Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Better Call Saul Links

Robert Boyd

Portrait of the Artist. Bob Odenkirk--co-creator of the great Mr. Show and now playing Saul Goodman on Breaking Bad--is also now writing Woody Allen-ish humor pieces for The New Yorker. This week, "Portrait of the Artist," which includes the following passage:
He has never made a film or a painting, nor has he written a poem, taken a picture, or tried to “make” anything. Despite all this, he has fascinated the art world and captivated New York society for the past year. He’s been praised as “unfathomable at best” and “bafflingly circumlocutory at worst” by ArtFinger.
Every day, he puts on his “uniform”: moccasins, tuxedo pants, one of a variety of pajama tops designed especially for him by L. L. Bean, and his signature duck-billed hockey mask.
He wears the same pair of underwear for a month, then puts on a fresh pair over the old pair, until he has twelve pairs on, at which point he knows that New Year’s Eve is right around the corner. ["Portrait of the Artist," Bob Odenkirk, The New Yorker, August 13, 2012]

 Weston Jandacka, title unknown, from the series "Intrinsic Value or This Shit's Hella Expensive"

BĂȘte comme un peintre. I bet Weston Jandacka went through a whole lot of trouble to paint this. To bad about the apostrophe. ["Dear Painter Weston Jandacka," Clark Humphrey, Misc Media, August 7, 2012]

English as she is spoke. The funniest yet most alarming thing I have read recently is "International Art English." It analyses 13 years of e-flux press releases using computational and statistical methods--and a good deal of humor. The result is disheartening but hilarious. Perhaps it is good that Robert Hughes died before he could read it.
An artist’s work inevitably interrogates, questions, encodes, transforms, subverts, imbricates, displaces—though often it doesn’t do these things so much as it serves to, functions to, or seems to (or might seem to) do these things. IAE rebukes English for its lack of nouns: Visual becomes visuality, global becomes globality, potential becomes potentiality, experience becomes … experiencability. [...]
IAE always recommends using more rather than fewer words. [...] When Olafur Eliasson’s Yellow Fog “is shown at dusk—the transition period between day and night—it represents and comments on the subtle changes in the day’s rhythm.”
The question is why. How did we end up writing in a way that sounds like inexpertly translated French?
There has been a battle between the poets and the philosophers in art writing, and "International Art English" demonstrates that the philosophers have decisively won, with their lingo seeping down into even the most modest artist's statement or wall-text. ["International Art English,"Alix Rule and David Levine, Triple Canopy issue 16. Hat tip to Blouin Artinfo]

Bob Adelman, Edie Sedgwick starts to push Andy Warhol into the pool at Al Roons health club, NYC, 1965 (© Bob Adelman)

Photos of Andy. I know the Factory was full of decadent speed freaks, but these photos by Bob Adelman of Edie Sedgwick dunking Andy Warhol in a pool are delightful and, well, innocent. ["Happy Birthday, Andy Warhol!, Slate Magazine, August 6, 2012]

Bob Adelman, Andy Warhol after being dunked in a pool by Edie Sedgwick at a party at Al Roon's health club, NYC, 1965 (© Bob Adelman)


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