October 2004 Archives

Joe Ovelman photos up

I told you earlier to go. Here is my gallery of photos of the work. All but one were still there when we reached them.

Joe Ovelman - this time there's a map

Joe just called to let me know that this time there is a map, because he has spread the work across a number of blocks. The endpoints are West 16th Street between Eighth and Ninth Avenues and Tenth Avenue between 26th and 27th Streets. Every location has a map showing the location of the other works. We have go out and see them now.

Here is the last post I did on one of his installations two weeks ago. James did one too.

Photo from the last one:

Election night events

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I hope to be celebrating, not drowning my sorrows, on election night. I actually hope we know who the "winner" is that night, and that they don't put NYC under martial law.

I know of two lists of election night events:

  • From Joy Garnett, a list of exhibitions related to the election, which includes some election night events
  • From culturebot.org

I also know of parties at White Box, Exit Art, in Manhattan, and Four Walls Projects at Supreme Trading in Williamsburg.

Also, Not in Our Name is gathering at Union Square, 5-10.

Let me know if you hear of any others, and where you're planning to be on election night.

From the artist who brought us iPod/iRaq

Copper Greene's latest:


Don't remember the iRaq posters? Go here.

[via Wooster Collective]

I previously mentioned Julian Montague's appearance in the summer group show at Black and White.

I just found out he has a web site, and the Stray Shopping Cart Project has its own web site. The project is a kind of taxonomy of shopping carts as they're found away from their original locations. You can see it at Art in General through November 6.


I'm not posting much, as I have a couple of urgent projects, plus I'm trying to not get too stressed out over the election. It's making me ill.

Also, James has put up quite a few art posts in the last few days. Go read those.

More Echo Eggebrecht images/details

When I wrote about her show earlier, I hadn't realized she had a web site. She has more images and details on her website, www.echoeggebrecht.com.

Get Your War On

New one! Click on the image for the whole thing.




I don't get it. To me, caring about who wins a baseball game is like screaming "Yeah! Coke beat Pepsi!" They're all corporate brands.

Is that George Clinton at the DanceMob?


From John Perry Barlow

Following our forays during the Republican National Convention, many in our DanceMob declared that dancing in the streets had been so much gosh-darned fun that it would be a good thing to do even without a targeted political motive.

[Image from Jo Miller]

Another event this weekend is the open studios event at Elizabeth Foundation on West 39th Street.

Saturday, October 23, 2004 2:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Sunday, October 24, 2004 2:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Art in the Bronx

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The first annual Mott Haven Artist Studio Tour happens this Saturday and Sunday. It also includes performances, video, and music. You can get there via subway. If you can go to PS1 or Williamsburg, which are only one stop from Manhattan, don't let that be your excuse.

Another reason to cancel PayPal

They don't like gay (or AIDS) organizations. They have cancelled their agreement with Red Hot, the AIDS awareness organization, and Belhue Press, a publisher of gay books owned by Perry Brass, for having a cover showing two bare-chested men touching each other. Via Queerday.

Related: PayPalSucks.

One more Saturday opening

Now that Foxy Production mentioned their new exhibition on their web page, I can mention it as one of my picks.

Despite the Sun: Jimmy Baker, Gail Stoicheff and Yuh-Shioh Wong

We blew it by not seeing Yuh-Shioh Wong's solo show at ATM, so we're looking forward to this one. Love her!


Also, I screwed up by not mentioning Type A's opening at Sara Meltzer tonight. I'm losing my organizational skills for the openings calendar as it gets more popular. Go see their show! Disclaimer: we own some of their work. In fact, we were the first people to buy a Type A work.

Speaking of openings...

There are a lot of openings the next few days. My picks:

Today, Thursday


Larissa Bates, Attack/Rescue of the Little-Tiny-Babies, 2004
gouache and acrylic ink on paper
20 by 14.25 inches

  • Larissa Bates at Monya Rowe -- see James.
  • Also in Chelsea: Kahn and Selesnick at Yancey Richardson. This time the duo's premise is that the 1960s astronauts land on the moon and find a group of Edwardian astronauts.
  • If we weren't planning to be at Monya Rowe, we would go see Cary Liebowitz/Candyass at Triple Candie's slide show/lecture series. It starts at 7.


