The blog of author Dennis Cooper

Halloween countdown post #11: Galerie Dennis Cooper presents … Guest-curator Kristen Shull presents … Halloween Group Show

Brandon Vickerd








Cheryl Dunn







Mike Diana
















Dongwook Lee














Miaz Brothers



Anti Matter 3













Maria Rubinke


































Ghost Drummer



Joseph Seigenthaler














Kevin Francis Gray










Sun Yuan and Peng Yu



Eberhard Havekost–2




















Tracey Snelling



Jeremy Millar





Abigail Goldman




















Jessica Harrison








Ryan Gander







Marnie Weber



Elmgreen & Dragset










Jérôme Zonder
















p.s. Hey. ** Today the Halloween takeover continues, this time occasioned and built by the longtime while non-commenting blog reader Kristen Shull, a curator of art exhibitions based in Stockholm. She has masterminded an awesome holiday show for you, and I hope you will wander through the conceptually art-filled space with attention and, if you feel like it, will express your thoughts to Kristen, who will be observing the occasion from her computer perch in Sweden. Thank you, and mightiest thanks to you, Kristen! ** H, Hi. Somewhere deep down inside them, haunted houses have hearts of gold, I think, so I suspect their affection for you would be highly respectful and intriguing maybe. You have a nice day too! ** David Ehrenstein, Hi. I like them both. ** Steevee, Hi, Steve. Yes, I thought ‘Office’ was kind of amazing. So, the medication your doctor prescribed only helps with the possible insomnia effects of the withdrawal? It won’t have any effect on your energy loss? So sorry, man. I hope the changeover is very smooth. ** Thomas Moronic, Hi, T. Well, hm, I really liked the new one, ‘Three’, like I said. His strange musical ‘Office’ is really good. If you want to dive into him via the work he’s best known for, i.e. very stylish crime/violent films, I would recommend trying maybe ‘Drug War’ or ‘Mad Detective’ or ‘PTU’? ** Dóra Grőber, Hi! I wondered if your absence had to do with getting your thesis out of your hands and into the paws of the officials. Congratulations!!!! Do you have a ton of preparing that you’ll need to do for the final exam? If so, hopefully you’ll get a very nice break in between then and now. Cool! All’s good here. We’re very close to having the music video finished. Just some last tweaks this weekend, I think, and then we’ll send it to Xiu Xiu and hope that he/they approve. But, yeah, we’re really happy with it. Otherwise, there are performances of Gisele’s and my 2007 theater piece ‘Kindertotenlieder’ playing in Paris right now. I missed last night’s show because our film producer held a shebang that Zac and I had to go to, but I’m going to see it tonight. It’s my very favorite of our collaborations, and it’s been revamped a little for the new shows, and it hasn’t been performed anywhere for two years, so I’m hoping it isn’t too rusty. But, yeah, all is good, How did you use your new freedom today? ** Jamie McMorrow, Hi, Jamie. Have you been involved in music videos from the ‘being seen’ aspect or from working on them from within their technical insides or both? Our video is hopefully interesting because it doesn’t necessarily seem to match the song’s sound/texture, which is dense and dark but still pop-ish, because the video is kind of sunlight-filled and roamy but jumpily organized. The visuals kind of lock together with the song a few times in a way that we think will work well. The video makes the song seem shorter than it actually is, which I think is a good sign. It’s interesting and maybe something of a challenge that this is the first ever Xiu Xiu video wherein Jamie Stewart himself has ever agreed to appear, and we’re hoping he’s okay with how we portrayed him. Anyway, fingers crossed and all of that. There might be some snaps of my young haunted houses somewhere in my late mom’s stuff that’s in storage in LA. I should look. But I don’t have any here sadly. I did know that you guys used to use turnips, and I would think that would make for a very kind of Halloween pumpkin. Turnips are much harder/denser, for one thing, aren’t they? Pix of your pumpkin please? I know a very little of Norman McLaren’s stuff, yeah, but only in a glancing way. It seemed quite curious. I’ll look for more. I hope your Thursday makes your Wednesday, as lovely as it was, seem like a sketch. Love, Dennis. ** HaveANiceLife, Hi, there. Welcome! My personal favorite Rimbaud translation is this one. But that one is not every fan’s cup of Rimbaud tea, just to give you a qualifier. But, yeah, that one. Thank you for asking! ** _Black_Acrylic, Hi, Ben. I’m glad you creased the work situation. Good step, obviously. Is your tri-wheel walker that kind of purplish color? I kind of dig the color. Yes, do use that screen printing gig to shake your mojo loose ‘cos art and you definitely need to be back together. ** The Dreadful Flying Glove, Whoa! Glove! My friend, it has been way too many ages since I’ve seen you! What a total pleasure, sir. *Bow* Oh, that’s interesting about the preservation. I ended up getting all of the old blog’s data back, and it’s all ‘in one piece’. The only problem is that I can’t just slot the old posts into this new blog in tact because the image upload links in the old posts are hopelessly broken, so I have to restore each post by hand to revive them. But it’s all there, and I have everything. I don’t know if that stuff you found would help with that? I’m certainly super game to talk with you about it. My new email, if you want it, is Man, it’s so sweet to see you! How are you? Any chance for a catch up from your end? Big love from me. ** Misanthrope, Hi. What about a massive open-faced sandwich? Me, I am the opposite of scared by that idea. Depending what’s on the sandwich, of course. My fave, and nobody else’s fave, Mexican place is still there, unbelievably. I walked by it when Zac and I were in NYC, but he wasn’t too keen on eating there, understandably. I swear that place must be a front for some crime lord or something. Ah, okay, understood about your niece. I hope she comes back to you. She’s a good egg. ** B, Hi, man. Yes, I saw your email when I woke up this morning! Thank you! I’ll open it and will set to work assembling the post today, and I’ll let you know if I have any questions or anything. Thank you so much! ** Right. I hope today will be a spooky art appreciation day for each and every one of you. See you tomorrow.


