While Subliminal Projects, owned by the artist Shepard Fairey, is a small space, it resembles a Philadelphia graffiti crew’s warehouse loft with brick flooring in one room and sheets of plywood serving as support in all other parts of the gallery. A nonsensical line delay outside (I waited 85 minutes) frustrated everyone, including the doorman at the front entrance. “I haven’t worked in L.A. for nine months, and this is why,” he told those awaiting their moment with Chuck D. [Read More…]
Vile Days, by Gary Indiana,
edited by Bruce Hainley.
Semiotext(e). 600 pages. $29.95.
Courtesy of Harper’s Magazine
How unromantic can a deathbed scene get? A test case: one day in 2015, The New Yorker’s art critic, Peter Schjeldahl, makes his way to the Village Voice’s Cooper Square offices, seeking to rescue the columns he wrote for the alt-weekly in the 1990s from their undigitized obscurity. Let in by a staff member who seems slack-jawed that anyone should be so keen to enter, Schjeldahl observes the paper’s remaining employees: “A very few people, not appearing to be up to much, sat far apart at desks in a dimly lighted panorama of desuetude.” Coda: as summer 2018 gasps its last, so does the Voice; mourned in September blog posts, like Schjeldahl’s for The New Yorker, it now exists only in archival form. This seems a fittingly uncharismatic parable for an East Village that has died more than once in the past thirty years or so—the end doesn’t even get to feel poignant anymore. [Read More…]
Seeing Allred is a fascinating documentary about one of the most powerful and outspoken discrimination attorney and women’s rights advocates of our times: Gloria Allred.
Co-directed by Sophie Sartain and Roberta Grossman, the film gets up-close and personal with this formidable woman, from her high profile cases and strategic presence in the media, to her personal life, her feminist awakening, her dedication to civil rights and her passion for activism.
“There is a war on women. It’s real. It can be very ugly. Women depend on me to be strong, to be fearless, and to assert and protect their rights,” declares Allred. [Read More…]
by Kevin Baker From "Death of a Once Great City" Courtesy of Harper's Magazine
New York has been my home for more than forty years, from the year after the city’s supposed nadir in 1975, when it nearly went bankrupt. I have seen all the periods of boom and bust since, almost all of them related to the “paper economy” of finance and real estate speculation that took over the city long before it did the rest of the nation. But I have never seen what is going on now: the systematic, wholesale transformation of New York into a reserve of the obscenely wealthy and the barely here—a place increasingly devoid of the idiosyncrasy, the complexity, the opportunity, and the roiling excitement that make a city great. [Read More…]
by Aaron Timms
From “The Needles and the Damage Done”
Courtesy of The Baffler
What kinds of people did I expect to find here, in the public garden at the foot of 432 Park Avenue, New York’s tallest residential building? In the days before I arrived in Manhattan to chart a course across the city, I’d studied the plans and websites of the “supertalls,” the new crop of skeletal residential towers rising one thousand feet and more above midtown. The architects’ renderings of these new superstructures were charged with all the clichés of the genre: the plate-glass exteriors knifing skyward, the unobstructed views of the miniature city below, the lobbies at once massive and discreet. The humans were harder to grasp. Artists’ impressions showed the supertalls’ residents-to-be in a variety of unnatural poses: a couple in formal wear touching each other next to a baby grand, a woman alone on a balcony with a dining table set for eight. But it was the passers-by sketched at the periphery who interested me most. Would the people here be like they were there, smudged and passive with the bready limbs of a disaster movie’s sacrificial-crowd-in-waiting? [Read More…]
The Line –>
In January of 1979, two extraordinary losses occurred in Mexico. 56 sperm whales beached themselves on the country’s coast line. Reportedly on the same day, fabled jazz composer and bassist Charles Mingus died of heart failure related to ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease). He was 56. Mingus had gone to Mexico in the late stages of his disease to seek alternative treatment. He was cremated and his ashes were poured into the Ganges, the sacred river that runs through India and Bangladesh. The whales were also burned, their ashes disposed in a dump. [Read More…]
Jazz pianist and composer Thelonious Monk loved Laurel and Hardy, and playing Yahtzee with his wife Nellie, and ping pong. He once played 60 consecutive games of pong against John Coltrane, Monk winning all but one. He also lost his cabaret card (a license to play in New York clubs) for a time after being busted holding fellow pianist Bud Powell’s stash of heroin. An English Hungarian Baroness devoted her life to his patronage, even leaving her children behind, upon first hearing Monk’s music. His playing with Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker and Kenny Clarke birthed Bebop, the complex rhythmic stew that changed the face of jazz. Monk’s life is sort of the quintessential American experience — filled with innovation, the impact of racism, even marked by a climactic third act when he clawed his way back to the top of the heap. [Read More…]
Reviewed by Arabella Hutter von Arx At the start of Touch Me Not, which opened the 2018 Romanian Film Festival in New York City, two men set up a … [Read More...]
Deana Lawson: Planes at The Underground Museum, Los Angeles (through February 17th, 2019) Reviewed by Ellen C. Caldwell The space of The … [Read More...]
by Ryan Guerrero During the mid 1960’s, Light and Space became a loosely affiliated art movement related to Op Art, Minimalism and Abstraction. … [Read More...]
Sally Mann: A Thousand Crossings at Getty Center, Los Angeles (through February 10, 2019) Reviewed by Nancy Kay Turner Abide with me! Fast falls … [Read More...]
Reviewed by Alci Rengifo One can only imagine what the great Roman historians like Tacitus and Suetonius would write about our own imperial moment. … [Read More...]
by Alci Rengifo It is the cinema which chronicles the passions, nightmares and dreams of an era. To look back at the movies of any given decade is to … [Read More...]
at California African American Museum, Los Angeles (through February 17, 2019) Reviewed by Ellen C. Caldwell Robert Pruitt: Devotion is … [Read More...]