Thursday, August 28, 2008

More Pictures From The Legend Show At Chamarande

Only 5 of them, as it seems to be the limit with that stupid template. Remember, if you guess the artist correctly, you're entitled to a drink with fab' curator Alexis Vaillant next time your path crosses his.
Hint: that replica of the Jeff Koons puppy staring at you at eye level in the glaciere is by one Los Angeles artist who happens to be my neighbor. Second hint: he shows at Daniel Hug (now Mesler & Hug). I figure you need hints, because it was really hard to take that picture: no light, and to see the work you had to stand up on a dingy platform that felt a bit wobbly, to say the least...

A Series of Very Important Announcements From Frenchy

Helloooo dear beloved, devoted readers!
I woke up with a bad headache so I'm barely functional today, but I really, really want to announce to the world at large a series of incredibly important announcements.

First of all, it's my brother's birthday! Happy Birthday little bro, I miss you! It's also my friends Devi and Wendy's birthdays, and they are very cool ladies so I'd like to celebrate them here too.
In addition, I want to rejoice publicly because my little bro Skyped me and told me I was going to have another niece or nephew next year, so it's a happy day!
To keep on with personal issues, if you've read the post below about THE SHOW YOU HAVE TO SEE IN PORTLAND, OREGON this weekend, you know already artist Salvatore Reda is the new dad to Renee. Welcome Renee!
And lastly, I don't know if she reads it yet, but my old high school friend Maria-Sophie and I reconnected over Facebook (so this thing does have a purpose, after all!) and I'd like to welcome her if she reads the blog.

And to go back to our regular series, FBC! is going to resume the Your Social Life postings once a week, starting next week. If you'd like to let me know about what you're doing, please send me your press releases at the blog address, about a week before your show opens, and be nice and attach either the invite or a couple jpegs, low-rez please. I don't promise I'll post everything as I'm still very busy writing, but I'll try. One note, I do not post about lifestyle openings, i.e. furniture stores and other clothing events, so it's a bit useless to add me to your mailing list for the next Melrose opening of your derivative modernist beige desks store.

Mark your calendars already for September 12 and 13: Stephen Kaltenbach at Anotheryearinla, Martin Kersels at SMMOA, and the immense Edgar Arceneaux at my favorite gallery, Susanne Vielmetter. Also next Saturday is that horrible bi-annual moment when all the LA galleries reopen, and you have to go on a nightmarish journey of crosstown traffic between Chinatown, Culver City and the few WeHo galleries. I'll skip that, urgh, and I won't be at the LAXart benefit, but I urge people with a bit of money to spare to attend. It's, IMHO, the most vital place for contemporary art in LA, and it needs your funds.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

This Friday In Portland

You can kick off your Labor Day weekend in Portland by visiting the exhibition Volume. I'm just copying the press release below (the html was lost in the transfer, so don't try to click on the underlined words, it won't work). If you go to the opening, please say hi to new Dad Salvatore Reda whose daughter Renee was born about 2 days ago, in time to let her Dad go install his work in the show. If Sal is bleary-eyed, you know why!

a survey of how Portland 's art scene addresses, redirects, abuses and redefines space (urban, institutional, outdoor, etc.)… as the city itself undergoes a transformation and a renegotiation of its spatial expectations

August 30-September 23
At Worksound 820 SE Alder

Opening August 30 7-9:30 PM, Also open First Friday September 5 7-9:00 PM
Regular Hours: Saturday & Sundays 12-5PM

Talk: September 23rd, 7:00PM Arun Jain Chief Urban Designer, City of Portland

Contact: high res images available


Sean Healy, Nathan Shapiro, Joe Thurston, Salvatore Reda, Laura Fritz, Stephen Funk, Ellen George, Arcy Douglass, Jesse Hayward, Josh Smith, Adam Sorensen, Karl Burkheimer, Stephen Slappe, Damien Gilley, Stephanie Robison, Philippe Blanc

curated by Jeff Jahn

Curatorial notes:

Space defines, limits and expands our expectations for experience in both a physical and an intellectual sense and Portland ’s artists provide a unique lense on what can be done with and to space. In the past some have treated Portland like an unchanging Skinner Box but over the years I have argued that Portland’s artists are reshaping and redefining the city… pushing it to be more truly progressive and engaged in terms of its expectations for itself.

