Tuesday, April 26, 2011

David Lieske

A Greater Administration of Lower Interests

new york report

now i was supposed to go to the city that should determine my future career and life. my friends all agreed that new york was “the” city for me. i wasn’t so much leaving as being dispatched, equipped with euphoric prophecies about how my life would evolve from this important juncture.

a new attitude towards life, new insights, love, money, and success were all predicted for me. everyone regarded my working with the brand new upper east side gallerist as a stroke of genius. the flight was a breeze: direct connection berlin-new york, six half-seen movies, among them many of my favorites, like the nanny diaries, where scarlett johansson plays the nanny for the former director of gagosian gallery. this is exactly what i’d like to watch for hours and hours everyday. scarlett johansson tries over and over to explain to all of us the right life in the wrong, in the prettiest pictures, with the most beautiful people, in the brightest sunshine. i’d already heard about the perpetually clear weather and impressive light. ungodly conditions (like the weather) can be embellished in film just as easily as in words.

a good way to get to know my new home: the upper east side. i fast-forwarded through the wizard of oz, already looking forward to the new john waters book i was going to buy as soon as i got there.

i’d kind of forgotten that people treat new york like it’s the epicenter of both art-history and the contemporary art world, and a show there is something kind of special, as if you should send your parents a postcard to let them know that things are going ok, and that they don’t need to worry. this fact i either forgot or repressed. i totally managed to ignore it, despite people telling me things like “now things are about to get real,” because otherwise i would’ve been even more afraid before leaving. for this very reason, i hadn’t prepared for the show at all, instead packing up a few not especially connected things that i imagined i might be able to put on display.

the first thing on my social calendar was supposed to be a welcome bbq in the gallery where i could also invite my old music friends. even the germans that were passing through or in love came by. every time i responded, “i have no idea,” to the question of what i was showing, i saw panic stricken faces. some people warned me that night not to blow another opportunity, and actually no one found it especially clever that i had arrived with little to no preparation. this was just not done here, they informed me. in addition to all the transgressions you were supposed to have packed (people actually suggested this to me before leaving), the city was expecting real honest work … at the very minimum. at first i felt pretty good about it—that i was completely right, and that i’d done everything exactly as i should have. the gallerist had always been very relaxed when we discussed the show, and he never gave me the feeling that he expected too much from me. my first idea to show “alien” II and III in the gallery seemed to be fine with him. he even made it explicitly clear that he didn’t want a “conventional show,” even though i was always wondering what that could possibly be; i always thought that the art i wanted to make, or the work of the people we liked in common had nothing to do with that, so there was no chance that there would be any problem.

it was either that i hadn’t been listening or that i’d only half-listened on purpose so that i wouldn’t have to deal with it. anyways, the next day i was to report to the gallery.

i’d bought some decoy birds at the hunting store on friedrichstrasse the day before, and with great delight, i set them up for the gallerist on his desk. then slowly it became clear that maybe i’d expected too much from the flocked plastic magpies. unable to inspire rapture in him, they were quickly deposited behind the ikea paravan that cordoned off the gallery space, returned back to the cage that went with them. sort of irritated, i sat around at the desk and googled pictures of hairy men, sorting through the results while taking care that the reflection of the monitor in the office window wouldn’t give me away. killed time until lunch, panic gradually breaking out…

two weeks later:

my situation has completely changed. suddenly no trace of the non-productive attitude from the beginning—instead i found myself in the middle of a giant production process that i myself had initiated out of fear of not living up to expectations. african fabrics were bought in mass quantity. i had realized that i had really liked them in london, and i had heard that in new york you could get anything that money can buy. this was true. work in the gallery was simply organized and hierarchically controlled. the gallerist alex zachary oversaw and supervised in 163 addition to my helpless efforts, the ever-helpful gallery assistant mathew sova, who turned out to be a stroke of absolute good fortune. with his skill and intuition, he managed the whole enterprise. i asked him every five minutes what he thought was better. thank god he always had a quick answer at the ready. most likely it was for the best that he was, first of all, occupying the attention of the head boss of the gallery, and second, not in the least bit ambitious in any way. he neither saw the gallery assistant job as a springboard to artisthood (as is usually the case), nor did he really want to play a role in the periphery of the business. i fell immediately in love with him…


