Thursday, October 30, 2008

Links I Like

So last weekend I wrote this post about Thierry Weyd's blogs, and it was cool because we emailed a little bit. It's someone I haven't seen in almost 20 years, so there is some magic with internet, I must say.
While I'm at it, I thought I should provide you with an irregular series where I would link to artist web pages, blog I read, etc. I think I'll do it maybe once a month? Which means you should feel free to email me your blog/website address at, and if I find them in accordance with my taste, I'll be happy to link them in a post. I'd rather do a post than update my blogroll/links list, because it requires less organization for me, and I'm really behind my schedule now. A few things before you start emailing me:

- When you send me your links, please remember that it's possible your email has landed in my bulk folder. I try to check it from time to time, but if it's buried there I may not see your mail.
- Secondly, this is a personal blog and I have certain tastes, so if you don't make it on the post, it may mean I'm not into it (to give you an example, each time I see "art" featured on BoingBoing, what I'm looking at belongs to the category of illustration. I'm not against illustration, but it's not my primary interest).
- If you don't make it on FBC! please don't send me pleading or threatening or insulting emails. I'm sure there are many other avenues where your work can be featured, remember this is just a blog, not the Venice Biennial or MoMA.
- Also keep in mind I am very, very absent-minded. It happens that I want to present something, and I totally forget depending on how many migraines I've had that week or if I'm focused on looking for a job or whatever else. I'm only human, and I do my best, but it's only me. I'm still waiting for that hot stud of a non-paid male intern to materialize, but so far the Gods haven't been very generous.
- as far as links, I'm happy to get references to artists websites, food sites, literary sites, lefty political sites (as long as they are funny), curiosities sites, and musical sites. Blogs are fine, and flickr streams as well.
- FYI, I'm a bit of sissy, so, please, no gory, violent, racist or generally gross websites. And no porn either, thank you, I have a feeling my readers don't need me to know whatever happened to sex in Scandinavia. I know you care, but I don't.


Now that we are in agreement, I'm starting the list with Tosh Berman, who is the publisher of Tam Tam Books, a francophile and someone who happens to use the same Blogger template as I do. I don't know him personally, though I hope to meet him at some point in the future. He's very knowledgeable about French culture, and is the publisher of Boris Vian in America. Please visit his blog, and better yet! Buy his books!
The second person whose website I want to introduce you to is Calvin Phelps, who commented on FBC! mariachis post yesterday. I looked at his website, and thought, hey, I could link it to FBC! His website is very simple to use and navigate, and it will give you a clear idea of what he does.
I've already told you about Unframed, the LACMA blog, toward which I am biased since I've worked at the musuem a while ago. I really like this blog, I think it is very well made, with a clear balance between the visual arts and all other forms of expression featured at LACMA (movies, lectures, music, etc), and is written by both curatorial and communication staff. Please look at Allison Agsten's post about the decline in art coverage in Los Angeles. It's always been meager, and with the upcoming demise of the LAT (they sacked about 75 people on Monday) it's not going to improve.
You should also check Kehinde Wiley's website. I really like his work, which I find kitschy and and very fun to look at. It satisfies art historians like myself aplenty, with all his references to classical painting. Now, I think there's a slight, impossible-to-define-something that's missing, the little thing that would push his work from very good to awesomely great, but I don't know what it is, and I like it as is anyway. Enjoy!
To end this first edition of Links I Like, Ken Gonzalez-Day's website. I like Ken's work a lot, and I have had the pleasure to meet him a while back at an opening. In person he's adorable and very, very funny. In his art he makes pictures so gorgeous you want to lick them, but his work has a deep historical and political intent as well, without falling into propaganda. Have a look and you will understand!

Before you go look at all these sites, don't forget the Mariachis for Obama poll at the bottom of this page.

The photograph above was pinched from Ken's website, from the project Hang Trees.

Your Social Life, Halloween Edition

Hello beloved readers, old and new ones alike,

This issue of YSL is apologetic today because I screwed up a bit last week and forgot to announce a show and I told the organizers was going to announce it. Mea culpa. So last week was the opening of Bob Zoell show at Wal Art, which you should go see fissa (it means "pronto" in French) as it's closing in less than 2 weeks.

Tonight in Chinatown is the opening of LA art veteran and conceptual/post-structuralist/experimental film artist Morgan Fisher at China Art Objects. Close by you can go attend the performance at Cottage Home through Sister Gallery (I don't know how to explain this better, so click on the link to find all the info, thanks!).
If you happen to be in Nice, France, tomorrow evening, don't miss the opening of Acclimatations at the Villa Arson, a group show curated by FBC! gal pal Benedicte Ramade, it's, roughly speaking, a show about how artists react to climate change, and about nature and environment. Unfortunately their website is under re-construction, so the best thing you ca do is download the pdf for the info.

Lastly, on Saturday is the official opening of Prospect 1 in New Orleans, a new Biennial that it is very, very important you should visit, because unlike Miami Beach or London, New Orleans truly needs your tourist money. Since the battering the city has endured with Katrina and the catastrophic handling of the crisis by the Bush government, the city has been in need of funds and political goodwill to get back on its feet. It is still a long way away, and if the art lovers who ordinarily congregate at Biennials, art fairs and such like were to spend their money in New Orleans, they would:
1) see as much good art as elsewhere, and then some more, as the roster of artist is very diverse, unlike, say, the Frieze art fair
2) it wold cost them far less money than traveling to London, and to find accommodation
3) unlike London, they would be certain to eat good food.

You will also get to see the awesome ark constructed by Mark Bradford, and plenty other stuff. The list of artist is your usual mix of famous and trendy youngsters, as well as some older conceptual/documentarist artists, and for once it has a fair quotient of women. Judging from the list there are many politically-oriented artists, but also a fair share of more formalist ones. The artists are from all over the place, so it's pretty certain the visitors of the Biennial will make some discoveries, and learn a lot. In short, there's something for everybody! The website is very practical, by the way, very well-made.
The Biennial is organized/curated by former New Museum curator Dan Cameron.

So, it's all well you're going to say, but what if I cannot travel to New Orleans this very weekend? What should I do if I'm in Los Angeles, after I'm going to Morgan Fisher tonight, and to the performance?
Well, you have plenty of options, but rather than find yourself jonesing for openings because you think you have no social life on your own, go out to dinner and drinks with friends on Saturday evening to support your local economy, and spend the weekend at your friendly neighborhood museums: between the Kippenberger show (and Louise Burgeois) at MoCA, the California Biennial in Orange County, and the Martin Kersels show at the SMMOA you have plenty to see, and let's not forget the Duchamp Redux at the Norton Simon.