  • Brady Dollarhide at Jessica Murray - her new Chelsea space
  • Seonna Hong at Oliver Kamm 5BE
  • Election at American Fine Arts (West 22nd, no web site I think)


All in one building at 547 West 27th:


Note: If the gallery web site hasn't been updated, it's not getting listed. I made an exception for the exceptional American Fine Arts.


The art/politics mix isn't just giving me an ulcer, as I said earlier, it's giving me bad dreams. Last night I dreamed I was at a gallery opening and an ax-wielding madman stormed in and killed everyone.

Jerry Nadler and the Arts

The Peter Hort campaign seems to be implying that the arts aren't important to Jerry Nadler, the current Congress member representing my district. Go here and click on the "On Freedom of Expression/Free Speech" link to see his record. They have not yet added that he just received an A+ from the Arts Action Fund, an arts PAC. You can see their Congressional Scorecard (PDF) by clicking here. Regarding the Arts Action Fund, I love seeing any list that has Chuck Close and Chuck D on it.


Two columns on Mary Cheney


I'm sick of reading people say it's offensive to mention that Mary Cheney is a lesbian. She is openly gay, she brought her partner onto the stage after the VP debate, and she was gay for pay as a liaison to the gay/lesbian community for Coors.

First, from Hank Stuever in the Washington Post -- it's scary when Andrew Sullivan and I agree on something.

"How incredibly sad for Mary Cheney, the lesbian in question. And not for the reasons that her parents and the pundits have been screaming about," journalist Dave Cullen wrote on Salon.com, deftly describing his own offense at the latest chapter in the quiet saga of Mary. "It is not an insult to call a proudly public lesbian a lesbian. It's an insult to gasp when someone calls her a lesbian. . . . You're embarrassed for us. And it's infuriating."


Andrew Sullivan, the gay conservative pundit and obsessive blogger, takes a stab at the elusive Meaning of Mary:

"The Cheneys didn't respond to . . . [Republican senatorial candidate] Alan Keyes' direct insult of their own daughter in Illinois. They have not voiced objections to a single right-wing piece of homophobia in this campaign," Sullivan posted Saturday.

"But they are outraged that Kerry mentioned the simple fact of their daughter's openly gay identity. What complete b.s. . . . The GOP is run, in part, by gay men and women, its families are full of gay people, and yet it is institutionally opposed to even the most basic protections for gay couples. You can keep up a policy based on rank hypocrisy for only so long. And then it tumbles like a house of cards. Kerry just pulled one card from out of the bottom of the heap. Watch the edifice of double standards slowly implode. Gay people and their supporters will no longer acquiesce in this charade. Why on earth should we?"


Before she became a public enigma, she used to earn a nice living as a corporate liaison for Coors Brewing Co., going into gay bars (sometimes with Mr. International Leather 1999, who would wear his chaps and straps, according to the Advocate) to convince everyone that Coors had changed. For a long time, gay people were implored by activists to boycott Coors, based on its funding of anti-gay causes. Mary got in there, talked about Coors's new domestic-partner benefits for employees. Mary said, here, try a Coors. She was good at that, and the boycott wafted away, and you didn't see as much Bud Light in gay bars.

Mary is mythic, perhaps tragic, and don't forget sapphic. The conundrum for the liberal-hearted, stereotypical homo voter is this: She likes being Republican. She is a lesbian Republican.

One day, years from now, Mary may explain it to us. For now it's a tale about a woman trapped in a tower circled by bats. This is a common gay conceit, a misconception: Mary needs to be freed from all this. But just when you think she's rescued, she's back in that fortress again.

Finally you realize that she returns there voluntarily, that she is not trapped, that she was born and raised in the tower. Absent any words from Mary herself, you can only assume that she would be the first to tell you she belongs there.

The second is from Margaret Carlson, and appeared locally in Newsday. I had to link to it as soon as I read this wonderful section:

Republicans know they have to be careful how they strike back for fear of alienating their moderates. For the first time, Log Cabin Republicans are not supporting the GOP. The constitutional amendment on gay marriage was too far to go for a tax cut.

Sending good thoughts to Marc Almond

Marc Almond of Soft Cell was critically injured in an accident in London. Here is a link to my last post about Soft Cell, including an MP3 of Tainted Love.

Reality-based community

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I'm glad to be part of the "reality-based community." After reading this article, you will be too. Which country are you going to move to if Bush wins the election?

