If there is ever a core idea behind our modern-day celebration of Halloween it is the need to escape. We run from ourselves into masks and costumes, for one night becoming that which we wish we had been. Sometimes we choose the face of a monster, only because we as mere humans are the most monstrous creations of all. Fear of oneself is essentially fear of your seed, of your origins. No filmmaker has captured the very psychology of America like David Lynch, and even in his early student and short film work, one finds an artist digging into the depths of his psychic plane, and our own. [Read More…]
Entering the Mind
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Riot Material : 2016-2023
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a few from our ‘most read’
by James McWilliams
When Burt Reynolds died last August, the obits recounted the strange life of an iconic American actor. Particularly weird was how Reynolds often lied about where he was born. He said he was born in Waycross, Georgia. Why anyone born in Lansing Michigan would want to be from Waycross Georgia is a baffling question. What we do know is that Reynolds, who always identified as Southern, and even affected a twang to fit the image, was, with this odd fib, participating in a cultural practice with roots dating back to nineteenth-century plantation culture. Burt Reynolds was “storying.” [Read More…]
A chapter excerpt from Entering the Mind, by C von Hassett
The Great Perfection
Dzogchen is like the highest point of a monastery, the golden top-ornament: above it, there is nothing but sky.
–Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche
Dzogchen, or atiyoga, is a profound body of teachings that point us directly toward the recognition of our own mind in its natural state. This state, what in the Tibetan tradition is known as rigpa, is naturally pure and nakedly aware. It is, in other words, awakened, and this already awakened state is present within each of us, is always accessible to us, and through clear instruction it is also easy to identify. In seeing it, we are literally in witness of our own luminous path to liberation, this with one subtle though skillful shift in perspective.
The teachings as a philosophy are radical, if not wholly revolutionary. As a practice, they are transformational, moving one from concept-based being to awareness being; from contrived, dualistic thinking to a mind unbound by mundane thought. This is the wisdom mind, enlightened mind, and our arrival here means there is no turning back. There simply cannot be, for conventional mind has been sliced clean through. [Read More…]
John Coltrane died from liver cancer 52 years ago. Nevertheless, in the last two years, he has released two new recordings. Both were lost: one forgotten in the attack of a relative, the other hidden in a Canadian film archive, protected from the devastating Universal Studios Fire of 2008 that destroyed more than 100,000 master tapes, some Coltrane recordings among them.
This year’s release, Blue World, is the only soundtrack the musician recorded across his entire career. It dates from his most fertile period, recorded in the lead-up to the creation of A Love Supreme, his landmark work. [Read More…]
The streets have always been where the masses bring their voices and grievances. It is a practice as old as Ancient Rome. It is when the city rises and a sense of social war penetrates the air that even art itself cannot help but be transformed. This year marks a half century since the great convulsions of 1968, when art itself became the vehicle of capturing and giving voice to the emerging, clashing ideals of that heroic generation. The tail-end of the sixties featured much of the imagery, cultural shifts and pop evolution that define the decade in the world consciousness. Acid rock was in, fashion was taking leaps so colorful and free that trends were established which have not gone out of style. But an aesthetic not readily discussed in the mainstream is the aesthetic of revolution. [Read More…]
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Reviewed by Justin Herfst
In the opening sequence of Igor Posner’s Cargó, two images are stacked on top of each other. In the top image is a green thicket, and in the bottom a black and white image of an elderly gentleman dressed in a long coat walking in the dark. The man appears deep in thought, the very top of his head cut out by the frame almost as though his head were filled with the imaginations of the thicket. The sequence is pure intuition, an inner movement that has been refined over the ten years Posner worked on Cargó. Like two disparate sounds brought together into harmony, the sequence intuitively makes sense. On the following page are two black and white images, one of a women’s legs on a bed and the other a boy looking on into the camera. In the low light, the shutter speed is slowed and both images are blurred. Black space in both photographs reach across the page so no border separates the images and there is no frame save for the rectangle of the page. Gone are any presuppositions of tradition and bookmaking. In its edit and its subject, Cargó is loosed from the material present and handed over to the subliminal. [Read More…]
In this conversation, I speak to Julian Lennon from his home in Monaco about his recent exhibition, ATMOSPHERIA, at William Turner Gallery in Santa Monica. These works capture magnificent aerial landscapes from the vantage point of an airplane. A fascinating, multi-hyphenate creator, Lennon shares his insights on photography, the curiosity behind his painterly images, and the world travels that cultivate his passion for humanity and the natural environment. [Read More…]