And now, special to my friends who always want me to go out and I always say no, because I'm busy at home writing: I'll be on Halloween duty on my front porch tomorrow, with a book and approximatively 7 pounds of candies. Feel free to swing by and say hello, I may even have a bottle of wine somewhere so we give a bad example to the little candy-addicted kiddies. You know where I live!

Enjoy your weekend, and have a spooky Halloween!

The pumpkin picture courtesy of this site.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Obamariachis

Brothers and Sisters, the end is near, the planet is eco-crunching, a gazillion money has vanished, the country is going to the dogs, I have no job, my money is running out and I'm losing a family member. Also we haven't had a fun Britney Spears snippet in a while, and Madonna's divorce isn't entertaining whatsoever.
Unlike many people in this country, I think the idea of a Messiah is a bit overrated, and frankly hasn't brought back a return on investment worth Warren Buffet's pocket change. But I believe in hope, audacity, change kicking out of the White House, the Congress and the Senate the political party that spent the last 8 years not only bringing America to its knees, but wreaking havoc on fragile emergent economies abroad in the name of unspeakable greed* disguised as fake principle of "economic freedom".
I'm a bit bored by all the political propaganda right now, and a bit busy elsewhere, plus I have no right to vote in this country, so I'll try not too bore you too much with more politics. But the video above made me smile this morning, something I truly need these days. So have fun practicing your rudimentary Spanish while listening to the Mariachis For Obama. We have to find a name for them, and if I manage to find the "polls" widget I'll put up a new naming one, promised. UPDATE: the poll is at the bottom of this page. Vote for your favorite name!

And absolutely unrelated: I went to pick up my daily ficelle at La Maison du Pain this morning, and guess what? I got their inaugural first bag of chouquettes! Chouquettes are French choux pastry topped with pearl sugar, they don't have any filling, and we usually by them by the dozen to share at work or at school for mid-morning coffee breaks. The one at LMDP taste exactly as they should be, light and airy and slightly sweet. They cost $3,50 a dozen, and they are addictive. You cannot be Frenchier than that. So go get yourself a bag, and munch on chouquettes while watching the Obamariachis.

* these last two words are an amusing quote. If you find who uttered it, you will win $1 worth of subprime mortgage securities.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Thierry Weyd's Blogs

When I was a kiddie back home in a boring, humid and gray bourgeois French town, the one thing that saved me from perpetual ennui was the local fine arts school where I took evening classes. Which explains everything, in case you wonder why I'm into that art thing so much.
It was a safe haven from a too eventful family life and an oppressive school atmosphere.
There was a great sense that the grown-ups there at the fine arts school were dealing with us kiddies at the exact right level, neither patronizing not burdening us with responsibilities far beyond our maturity. What else? Oh yes, there was that art thing. They got me hooked. I learn the word "conceptual" when I was 10, and saw my first monochrome around the same age. After this, I never looked back.

It was a degree-granting school (the fine arts schools in France train people at college level), but also a State-sponsored one, and as such received subsidies. Evening classes were inexpensive, and during the first few years they provided art supplies free of charge. If you know how expensive paper and paint are, you understand better why a community-oriented economy has its advantages .
Once a year they piled up on a bus to go see some art, either in Paris or, if budget permitted, some more exotic locale like the Netherlands, to see some great show. In any case it was dirt cheap, and I remember vividly my first trip to the Pompidou and the Louvre, for which our families had to pay the incredible amount of 10 francs, something like $2 now, or make that $5 with inflation.
On that bus were also gathered a few college-level students, with whom we usually never mingled for the good reason they were a) studying in a different building and b) older, duh.
I was something like 10 years-old, so conceptually speaking, hanging out with 18 years old seemed really remote. They were grown-ups!
But hang out we did, and I believe it was the first time I got to meet Thierry Weyd. I seem to remember now he was wearing a jacket the style I presently associate with early Talking Heads record covers, but at the time it was odd in a sea of denims. I don't have that many memories of Thierry on that trip, but I do recall the grown-up students "les grands" were rather nice to us little tykes, though I'm not sure their conversation made lots of sense to us.

After this trip I saw more of Thierry, he was a familiar figure on the streets of my hometown (the center of which being tiny, it's easy to meet and greet people there). I never really knew him well, but as I grew up I got to discover what he was doing, essentially running a small press called Cactus, where he was publishing exquisite and desultory artists books. I have a vague recollection of a series involving sugar cube wrappers, other than that Thierry introduced me to the technique of silkscreening. More accurately, I think he told me what it was and I subsequently took a class to learn the basics, an essential skill for my future training as an art historian. Any idiot I catch explaining how it is such an easy technique of reproduction and that Warhol was therefore just appropriating images will have to read the complete works of Jean Baudrillard, and eat the boiled books/pulp after*.

He was also a fan of the band The Residents, which I started to listen to thanks to his influence, and someone I must credit for my love for exquisitely crafted artists books. His were always fun to open, sometimes in boxes, sometimes things you had to unfold, books that came with surprises inside. I think the "domino" ones (the sugar cubes wrappers) came with real cubed sugars in it. I think I also knew him because we were also frequenting the same bookstore, which was divided in 2: the ground floor for literature, and the top floor for comics. I spent a fair amount of time there (I skipped school a lot, now you know) and I inevitably ran into him discussing with the clerk, Isabelle James (I credit her for my love of Literature in general and Virginia Woolf in particular).
I think he introduced me to lot of "arty" comics, showed me issues of Raw magazine, and I'm not certain but I think he's also the one who told me about classic comics, such as Milton Caniff, Windsor McCay and the Buck Rogers strips. Now that I look at this list, wow, I realize I can credit him with plenty of my visual education.

Which I never realized until now, and aside from that, I didn't really know him, because, you know, he was a grown-up, but I can assure you he was one of the few cool persons in my hometown. My hometown is a place I tend not to think about too much, except these days I receive rather bad news from my family there. I don't know how but somehow his name surfaced out of the corners of my memory tonight, I Googled him, and yeepee! He has a blog.
More than one actually, so you can navigate through them and practice your French. If you never learned French, don't panic! Because Thierry is an artist, his blog is heavily image-oriented. There are pictures about the graphic design of 1940s Penguin books, bridal shop storefronts, a post about Desiree Palmen, a children book that is a collaboration between his wife and his daughter (it's adorable), the history of recorded sounds, and his own work, which I understand is now performance/sound-oriented, etc.

There's plenty for you to discover on his main blog, and there's also a beautiful second blog about the house he and his family have had build.
I'm posting the link for that blog as well because I'm certain my architects friends are going to love looking at it, and also see how the building process and techniques differ in France. Note his house is made of wood, which is normal here in the United States, but very uncommon in France (new houses are commonly made of concrete and cinder blocks, old house of stone).