  1. Dóra Grőber


    Thank you! It’s such a relief, really! My final exam will basically be the presentation of my thesis. I’ll get a few related questions and such but I don’t expect it to be too big of a deal. So that means I’ll have a lot of free time between now and January which is very welcome!
    Wow you’re working really fast! Ah and I just came to the realization that I haven’t even told you how grand it is that you work with Xiu Xiu even though I saw it on facebook earlier! So, truly, congratulations to you too! I’m really looking forward to seeing the final video!
    This sounds very pleasurable. I’d love to see Kindertotenlieder one day! Have fun tonight!
    Honestly, I’ve been just lying around listening to music so far but now I’m about to write and then I’ll meet a dear friend of mine. So I think it’s quite a great ‘first day of freedom’.
    I hope your day is equally nice!

  2. Tomk

    This is a great day! I love the metallic ghosts and the blurry photos were genuinely discomfiting.
    Dennis, have you ever published your texts from the theatre? I remember reading a few excerpts. Anyways hope you’re good man

    Ps: I have a piece coming up in Entropy soon!

  3. David Ehrenstein

    Neat stuff!
    Brandon Vickerd’s contribution reminds me of Jim Dine’s production of “A MidsummerbNight’s Dream” in which Oberon was played by a cape floating in mid-air

  4. David Ehrenstein

    Hilton Als on James Baldwin

  5. steevee

    My doctor was a bit vague about the exact function of the medication he prescribed to ease withdrawal, but my pharmacist told me “It will knock you out.” In the meantime, I started sneezing heavily late last night and I’ve realized today that I’ve caught a cold. I fear that will make me even more tired during the adjustment in medication.

    My favorite Johnnie To films are A HERO NEVER DIES, ELECTION & TRIAD ELECTION, SPARROW and OFFICE.