All of Volume’s artists articulate, inhabit and or redefine space as one of their primary concerns. In fact, Portland is so rich in spatially engaged art that the list of artists could easily have been 10 times as long… but we are going for a cohesive and challenging show not just some opportunity for ingratiation. This is my first non-institutional and independent show since 2005's Fresh Trouble, which featured China's Cao Fei. Everything in the past 3 years has been for the non-profit Organism or a University.

In contrast warehouse shows have certain informal but intensified cache because they are somewhat like dance off's where the participating artists show off new moves to eachother. The inclusion of several very established artists like Healy, George, Fritz and Thurston gives the younger artists a bit more to live up to and these kinds of mixers are a big part of why Portland's ever changing scene is so vital. New talent can gets a serious shake in PDX and that's why so many thousands have come here, changing the city in the process.

More Pictures Without Too Many Words

By popular demand (hi Rita!), some pictures of real American people.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Legend At The Domaine De Chamarande

Back in June FBC! went to see only one show in France, Legende at the Domaine de Chamarande, about 30 minutes from Paris by train. I fully intended to write a review, as the show was very, very good, but I had an unexpected guest right after I came back to LA and while tidying up I've misplaced the copious heap of notes I had taken (along with my copy of Roberto Bolano's The Savage Detectives, hereby explaining why I never finished to read it). I'm a bit too busy with writing the novel now, so I won't do any archaeological digs to retrieve them before a couple of months. When I find them again I'll post a write-up, I promise.
Meanwhile I've decided to post some pictures from the show, and we can play the game "name that artist!". If you find right, you're entitled to a drink with Alexis Vaillant, the curator of the show. He doesn't know it yet, mind you, but I'm sure you'll enjoy the meeting. He's France's best living curator.
You just have to know Legende is a very atmospheric show, held in a Louis XIV castle, with funny and intriguing yet un-spectacular artworks (in the sense that nothing is in-your-face- too big), almost all of them made with humble material (we'd say derisoire in French but there is no English translation). Minimum preciosity = maximum effect. There are more than 100 works in the show including LA wunderkinds Jason Meadows, Chris Lipomi and Pae White.
Enjoy looking at the pix, and if you are in France or going there you have 1 more month to see the show, it ends on September 28.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

More Pictures Without Too Many Words

I hope to be finished with my 1st draft in about 6/8 weeks, meanwhile there won't be much on FBC!, and to my friends who are reading the blog, once again, I don't pick up the phone or email much because it is too distracting from the writing, and social interaction tends to kill my concentration. It's unlikely you will see me at the next rounds of openings in September, but I'll signal the ones I would go to if I were going out. When I will, look for the woman in orange, and before that enjoy doing nothing, or hone your campaign skills. While not an Obama fan, I'd much rather you American people elect him than a guy who's a millionaire thanks to his wife's assets, aside from being a Republican.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Monday, August 4, 2008

What To Read This Summer - FBC! On Art Strike

Dear Adored Readers,

Sorry there were no post last week, I've been frantically trying to write as much as I could before cleaning up my place from floor to ceiling and packing up . Because tomorrow I'm leaving you for about 10 days!
Yours truly is leaving for a magical place where there's no cell phone reception, no TV, no Internet, the only radio station you can catch broadcasts classical music and the weather forecast, and there's no newspaper to be found. On the other hand you can be asked perforce to join a hillbilly and his two retarded sons shop at Walmart, there's a Christian cult nearby whose creed involves restoring Corvairs (I kid you not, they all drive Corvairs), and at the local county fair you can witness elephant lesbian porn. The perfect place to write a novel, I'm telling you. That way, is there's some other gruesome beheading happening somewhere, at least I won't know about it. That was a horrible week, folks, please avoid boarding buses in Canada and vacationing on Greek islands, OK? I feel suddenly safer in gun-crazy America.

