November 2003 Archives

Some Chelsea shows


We spent all afternoon walking around Chelsea galleries. The highlights:

Carolyn Swiszcz at M.Y. Art Prospects -- an incredibly beautiful show of works on paper using various techniques including collage and painting.

Camelot Cleaner, 15 X 17, acrylic, pencil, and ink on paper, 2003


Henry Horenstein: Honky Tonk, Portraits of Country Music 1972 - 1981 at Sarah Morthland -- getting in touch with my heritage

Playing For Tips
Tootsies Orchid Lounge Nashville, Tennessee, 1974
Gelatin Silver Print, 16 X 20 inches
printed 2003


I can't get an image from her site, since it still shows the last show, but Framing Architecture, a show of architecture-related art curated by Daniel Marzona at Elga Wimmer is a great show. I especially liked the paintings and sculpture of Simon Aldridge, the works on paper by Eric Brown, and the styrofoam sculptures by Patrick Meagher. We saw Eric's work at the Cheap show at White Columns, which was where we picked up our Matthew Callinan piece.


Nancy Spero: The War Series 1966-70 at Galerie Lelong -- it is pretty rare to see such beauty in angry, political work like this

Love, Peace, Glory
Gouache and ink on paper


Contra/Post at JG Contemporary -- luckily the initials all worked out. The former Jay Grimm gallery on 28th Street has been acquired by Madison Avenue stalwart James Graham and Sons. They have a nice show of work by Joe Fyfe, James Hyde, Nancy Shaver, and others.

Nancy Shaver
Yellow and Black Horizontals and Red and Green Verticals
Wooden boxes, plastic blocks, flashe, acrylic and house paint

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Music Stuff

Yes, i still love all of you. I'm not posting much because I'm feeling flu-ish.

While browsing New Music Box, a web site for contemporary American music -- classical isn't quite the right word -- I came across their Quicktime presentation of John Cage's Complete Music for Carillon, which we were lucky enough to hear on October 26 as part of the "When Morty Met John" festival. James wrote about it here.

Two weeks ago we went to see the Berlin Philharmonic with Simon Rattle at Carnegie Hall. This is the first time they have appeared with him as Music Director in New York. It was dazzling. They started with a commissioned work by Heiner Goebbels, followed by Sibelius's Seventh Symphony and Schubert's Ninth Symphony ("The Great"). I like the idea of performing a contemporary work first. It makes one listen to the "classic" works as if they were new again, and the Berlin under Rattle certainly plays them that way.

They are an immensely talented and surprisingly young orchestra who could probably play these works in their sleep, but the point is that they do not play them that way. We could see the players smiling at each other with enthusiasm or even joy as they played. Performances like this remind me why we go to hear works performed live, even when we have almost anything one could hear in a concert on a CD at home.

I read an article in the Chicago Tribune about Simon Rattle. One of things it makes me think about, which is hard to express, is that I'm such a Euro-phile because it is a place where people consider culture an integral part of life, not a luxury for an effete elite. It's one of the reasons why I'm thinking of leaving the USA for a while at some point. I want to live in a city like Berlin that can mix a vital contemporary arts scene with a respect for classical culture that is part of the social fabric, not just something for a small group of people. Our President thinks he's talking about culture when he tells people he saw "Cats" on a previous visit to London.

Simon Rattle says it's not unusual for him to be strolling along one of the bustling streets of ethnically diverse Berlin and have a bunch of kids -- just the other week it was three Turkish teenagers -- greet him with a high-five and a cheery "Hi, Simon!"


"The thing that is different is that in Central Europe you don't have to argue that classical music is important or valid -- that is taken for granted," Rattle said recently from New York. "It's extraordinary how classical music survives when it isn't marginalized in people's consciousness. Over there, politicians believe it's important. They come to hear concerts and operas. They wouldn't consider themselves civilized unless they did."


And because the Berlin players have no collective fealty to the great classics, he has discovered they are more open to the challenge of performing some of the most difficult contemporary scores. He has already transformed the BPO's repertory by making his passion for the music of our time his players' passion too. "What is new for them they have accepted with open arms," Rattle observes, adding that the orchestra's new-music programs usually play to sold-out houses of younger listeners.

We're at war, dammit!

Let's just call it the Bush junta. Arguing before an appeals court that the government should be able to hold José Padilla indefinitely in a military brig without acccess to a lawyer, Bush's lawyers said that the entire United States is a battlefield and thus operates under "military justice."

