Stephanie: It has been a long weekend of arting (and settling Catan, and drunk dialing my grandpa, among other notable adventures). It's weekends like this that make me think I should do my listing for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Friday I went a-WestLooping, and popped in at Thomas Robertello, Tony Wight, and Spoke. I wanted to make it to Thomas Masters, but when the openings end at 8pm all over the city, and I'm reliant on PT, some shit just doesn't get seen. I went to Robertello to see Lilly's work, but ended up in love with three other people's work: Adam Ekberg's photos, Amy Cutler's drawing/painting of the cake fight, and Travis LeRoy Southworth's “Wrestler Nebula.” The photos were very simple, and encompassed the psudo-science aesthetic that seem to be all the rage right now. I found them relaxing, and (my ultimate positive litmus test) they made me giggle. Wrestlers and the cake fight also passed the giggle test, and the cake fight was especially good in eliciting flashbacks of Baba Yaga.
Jeriah: Amy Cutler's two pieces, The Cake Fight and the one with the alligators and the pile of furniture, were pleasant surprises for me to see here. I've been a big fan of Cutler's work since I saw some of her stuff back in San Francisco, somewhere between 01 and 03. I really like the way she misuses perspective, how in the painting on panel, each piece of furniture exists in its own word, is in correct perspective internally but each object goes to its own, different, vanishing point. It makes the piece feel sort of like a collage, and more awkward, more precarious. I spent a lot of time in front of this painting. The Cake Fight was cool, too.
S: At Wight, I found the drawings (by Jessica Mein) in the back room quite enjoyable. The ones on the back wall looked like piles of melons, very big piles. I imagined being crushed beneath thousands of Honeydews. I waved bye to Tony and left feeling slightly awkward. Venturing upstairs (to look for a bathroom, I think) I discovered that Spoke, up on the third floor of 119 Peoria, was having a reading session. I found a room packed with many familiar faces and a big bottle of Jack. Lane Williams was reading, finishing off a story I found so enjoyable, I pestered him for a transcript once he was off “stage” so that I could read the whole thing. He politely obliged. Thank you Lane. After that I was off to Coraline, which, the obnoxious audience non withstanding, was watchable.
J: I wish we could have stayed for more of the performance; a fellow I met last week with an awesome tattoo, the only good neck tattoo I can recall seeing, was playing later. And that big bottle of Jack was pretty appealing. But, we had a date with Coraline, and I found it more than watchable. I was into this movie, big time. It didn't tickle my Goth fetish like Nightmare Before Christmas did, but it did a good job of being its own movie, rather than feeling like a “follow up.” The director actually seems to have done better post-Nightmare than Tim Burton has, in terms of the quality of the work.
S: Next night (sorry I didn't list it, I didn't realize it was happening that night) I went to check out Women Get Fucked. By showing up right at 7pm, I managed to see all the work unimpeded. I must insist that the rejection letters were the best pieces in the whole show. No STDs in your romance novels kids, you'll never get published. I also enjoyed the “Babysitting” photo. Overall, however, I must say, with a title like that, I felt a touch over sold and under delivered. But hey, what do I know. Thank you Alogon, for once again putting on a good event. Then it was home for Catan! (and the afore mentioned drunk dial).
J: This show is good for our relationship; for once I find myself 100% in agreement with everything you just said. The “Sexy Librarian” rejection letters (by Julia Weist) were hilarious, especially the one that got into the specifics, and that photo of the cat behind the knives (by Annie Purpura)was awkward, funny, and cool. But, from the title of the show, I was expecting work that was more aggressive, maybe more feminist, perhaps more sexual, and certainly more outrageous. The work in this show didn't seem to have a lot in common, other than the biographical line item of the artists' gender. It's more interesting for me to see a group show of work that addresses a common theme or is related in some way (the role of gravity in the work at Robertello's last night, for example), rather than work by artists who happen to have something in common (for example, their gender). It may be that I need to take on a second hat and curate a show at some point. Oh and hey...nobody got hurt playing Catan this time!
S: Sunday, I spent with my houseplants, then headed down to UC to check out Paul Chan at the Renn Society. The “lecture” was quite entertaining, through which he continued to consume whiskey from a bottle under the table, yell to various friends in the audience and alternate back and fourth between pithy commentary and and genuinely thoughtful insights. All in all, an enjoyable experience. The show itself was sparse, in a good way. I especially enjoyed the video piece, though the twitching was a little off-putting. If you're down south, check it out. He is speaking again tomorrow as well, so if you missed tonight, you still have a chance. Then I went to a Korean grocery and bought tasty food. Good end for a good weekend. See ya'll next week.
J: I liked Paul Chan's work that I saw, I think it was at the Whitney, a few years back. I was surprised at how different this work was, but it had a similar sensibility. This guy's definitely not a one-trick pony, smart guy, I liked hearing him speak. Definitely worth the trip.