Monday, December 28, 2015

Bertie Marshall Reads Gertrude Stein at Carol Lipnik Soirée


TWO [Poems} FOR THE PRICE OF ONE

Gertrude Said to Picasso, Napoleon!

And Picasso Said to Gertrude, 

Napoleon


New York, December 27 2015-- Well,

the crystal ball hasn't dropped


yet but if tonight's event at


Pangea, 178 Second Avenue, EV, is 

any indication, ithe New Year wil

be off to a flying start. The bar-

restaurant Pangea has been in 

business for about 30 years, and 

since March 2015 they have been 

regularly hosting alternative

cabaret; Carol Lipnik, a highly

original chanteuse and 

extraordinary vocalist whom I was 

happy to discover, is currently in

residence. What

brought me to tonight's performance was her special


guest, poet Bertie Marshall, featured in this video,


in which he reads Gertrude Stein's 1924 poem "If I


Told Him: A Complete Portrait of Picasso", as well as


one of his own poems, "The 59th Street Bridge". It's 


rare to hear Gertrude Stein read viva voce, but an 


even rarer treat to hear her read with such panache,


wit and distinction.

PS More video of Carol Lipnik on Liza Bear timeline.

PPS Carol Lipnik performs at Pangea every Sunday

evening through January 2016.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Dispatch from the Frontal Lobes

July 5, 1998: self-portrait filmed in John Gotti's old building on Mulberry Street, not with an I-Phone.

HITCH: "THERE'S NO SUSPENSE IN MYSTERY"
nyc 12.15.15-- its yellowed pages swollen with moisture from countless humid New York summers, not from anticipation at being turned and read, the squat little book in profile pic is Langenscheidts' Lilliput woordenboek, nederlands/engels, most likely acquired, along with Alice's Citroen deux chevaux, on a trip to Groningen in 1978.
 
[digression: let's see who stops capitalizing which deity now that Bill Bratton has determined that absence of capitalization proves that LA schools threat was a hoax.] the lilliput wordbook is neither a threat nor a hoax, at first a prop and now perhaps a prompt...




Thursday, December 10, 2015

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

9/09/15/Keith Sonnier (c) copyright Liza Béar and Keith Sonnier 2015

THE BALANCE OF LINE AND CURVE
A Dialogue with Liza Béar

Bridgehampton, Long Island, August 26 2015.
Liza Béar: Being out here I’m struck by how much you’ve streamlined your living and work space in one locale, physically and esthetically. You’re pulling yourself in, as it were. Yet your latest series of light works, which I saw first as photos then in the pristine new studio across the yard, consists of portals or openings, as if symbolically you’re offering a means of escape—of going outwards, elsewhere, to those places where art can take you.
Keith Sonnier:  That was exactly my intent. The portal--whether it’s post and lintel, Romanesque, or Gothic—is traditionally an entrance into other spaces or other worlds. It’s been the heartbeat of architecture since we left the cave. As a viewer, you’re able to “enter” this series because the work is not just attached to the wall but pulls down to the floor as well. The viewer’s participation is a crucial concern of mine. In many of my early works, Flock Series, Ba-O-Ba Series, and Mirror Act Series, all begun in the late sixties, you could “enter” the work by seeing a reflection of yourself within it.
LB: The use of glass was a reference to the mirror portal in Jean Cocteau’s 1950 film Orpheus, right, through which the characters pass from the world of the living to the underworld. At what stage of your life did you see the film, and how did it affect you?
KS: My aunt Evangeline had a movie house in my home-town of Mamou and that’s where I first saw it in the 1950’s.
LB: At the time, were you still a practicing Catholic?
KS: I was. So the breaking of the mirror in that rite of passage, and those scenes of the underworld in the film, must have had a major impact on me. It was a far cry from religious depictions of the afterlife. It sure was not heaven.
LB: Or what you had to do to get there,
KS: In the Portal Series, you’re standing not in front of a mirror but in front of a doorway. It’s like you’re being invited into the physical housing. Of course, an art work is already an act of invitation, so the portal reinforces that concept.
LB: It’s kind of a witty nod to architecture. We’re not literally walking under the arch or between steel plates like in a Serra sculpture.
For the past eighteen months, you’ve been knee-deep in construction, so to speak, with this two-step extension to your house, and a studio that parallels it architecturally. Both buildings radiate natural light from skylights and glass doors. You must have been caught up in the minutia of planning with the architect. Did that also have an effect on the choice of theme for this series? Indirectly, perhaps?
KS: Yes, indirectly, certainly. The challenge of the new construction was to create a continuous flow of movement as you  exit the old house and enter the new space. Conceptually, this was very important to me. The Portal pieces just developed naturally from thinking about this.