of course it was a little unusual that mathew and i were such close friends, also because i pretty much lived next to his desk, where day after day, for a pittance of a salary, he had to make decisions for me. one day he took me to his house—it was in a distant part of brooklyn they call “bed stuy.” “bed stuy is a world famous ghetto,” that’s what one of my other friends had told me. all the people i had recently gotten to know lived there, however, and i couldn’t imagine them in the ghetto at all. in fact, they were all actually young people with good backgrounds who had studied at harvard or columbia, and they somehow seemed to know something about every tiny remark that anyone anywhere had ever uttered. this bed stuy didn’t look anything like a ghetto, more like a district in london that i’d never been to but that looked familiar from pictures. the rents were supposed to be reasonable here and the area more or less safe. “afroamerican middle class,” a taxi driver called it on the way, as i was going there for the first time. i could never get rid of the weird feeling that i was some kind of intruder in this neighborhood, and i was always reminded of that animation from the film “princess mononoke” where that weird giant deer sets off a wave of blossoming and wilting every time he steps on green grass. i knew i was undoubtedly part of this gentrification avant-garde that had arrived to change the neighborhood forever, but people always told me that that was the city, and new york just worked like that.

actually i liked the upper east side better; i felt less guilty there. i really liked the gallery space. meanwhile, i’d had leftover silkscreens sent from london, and i had asked a japanese framer in the meaningful sounding neighborhood “prospect heights” to prepare frames wrapped in fabric, with the prints’ mat windows cut to the dimensions of art magazines.

two weeks later:

somehow suddenly the exhibition was almost finished. the last few days were extremely nerve-racking. the only thing holding me together was the speedy pseudo-ephedrine in the advil cold and sinus medicine that you can buy in any pharmacy here, the only requirement being that you show id—although there is a limit of two packages per day. it seemed to me that the best combination was with the drink “dark and stormy,” to which i had been introduced on a visit to rhode island with mathew and jenny borland. advil cold and sinus is also used to cook “meth,” but to do so we lacked both the talent and time. alex zachary had left for “europe,” and mathew and i had the whole gallery to ourselves. i invited all my new friends over to have spaghetti. michael sanchez, amy lien, jenny borland, and of course mathew, and even heji shin came, and the bolognese worked out, as always. the next day i made lasagna from the leftover sauce in bed stuy, where i was now staying every night, actually. mornings mathew and i would go to work at the gallery; the trip took at least an hour, and you had to change trains several times and then walk pretty far.

the opening:

dear michaela,

everything is finally over. i’m so happy that it’s finished. as is often the case when things are over, i’ve really exhausted myself quite a bit, and now everything hurts. the opening was nice. jutta was there and even found mild words otherwise i was just sort of out of it. it was just much too much, and i’d also allowed myself a little drink at noon and took the advil (cold and sinus). the dinner was exactly as i had imagined it. the greyish brown and beige porridge-like food looked really appealing, and even the warm mushy consistence was satisfying. it’s exactly this kind of russian / jewish / eastern stuff that i like.

i had a piano set up, and the boyfriend of ei arakawa, sergei, who always makes music at his openings, organized a japanese pianist, who played a few 12-tone compositions. he also brought a pile of photocopies of a new york times article about himself, and from the piano he passed them out among the guests like flyers. it was really good … then it got a bit boring later, and i didn’t like the vodka (it had weird flavors like whore reddish or bulk cherry). i don’t like things like that at all … so i just ordered gin and tonics. after that we went to a bar where they wouldn’t let me in because i forgot my passport at home. mathew couldn’t get in either—too 165 drunk. we ended up back in the gallery with three friends, where i finished the rest of the drinks from the opening around ten in the morning. the next day i felt really terrible. i changed my flight to october 20—not sure what i’m going to do here until then. i also have no money at all, unfortunately—not sure how that’s going to be. certainly a bit weird. yesterday i saw an exhibition of katharina wulff and also christopher müller, who was actually pretty friendly, until i insulted his room above the berlin gallery when i said it was so similar to where i lived now, except that my room was a little bit nicer … whatever. he wanted to come by today to have a look. i have to go to queens to meet with jutta. she’s doing a performance with triple x macarena that i want to see. that’s the band with john miller and the old composer that also shows with buchholz. tonight is the thing with danh vo at artist space, and i don’t want to go, but i have to because if i don’t eat there i won’t be able to afford anything for dinner. actually, i want to go back to bed, but then comes bortolozzi, and we’re supposed to go for lunch … i haven’t had breakfast, so i wait around, and then go back to bed. i was here at this museum (www.frick.org)—it was a little bit too nice, but there were also really great paintings. i never knew exactly just how bad turner’s paintings are … why do people like them?

one painting especially appealed to me; it depicts a woman doing handicraft in a kind of cloudy haze. in the background you can see her baby. the baby looks like it’s just died, and no one is really doing anything about it. it looks really peaceful, and i’ve never seen this kind of apathy in such an old painting, although one does sometimes see it in icon paintings when mary holds baby jesus in a way that one thinks that she totally has to be on valium and is crazy annoyed with the ridiculous job of being impregnated by the holy spirit (without being asked), and now she has to be the holiest woman in the world for the rest of her life and raise this hysterical brat that’s worshipped by the whole world and is always in trouble. i wish her the best of narcotics. i need some myself

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Enzo Comin


Enzo Comin is an artist

My reply To Enzo

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Sadrine Nicoletta e Luigi Iandoli

The Laboratory of Beyound Has Already Started.