On Sept. 11, 2001, "al-Qaida made the battlefield the United States and the evidence indicates that they're trying to make it the battlefield again," said Deputy Solicitor General Paul Clement. And if it's a "battlefield" arrest, Bush can detain anyone alleged to be in league with terrorists, including citizens, for as long as it takes to gather intelligence and deter future attacks. "This is the way it's been done for 200 years in military justice," Clement said.

Angela Turner Wilson


Angela Turner Wilson as Norina in Don Pasquale at NYC Opera

Remember her name. The production overall wasn't terribly interesting, but she has star power and a great voice.

[Really this weblog is often for my notes on what I've seen. It's not always for my readers.]

Our tax dollars at work

From The Guardian (emphasis mine):

George Bush was safely installed behind the high walls of Buckingham Palace last night at the start of a controversial state visit that will devote just 150 minutes to direct talks with Tony Blair on Iraq and other thorny problems.

Mr Bush, his wife, Laura, and a 700-strong entourage worthy of a travelling medieval monarch, flew into Heathrow airport slightly late, at about 7.30pm.


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A comic in honor of Glenn. Get well soon!


NRA Freedom



An interesting ensemble for a tall young man visiting NYC as a tourist. I took this photo next to the carousel in Central Park as he was waiting on his friends who were riding it. That's an Abercrombie & Fitch t-shirt in addition to his NRA hat and hunting coveralls.

Barefoot and pregnant


A man at an Ann Coulter appearance in Boulder does this:

"I stood up to the mic... kind of shaky, wasn't sure if I was going to use it, or go after her intellectual bankruptcy, and I finally just decided... Then I thanked her for coming to Boulder, and then I said, "Ann, since you're a self-proclaimed extreme right-winger, when are you going to take your own advice and get pregnant, march into the kitchen barefoot and make me a god damn sandwich?!"

Then, "the crowd roundly applauded me..." - "and I heard a good amount of boos, but it was mostly laughter."


Anyway, "She stood there kind of aghast for a couple seconds, gathered herself, and went into a 30 second response about how LIBERALS were actually the ones who wanted their women to be barefoot and in the kitchen pregnant."

[via TBOGG]

Fox News - Arm of the GOP

We all knew the 30-hour Senate debate was just show biz, but we hadn't realized quite how much.

Via The Hill:

The 30-hour debate on President Bush's judicial nominees began on a testy note Wednesday night.

After Republicans walked into the Senate chamber together to begin the extraordinary session, Democrats argued that their move was not a show of unity but rather a television stunt orchestrated for Fox News. They pointed to a memo from Manuel Miranda, a staffer for Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.), which said:

"It is important to double efforts to get your boss to S-230 on time ... Fox News Channel is really excited about this marathon and Brit Hume at 6 would love to open with all our 51 senators walking onto the floor -- the producer wants to know will we walk in exactly at 6:02 when the show starts so they get it live to open Brit Hume's show? Or if not, can we give them an exact time for the walk-in start?"

Democrats had unsuccessfully attempted to delay the debate until 8 p.m. to allow the Senate to first complete its work on the VA/HUD appropriations bill.

Democrats have confirmed 168 of the president's judicial nominees since 2001 and have only blocked four. Republicans blocked 63 of former Democratic President Bill Clinton's nominees, denying many of them even a confirmation hearing while in the majority.

GOP Love Boat


How can the GOP have a convention in NYC without mixing with New Yorkers? By having many of the politicians stay on a cruise ship. We all know they think New Yorkers are scum, and this way they don't have to defile themselves by interacting with the ones that work in hotels and restaurants, which I thought was supposed to be the only good thing about having the convention here.

Republicans, including Majority Leader Tom DeLay and Rep. Vito Fossella, are considering docking a luxury cruise ship in New York Harbor where members of Congress and lobbyists could stay and play during the GOP convention next summer.


"As far as the host committee is concerned, we have 22,000 hotel rooms reserved in New York City in close proximity to the [Madison Square] Garden, said mayoral spokeswoman Jennifer Falk. "Manhattan alone has an additional 44,000 hotel rooms. We are confident we are going to be able to provide a hotel room for every single delegate who needs one."

The cruise ship, with accommodations for 2,200 guests and 14 bars and 10 restaurants, would mirror other hospitality suites DeLay (R-Texas) has championed for members of Congress at past conventions. At the 2000 Republican convention in Philadelphia, DeLay secured private railroad cars, where members could meet and mingle with invited guests such as lobbyists - no media allowed. He also provided members of Congress with cars and drivers. The amenities were funded by corporate contributions to a political action committee.


Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-Brooklyn) criticized Republicans for eschewing city soil. "There's something fishy about having hotel rooms on the water when so many are available on the island," he said.

