DC's

The blog of author Dennis Cooper

Attenuated sex: Laurie Simmons, Shari Pierce, Betty Tompkins, Cheng Li, Sarah Lucas, John Miller, Richard Hoeck, Martin Soto Climent, Darja Bajagić, Lutz Bacher, Cajsa von Zeipel, Torbjørn Rødland, Kang Yi, Charles Ray, Katarina Janeckova, Millie Wilson, Goshka Macula, Sebastian Martorana, Tobias Rehberger & Douglas Gordon, Vito Acconci, Sarah Anne Johnson, Carolee Schneemann, Thomas Ruff, Bruce Nauman, Amy Bennett, Nayland Blake, Vartan, Maria Eichhorn, The Kid, Voina, Jimmy DeSana

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Laurie Simmons from Two Boys and the Love Doll (2015)
Her new work focuses on life-size objects, mail-order female sex dolls and male CPR dummies. The CAM exhibit consists of 20 photographs, several of which show a closed-eyed, open-mouthed figure in front of a laptop screen. These images raise important questions about isolation, especially given the figure’s original purpose. The doll itself is meant to be physically engaged with, to breathe life into a human that needs to be resuscitated.

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Shari Pierce 300 Sex Offenders from Within a 5 mile Radius (2011)

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Betty Tompkins various (1969 – 1974)
The large scale photorealistic paintings of heterosexual intercourse which Betty Tompkins made between 1969 and 1974 were practically unknown when they were exhibited together for the first time in New York in 2002. Knowledge of Tompkins’ paintings immediately broadened the repertoire of first generation feminist-identified imagery. More significantly, their materialization made manifest an unacknowledged precursor to contemporary involvement with explicit sexual and transgressive imagery. Shown at the Lyon Biennale in 2003 beside Steve Parrino’s equally wayward abstractions, Betty Tompkins’ work garnered extraordinary attention. The first painting in the series – there are only eight extant early Fuck Paintings – was acquired for the permanent collection of the Centre Pompidou/CNAC in Paris. (A satisfying postscript given that the paintings were detained by customs officials and ultimately denied entrance to France in 1973; a situation that was repeated two years ago when Tompkin’s work was sent to a gallery in Japan.)

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Cheng Li Sensitive Times (2011)
Beijing-based performance artist Cheng Li, 57, was sentenced to one year of “re-education through labor” for “disturbing public order” on Friday by Tongzhou district branch of the Municipal Public Security Bureau, according to Cheng’s lawyer, Wang Zhenyu. Cheng’s detention is linked his work entitled Sensitive Times at the Songzhuang Art Zone in Tongzhou district on March 20, where he showed a couple simulating sexual intercourse in the basement of the Beijing Museum of Contemporary Art, which Cheng claimed an expression of how art had “sold out” and “anyone can do it.” The case brings to light “re-education through labor” sentences, a system of administrative detention handed down by the public security bureau rather than through the judicial system, a common practice which lawyers claim is not codified in the Chinese Constitution.

 

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Sarah Lucas from I SCREAM DADDIO (2015)

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John Miller, Richard Hoeck Sex Appeal of the Inorganic (2016)
Beyond the brutality of breaking humanoid figures, lies a soteriological opportunity, a hint of salvation. An empty promise, maybe. Now it’s over, some would claim, but an ending may be read as either a period or a colon. What comes next after a disaster or a happy ending? Three days after Flight 9525 crashed, the European Aviation Safety Agency issued a temporary recommendation to require that at least two people remain in the cockpit at all times whenever an aircraft is airborne.

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Darja Bajagić various (2014 – 2015)
Just 24 years old, the Montenegro-born, New York-based artist has been a nomad since childhood, living in cities including Cairo and Chicago. Her work, which incorporates pornographic imagery and serial killer “murderabilia,” seems to be the beginning of a career that will surely garner a lot of the attention from the art world and the Internet. Even before graduating, Bajagić was already whipping up controversy within the Yale MFA department, albeit unintentionally. The head of the department, art historian Robert Storr, had such a problem with her use of pornography that he called her crazy and suggested she go to therapy on Yale’s budget. Her interest in pornography, Bajagić says, is primarily cultural. She recalls her earlier works as being stylistically minimal, but she eventually sought to merge the conventions of painting and porn. By employing certain compositional strategies she wants to prod viewers into deconstructing her images, rather than simply seeing pornographic photos laden with gendered meaning, or focusing on why a female artist would be interested in pornography in the first place.

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Lutz Bacher Sex with Strangers (2014)
In Sex with Strangers, a key early work, the artist made photographic enlargements of illustrations and captions from a book that purports to be a cautionary sociology study about female psychology and deviant sexual behavior but is, in fact, pulp pornography.

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Martin Soto Climent Tight on Canvas (Bridget) (2010)

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Casja von Zeibel A Party Of Snow Elves (2014)
Strange white female figures, made out of three different materials combined, styrofoam, jesmonite, and plaster, seem to perform arcobatic sex – a kind of frozen Kama Sutra.

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Torbjørn Rødland various (2007 – 2016)
We’ve seen it before: the hazy glow, the casual perversity, the entire picture made punctum. But we hadn’t seen it before photographer TORBJØRN RØDLAND took up the lens more than twenty years ago, capturing scenes of allure, sex, style—and we’ve never seen it quite like this, in strange focus, unsettlingly backlit, infused with tactility and dread.

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Kang Yi Untitled (2013)
In an unusual exhibition of art last month, Chinese performance artist Kang Yi stood, nearly naked, on a raised podium in an auditorium in Guangzhou. With his arms outstretched and tied to a wooden plank across his shoulders, Kang remained completely still as a woman doled out hundreds of hickeys on his chest, abdomen and arms. The woman, a female art student, continued to bite and bruise Kang with her lips for an hour and a half before dousing him with basins of water at the end of the performance

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Charles Ray Oh! Charley, Charley, Charley (1992)
Oh! Charley, Charley, Charley… (1992) is a sculpture of eight lifelike Charles Rays engaged in mutual masturbation. Ray, however, seems to be in deep denial about why the piece might spark curiosity about what’s going on inside his head. “I used my genitalia — that’s not important,” he says. “People make a big deal out of that. But you know, should I ask my assistant if I can use his?” The piece, he insists, was born of a desire to fashion a compelling multifigure sculpture, and nothing of his true self was revealed. But if there is no connection to his own identity, why did he give each figure his face, and why on earth did he name the thing after himself? Now he’s stumped. “No, that’s true, you’re right. It was my face and my name.” He pauses. “Is that interesting?”

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Katarina Janeckova various (2010 – 2015)
Katarina Janeckova‘s paintings are overtly sexual and energetic, strange pictures of her and a bear in various positions, in public and private spaces; an art gallery, at the kitchen sink, in a bathroom, en plein air. Each image a potent mix of sex, domination, romance and mystery all wrapped up in a mythological landscape. A wish fulfilment dressed up as an X-rated folk story. Her use of pastel colours and bright breezy brush strokes give her pictures a sublime energy, as if we’re in the room, have stumbled across this bestial exhibitionist couple who love nothing better than getting it off infront of an audience. Unsettling in their psychological content they are nonetheless imbued with a sweetness and an innocence, the bear harmless, yet strong and dominant, a metaphor for the complications and emotional tensions that come with sexual awakening, with need and desire, yearning and horror. Perhaps her pictures are simply a play on the truth of life in a sexualized world. Of life in her native Slovakia.

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Millie Wilson various (1990 – 1995)

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Goshka Macuga Before the Beginning and After the End (detail, 2016)

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Sebastian Martorana various (2012 – 2016)

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Douglas Gordon and Tobias Rehberger After the After (2015)
After the After considers Ibiza’s status as an iconic place of hedonism, parties and decadence while examining the ‘after-point’ that occurs when this ultimately comes to an end, a time of emptiness and paranoia when one should not be left alone. The works in the exhibition range in media including film, painting, and sculpture and are situated both within the confines of the museum and displayed outside in the surrounding city environment. At the centre of After the After is a work comprising two parts based on the same section of film of two men engaging in sexual intercourse. Rehberger has constructed a large 5m x 5m ‘tile painting’(see above) depicting the upper half of the men, their faces and torsos, displayed on the terrace wall on the exterior of the museum. On viewing the tile painting close-up the image is totally abstract – totally pixelated from the individual tiles – only when viewed from a distance or through a smartphone screen does the image become distinct and concrete. This optical illusion forges a physical and ultimately emotional distance from the viewer to the intimate moment depicted. In his response, Gordon focuses on the lower half of the men via a film of their moving legs. The film is projected onto a wall inside the museum that can also be viewed from outside alongside Rehberger’s monumental tile painting.

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Vito Acconci Seedbed (1971)
In January 1971, Acconci performed Seedbed intermittently at New York’s Sonnabend Gallery. On days he performed, visitors entered to find the gallery empty except for a low wooden ramp. Below the ramp, out of sight, Acconci masturbated, basing his sexual fantasies on the movement of visitors above him. He narrated these fantasies aloud, his voice projected through speakers into the gallery.

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Sarah Anne Johnson Golden Boy (2013)

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Carolee Schneemann Meat Joy (1964)
Meat Joy is an erotic rite — excessive, indulgent, a celebration of flesh as material: raw fish, chicken, sausages, wet paint, transparent plastic, ropes, brushes, paper scrap. Its propulsion is towards the ecstatic — shifting and turning among tenderness, wildness, precision, abandon; qualities that could at any moment be sensual, comic, joyous, repellent. Physical equivalences are enacted as a psychic imagistic stream, in which the layered elements mesh and gain intensity by the energy complement of the audience. The original performances became notorious and introduced a vision of the ‘sacred erotic.

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Thomas Ruff Nudes (2012)
Taken from porn sites, Thomas Ruff’s ongoing series Nudes thwarts the urge to see more and more – and by so doing brings us back to our senses. I mean that literally – to the blurry imprecision of the senses. Several contradictory things go on depending on which photographs you are looking at (or even while looking at the same picture). Porn takes the universal desire to have sex and delivers it and improves on it: perfect bodies, no disease or impotence (as suffered by the porn-addicted Michael Fassbender in Steve McQueen’s film Shame), no heartbreak, no regrets, no consequences. But by blurring these images Ruff improves them in the opposite direction. They acquire the uncertainty of memory, the imprecision of unenacted fantasy, the unfocusable swirl of the unconscious, of dreams. Or nightmares in which the idyll becomes either leeringly horrible or ludicrous and laughable. Though they are arranged with only one thing in mind, the original lighting is coaxed into gorgeous subtleties; colours become nuanced, delicate, or expressionistically garish. Acts and actors become more intimate than – and more remote from – the way they appeared on screen. The photographs impart a lyricism to the source material; or, particularly in the recent work, they lay bare the ghastliness and vulgarity of an industry that aims to service desire so thoroughly, so instantly.

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Bruce Nauman Seven Figures (1985)
An orgy lit out in playful neon. It is like a people puzzle. The work switches on and off in phases after each other. I was surprised at how strongly people still respond to the depiction of the scene itself (It was amusing to observe an old man and his teenage grandson pass by) To me the glow of the light and the movement elevates the image from a graphic to something quite enigmatic. Also the sound that comes with the switching of the neon adds to the rhythm of movement. It is the neon which has this lively energy.