Meanwhile I've thought about you, my dear beloved readership, what are you going to do without my fascinating prose to read? Why, you're going to take a break from art! Come to think of it, it's becoming ridiculous how art has become your one and only social life, no?
[That is, I'll allow you one last dash to the SMMOA see the amazing Puppet Show, as it's closing this Saturday, hurry, hurry! Bruce Nauman, Mike Kelley with a rare piece, FBC! fave Michael Smith with Doug Skinner, William Kentridge, Dennis Oppenheim, ...awesome!]
So what else beside art can you do this Summer?
The movies? I'm sure by now you've all seen Dark Knight (I haven't, 2h.30 is way too long for my French self to be locked up in a dark room with a few hundred strangers, I'll wait for the DVD release). Long walks on the beach holding hands? You've spent too much time on, I fear.
With the recession, the only thing you can enjoy is a bit of a staycation with a few good books. But it's summer, so nothing too taxing.

So I've turned to my Distinguished Literary Correspondent (Hi Mike! Thanks again!) and asked his advice about a few summer reads selected only for you, my devoted readers. Isn't life beautiful? My DLC gave me his picks at a very short notice and on the top of his head (and he's gigantically tall, so the top of his head is above the K2, I'm telling ya). I'm sure if I had given him more time he would have sent me a super long list. Because this guy, he has read all the books there are to be read, and then some more.
So Mike sent me 3 choices, and I happen to have read none of them, so it's pretty cool (I'm really intrigued by his last pick, actually). I'm listing them in the order he sent, but I don't think there is a hierarchy. I'm leaving his comments too, as well as mine: I've been unable so far to read a book by someone named Tartt, but if Mike says so, I think I'll try.

So, FBC!'s Distinguished Literary Correspondent Summer Reading Picks:

1. Secret History - Donna Tartt (definitely the best trashy novel of the
past quarter century I think)
2. Smiley's People- John Le Carre (really, anything in the Smiley series)
3. Cryptonomicon - Neal Stephenson

And now FBC!'s own summer favorites:

1. Marcel Proust, A La Recherche du Temps Perdu (in French, please!). Because, you need *an entire summer* to read the whole thing, no less. And because there's everything in La Recherche: social climbing, desperate love, jealousy, literary and artistic ambitions, socialites, betrayal, obsession, depravity, some really cool parodies (at the very end there's one of the Goncourt Brothers' Journal, to die for), food, war, gay sex (well, the sex scenes and the depravity in La Recherche are pretty lame by today's standards I must say), lost illusions, and the triumph of mediocrity. Pretty trashy too, come to think of it.
2. Jean-Baptiste Botul,
Métaphysique du mou. Botul was a French philosopher of oral tradition whose notes have been recently collected in a few small books, most recently Immanuel Kant's Sexual Life. He's also the inventor of wheeled luggage. His life and writings are a little bit of a hoax, and a cross between the OuLiPo tradition and whatever you want to invent about Maurice Blanchot. But whoever writes his stuff, it's hilariously funny, and short.
3. Bartlett's Rotget's Thesaurus. Because I'm reading it this summer, and it's fascinating if you have deep nerdy tendencies. I'm deriving a strong pleasure from the way words are categorized in that thing. I'm sure if you bring this at the beach you'll be able to describe the various hunks and sex bombs in a much more sophisticated way!

With that you're armed for a summer of debauchery, margaritas, sunburn and mosquito bites that should give you ample rest before the November election. Speaking of which, you guys have been awfully bad at finding art VPs for the candidates in our last polls. One last day to vote, come on!

PS: I know, the picture is irrelevant, but I'm lazy, ditto for linking the books. I'm sure you're smart enough to look them up on yourself.