L’OISEAU CHANTE AVEC SES DOIGTS
                                              Orphée, Jean Cocteau, 1950
[INSERT STUDIO PHOTOS]
 
LB: I know that for you drawing is the life-blood of the work. It’s thinking visually on paper. It’s still drawing old style, at the tip of a marker, a pencil or pastels--
KS: Right.
LB: How did the series start?
KS: The series really grew out of pieces I did two years ago, the Wall Extensions, where there is a perpendicular situation and the work struts out across the floor at a right angle from the wall.
LB: But that’s not really a portal.
KS: It is a portal, in a way. It’s a line into space. It refers to neo-classicism. Rather than flattening the picture frame against the wall, you pull out that linear Poussin lay-out and thrust it forward. I also had in mind the design principles that Thomas Jefferson used in the construction of his Monticello house--a perpendicular plane intersected by another perpendicular plane.
LB: The bulk of the series was made this year, in 2015. How did it evolve?
KS: The Wall Extensions were very simple. Red. yellow. blue, or blue gas and red gas for neon. But they had these suggestive protrusions, which I saw as mini-portals. Because they came up to your waist, the protrusions suggested the physicality of penetration. I was making a phallic allusion. But, in terms of associations, they go way beyond that.
LB: I see! Deceptively simple. The pieces have both lines and curves. But they’re abstract, which paradoxically makes them more suggestive than a representational image. So--you went from mini=portals to arches. Which was the first arch portal that you made?
KS: The double arch, the Gothic Portal. I was also thinking of the arch as a gesture, as a movement in space. That notion was present in my early work too, like Florentine Series, 1986. A Romanesque gesture is a rounded gesture. It’s like a wave, or a greeting. [INSERT LB PHOTO]
GETTING THE WORK ON THE HOOF
LB: How closely do the finished pieces match the drawings?
KS: The work is made in three stages. There’s the croquis, the sketch or basic design.
LB: Which is done d’un trait.
KS: Yes, usually in a single draft. Then, in the studio on large sheets of brown paper I blow up that small drawing to human scale and decide on the exact size. This takes into account the logistics of fabrication, expense, how they can make a certain tube, the available color. The enlarged diagram/drawing becomes the pattern for the fabrication.
LB: Like in dressmaking.
KS: It’s so close! I call it my Schiaparelli principle.  It’s my gesture, not the fabricator’s. He’s used to bending the neon like spaghetti. The earliest neon works, made by Fontana, were giant arcs of neon attached to the ceiling almost like a chandelier. In the thirties Fontana designed several restaurant spaces in neon. Tubes come in 10mmm, 12mm, 15mm sizes. I never used the very fine spaghetti-like tubing because it’s too fragile. My aim is to create a viable structure rather than be decorative. So I relied more on 15mm and I went up as high as 25mm, which is almost the diameter of a fluorescent fixture.
LB: The pieces in Portal Series?
KS: They’re mainly 15mm, easy to transport and easy to bend, and to deflect from one side to the other and out into space. They’re harder. The large patterns that I make are converted into lengths of neon tubes. When they come to the studio, I have to assemble them and support them in the different spatial orientations I want them to take. I don’t want the piece to be just a flat drawing.
LB: Right. More a 3-D articulation. So for instance the piece that’s behind you, Helmut, [photo] which has one continuous arc of pale blue—is this neon or argon?
KS: Argon.
LB: And then there’s what I call the giant trombone paperclip shape, the yellow protrusion which is wider tubing—
KS: Actually, it’s not wider. It looks that way because it has pigment in it. The arch looks thinner because the blue gas is fairly clear. Both parts are the same mil size.
LB: Amazing.
KS: I know, but it’s an optical effect.
LB: Was this one of your discoveries, that neon and argon are at base different colors? And that adding fluorescent powder would extend the palette?
KS: As well as tinted glass. Neon is an orangey-red gas. Argon is a very pale blue. Mercury pellets are used to make it brighter. They have to be dispersed evenly in the tube.
