Tomorrow, I will be presenting some of my new work at Latin@ Cultural Studies at CUNY: Past, Present, & Future alongside my QC MFA colleagues. The conference will be held at LaGuardia CC, right off the 7 train. But if you can’t make it, no worries – I’ll be liveblogging the event.
Cheers, and siempre pa’lante! I can’t wait to share this event with you!
Duality is an illusion; everything contains its opposite. Silence, too, is an illusion, as is wholeness.
But to speak of opposites at all is, again, an illusion; there is no real polarity. Rather, there is only mixing, conflict, and confusion – there is only the border. Sarah Lucas knows this; hence, she created NUD NOB.
Lucas’ sculptures challenge duality, security, and “common” knowledge. Indeed, Florian and Kevin are both vegetables and phalluses; they are both mundane and shocking; they jog our binaristic thinking.
What is gender? What is a body? For Lucas, identity is itself amorphous; art, too, is a fever dream, and bodies are experiments, formulas, mixtures. The body is really anything we want it to be – that is, if we dare.
Sarah Lucas’ NUD NOB. Picture from www.gladstonegallery.com.
Luca’s smaller sculptures are also fascinating; here, we encounter indeterminate figures in passionate poses. Are they fighting? Caressing? Who is in charge? Is anyone in charge? We’re not sure, and yet, we’re drawn in; we feel in those glistening half-limbs a sense of freedom, fragility, and destruction.
Lucas’ exhibition is one of extremes – of small sculptures and vast forms, of image and blankness, of shock and rest. Definitely go visit – Lucas is a master not only of sculpture, but of space, silence, and mind.
What: Come and see PS1’s latest exhibitions, which feature Christoph Schlingensief, Maria Lassnig and Korakrit Arunanondchai! Lassnig is a master painter; Schlingensief is a fearless crosser of boundaries; and Arunanondchai is a riveting installation artist (among other things). I will definitely be there!
While I do love Queens (and, of course, art in Queens), I think that I am in desperate, desperate need of change. And by change, I mean… a trip to Manhattan!
This weekend, I will be covering Double Vision, an exhibition featuring drawings by the very talented Christian Johnson. And, even better, it’s curated by one of my former art teachers, the wonderful, glorious, and ingenious Bonnie DeWitt!
I really can’t wait; Johnson’s work is brilliant. And, in a way, Manhattan energizes me – I look in to its bright steel-eyes and I am pushed forward, ever forward.
So, if you can, definitely come to Double Vision – it’ll surely be fantastic. Remember: it’s just a 7 train ride away!
I’ll probably post my review on Sunday. Until then, keep creating!
My break was fantastic – I wrote poems, visited family, and held a blue sea urchin – but I am nevertheless ecstatic, truly ecsatic, to be here.
As always, there is plenty of art on campus; below, you’ll find a tidy list of great events.
I know – we’re all terribly, terribly busy, not to mention tired. I, for one, just lugged a mountain of new books across campus. (Ouch.) However, I really urge you to drop in on a few of these events – art, as we all know, is refreshing, inspiring, and life-giving. And who knows – maybe you’ll get an idea for that paper!
Cheers, and see you around! Also, feel free to recommend an event!
I love hip-hop; I like pop, alt, and rock; I appreciate classical, and I can, in fact, tolerate country. Ultimately, I’m pretty open-minded, and I’ll listen to just about anything once – anything, that is, except for Justin Bieber.
However, my favorite genre is, and always will be, salsa. La Lupe, Marc Anthony, Celia Cruz, La India, Tito Puente, Hector Lavoe – these are my idols, my teachers.
Salsa, for me, is soul-music – it strengthens me, inspires me, and challenges me. Salsa is my childhood, my grandmother, my summers and my winters; salsa is rose-tone, a trumpet, a fire, and drums, drums, drums. Ultimately, salsa permeates every aspect of my work – it is my cadence, my flesh-rhythm.
Lately, I’ve been exploring other types of Latin music; I want to broaden my horizons. Thus, I’ve dipped my toes into bachata, and I am now absolutely obsessed with cumbia. However, I am woefully ignorant of Brazilian music – or, better put, I was woefully ignorant of Brazilian music until the night of November 20.
Indeed – that night, I attended the Ernesto Nazareth 150th Birthday Tribute, a Queens College Year of Brazil Event. Here, I got a taste of Brazilian music – and what a taste it was!
Ernesto Nazareth. Image from wikipedia.com.
Ernesto Nazareth (1863 -1934) was a Brazilian composer and pianist; he is best known for his choro compositions. His influences were many – he drew from African, European, and American traditions.
He served, during his lifetime, at the boundary between classical and popular worlds; now, his repertoire is a critical part of any Brazilian’s musical training. The Tribute, then, was an eclectic mix of Nazareth’s compositions – a primer of sorts on choro, Nazareth, and on the vibrant foundations of Brazilian music.
The New School Brazilian Choro Ensemble was simply fantastic; they played with sensitivity, with silvery quickness and heat. The music is itself fascinating – florid, yet languid, and absolutely ripe with improvisational wit. It is a music of mixing, of webs and crossings and meeting places; it is Brazil as rhythm, as the furtive plucking of strings.
The Ensemble. From qc.cuny.edu.
On my way home, I wondered: how would I incorporate this beguiling new rhythm into my work? How would it mix with my internal salsa? I am not sure; nevertheless, I am inspired, energized, and excited. Also, I am incredibly excited about the Year of Brazil – there is much, much more to come. To learn more about the Year of Brazil at Queens College, click here; to see a calendar of events, click here.
Choro, like Brazil, and like Queens, is a mixture, a rhythm, and a movement; I, for one, can’t wait to see what’s in store.
* * *
For more information about Ernesto Nazareth, click here.
Never fear – there’s plenty do to in Queens this weekend!
Oh Bernice! Reading Series: This charming, intimate, and always interesting reading series is currently housed at the Astoria Bookshop. Come by, sit down, and listen to some great words! The Series, by the way, is the brainchild of students from our very own MFA program.
When: Saturday, 7PM.
Art of Ink in America 2013/14: This exhibit is currently housed at our very own Godwin-Ternbach museum! Stop by during a study break and let your eyes feast on the ink paintings! I, for one, will definitely be visiting.
When: Study breaks! Check the website for museum times.
Two Solo Shows at The Greenpoint Gallery: I know, I know; Greenpoint is not in Queens. However, it’s very close – and The Greenpoint Gallery is absolutely fantastic! Take a break from your toils and soak up some fascinating art at this neighborhood favorite.
When: Friday; doors open at 8PM.
Have any other suggestions? Let me know! And remember – there’s always time for art, even during finals!
White paint, dead art. Gentrification at its finest.
5 Pointz was desecrated as we slept; the words, the colors, and the faces, defiant, were wiped away as we curled into our dreams. We are left with a dry, bleached shell of a museum; we are left with a sanitized emptiness.
The destruction. Image from stupiddope.com.
But soon, even this will be taken from us; eventually, the shell will be torn down, and a luxury condominium will take its place. A bruise on top of a bruise.
I’ve lived in Queens my whole life; I’ve watched it grow, change, and ripen.
Now, I am witnessing a sort of disintegration – that is, a wiping away, a banishing of art, of unruliness, and, most importantly, of working class neighborhoods, institutions, and landmarks.