
This was formerly much used as a charming chair.
Pedestrianism showed itself triumphant and disagreeable.
That which was hidden worried them.
They asked that her speech be repeated.
Summer light bears a likeness to justice.
Then the light is supposing attention.
That section has a resemblance to light.

Is it a likeness of the justice chair?

And this: The New Yorker: An American Tragedy

Poem:Stein 100: A Feather Likeness of the Justice Chair
Title/Quote: Gertrude Stein

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Mourning in America

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come. 

W.H. Auden

Tuesday, July 26, 2016


Missing her already...

Reposted from Cup of Jo: 

Michelle Obama brought down the house with her speech last night at the Democratic National Convention. Twelve hours later, it’s still giving us goosebumps. Did you watch? What an inspiration to hear the first lady speak eloquently, strongly and, most of all, optimistically, about our country and the presidency. Here are a few memorable quotes: 

“When someone is cruel or acts like a bully, you don’t stoop to their level. No, our motto is, ‘When they go low, we go high.’ ”
“I wake up every morning in a house that was built by slaves. And I watch my daughters, two beautiful, intelligent, black young women, playing with their dogs on the White House lawn. And because of Hillary Clinton, my daughters and all our sons and daughters now take for granted that a woman can be president of the United States.”
“When you have the nuclear codes at you fingertips and military at your command, you can’t make snap decisions. You can’t have thin skin or a tendency to lash out. You need to be steady and well-informed. I want a president with a record of public service, someone whose life work shows our children we don’t chase fame and fortune for ourselves.”
“In this election, we cannot sit back and hope that everything works out for the best. We cannot afford to be tired or frustrated or cynical. No, hear me. Between now and November, we need to do what we did eight years ago and four years ago. We need to knock on every door, we need to get out every vote, we need to pour every last ounce of our passion and our strength and our love for this country into electing Hillary Clinton as president of the United States of America!”

Friday, July 15, 2016

People Reluctant To Kill for an Abstraction

We are many. We are worldwide. We, in fact, outnumber you. Though you are louder, though you create a momentary ripple on the water of life, we will endure, and prevail.


Thursday, July 14, 2016

War Widows

In Cambodia, War Widows Share Their Stories Through Art

Many believe in the stars.   

   Take Quinamid   
The son of a Dardanian astrologer   
Who disregarded what his father said   
And came to Troy in a taxi.   


Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Give Us A Poem

Give Us A Poem, 2007

Born and raised in the Bronx, Glenn Ligon grew up taking art classes at the Metropolitan Museum of Art while learning about identity politics through the racism and discrimination toward homosexuality that he encountered in New York. He combines this formal art education and complex personal history to create emotionally charged works that convey challenging messages. In his 1993 Whitney Biennial contribution, Notes on the Margin of the Black Book (1991–93), for example, Ligon paired images and text to satirically comment on literary and visual representations of the black male body. Whether constructed from neon lights, coal dust, glitter, paint, or photographs, Ligon’s work fluctuates between humor and startling honesty, reminding viewers that intolerance remains ubiquitous. 

The Freedom Principle: Experiments in Art and Music, 1965 to Now at MCA Chicago

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

"Great things end. Small things endure. Society must become united again instead of so disjointed. Just look at nature and you'll see that life is simple. We must go back to where we were, to the point where we took the wrong turn. We must go back to the main foundations of life without dirtying the water. What kind of world is this if a madman tells you you must be ashamed of yourselves!"
 - Andrei Tarkovsky and Tonino Guerra
Domenico's speech from the 1983 film Nostalghia

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Corrected Love Letters: LENKA CLAYTON


Corrected Love Letters

2015 / found, altered love letter / 3 sheets of airmail paper, 6" x 9" each
Found love letters from the mid 20th century, given to contemporary English professors to correct for grammar, spelling, form and style. 
Letter (above) written in 1943 by Ed. Corrected in 2015 by Erin Anderson, Assistant Professor of English, University of Massachusetts Boston.

Monday, January 11, 2016


A City Without Guns. Jennifer Nagle Meyers. 2014.

 This spring Suzanne Slavick, Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Art at Carnegie Mellon University, curated an exhibition at SPACE with a singular theme, guns. On view through April 26th, UNLOADED features 19 artists at a variety of career trajectories from international and national locales both east and west and points between, including Pittsburgh based artists. The topic is approached with a mixture of methods and media encompassing printmaking, painting, sculpture, video and film. Collectively, the work on view either directly illustrates our culture’s obsession with guns via photography, reflects and critiques the pervasiveness of guns and their consequences by reconfiguring common imagery and ideas from the media, or offers personal accounts and reflections of the experience of guns and gun violence.

In Jennifer Nagle Meyers’ nuanced piece, A City Without Guns (2014 – ongoing), the artist collected branches and sticks naturally shaped like guns (perhaps recalling Claes Oldenburg’s legendary Ray Gun collection) and mounted them in an oval arrangement on the wall. The piece establishes the dialogue between nature and culture, calling to mind hunter/gatherer societies. Obviously, when we think of guns, we associate them with culture and the human-made, so when we see Meyers’ ‘natural guns’ they are no longer instruments of destruction. Instead, they become more about environment as we look at the shape, color and the type of wood and its innate aesthetic qualities. Like mimesis in reverse, Meyers transformed these sticks and branches into abstracted things of beauty while also imitating manufactured objects, a parallel to how gun culture fetishizes guns.