 

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Amy Bennett various (2005 – 2007)
I am interested in the fragility of relationships and people’s awkwardness in trying to coexist and relate to one another. To that end I create miniature 3D models to serve as evolving still lifes from which I paint detailed narrative paintings. Using cardboard, foam, wood, paint, glue, and model railroad miniatures, I construct various fictional, scale models. Recent models have included a neighborhood, lake, theater, doctor’s office, church, and numerous domestic interiors. The models become a stage on which I develop narratives. They offer me complete control over lighting, composition, and vantage point to achieve a certain dramatic effect. — AB

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Nayland Blake Gorge (1998)
More recently, actually over the last 10 years or so, I have been involved in the BDSM community and I really consider what I and other people do there as performance art. It is an environment in which the audience and performers are co-extensive. It’s about people making meaning for each other, using skills and physical experience. It’s about exploring that relationship to power in a very particular way. I meet people in that environment who are experts in that. One of the things I have learned there is that power is only problematic when it’s fixed, when it is not mobile. All relationships have power dynamics, it is only a problem when power accrues to a particular location and is not allowed to move to any other place. Sometimes you want to be on the top, sometimes you want to be on the bottom and you see kids play with that dynamic all the time. I don’t think power is wrong in of itself; you cannot remove power from personal interactions. But you can examine power; is it fixed? Is it mobile? How does it move from one person or place to another? How does consent operate in any given dynamic. In a sense that is what democracy is – a power relationship based on consent as opposed to one based on force. And that is one of the things kinky people talk about a lot – what is consent? What does it mean? How do you confirm its existence? So that’s a place where these things are being talked about on a very deep level, certainly more deeply than the art world.

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Vartan Eytan (2014)
A young boy made out of plaster sits in an unnatural and vulnerable position, knees splayed and hands clutching his heels from behind. He is naked except for a loincloth and a blindfold. A section of his sculpted arm is missing. This is Eytan, a sculpture by Vartan, a queer former Orthodox Jew from Chechnya whose sculptures and paintings mostly explore demonic and sexual themes. “My work always shows a state of human spirit. Demons and angels, pain and uncontrollable desire, fear and loneliness. The naked body in sculpture represents a spiritual condition. I am not interested in ‘politically correct’ art because it’s boring. Shock, controversy, and honesty. These are the three principles of my art.”

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Maria Eichhorn Film Lexicon of Sexual Practices 1999/2005/2008/2014/2015 (1999 – 2015)
During the exhibition films were shot, depicting the first entries Eyes, Mouth, Breast Licking and Cunnilingus. In the course of each exhibition of the work in the years 2005, 2008, 2014 and 2015 new films were produced. The individual films are available in the exhibition situation in film cans labeled with the respective film title, to be played upon request, and are screened in a not darkened exhibition space. A text applied to the wall contains the list of all films and the information “The films will be screened upon request.” The scenes, shot mainly with a static camera against a neutral background, show close-ups of the practices identified in the titles, and are silent. 20 films (16 mm, color, silent, each approx. 2:40 minutes): Anal Coitus (2008), Anilingus (2008), Breast Licking (1999), Clitoris (2014), Cunnilingus (1999), Ear (2014), Ear Licking (2005), Eyes (1999), Feet (2014), Fellatio (2008), French Kissing (2005), Japanese Bondage (2015), Love Bite (2005), Masturbation (Man) (2008), Masturbation (Woman) (2014), Milk Bath (2014), Mouth (1999), Needle Play (2015), Vulva (2014), Wax Play (2015); film screening, wall text.

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The Kid Blessed is the Lamb Whose Blood Flows, Humanity is Overrated, Rise and Rise Again Until Lambs Become Lions (2013 – 2014)
The art that 22-year old artist The Kid creates spans genres. He describes his work as “forever caught between innocence and corruption,” and the well-executed pieces are compelling with their huge, detailed, Bic pen-drawn faces and hyper-realistic sculpted bodies. Photos of his sculptures, made from materials such as platinum silicon, glass fiber, oil paint, human hair, cotton, and mixed fabrics, force you to look, and look again, in order to believe that they are, in fact, inanimate objects.

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Voina Fuck for the Heir Puppy Bear! (2008)
Actionist art collective Voina (“War” in Russian) hosted an orgy at the Timiryazev State Biological Museum in Moscow called Fuck for the Heir Puppy Bear! (words plastered on a black flag that served as their backdrop). The slogan refers to Dmitry Medvedev, the Prime Minister of Russia whose last name means “of the bears.” Said one member of the event: “This is a portrait of pre-election Russia: everybody fucks each other, and the puppy bear looks at that with an unconcealed scorn.”

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Jimmy De Sana various (1979 – 1986)
Jimmy De Sana (November 12, 1949 – July 27, 1990) was an American artist, and a key figure in the East Village punk art scene of the 1970s and 1980s. De Sana’s photography has been described as “anti-art” in its approach to capturing images of the human body, in a manner ranging from “savagely explicit to purely symbolic”. William S. Burroughs wrote the introduction to his collection of photographs Submission which was self-published in 1980.