So I'm happy to introduce my readers to Thierry's blogs, and I'd like to encourage you as well to look at his list of links, there's plenty for you to discover. And for those of you who thinks, hey, he's an unsung hero of cultural education, please note he keeps on influencing younger minds as he now teaches at the very same fine art school through which I met him. He blogs about teaching as well, and if you look at his posts about teaching, you will also witness a French culinary phenomenon that I don't recommend you try at home: in France, you can buy baguette sandwiches stuffed with fries. Yes, it's gross. To recover from the shock, go to his Cactus Press website and buy yourself some nice present, or prepare the holiday season by ordering the whole back catalog for your family.
Merci qui? Merci Frenchy!

* dear erudite reader, who is the artist who ate Clement Greenberg's Art and Culture? The most accurate response will get the right to buy me a meal. I'm unemployed, after all.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Pablo Picasso Never Got Called An Asshole

"Not like you. Not in New York. He was only 5 foot 3 but girls couldn't resist his stare..."

The best lyrics, ever. Don't you agree?

Anyway, for my dumbfounded readers expecting to read some art stuff or whatever, I'm getting all nostalgic and have posted a bunch of music video from YouTube. Everything from James Chance and The Contortions, The New York Dolls, Television, Glenn Branca to Jonathan Richman and The Modern Lovers.
Speaking of the latter, my erudite musicological readers will no doubt point out that both John Cale and David Bowie did some covers of that song. So, in case you ask, I prefer John Cale's. The Bowie one is atrociously overproduced.

The Modern Lovers - She Cracked

To keep up with the nostalgia. Someone made a pretty good video for Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers "She Cracked"

Ladies and Gentlemen, To Almost Conclude This Nostalgic Series

My all-time favorite song, Television's Marquee Moon. I must confess to have made a tape in my young days where I looped that song. Over and over for 30 minutes. Masturbatory? Hell, ya!

Personality Crisis

While I'm at it, the New York Dolls.

Glenn Branca Solo, 1978

You didn't think I was to leave you at that, right?

Teenage Jesus and the Jerks - Live

I'll never repeat it enough, Gawd I love YouTube.

I Can't Stand Myself

It happens to me sometimes, yes. James Chance and the Contortions.

You Gotta Contort Yourself

When I was 8 or 9, I saw in the French magazine "Actuel" a black and white picture of James Chance and the Contortions. It took me a long time to manage to listen to the band (it was a rare import impossible to find in my hometown, I had to wait for my early 20s to get a chance to hear the music ), and I unfortunately never owned any record by them. But now thanks to YouTube, I can let my friends back home realize how fresh it's still is.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Your Social Life Takes You In Paris And In The OC

Hello, my dear beloved readership,

Your social life is going to be fairly complicated this weekend, what with the California Biennial opening, and a bunch of other things here and there.
Before I get onto that, a personal message for my friends: my family keeps on being on the verge of decimation these days, so I'm not particularly social, in addition to being reclusive on account of the novel-writing. So apologies for not going anywhere, also please be kind and don't call me, I wouldn't be able to hold a conversation. At the best of times I loathe the phone, but at present a truly, truly don't want to even look at it.
But I appreciate if you forward me links to silly websites, YouTube songs and whatever, as long as it is funny.

For my readers who I do not know personally (you have no idea what you're missing), please disregard the paragraph above, and enjoy seeing how I'm going to organize your social life with the few tips below.

On Friday night, you can go by anotheryearinla and see the Richard Hailey exhibition. As usual it's from 7 to 10 PM, so you can have dinner before and head to the Eastern part of town after traffic slows down a bit.
Now, on to Saturday where you will have to be all over the place. With the time difference, you will have to be simultaneously in Paris for old FBC! pal Matthieu Laurette exhibition at Gaudel de Stampa. It's a fairly new gallery opened by Denis Gaudel, a former director at Yvon Lambert.
Approximatively at the same time, here in Los Angeles the 3rd Archives Bazaar will be held at USC. If I haven't messed up with code you should be able to find the pdf. program here.
Meanwhile, tomorrow Friday and Saturday is the REDCAT symposium, Untitled: Speculations On The Expanded Field Of Writing. FBC! gal pal Stephanie Taylor is speaking on Saturday afternoon. Saturday is also the private opening for the California Biennial organized by Lauri Firstenberg of LAXart fame, but you would be well advised to avoid traffic and go down to Newport Beach on Sunday to the public opening. I see it's up until March, which I'm very happy about as I don't see how I can possibly go down there before early next year. There's a fairly interesting list of artists, mingling California artist veterans with a younger generation. There's also a bevvy of off-site projects, which in theory are always cool as it is indeed called the California Biennial, not the only-if-you-live-not-far-from-Newport-Beach-Biennial, but in practice I doubt most people, your truly included, will be able to schedule road trips up North, in the desert and elsewhere to see everything.
If you think you cannot possibly go down to the OC on Sunday, you can alternatively go to Highland Park to Sea and Space Explorations (yes, this is their complete name) and attend the show called "The Audacity Of Desperation" . Is it political? You betcha'. Note on November 9, Nancy Popp (a very, very old friend of FBC!) is curating a screening of videos. While FBC! is usually reserved about the effectiveness of political art, I can only encourage you to have a pre-election art viewing and participating.

While I'm at it, since I cannot vote, let me endorse Barack Obama as a president, of course, and "No" on Proposition 8. As for the rest, I'm all for forced collectivization of national production means, or whatever are left of them, redistribution of wealth (tax the rich, subsidize health care, no tax breaks for anybody, thank you) and let's send the Trustafarians on farms as day laborers. I'm kind of waiting for the creation of new currencies and fixed exchange rate between those as well, but I don't foresee that before a few years. Oh, and Halliburton should surrender all he profits they made during the last 8 years to improve public educations. C'est la lutte finale, groupons-nous des demain... And before you label me a communist or a socialist or whatever, for the record I'm more of a neo-Keynesian, and I do think Obama is a fairly conservative Democrat while McCain is a purely loathsome old crank, war hero and all. My Grandpa also is a war hero (WWII), it didn't prevent him from becoming an old crank in old age, except he's not loathsome an doesn't pretend to lead the free world.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Words Don't Come Easy To Me

"Words don't come easy to me
But my words are coming out wrong
There's no hidden meaning
Words don't come easy
It isn't easy words don't come easy
Words don't come easy to me
How can I find a way?"

F****ing F.R. David. Has been in my head since yesterday, as well as a really violent migraine today.
I'm just linking because, frankly, this is one of the most annoying songs ever, no way I'm posting the video.

Woooords don't come eeeaaaaasyyyyy to meeeeee How can I fiiiiiiiiiiiiind a waaaaaaaaayyyyyyy.


image found here.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Superstition - More Stevie Wonder

Just for pleasure.