LB: Did you find a new fabricator out here?
KS: Yes, one closer to my Long Island studio. It turns out it’s someone I worked with in the city thirty-five years ago who moved out here.
LB: Like you. Let’s go back to the process. He makes the tubes, ships them to studio and you put the different tube elements together yourself? [INSERT PHOTO]
KS: Yes. As well as sometimes metal supports because if it goes out too far it might break from its own weight.  Although the tubes themselves are very light.
LB: Those little black L-shaped connectors, they don’t carry electricity, right?
KS: Those are the caps covering the electrodes which do carry electricity and will shock you if you touch one.
LB: Aha. The danger element.
KS: Always. If you break a tube and pick up both ends, you create the electrical connection and you get shocked.
LB: We’ve known each other a really long time—I saw your first pieces shown in New York, the flocked wall piece, Mustee, and the half-moon neon shape with cloth) 9 at Castelli on West 108th Street in 1968, then your 1970 Projects show at the old, pre-redesign MoMA, and your 1970 Castelli shows at 4 E 77 and at the warehouse, for starters. How, if at all, has your modus operandi changed over the decades?
KS: I’ve been very lucky in that I’ve  continued to work. Many artists have periods when they can’t work or they can’t get back into work. I think of my career maybe as what actors experience, that when you’re not shooting a film, you have a lot of downtime. And I do have downtime when work is from fabrication to shipment to installation-- LB: To exhibition.
KS: To exhibition, which is something else entirely. I’ve learnt to use this time to do research for the next series. Let’s say I become interested in a particular thing, I begin to read about it. I don’t necessarily look at someone’s work and say I’m going to make that. I’m more interested in source material that I feel I have to investigate. For instance, when I started making sculpture, I knew nothing about architecture. Because it was now the architecture that supported the piece—we had abolished the base--I began to study architecture. In my early era, architects didn’t want sculpture. It was put in the corner as an afterthought. Not like in primitive societies.
LB: Ornamental.
KS: Ornamental, and more like an obstruction  than an intervention into space.
LB: In 1989 you had eleven solo shows, both in Europe and the US. Even now, in the past few years, you still manage to do four shows a year in different sized galleries. Have you become more productive?
KS: Well, in a funny way I can use my time better. And I can produce better. I know the shortcuts, and how to work with people. This is a collaborative medium and quite frankly I can’t work alone. I can do one aspect of the work alone.
LB: The originating aspect.
KS: To get the work on the hoof, as I call it, takes a lot of people. In a gallery installation, you’re not just hanging a painting on a wall. And then there’s shipping.
LB: In June you had a major Light Works exhibition, in France, at the Musée d’Art Moderne et d’Art Contemporain in Nice. The catalogue was a mind-opener because of the range of your work in this medium. I saw surprisingly daring pieces, like Prairie, (Gran Twister Series), 2012 and Opelousas, (Cat Doucet Series), 1996, pieces of such formal complexity and intensity and verve. Were they made in the 90s?
KS: Yes. The Nice show pulled together many different aspects of the light work, exploring the development of form language and intimate object manipulation.  It also includes references to my architectural work in light. In fact, the city of Nice commissioned a site specific installation Passage Azur in honor of the Nice 2015 Promenade des Anglais celebration.
LB: How difficult is it to ship and install the work for an exhibition like Nice, and how much do you have to get the elements shipped and put it together in situ?
KS: This is a very important part of contemporary sculpture. There’s massive work like Richard Serra’s where large steel plates have to be shipped in a container by boat, or a fragile Richard Tuttle where they’re shipping two little ficelles: a lot of it has to do with packing and organization. In my case, the works are laid down flat in a cardboard crate then in a wooden box crate. They’re in layers. So you take section after section and install. Amazingly, the material is strong enough if handled correctly. It can go by air cargo because there’s nothing pressing against it and it’s in a container that weighs way much more than the pieces.