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p.s. Hey. ** L@rstonovich, L- Sweet! Thank you! I just peeked and overheard the first 20 or so seconds and it sounds really good, man. I’ll go further in a bit. I don’t think I’ve ever read Gay Talese, weird. Huh. Funny how writers whose names you’re read for most of your life can just fly by. Thanks, man, you’re the best. ** Math, Hi. Thanks, bud. Scary/ sweet/ dumb/ high brow DeAundra is a singular cult legend. Oh, I agree the slaves I cherry pick are pretty good writers, but they ain’t you and yours, and that’s just a fact. So I may in fact holler. Ears perked. Love, me. ** Dóra Grőber, Hey! Thanks, cool, that’s happy-making. I love and admire how you’re always pushing yourself into new realms in your work. You’re a searcher as well as a finesse-r. I always try to be that too. Good, good, good that RHCP didn’t let you down. Nothing like a great gig. There’s kind of nothing else that’s so up there. I haven’t seen music live in ages for no reason. My back might be improving today. It’s always a little hard to tell in the morning, but, yeah, it might be fixing itself. Hope so. Yesterday was pretty painful, so I didn’t do a ton, which is fine because I have a ton of work to do, so I chipped at that. Mostly preparing with Zac for the film funding tribunal next week. Our producer, who’s really cool, has set up a ‘mock trial’ situation for us early next week so we can rehearse our pitch and get queried by a stand-in committee of film people. So we’re trying to become charming experts on our new film, and that was yesterday’s main drift. Did you have or do anything over the weekend that particularly excited you? ** Dynomoose, Hi! Michael didn’t react as far as I can tell. Maybe he has been turned to into a reclusive DeAundra addict. ** Thomas Moronic, Hi, T! Yeah, DeAundra was kind of a genius construction. Still is, although she/he rarely performs these days. The way her persona and act mixes together so many contradictory aspects is really something, very druggy in a particular way or something. Halloween! Thanks for your listening list. Yeah, the new Frank Ocean is very good, very impressive. I haven’t heard the new Autechre or that SY archive release yet, but I will. Bon! Frieze Art Fair is pretty gross, but you do get to see a lot of stuff, but that stuff is stuffed together in such a way that it’s hard to concentrate on individual pieces. It’s really like a Walmart, and the art are products on the equivalent of shelves, but, yeah, if you’ve never been to an art fair, Frieze is a good one to use as your initiation. And there is a funness to be had if you can dial back the context’s wealth-coddling heart. I’ll be curious to hear how it suits you. ** Nemo, Hi. I don’t live at the Recollets anymore. Yeah, check with Joel for the updates. That’s the easiest way to do it. ** Steve Lafreniere, Hi, Steve! A joy, an honor, and much more to have you here, pal and maestro! She is an —  if not the — epitome of utterly uncategorizable. I’m good. You good? You seem very good to judge by the Facebook evidence. Take care, Steve! ** Steevee, Hi. Good news about the Danny Field doc. I very definitely want to see that. He was involved tangentially or more in some of the greatest music of the ’70s, and as someone who thinks the first Ramones album is probably the greatest record in the history of rock, that’s reason enough to want to go behind his scenes. Thanks for the report. ‘Abandoned’ cool, okay, I don’t know anything about that. I will definitely investigate. Thank you a lot for that tip too. Let me know what you think of it. ** Paul Curran, Hi, Paul! It’s so good to see you in the new digs. Thanks, man. Welcome back to you too! How was Taiwan? How is the new novel going? ** Sypha, Hi, James. Really, that’s the only rock doc you’ve ever seen? How did you manage to not do that? Wow. I think siding with the victims is the best way to read Sade, but I’m a softie too, despite all the evidence to the contrary. You’ll notice I don’t do monthly Master posts. Dude, I promise there are tons of superb French writers you haven’t read. Even you. ** _Black_Acrylic, Hi, Ben. Thank you a lot for being hard at work on that. I so appreciate it. ** Wolf, Hi, W-y! Crazy shit is right. I miss crazy shit. Ha ha, wow, that video. Thanks, buddy. Wow. I’ve only had a fraction of a second’s peek so far at the Wikipedia entry but I can already say it outstrips every slave’s butt I’ve ever seen, and, trust me, I’ve seen a lot. In, you know, photos, I mean. I want to be in nerd zone! Wait, maybe I already am. Am I? ** Jamie McMorrow, Hi, Jamie! Thanks for stopping by before you take off. If you see this before you go offline, have a perfect, and I mean perfect trip. And make sure your memory preserves some highlights so I can partake a little. Enjoy France. I’ll be many kilometers north wishing the very best for you guys. Lots of love back, Dennis. ** Schoolboyerrors, D, sir. Me too. I mean, duh, about the interesting nature of those posts and profiles. Believe it or not, I don’t exactly know what’s going on with those posts either. I really do like how they seem cut-and-dried but how that take on them is so self-defeating or something. Providers of shitty WiFi should have their day in court. In the Hague even. I’m sorry. She is, right? DeAundra. I’m glad you think so. That Gavin Butt doc sounds really good. Vaginal D. is a great genius. I look forward to meeting Butt. Promising name, ha ha. And, yes, Jesus, we need to get Gisele’s and my and others’ pieces over there. Wtf?! ‘The Ventriloquists Convention’ is virtually custom made for the UK. Get through life without WiFi as best you can, man. ** H, Hi. I’m glad DeAundra intrigued you, Cool. Have a great weekend! ** Armando, Hi. Why? Because there are thousands and thousands of bands that could potentially be the subject of our music video so the chances of guessing the right one are pretty low? ‘Sympathy for the Devil’ is certainly a singular rock doc, although I guess I don’t think of it as that. But then I like the whole thing including the parts that draw your ire, weird me. But I haven’t seen it in decades, mind you. ‘Benjamin Smoke’ is very good, yes, I agree. I’ve never been to Monaco. I’m very vaguely intrigued by the idea of going there. Why do you ask? I’m good with Kate Bush. I’ve never owned a single album of hers, so I don’t have a favorite. Do you like her, and, if so, what’s your fave(s)? Good, lucky weekend to you. ** Marilyn Roxie, Hi, M. Cool, I’m excited. Thank you so much! Enjoy every single thing this weekend! ** Slatted Light, Hi, David. Bruising, yes. If you’re willing and able, that too brief brush with your soulmate can end up very inspiring in a weird way. It can become nuclear re: creative feeling and resulting output. Gene Wilder was really brilliant, I think. Really, really special. Very undervalued. I haven’t seen the ‘Sherlock Holmes’ film. Didn’t he direct that? I’ll find it. He did things in ‘Young Frankenstein’ that are just mind-fucking-boggling. Mm, I’m hoping the new novel, if it works out, will incorporate enough of what I wanted to say about George and me that I will feel satisfied. This novel is not about him overall, but maybe I don’t need to write about everything to write about him. That’s my current theory. I’ve had this idea/wish for forever to do novel that somehow interrelates with or is grounded from within by ‘The Heart is a Lonely Hunter’. In some ways, that’s the book I’m writing, and George plays into the reason why I need to write that book very heavily. Haha, the doomsday clock thing is really weird. I tested it out, and it freaked me out. Have a fine, no, very fine Saturday and Sunday please. ** Okay. This weekend you get sex filtered through the work of some artists who cope with and redesign sex in various ways, and of course I hope that’s of interest. See you on Monday.

249 Comments

  1. Hi D
    this is a show id love to see in real life 🙂
    been running round this trying to get some stuff done & procured before i leave for the cold lands again. i fact i think i ran past Diarmuid as i went into a book shop and he was coming out? got in then went back out to check, but he was gone, then i though nah he’s in the uk, probably someone similar looking but i just read he’s here. bummer! that would have been a fun meeting. funnily id just picked up a copy of Gorse http://gorse.ie/book/no-5/ that he has a essay in.
    other than that not much else is happening. collecting stuff for work that will be assembled and mashed into a form of some kind, reading poetry and some general procrastinating, i watched the wolfpack last night, it was sad & beautiful. tonight will be fun as i’m going to dinner with some friends, this week just slipped by. hope your back is better soon!
    Bon weekend xx

  2. Hi!

    First of all, today’s post is awesome again! I’ll definitely look into the works of Darja Bajagić, Torbjørn Rødland and The Kid more thoroughly! Which one(s) do you like best?