Your Social Life - Not In London, Not At The Frieze Art Fair

You have noticed, beloved readers, that things are very quiet in Los Angeles this week? It's because everybody is in London for the Frieze Art Fair. For my occasional non-art readers (Hi Annie, Jonathan and Mike!), this is the art fair that's hip and fun, going on institutional. People are really sharply dressed and they do lots of coke, and the music is better at parties, and you know, in Europe they dance at parties. Aside from that, it's all about OMG is the market is going to collapse now or later? (methinks a bit later, either at the Fall auctions if moneyed people are panicking now, or the Spring one next year when they need liquidity). In any case, art dealers tend to over-inflate their sale results, as I said before, so don't expect anything reliable. While in London, have a cuppa for me, easy on the booze. The Brits drink only to get sloshed, it's spectacular. Oh, and, they love knives. And Russian mobstersoligarchs.

Anyway, if you are in Los Angeles this weekend, it's cool. Aside from the aforementioned Stevie Wonder tribute at the Echo, can yo do anything art-related? I believe you can.
Saturday afternoon you can go to Griffith Park for a one-day exhibition where I'd go if I weren't so frantically trying to get some work done while battling an ongoing migraine (day 5 today!). I'm pasting the info below, because I'm lazy, and I'm also pasting the info for the inaugural exhibition of Woodbury Hollywood Exhibitions, right next to LACE, where a bunch of FBC! personal friends are showing, and once again I'd love to hang out with them at the opening but I'm afraid I'm running out of time on my own projects. We'll see.
In any case, look how all works out well: LA old zoo in the afternoon, Hollywood in the early evening, quick dinner at a taco truck in Echo Park, and then the Stevie Wonder tribute. Ah, I wish I were you!

In 2008, ART2102 continues to collaborate with new generations of alternative spaces and projects in Los Angeles by providing a non-institutional structure and framework to support their initiatives. ART2102 has been extending its status as a non-profit and beneficiary of grants to several of these smaller experimental spaces, while generating and increasing their exposure through ART2102's communication networks and support systems. It is an effort which aims to expand ART2102's activities beyond the more traditional forms of exhibition and other curatorial projects.

On October 18, Slab presents a one-day exhibition at the old Los Angeles zoo involving artists Michael Decker, Liz Glynn, Deva Graf, Hilary Graves, George Kontos, Louisa Van Leer, Karen Lofgren, Marco Rios, Ry Rocklen, Rosha Yaghmai.

Slab considers the zoo to be a challenging location for an exhibition by resisting and playing on traditional expectations of how we typically view art. For the event, Slab has designated areas that were originally used as animal habitats - designed, constructed, and
intended to replicate natural living habitats – as art exhibition spaces. The empty caves and surrounding areas lend themselves to ideas of ancient civilization societies, theatrical ruins, or more simply, a stage begging to be once again inhabited. In the pursuit of straightforward exhibition projects unhindered by a set theme, the artists selected have the freedom to respond to the zoo site as they see fit, whether choosing to include an existing artwork or creating something entirely new.

4:00pm - 7:00pm
Old Los Angeles Zoo picnic area
4730 Crystal Springs Blvd
Los Angeles, CA

Please join us on Saturday, Oct. 18th 6-9PM for our inaugural exhibition and opening

Woodbury Hollywood Exhibitions is very proud to announce our inaugural exhibition,
"Analytic & Synthetic Pile-Up".

This show will feature artworks by Mason Cooley, Lisa Lapinski, Shirley Tse,
Will Fowler, James Hayward, Christie Frields, Daniel Mendel-Black, Keith Walsh,
Roger Dickes, Suzanne Adelman, Michael Dee, John Rosewall, Ed Johnson, Darcy
Huebler, and Luciano Perna.

Exhibition Dates: October 18th – November 27th, 2008.

Opening Reception: October 18th: 6:00-9:00 PM
Gallery Hours: Wed.-Sat 12:00PM-5:00PM
(323) 461-6486

Analytic & Synthetic Pile-Up is a group exhibition featuring sculpture, painting and
photography by 15 Los Angeles artists.
The artworks in the exhibition utilize a ‘piling-up’--a multi-layering of concepts
or materials--where the elements are chunky and disjunctive in some works, and
seamless or autonomous in others.

The Analytic and Synthetic sensibilities in this exhibition are a play on
distinctions from Cubism. Historically, ‘Analytic’ described early Cubist works
that employed everyday objects, often found collage works. Through the use of these
materials, the works were considered to represent ‘reality’ more directly. The
‘Synthetic’ was understood as a more refined and intellectualized approach in later
Cubism. ‘Synthetic’ artworks, usually within the singular medium of painting, have
been characterized as more visually dense, abstracted, and colorful.

If we take a rather playful look through this historical lens, there are artworks in
this show that might appear, at least perceptually, to fall into either category.
Might a hybridized sculpture appear to be analytic? Or an abstract painting,
synthetic? Perhaps it’s worth a mention that the early distinctions were somewhat
arbitrary or over-determined even in their own historical context. Given our
contemporary understanding, the works in this exhibition, and their surrounding
dialogue or intent, certainly blur these prior categorical distinctions.

There are questions which arise from a passing glance back to these art historical
categories: Is it possible to build a hierarchy of works based on whether they
refer more to the physicality of the everyday world than to the intellectual? And,
is it possible to decide which sensibility most directly communicates reality to us?

**This event is free and open to the public.
Woodbury Hollywood Exhibitions is located just two doors east of LACE (Los Angeles
Contemporary Exhibitions) and is Woodbury University’s new off-campus exhibition

Higher Ground - Stevie Wonder, a Tribute this Sat. at The Echo

Just to prove you I don't exclusively listen to punk-rock oldies and French oddities, a bit of Stevie Wonder. There's a tribute to Wonder at the Echo this Saturday night at 9 PM. Not the man himself, but if you need some warmth into the night....

Info pasted below:





$20 DOOR
21+ 9PM-2:30

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Reality, This Idiocy, As Displayed on Chowhound and in the LAT

My enlightened readers will have recognized my super-subtle reference to Clement Rosset, the greatest French philosopher alive (yes, it means you can shove Jacques Ranciere and Alain Badiou, where they belong, that is, not on your bookshelves).
For some reason it seems they translated Idocy by "Joyful Cruelty" in English. Don't ask me why, the joys of reading stuff in translation for non -bilingual "French Theory" fiends. The original title is "Le Réel, Traité De L'idiotie" (The Real [reality]: Treaty On Idiocy).
Rosset is outside of that French Theory circle by the way, which explains his lack of international recognition, as its philosophy stems from both Classical Antiquity and Nietszche. There's almost nothing worthwhile in English on Rosset (screw you, wikipedia!) which means, if you know some philosophy major in search of a dissertation topic, let him/her know (s)he has to look no further. Oh, there's also a French tennis player who shares the same name, so if you google him you may find some strange things. Idiocy in Rosset's world comes form the Greek, and means both something that's unique, peculiar, arbitrary and unknowable.

So I thought today I should rant a bit on a couple of things that are idiotic in the other sense of the word (unbearably stupid) but may also be arbitrary and unknowable. Things that also sometimes make me doubt of my own sense of, you know, my grasp on reality.
If you are Proust readers, you probably know that wonderful moment at the end of La Recherche when The Narrator reads the newly published tome of the Goncourt Brother's Journal, their diary. It's the occasion of a dazzling pastiche of the writers Proust abhorred, but also a great existential moment, when The Narrator wonders aloud whether he hasn't been wrong all along, and if all the losers who were frequenting Madame Verdurin's salon were not, in fact th real geniuses of his time? An in that case, wouldn't The Narrator have more than wasted his time by favoring, say, Vinteuil over Brichot? It's a great reflection on taste and the ramifications of social or class backgrounds and relations on the posterity of art.
It's my favorite moment, a passage I feel all art historians, curators, critics and whoever professes to wok in the cultural field should read and have their students and friends read.

In any case, I stumbled over the last few days on a couple of things that initiated that sparkle of self-doubt in my understanding of my fellow human beings. If you know Chowhound, you know it is to Yelp what Facebook is to MySpace. The slightly better-mannered and more refined cousin in a family of dogs obsessed by food. There's a fair share of snobism on Chowhound (they're always Frenchier or Chinese-ier Than Thou) that becomes fairly risible once the conversations devolve on the "authentic". But this review and its accompanying thread rendered me speechless.

Some bloke with a moniker whose French half means both "stain" and "moron" decided to go to Mozza (we get it from the start, said bloke has money, aren't we happy for him), rendered himself slightly obnoxious in his encounters with the staff, which is OK because they are elitists snobs there. But wait! Bloke is also an elitist snob, and wants to show us he does belong indeed to the world of vapid jerks who deserves to eat at Mozza, where it's not depressing to go eat when the world collapses because, you know, we're in between powerful fucktards:

"It feels like mostly native Angelinos and New Yorkers in here, successful, thriving people, probably a lot of them in the entertainment industry. Young, old and in between, but almost everyone has at least a hint of savviness about them."

So if you're: a) from the Midwest, or b) abroad or c) Greenwich, CT and are nor In The Industry and worse sin ever, don't ever have a "hint of savviness" in you (i.e. you're a clueless idiot if you're from Minnesota and you're in the construction business), whoa! Don't go to Mozza!
Fucktard bloke then proceeds to tell us he's also super-adventurous because he eats headcheese, and he's a super-sophisticated eater because his quail is "retarded", you know, it has stuffing in it. And he's so happy to let us know he paid $108 before tax and tip, whoo hoo! No depression for fucktard bloke who thinks he has a sense of humor!

So reading it I'm thinking, wow, that guy is such an asshole, and so proud to display his irritating and ill-mannered comments for all the world to see. For all the street-savvy, recently laid off people who eat their lengua at taco trucks, to gasp at and understand it's this type of attitude, that braggadocio and insufferable sense of self-righteousness, self-importance that leads to catastrophe.
But what made me really, really doubt of my sense of reality (this Idiocy) was the following trail of comments where everyone and all praised the guy for his indecent review.
Have I missed something? Am I the only one to find this idnecent? Is it really fun and OK to brag about oneself and one's spending when homeless people are set on fire and let to die on the street?

And then, there's the train wreck that the LA Times has become. Over the last year or so, after having been purchased by a Giant Garden Gnome, the paper has become a parody of itself, with real journalists being laid off in droves to be replaced by bloggers. Not that I have anything against bloggers, but at the LAT they all seem not to know how to finish an article or to actually put in some information in their writing. I'm not against real estate porn and chihuahuas either, but I'd love to know more about environment issues or how crime's up in LA.
But the thing that irks me the most about the LAT is this idiot guy Jonah Goldberg who, we understand, is a Republican, OK, everyone has a right not to use his/her brain, but this guy cannot write for the life of him, or express any idea worth reading. The GOP is soft on Obama because he's black? Ha, I think Obama is way too soft on McCain because "Joe Six-Pack" is way past his prime, so that would be ageism, and is too nice on "Hockey Mom -cum- Stooge" Palin, because, hey, that would be sexism (Hillary Clinton will appreciate).

But there's another bigger, more stupid guy at the LAT, Joel Stein, who's urging people not to vote because, you know, voting has been debased by reality TV. I suggest someone sends Joel Stein the US Constitution adapted as a graphic history (see below) and remind him that voting isn't about making wisecracks about "expressing one's opinion", it's a right as well as a duty to establish and frame the orientation of the government. For which you pay taxes (I pay taxes in the US, and as a resident and not a citizen I'm not allowed to vote. If you don't want your right, give if to me, thanks). It's also, for those interested in the "leadership" the United States are supposedly showing to the world ("hey ya, let's nationalize banks the way European did in the 1950s, how come all this deregulation thing didn't work?"), a strong message the US voters are sending the planet about how they intend their relations with other countries to be, in what had become a global economy precisely because of the US leadership.

So, Joel Stein, I'm glad you're going to feel free to complain about the next government because you don't vote, but please do us a favor: shut up, stop writing and take an inoffensive job. Like, help the poor, OK? And be nice, take that condescending Steve Lopez with you as well. The homeless need help.

And so do I.

(yes, I am aware the picture above has nothing to do with the topic. It's a fabric currently on display at LACMA).

The US Constitution: A Graphic Adaptation.

When I was little during the glorious Seventies, it was the golden age of comic books. Here in America people tend to confuse French and Belgian comics, because we share one common language, so to make it simple and short, let's say the Belgian invented the classics such as Tintin and Spirou et Fantasio, and the French developed a more "adult" type of comics.
It doesn't mean porn or erotic, by the way, just that the subjects of those comics were not necessarily superhero-oriented, had themes clearly designed for a grown-up audience, and were experimenting with graphics. In any case, everybody in France was reading and still reads comics, and the comics publishing market is thriving, to the point that its sales dwarf the regular book market ones.
Most comics in France are hardcover, and people proudly display their collections on their bookcases. I helps that the French type of comics is actually called bandes dessinées ("drawn strips") avoiding the "comic" word altogether. These are not all funnies, but are viewed instead as a totally legitimate genre that blends entertainment and serious thinking, and can be used as an educational tool as well.

