October 29, 2010

Three things worth seeing at 798:

1. Lee Gil-Woo's work at Gallery TN. Multi-layered work that uses a process so that each layer is equally for and background at the same time.

2. Pace Beijing's "Great Performances." As much as they leave out, and with an exhibition of this scope with an exhibition space of this size, curator Leng Lin had some difficult choices to make, but managed to offer a representative primer of Chinese performance art in the 1990s. Well worth seeing.

3. At Faurschou Beijing, they have Christian Lemmerz's "Hypnosis." I'm still trying to assess the piece as theory sound, or the obvious other. The fact that I'm thinking about it at 10:30 on a Friday means that it might be worth you guys mulling it over.



October 24, 2010

I've had the kind of night that makes me wish I were more adept at script writing:

setting, a Beijing pool hall

a love triangle that every one knows about but is keeping quiet, or so it seems; a friendship triangle of men that once was solid, but is now in decay; folks on the periphery playing pool unaware of the obvious tension.

I feel like I should be able to write that into something one act.

Anyway, I'll be happy to go to bed and forget about most of it.


October 16, 2010

If you haven't read it yet, Pierre Joris's 7 Minutes on Translation gives as good an argument as any I've seen for why we should (and why he does).


October 15, 2010

Some of my favorite author photos are the ones that make them seem as if they are contemplating something very maniacal.

(Mayakovsky, Tzara, Kharms)


October 14, 2010

If you're in the Pittsburgh area next week. . . .

October 14, 2010

Danil Kharms, Today I Wrote Nothing, trans. Matvei Yankelevich (Ardis, 2009). I'm not sure where I came across Kharms' name, but this book arrived in the mail today. This writing is absolutely brutal. Take for instance "Sonnet" (48). A group of people forget which number comes after 6 -- is it 7 or 8? They go to a grocer to ask, but she offers conflicting nonsensical information, so they go to a park to count trees, but begin arguing after they reach the tree after 6. The argument is broken ("luckily") by a child breaking "both" its jawbones.

Kharms (1905-42) helped found the OBERIU (Union of Real Art) movement in the Soviet Union.



October 8, 2010

The Wangfujing Bookstore is good for having things I feel I should have read, but haven't yet. Tonight's visit put a few more things on my to be read sooner rather than later shelf:

John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath. I've read a fair amount of shorter Steinbeck, so I'm looking forward to meeting the Joads.

Moliere, Les Fourberies de Scapin.

Henri Pichette, Apoèmes (1979; repr. Gallimard, 1995).

Michel Quint, Effroyable jardins (2000; repr. Gallimard, 2004).

Jack London, The Best Short Stories of Jack London. For the subway ride to work.

Carl Jung, Aspects of the Masculine (1989; repr. Routledge, 2008).

Herbert Read, To Hell with Culture (1963; repr. Routledge, 2002).

Beowulf, trans. John McNamara (Barnes & Noble, 2005). It's been a while since I reread this.

This plus some poetry books I ordered from SPD yesterday should keep me engaged for a spell.

October 8, 2010

This shot, taken at mid-day, shows a not-so-bad air day in Beijing, according the official air quality folks. Compare it to another picture taken further away of the same Rem Koolhaas building a few days ago.


October 7, 2010

Chicago Calling is under way, so if you're in Chicago, you may want to check some of these things out:

The City as Studio / Curatorial Practice in Four U.S. Cities
Saturday, October 9, 2010 (11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m.)
Logan Square Small Arts and Business Incubator Phantom Gallery Chicago Network Office 2823 N. Milwaukee, 2nd floor Chicago IL 60618
admission: free and open to the public
You are invited to attend “The City as Studio / Curatorial Practice: A Curatorial Feedback Loop Among Curators in Four American Cities,” a panel discussion that happens during the Fifth Annual Chicago Calling Arts Festival and Chicago Artists Month. Participants include Gaille Hunter, Curator of the October Gallery in Philadelphia; Marshall Bailey, Curator of the Kuumba Collective Gallery in Sacramento, CA; Gretchen Smith, Installation Artist / Curator of N:8 in Paducah, KY; and Alpha Bruton, Director of the Phantom Gallery Chicago Network.

Facets of Southeast Asia
Sunday, October 10, 2010 (7 p.m.)
In Your Space, 3rd floor
Zhou B. Art Center
1029 W. 35th St. Chicago, IL 60609 (773) 523-0200
admission: free and open to the public
You are invited to attend “Facets of Southeast Asia,” a multidisciplinary event that happens during the Fifth Annual Chicago Calling Arts Festival and Chicago Artists Month. “Facets of Southeast Asia” creatively explores dimensions of this dynamic and culturally vibrant region of the world. Participants include:
Geejay Arriola (Davao City, Philippines) and Cesar Conde (Chicago) -- music and painting collaboration Duane Vorhees (Bangkok) and Matthew Barton (Chicago) -- poetry collaboration
Mojdeh Stoakley (Chicago) and Kamal Sabran (Malaysia) -- poetry and music collaboration Manit Sriwanichpoom (Thailand), Jamie Kazay (Chicago), and Tim Armentrout (Ronceverte, WV) -- poetry and visual art collaboration Basia Toczydlowska (Chicago) gives a presentation about her recent trip to southeast Asia
Jen Besemer (Chicago) and an As Yet Unnamed artist (Bangkok)



October 6, 2010

The season has come to a close for the Chaoyang Tigers. A solid fifth place finish that would make any fan wonder what went wrong. My fantasy team did okay batwise with the likes of Pujols, Konerko, Jeter, and Ortiz, but my pitching was never really strong, even with all of Verlander's strikeouts and Rivera and Bailey in relief.

October 6, 2010

An interesting piece on Black identity and body image in 1950s-80s Oakland. Nerdy Jennifer, Frankie: An African-American Tragedy (Regent, 2004; link courtesy of Deep Oakland).



October 5, 2010

Killing the time waiting for my landlord to swing by to collect six months' rent by reading Brandon Brown's Camels! (Taxt, 2008; link courtesy of Deep Oakland). Superb writing.



October 4, 2010

Reread Frank O'Hara's Lunch Poems on an all night, 13 hour, hard seat train from Beijing to Inner Mongolia. Even with all the references to China that happen here and there, seldom has my reading material been at such a disconnect with my surroundings:

and then in Harbin I knew
how to behave it was glorious that
was love sneaking up on me through the snow
and I felt it was because of all
the postcards and smiles and kisses and the grunts
that was love but I kept on traveling

--"Mary Desti's Ass"

I read Schopenhauer's On the Suffering of the World on the way back. That was more in line with my surroundings, if not my mood.