The blog of author Dennis Cooper

Galerie Dennis Cooper presents … Kristen Schull presents … Under the leadership of Jesus Christ, a Xmas Group Show

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Lyota Yagi
Sylvie Fleury
Kohei Nawa
Wim Delvoye
Mark Neville
Chu Yun
Carson Fox
Christian Lemmerz
Elmgreen & Dragset
Chen Hangfeng
THE KID
Tavares Strachan
Roman Signer
Debbie Reichard
Jessine Hein
Mierle Laderman Ukeles
David Marx
William Eggleston
Erick Swenson
Walter Martin and Paloma Munoz
Ma Qiusha
Arcangelo Sassolino
Jacques Flechemuller
Klara Lidén
GameGrumps
Chen Wenling
Norton Maza
Alison Moritsugu
Andy Mattern
Low
Cameron Jamie
Lutz Bacher
Makoto Azuma
Chuck Ramirez
Liz Magor
Philippe Parreno

 

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Lyota Yagi Vinyl (2005 – 2008)
Vinyl plays the melody of ‘Moon River’ (Johnny Mercer and Henry Mancini) sang by Audrey Hepburn, on a record player from a record made of ice created with a silicon mould. In this small action the format dissolves at the same time it is reproduced, partly from the ambient temperature and partly from the friction generated by its proper process of reproduction. The music it produces is distorted until it is no longer recognisable, in the same way the record gradually loses its form and properties while it melts.

 

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Sylvie Fleury Here comes Santa (2003)
In her Xmas video, Here comes Santa, Fleury relentlessly smashes Xmas balls. The spiky heels explode hundreds of mirrored spheres reflecting everything that’s around and revealing their desperately empty center.

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Kohei Nawa Foam (2014)
‘Kohei Nawa used a mixture of detergent, glycerin and water to create the bubbly forms of his installation, entitled Foam. The large cloud-like forms were pumped up from the floor in eight different locations, creating a scene that was constantly in motion inside an otherwise black room. The artist experimented with different quantities of the three ingredients to create a foam stiff enough to hold a shape without being affected by gravity. “Small cells bubble up ceaselessly with the slight oscillations of a liquid,” said Nawa, explaining the process. “The cells gather together, totally covering the liquid as they spontaneously form a foam, an organically structured conglomeration of cells.”‘

 

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Wim Delvoye Twisted Jesus Clockwise (2012)
‘Delvoye brings together different styles from art history, primarily from the local tradition of Gothic and Rococo in a contemporary version. This is how his series of twisted sculptures function, made in bronze or silver, in which the body of Christ is rotated around an elliptical cross. The supporting cross sculptures are cast in different forms: circles, infinite Möbius bands or, as in the work presented here, in the form of a DNA double helix.’

 

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Mark Neville Child, Jacket, Slaughtered Goat, Sweets, Painted Nails, Xmas Day, Helmand (2010) & Town Hall Xmas Party 1, 2 (2005)

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Chu Yun Sleeping with Sleeping Pills (2009)
‘Normally you have to crush it and put it in their drinks when they’re not looking, but artist Chu Yun is offering to pay local women to take a sleeping pill and crawl into bed for six hours. Per the job application, participants must be between 18 and 40 years of age, and willing to come to the museum, “consume a sleeping aid, get into a bed installed in the exhibition space, and sleep as many consecutive hours as possible”.’

 

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Carson Fox Iceberg Room (2016)
Fox uses her art to subvert the inevitability of time and temperature by playing God- she wants icebergs that will never melt, so she molds them from resin and holds on to them forever.

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Christian Lemmerz Judas Christ (2010)

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Elmgreen & Dragset Christmas in July (2010)

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Chen Hangfeng All that glitters … (2003)
Shanghai based artist Chen Hangfeng embarked on a trip to discover a unique village along the Mei Creek which is steeped in history and now produces more than 50% of China’s Christmas exports.All of them are handmade; some of the ornaments are designed and improvised by the villagers themselves, and most of the tools they use to make these Christmas ornaments are farming related objects. Cleverly they have managed to mix and match various farming tools together to work perfectly for Christmas decoration production.

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THE KID Do You Believe in God? (2013)
Half-Dutch, half-Brazilian, THE KID (1991) is a self-educated contemporary artist who questions restlessly since his early teenage years the notion of social determinism and the thin frontier between innocence and corruption.

