BHQFU Week #10 Object Lessons: Geo Wyeth, Hausu, & The Empty Space by Peter Brook

Yesterday was my favorite class so far, but it's probably because we were assigned to watch Hausu, one of my favorite movies of all time.  Hausu, which is part of the criterion collection and is directed by Nobuhiko Obayashi, is a seminal piece of Japanese horror and is loved for it's campy and sincere style. 

We were also assigned to read the third part of Peter Brook's The Empty Space, where Brooks discusses how audiences can be captured - that even in an unlikely theater or space, with seemingly off props and decor, the audience can be completely enraptured.  In few occasions they can be more attentive in these spaces than in huge beautifully crafted theaters. 
In class we watched the beginning of Geo Wyeth's video Quartered that is currently being shown in the Studio Museum in Harlem as part of the show When the Stars Begin to Fall, Imagination and the American South.  You can expect a better post about this work when I see the show this coming week.  Geo Wyeth had a lot of really captivating ideas about seduction, performance, theater, and his experience as a transgender artist.  What I enjoyed most was his ability to be completely sincere about whatever it was he was discussing, an attribute that is a favorite of mine in artists. 
My favorite highlights of the conversation were when I explained what fan service was to the class, when people asked if the film Hausu was popular, and when Jarrett made an off hand remark stating that seduction and coercion were just a honey trap.  There are a lot of little delicious moments like these that make this class so engaging. 

BHQFU Week #8 Martha Schwendener & Vilém Flusser...

For week 8 we read VAMPYROTEUTHIS INFERNALIS written by Vilém Flusser & Louis Bec.  There were two reasons why I loved Vampyroteuthis Infernalis. One was for it's ability to create perfect patterns of words and sentences that created the most fantastic imagery available. For example;

"...the vampyroteuthic conflation of mouth and anus, along with its extraordinarily sopisticated sex life (three penises), should represent the zenith of life's development: the triumph of love over death - permanent orgasm."

When an author quite seriously discusses life in this manner is there really anything more interesting?  Most of these details about the creature are not facts, but here's another good one. 

"The male has three penises, each with a different function.  The penis proper is a flexible tube that contains spermatophores and penetrates into the female orifice.  Once inside, its tip detaches and moves alongside the ovary, where it deposits spermatozoa and dies.  This detachable tip regenerates after each act of coitus.  The second, spoon-shaped penis moves between the teeth of the female's tongue, stimulating ovulation and the excretion of specific hormones.  The third, thumb-shaped penis caresses the female abdomen during copulation.  Its physiological function is unclear, but outside of copulation it actively feels the environment.  If only we could grasp the world with a penis."

If only. The second reason I loved this text, was because Vampy became one giant metaphor that Flusser used to talk about life.  Martha Schwendener is writing her dissertation about Flusser, so it was great to hear her explain how amazing he was.  One comment Schwendener made that caught my attention was how she stated that Academics were about expertise and Art is about asking questions. Schwendener, who writes about art for the New York Times, makes a good point in this however I'm not really a fan of describing Art that way.  Mostly I feel artists who ask only questions can be a little too fearful to present real solutions to the questions their posing.  Schwendener also mentioned that the art world is in love with academia right now, which is historically bizarre, and I can't help but agree. What will work look like when the art world falls out of love with Academia?  Who knows. 


The Last Brucennial Highlights

Olga Sophie Kauppinen
April Childers
Kath E Burkhart
Tamara Gonzales 
Betty Tompkins
Jackie Rines

Judy Chicago
MaryAnn Strandell
Stephanie Calvert 
Zaria Forman
Chie Fueki
Chloe Wise

Aurora Pellizzi
Holly Coulis

This was the best piece in the show. 

Many great works by many lovely female artists. 


Gowanus Swim Society: Spring Equinox Party & Photoshoot

Thursday night Gowanus Swim Society had it's first party, Fisk and I hosted, we had a lot of fun, and now there is a surplus of beer in the apartment.

Photo courtesy of Dillen Phelps
Today Gowanus Swim Society had a little photo shoot, unfortunately not everyone could make it out, but we'll have another one soon...
Fisk & Myself


Highlights from Volta & The Armory

George Condo
Ross Chisholm
Carl Johan Högberg
Vicky Wright
Shinichi Maruyama
Hayal Pozanti
Austin Lee 
Alyson Shotz
Mary Heilmann
Chris Martin
Michael John Kelley
Hans Witschi
Will Schneider-White
This years Volta/Armory situation felt exactly the same as last years.  If not more ridiculous with the Armory's champagne carts wheeling around to make sure people didn't forget that this was a high class event.  The biggest difference was that Will had work at Volta.  It's always nice to a see a friend doing well. 

When Fisk and I go to Art Fairs we like to play this game:

Number of annoyed looking gallerists: 12
Number of works with gratuitous neon paint: 9
Number of works with neon: 10
Number of works made of garbage or made to look like garbage: 6
Number of works with badly done type: 7
Number of works with glitter: 9
Number of works featuring mirrors: 15
Number of simple line drawing works: 13

Good scores, and we were only counting at the Armory for about an hour and a half! 

BHQFU Week #5: Thyrza Nichols Goodeve & Week #6: Leigha Mason

Week 5 of Object Lessons featured Thyrza Nichols Goodeve.  The assignments were to read Plato's Phaedo and to watch Hiroshima, Mon Amour, both of which were new to me.  Thryza made it clear in the beginning of class that she chose both not for their relationship to each other but for their parallel relationships with language.  Notable conversation points were about the nature of Dialogue. Thyrza described dialogue as something that can never be created singularly and is interested in where truth lives within dialogue.  This notion seemed inescapable in Hiroshima, Mon Amour, where truth between lovers is selectively and beautifully picked for the ear of the listener, allowing for instances of exceptional honesty and secretive realities at once. 

Week 6 of Object Lessons featured Leigha Mason and the required reading was Rabelais' Pantagruel. This story with its descriptions of eating, shitting, and farting were a perfect lay up to discussing Leigha's performance Spit Banquet, a banquet where the attendees spit in containers normally eaten from. On plates, in bowls, in cups resulting in a smell that could not be ignored.  An underlying theme in Leigha's work seems to be exactly that - creating a space where you can't ignore or peacefully observe what is happening.  Your experience becomes mutable - an idea she spoke of numerous times during the class, "Once the body becomes mutable, you can do anything."  


Performing Audience, Martha Burgess @ Trestle Gallery

Friday night Fisk and I met at Trestle Gallery to check out the new show by Martha Burgess, Performing Audience.  I had helped M with the install so it was rad to see its completion.  It was an active and participatory night where the audience was able to play and perform with the space.  Here are some pics (Mostly by Fisk) of our fun below, also a naked man was there who had the biggest scrotum of all time and your welcome for not including a picture. 
Photo courtesy of M. Burgess

Photo courtesy of M. Burgess

My best scary stance.

I sang a song that was dedicated to Fisk.