    Here’s my review of Jim Jarmusch’s GIMME DANGER:

  6. steevee

    I found this article on the line spectators draw between “unforgivable” acts committed by filmmakers and actors like Woody Allen, Mel Gibson, Mike Tyson, Roman Polanski, etc. and their work quite interesting. Just about every similar piece either insists that we should boycott all such work or completely separate the artist from the art. This one is more complicated.

  7. _Black_Acrylic

    @ Kristen, thank you for this viscerally thrilling show! The Sturtevant House of Horrors must be the ultimate DC’s artwork. And I’m a confirmed Ryan Gander fan but had never seen the spooky side to his craft until now.

    @ DC, yeah the Tri Wheel Walker thing I’ve got for work is indeed that chic purple colour. I’m hoping not to need to use it but hey, it’s there just in case. Getting out in the world, seeing people and actually doing stuff is all gonna aid my recovery, I’m sure.

    Seeing as how I’ve a bit of free time just now, I was thinking of putting together a Cosey Fanni Tutti Day for this ‘ere blog. She’s someone whose work I’ve long admired and I think it would make for a good ‘un. What do you say?

  8. Thomas Moronic

    This is so good. I was particularly taken with the Miaz Bros work.

  9. Nicholas

    Hi Dennis, Love the Halloween post! Thanks for replying to my comment last week re:LCTG Brooklyn screening, I’m not sure if you remember I was active in the early 2000s on the blog and I even had a piece in Userlands…. seeing your film inspired me to try writing again, it’s been a while since I’ve written seriously, I was in K48 magazine for two issues, I don’t know if you’re familiar it was put out by Scott Hug, and it had illustrations by Jarrod Anderson… whose beautiful work is also in The Weaklings edition I’m proud to own. Thanks for continuing to inspire and hope I’ll see you at the New Museum event. I have a tumblr I post on occassionally

  10. Jamie McMorrow

    Hey Kristen – I pretty much love everything here today, especially the Elmgreen & Dragset pieces. Thanks!

    Hey Dennis! Pop videos is maybe my favourite art form, tbh, so I’m definitely looking forward to seeing what you and Zac do with that. I’ve only been involved with them as a ‘performer’ so far & neither enjoyed performing nor watching the ones I’ve been in, but would definitely like to try to make one some day.
    I’m writing from the nice hotel that Hannah’s folks gifted us a night in. We got a surprise upgrade to the Presidential Suite, so it’s really big. Everyone is being very nice to us. There are so many lamps. It sort of reminds me of something out of a Batman movie. I’m a little too hot tho.
    When I commented the other day I had watched some Norman Mclaren clips on my phone with no volume & thought they were dreamy, but now I’ve watched them on my laptop with the sound up & I found them a bit of a let down.
    Oh yeah, and the pumpkin is out in the car, so I can’t take a pic right now, but I went for a very trad two stubby teeth on top, one on the bottom kind of look, so I’m sure you can imagine it.
    Hope you’ve had a fine Friday. I do believe the Salon du Chocolat is on Saturday, no? Are you up to anything else? I hope it’s deliciously mindblowing & you have an otherwise sweet weekend!
    Lots of love to you!

  11. Misanthrope

    Kristen Shull, The freakiest one to me is the first set. My God, imagine seeing that in the corner of your bedroom. Okay, I’m scared.

    Dennis, I’d do an open-faced sandwich in a heartbeat. I’ve never been scared of food. 😛 Though we’d have different ingredients, I’m sure.

    You know what? I like that Mexican place of yours. I’ve had worse. And I can’t say I’ve ever had a bad meal there. Kind of regular suburban stuff, if you ask me. Or my suburbs.

    Though, hahaha, I think you might be right about it being a front.

