Thursday, June 19, 2008

They Used to Hang Outlaws

Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan: La Ballata di Trotsky, Museum of Modern Art in Castello di Rivoli, Turin, 1997.

One can guess the title within a reasonable degree of accuracy, even if one doesn't read Italian. Questions remain however: Is this art? Is this good art? And why would anyone hang a stuffed horse in a room in the first place, art or not? Cattelan has admitted to his desire to push the limits of tolerance, but a well-hung stuffed race horse hardly does it. In today's world its effects range from boring to stupid, hardly shocking. If you want to be shocked, visit Bodies - The Exhibition, watch TV news, or examine the effects of aging on the skin of a copiously tattooed biker.

Movements of the past -- surrealism, dadaism, were shocking because the images, forms, actions, texts, etc. were new. This is not new, it's tedious, regardless of how elaborate a theoretical underpinning Cattelan constructs.

And furthermore it lacks dignity -- the dignity of life (which Cia Guo Qiang was able to give to his wolves); the dignity of death; and the dignity of vengeance - unless it happens to fall on the artist.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Just So We Don't Forget

Malcom Lowry's Epitaph

Malcolm Lowry
Late of the Bowery
His prose was flowery
And often glowery
He lived, nightly, and drank, daily,
And died playing the ukulele.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

I Started out on Terriers

"I lost my Scottish terrier," was the reason Tatum O'Neal gave for buying crack from a street dealer. The first dog is free.


The social networking software Twitter has spawned the term Twittering, which means in the blog-o-sphere to constantly record everything you are doing/thinking/ as it occurs. A Borgesian map of life so to speak. I would argue that the poet Robert Creeley was a pioneer of twittering, mapping his life and consciousness in his little poems; sending them on their way out into the poem-0-sphere to mingle, coagulate, coalesce (with) and evade the word-o-sphere.


To utter a succession of light chirping or
tremulous sound, to chirrup; to speak

rapidly and in a tremulous manner, to gig-
gle nervously, to titter.

To tremble with nervous agitation; the
light chirping of certain birds; light

tremulous speech or laughter; Agitation
or excitement; flutter. To flutter

in words on the pages of light.