LB: Were a lot of the pieces in the Nice show from private collectors already in Europe?
KS: We didn’t have the time to borrow work from collections, so the show was basically work from the galleries that represent me and from my own personal collection.
LB: I like the way that the term “light”  has been substituted for neon, because the work is both light in the sense of illumination, but  also in general your work has a lightness of touch to it. This may be whimsical on my part, but certain art critics love to use the word “heft”. That couldn’t be applied to your work, because heft means density of presence—
KS: And mine is just the opposite.
LB: Exactly the opposite. I think of your view both of life and of art, that it should be light and fun, and its presence more like magic: the glow, the brilliance, the wild variety of color, and unusual sources of material--
KS: And images.
LB: Let’s talk about color.
KS: But you mentioned magic. That’s what I want the pieces to have. That’s what I strive for. I want them to have some mystery and awe, so that you don’t quite know what they are. The impact of the work comes from a response to the combination of elements that create this atmosphere and mood, this imaginary world, which hopefully is transcendent for the viewer.
LB: By the way, we’re sitting in Keith’s--
KS: This is the greenhouse. The
orangerie.
LB: The space has two skylights, six rectangular glass panes close to the ceiling, sliding doors to a pool, and a narrow glass door to a huge ancient tulip tree in the front yard, which is why you bought this place.
KS: Exactly. [INSERT PHOTO]
LB: Looking at the Circle Portal on the wall--this is an irregular circle. And to me the beauty of it is those irregularities, which could have been off. But they’re not, due to the skill of the draftsmanship. There are several versions of this piece, and one is closer to a perfect circle. [INSERTPHOTO]
KS: Well, the circle piece does have a story. It’s the piece I stayed with the most and it harks back to my early neon pieces. I still do see artists’ shows, and I happened to see an excellent Basquiat exhibition at Gagosian. I’m a fan of his work. There was a circle piece in the show. What struck me was how the circle absorbed the space, in the gallery and on the wall. It already has this cosmic eidetic? I felt it belonged in my new series, that it might be very interesting to drill a hole into space. Of course, this has been done by other artists. That’s what Gordon Matta-Clark did with his cuts in buildings.
LB: Literally--to let in light.
KS: Not to mention his using spaces between buildings. How radical can you get! Anyway, that’s how the circle pieces began. Of course, as I drew sketches, they ended up looking like my work. They have intimations of a facial gesture or expression: the head.
LB: But, as you said earlier, the pieces can never be reduced to a pictorial image, only suggest it.
KS: No, they can’t. That’s not in fact what the piece is. I’m giving the viewer clues to the road map.
LB: There’s a blue and red piece in the Portal Series called Wall Portal B. [INSERT DRAWING] On the caption to the photograph I have it says that the blue should be left and the red right. Is this a sly political innuendo?
KS: In a funny way, perhaps. When I work, I work from one side to the other. If I place the colors one way, then I’ll want to reverse them and see them the other way. Though as my daughter says, the political parties are so similar now it doesn’t matter.
LB: One of my favorites in the series is Roman Portal. [INSERT PHOTO]
KS: This is one of my favorites too.
LB: It has a great sense of humor.
KS: With that little leg. It is very gestural. There’s something about this piece—it invites you in but with this kind of écarté  it forces you away.
LB: It’s quite choreographic.
KS: Very much so, and with very simple means. The focus is on the form.
LB: The balance of line and curve. There’s no question that you’ve kept what in Avalanche we used to call formal concerns. The formal concerns here are uniquely yours. Not only the choice of materials and the sensibility.
KS: It’s my language.