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Tavares Strachan Me and You (North Pole Ice and Cloned North Pole Ice) (2016)
Bahamas-based artist Strachan brought back a chunk of ice from the North Pole and had MIT scientists create a clone of the ice with its identical chemical composition.

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Roman Signer Room with Christmas Tree (2010)
Roman Signer presents one of his “action sculptures” Zimmer mit Weihnachts Christmas Tree (Room with Christmas Tree) (2010), a decorated tree spinning on a motor that causes its ornaments to fly off and smash against the walls.

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Debbie Reichard Santa Appears in Toast (2006)

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Jessine Hein The Teeth of Jesus (2015)

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Mierle Laderman Ukeles Snow Workers Ballet 2012 (2012)
‘Echigo-Tsumari is one of the regions in Japan known for heavy snowfall. Snow covers the entire city in winter, preventing people and cars from moving around. Snowploughs steadily support the community, starting work at three o’clock in the morning in winter when everyone is still fast asleep, clearing snow from streets by around seven, before everyone else’s day begins.

‘Mierle Laderman Ukeles from Denver in Colorado in the U.S.A, visited Echigo-Tsumari in summer for the first time. Her project was an unprecedented performance, Snowploughs dancing to Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet”. She cast thirteen snowploughs, including tyre dozers with gigantic blades for clearing snow from the street, rotaries for blowing off snow, and graders leveling piled up snow in order, to express the vigor of the people who live in the harsh natural environment.

‘“I suggested to the snow workers eight movements, comprising opening; rolling; “Romeo and Juliet”; spiral; zigzag; compliment to the audience; long diagonal line; and the grand finale. I refused to plan in advance. Despite a potential risk, I was certain that I would succeed by working with snow workers.” The performance in 2003 was staged once only and became legendary amongst local people as well as visitors to the festival. It was restaged for three days as the “Snow Workers Ballet 2012” in summer in 2012 nine years later, bringing the artist and snow workers together again.’

 

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David Marx Kyl21 (2015 – 2016)
After three years in development, designer David Marx is debuting Kyl21, a vegan-friendly, alcohol-infused line of popsicles intended for adult partygoers. Marx’s icy invention is the result of a collaboration with university scientists, a three-star chef, and a manufacturer of industrial nitrogen machinery with the goal of completely reinventing the form, function, and flavor of freezer pops. “In order to shape ice cream in such a unique and exact way, an ultra-fast production process had to be developed,” says Marx. This involved creating new multi-part molds that could handle the tight tolerances that the designs demand, developing custom alloys with high levels of thermal conductivity, and creating a flash-freezing process for the liquid to prevent expansion.

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William Eggleston various

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Erick Swenson Untitled (2004)

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Walter Martin and Paloma Munoz Alone (2013)

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Ma Qiusha from Warm Snow (2008)
Ma Qiusha’s 2008 work is like a momentary shelter for adults that soon vanishes.

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Arcangelo Sassolino Figurante (2010)
Steel, bone, hydraulic system, 29 ½ x 26 3/8 x 9 1/16 inches (head).

 

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Jacques Flechemuller various
Jacques Flechemuller moved to Paris, with his family, early in life. It was here he first became aware of art through the monthly calendars that were given out by the local post office. Everyone had calendars with images of kittens, puppies and happy family settings hanging in their kitchen. He looked forward to each new month and its accompanying image with blissful anticipation. This was the foundation for his awareness in the power of art to elicit pure joy. When it was made evident to him that these images, in fact, were not art, he was devastated.

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Klara Liden from Pretty Vacant (2012)
You enter Klara Liden’s portentous cemetery of trees and wintry imminence through a small door in a police-barricade-blue plywood wall. Immediately inside, you’re confronted with the startling sight of a space filled with discarded Christmas trees, all scooped up from the sidewalks of New York by Liden and her cohorts. A disruption of the senses comes, thoughts of the Brothers Grimm, the foreboding of forests, inchoate uneasiness. You see only a few feet in front of you. Still, there’s space enough between the trees to proceed. Make your own way in, push trees aside, slide through. To where? It’s too much of a conceit to be Dante’s Wood of the Suicides, where spirits of the self-destroyed speak only when wounded. Yet walking in Liden’s wood makes branches break and needles fall. The floor is wet with water spilled from tree stands and buckets. The air is cool; the windows may be open. A gray mist seems to rise with the pine smell as pungent and out of place as a taxicab air freshener’s.

