Thursday, September 16, 2004

Bernadette Corporation, Get Rid of Yourself, 2002, still from a color digital video, 70 minutes, via


Bennett Simpson, Techniques of Today. Artforum, September 2004. It is the summer of 2001, and the New York– and Paris-based collective known as Bernadette Corporation has temporarily merged with Le Parti Imaginaire, a faction of post-Situationist militants and intellectuals with links to the burgeoning antiglobalization movement. The two groups have their own distinct practices and motivations, but, for the moment, they are united by the idea of making a film, which is to be set in the seaside Italian city of Genoa, amid the protests and stultifying inconclusiveness that will engulf the G8 Summit that July. The film resists knowing what it is or wants to be. And so its makers improvise, exploring what they call the "potential of community based on a radical refusal of political identity." More on Le Parti Imaginaire (in French) and the Bernadette Corporation.

Chris Kraus, Video Green: Los Angeles Art and the Triumph of Nothingness. Semiotext(e), 2004. Art and commerce have always been two sides of the same coin and to oppose them would be false. Instead, I am talking about a shift that has taken place during the past ten years in how art objects reach the market, how they are defined and how we read them. The professionalization of art production – congruent with specialization in other post-capitalist industries – has meant that the only art that will ever reach the market now is art that is produced by graduates of art schools. The life of the artist matters very little. What life? The lives of successful younger artists are practically identical.

(note bene: I believe this is changing, slowly. For successful non-MFA artists based in Los Angeles see Animal Charm and Miranda July – though it’s debatable whether these artists are “marketable” or not).

Péter Esterházy, The Glance of Countess Hahn-Hahn (down the Danube). Northwestern University Press, 1999. I once had this mysterious, distant uncle, whom everyone simply called Roberto, as if he were some Italian gigolo. Everyone, that is, except my father, who didn’t call him anything at all: the man’s name ‘never so much as passed his lips’. He wasn’t a blood relation. It was as the husband of a kind of aunt that he briefly became part of the family, joining it at precisely the point where the two sides, maternal and paternal, playfully and fatefully joined hands. A river is always the same river, however many arms it has. More on Péter Esterházy.


Black Spring, Winter 2004.
The Poker, issues 1,2,3 & 4.

Update: Paris’s new slant on Underground movies. A group calling itself La Mexicaine de la Perforation has claimed responsibility for the secret subterranean cinema in the catacombs of Paris, mentioned below. To be fair, until recently very few people did have a clue about La Mexicaine de la Perforation, a clandestine cell of "urban explorers" which claims its mission is to "reclaim and transform disused city spaces for the creation of zones of expression for free and independent art".

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