Sandrine Nicoletta and Luigi Iandoli are two artists living and working in London

My reply to Sandrine e Luigi

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Margherita Moscardini


Language is the first and last structure of madness.
Michel Foucault

Late modernist art criticism has for some time placed all its emphasis on art as an order of particular things, objects that exist by themselves removed from what surrounds them. Art as a distinct thing is not supposed to be affected by anything other than itself. Critical boundaries tend to isolate the art object into a metaphysical void, independent from external relationships such as land, labor and class. For instance, a painting may be said to have the quality of “openness”, when in fact it is only representing openness. One might as well tell a prisoner facing a life sentence that he is free. The freedom is metaphysical, or in art critical terms “esthetic”. A shrewd esthete can turn a prison into a palace with the aid of words- one has only to read a Jean Genet novel to see that.
Dialectical language offers no such esthetic meanings, nothing is isolated from the whole- the prison is still a prison in the physical world. No particular meaning can remain absolute or ideal for very long. Dialectics is not only the ideational formula of thesis- antithesis- synthesis forever sealed in the mind, but an on-going development. Natural forces, like human nature, never fit into our ideas, philosophies, religions, etc. In the Marxian sense of dialectics, all thought is subject to nature. Nature is not subject to our systems. The old notion of “man conquering nature” has in effect boomeranged. As it turns out the object or thing or word “man” could be swept away like an isolated sea shell on a beach, then the ocean would make itself known. Dialectics could be viewed as the relationship between the shell and the ocean. Art critics and artists have for a long time considered the shell without the context of the ocean.

Margherita Moscardini is an artist


My reply to Margherita

"Black Or White"

I Took My Baby
On A Saturday Bang
Boy Is That Girl With You
Yes We're One And The Same

Now I Believe In Miracles
And A Miracle
Has Happened Tonight

But, If
You're Thinkin'
About My Baby
It Don't Matter If You're
Black Or White

They Print My Message
In The Saturday Sun
I Had To Tell Them
I Ain't Second To None

And I Told About Equality
An It's True
Either You're Wrong
Or You're Right

But, If
You're Thinkin'
About My Baby
It Don't Matter If You're
Black Or White

I Am Tired Of This Devil
I Am Tired Of This Stuff
I Am Tired Of This Business
Sew When The
Going Gets Rough
I Ain't Scared Of
Your Brother
I Ain't Scared Of No Sheets
I Ain't Scare Of Nobody
Girl When The
Goin' Gets Mean

[L. T. B. Rap Performance]
For Gangs, Clubs
And Nations
Causing Grief In
Human Relations
It's A Turf War
On A Global Scale
I'd Rather Hear Both Sides
Of The Tale
See, It's Not About Races
Just Places
Where Your Blood
Comes From
Is Where Your Space Is
I've Seen The Bright
Get Duller
I'm Not Going To Spend
My Life Being A Color

Don't Tell Me You Agree With Me
When I Saw You Kicking Dirt In My Eye

But, If
You're Thinkin' About My Baby
It Don't Matter If You're Black Or White

I Said If
You're Thinkin' Of
Being My Baby
It Don't Matter If You're Black Or White

I Said If
You're Thinkin' Of
Being My Brother
It Don't Matter If You're
Black Or White

Ooh, Ooh
Yea, Yea, Yea Now
Ooh, Ooh
Yea, Yea, Yea Now

It's Black, It's White
It's Tough For You
To Get By
It's Black , It's White, Whoo

It's Black, It's White
It's Tough For You
To Get By
It's Black , It's White, Whoo

Monday, April 4, 2011

Francesco Grassi

Sarebbe bello poter fare tutto senza dover tenere conto delle leggi della fisica, vorrei poter essere in grado di creare qualcosa senza avere il bagaglio nozionistico necessario per farlo.

L'artista, dovrebbe essere libero da ogni legge che implica razionalità e logica, dovrebbe avere la capacità di far fluttuare oggetti in aria.

Ogni riadattamento imposto dalle circostanze in cui ti trovi è da ritenersi una collaborazione, un dialogo diretto con ciò che forza il pensiero archetipico di un’opera.

Il raziocinio è un collaboratore e un limite, La gravità è una collaboratrice e un limite, il luogo in cui ti trovi è un collaboratore e un limite. Tutto ciò che creo, non è una mia creazione, è la creazione di ognuno di quegli elementi del mondo che è ha modificato il mio modo di pensare.

Francesco Grassi is an artist based between Vancouver and Frankfurt

My reply to Francesco

Friday, April 1, 2011

Timothy Hull

Final resting places: grace to be born and live as variously as possible

Timothy Hull is an artist based in NY

My reply to Timothy

During 1820, Keats displayed increasingly serious symptoms of tuberculosis, to the extent that he suffered two lung haemorrhages in the first few days of February.[43][44] He lost large amounts of blood and was bled further by the attending physician. Hunt nursed him in London for much of the summer. At the suggestion of his doctors, he agreed to move to Italy with his friend Joseph Severn. On 13 September, they left for Gravesend and four days later boarded the sailing brig The Maria Crowther. Keats wrote his final revisions of "Bright Star" aboard the ship. The journey was a minor catastrophe: storms broke out followed by a dead calm that slowed the ship’s progress. When it finally docked in Naples, the ship was held in quarantine for ten days because of a suspected outbreak of cholera in Britain. Keats reached Rome on November 14 by which time all hope of a warmer climate had evaporated.[45]

On arrival in Italy, he moved into a villa on the Spanish Steps in Rome, today the Keats-Shelley Memorial House museum. Despite care from Severn and Dr. James Clark, his health rapidly deteriorated. The medical attention Keats received may have hastened his death.[46] In November 1820, Clark declared that the source of his illness was "mental exertion" and that the source was largely situated in his stomach. Clark eventually diagnosed consumption (tuberculosis) and placed Keats on a starvation diet of an anchovy and a piece of bread a day intended to reduce the blood flow to his stomach. He also bled the poet; a standard treatment of the day, but likely a significant contributor to Keats's weakness.[47] Keats's friend Brown writes: "They could have used opium in small doses, and Keats had asked Severn to buy a bottle of opium when they were setting off on their voyage. What Severn didn't realise was that Keats saw it as a possible resource if he wanted to commit suicide. He tried to get the bottle from Severn on the voyage but Severn wouldn't let him have it. Then in Rome he tried again. [...] Severn was in such a quandary he didn't know what to do, so in the end he went to the doctor who took it away. As a result Keats went through dreadful agonies with nothing to ease the pain at all." [47] Keats was furious with both Severn and Clarke when they refused laudanum (opium). He repeatedly demanded "how long is this posthumous existence of mine to go on?". Severn writes, "Keats raves till I am in a complete tremble for him," [47] continuing, "about four, the approaches of death came on. [Keats said] 'Severn—I—lift me up—I am dying—I shall die easy; don't be frightened—be firm, and thank God it has come.' I lifted him up in my arms. The phlegm seem'd boiling in his throat, and increased until eleven, when he gradually sank into death, so quiet, that I still thought he slept."[48]
Keats's grave in Rome

He died on 23 February 1821 and was buried in the Protestant Cemetery, Rome. His last request was to be placed under a unnamed tombstone which contained only the words (in pentameter), "Here lies one whose name was writ in water." Severn and Brown erected the stone, which under a relief of a lyre with broken strings, contains the epitaph: This Grave / contains all that was Mortal / of a / Young English Poet / Who / on his Death Bed, in the Bitterness of his Heart / at the Malicious Power of his Enemies / Desired / these Words to be / engraven on his Tomb Stone: / Here lies One / Whose Name was writ in Water. 24 February 1821"

There is a discrepancy of one day between the official date of death and the grave marking. Severn and Brown had added their lines to the stone in protest at the critical reception of Keats's work. Hunt blamed his death on the scathing attack of "Endymion" by the Quarterly Review. Seven weeks after the funeral, Shelley memorialised Keats in his poem Adonaïs.[49] Clark saw to the planting of daisies on the grave, saying that Keats would have wished it. For public health reasons, the Italian health authorities burned the furniture in Keats's room, scraped the walls, made new windows, doors and flooring.[50][51] The ashes of Shelley (d. 8 July 1822), one of Keats’s most fervent champions, are also buried there along with Severn (d. 3 August 1879) who nursed Keats to the end. Describing the vista of the site today, Marsh wrote, "In the old part of the graveyard, barely a field when Keats was buried here, there are now umbrella pines, myrtle shrubs, roses, and carpets of wild violets". [45]