    Oh, wow, thank you! It means a lot! I really am, this is the only way it works for me. And I love it like this. The fact that you’re working on so many various projects and pieces all the time serves as great inspiration.
    I agree. They absolutely took my breath away, I keep going back to those moments and I’m just in awe. Music is something really important and live music is just the best.
    Ah, that’s very good news! I mean that the pain was already a little better in the morning! I hope it leaves you alone as soon as possible!
    This sounds like a very good idea! It’ll probably push you to master the charming act but still gives you an opportunity to go at it with a relative calmness. Tell me about it when it happens!
    I’m mostly planning to write this weekend and I’ll probably work on my zine, too, so that’s about it basically. I’ll tell you how everything turned out on Monday!
    I hope you have a nice weekend and your back keeps healing!

  3. @Thomas,

    hey man, how youve been? long time no talk. cant fuckin wait for ‘in their arms’. really.

  4. This is fantastic. Love seeing old hat given new life by rubbing against the new. Thanks!

  5. “Sympathy For the Devil” aka. “One Plus One” is not really a documentary, though it does document part of a Rolling Stones recording session. James Fox can be glimpsed in certain shots which indicates it was made at the saem time as “Performance.”

    Oh How I LOATHE Tom Wolfe!

  6. Hey Dennis,
    I wonder if we know each other. I went to Temple City High 1969 until my folks put me in an institution for having a spiritual emergnce/y. Also went to PPC where I took (I’m not kidding) Advanced Folk Singing. I’m now living on Vancouver Island where I work as a therapist and run the Psychedelic Psychotherapy Forum in Victoria BC. http://www.psychedelicpsychotherapy.ca
    We probably crossed paths at some point…I was at the track (Santa Anita) a lot with my dad.

  7. A superb curated blog this weekend! Sex and art – my favorite combination. Thank you!

  8. So this is what you get up to when you’re not censored, huh?
    Well, I suppose you can never have too many images of people having sex with bears.

  9. Dennis – What a show! This would be a stunning gallery group show, Dennis. Reminds me a bit of that great Sex Book that John Waters and Bruce Hainley did together, where they picked out their favourite art that was about sex. Shari Pierce’s Sex Offenders piece is pretty interesting – trying to manifest fear in a creative way. Cool to see the Betty Tompkins pictures. There’s something interesting about Cheng Li’s stuff and fuck what a heavy price to pay. Darja Bajagić’s work is new to me and looks good. Torbjørn Rødland’s stuff feels very heavy an multilayered, and really caught my eye. Charles Ray is always amazing. I really like the last painitng here by Katarina Janeckova. Oh wow, the bitmappy Douglas Gordon and Tobias Rehberger pieces are right up my street – abstracted but still so clear. The Thomas Ruff nudes have this really true sex-is-vague thing that is quite beautiful. Love the Nauman orgy. Nayland Blake is always interesting. Holy SHIT, The Kid is completely new to me and has some really amazing work. Woah, I’m gonna have to go on the hunt for more onformation about him and his stuff. Oh man – thanks a ton for the introduction to his stuff. I;m going looking as soon as I’ve posted.

    When people work with sex and it works it can be such a good thing. It’s good timing because I’ve been thinking about sex in terms of my work a lot. My new book is probably the most sexually explicit thing and the thing in which sex is most clearly forefronted in the text than anything I’ve done before, and it’s really interesting to see how people approach it. I always find sculptures can have a really sexual thing. When I saw the Ariana Reines/Oscar Tuazon show this year, there was something about that stuff that felt very sexual and physical even though I don’t think I could explain why.

    Understood about Frieze and the Walmart-ness of art fairs. Luckily it isn’t my first visit there so I kind of know what I’ll be walking into.

    Armando – Hey man. Oh awesome – thanks so much. Yeah, I’m ok thanks. You? Thanks a ton for being excited about my new book. That’s really cool.

  10. Last night’s episode of ABANDONED was about abandoned shopping malls. The host toured several malls in Ohio. The most interesting parts were set in a mall that now hosts 25 churches; the host, who admitted he’s never been to church before, attended a Baptist service. The other part I liked involved a team of ghost hunters trying to contact the spirit of a girl who was murdered behind a mall in the ’80s.

    My first night of Zyprexa withdrawal went great, comparatively speaking. I had no insomnia. The only negative side effect was relatively minor: a flushed face and sweating. I felt better after turning on my air conditioner. i hope tonight goes equally well.

  11. Dennis, oh, I’m aware that there are so many other great French writers I’ve probably never even heard of. I was just naming a few that came to mind off the top of my head. Thing is, the 3 bookshelves I have devoted to French writers in my bedroom is running out of space so I need to be a bit more selective, ha ha (in an ideal world I would have an entire bookcase dedicated to French writers, but I simply don’t have the living space for that right now).

    Speaking of French writers, I’m back to reading Leon Bloy’s “The Woman Who Was Poor.” Very strange to go from a writer who was an outspoken atheist to one who was an outspoken Catholic!

  12. Really enjoyed today’s post. The Katarina Janeckova is particularly fun and reminded me of something I haven’t thought of in years, and which there appears to be no trace of on the internet, so I wonder if I’ve just imagined it: a Japanese edition of The Joy of Sex from the 1970s employing a very 16th century Shunga form of image censorship, namely that the man is edited out entirely and replaced by a giant flower with thick green stalks and leaves. Love the slam-bam boldness of The Kid, also of Voina. I admire the no-limits ethic of many Russian artists, which can be so powerful – I’m thinking also of Petr Pavlensky’s amazing actions (and their great titles: Seam, Fixation, Carcass, Freedom, Segregation…)

    I didn’t have a moment to write a comment yesterday, which I feel like I spent much of with a dead iPhone in a 4 mile gridlock leading to the Blackwall Tunnel. (People getting out of their cars and going off for lunch; a well dressed West African man beaming at the trapped cars from a bridge while he gave us the finger.) I’ve had a nice couple of days though. Swept up the leaves in the garden today. Enjoyed seeing all the kids going back to school yesterday.

  13. Very lovely weekend collection, Dennis. Love the Sarah Lucas. Torbjørn Rødland has this cold disturbing beauty that I find very attractive. I see his work has all these still-lives and landscapes as well, quite diverse. Just found this article with more photos, in case you haven’t seen it:

    http://www.newyorker.com/culture/photo-booth/a-norwegian-artists-memory-disturbances

    Obviously I’m intrigued by the Kid. Have you met him? I see he’s based in Paris and Amsterdam.

    You probably know I’m a big DeSana fan. Aperture just put out a new book of his photos.

    Have a great weekend… hopefully I’ll get caught up a bit and do some listening and reading.

    Bill

  14. Jimmy Desana – intriguing . Gone at a very young age.
    It seems alot of 90’s photography had this contrasty sexy dangerous feel but felt authentic compared to images of today. Kinda makes you want to get some tungsten lamps and color gels.

  15. Hi, Dennis!

    Been lurking around the blog since Chris introduced me, and I feel like the re-entry trajectory is as good a place as any to say a virtual hello.

    First off, major congratulations on getting your blog content back! Also, fuck google for not just re-publishing it, etc. But I can’t imagine you having to face the idea of them locking it away forever, so I’m so glad that’s all back in your hands.

    Also, it was brilliant meeting you and seeing Cattle Towards Glow. It was a real treat to see you and Zac play around with each of those ideas/prompts/imaginings with such elegant skill and keen aesthetic sense.

    Super cool collection here…I’m always intrigued by the focus of artists who manage to really hone in on a discourse with sex. There seems to be this kind of spectrum of reactionary to revolutionary – people who enter a project wanting to react to the system of sexual taboos and hierarchies they see around them, to artists who begin by focusing on creating a language that expresses sex better than words. All these works/collections do a super interesting mix of both of those, and things in between, while situating the viewer in a highly self-reflective place, which is really the key, I think. Especially digging Torbjørn Rødland’s work – thanks for turning me on to that.
    Today’s post made me wonder what your feelings/thoughts are on Bobby Flanagan’s stuff? I often wonder how much of his work (and work like it) influences trends that set up parameters for the post-90’s artistic dialogue involving BDSM and medicalization of sexuality (and ways that might contextualize and limit channels of queer expression in those areas).

    Lastly, just wanted to say I’m a huge fan of your novels and poems. I know some of it is older work for you, but I’ve had a rough summer and been pretty ill, and there have been some moments where passages from things like Try or God, Jr., or the Weaklings XL collection have been pinging around my head in a way that leads me back to trying to write/create through the hard times. So, thank you for that.

    See you around, G.x

  16. Tom of Finland too! (and innumerable others, of course, lol) ~ I just got a Tom of Finland 1990 calendar on Ebay as a gift for a friend’s 21st bday. Also found some old Little Caesars on there, but theyre out of my price range ~ ~ ~ ~~ ~ 🙂

  17. @Thomas,

    hey there. u didnt reply 2 my latest email. its ok, dont worry. i know ure very, very busy. so, yeah, im incredibly excited bout ‘in their arms’ and have missed u. wish we could talk more. good luck, good day and best wishes, a.

  18. What a show! Attenuated sex is really delightful. Would Takashi Murakami – My Lonesome Cowboy fit in here? Not that I’m much of a fan of his work or anything, I’m just used to seeing that sculpture in surveys of art about sex.

    @ DC, i sent the ART101 Day to your new email, hoping you received it okay.

  19. fuck this is so rich

    the kid +torbjørn rødland are new to me +theyre fire
    oh wow torbjørn is from stavanger like kier

    while the blog was kidnapped i met the work of wolfe barrett aka drrty pharms whose music i think you posted awhile back but i didnt click it then
    now that im familiar im shitting i love it

    yea i dont expect anything to come of this but its a real offer- if yr a bottom tryna look sexy on a website in english i will help you edit yr profile +you can pay me w a selfie or not pay if you prefer- f4ggotencoder at gmail

    xm+

  20. Wow some incredible stuff here, and a couple of new discoveries for me. Will be revisiting and taking copious notes.

  21. Big D! I full screen everyfuckingthing. 😀

    Yeah, my mom, for all her faults, is a decent and good person who does the right thing.

    Strangely, yesterday’s post, to me, was much more outlandish/outrageous/transgressive/subversive/avant garde than today’s. However, today’s stuff is much better, imo.

    Weird how that works.

    Well, the random pain and stuff is manageable and becoming more so as time goes by, and none of it is scary or anything. It’s all about moderation and being cautious and not overtaxing myself and stuff. I’ll be okay. Because that’s what we do.

  22. Like some others, I really like pieces by Torbjorn Rodland. Those look excellent. Seeming morbid yet highly active. And feels eternally young.

    How was your weekend? I had a little down time. Eating banana cake and vanilla gelato with my bestie. Reading Deleuze Cinema which I haven’t read for 5 years or so. And read Lautreamont. I wanted to inspire myself. New York life is generally uninspiring though it’s much more emotionally even (no time to feel disturbed) than living in Buffalo. It’s been good and bad for my work, but I think I will build my mental zone with better discipline.

  23. hey,

    well, what do u think of the one i thinks the greatest rock documentary ever, Warhol’s ‘the velvet underground and Nico’?

    “I’m very vaguely intrigued by the idea of going there.” y?