In the Oval Office in December 2002, the president met with a few ranking senators and members of the House, both Republicans and Democrats. In those days, there were high hopes that the United States-sponsored ''road map'' for the Israelis and Palestinians would be a pathway to peace, and the discussion that wintry day was, in part, about countries providing peacekeeping forces in the region. The problem, everyone agreed, was that a number of European countries, like France and Germany, had armies that were not trusted by either the Israelis or Palestinians. One congressman -- the Hungarian-born Tom Lantos, a Democrat from California and the only Holocaust survivor in Congress -- mentioned that the Scandinavian countries were viewed more positively. Lantos went on to describe for the president how the Swedish Army might be an ideal candidate to anchor a small peacekeeping force on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Sweden has a well-trained force of about 25,000. The president looked at him appraisingly, several people in the room recall.

''I don't know why you're talking about Sweden,'' Bush said. ''They're the neutral one. They don't have an army.''

Lantos paused, a little shocked, and offered a gentlemanly reply: ''Mr. President, you may have thought that I said Switzerland. They're the ones that are historically neutral, without an army.'' Then Lantos mentioned, in a gracious aside, that the Swiss do have a tough national guard to protect the country in the event of invasion.

Bush held to his view. ''No, no, it's Sweden that has no army.''

The room went silent, until someone changed the subject.


In the summer of 2002, after I had written an article in Esquire that the White House didn't like about Bush's former communications director, Karen Hughes, I had a meeting with a senior adviser to Bush. He expressed the White House's displeasure, and then he told me something that at the time I didn't fully comprehend -- but which I now believe gets to the very heart of the Bush presidency.

The aide said that guys like me were ''in what we call the reality-based community,'' which he defined as people who ''believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.'' I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. ''That's not the way the world really works anymore,'' he continued. ''We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality -- judiciously, as you will -- we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.''

Who besides guys like me are part of the reality-based community? Many of the other elected officials in Washington, it would seem. A group of Democratic and Republican members of Congress were called in to discuss Iraq sometime before the October 2002 vote authorizing Bush to move forward. A Republican senator recently told Time Magazine that the president walked in and said: ''Look, I want your vote. I'm not going to debate it with you.'' When one of the senators began to ask a question, Bush snapped, ''Look, I'm not going to debate it with you.''


Every few months, a report surfaces of the president using strikingly Messianic language, only to be dismissed by the White House. Three months ago, for instance, in a private meeting with Amish farmers in Lancaster County, Pa., Bush was reported to have said, ''I trust God speaks through me.'' In this ongoing game of winks and nods, a White House spokesman denied the president had specifically spoken those words, but noted that ''his faith helps him in his service to people.''

A recent Gallup Poll noted that 42 percent of Americans identify themselves as evangelical or ''born again.'' While this group leans Republican, it includes black urban churches and is far from monolithic. But Bush clearly draws his most ardent supporters and tireless workers from this group, many from a healthy subset of approximately four million evangelicals who didn't vote in 2000 -- potential new arrivals to the voting booth who could tip a close election or push a tight contest toward a rout.

This signaling system -- forceful, national, varied, yet clean of the president's specific fingerprint -- carries enormous weight. Lincoln Chafee, the moderate Republican senator from Rhode Island, has broken with the president precisely over concerns about the nature of Bush's certainty. ''This issue,'' he says, of Bush's ''announcing that 'I carry the word of God' is the key to the election. The president wants to signal to the base with that message, but in the swing states he does not.''


And for those who don't get it? That was explained to me in late 2002 by Mark McKinnon, a longtime senior media adviser to Bush, who now runs his own consulting firm and helps the president. He started by challenging me. ''You think he's an idiot, don't you?'' I said, no, I didn't. ''No, you do, all of you do, up and down the West Coast, the East Coast, a few blocks in southern Manhattan called Wall Street. Let me clue you in. We don't care. You see, you're outnumbered 2 to 1 by folks in the big, wide middle of America, busy working people who don't read The New York Times or Washington Post or The L.A. Times. And you know what they like? They like the way he walks and the way he points, the way he exudes confidence. They have faith in him. And when you attack him for his malaprops, his jumbled syntax, it's good for us. Because you know what those folks don't like? They don't like you!'' In this instance, the final ''you,'' of course, meant the entire reality-based community.