When I was about 8 years old I was given a series called L'Histoire de France en bandes dessinées as well as one Histoire de La Musique bandes dessinées.
It was a godsend for a visually-oriented child, a gift that stayed with me as the knowledge I received remained in my memories for the next few decades, to the point that I never had to learn a lesson in history classes ever, well into my high school years. For the music aspect, the results are a bit more mixed, since the book didn't come with a CD (they didn't exist yet, can you believe this, you my unique and imaginary under-20 reader?) so even though I have quite a good grasp of the chronology from, say, Guillaume de Machaut to Pierre Boulez, I don't necessarily know what all this music sounds like.
In passing, I was lucky enough to grow up at a time when you didn't have that idiotic censorship about violence and sex and whatnots for books that were youth-oriented. Today I'm sure the same book series would be stripped of all its invaluable content by all the Sarah Palin-oriented wingnuts of the world. Have you noticed, for a country that promotes free speech as its utmost value, how the youth of America are consistently denied this same right?

That's why it's time for America to re-discover its Constitution, not only the letter of it but also its history. Especially now, when America is about to elect its future leader and needs more than ever someone who respects its institutions and embodies the reality of its principles, including free speech, not censorship (hint, hint!).
The Constitution itself is freely available, but written in a language that's not always accessible to the people, since the degree of education they endure in America's public schools is truly appalling. As if there was some type of conspiracy to prevent people from understanding the very foundations of their own country. That's why Jonathan Hennessey and Aaron McConnell have proceeded to write and create a graphic adaptation of the US Constitution, a book that's out now, right in time to refresh your memories before the election (Vote! Vote! Vote) . It's also an excellent primer for teenagers who may feel disenfranchised by the electoral process, and as such I think the book should be on every school curriculum in the United States (and that means public and private schools). It can also be used to help immigrants on the long path to the naturalization process to understand better their rights and duties as new citizens.
It costs only $16.95, and for something you're going to keep all your life and pass on to your children and grandchildren, it's a great investment in the future. Unlike, you know, what's going on right now...

You can pre-order the book from the link above. Jonathan Hennessey embarked today on a book tour, the details of which you can find either through the McMillan site (click on the Widget that serves as the post illustration, or on the links) or through the Facebook group devoted to the book. He will be talking at the Robertson Branch of the LA Public Library on November 10.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

FBC! Has Short-Term Memory Problems

I'm a bit busy with writing, looking for jobs, etc. and then I realize things I intended to do/go to/write about slip down the cracks. It's the problem when immersed in an intense project, the rest of the world tends to disappear and I realize the show I absolutely wanted to go see and take pictures of to post about has closed, like, 10 days ago. My apologies to Christie Frields, I really, really wanted to see her show. I think her work is a bit under-recognized, so I'm kicking my own butt metaphorically I have missed it.
Likewise, I was posting about blogging and bloggers and telling you how much I like the LACMA new blog, Unframed, and I totally forgot to mention the artist and FBC!'s old pal Salvatore Reda has finally started his own blog, with contributions by artist Vincent Johnson, who also contributes to FBC!
So, if you have some time, go and have a look. Sal is based in Portland, Vincent in Los Angeles. For the moment the blog is a bit market-obsessed, as everybody is at the moment save myself (been there, done that). Though, if I want to refer to their post about the current changes in Chinatown, I can only say it reminds me of all the changes and closures in the Paris Bastille gallery district in the early 1990s. You know, when the art market crashed for a good decade.
There are many re-posts from international newspapers, which, hm, I wouldn't reproduce to such a length if I were the admins, I think just a few lines would be safer.
Like me, Sal and Vince welcome contributions, so feel free to contact them (and me!) if you want to unload whatever burdens your heart at the moment. Welcome!

And enjoy the rest of your weekend, you can watch the few Ramones videos in the posts below.

Friday, October 10, 2008

The Ramones Live At Arturo's Loft - 1975

Happy Worship, dear Flouzies. Happy you joined our new religion!

Judy Is A Punk - The Ramones

That will be our High Holiday traditional chant, in our new religion. If you don't know what I'm talking about, see previous post.

I Wanna Be Sedated

It's the weekend, and I'd better lay off that internet thing if I want to get things done. But before I do that, I wanna do some thinking in public, I've been thinking, with all that financial stuff going on, what with being jobless and all, how am I gonna make it if I want to finish writing the bloody novel (it's the working title, BTW "That Bloody Novel", but there's no gore in it). I can't peddle drugs, I mean, look at me, I'm a nice French middle-class gal, I have no street credibility. Prostitution, eh, only if I could choose my johns, and I'm afraid I have to be realistic, I don't have the looks.

So I thought, hey, I'm in America! I should do it the old-fashioned way! Let's create a religion! It's tax-exempt, we can get the rednecks in the middle of the country to join and give us their money, and have fun! So I'm seeing this socialist, community-like religion, right? But fun! It's all based on booze, food, sex, rock'n'roll, art and good old fun. It's called Flouze (it means money in French), I'm working on the basics (don't know how many gods and goddesses we gonna have, what our creation myth will be like, if we gonna include some aliens, what kind of stuff we can rip off from other religions, etc), but one thing is certain: the music during worship will be exclusively from the Ramones.
And artists are invited to create worship artifacts, you know, altars, candle holders, banners, etc. So to begin spread the word, I'm posting a few Ramones songs this weekend.

Meanwhile, don't try to email me, I won't check my mails for a while, idem Facebook (gotta shale that addiction, man).

Thursday, October 9, 2008

From Russia, With Love

As you know, Phillips de Pury, the auction house specialized in niche contemporary arts (you know, the stuff you've seen in European museums for 25+ years but that US collectors, critics and museums will consent to look at only after the works reach the 250k+ benchmark) has been bought by a Russian luxury company.
Do I care? No, not personally.

My only comment is, since the boom in the art market (you know, the one that's coming to an end soon) has been largely fueled not only by Chinese billionaires and hedge fund guys, but also by Russian mobsters oops, sorry, the official term is "oligarchs" in need of money-laundering cultural goods , it comes as no surprise, as they say. Remember all these auction records in London, where you have the biggest concentration of Russian "oligarchs" outside of Russia? Who would have thought Peter Doig was a much more important living painter than, say, Gerhard Richter? Not me, obviously, but 2 Russian guys needed to unload $11 millions on a very banal Doig painting to top Richter's reputation, apparently.

This way, with an auction house into the bag, all the dirty laundry sorting is done in house, cool, much easier for everybody. Ah well.

So people are wondering about the art market, blah-blah-blah, oh but those Damien Hirst sold directly at auction in London did well (yeah, in London!). So, a little historical lesson for my under-20 readers (do I have an under-20 reader? if so (s)he's not known to me personally): each time the stock market and the financial market crash, the tip of the iceberg of the art market (that means the auction houses, Russian-owned or otherwise) do relatively well, for about 6 to 18 months, depending on how fast the money is vanished. You know, if goes poof! Like that!