    “Why do you ask?” because ive always wanted to go and because now that my life-long dream 2 ever live in ur great country, either in ca or tx, is no more, i thought and searched and researched and came 2 the conclusion that the 2 parts of this shithole of a world id like 2 live in r brussels and monaco, but, brussels isnt anymore what it used 2 b and dont think id like 2 live there now, so that leaves only monaco as my 1 dream place 2 live in.

    really? dont even have a favorite song by kate? i like her. very, very, very much so. my favorite albums in chronological order r ‘the dreaming’, ‘hounds of love’ and ’50 words for snow’. my favorite songs r ‘wuthering heights’, ‘the kick inside’, ‘wow’, ‘army dreamers’, ‘the infant kiss’, ‘the wedding list’, ‘babooshka’, ‘sat in your lap’, ‘get out of my house’, ‘leave it open’, ‘pull out the pin’, ‘there goes a tenner’, ‘running up that hill’, ‘cloudbusting’, ‘hounds of love’, ‘and dream of sheep’, ‘waking the witch’, ‘watching you without me’, ‘hello earth’, ‘the sensual world’, ‘deeper understanding’, ‘never be mine’, ‘and so is love’, ‘moments of pleasure’, ‘king of the mountain’, ‘pi’, ‘bertie’, ‘joanni’, ‘a coral room’, ‘an endless sky of honey’, ‘flower of the mountain’ and all of ’50 words for snow’ in its entirety.

    did i mention how much i madly loved ‘knight of cups’? i love and admire and worship that film to hyperbolic degrees. greatest film of 2016 without a single doubt and by far. doesnt matter what other films come out in the remainder of the year, im completely sure ‘knight of cups’ is the greatest. its now in my opinion the 2nd greatest and my 2nd favorite by malick, after ‘days of heaven’. its also in my opinion, the most “malickian”/malick film hes ever done, if that makes sense.

    i also saw ‘independence day: resurgence’. loved it. i mean, ive never seen the 1st 1, only short excerpts & im not interested in ever seeing all of it & of course emmerich is a fuckin lousy filmmaker & of course its a silly movie, but i just fuckin loved it. ive always loved disaster movies & this 1s not only a great disaster movie that makes the 1st 1 (from what ive seen and know about it) seem like a movie that depicts a tiny town being mildly attacked (i mean, the level of destruction and disaster in this new 1 is just out of this world/extreme/hyperbolic), but its also a great action/”war”/sci-fi/kaiju/apocalyptic/suspense/alien invasion/mystery/mildly comedic (yes it has lots of humor & most of it is actually voluntary and sarcastic) movie. it also pays clear homage 2 & references lots of movies. ‘2001’ of course, ‘gojira’, ‘star wars’ (whatever), ‘alien’, ‘aliens’, the 1st 2 terminators, ‘plan 9 from outer space’, ‘godzilla’ (2014), & in general all the disaster movies of the 70s & 50s. also, at the time, it really, really managed 2 distract me from my severe depression. so, yeah, i fuckin love that movie.

    also saw ‘jason bourne’. also loved it. ive always been a huge fan of the bourne movies (the ones with matt damon, of course, that other thing doesnt even deserve 2 b mentioned) and ‘the bourne ultimatum’ is 1 of my favorite films ever and 4 me 1 of the very greatest action films ever and this new 1 didnt disappoint at all. in fact, now ill have 2 let some time pass 2 decide which 1 i consider 2 b the best of the 4 & my favorite, this or ‘ultimatum’. great, great film.

    just saw ‘the neon demon’. loved it also. madly. definitely my favorite by refn now (& i fuckin love ‘only god forgives’ the 1 that now is my 2nd favorite refn). just fuckin great. if i made movies, thered b quite similar 2 ‘the neon demon’. masterpiece. in my very humble opinion, because i know that movie is a gargantuan sacred cow, it might b what ‘mulholland dr.’ tried 2 b and failed 2 miserably. very, very KUBRICKIAN & Buñuelian. very. & well, refns always said how Anger is 1 of his favorite filmmakers & biggest influences ever & of course it shows very, very much in ‘tnd’. also reminds me of russell, coppola, polanski, antonioni, rob zombie, argento, fulci, arrabal, murnau, kümel & even dreyer & bergman.

    good luck, good day,

    love & hugs,

    a.

  24. ON COCKSUCKING
    by Peter Schjeldahl

    Now, I don’t know much about it
    but I can tell you this: I’m tired
    of its low reputation in California,
    tired of the anti-cocksucker jokes that aren’t funny
    and even if they were funny I’d hate them
    for the scared sexist twerpy macho little-mindedness of them
    And after all the majority, the vast, 90% majority
    of cocksuckers are women, and this is good
    Consider, men, if your women should suddenly
    take you literally — and stop,
    flatly refuse further oral attention to your cocks
    A pretty bleak prospect, right?
    Year after dreary year of unsucked cock,
    that pure selfless beautiful disinterested
    act of loving attentiveness to occur no more, ever — oh
    you could weep, couldn’t you, at the very thought
    Consider now, you bigots, the plight
    of the male cocksucker, stranger
    for reasons of his own, which are none of your business,
    to the little house of the vagina
    which I happen to love, and love to visit often,
    but for this man it’s simply out, he’s not interested
    so he goes out and sucks cock and gets his cock sucked
    in loving cofraternity, in mutual recognition
    of his brothers, meeting and parting, sometimes staying
    until dawn, sometimes for years staying
    or for life living in honest dignified male affection
    Of course there are other things to do than suck cock
    but the main one hurts
    and none of the others is entirely satisfying, no other
    can make the lonesome cock feel an honored guest
    to the enveloping regard, the warmth, the welcome of another
    And if you think that’s weird, then you think love
    is weird, and need and tenderness
    and you think humanity is weird that produces cocksuckers
    in abundance every generation, with many of the best of us,
    the best in art and wit and love, among them
    but even the most downbeat deadbeat god-forsaken cocksucker
    is a human quantum, and you think
    just because you get your cock sucked and don’t suck back
    you’re some kind of fucking paragon — well,
    shame on you!
    And I’ve tried it and it’s inexpressibly nice, so sweet
    and funny and considerate, but it’s difficult
    to change one’s habits, or too complicated or something
    Anyway I haven’t done it in years
    but maybe — who knows? — I’ll do it again, I reserve
    the right, and — who knows? — maybe, big boy,
    I’ve got my eye on you

    • Hi DC,

      (My little response to your glorious post via Peter Schjeldahl.)

