Saturday, February 27, 2010
Miguel Bose was one of my idols when I was a teen-ager. This is a vintage video for his hit song "Amante Bandido." I remember vividly seeing him on Spanish TV performing in a kimono. This was in the early 1980s. Spain was still emerging from the genocidal dictatorship of Francisco Franco, and in the midst of political turmoil and a yearning on the part of many to make up for lost time and undo decades of repression. In 1977 there was an Amnesty Law, guaranteeing impunity under the guise of reconciliation. On Feb. 23, 1981 there was a failed military coup that was motivated by a desire to return things to the ways they were under Franco and had, according to many, the effect of traumatizing many even more and intimidating those who wanted to shed light on former crimes against the Spanish people. To this day, extreme right-wing groups, many comprising people in the Popular Democratic Party, hold large homophobic demonstrations. At the same time, Spain has been at the forefront in the legalization of gay marriage and transgender rights.
In any case, in the early 1980s, for Bose to perform in what is basically drag was revolutionary. Such gender-bending was of course also promoted by others, including the young Almodovar and in literature by the brilliant Terenci Moix. The subtext in this song's lyrics is intense. There is a part where he sings "Yo sere un hombre por ti, renunciare a ser lo que fui," which means I will be a man for you, I will renounce what I was before." Also, he goes from repressed nerd to brave guerrilla (perhaps I am over-analyzing but until the 1950s guerrillas fought against Franco) and in a third persona, embodies an androgynous satyr, who brings sexuality to the forefront. I love this video!!!!
Friday, February 26, 2010
Thursday, February 25, 2010
18 taihu rocks, hot tub with hydrotherapy jets, bathwater infused with herbs, and pine trees
collection of fonds national d'art contemporain
photo by hiro ihara courtesy cai studio
J WOWW from Jersey Shore explains the reasons why she dressed the way she did on the show.
Saturday, February 20, 2010
Perhaps the trendiest of contemporary art movements/modalities and one of the more hackneyed means of meeting potential partners seem like an odd combination, maybe not as weird as Lautremont's chance encounter of an umbrella and a sewing machine and an operating table...but there it is. During my recent pilgrimage to the naked ramps of the Guggenheim to experience/participate/ in Tino Seghal's works, it seemed to me that there were aspects of the interaction that resembled the dynamic that I have been told exists in speed dating situations. (Spoiler Alert do not read on, those two of you readers out there) When you arrive at the bottom of the ramps, you are approached by a child who asks you "What is your definition of Progress?" From there you embark on an upwards rumination with a series of partners. On the one hand, a cheesy or maybe parodic reenactment of what we imagine life was like for old Greek or Roman philosophers (but where is my poisoned chalice at the end?) and maybe this is what it's like at the APA. But I digress. On the other hand, the allegorical aspects are quite heavy handed: young child progresses in age to older person at the end of your upwards journey through the ramp, from more abstractedly philosophical to more and more detailed and personal (although the latter might be due to my particular responses to the questions, the issue of agency fascinates me, but more on that later), from below to the top, etc.
Friday, February 19, 2010
I had to miss the College Art Association conference this year (due to my service as a member of a job search, imagine serving on the jury of America's Next Top model only way less glamorous; see Testing the Waters and A Gathering of Nerds for my reports from last year's), but sometimes hearing other people's stories about it is just as good and saves you from having to breathe recycled air in a conference center and drink bad lukewarm coffee at your anonymous crappy hotel. However, I do miss doing my model minority junior faculty meets fashionista "native informant" meets Joan Rivers-Kloe Kardashian-Jay Manuel Nerdy Art Historians and Studio Artists Fashion Runway analysis with my friends. And after seeing the Tino Seghal show at the Guggenheim -excuse me, after having experienced, no participated in, no related to others at - I give up. After the Seghal show I feel newly emboldened to pitch a session to the next CAA that would allow nerdy art historians to take advantage of conference hotel amenities and let off steam:
Tino Seghal: Relational Aesthetics in the Hot Tub.
Abstract: Envisioned as a space of sociability, the hot tub is a classic locus of exchange. In this panel, we invite artists, art historians, and museum workers to submit topics for conversation in this platform for experimental thought.