Happy Second Viennese School Month!

Read this to learn what I'm talking about.

Since I last wrote about Peter Hort's campaign for Congress, I also learned about an "Arts Committee for Peter Hort for Congress." I have also started looking at information on donations to his campaign.

Among those listed as members of "Arts Committee for Peter Hort for Congress":

My list of names came from an email Simon sent to James, which was also forwarded to me by several people who thought I might be interested in this particular mix of arts and politics. There are additional people mentioned in a press release on Peter Hort's web site.

It's hard to fit all of this into a single post, but I'm going to try.

Item 1: A vote for Peter Hort is a vote for the Republican Party. That means you are supporting the following agenda:

  • anti-gay
  • anti-choice
  • pro-Iraq War, which diverted resources away from hunting the perpetrators of 9/11 and has wasted so many lives and billions of dollars
  • anti-immigrant
  • anti-cities
  • anti-culture

Item 2: A vote for Peter Hort is a vote to strengthen the power of the right-wing House leadership. The de facto leader of the House is Tom DeLay (R-TX), the Majority Leader. Were Peter Hort to defeat Jerrold Nadler, it would increase the GOP's margin in the House. Here are some links on Tom DeLay:

Another member of the House leadership is Speaker Dennis Hastert. Yes, the one who said New Yorkers were too greedy after 9/11.

I can think of two explanations of why people in the art world would support Peter Hort.

The first one is that they are being naive. They buy into the idea that politics can be about individual politicians, and not their parties. I wish that were the case, but to support someone running on the Republican and Conservative Party lines for Congress against a Democratic incumbent is a vote to empower Tom DeLay and his ilk. I wish there were moderates in positions of power in the GOP, but there are none.

It doesn't matter if Mr. Hort professes decent positions in person. I am told by several people that I should talk to him personally, and that he is pro-choice and pro-gay marriage. It doesn't matter. A vote for him is a vote for the GOP agenda.

The second explanation is the cynical one. Mr. Hort's parents, Susan and Michael Hort, are among the most important collectors in New York right now. Peter Hort runs a foundation named after his late sister, the Rema Hort Mann Foundation, which gives grants to artists.

When important collectors ask people in the art world to support their son's candidacy, many of them feel they have no choice but to do so. To do otherwise would be bad for business or bad for one's artistic career. Maybe most of them realize that he is unlikely to win, so "no harm done" is their rationale. Besides, in general they are privileged enough to feel that the GOP agenda won't directly cause them any harm, while opposing Peter Hort's campaign may do quite visible harm to a career or business.

I find it inconceivable that any person who cares about culture or the state of our nation and planet would vote for a member of the party of George W. Bush.

This is my last post on this subject unless something really big comes up. It's giving me an ulcer.

My previous articles on Peter Hort:

Photo-Op: political opera

Go see Photo-Op, by Conrad Cummings, next week. It's being presented on October 28-29. We went to a performance with excerpts, but the whole thing is being done on those days. For the visual arts crowd, your reason to see it: James Siena wrote the libretto.

Here is a video from the performance we attended. I recommend going to 21.5 minutes in to hear "By keeping things exactly the way that they are..." and 29 minutes in to the Purcell-meets-Gilbert-and-Sullivan aria "Would you die for me?"

Joe Ovelman - Wall on Tenth Avenue




Joe Ovelman did one of his guerilla art walls in Chelsea early this morning on Tenth Avenue between 22nd and 23rd Streets. We photographed it around 5pm.

I'm sure James will have something up soon about it. We have both written about/photographed earlier actions. See: 1, 2, 3.

Affair @ The Jupiter Hotel, Portland, OR

I wish this had happened while we were in Portland!

Macro/Micro. Maybe it's my economics degree causing me to use such words, but that was in my thoughts after I left Echo Eggebrecht's smart painting show at Sixtyseven Gallery. It's the first show in their new space on 27th Street since moving from Williamsburg.

The paintings range in size from 18" × 18" to 36" × 48", but I remembered them as quite large. I don't think they reproduce that well in the images on the gallery web site, as there is a high level of detail in them. I had the gallery give me a CD of high quality images so I could provide some details.

The first one is Snake in the Grass (2004) , acrylic on panel, 24" × 36."


