Monday, 5 March 2012

And now for something completely different

From Tarkovsky's Stalker

A little trip to the bookstore this weekend proved very fruitful (and expensive).  I found books on Igmar Bergman and Andrei Tarkovsky, which I just couldn't leave there. Since there was a "buy three get the fourth free" sale, I rounded out my purchases with another sixty dollars on Expanded Cinema and Bachelard's Poetics of Space.  I should have spent the weekend reading, but instead ate mandarins and watched too many episodes of Dexter. 

Friday, 28 October 2011

Into the meadow and through the Russian woods

Housewives have all the fun, especially in Russia

wear this

live here

Abandoned wooden house deep inside Russian forest (I'm not even making this up)

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Things, Causes, Reason: Ponge

Tacita Dean, installation view, Pie, 2003, 16MM color film, optical sound.

The Trees Delete Themselves Inside a Fog-Sphere

In the fog which surrounds the trees, the leaves are stripped—leaves defaced already by slow oxidation, deadened by the sap's out-seeping for flowers' and fruits' gain, since the harsh heats of August made of them a less.

In the bark, vertical furrows crease and slit where dampness drains to the earth's base, indifferent to the living citizens of the trunk.

Flowers scattered, fruit conferred. Since youth, this relinquishing of breathing attributes and body parts has become for the trees a standard practice.

Goeffrey Farmer, The essence of the thing

New York Times writer Roberta Smith likens Farmer's work to Nancy Spero and Sara VanDerBeek, but questions wether there is anything worth seeking underneath all of that glue and paper.  Although the aesthetic connections are strong between Farmer, Spero, and VanDerBeek, I find Farmer's work much crueler, riding a thin line between the playful and the sinister that pulls his sculptures and installations into a poetic investigation through the lives of objects and our short interventions with them. His small sculptural marionettes share the beauty and absurdities of Hoch and Hausmann, with heightened attention to the history and function of the thing itself. Geoffrey Farmer draws from a variety of detritus material, rethinking it into characters, objects, and installations that effortlessly tackle big questions with a coy smile. His first solo show "“Bacon’s Not The Only Thing That Is Cured By Hanging From A String”" was titled around an installation of objects hanging from streetlamp sculptures, simultaneously memorializing brooms and plates, while creating new functions for them. Art critic Gabrielle Moser reviewed the show at Casey Kaplan for Canadian Art and argues against the notion that his work is simply decorous. While stunning, she writes that Farmer's work "offers more than a poetic narrative about the transformative possibilities of everyday materials, and instead meditates on the ways we try to cope with life’s larger mysteries through the tools we have at hand." Very well said.

The title for the show came from a poem by Hugh Kingsmill:  Like enough, you won't be glad,/ When they come to hang you, lad, / But bacon's not the only thing/ That's cured from hanging on a string."

Monday, 24 October 2011

Bees, Books, Barnacles, and Baked Beans

via Chezus

I made baked beans this week, and they did not turn out like this! These cast iron baked beans are bursting with notes of campfire and burnt hot dog buns, while mine were a mealy mix of diced tomatoes (I guess I thought it could substitute for ketchup), brown sugar, molasses, and kidney beans. The recipe at Chez Us is so simple and looks too good not to try again. I got the baked bean bug after realizing how much I missed summer.  The days are so grey now, and baked beans hold a bookmark long summer evenings and easy meals (without the cold crunch of greek salad!). They're actually the perfect fall food...

Things Exist

"Things exist, we do not have to create them, we only have to grasp their relations." -Mallarme

New works by Micah Lexier at Birch Libralatto