                   END
© Copyright 2015 Liza Béar and Keith Sonnier. All rights reserved.





Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Dispatches From The Frontal Lobes: Boots On the Ground

DISPATCHES FROM THE FRONTAL LOBES:
BOOTS ON THE GROUND
By Liza Béar

New York, October 31 2015--Of course we need boots on the ground, rather than--Brit alert-- Boots the chemist, though that might be a lot more help to soothe the wounds of countless wars. And we need them not only in Afghanistan, Iraq or Syria but to high step in the Halloween Parade--unless of course you shun the whole affair--and what better place to find them than on Bond Steet? You see, this shoe store isn't on the Bond Street of London's West End as you might expect from its gestalt, it's on the corner of the once infamous pre-gentrification Bowery in Manhattan. The new developer on this corner was lucky enough to find a well-heeled tenant, Kenneth Cole. Not so the owners of small narrow stores, idling faceless on sleepy Mulberry Street between Prince & Spring.



London's West End was the site of an early editorial day job in the mid-Sixties-- nothing fancy, proofing, copy-editing and rewriting scientific and engineering copy so that it read decently. The company was the British Sulphur Corporation, my editor the sprightly Michael Freeman whose eyebrows could rise at an angle of 45 degrees in expressions of dismay at my late mornings, eventually agreeing to let me keep my own hours, unheard of in those days. I worked specifically on the glossy bi-monthly Phosphorus and Potassium, P & K, a fact which amused Willoughby greatly when I told him the night we met. I may even have been on the masthead as a sub-editor. P & K had a lot of gritty mining, drilling, ore extraction type articles. The Western Sahara has huge phosphate deposits that the Kingdom of Morocco has been after till kingdom come, so to speak, and maybe they were featured in the mag, but I probably didn't know the political relevance of that then so I'm getting ahead of myself.
What I did know was that the US Embassy was right across Upper Brook Street and that I could hop over there in my lunch hour, sit on the widest swivel chairs in the UK, and scout magazines to which I could apply for editorial jobs in New York, to which my subculture friends at Columbia were already beckoning me.
Which I did. We're talking immediately post college here, or university as they say in England, though not before the mandatory one term business course at Northwestern Polytechnic that was supposed to instill marketable shorthand/keyboard skills in young ladies with writing/publishing ambitions thought appropriate as a sequel to the study of analytic philosophy. If, as logic professor Alan R. Lacey would tell his all-girl class, they weren't already rocking the cradle. The logic of sexism was assumed if not explicitly taught in a symbolic logic class, where if p, then q.
From 1966 to summer 1968 when I left for New York I also worked as a rédacteur on Circuit, a subculture publication with a long narrow format partly funded by the British Council At least in the later issues that's how in egalitarian mode we credited ourselves. I wasn't a founder of this mag as I was of Avalanche, but I was roped in via a friend who'd studied PPE at Oxford to translate an interview with Pierre Boulez. The format was nothing like Avalanche, nor the content, but edgy nonetheless with features on the Situationists and Bob Dylan lyrics.
All of which is to provide some background to the dramatic, life-changing and life-affirming rencontre with Mr Sharp, who was introduced to me by my friend Graham Stevens, an English artist in Willoughby's Air Art show, one of four traveling shows devoted to the elements air, earth, fire and water.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Small Potatoes

DISPATCHES FROM THE FRONTAL LOBES: SMALL POTATOES
November 02, 2015--"Small potatoes" is a reference to Ireland's potato famine in the mid-nineteenth century, but its metaphorical use here indicates that this is a bagatelle of an entry that I might later incorporate into a more substantial entree , or discard. 
Since Chantal Akerman died and I re-saw her stupendous Jeanne Dielman 23 quai du Commerce Bruxelles, as well as her latest and final film,
Not A Home Movie, the potato
 peeling and cooking scenes, as well as the discussion in the new film on the vitamin-preserving merits of not peeling potatoes, potatoes are on my mind, And physically on my dinner plate--not peeled and not white but the delicious purple yams from Japan or California, scrubbed vigorously and eager to soften up in boiling water..It's an anomaly of nature that crustaceans turn red in boiling water, and in some countries boiling water is a form of torture for dissidents, but the humble potato doesn't question ithe protocol that makes it edible. Others must share my taste for them because they vanish in a few days from the bins at the local food co-op.
One potato Two potatoes Three potatoes Four
Five potatoes Six potatoes Seven potatoes more...
was a counting chant we used playing blind man's buff
the blindfolded person counting while the other kids ran to hide in the trees andbushes surrounding the school building (see Brighton Moon for that building,

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10153592180731291&l=e110f11be0
a converted freemason's temple).