 

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GameGrumps Rust: Christmas Carols (2014)
Rust is a multiplayer-only survival video game in development by Facepunch Studios for Microsoft Windows, OS X, and Linux. Rust was originally released onto Steam’s Early Access program on 11 December 2013. Rust was initially created as a clone of DayZ, a popular mod for ARMA 2 with the addition of crafting elements.

 

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Alison Moritsugu Logs (1998 – 2001)
In her log paintings, artist Alison Moritsugu chooses a literal meataphor—the remains of downed trees—as a canvas for her bucolic oil paintings of the countryside where that very tree may have once originated. The rough edges of the cut branches and trunks appear like windows into the past, telling a story that the tree’s rings alone cannot.

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Chen Wenling Cold (Red Memory) (2007)
The “Red Boy” is welcomed by Xiamen residents. “Red Memory” made Chen Wenling famous. It is show that Chen Wenling only regards the creation as the expression of his life originally. In that sterile world, the emaciated bean sprout like boys, may be are in hypoalimentation but they also have their own joy and sorrow. One exhibition of those boys held on the Beach of Xiamen Sea. With the sunshine, the beach, and the waves, some red boys diving into the sea, some cold to tremble with their arms circled, and some brave boys are handstand happily, and some feel shamed, covering their little genitals with hands.

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Norton Maza Untitled (2013)
A sculpture made by Chilean artist Norton Maza is displayed in an exhibition called “The Landscape and its Kingdoms” at the Contemporary Art Museum in Santiago October 2, 2013. The exhibition strives to portray Jesus Christ besieged by missile air strikes.

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Andy Mattern Driven Snow (2011)
Driven Snow is a series of photographs that focuses on the chunks of snow and ice that accumulate under cars during the Minnesota winter. A byproduct of weather and urban transit, these solid formations are a kind of temporary automatic sculpture somewhere between natural and human made.

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Low If You Were Born Today (Song for Little Baby Jesus)
If you were born today / We’d kill you by age eight: “If You Were Born Today (Song For Little Baby Jesus)” is a 7″ single by Duluth, Minnesota slowcore group Low, released in 1997. The song appears on their EP Christmas.

 

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Cameron Jamie Kranky Klaus (2003)
Kranky Klaus forms part of a series of documentaries in which Cameron Jamie records European and American folk rituals. To his amazement, the director found out that while the Western established order of art may make room for an extensive examination of the folklore and ritual heritage of former colonies, the own history is being neglected. Kranky Klaus is in its form an ‘objective’ registration, although it often comes about in the middle of the action, of the so-called Krampus ritual in Austria. Men in hairy suits with large teeth and imposing antlers go from door to door around Christmas to chase and attack people as Krampus demons. They are in the company of a Saint-Nicolas-like figure who then calms the people down. The ritual dates back to heathen pre-Christian customs that preceded today’s less aggressive but totally commercialised Christmas activities. Krampus forms a kind of strange combination of Christmas and Halloween. To his observations of this striking annual phenomenon, Jamie adds a soundtrack by The Melvins, the controversial rock band from the Seattle area. Their long and loud chords put the typically Austrian event in a very electronic frame that has nothing to do with Christmas, but refers to an American street culture that also has its own rules.

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Lutz Bacher Snow / Hands (2012)

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Makoto Azuma Iced Flowers (2015)
The self-described botanic artist Makoto Azuma is trying to change the way we look at flowers. He’s used water and the stratosphere as backdrops for his exotic flower arrangements but now he’s experimenting with ice. In his latest exhibition “Iced Flowers,” Azuma locks floral bouquets in large blocks of ice and displays them like pillars. Placed in an inorganic chamber, the “flowers will show unique expressions that they do not display in everyday life,” says Azuma. The installation, held last week in Japan, was temporary by nature but the artist made sure to preserve the images.

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Chuck Ramirez Eight Christmas Trees (1995)
‘With this display, Ramirez, the artist poses the question: Where is the line between decorative and fine art?”’