Newark on a Thursday

I have tickets to something else, otherwise I would be at the Newark Museum on Thursday to see Nicolás Dumit Estévez. See James for more info on Nicolás.


Super Merengue (SM)
by Nicolás Dumit Estévez
Thursday, November 13, 2003, 6:00-8:00 p.m.
Location: The Newark Museum
49 Washington Street, Newark
FREE with Suggested Museum Admission Reservations are required;
call 973-596-6613.

Board Merengue Air for a flight that leaves passengers suspended between the Dominican Republic and the United States. During the performance, participants learn about Caribbean migration patterns through music, ephemeral costumes, and altered emergency evacuation instructions.

Gallery crawl

I'm busy installing software now that my PowerBook is back from the shop and my wireless is finally working, so go read James on the Deitch shows and our Sunday visit to Williamsburg. Tim Lokiec's works on paper at Deitch are phenomenal.

Osmany Tellez

This entry is kind of a reminder note: remember the name of Osmany Tellez, a Cuban-born choreographer I saw last night at Dance Theater Workshop in a work titled "Descending Matter (Illusion Course)." I noticed in his biography that he has performed with Circus Amok!

He and three women dancers -- Astrud Angarita, Sigal Bergman, and Rebecca Serrell -- danced the piece to music by Guy Yarden with beautiful costumes by Astrud Angarita and lighting by Chloe Z. Brown.

I know even less about describing dance than I do about visual art, so I'll just say it was a beautiful mix of sexy, smart, original movement. I heard him talking to someone afterward about how creates works as collaborations with the dancers, and acts as choreographer and a kind of director/facilitator for improvisatory performers. Watch for him.

"command/shift/delete" by Ori Flomin on the same program was a very smart piece as well, with an interesting mix of intimacy and distance between the all-male cast. Very appropriate for a work inspired by our technology-soaked world.

There was another work on the program, by Nia Love. Let's agree not to talk about it.

GDR Anti-American Posters

Jesus actor struck by lightning

How can you not love a headline like that?

Jesus actor struck by lightning

Actor Jim Caviezel has been struck by lightning while playing Jesus in Mel Gibson's controversial film The Passion Of Christ.

The lightning bolt hit Caviezel and the film's assistant director Jan Michelini while they were filming in a remote location a few hours from Rome.

It was the second time Michelini had been hit by lightning during the shoot.

[via artnotes]

Axum Obelisk

The Axum Obelisk, of which I wrote last year, is headed back to Ethiopia. Mussolini had it moved to Rome in 1937.

One Party State

If I'm going to live in a third world banana republic, things should be cheaper, the cities should be more colorful, the food should be better and more spicy, and my fellow citizens should be more attractive.

From today's Washington Post we learn:

The Bush White House, irritated by pesky questions from congressional Democrats about how the administration is using taxpayer money, has developed an efficient solution: It will not entertain any more questions from opposition lawmakers.


The director of the White House Office of Administration, Timothy A. Campen, sent an e-mail titled "congressional questions" to majority and minority staff on the House and Senate Appropriations panels. Expressing "the need to add a bit of structure to the Q&A process," he wrote: "Given the increase in the number and types of requests we are beginning to receive from the House and Senate, and in deference to the various committee chairmen and our desire to better coordinate these requests, I am asking that all requests for information and materials be coordinated through the committee chairmen and be put in writing from the committee."

He said this would limit "duplicate requests" and help answer questions "in a timely fashion."

It would also do another thing: prevent Democrats from getting questions answered without the blessing of the GOP committee chairmen.

"It's saying we're not going to allow the opposition party to ask questions about the way we use tax money," said R. Scott Lilly, Democratic staff director for the House committee. "As far as I know, this is without modern precedent."

Norman Ornstein, a congressional specialist at the American Enterprise Institute, agreed. "I have not heard of anything like that happening before," he said. "This is obviously an excuse to avoid providing information about some of the things the Democrats are asking for."

A Democratic Senator cannot ask questions unless a Republican Senator approves the question.

3 Years of free hosting?

I don't really need another web hosting account, but I will probably sign up in case I need them for some storage space, etc.

Rather than spend it on adverstising, 1 & 1 Internet has decided to give away 3 free years of hosting before they start their new (paid) hosting business in January. It includes CGI and MySQL, so it's perfect for hosting a weblog. If I know and love you, I will help you set it up.

Update: new domains are $6 if you need one.

Did I scare my readers? Perhaps you feared no more art posts? Barry had gone off the deep end?

Fear no more. Here are a couple of art recommendations.