You can't easily see the interesting details, like the quality of the grass around the garden hose and the amazing needle-point-like fabrics on the clothes drying rack. Even with detail shots I have trouble getting my point across, but here goes.




I'll just do one more, but go see her show for the real thing. The last day is November 6th.

echo-eggebrecht-stars-and-stripes.jpg Stars and Stripes, 2003, acrylic on panel, 18" × 24"



One last note. I attended the opening of the show, and the gallery had a big stack of press releases with the checklist on back available. Kudos to Ron and Claire. I hate going to openings and having to fight for information!


Updated: I added one more detail image supplied by the gallery.

Nobody's Lunch

I wrote about the show a couple of days ago. It has been extended a few days, until Sunday the 17th. Click here and use discount code "LYNCH" for $17 tickets.

Billionaires for Bush - Arkansas Chapter

My mother sent me an article from the Arkansas Democrat Gazette (state paper, article not online) about Michael Moore's appearance in her town of Conway. The Billionaires for Bush have an Arkansas chapter now! Article excerpt:

During his speech on the campus of the University of Central Arkansas in Conway on Sunday night, filmmaker and Bush antagonizer Michael Moore encountered so warm a reception that even the onstage deaf interpreter clapped along at the more robust applause lines. The only opposition encountered by Moore - who had been roundly booed a month earlier in his press seat at the Republican National Convention - came preshow, from a mass of young protesters gathered outside Reynolds Performance Hall. The group was dressed though it was bound for the gilded box of an opera hall. The sentiments of their protest signs were over the top, even for the farthest reaches of political activism: "Four More Wars!" demanded one, waving out from the dust cloud of pearls, crushed velvet and cufflinks. "It's a Culture War," sneered another, "And We're Winning." Besides the incongruous extremism of the messages - garish, decoded and impolite slogans delivered in the noblesse obligest of packages - there were other clues that these protesters were not as out of step with Moore's incredulous liberalism as they seemed on the surface. For one thing, the protesters were awfully young to be seriously going around dressed like Thurston Howell and his wife, Lovey, from Gilligan's Island. And then there were the hairstyles: a fauxhawk here, a rockabilly pompadour there, to tip the groups' whitegloved hands.

In fact, the protesters were Hendrix College and UCA students who had taken up the banner of Billionaires for Bush, a group that first came to notice during the Republican National Convention, when they staged a mock tea party in Central Park. Satirizing what they see as President Bush's favoritism to corporations and the super-rich, the Billionaires show support for John Kerry by espousing their interpretations of the most craven and policy-embroidered positions of conservatives : Irony as activism - which, when you think about it, might be the natural evolution of dissent in an age when collegians trust Jon Stewart of Comedy Central's Daily Show more than Dan Rather.

"With the straightforward protests, you get these grimaces and it's unapproachable," Michael Inscoe said later. Inscoe, a navy-suited Billionaire, is also a 22-year-old English major from Maumelle. "The entertainment factor of this makes people pay attention to it."

"Each one of us has a different target audience we're going for," explained Nick Stinson, a 19-year-old economics and business major from Houston. "My role is some sort of CEO, or an executive at Halliburton or Enron." Before becoming a Billionaire for Bush, Stinson organized a similar protest of what he perceived as the crass consumerism driving MTV's Rock the Vote bus tour, which made a stop on the Hendrix campus last month and, in addition to registering new voters, set up an expo of booths with marketing promotions. "They don't care whether you vote," said Stinson. "They care whether you buy Cingular or Ben & Jerry's." To get his point across, Stinson and some friends dressed in suits and staged a "business luncheon" in the Hendrix cafeteria. "We just went in and sort of made a ruckus," he said.

Afterward, they realized their movement was similar to the approach of Billionaires for Bush, and Stinson and several like-minded friends spent the Thursday before Moore's visit brainstorming caricatures of right-wing values and scrawling them on cardboard placards.

Then, there was the wardrobe wrangling. How do you affect Brooks Brothers polish on a Gap budget? You do what movers in the counterculture have always done, which is to subvert and co-opt the style of the mainstream by using what's on hand, then augmenting your resources with thriftstore finds. "It was definitely easier for some people than others," said Seth Baldy, a 22-yearold environmental studies major whose previous act of political protest was organizing STARC, Students Transforming and Resisting Corporations. "One guy had a full tuxedo," he marveled. "He even had... what are those things that wrap around your stomach?" We ventured that he was perhaps describing a cummerbund. "That's it," he said. "A cummerbund. All I had was this raggedy old blazer and this tie."