If some junior faculty member at an art school and a young fashionista independent curator pitch this to CAA, (and you know they will) they better give me credit! Sidebar: I was talking to an artist friend about artists' residencies because I know visual artists and writers that have gone to those posh bucolic retreats and to me it just sounds like the Jersey Shore except they are nerds with Ph.Ds or MFAs but they still drink, hook up, and yes, if available, get in the hot tub!
So for those of us that missed the conference, the Art History Newsletter Blog http://arthistorynewsletter.com/blog/ brought us cynical academentia-sufferers something to laugh about.
First, here is the tantalizingly brief but on-point description of the conference quoted from the blog:
"Bad at Sports discusses the recent CAA conference in the first few minutes of their latest podcast:
So Mark [Staff Brandl], you’re the only one of us who’s actually been at CAA for the last couple of days. I stopped by yesterday to buy a book and promptly ran away. There’s a huge number of humans there and they all seem to be art fans in one way or another, but I don’t see that sort of hungry excitement of an art fair, I see a kind of lonely hearts club vibe and it’s creepy.
Mark: Well there aren’t any collectors here so there’s no money and most of the people are art historians which means there’s a lot of guys who look like Jerry Saltz … But it’s fun, it brings out the scholarly, academic side in me. I just saw a great thing on eighteenth century painting of … dogs."
Next, the fabulous colleagues at the blog share the brilliant tweets by a young scholar of color looking at the conference in ways in which I can identify in more ways than one. LOVE HER! It is worth reading her tweets in full, they are very telling. I think I will tweet next year from CAA.
"University of Cincinnati graduate student Auna R. Hearne, aka BlackAesthetic, wins this year’s award for best art-historian twitterer:
Riding to Chicago with 2 weird white girls and a foreign one. Let the crazy tweets begin…
At the #CAA2010 Convocation, very cool to see my favorite artists & art historians: Griselda Pollock, Barkley Hendricks, & Holland Cotter
Holland Cotter is a cute dude! Wow…and he talks exactly the way I thought he would! Cynical and intelligent! #CAA2010
The #CAA2010 Convocation speaker is pissing off all the ppl ready to pour up at the gala. Chill, Dawoud Bey is speaking
Art nerds unite! I feel like I’m going to be doing a lot of eye rolling this next couple of days. These people are passionate #CAA2010
Old white people at #CAA2010 stop staring. No I’m not a part of the hotel staff, I’m a grad student.
Getting up to put the monkey suit on. Thinking about hitting the Students & Emerging Professionals breakfast shindig #CAA2010
Last night the convocation speaker said “Think about what you are here for.” That was the most resounding statement. #CAA2010
At the book fair, is there a broke grad student discount?! I would love to buy about every book but… ha! #CAA2010
headed to my 1st session at 12:30 entitled “How is Queer Art Relational?” #CAA2010
Yes, I am identifying. The gay and black art historian goes to gay and black sessions #CAA2010
At the Queer Art session with a bunch of white butches and some old queens. lol #cantwait #CAA2010
I agree, forget Bourriaud #CAA2010
#overheard at #CAA2010 “I didn’t think I would see other black ppl here, are you going to the black thing too?!” #joyinmyspirit
Images make papers interesting. Virginia Solomon’s “All Tomorrow’s Parties: Queer Aesthetics & Cultural Politics” AND images #FTW #CAA2010
#Futurebabymama Kara Keeling, Ph.D. University of Southern California
I live to be a discussant like Jennifer A. Gonzalez of UC Santa Cruz from the Blacknss as Model session. Amazing commentary #CAA2010
Debating on whether or not I’m crashing the Yale U reception. My advisor is an alum and said she would claim me but #idontknow #CAA2010
A presence from the queer session was in the “black” session. Shared feeling of otherness? #CAA2010
I had to leave that last session. It was shameless Artist’s Self Promotion. I don’t like your art, don’t impose it on me #CAA2010
I went to the Yale U reception to find Glenda Swan & my advisor. Neither were there and I was clearly not wanted #CAA2010 #Itscool #noshade
Fuck yo Ivy League reception in the ballroom, this is how urban research institutions get down #CAA2010 http://yfrog.com/1em1mj
I have so much respect for my school director right now. what a stand up dude. Really appreciate this free, unlimited alcohol
just heard about a party in 1276…Queers…I’m on my way
I literally got
wasted last night. I was gone off of … WHITE WINE?! What is going on? white wine! I had about 2 bottles tho
I know we went somewhere, to a Mexican joint. They charged my card for some food I didn’t eat. I’m not sure how I got back to the hotel
Today, I’m wearing grey and purple. If you see me at #CAA2010 speak! Yes, I’m attending the conference. No I don’t work at the Hyatt
I’m running late, but I’m fine. Headed to the African Diaspora session because Jacqueline Francis is in charge #FTW
Bronze Level, West Tower, Water Tower pow pow pow I just sunk your battleship #CAA2010
Dear #CAA2010 the African Diaspora session is full, there are people spilling out the door. Take notice and give us a bigger room next yr!
Thoroughly enjoying this session. Next up…Tobias Wolford: “What is Africa to me? African American art & the problem of origins” #CAA2010
This speaker sucked the life out of this session. Not sure if its his tone or the subject of the paper. Mass exit #CAA2010
Putting my art history hat back on, heading to the second queer art session: “Desire is Queer!” oh yes it is #CAA2010
Argh! Missing the Art & Violence session! But I’m more gay than violent & there is a white butch w/ an Irish accent speaking #sold #CAA2010
I just got on an elevator going up with some stiff looking artists/art historians. And its 34 floors in this hotel #FML #CAA2010
I know I’m not the only black and gay art historian at #CAA2010 I’m just the only one tweeting lmao
This session’s next paper – A Long Hard Look: Queer Desire in Contemporary Life Drawing #somegayshit #FTW #CAA2010
I’m super boo, grad student broke like a jok but I just bought the LAST copy of this book on Kara Walker at the #CAA2010 Book fair #fistpump
UChicago Press is handing out glasses of white/red wine at their #CAA2010 booth but due to last night, I know the powers of white wine
Chancing white wine again…just one (very expensive) glass of Chardonnay
Last session of #CAA2010: African American Art. I was running late but I’m here. Very underwhelming audience. I’m slightly disappointed
You don’t want to argue with me. Especially not on Twitter. I write better than I speak and I will light your ass on fire
#sigh Most of the presenters on the African American art panel are white. I’m not racist but I would like to see faces like mine #CAA2010
Argh! This session is sooo dry. Why do I feel out of place at an African American art session?? #CAA2010
And the only black scholar speaks like a Southern preacher and is an unimpressive academic. #wevegottodobetter #CAA2010
This presenter is having technical difficulties and keeps pronouncing Catlett phonetically. CAT-LET #Fail #gtfoh #CAA2010
I’m starting to realize that! The most impressive well spoken speakers @ the #CAA2010 sessions I attended…were visual artists
I can’t wait to read this book: Kara Walker-No, Kara Walker-Yes, Kara Walker-? … I bought the last copy available at #CAA2010 pow pow pow
Everybody that knows me knows that I’m not impressed with Kara Walker. I bought the book to bolster my own personal opinion #CAA2010"
Monday, February 15, 2010
Sunday, February 14, 2010
Saturday, February 13, 2010
Friday, February 12, 2010
The cover of the 1936 Cubism and Abstract Art Catalogue - or The Ten Commandments of Modernism.
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Madrid's Museo de Cera merits its own post, but suffice it to say that it is a rich amalgam of early
20th through early 21st century museum rhetorics that includes replicas of nationalist history paintings,
Part of the Royal Family display (Prince Philip and his wife Letizia are not shown here) - Infanta Cristina and husband, the King and Queen, and at the right Elena and Marichalar
This dapper eccentric aristocrat is known for his love of Parisian couture and flamboyant dress and accessories. In fact, the wax version is quite staid, as it featured one of the Duque's guises: dapper English-style dressed aristocrat. Prior to his expulsion from the wax Paradise, and during the euphemistic "cese temporal de convivencia" -or temporary cessation of cohabitation- of the Duke and Duchess, the figure was moved out of the royal grouping to an area depicting a bullfighting arena. This was fitting, since his love of bullfighters is legendary.