 

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Liz Magor Deer Eats a Gorilla (2004)
‘From the mental and physical contexts of retail consumerism to the spaces of the museum to the private, interior worlds of addiction and desire, Magor’s oeuvre has consistently combined a high level of conceptual and procedural rigor with the intense investigation of materials, ranging from twigs and textiles to rubber and polymerized gypsum.’

 

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Philippe Parreno Iceman in Reality Park (1995)
‘Iceman in Reality Park is another work in the exhibition, a manifestation originally created for the 1995 group show Ripple Across the Water in Tokyo. The work reappears twenty-five years later. The ice sculpture of a snowman is displayed on a plinth and melts over the course of a few days. It leaves behind the stones that were once embedded in the ice. The amplified sound of dripping water echoes throughout the exhibition space.’

 

 

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p.s. Hey. You eagle-eyed longer term blog visitors may remember an excellent galerie show that Kristen Schull put together for us a couple of years ago. Happily, she has made a triumphant return to guest-curator duties to make us a new show for Xmas, and it’s killer. Wander about and check out the display today, please, and direct some feedback to its organiser if you don’t mind, and thank you a million, Kristen! ** David, Nah, I just dropped it and positioned it with my foot. Gee, thanks for wanting to Xmas card me. No one will believe I put you up to murder. Everyone knows by now that I’m a sheep in wolf attire. Thanks, the weekend wasn’t bad, and yours too, I reckon. ** _Black_Acrylic, No brainer pick, maestro. I need to read the Warner and Keenan. Noted. Thank you, my friend. ** David Ehrenstein, Hi. Aw, thanks. Peggy Lee? Seriously? That’s something to think about, if true. Weird, whoa. ** wolf, Wolfie! Needless to say I’m grinning ear to ear to see not one but two GbVs in there. I kept it to one merely out of discretion, although, psst, Cub Scout Bowling Pins is GbV under a pseudonym. Great list! That Floating Points thing would have been in my list if I hadn’t spaced out. Anyway, there’s a big handful of stuff on yours I haven’t yet creased with my ears, so I’ll get on that. I hope your week is starting with a roar. Love, me. ** Dominik, Hi!!!! Well, naturally, re: SCAB. Where would the year have been without it? Answer: nowhere. Thank you for your lists. I actually know almost all of them, which is super rare. Like minds? Don’t tell me you actually have a dachshund unless you already did and I forgot. Aw, either way. May he win the Golden Globe too. Love going back in time and causing Robert Plant to fail his audition to be Led Zeppelin’s singer, G. ** Sypha, Hi, James. I haven’t read a healthy potion of your fave books, no surprise, but maybe I just will before the grim reaper pops around. When I finally start playing video games again, ‘Twelve Minutes’ will be on my shopping list. ** Tosh Berman, Hi. Oh, well, ML-H does not come off well in ‘Get Back’, but I believe you. Aw, thank you, about ‘IW’. I need to read the Jones and Ellis books. I’m doing a podcast tonight that Ellis was recently on, and, boy, is he a talker. Dude, if I didn’t have art, fuck knows what would have happened this year. I.e., I hear you bro. ** Misanthrope, Hi, G. So … is David’s car right as rain then? We’re supposed to get up to 48 degrees F here today, but it sure doesn’t feel like it so far. Brr. ** Bill, Hey, Bill. I’ve scribbled down the things on your lists I don’t know, which is quite a bit, especially on the music front, you devil. Thank you! Michael’s and Oscar’s film are just beginning their early lives on the festival circuit, so I suspect it’ll be a while before they’re seeable to non-festival goers. I’m just lucky enough to live across town from them. ** Damien Ark, Hi, Damien! Housing instability and book accruing are such sworn enemies. I’m waiting for an English subtitled version of ‘Drive My Car’ to appear, so I can see it way over here. I don’t know most of your music picks, cool, and I’ll get on them. Peace and love galore to you too, pal. And big up to our mutual health (and sanity)! xoxo. ** Steve Erickson, Ah! Everyone, Mr. Erickson says ‘BAD BOY BUBBY is up (in English with French subtitles) on ok.ru. I’ll, of course, endeavour to see and hear the things on your faves list that I don’t yet know. Quite a few. Thank you! Thank fucking god Santacon has not caught the fancy of the French. ** Blair James, Hi! Well, thank you! All the very best to you! ** R.G. Vasicek, Hello, welcome to here, and thanks. I do not know that book at all, but I’m already hooked by the mere mention and title alone, so I will ASAP. ** Kiddiepunk, Hi, big M! How’s Australia? Warmer but less sparkly than here, I bet. Among other magnificent things, I hope. Big, earth leaping love! ** T, Hi, T. Thank you for including my book. I don’t know ‘Porn Carnival’, for instance. I’ll find it. Killer films list, I mean, what can I say? Jun Togawa youtube channel? Huh. Okay, I’m off. Thanks for your kind thanks. It goes both ways, buddy. ** Mark Gluth, Hi, Mark. Always a super pleasure and much more to see you here. Or, well, anywhere. I’m okay. A bit frustrated with some things, but forging ahead. It’s pretty outsider least. Again, a bunch of unknowns on your lists that I have to make knowns. And I’ll do that. How’s stuff with you, rain and indoorsy-ness notwithstanding? Writing? Lots of love from the supposed city of that stuff. ** Chris Kelso, Hey, Chris! The honor is the blog’s entirely. Great list. Thank you., Riches galore. Dick Cavett! That’s an out of the blue one. Interesting. His old talk/interview show was pretty key when I was younger. Ha ha, happy that my voice had a soothing effect. If voices could have blurbs … ** l@rst, Hi, big L. Oh, wow, Theresa’s ceramics looks fantastic! Especially, on first peek, for me, the fruit bowls and soap dishes. Give her my respects, please. Thanks for the list, bud. I gotta read that Ellis one. Etc. Happy week ahead. ** Alexandrine Ogundimu, Hi, Alexandrine! No, thank you, such a wonderful book, and I’m aching for the sequel. From AS, I assume? Good luck with the agent hunt. That’s one of the toughest parts, in my experience, but hopefully not in yours. Thank you for sharing your favorites. I will hunt those that I don’t know. Take good care, and happy holidays whatever they entail. ** Brian, Hey, Brian. I haven’t seen ‘Despair’ since it was new, so who knows. I thought it wasn’t great then, but, I mean, Fassbinder didn’t make a film that isn’t worth seeing, and I suspect it’ll seem pretty terrific outside the heat of his voluminous output in progress. Aw, thanks about ‘Guide’. Eyes on the prize: the holidays. I think if I concentrate on the festive winds, I’ll feel them, so that’s my Monday plan. And yours? ** Okay. Thanks again, everybody, and now go scroll upwards and enjoy some visual stimuli vis-a-vis the Xmas proximity, won’t you? See you tomorrow.