Meighan Gale at Black & White Gallery in Williamsburg:


Meighan, who had work in the inaugural show of this gallery, now has a solo show. We have known her for a number of years, and have a few works by her. In person, she always feels like a dancer -- the way she moves, a certain kind of poise. I think the photographs in the show give a sense of that. I've never known her to do public performances -- the photographs serve as documentation for performances that we never see in person. The color works in the show are high-quality inkjet prints, which give a very polished, elegant quality to her work, which was often rougher and more hand-made in the past, from the quality of the prints to the stitched thread that appears in many of the works. I don't prefer one style over the other, but it is cool to see an artist work both ways and make interesting art in the process.


My other recommendation is David Shapiro at Jack The Pelican Presents. It's next door to Black & White on Driggs, so it's easy to stop by and see both of these. I have seen a few snarky "been there, done that" comments on the show, generally from people who sound like they haven't bothered to see it -- cough gawker cough. I think the show is great. I'm not sure how to explain it, but it works. Don't miss the back room where his plants, cared for with loving attention, live in pots printed with the scary ingredient lists of some of the items in the front.


One more thing: Read James's post on the current show at Team Gallery -- warning explicit photo! -- and don't miss the show.


Is this what a democracy looks like? I have to rely on Jon Stewart's Daily Show or an op-ed in the Washington Post to learn that the $87 billion Iraq package was approved by a voice vote with SIX SENATORS PRESENT.

The fact that this is barely in the news almost as awful as the cowards in both parties who won't own up to the Iraq mess. The vote was 5-1. The one against was Senator Robert Byrd. His speech is online.

David Brooks: Mistakes will be made

David Brooks has got to go. In yesterday's New York Times, he wrote that Americans need to be prepared for the atrocities that are likely to happen in Iraq if we're going to really win.

It's not that we can't accept casualties. History shows that Americans are willing to make sacrifices. The real doubts come when we see ourselves inflicting them. What will happen to the national mood when the news programs start broadcasting images of the brutal measures our own troops will have to adopt? Inevitably, there will be atrocities that will cause many good-hearted people to defect from the cause. They will be tempted to have us retreat into the paradise of our own innocence.

Somehow, over the next six months, until the Iraqis are capable of their own defense, the Bush administration is going to have to remind us again and again that Iraq is the Battle of Midway in the war on terror, the crucial turning point where either we will crush the terrorists' spirit or they will crush ours.

The president will have to remind us that we live in a fallen world, that we have to take morally hazardous action if we are to defeat the killers who confront us. It is our responsibility to not walk away. It is our responsibility to recognize the dark realities of human nature, while still preserving our idealistic faith in a better Middle East.

So the Times is now printing columnists who say we're going to have to live with these "morally hazardous" actions. I think that's an outrage, and make a mockery of what Americans (and the Times) supposedly stand for. There is no history of terrorizing civilians as an effective long-term tactic, as even the Israeli military is now saying.

The letter to the editor page is here, for those who want to contact the Times.

For a much better write-up than mine on the topic, check out slacktivist.

2/15 Book

That's my image that made it into a new book on the global demonstrations against war in Iraq called 2/15: The Day the World Said No to War. I went to a reception tonight at the Goethe Institute to celebrate the release of the book. The web site for the project is here.

CBS pulls Reagan miniseries

OK. Who thinks we're going to have a real election in 2004 if major networks aren't allowed to do a mini-series about Reagan unless it is hagiographic?

We don't have a real media at this point except for out of the mainstream magazines like The Nation that cannot compete with the big networks and newspapers. If they didn't bother to question Bush during the first election about anything -- his Viet Nam record, his corrupt business practices, etc. -- do you think his Democratic opponent will have a chance when the GOP will argue that questioning the President during a war is unpatriotic?

As I heard Mark Crispin-Miller say last night, if Ralph Nader had never been born George W. Bush would still be our President. The kicked thousands of people off the voter rolls illegally in Florida (see Greg Palast), and the Supreme Court had his father's appointees make sure the election went to the person with fewer popular votes.

The idea that people are offended when Reagan is portrayed as indifferent to people with AIDS is laughable. The first time he said the word was 1987, and by that point at least 25,000 Americans had died of AIDS.

In a portion of the script published in The New York Times last month, Reagan was depicted as uncaring and judgmental toward people with AIDS. "They that live in sin shall die in sin," Reagan's character tells his wife as she begs him to help AIDS victims.

Here is a quote via

In "Dutch," Reagan's authorized biography, the author, Edmund Morris, writes that Reagan once said of AIDS, "Maybe the Lord brought down this plague," because "illicit sex is against the Ten Commandments."

Reagan, you will remember, divorced his first wife to marry Nancy. Illicit sex, indeed.

Get Your War On

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New ones are on the web site. A sample:


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