at Advocartsy, Los Angeles (through 4 February 2023)
Reviewed by Christopher Ian Lutz
The human mind seeks connectivity. The writing of letters and numbers, and the drawing of lines in a painting, are acts of connecting points. Furthermore, geometry, language, narration, astrology, and philosophy are intellectual means to connect points that align with our thoughts and emotions. This symmetry of our subjective experience with the objective physical world and universal phenomenon provides us with a sense of completeness. Our nature is complete, but we do not always have a sense of fullness. We design and search for wholeness in things outside ourselves to understand our identity. Even with such a sense of self-realization in our minute incarnation, there is a need for absolute truth to understand our relationship with the greater wholeness of the universe. Therefore, we extend a connection to all things to conceive of a divine form. However we conceive of divinity, whether spiritually or materially, the source of creation is pertinent to our sense of self. It is fundamental to our conception of perfection, for which we shape morals and law. The letter, the number, and the shape are not merely instrumental marks but are philosophical arguments that are elemental to our religious, political, and social ideologies. [Read More…]
at The Drawing Center, NYC (through 15 January)
Reviewed by Robyn Creswell
The face is a mask, vaguely leonine, narrowing from its enormous eyes to a snout of flared nostrils and a small mouth, twisted into what might be a grimace or a grin. The contours of the nose branch up into a network of wrinkles around the eyes, then extend out into fiddlehead ferns sprouting from the temples. The gaze is so insistent that it is easy to ignore the virtuosity of all the little lines: the sagging pouches of the eyes, the subdued yet prickly whiskers along the jaws, the dots of stubble on the upper lip and double creases at the knuckles, the striped upholstery of the chair. Strikingly, the sitter’s left arm seems to reach out beyond the frame, which crops the arm at its wrist. Is he holding up a mirror to himself (or a phone)? It is a self-portrait of the artist in an armchair, examining himself—and us—through a screen. [Read More…]
at Charlie James Gallery, Los Angeles (through 11 February 2023)
Reviewed by Eve Wood
Glenn Hardy’s second solo exhibition, aptly title Who Am I If I Don’t Represent? — at Charlie James Gallery in LA’s Chinatown — comprises a visual investigation into the complex nature of black identity while also standing as positive visual documents of daily activities, personal victories, triumphs, and moments of deep introspection as well. Hardy is a master of the nuanced narrative, telling stories of seemingly ordinary occurrences, like playing basketball, for instance, or drinking Pina Coladas in the pool, or enjoying a day in the sun at a family reunion. Yet beneath the surface of these apparent innocuous actions is, on the part of the artist, an abiding commitment to social justice. Deeply affected by the barrage of negative images that horribly misrepresent the black experience within social media, Hardy has chosen to amplify the positive aspects of his own lived human experience, declaring a personal and communal commitment to reassert his personal identity and to “live unapologetically and without fear” within today’s troublingly present moment. [Read More…]
at Matthew Marks Gallery, Los Angeles (through 8 April 2023) Reviewed by Lorraine Heitzman In the midst of the frenzy of Frieze week, the quiet of Martin Puryear’s show at Matthew Marks Gallery was practically deafening. Admittedly, Puryear’s art has always been somewhat monastic, even restrained, and the sculptures in this show are no less hushed. Over the course of his career the world has only become louder and more vitriolic, and the stillness that is his stock-in-trade is amplified against the atmospheric noise that is now so prevalent. Like an admonished child, Puryear has learned to … [Read More...]
by Jill Conner In some respects Susan Kaprov’s art has remained elusive, until now. Her experimental photomontages are included in the permanent collections of museums such as the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Brooklyn Museum of Art. Susan Kaprov was born in 1946 and grew up in New York City when the verve of women’s liberation and the haze of the sexual revolution continued to circulate. Shortly before finishing high school, The Feminine Mystique, by Betty Friedan, and The Group, by Mary McCarthy, both appeared in 1963, … [Read More...]
Reviewed by Ian Frazier Perilous Bounty: The Looming Collapse of American Farming and How We Can Prevent It by Tom Philpott Bloomsbury, 246 … [Read More...]
Reviewed by Jennifer Kurdyla Chouette by Claire Oshetsky Ecco Press, 256pp., $13.29 HR If men are from Mars and women are from Venus, then Claire … [Read More...]
Slow Winter Sun, at Jessica Silverman Gallery, San Francisco (through 25 February 2023) by Amadour Artist Pae White captivates her audience with a … [Read More...]
at The BAG, Los Angeles (through 19 February) Reviewed by Eve Wood Yehonatan Koenig’s luminous ink drawings are studies in both absence and … [Read More...]
Reviewed by Jason Tandon No Land in Sight by Charles Simic Knopf, 96pp., $23.95 HR Charles Simic is not just one of the most celebrated and … [Read More...]
Jim Shaw: Thinking the Unthinkable, at Gagosian, Beverly Hills (12 January – 25 February 2023) by Amadour Artist Jim Shaw captures the tantalizing … [Read More...]