"I was nervous that people weren't going to get the irony," said Kate Lloyd, 19, a philosophy major from Huntsville, Ala. Lloyd wore a button-front shirt with a necktie and a big Hello! My Name Is name tag, on which she had written "Prescott." "I'm a trust fund kid," she explained. For the protest, Lloyd brandished a sign that read "Warning : Affordable Health Care May Result in Dangerously Low Profits." "A lot of the girls are supposed to be trophy wives," she said of her sisters-in-arms, many of whom had zipped themselves into satiny evening gowns. Then Lloyd sighed the universal lament of the underwardrobed college girl. "I didn't have a formal dress."

Emboldened by the response Sunday night - Moore's camera crew told them they were the best Billionaires for Bush they'd seen - the group will be reconvening for weekly demonstrations outside Conway's City Hall at 5 p.m. every Friday until the election. The Billionaires realize that the move will place them before a possibly less supportive audience than was gathered for the Moore event, and one with an extra layer of insulation from the group's irony: their cars. "We'll have to make bigger signs," Stinson said. "And the slogans will have to be shorter and more precise."


I learned about Compare|Decide|Vote from Cory Arcangel (warning - web page with sound).

They do some great side-by-side comparisons of Kerry and Bush positions, but I went to see the ad by Ben Jones and Paper Rad. Click on the "see the ads", then "Play the Game" to see it.

The words "progressive" and "convervative" (except for the use of "fiscally conservative") do not appear on Peter Hort's web site. However, the word "progressive" is used in mailings sent out by his supporters (more on that in another post), and in his responses on this web site to my previous posts about him.

When I wrote about his campaign for Congress here and here, I hadn't realized that he was also running on the New York Conservative Party line. The Conservative Party is anti-choice and anti-gay. Not only are they opposed to gay marriage, they are opposed to civil unions. Their Senate candidate, Marilyn O'Grady, is running a television advertisement portraying Senator Schumer and his Republican opponent as gay grooms atop a wedding cake.

Sen. Charles Schumer hit the airwaves yesterday with the first TV ad of his front-running re-election effort even as a challenger from Garden City launched a spot portraying the Democratic incumbent and another challenger atop a gay marriage wedding cake.

Citing support by Schumer and Republican challenger Howard Mills for gay civil unions and abortion rights, Conservative Party candidate Marilyn O'Grady's TV spot featured male figurines representing the two men atop the cake.

"Schumer and Mills, the perfect liberal couple," O'Grady's 30-second ad states. "Only conservative Marilyn O'Grady stands with President Bush to defend marriage and protect the unborn."

Mr. Hort's web site makes no mention of his being on the Conservative Party ticket. The campaign materials I've seen in my neighborhood of Chelsea don't mention the Republican or Conservative parties. I had to visit the NYC Board of Elections to find that out. His web site issues page says nothing about civil rights, gay or otherwise, and abortion rights.

Isn't it fair for New Yorkers to ask how someone can run on the Republican and Conservative Party lines and claim to be a progressive candidate? Was it merely expedient to get on those ticket lines, and he doesn't agree with their positions? Or does he believe them but won't say that in his campaign literature? Neither answer is one that should win votes.


UPDATE: James says that this post seems to let Mr. Hort off the hook for being a Republican if you don't read the earlier posts. I'm not saying the GOP isn't an anti-gay, anti-abortion party. I'm saying that Mr. Hort makes the argument, which many people do, that there is a place for moderates in the GOP. I don't happen to believe that. I believe that a vote for any GOP candidate for the House is a vote to keep Tom DeLay in power. I do not know how Mr. Hort justifies being on the Conservative Party ticket if he claims to be a moderate. There is no "moderate" wing of the Conservative Party in New York. I think that's the point of the party.

Get Happy


Last week for Nobody's Lunch

We saw The Civilians' Nobody's Lunch last Thursday, and I've been remiss in not writing it about it sooner.

A play at the place where Andy works, recommended by both Choire and me? How could you miss it? Besides, for the visual arts readers of this blog, the cast includes Alix Lambert.