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Fact: October 28 1970: Avalanche 1 Out on Newsstands

Fact: On October 28, 1970, the first issue of Avalanche Magazine was out on the newsstands. Eastern News. Inc. was the US distributor; Miller Printing, then on West 19th Street, was the printer, The print run was 5000 of which Eastern News took 3000 copies. There is an Avalanche online index created by Amy Ballmer at http://wp.lehman.edu/avalanche. Thank you Amy! Amy did this on her own initiative, in the tradition of Avalanche which was also done on our initiative with sweat equity in lieu of kickstarter funds, which didn't exist then.
Technology was minimal.. A Smith Corona electric portable typewriter seemed quite adequate for typing manuscripts and a Sony TR 40 for recording interviews. At Gramercy Park where we edited the first few issues we had no TV until Van Schley gave us his wooden Setchell Carlson black & white monitor, which sat proudly on the floor and functioned as a light source with the sound off when we moved to 93 Grand Street. You could also patch in a Sony half-inch camera into the back which was how I started making videos. Willoughby had a Super 8 camera which he took when we went upstate but I don't think he used it in New York City.
The start-up and first few years of Avalanche are well-documented in a booklet by LB & WS dowmloadable as a PDF from the index website; for researchers, there'are also quite a few historical specifics in the reminiscence of Willoughby I wrote for Artforum in March 2009 on a sadder occasion.
October 28, 1970 was a happy occasion. Willoughby took a stack of copies to the Cologne Book Fair in Germany. The first issue was nearly two years in production, but this is not unusual for new magazines, Willoughby was so happy with the first issue, in fact, that he said we didn't need to publish any more. I said, a magazine is a serial creature that is published at intervals, regular or irregular. Besides, we had already foreshadowed the second issue with an article on body works, as they were called then, in the first issue. We called it a "pre-critical" survey because of course Avalanche was founded as an alternative in apposition to criticism. To provide source material by artists themselves. So the survey , like the Rumbles news section, was very detailed and informationally descriptive. it was the only such survey in the thirteen issues.The second issue could very well have been our last issue because
it expanded so much that it was about to explode.


Avalanche was an artist journal published in New York City from 1970-1976 by Willoughby Sharp and Liza Béar. This website is an index to the contents of Avalanche. It is designed to help you identify articles, interviews, and other content within the magazine, which you can then seek out in print at…

