Tuesday, December 15, 2015
Friday, September 4, 2015
Monday, August 24, 2015
For Eric Garner, LeBron James, Simone Weil
Little marshmallow ice cream cones outlined in boardwalk chalk
Pastel dots super-glued to scrolls like brail for the sugar blind
Caramel bullseyes with bellybuttons cold as ice cream
Wax jiggers of orange, pink and blue liquor. Bite me, lick me, drink me, suck me?
Bit O Honey
Wax teeth, wax lips, waxy chocolate
Sweet, sadistic licorice whips
Mary Janes are the good girls with bad teeth
Gumdrops are stopping time
Chocolate coins in gold foil are rich kids slumming in candyland
Fireballs are threatening mass destruction
Swedish fish, Mr. Fortune Teller Miracle fish, curls up in your hand to talk about passion or jealousy or indifference
Bazooka bubble gum is a bad joke blown in the mouth
Stale candy cigarettes dusted in cocaine sit next to stale loose cigarettes in glass jars
In a penny candy store
None of it is good, but most of it is pretty good
When you’re poor
Like a bad penny
To the valley that lies beyond shame
Which has its own vortex, its own dimension, its own in-crowd
Talent outs, talents ins
Force: “that x that turns anybody who is subjected to it into a thing.” Simone Weil
Nothing but net
Nothing but that x factor
A state of grace
Or a fall from grace.
Did you see LeBron in his I Can’t Breathe t-shirt?
LeBron in his t-shirt jumping rope
A heart that keeps time like a Piaget
Perfect rhythm, perfect talent.
Meaning a unit of weight, or the scales used to measure that weight.
“Then Father Zeus held out his sacred golden scales: in them he placed two fates of death that lays men low.” Simone Weil
A ball held aloft like a dream, then crushed through a net.
Have you ever smoked a loose cigarette?
Have you ever bought a stale cigarette?
A jar of slatterns with stale breath.
Please don’t shoot me
I love Loosie.
Have you ever killed someone?
Have you ever held a gun?
And then fired it off
Just for fun.
Are you a cop?
Or a boy dressed up like one?
Fake badge real gun.
Have you even been a cigarette on the run?
God’s gift, god’s wrath, god’s grace. God on fire.
A world where nothing is poor, and everything looks like gold, and you can paint your house any color you want to.
A world where all you have to do is play ball.
“A moderate use of force, which alone would enable man to escape being enmeshed in its machinery, would require superhuman virtue, which is as rare as dignity in weakness.” Simone Weil
A world where the talented live, pure and stale.
A world just as jarred in as any other.
Just as cruel.
A world where the cops want selfies.
Where you’re too precious to kill.
“The soul castrates itself of aspiration.”
I can’t breathe
I can’t breathe
I can’t breathe
Have you ever judged someone with your hands?
Have you ever been really good at something?
Good enough to get it
To get in
To get out.
To see the place where
All the little candies line up to shake your hand.
And get choked out for simply existing.
Wednesday, May 27, 2015
Friday, March 6, 2015
Monday, January 12, 2015
Active between 1957 and '67, the Zero Group recently had a moment in the spotlight with a comprehensive survey at the Guggenheim Museum in New York (up through Jan. 7). A concurrent three-floor retrospective at Sperone Westwater of the work of Heinz Mack (Zero cofounder, with the late Otto Piene) included paintings, reliefs, photographs and kinetic sculpture spanning 1955 to 2014. The scorching, mutilating and jerry-rigging that characterizes the art of Zero often makes the artists appear more like mad scientists than postwar abstractionists. In the shadow of a collapsed German economy, the Zero Group worked in a cooperative manner. Invention and experimentation, often involving cheap, quotidian materials, dictated their efforts.
The first floor of the exhibition exemplified the way Mack's focus on process and a particular medium (shiny metal) created a recognizable individual style, which also occurred with other Zero artists. An enormous four-panel abstraction, The Garden of Eden(1966-76), dominated one wall. It is composed of aluminum and stainless steel sheets and filters—ranging from pale silver to metallic black—that have been cut into giant abstracted blossoms, stalks and lily pads. These shapes are sandwiched between metal and plexiglass. A Victorian pressed flower valentine for a mechanical age, the piece is related to Mack's ongoing "light reliefs." An example on the opposite wall, Kinetic Movement (Blade Relief), 1967, consists of four rows of reflective aluminum, which has been cut into fringes resembling oversized tinsel, on a wood base. The surroundings in which this artwork is displayed are mirrored on its surface, albeit fractured into an abstraction that changes with the viewer's position. In addition, body movement causes the fringe to rustle. Mack first made these reliefs by embossing aluminum with various patterns, a process he discovered by accidentally stepping on metal foil lying on a sisal mat. Believing that his light reliefs had the potential to be "a pure expression of the beauty of light," he made many. Light is always key in Mack's work, taking on a role somewhat like a collaborator. From Zero's heyday to today, the artist has committed to a discursive, yet strikingly coherent, practice, balancing mystical explorations with silver-plated, space-age wonder.
A smaller gallery housed a grouping of six sculptures,dating from 1955 to 2009. Though several were tall and narrow, one untitled piece (2009) is a 20-inch plexiglass cube resting on a mirrored disc on a black pedestal. It brought to mind the translucent cube sculptures of Larry Bell, a member of another group of mad-scientist types, the California Light and Space artists. Both Mack and Bell have been working with this form since the 1960s.
The star of the show, on the second floor, was a large kinetic sculpture titled Poème de Silence (1994-2010). Resembling a console television from the Jetsons's living room, the work encompasses a corrugated glass screen in front of a black circular surface, strewn with small white batons, that rotates slowly counterclockwise. The corrugated glass creates an optical illusion, making the batons appear to wiggle like tiny white eels.
The third floor gallery featured a selection of new and older paintings. Trained as a painter, Mack gave it up in the early 1970s. He came back to the medium in 1991, and the acrylic-on-canvasGolden Wing (1992) indicates a triumphant return. With its delicate honey tones and a title conjuring the mythical, the work presents a pleated fan shape that recalls nothing so much as a simple lampshade. It is the quotidian made otherwordly, Zero-style.