11 Comments

  1. David

    How reassuring to awake to this post…. how fantastic… and thanks!!!.. some great warped stuff here!!!… i felt turned on seeing Christ in underpants crawling with a gun… I once jacked off about having a 3 way with the big ‘Riz’ and Tim Mcveigh…. and I wrote a poem…. each of us being 33…. and all….

    So many cool pieces here!!! Loving the iced snowman and monster Xmas tree… in fact I love all of it!!!

    Ref: The Christmas card of me and sum Jon.. I’d love to see everyone who hurt him and doomed him from when he was a young boy suffer unimaginably…. ive thought a lot about it…. public city crucifictions etc….(and much much worse) although I imagine some living to tell the tale….. ‘a-ho ho ho!!!’

    “Tis the season to be jolly…. tra…la…..la….la…..la….. go shopping with a cunt tied up in a trolley tra…la…..la….la…..la… set them on fire oh golly golly!!! tra…la…..la….la…..la….”

    Do you know what Dennis? I feel fucking shit…. I can’t have the co-video as I’ve had it a month or so ago…. I have a blocked snot filled nose… anyone want some??? this waiter serving me on Saturday looked me right in the eye and said “I’ve been feeling ill and I’ve had a fever….” ha!!! I did laugh…..

    Anyway take care pal…. ‘holidays are coming’ …

  2. _Black_Acrylic

    @ Kristen Schull, thank you for this Christmassy smorgasboard! I have especial love for the Roman Signer spinning tree there.

    In other seasonal news, now even the Guardian has now got on board here with an analysis of dysfunctional UK winter wonderlands featuring interviews with elves, Santas and bouncers. Oh yes it must be that time of year, surely!

