Thursday, April 26, 2007

Appealing Biography

An excerpt from my review of Aurie Ramirez's show at the Jack Hanley Gallery is up at the Fillip website.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

This Weekend in Los Angeles

Whew, there's much to choose from this weekend in the poetry and art realms!

1. FEMINAISSANCE Colloquium on Women, Experimental Writing and Feminism

ƒeminaissance is a colloquium on women, experimental writing and feminism, to be held on April 27th and 28th, 2007, at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA). A related workshop and consciousness-raising event will take place on Sunday, April 29th at LACE, in Hollywood.

This event is organized by Christine Wertheim, Matias Viegener, and Teresa Carmody and is sponsored by the Writing Program at CalArts with a generous grant from the Annenberg Foundation. Feminaissance is presented in conjunction with MOCA’s show “WACK: Art and Feminist Revolution.” The colloquium puts writers from many genres in dialogue about issues concerning women writers today.

FRIDAY, April 27, 2007
MOCA, 250 S. Grand Avenue, LA, CA 90012

7 pm Reception

8 pm Readings by Caroline Bergvall, Teresa Carmody, Meiling Cheng, Bhanu Kapil, Chris Kraus, Tracie Morris, Christine Wertheim, Stephanie Young, and Lidia Yuknavitch

SATURDAY, April 28, 2007
MOCA, 250 S. Grand Avenue, LA, CA 90012

10:30 am-12:00 pm
Panel: “Feminine” Writings
Are there specifically “feminine” texts, topics and modes of writing? Or is the concept of “écriture féminine” more hindrance than help?
Panelists: Caroline Bergvall, Meiling Cheng, Chris Kraus, and Lidia Yuknavitch

12:20—1:50 pm
Panel: Selves
Are women writers creating new forms of selfhood? If so, how does this manifest in the subject and/or perspective of the work and in the object, i.e., the formed text?
Panelists: Tracie Morris, Vanessa Place, and Christine Wertheim


3:15—4:45 pm
Panel: The Social
Can women writers effect the social imaginary in ways that positively change our psycho-sexual organization? Are they obliged to, or is this another version of mothering that restricts women?
Panelists: Dodie Bellamy, Bhanu Kapil, Yxta Maya Murray, Maggie Nelson

5:00—6:30 pm
Panel: Categories
What is gender today? Are the terms “gender” and feminism still useful in writing? Or are we in a post- or trans-gendered era, and to what intent ­ social, representational, aesthetic, activist?
Panelists: Wanda Coleman, Susan McCabe, Eileen Myles, and Juliana Spahr & Stephanie Young


8:30 Readings by Dodie Bellamy, Wanda Coleman, Susan McCabe, Yxta Maya Murray, Eileen Myles, Maggie Nelson, Vanessa Place and Juliana Spahr

SUNDAY, APRIL 29, 2007
LACE, 6522 Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90028

2-6 pm Potluck and consciousness-raising workshop on MOTHER: literary, real, symbolic and edible. Led by Bhanu Kapil, Eileen Myles and Chris Kraus.

2. Around Photography

Around Photography is a unique two-day conference organized by UCLA’s Department of Art that brings together a range of prominent artists, filmmakers, critics, and curators. A presentation by Berlin-based artist and filmmaker Tacita Dean on Tuesday, April 24, and an evening of artist films in the Billy Wilder Theater on Thursday, April 26, run in conjunction with the conference.


Photography's Expanded Field
Moderated by Professor George Baker, UCLA Department of Art History and an Editor of the journal October, artists Barbara Probst, Nancy Davenport and curator Douglas Fogle will introduce the subject of photography's discourse with other media.


The Archive Reconsidered
Moderated by Professor Eleanor Kaufman, Department of Comparative Literature, UCLA artists Professor Catherine Opie, Department of Art, UCLA, Joel Sternfeld, and critic Jan Tumlir will address issues of taxonomy and politics as a means of investigating the photographic dimensions of what theorists have termed "an archival impulse" within contemporary art.

A New Luminism
Moderated by Professor James Welling, Department of Art, UCLA, art historian Professor Jonathan Crary, Department of Art History, Columbia University and artists Uta Barth and Anthony McCall will focus on issues of light, space and perception as a way of broadening conventional notions of the photographic.

HAMMER Museum| Gallery 6
10899 Wilshire Blvd

Los Angeles, CA 90024

3. The Smell Last Sunday of the Month Reading Series

Sunday, April 29

Reading to Celebrate a new mother anthology by Fence Books, with readers Wanda Coleman, Martha Ronk and Rae Armantrout

The Smell
247 S. Main, Los Angeles, CA 90012 [enter in back]
Between 2nd and 3rd Street
6:30 pm

Friday, April 20, 2007

Congratulations to LA Weekly food critic Jonathan Gold for becoming the first food writer ever to win a Pulitzer prize for criticism. Gold really is, as he might say himself, "godhead." Los Angeles would not be the same without him.

Doug Cummings at Filmjourney has some nice words for J-Gold as well.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Steve Kurtz Waiting

My friend Jim Fetterley made a video about Steve Kurtz of the Critical Art Ensemble.

Steve Kurtz Waiting (2006) By Jim Fetterley and Angie Waller | Running Time 15:32

On May 11, Steve Kurtz phoned 911 to report his wife of 20 years was unresponsive. When paramedics came to his house, one of them noticed that Kurtz had laboratory equipment, which he used in his art exhibits. The paramedics reported this to police and the FBI sealed off his house.

Authorities later said that Kurtz's wife had died of "heart failure," but he wasn't allowed to return to his home for two days while the FBI confiscated his equipment, and biological samples. They also carted off his books, personal papers and computer.

The contradiction between the charges for possessing harmful substances and the county health commissioner assessing that no hazardous substances were found in the house leaves only the conclusion - that ideas, when misunderstood or disagreeable, are toxic.

Kurtz is one of the founders of the Critical Art Ensemble, a group whose beginnings in filmmaking over a decade ago have evolved into public performances and videos that educate the public about the politics of biotechnology. All of CAE's museum and public performances
are meant to not only inform the public about the ways their lives are affected by biotechnology, but also to dispel public paranoia that is generated by the media and a lack of understanding.

Steve became the victim of this paranoia, and through the extended powers of the US Patriot Act, he still awaits trial for mail fraud. If found guilty, could face up to twenty years.

"Steve Kurtz Waiting" by Jim Fetterley and Angie Waller is a video portrait of Steve Kurtz during a moment of indefinite anticipation as routine court litigations continue. Through a series casual interviews, Kurtz reveals an admirable calmness, spirited humor and a strong will to continue his role as a cultural producer after months of close surveillance, black vans, continued government scrutiny, and notably in addition to, the mourning of his close partner.

This video premiered in the 2007 Sundance Film Festival in a program called "Charged in the Name of Terror: Portraits by Contemporary Artists."

For more info on Steve Kurtz:
For more info on Critical Art Ensemble:
For more info on Angie Waller: