An interview with Mel Bochner
I can’t begin this introduction to our interview with Mel Bochner by saying, “What interests me about his work is …” because everything about his work interests me. What I’ll address in particular, however, is, for me, the Gordian knot, the conundrum of his repeated assertion that “Language is not transparent.” The statement appeared first as a four-part work in 1969, bearing that phrase as its title. Keep Reading
Fleur Jaeggy is the most accomplished scribe of detachment. In her collections of short stories, I Am the Brother of XX and Last Vanities, and in the novels, SS Proleterka and Sweet Days of Discipline, there is a prevailing sense of isolation—readily recognizable as the epidemic condition of our time—an almost truculent inability to connect, and desperation without surfeit. And here is Patrick Modiano as heartbreakingly accomplished in these unfortunate states as she is, describing the daily coming into being of the abandoned child who builds a person from the sad materials of neglect, lack of regard, of never having been held, or insufficiently—and then overlooked and left behind. Keep Reading
An Interview with Sean Landers
In the beginning was the word and the word got fleshed out. That would be the opening line in Sean Landers’s version of his Bible, were he to write one. It would be a kind of secular new testimony because, for him, language is the medium and the message. When I say, the word gets “fleshed out,” I mean it literally. Keep Reading
Before global warming and the publication of Gertrude Stein’s “The Making of Americans”, Paul Klee noted in his diary (“The Diaries of Paul Klee 1898–1918”) that in Switzerland the summer of 1911 was one of extreme heat.
The Incomparable Sculpture of Valérie Blass
In 2015 Valérie Blass made a sculpture called “La méprise” consisting of two porcelain objects in flocking, standing on a marble slab and facing a mirror. One of the objects is a black cat with its tail sticking straight up. Keep Reading
It gave me no end of pleasure, a frisson of pleasure, to have come, many years ago, upon the fact that my grandfather, born on July 15, 1892, shared a birth day with Walter Benjamin.
Image and Object in the Art of Erin Shirreff
It’s my sense that engaging with Erin Shirreff’s work involves an act of faith. Her proposition that time is the elemental dimension in the embodiment of her works, that is, in bringing them into being, is one with which we agree if we commit to her work.
For this period, detachment is the state of things. Easier, safer, recommended. No noisy, unmanageable, untidy passions. No individual cluttered urgencies with ends and tags askew. Each her own island country, complete and selfsufficient, an isolationist policy in place for all.
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