THE HAIRY EYEBALL
In honor of life outside the screen, we are having a party for primitive mediation: eyes, ears, hands, and the private interior space behind the eyes will have free rein. For one hour there will be a living “book-on-tape” reading from her tragic/comedy, Too Many Tammys, a work derived from personal experience of being locked up and technically “brainwashed” as an adolescent within the “troubled teen industry,” and subsequent attempts to understand that experience through research done as an adult. From the immersive, roiling present of a teenage psyche that staggers between different periods and memories, this chaotic and possibly mad perspective aims at unraveling internalized discipline while elevating the multitude of voices in each person. At The Hairy Eyeball, you are invited to draw from a tableau vivant featuring artist Baker Overstreet, or to write, or scribble, or stare at the wall, to sleep, daydream, to listen, or not listen. For a brief time, we will be together in one room as our senses commingle while wandering out of frame.
FRIED LIVER ATTACK
“Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.” These words, spoken by heavyweight champion Mike Tyson, are the tabula rasa for this work. This punch might be a beginning or an end. It’s supposed that we make art that is about something, or that reflects something, or interrogates something. There is always this something, somewhere, that we work in service to; but suddenly it’s clear we’ve been picking up the tool by the wrong end. The chessboard has been tipped over and the moves are moot. Chess, the universal metaphor for worlds ordered by strategy and skill, appears in a shambolic state. It’s revealed the players are not good at the game, or they don’t know the rules, or they cheat, or they are drunk…are they even here? And what about the pieces? What was game is real and that means the pieces are wayward, addicted, befuddled and act unconsciously. The queen is a clown, the king is a thing of nothing, and the pawns are worshiping unknown gods. The pieces drag in one by one and when all are accounted for (some MIA and some DOA of course) the new rules will be revealed, for without the rules there is no game.
PAINTERS ON PAINTING: LARA ALLEN ON ANSELM KIEFER’S ‘DIE ORDNUNG DER ANGEL’
I was a high school dropout seeing modern art in a museum for the first time. Die Ordnung der Engel or The Order of Angels by Anselm Kiefer was my initiation. The punishing connotations of “order” made me clench my teeth. An afterimage of a rusted rat trap rasped my tongue as I wondered about the ghost of an inscription. I saw words scribbled on the top layer of a billion years, an incantation on a slab of upright, plastered gunk flying toward Lake Michigan. Asphalt daggers and barnacles crowned the sun: an inverted prophecy of the earth’s explosion. I was initiated into atomism.
Suppose this painting is one thing or another, the mute breach of a stringed instrument or the backdrop for a bear’s poisoned trance. It once hung in the Chicago Art Institute but now is a blurry electrical field full of crackles and pops behind my eyes. Still, the scud of flash bombs and wormhole psychosis pulls me toward it, material proof that hell exists. I see destroyed kingdoms, radiation, and bones full of lead. A phantom mass exposes itself to a speck of panting infinity. Fuck! Was it watching spirits or a consortium of angels? Who poured faint hope down my neck in the place where my head used to be?
I, DAUGHTER OF KONG
Assembled by Lara Allen for the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s SwingSpace.
Exhibiting Artists: Adam J. Ansell, Anna Betbeze, Matt Borruso, R. Crumb, Georganne Deen, Per Frykdahl, Amy Hicks, Cornelia Jensen, Alexis Karl, George Kuchar, Matthew Lusk, Kyp Malone, Jason Mecier, Cynthia Mitchell, Baker Overstreet, Pablo the Chimp (courtesy of Darby Bannard), Duke Riley, Shadow the Cat, Christine Shields, Anjali Sundaram & Jade Townsend.
Soundtrack: Craig Ventresco
I, Daughter of Kong Scent: Alexis Karl