And then at some point all the wealthy people who think its the end of the world because they have to stop flying private jets to retrograde to 1st class on commercial airlines, they need some liquidities to kick-start some new ventures, and they sell the family jewels, sorry, the Peter Doig and Damien Hirst and Elizabeth Peyton and Neo Rauch and what else. They flood the market, no one has money to buy, and the market goes kaput! Yay!
It lasts a decade or so, during which you finally get to work with good artists, the ones whose voice wasn't heard during the boom, while the Fundamentalist Christians and other racist moose-hunters pelt us with hateful rhetoric as they have nothing better to do. Like, you know, get an education, create universal health coverage, help the poor, that kind of things.
During that time, many, many galleries go out of business, curator stops to be a desirable career option for Trustafarians, and finally the art world is breathable again, if a bit depleted.

Meanwhile, what about art dealers? Well, for the time being the primary market is doing relatively OK, it's a bit slow, it's a bit quiet. Subdued. Instead of hiring assistants, they're getting interns. Opening dinners are a bit downsized, nothing too drastic. The secondary market, on the contrary, has been feeling the heat since... last September. 2007, that is. It's getting worse. I just heard from a NY art dealer telling me how depressing it was right now. We have to wait for the Frieze and FIAC art fairs results, but they are never reliable as art dealers routinely inflate their sales report. But, if I can give you a good advice, if you're trying to start a new gallery right now... keep your day job. If you can.

Lastly, if you'd been laid off, you can also wile away the time by watching the best art video of the month: Vladimir Putin teaching martial arts! Ahh, those Russian leaders. So endearing.

Your Social Life, Past, Present And Future

Finally, here's your program for now, yesterday, and the rest of the week!

If you were in Bogota yesterday, you probably attended my friend Leyla Cardenas's opening at the Casa Riegner Gallery. The invite is displayed above. If you were in Los Angeles and are not Jewish (or you are, but from a miscreant, atheistic tendency) you may have attended the two openings at LACMA: the Fabiola show that you really, really should come see ASAP, it's so good you won't believe it (Santa Claus, you know what I want this year, the catalog), and the Hard Target show that, if you are part of the 50% of humanity born with a uterus, you can forget about.
Too much masculinity thrown into your face, and not the kind you want to look at, thank you very much. The show is really too crowded and despite the presence of a really good Mark Bradford piece and a Joe Sola piece, terribly installed. It may have looked better without all those helmets around, and without wanting to redeem the ultra macho, super sexist, boring subject with maximum political correctness in the quotas of minority artists included (and the minority includes us, you know, the uterus-laden half of humanity).
Also... next time don't have your opening on Yom Kippur! I'm sure my immense Jewish readership must have felt stifled not to be able to attend the opening of one show about sports and masculinity, and the other displaying hundreds of pictures of a Saint. Maybe I'll have a poll soon: what kind of show is it OK to miss because it opens on a major holiday?

Anyway, enough grumbling, because there's one good thing about that show: if you go see it, you will have to walk through LACMA's European collections afterwards to reach the excellent Francis Alys/Fabiola show, and while doing so you will pass some very good "Gothic" 19th century ceramics and sculpture, a very weird Degas, etc. I think it's genius to have installed the Fabiola show where it is. I've seen that show 3 times, and I can only urge you to do the same. You have until January 4th, so run, run, run!

All of this happened yesterday, what about today? Today was/is the opening of the Freewaves Festival, titled "Hollywould" this year. It's on Hollywood Boulevard, it's continuous until Monday, almost everything is free, and FBC! special pal and excellent video artist Jose Carlos Tixeira is in it, at LACE on Saturday. I'm afraid I have too much work right now to be able to go, but I sure wish I could as the whole event seem really interesting. As you know, parking sucks there, so you'd better take the subway (come on, once in your life, you can!) or buses.

And tomorrow? That's right, what is it you have to go to tomorrow? I'm immensely proud to report you can go to LA Louver see the Ken Price show. You should take off work early and take advantage to check the Martin Kersels show at SMMOA right before, and after you're done, go have dinner at Anisette! I'm happy to recommend that show because a) I never go to the Westside, but b) LA Louver always sends me their press releases, and it's a historical gallery, and Ken Price really deserves to be better-recognized. I love his work, he took his sculpture where no ceramist ever went, far, far away in another galaxy, and it looks weird. Porphyrically weird.
You can also check Patrick Painter, because there's a French artist who's also a good painter, Bernard Frize, so you check de visu that aside from producing so-so writers who get the Nobel Prize, France also has some excellent visual artists in her midst. But you can avoid Andre Butzer, unless you want to check de visu that aside from producing the genius Kippenberger and good writers, Germany unfortunately also has some mediocre also-ran into her midst.
Speaking of Kippenberger, I'd love to hear from my readers, to know what they think about the show at MOCA. I loved it, and I'd like some artists to tell me what they think. I don't really care personally what Christopher Knight thinks, who, in passing, has a blog at the LAT that's much more interesting than his ordinary criticism (for the record, I do think he's a good mainstream critic, but I think Los Angeles deserves a couple more mainstream critics. Oh, wait. There's no other paper here, and TV sucks).

And now, unto Saturday! Fellow blogger Carol Es has an opening at George Billis gallery. I know she went through difficult time recently and deserves a warm hug and a great opening. I don't know her personally, but I think I should. So go to her show, and give her that hug for me, please.

Friday and Saturday next week, also I URGE you to go at UCLA and see Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, my favorite, favorite choreographer/dancer. It's rare, it's magical, it's beautiful and fabulous. Tickets here.

Next Wednesday, in Valley Glen which, as it names indicated, is in the Valley, there's Untidy, The World of Doug Harvey, the LA Weekly art critic who also happens to be an artist, a curator and a blogger. Do you see a trend here? We're between bloggers here! And why do you think I mention the trend? It's one of my super-subtle transition to announce the new-ish LACMA blog. There are two people I know who write (so far) in it, the very sweet Allison Agsten who's in charge of communication at the museum, and she's doing an excellent job venturing into art writing territory. Congrats Allison! There's also the fabulous Austen Bailly, my favorite American Art curator, the one who introduced me to the joys of Paul Cadmus, remember? (Austen, let's do that show!!!!). They kindly added me to their blogroll, but aside from that I really like theirs. The design is very clean, very simple, away from the rather cluttered feel of the official LACMA website. The entries are very interesting, and I love the spotlights on some lesser-known aspects of the collection, as well as the review of other museum shows. Welcome to "Unframed", that's their name, and congratulations for a very good blog (I'd be happy to guest-blog for you in the future, BTW, if that interests you).

Your Social Life Delayed A Bit - Have A Good Yom Kippur!