    Will get some writing done today, developing something I’d done for the class this week. Still determined to get something finessed here.

  3. Dominik

    Hi!!

    Your support for SCAB always warms my heart to an absolutely unnatural degree. Thank you! And I have to say, your list is fabulous. It always is, but this one’s so full of treats I didn’t even know where to look first.

    I’m not sure I’ve ever mentioned her specific breed, as I mostly just refer to her as my dog, but yes, my dog’s a dachshund, haha. And she IS a drama queen, using her skills absolutely shamelessly.

    I wonder how the world would be today if your love had made that one tiny (tiny?) change. Butterfly effect and all. Love inviting you to his local town hall Christmas party, which looks alarmingly like those in Mark Neville’s photographs, Od.

    P.S. I might not be able to drop in tomorrow because Anita will be here, so see you on Wednesday at the latest!

    P.S. 2 Thank you, Kristen, for the Christmas mood! Excellent collection!

  4. David Ehrenstein

    Peggy Lee’s not at all weirdforTodd. Here she is singing the song Lieber and Stollerwrote for her about the murder of Ramon Novarro

    What’s actually being celebrated in December is the pagan holiday of “Winter Solstice” It has of course been taken over by acolytes of the “Son of God” — A Q-Anon cultin and of itself.

    “Jesus Christ” was a composite figure patched together from accounts of itinerant Rabbis of the same period. The “Gospels” are fanciful accounts of said Rabbis preachings and are all toghether the moss copasetic aspect of the cult. Pasolini made his “Gospel According to Matthew” largely because of its gospel of the Fig-Tree — the only instance in which this it anyway. Bertrand Russell’s”Why I Am Nt A Christian” centers ofmiddle-eastern “Robin Hood” figure commit a pure act of power — and evil. The fig-tree did nothing but JC destroys it anyway Bertrand Russell’s “Why I AmNot A Christian” was inspired by this savage and rather “out of character” act

    Here’s Pasolini’s film about the Fig-Tree gospel with the tree being embodied by Ninetto — the love of Pasolini;s life

    According to historical accounts “JesusChrist” — if he existed at all –was born mid July> But his acolyte moves the birth to December in order to subsume th Pagan Holiday.

    “Satnta Claus” and the “Christmas Tree” are Paganism at its most pure.

  5. Misanthrope

    Dennis, I knew there’d have to be a Krampus in there, hahaha. Galeries are still in the tops of the days for me.

    Yes, looks like we got David’s car to working well again. YouTube and my friend Rendo at the gym got us through it. Well, the how-to vids and Rendo’s advice. I replaced all four of them and it seems I did a pretty okay job.

    Yeah, it’s weird here. Cold then kinda not cold then warm then cold. Etc. Bleh. Just waiting on the spring now. 😉

  6. T

    Hey Dennis. Yeah, I definitely watched some good films last year! 2021 was marked for the better by the major life event of me learning how to torrent shit off the internet hahah. Thanks to Kristen Schill for putting today together – I avowedly dislike xmas, but rediscovered some yuletide spirit via the curatorial efforts! I’m saving a photo of the Wim Delvoye because I think it might be useful for some fiction I’m working on, but I think my overall fun fave was the Kranky Claus, or at least the snippets of video that I watched.
    Hope you encounter your Tuesday like the first photo from the Chu Yun exhibition – but you can pick out whether you or Tuesday are the performer or gallerygoer. xT.

  7. Jeff J

    Hey Kristen – Great holiday art post, thanks for putting it together! The Logs, Warm Snow, and Eggleston photos were what grabbed me most immediately, but there were many wonders in here.

    Hey Dennis – Your yearend list didn’t appear in my FB feed until this morning so I assumed it was today’s post. And I left a long comment there. Reprising it below once I realized I was a few days off!

    Always great to see your yearend lists — plus the ones from all the D/Ls. So many intriguing and exciting things to check out, makes the past months shine a bit brighter.

    Stephanie was just recommending Mike DeCapite’s JACKET WEATHER to me and it was a nice surprise to see it on your list. Are you familiar with him / his earlier writing?

    I was wondering what you thought of the new ABBA album and interested to see it on the list. I saw some critics label it as nostalgia exercise but imagine that’s lazy thinking. What did you make of it relative to their earlier work?

