Larry exhibits obsessive-compulsive behaviour. When he was a young man, its manifestations were more prevalent, the urges to follow the inclinations directed by this disorder more compelling. Now he is a mature adult, the expressions of the disorder have receded, are in check. My obsession—of a milder, readerly sort—is with the author of the book kaddish.com, which houses the character Larry. It’s Nathan Englander and it’s this book and the others by the same author. Keep Reading
An Interview with Rebecca Belmore
Rebecca Belmore is among the most compelling and mesmerizing performance artists working anywhere in contemporary art. But “performance” is too limited and maybe even misleading a term. What she does when she performs is to embody a state of mind. She resists words like “ritual” and “ceremony” to describe her actions. What engages her is the time it takes to work through an idea, and nothing mediates the concentration necessary to achieve that purpose. Keep Reading
Carolee Schneeman’s Body of Letters
I’ve just finished reading Correspondence Course, An Epistolary History of Carolee Schneemann and Her Circle, edited by the noted art historian Kristine Stiles (Duke University Press, 2010)—a powerful bound sheaf of paper—more than 500 pages filled with letters, mostly written by Carolee Schneemann, with a number written to her. They date from 1956 to 1999 and there are more not included in this volume. Keep Reading
“Since 1986 Border Crossings has been responding to and corresponding with the essential and wondrous feminist artist— dazzling artist — Carolee Schneemann. She was such a significant figure of conscience, courage and invention that we thought her passion was sufficient to sustain her for all eternity. And it was. No one will forget her and no one can vanquish the ground-breaking work she did. What follows is a small archive of the material on and conversations with Carolee Schneemann published in Border Crossings over the years.” Keep Reading
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
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