Hi All,

I'm a bit udner the weather today (migraine) and given the amount of typos and misspellings in my other writing, I think it's safer to postpone a bit the YSL post as there's a bevy of things happening today, tomorrow, etc (also yesterday actually). I want to link properly, so more later, maybe late tonight, after my body is totally cleared of medication.

In any case, you certainly know it's Yom Kippur, which helps explain why the openings at LACMA were rather deserted last night. It's a bit surprising the special events department didn't think about moving the openings back a week or so, usually they are very attuned to that? So, my best wishes to my readers who are celebrating Yom Kippur, and therefore not in front of their computers reading me.
And for my other readers who have a TV, let me know how the premiere of the US adaptation of Life On Mars on ABC goes tonight? It's my favorite Brit TV show of the moment, and I fear for the US transposition...

(and yes, I stole the banner from their website, which means I give them free advertisement, so abc don't sue me).

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Lisa Lapinski at Richard Telles

Lisa's show ended on Saturday. I'm just posting pictures of the show, and waving a big hello to Lisa (and Will and Nina). It's difficult to take pictures of sculpture and installation in a space that's so cramped, so I'm asking for indulgence.

Friday, October 3, 2008

The Everyday Poetry Of Craigslist


Spanish Tiles
Jucuzzi and Gazibo
Live Rocks and some soft corals
Real stuffed coyote in glass case
Some size 14 Chanel stiletto high heels -for trannies
The Essentials of Geology
Beautiful Etched Glass From A Classy Restaurant
Oak wood with a ramp already for skateboards
Brick Squares
Pupper Theater
Green Info
Water Hyacinths and Water Lettuce
Great Authors Of Western Literary Tradition
Palm Tree
Aquarium/Terrarium/Reptile Cage
French Door/Solid Door
Yard Sale Left Overs
Baby Cereal
Broken Concrete 2.5 Yards
Free Dirt
Free Dirt
A Very Disassembled Arched Floor Lamp (Metal Tubes?)
You Take Dirt I Pay You
Latin American Small Change And Old Eyeglasses

Large Bucket Of Decomposed Granite
Boxes Of Vegetable Shortening
Hong Kong Singer CDs
Changing Table For Babies
Mirror, Large
Water Bed
3 INDIVIDUAL Pampers Diapers
House Paint
Horse Compost/Manure

Realtor Post
Ski Rack
Bag Of Dog Food, 3 Lbs
Artwork, Chair, Stainless Steel Trashcan, Clothing, Silk Plants
Coffee Maker And Toaster
Cut, Ladies!!!
Walk Fit Orthotics
Blessed Dirt ("Church Dirt")

Picket Fence
1 Swordtail Fish, Minus The Tail
Concepts And Practices Of Management
Rabbit Hutch
Mahogany Executive Style Desk
GRAMMY U Back To School Concert With Nikka Costa
Broken Cement Blocks
The New Good Housekeeping Cookbook
Roadside Emergency Stuff
Scratched Dining Table And Two Chairs That Are Falling Apart
College Writters Reference
1963 USSR/EAST BERLIN Manual Typewriter
Lots of Good Dirt
Premier At The Ice House
Plastic Laminate Lockers
Fan-Just A Fan...oh, it oscillates!

Dirt. Dirt. Dirt.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Your Social Life, Rather Late Today

Hello my dear faithful, devoted readership!

This new installment of Your Social Life is rather late today, and I apologize, sorry my beloved readers!
I'm engrossed not only in frantically trying to finish writing my novel until I run out out of money and need a job (anyone?), but Ive also been busy this week transcribing a 3-hour interview of LA artist Edgar Arceneaux for the next issue of Area Sneaks. It's painstakingly slow, and with the heat we had over the last few days, I'm getting headaches that slow the process even more. But I'm pretty happy with what Edgar and I got, so brace yourselves for a 50,000words interview. Or more!!!

I hope to be done in the next 4/5 days, unless a hot, hot, young and gratis intern decides to show up. Not allergic to cats is a must. Needless to say FBC! isn't an equal-opportunity employer, so my unpaid future slave has to be male, dark-haired, not too tall (5'7"" to 6' at best, OK?) and straight. Dimples are cute. I like 'em swarthy, it means hairy-chested in French. In exchange for your labor, dear future sexy intern, you will get the fabulous opportunity to hear firsthand Edgar's great ideas, and I make very good coffee. Plus you get to know which very select openings and other art events to go to each weak! A great job, let me tell you.

Anyway, before your dark-haired version of Daniel Craig comes and rings my bell, I'm not a b*eotch, so I'm taking care of your social agenda. It's unlikely I'm going anywhere until the transcript is finished, so if you spot me it's because I need a break badly.

So, what cool things should you do this weekend, to recover from the debate, the heat, the stock market crash, the bailout discussion and the upcoming resurrection of the Bretton-Woods agreement (I've seen that one coming for several weeks now, I feel vindicated.)? That's right, come to think of it, where should you go?

Well, not too far: There's Martin Kersels at Acme, to accompany is current retrospective at SMMOA, on Saturday. I think Ricky Swallow opens at Marc Foxx as well on the same day.
On Sunday, you can go see the much anticipated special project by Haim Steinbach on Mike Kelley at Overduin and Kite. Right after you should rush to the Mandrake in Culver City, as there's at 7:30pm for a screening of videos from the exhibition Documental, an exchange between artists from Dusseldorf and Los Angeles. The show closes on Saturday at Chapman University.
If you had forked over some monies or been invited by grand and well-connected people, you may also go to the Hammer Gala this weekend. The difference between the Hammer Gala and the other types of fundraisers in LA Museums is, since the food isn't catered by the Patina Group, but by Suzanne Goin of Lucques and AOC fame, it is in fact really good (the desserts tend to be just OK though). I wish they won't have rain.
And on Wednesday is one of LACMA's lame openings. I love LACMA, I think their shows tend to be under-reviewed and under-estimated, but please, please, please, add at least 500 more people to your sacrosanct-invites list, and revoke that lame contract with Patina. The food sucks to such an extant it's unbearable. Anyway, there's an opening for a show that is already open, but is really good, Fabiola by Francis Alÿs. They also open the CP11 show (yours truly curated the CP10 in the past), and I'd love to be supportive, but the subject I find boring and very dated, "Masculinity and Sports". Let's try the gender opposite "Feminity and...and? Needlepoint? Knitting?". See? 'nuff said. I'll have a look because I'm going to see Fabiola and I'm all for supporting Belgium, my favorite country that's constantly on the verge of self-implosion. But I wouldn't make a detour out of my own volition, not with that type of title. But I'm looking forward to the Hearst Collection one (Hi Mary!).

OK, with all that, I have more Edgar Arceneaux prose to materialize on paper, so have a nice weekend and enjoy your art!