    I’m far behind on my reading this year, but the two books that have taken up the most space in my brain are I WISHED and HARROW. I really dug what you wrote about HARROW for Artforum (I think it was?). Right now it’s my favorite Joy Williams.

    I also loved Derek McCormack’s CASTLE FAGGOT and Meghan Lamb’s FAILURE TO THRIVE. And I dug Fleur Jaeggy’s super strange WATER STATUES and Ross Gay’s spiraling long poem BE HOLDING and Aaron Fagen’s poetry collection from the Song Cave A BETTER PLACE IS HARD TO FIND.

    I was late to Rone Shavers’ SILVERFISH, which Clash Books put out late last year. If you don’t know it, think you’d love it — mix of Ishmael Reed, Burroughs cut-ups, and Percival Everette, blurbed by John Keene, very experimental with hyper-condensed prose, a sleek 80 pages, super fun, too.

    My favorite non-fiction book was MAYBE THE PEOPLE WOULD BE THE TIMES by Lucy Sante.

    On music, seconding GBV, Low, The Bug, Grouper, Screamers, and Dry Cleaning.

    Also –Sault “Rise,” Joshua Abrams “Decension (Out of Our Constrictions),” Painted Shrines
    “Heaven + Holy,” and Blue Jean Tyranny “Degrees of Freedom Found,” large parts of Mac McCaughan’s totally overlooked “Sound of Yourself.”

    My fave record is the massive Julius Hemphill boxset “The Boye Multi-National Crusade” which collects lots of previously unavailable material in a variety of modes and genres.

    Other archival/newly unearthed marvels: Seefeel “Rupt and Flex,” Hasan Ib Ali “Retrospect in Retirement of Delay,” Linda Smith “Til Another Day,” and Baligh Hamadi “Modal Instrumental Pop of 1970s Egypt.”

  8. Steve Erickson

    Courtesy the magic of Facebook, I’ve seen several of my relatives post “real Christians say ‘merry Christmas’, not ‘happy holidays’; unless you do so, you’re a self-hating Christian” memes. Nice to be so uptight and touchy about a time they’re supposedly celebrating.

    I saw Dumont’s FRANCE today and really liked it too. The level of artifice and play with genres, especially melodrama, is very well done. I thought “the actor playing Emmanuel Macron in this press conference looks just like him” and afterwards learned that those clips are real. Best Supporting Actor Oscar to Macron!

  9. Bill

    I’m not a big holiday person. But I did enjoy the pieces by Ma Quisha and the Kid, and of course the hanging Jesus.

    Hope you enjoy some of the music, Dennis. For whatever reasons, I thought this was a really nice year listening wise.

    Bill

  10. Brian

    Hey, Dennis,

    Absolutely sublime line-up today—thanks a million to Kristen for assembling it; you have quite the eye. Moritsugu’s work is just astonishing. And I love Judas Christ and Mazda’s entry, too. But they’re all great, all of them. Thank you again, Kristen. You’re probably right re: Despair. Will find out soon enough. Also on the line-up for the near future: Visconti’s Ludwig, which arrived today as an early gift from myself to me; and your own (and Zac Farley’s) Permanent Green Light, wow, I’m finally going to see it, probably sometime this week. Both movies I’ve been wanting to see for ages, so I’m terribly excited for each, etc. My Monday was slogging through finals work and tending to my sick brother, who has come down with strep throat—a particularly risky bug in my household; getting it at seven quite literally gave me OCD, and I always have nasty attacks if I catch it, so I’m trying to tread carefully. Tuesday is more finals work, but almost the last of it, so that should be good. And I’m getting my booster shot, which I’m half-dreading because I hear the symptoms can be rough, but important to be protected for the holidays, given the amount of people I’ll (hopefully) be seeing. That’s what’s on the ticket. Light at the end of the tunnel is nearing! For you, too, I dearly hope, if you do happen to be in a tunnel.

  11. Mark Gluth

    Hey Dennis, my big musical find this year was Claire Rousay, so she and her projects kinda dominated my lists i guess. I read a little about your frustrations, my hope is the powering through bears fruit. Yeah I’m good, working on a book about transcendence and religion I’ve probably mentioned before. This spring I made a really good friend and kinda hanging and whatever with her has been super energizing through the relative sameness of covid life.

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