    A quick aside: Did I tell you about the old Italian man I saw in NYC last Christmas? LPS and I even walked by him a second time to get a good look. We were in Little Italy -which was beautiful, all lit up and decorated and shit, and we had some great cannolis from a corner shop- and we pass by this restaurant. Seated outside was this almost gentlemanly looking Italian man with white hair. Dressed to the nines. A little espresso in front of him. A cigar in one hand, a big ring on the other (yes, the pinky). He was wearing a suit and turtleneck. If that guy wasn’t a made guy, I’d eat my toes. He had this look about his face of someone who’d seen so much in his life…and had probably been responsible for most of what he’d seen. Dude didn’t blink, just looked straight ahead, thinking.

    Kayla’s funny. Now that she’s back, she’s talking about maybe not going back to MS. I think she will. Just don’t know how long she’ll be. Frankly, fuck that bumfuck state. Ugh. But whatever. I’m taking her out for her birthday dinner tomorrow -she wasn’t here in September for her birthday- and then she’s off to a rave in DC. Or more accurately, an EDM concert. It’s an annual thing called Life in Color.

  12. The Dreadful Flying Glove

    @Kristen: Thank you for these. The Kevin Francis Gray statues are so silky and disquieting. I’m also really impressed by Maria Rubinke’s work: I’ve always had a strong repellent reaction to cutesy little figurines, and one or two of these also reminded me of the late Paul Berry’s stop-motion film ‘The Sandman’, which has haunted my dreams for about 25 years.

    @Dennis. It’s really, really good to be back in touch! I’m glad to learn you were hooked up with your data, I’d missed that update entirely! It might be possible to automate some recovery processing on the data you do have to the point where it could fix some of the dead image links as a batch job – that rests on whether the data you received included any image files or not – but getting the fixes to happen in an appropriately selective way would take some careful planning. Thank you for the email details! I can send over what I have anyway, since it’s not a huge amount of stuff. I have a stash of some of the Days I put together back then on a hard disk here, too, so I’ll pass those on. It’s fairly hectic where I am – I’ve been fighting some battles w/ research and life circumstances, and I spent all of today pulling levers to understand and hopefully start to resolve a big fuck up against a deadline. But in the calmer periods I get to work with some weird, interesting technology and learn how it works and how to build it upward. I haven’t been getting to write much, but I’ve recently resolved to address that PDQ. It’s so nice to hear from you. Have a good weekend!

  13. h

    Hi Dennis — Tracey Snelling’s work is very interesting. Houses of horror, wow. I rarely watch horror films, but I can enjoy them. Good to know the work too. (Thank you, Kristen Shull)

    I like to believe what you wrote about haunted houses. That sounds very nice. And I like your haunted house projects. I think you’re most likely right about their hearts.

    I don’t think I can do something active on Halloween. As it’s fall, there’s much to do. But maybe I will watch a film outside my work calendar. Did you see Peter Watkins’ ‘Edvard Munch’? One review I read made me want to watch it very soon. And reading a poetry book maybe. Are you planning on anything special on Halloween?

  14. puddentane

    Hi Dennis! I’m hoping you can help me out with something related to the old blog. I’m not entirely sure you’ll see this right now, but it seems worth a try. The entry for Saturday Aug. 29th, 2009 contained discussion of several experimental novels. One was David Markson’s “This Is Not A Novel”. One of the others was a book I’d gotten, started to read it, but then one of my friends expressed such interest in it, I lent it to him. Where it remains to this day. And that’s fine, but I’d like to replace the book. Problem is, I cannot remember the author, nor the name of the book. A fine conundrum indeed. So, here is what I remember of it. It was set in Italy, in WW1. It was extrememly violent– beautifully and chaotically written. Think Marechera’s “Black Sunlight”. Does that ring any bells for you? Or anyone else who might be reading? Since this is a complete shot in the dark, it might be helpful that at least one of the covers ever released, was white with black and green on it. I always figured when I got ’round to getting the book again, I’d just go to the bookmarked page. Aaaiiieee! Cheers!

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