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Sunday, November 9, 2014

celebrating the fall of the wall

Celebrating the Fall

We just arrived last night from Bremen and ddIncredible to be in the middle of Berlin on the night of the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the fall of the wall, the Mauerfall – the very middle, in the hotel Adlon by the Branderburg gate – on the night that Daniel Barenboim is going to play the Ode to Joy from Beethoven’s Ninth. There are tens of thousands of people assembled, and we are watching now on tv a picture of what it was like 25 years ago… I was then at the Getty in California for the year and remember what I felt like, just watching…

And now again, here it is, with all its hope. So much the opposite of the fall of Icarus so many mythical years ago!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

yes, so it happened, and the Picasso and the Camera opened tonight at the Gagosian and  it was and is glorious and anything John Richardson does assembles all these loving people around him, and that is why I wrote in the catalogue because he is so warm and brilliant, so it opened and we assembled
an all that
and yes, I finished the Brooklyn Rail critics page editing job, loved it, every single minute,
right, and then we went to the Florence Griswold House for me to assemble more about art colonies because of which, after speaking in Udine on Joseph Cornell and emily Dickinson and all that, we go to Bremen in northern Germany to go to Worpswede where my grandmother knew Rilke and knew very well Otto modersohn after Paula Modersohn-Bekcer died,
and tonight it seems we are talking about Cubism and I'm I think doing nothing but in principle, am, after giving my seminar on Borges and Beckett, well, it's on singularities
and I  hope never to have to let up until I have to let up, but not let down if I can help it

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

So it may seem trivial to drag oneself all over 25th street, to refind Hill Chicken (if that's the name) where I had with my friend Rachel Brownstein the best oldtimey crusty-crinkly-skinless thing thigh ever, and I did, and that set me up to work in the American Archives of Art documents about Frank DuMond, my painter grandmother's teacher and who did the murals for the ballroom in the Hotel des Artistes, the ancestor of the Cafe des Artistes -- they all lived there, the painters who worked in Old Lyme, Ct., at the Florence Griswold House, where we are about to go  -- before we leave for Udine in Italy, near Venice, where I am so delightedly going to speak on Joseph Cornell and Emily Dickinson, and Mary Caponegro, before we go to Bremen, where my grandmother used to live and worked out at Worspwede 28 miles away and we wil have ONE DAY there, before getting back down to Berlin and its museums, before, indeed, we return to New York, so I will pick up my seminar again, on Modernist singularities (what? what?) yes
and here's to Hill Chicken and its crunch

Saturday, October 18, 2014

breathless in ny

so, no, I can't keep up, but that is nice too.. have spent these last , what four weeks, preparing the critics's page for The Brooklyn Rail, november issue, during which I got to invite essays from various brilliant friends on the topic i chose, which was Translating Art... and off they (and I) went... my introductory essay I won't resume here, but I can say it is about communities, like the one we formed in writing these essays, like those who accepted, like what they chose... and I have to say the Brooklyn Rail feels like one largish community but who can gather... so to get to the meeting I was supposed to arrive during, to have my picture taken so that Phong Bui can do my portrait  for that issue, and I LOVED the grouping of people, all informal, everyone talking, everyone having pizza and wine after, ah, terrific, only very far for those of us dwelling in Manhattan -- I got on the wrong direction of the subway, and was rescued by Susan Bee, with whom and whose husband Charles Bernstein, I have been in friendly and happy close contact for years... and we ARRIVED at the BR, and , yes, I loved it all.

And yes, we went to St. Matthew Passion,  rehearsal at the armory, with Simon Rattle and Peter Sellars (he rushing up and down and getting the boy's chorus and the real chorus to go into the ailes, so we were all a part of it all -- such music, of course, the summit of music I never concentrated on before like that, and then a lots of other assemblies , less sublime, but they were all heightened by that Armory Experience... I gave a talk out in Woodstock on Georges Malkine, having talked the night before on Joseph Cornell at the New School, and then, I will just attach what I didn't want to add to my introductory essay to the Brooklyn Rail, too personal (it, after all, goes to 20,000 readers)
but I really loved being with Kathy Ruttenberg, so I'll add it here:

Back in the city this past Thursday, I had seen some large and surrealizing baroque sculptures of  the animalist  artist Kathy Ruttenberg,  in the Stux gallery on 57th street, and then on Sunday, I had the ultimate joy of making a surrealist romp through her working place and inspiration: her woods, studio, and amazing rare varieties of rabbits, pigs, pigeons, and goats, near Woodstock. Some animals were interior: Trixie the pig, who agreeably grunted when we stirred her blanket, and who had her own corner with pig paintings and drawings all around, like  an altar: various gorgeous rabbits like Ozone, all fluffy white hair, and, I loved Ozone and one other rabbit of darker hair hue, and we played with chickens and rode in a pony cart with Mercury, not exactly fleet-footed, but adorable, and then returned to the city, animalized in a good sense. 

Monday, September 15, 2014

but wait!

don't we have different personalities and mindsets in what one would consider the middle of the night, from our "ordinary" (what indeed is "ordinary") life and interaction during the daytime? Is one not freer and perhaps simpler and downtoearther, whateever that is, when in principle one is lying down elsewhere and not sitting up somewhere as I am now? Are we  not exactly, Jeckyll (2 l's?) and Hyde, but us and then another us? Surely, and happily. I am certain of this, a sure belief. To be discussed, perhaps. 

snippets of time

Isn't it peculiar, and riveting, how small things save small but valuable amounts of time? If you live on the 12th or the 6th floor, think of the elevator time over, say, a year, that you save or spend going up and down? I have been reflectiing on how shorter hair, for example, saves 30 seconds or so of brushing or combing! my husband quips when some car goes speeding by that the lady must be having a baby or someone is due at the hospital, but you can, in your heart of minds, imagine how great it would be to RUSH BY. To say nothing of the nonlickng of envelopes and writing of addresses trhat email spares us. Of course, I love, almost beyond memory, the part in Le petit prince about if you had more time, you would walk to the spring. I would do that, and do the equivalent, even in Manhattan, all the time in fact, which is really about time. But the snippets are fun to consider, even for a snippet of in the middle of the night time. Like Peter Brooks' Carmen iin 40 miinutes... I am reading Wittgenstein with  my students, and love Zettel because of aphoristic brevity: not just Pascal, and Char, but all fragmented intensity. 

Monday, September 8, 2014

frustrational aesthetics

so when you really need a book and you notice your students have removed it from every single bookstore you should be happy, right? ah, I found one, ok, am off to Union Square, ooof, this is that kind of blogging