I mentioned it earlier, but that was before we had seen it.

I think it is still more of a work in progress than Gone Missing, but that isn't really a complaint for a work from a group like The Civilians. Heck, I saw Wooster Group's "To you, the birdie" three times in various stages of completion.

The theme of Nobody's Lunch is epistemology -- how do we know what we know? The stories range from what we get when the cast cold-called every Jessica Lynch in a phone book anywhere in America, to the... spirit channeled by one of Damian Baldet's characters who says alien creatures feed on our fear and love the world America has created. In a strong cast, he really stands out with a brilliant performance in the piece.

There is plenty of humor in the work, but there are also moments that made me pretty emotional. Christina Kirk's character that tells us of her childhood experience in a cult is chilling. KJ Sanchez gives us part of an interview with her 73-year-old mother, and when it's followed by Baron Vaughn singing "I want to die for something", I will admit James and I got a bit teary.

In addition to a brilliant cast, Michael Friedman's songs really stand out. I don't have to tell anyone who knows me that I hate conventional musicals, but there are ones like Hedwig or Urinetown that I do like. Generally, they are ones with clever music that sounds as if it's aware of what's happpened since 1940 in music, and that has some political content. Michael's lyrics are very smart, and when he pulls a line into a song that you heard a character speak earlier in the evening, it adds additional depth. He writes in a number of styles, and one of my favorites in this one is the Song of Progressive Disenchantment, performed by Caitlin Miller. As you might guess, it's in the style of a Brecht/Weill song, such as Surabaya Johnny. It's also hilarious.

I have information on discount tickets to see it:

Special 2-for-1 tickets to NOBODY'S LUNCH available until 10/14 (10/7 and 10/10 excluded). Special price available ONLY through PS 122 box office:
212.477.5288. Offer subject to availability. Use code: LUNCHFOR2

That Gone Missing link above is a post of mine that includes some MP3s of earlier songs by Michael.

Champion Fine Art - now in Los Angeles!

Champion Fine Art is now in Los Angeles, Culver City to be precise. Their first show, curated by Matt Johnson, opens October 29.

They both close Saturday, so get on over there. Yancey Richardson is on 22nd Street in Chelsea.

Mitch Epstein's show, titled Family Business, documents the collapse of his father's furniture and real estate business in Holyoke, Massachusetts. It also becomes a document of the collapse of small businesses and old city downtowns. A number of the images would be moving without the background story, but they're devastating as soon as you know it.

mitch-epstein-flag.jpg Flag, 2000, 30 × 40 inches, Chromogenic Print

mitch-epstein-warehouse.jpg Warehouse, 2000, 50 × 60 inches, Chromogenic Print


Appropriately, the other show is Oraien Catledge's Cabbagetown, with images from his book of the same name. Catledge photgraphed the people of Cabbagetown, a small, impoverished milltown not far from downtown Atlanta. The images are from the 80s, but look like WPA photographs of sharecroppers during the Depression.

[images from the gallery's web site]

Via Daily Kos, a link to a video comparing Bush's speaking abilities ten years ago to those of today.

Here is a Boston Globe column on the same subject. I see it's in the Arts section. Maybe they put their better political columnists in that section, the way the New York Times does with Frank Rich.

Posts only RSS feed

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UPDATE: I have made the main RSS 2.0 a full post-only feed. I will update the one with comments to 2.0 later.

Dior Not War


We marched with the GLAMericans for Peace in the February 15, 2003 anti-war march. One of the slogans we chanted was "Dior Not War!"

Apparently John Galliano heard about that, or the phrase was born independently around the world in the last year and a half.


A model wears a turquoise sleeveless T-shirt reading 'Dior, Not War' by British fashion designer John Galliano for Dior's spring-summer 2005 ready-to-wear fashion collection, presented Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2004 in Paris. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)


CHRISTIAN DIOR Fitted corduroy "peace" jacket over a long jersey skirt with flowers at the hem. (Pierre Verdy/AGF/Getty Images)

Damn you, Time Warner Cable!

There will be very little posting until Time Warner Cable restores my cable modem service. Dial-up is not a good thing.

Evan Schwartz

I said I was going to write about a new young artist at Schroeder Romero, but James beat me to it.

Green Party Candidate David Cobb

... answers questions on Slashdot.

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