As we see above, both in the wax and real versions, the ex Duque de Lugo loved to attend the bullfights, sometimes donning casual wear, including his trademark fan and a baseball hat featuring the Spanish flag.
In the front row at a Paris fashion show, featuring him in one of his (probably custom-made) English cut suits, and profusion of bracelets. Note the Cartier watch as well, and the pinky ring with the family crest.
A recent photo of the former Duque of Lugo taking his kids out and clad in one of his colorful pairs of velvet pants, his chic military style fur lined coat (I could not find a photo but he sometimes wears another with a mink collar and pairs it with a matching mink scarf!!!) and one of his many vibrantly hued patterned pashmina scarves. You cannot see it here, but customarily, when he is in this guise, he wears a camel colored Hermes belt with the large "H" buckle.
In a weird way, it is a kind of inversion of the famous story of the obsessively lovelorn daughter of Isabel
Alexander McQueen with his Muse (and my Idol), the late great Isabella Blow.
I have found the Holy Grail of 1980s videos - the immortal Vanity 6 magnificent product of Prince's hoochie factory of lady performers from back in the day, singing the romantic ballad "Nasty Girl." Not fully understanding the lyrics due to my strict Latina Catholic upbringing, I nonetheless loved the song. Perhaps it was the beat and the joy of seeing women on stage that did not look like anorexic Barbies. In any case, I know the nuns were none too pleased to hear me parroting the lyrics as I sashayed to French class in my plaid uniform listening to this on my walkman.
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Monday, February 8, 2010
Alice Yang, Curator And Historian, 35
The New York Times, Published: February 11, 1997
Alice Huei-Zu Yang, an art historian and curator, died early Saturday morning after a hit-and-run accident at Canal and Varick Streets in Manhattan. She was 35 and lived in TriBeCa.
Ms. Yang's husband, Gerald Szeto, an architect with the firm of Calvin Tsai, was injured in the accident and was in stable condition yesterday at St. Vincent's Hospital.
Ms. Yang was born in 1961 in Taipei and came to the United States when she was 15. She studied art history at Yale University, graduating cum laude in 1984. After completing internships in several Manhattan museums, Ms. Yang worked for five years as an assistant curator at the New Museum of Contemporary Art in SoHo, organizing several exhibitions, including a survey of the work of Alfredo Jaar in 1992 and a group show titled ''The Final Frontier'' in 1993. That year, she left the museum to work as a critic and independent curator while earning her master's degree at the Institute of Fine Arts of New York University.
Ms. Yang had recently passed her oral examinations for a Ph.D. at the institute and last week began working as the Robert Lehman curator at the Parrish Art Museum in Southampton, L.I. She was also organizing an exhibition of drawings by emerging Taiwanese artists at the Drawing Center in SoHo.
In addition to her husband, Ms. Yang is survived by her parents, Mr. and Mrs. William Yang, of Taipei, and two brothers, James, of Hong Kong, and Andrew, also of Taipei.
If you want to know more: buy her book, Why Asia?
description from barnes & noble site -
Why Asia?: Contemporary Asian and Asian American Art is a ground-breaking investigation into two overlapping and rapidly emerging areas in contemporary art. Extricating them from their current confusion under a generic "Asian" label, Yang reveals the specificity of each. The book consists of lucid discussions on individual artists, exhibitions and theoretical issues. With over sixty illustrations it serves to introduce the current landscape of Asian and Asian American Art, with essays on art in China, Taiwan and North America, as well as individual essays on leading artists such as Rirkrit Tiravanija, Xu Bing and Michael Joo. Above all, Yang explores the challenges that contemporary Asian and Asian American art poses to artists, critics, curators and viewers alike. In particular, she reflects on the complexities of exhibition practice, the role of identity politics in arts, the unspoken assumptions of Western critics faced with Asian art, and the difficulties faced by artists working between cultures. This is a major critical contribution in an area where criticism conspicuously lags behind artistic practice.