      Bear sex will always draw Bernard from his den.

      Meeting Jonathan in Dublin tomorrow ah joy!

      How’ve you been pal?

      D xx

  25. Hi Dennis. I just saw Bruce Nauman’s Hanged Man piece at Dia:Beacon a week ago. I’d like to see his piece listed in this post. I’d mention more of the work I’m loving in this post but I’m on a train in a car with two or more screaming children and am feeling so distracted and incapable of thinking clearly. But you previously asked about the art class I’m taking this month during my sabbatical. It’s not focused on a specific style of drawing and painting. It’s more about helping the artist figure out what he or she wants to do and what materials to use at least for drawing and painting. I haven’t done any type of visual art in nearly 25 years so this feels very new and somewhat intimidating, but at the same time I’m excited to see what happens. Perhaps I’ll post photos of whatever disasters come alive. So glad the blog is back.

  26. I had more trouble sleeping last night – not exactly insomnia, but I woke up every 2 or 3 hours and had trouble falling back asleep. Also, it takes me 4 or 5 hours after I’ve gotten up the past two days before I feel fully awake. I hope that sensation goes away quickly. I’ll see how tonight’s sleep goes.

  27. hey,

    forgot 2 ask u: r u in any way excited/interested/intrigued/curious at all bout this new ‘blair witch’ movie coming out? i know i am, even tho i never saw neither the 1st 1 nor its sequel nor do i plan 2 ever do it.

    also, i cant fuckin wait 2 c hous ‘the assassin’ (it sounds fuckin great & sublime & exciting!) & ‘shin gojira’ & ESPECIALLY serras ‘the death of louis xiv’. just cant fuckin wait.

    <3 & hugs.

  28. Dennis, I really dig the new digs! The classic layout and everything. A nice clean space to highlight the posts. And this post particularly suits it, a great collection.

    Taiwan was good for a short trip, just to look around Taipei, only three hours from Tokyo. It’s an interesting mix of old and modern Chinese city with a lot of Japanese influence too, but not like Japan.

    The new novel’s still going, thanks, but sluggishly, like I know what I want to do, and that hasn’t changed much, which is a good sign, and I kind of know how to do it, or a way to do it (combining three different strands), but just haven’t been driven enough. I don’t know what happened to summer! Feel like I spent most of it reading about “Brexit” ridiculousness. How’s your writing? Is your recovered gif novel workable? What future directions are you looking at?

  29. Jonathan Parker-Bryant

    September 5, 2016 at 7:44 am

    Hello Dennis!

    Regarding conflating slaves and escorts. I hadn’t even realized that I’d done that. Interesting. Conditioned thinking strikes again. The fact that they’re doing this for free is, in some cases, intriguing. What are they looking for? More thinking and closer reading.

    The cancer thing was pretty harrowing. The most fucked up thing about it, is that since I’m fine, insurance doesn’t want to cover the test. Yay!

    Jean Genet. Interesting. That’s endorsement number two for his work, thus, I will order a book and let in languish in my “read this” pile before moving it to my “really! read this” pile before finally reading it. I actually like having lots of books to read.

    DeAundra Peek. Wow. What the heck was that? While I personally wouldn’t delve into her beyond your piece, I’m tickled that people like her are out there, making their art without giving a damn what I think. Reminds me of the afternoon children’s block hosts on local television when I was very, very young. Except with a slight, or severe, turn to the more bizarre. Humphry and Charlie in drag, I guess.

    Attenuated Sex. Neat-o. The Betty Tompkins section reminds me of my dad’s hidden collection. I remember finding it as a young boy and being terrified of being caught, and to drawn to keep away. It was al of that era and style. Same with Lutz Bacher’s “Sex with Strangers”. I guess my dad was more wild than I ever imagined. Torbjorn Rodland’s work is interesting, a little disturbing for some reason. Bear porn! Another author blog I follow reference’s the success of bear porn on Amazon. Of course, this treatment seems more layered? It’s a great post, actually every artist offers something interesting to me. Adding to the “artist to check out list”.

    Life goes well. My boyfriend and I are squaring out an idea, basically working out the main characters, major plot lines and action points for a fantasy story/novel. It’s a side project for both of us when our main work gets stressful or bogged down. Our vacation home of writing, if you will. I’ve spent the summer writing vanity projects. People are actually willing to pay for a short story where they’re the main character. Not pay well, but pay. It’s really strange the requests that people have. Sort of my version of the slaves, I suppose.

    Everything else is fine. Ex-bf tries to get back into a relationship. “I think I’m ready for polyamory now.” That ship has sailed, sunk, been salvaged, and melted down. No cancer is still making me smile almost as much as my current boyfriend. Very much enjoying that relationship.

    Best wishes and warmest regards to you and the crew.

    Jonathan B

  30. But seriously: I’ve been on short deadline on something, not surprising; but I assure you I celebrated in style though in splendid isolation when the blog returned. (Wore a carefully chosen outfit; baked and consumed a celebratory cake, with a candle for each week I had to live without the blog, lit them, then because they looked so darn good, ate them too, whilst still aflame.)
    Gee, a bunch of stuff has happened. I was still at my conference in Kerkrade NL when the blog disappeared. I spent a few days in Cologne and it happened to be Pride Weekend, so seriously, you do not want to know what that was like. I did a workshop in Asheville, which gets better all the time.
    This is the first September in 15 years that I haven’t started a new academic year, and the first in much much longer that I haven’t been full-time employed as an academic. It’s going really well, except for some money worry, and that’s not really too bad. I’m either writing or making arrangements to write every day, and I’m giving some talks etc, details later. For a long time I’ve wanted to spend some extended time in New York but couldn’t get away long enough, but now I’ve actually lucked into three weeks’ free stay in October, which is amazing. In fact ever since the axe fell at work I’ve had amazing luck, lots of happy coincidences.
    I put off updating here because I knew I would go on literally forever, and I have. I think about Paris and you all the time; of course, now that I am a full time writer for really the first time since 1982, you are my inspiration. I need to find a limitless source of financial support so I can just bop over there any time; like pop up in Brighton when you guys are there. Working on it.

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