WP.LEHMAN.EDU

Revised draft
FACT: On October 28, 1970, the first issue of Avalanche Magazine was out on the newsstands. from Key West Florida to Juneau Alaska. How do I know? Because we got subscription cards back from those places. Eastern News. Inc. was the US distributor; Miller Printing, then on West 19th Street, was the printer, The print run was 5000 of which Eastern News took 3000 copies. There is an Avalanche online index created by Amy Ballmer athttp://wp.lehman.edu/avalanche. Thank you Amy! Amy did this on her own initiative, in the tradition of Avalanche which was also done on our initiative with sweat equity in lieu of kickstarter funds, which didn't exist then.
Thank you all the artists for participating with zest in such a risky first venture/adventure and thank you Richard Hogle, Preston McClanahan, John Van Saun and high school harp player Antonia Tims (who studied with Ornette Coleman) Linda Lawton, Christopher Lethbridge, Beth Ellor, Barry Ledoux and others. [If you're a researcher reading this note you should doublecheck which of those names appeared on the masthead of the first issue].
Technology was minimal.. A Smith Corona electric portable typewriter seemed quite adequate for typing manuscripts and a Sony TR 40 for recording interviews. At Gramercy Park where we edited the first few issues we had no TV until Van Schley gave us his wooden Setchell Carlson black & white monitor, which sat proudly on the floor and functioned as a light source with the sound off when we moved to 93 Grand Street. You could also patch in a Sony half-inch camera into the back which was how I started making videos. Willoughby had a Super 8 camera which he took when we went upstate but I don't think he used it in New York City.
The start-up and first few years of Avalanche are well-documented in a booklet that WS and i wrote dowmloadable as a PDF from the index website; for researchers, there'are also quite a few historical specifics in the reminiscence of Willoughby I wrote for Artforum in March 2009 on a sadder occasion.
October 28, 1970 was a happy occasion. Willoughby took a stack of copies to the Cologne Book Fair in Germany, with whose art scene he had been very familiar before we met. (in 19680 [Disclosure: I'm more out of the London sixties subculture.] The first issue was nearly two years in the making, but this is not unusual for new magazines, Even though Miller Printing told Willoughby that he never did anything right, probably because we always made last minute CXes , in this case Miller was wrong. Willoughby was so happy with the first issue, in fact, that he said we didn't need to publish any more. I said, a magazine is a serial creature that is published at intervals, regular or, in our case, irregular, having already mollycoddled quite a few such creatures. Besides, we had foreshadowed the second issue with an article on body works, as they were called then, made as sculpture, in the first issue. [Foreshadowing or set-up and pay-offs are screenwriting concepts normally associated with film rather than magazines, but there were other aspects of Avalanche which were filmic too] We go into that a bit in the section in The Early History of A called "Having Fun with the Turning Page". The section headings might seem a bit whimsical to those with more scholarly heft, but If I can't dance you can have your revolution}]
[For collectors there's a signed and numbered limited edition of The Early History of Avalanche 1968-1972 and maybe Printed Matter has copies at their new bookstore on 11th Avenue].
We called it a "pre-critical" survey because of course Avalanche's editorial stance precluded opinion-based criticism--but not investigation or analysis of the creative process which we did plenty of in dialogue format. I like to say the Avalanche photo essays and texts by artists, as well as the interviews are in apposition, rather than in opposition to criticism since they have provided source material for legions of PhD students and scholars over the decades... So the survey , like the Rumbles news section, was very detailed and informationally descriptive. it was the only such survey in the thirteen issues.The second issue could very well have been our last issue because it expanded so much that I feared it would explode, in a manner of speaking, and break the bank it did. ( (TO BE CONTINUED] October 28 2015, forty-five years later. (c) copyright Liza Bear 2015 All rights reserved.
2 10:31 pm, same day
Given that there were thirteen issues of AValanche, the stylistic range of interviews surprises me still. [I didn't say "only" 13 issues BTW] Thirteen was just the right number to publish not for some perverse superstitious reason but because the art world was changing fast, print was being superceded by electronic media and by 1976 Willoughby was well into his video performances and I had been making documentary videos and sound recordings for a couple of years. Moving on ....as well as individual interviews, the first second and third issues included discussions with several artists at once (Robert Smithson, Michael Heizer, Dennis Oppenheim in the first; Vito Acconci, Terry Fox and Oppenheim in the second. Also in Avalanche 2, a discussion with Alan Saret and Jeffrey Lew on the founding of 112 Greene Street, which opened roughly at the same time as the publication of Avalanche 1, the date that got me writing all this today, [Break because I have to finish watching a DVD]


Avalanche was an artist journal published in New York City from 1970-1976 by Willoughby Sharp and Liza Béar. This website is an index to the contents of Avalanche. It is designed to help you identify articles, interviews, and other content within the magazine, which you can then seek out in print at…
WP.LEHMAN.EDU

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Douglas Dunn & Dancers: Two Step



DOUGLAS DUNN & DANCERS
Alexandra Berger and Paul Singh perform Two Step to François Couperin's Les Barricades Mysterieuses at 537 Broadway, as part of the concert hosted by Sundays with Cathy Weis on October 25, 2015. This is a new work by Dunn composed this year. NB Music starts at 4:49; the first part is in silence. Filmed by Liza Bear
See also Douglas Dunn solo and VAIN COMBAT from same program in separate video:https://www.facebook.com/liza.bear.56/videos/10153614126081291/?l=72238014719054484 [Douglas Dunn Solo & Vain Combat]