DC's

The blog of author Dennis Cooper

Luther Price Day *

* (restored)

 

‘Luther Price is an anomaly on many levels. He’s gay but unwelcome by the gay community, which reviled him for the alleged homophobic excesses of Sodom. He invents alter-egos including the short-lived “Fag” and the more enduring “Tom Rhoads.” He’s worked as a waiter, played in bands (and started a country band), and “committed suicide” in one of his performance pieces via a candy overdose. Much of his personal history is mysterious, in spite of his frequent use of himself and his family and their history via photos and home movies in his films. He was nearly killed (and was heavily scarred) in a shooting accident in Nicaragua in the mid-1980s. He works in a disreputable format, appears in various guises in his own work from stylized, frozen-faced drag queen to naked performance artist to clown. And he occupies the same contested cultural space as artists like Karen Finley in being so controversial that his work has occasioned the immediate firing of programmers who have dared to show it. Increasingly revered as a filmmaker, he’s also made a strong impact in his sculpture, photography, and performance art.

‘Emotionally stark, and at times sexually extreme, the elegant Super-8 films Price produced in the 1980s and ’90s brought him underground renown. Whether creating pummeling juxtapositions from repurposed porn images or with Price decked up in drag or dressed as a clown, his pieces came bounding at you in full heat. They were formally rigorous, relentlessly psychodramatic attempts to work through familial bonds, dark fantasies, and tortured realities. His magisterial use of sound (few make better soundtracks) underscored the beautifully dilapidated images. There are many small masterpieces from this potent era awaiting rediscovery.

‘For example, there’s his hardcore “Biblical epic”-cum s&m; porn flick Sodom (1989), which like all of Price’s films, exists in many versions. His refusal to let the work alone after it’s made, his insistence on the “aliveness” of the film-object, is one of the most exhilarating aspects of his work. In spite of the oppressive, claustrophobic imagery, the films have a strong sense of life. In Sodom, which will be double-projected, this sense comes partly from Price’s consummate interventions, which here take the form of a literal film-within-a-film. He punched holes in the Super-8 frames and meticulously inserted the porn footage, which moves with jackhammer rhythm against the rapid-cut “Sodom” footage and a distorted medieval liturgy score. The conflation of what look like screaming souls in hell with images of edgy queer sex was enough to get the film banned even from the allegedly sophisticated New York and San Francisco gay festivals, but Price’s Boschian vision deserves a wide audience.

‘Price’s film work has an oppressive intensity, envisioning an alienated world of often mindlessly repeated rituals and poses that entrap and suffocate his subjects. He sets up a constant dialogue between his compromised victim-subjects (often himself or his own family) and the equally compromised film stock itself. Images of ruptured flesh and ghostly birthday parties are further ruptured and drained of life by Price’s torturous manipulations of the film, which can include chemical processing, filters, optical printing, re-photography, and even holes punched in the frame. What emerges is Price’s great subject — the breaches, breakdowns, and collapse of body, family, and society, and by extension all of life, in the face of unstoppable philosophical forces. What makes it work is the nonstop flow of extraordinary, unforgettable imagery.’ — collaged

 

WARM BROTH (1987 – 1988)
color-b&w / sound / 1S / 36′ 00

‘Directed under the name Tom Rhodes.
Tell me a secret / Hold me strong / Give me a kiss. It is with the sound of this litany sung by a doll that Rhodes (pseudonym of Luther PRICE) updates “the viscera of the pathos of the suburbs”. It is a ruthless movie, imbued with a sense of decay and horror. American beauties are vomiting on the screen. Floral wallpapers, wrapped candies of yellow cellophane, ice cream melting on bitumen: WARM BROTH is a little like the descent into hell in your grandparents’ house.’ — Light Cone

Watch it here

 

GREEN (1988)
color-b&w / sound / 1S / 36′ 40

‘Directed under the name Tom Rhodes.
Filled with poison, all the veins infested … Question of time … The image of the ghost haunts my breath, gnaws my mind. I see her beautiful face and wonder if she was my mother. I loved her and she can see me. I thought she was really in me. I thought I was her. My life would end at twenty-three and we would be together. There would be no sadness. Everyone would know that she was coming for me. But I lived. I was not supposed to die at that time. It was his way of telling me to stop joining my mother. Now they are together and I am the ghost. 37 years old, there is something about this number. I will die then and I will remember this necklace of green emeralds at my mother’s funeral. And that’s when I’ll realize why I lived.
The images that haunt my memories roam the life next to me, brushing my breathing body, veiling my vision, slowing down my pace, devouring my thoughts. I am never alone. In fusion. I prevent myself from loneliness and all rest, living for two, becoming the other. Am I real?’ — Light Cone

Watch it here

 

SODOM (1989)
color-b&w / sound / 1S / 13′ 00

‘SODOM is viscerally graphic and disturbing through its hypnotic mirage of human fragment absorbed in mutilation. Based on the biblical story, SODOM recreates this destruction through an editing style that lends itself to a kind of organic image breakdown, creating a collage of moving image.’ — Light Cone

Watch it here.

 

JELLY FISH SANDWICH (1994)
color-b&w / sound / 1S / 17′ 00

‘Why are you so stupid and what are you trying to say? I had a nightmare in which a big elephant walked on a piece of cake and disappeared, sucked as if it had been on quicksand. All that was left was the lobe of one ear. Someone with a little head and a small body slipped a word in it; then the ear disappeared into the cake too. I remember running up and down and throwing my body against a string screen. I heard songs on the red, white and blue and in front, a guy walked with a nice ass wearing a flesh-colored swimsuit as an undergarment. I took off the swimsuit, her ass was purple. Half of the street I was in exploded, birds in the sky making noises like sick stomachs and feathers falling on my head. I closed my eyes for a second, but nothing changed. Too many people had left that day.’ — Light Cone

Watch it here

 

RUN (1994)
color / sound / 1S / 15′ 00

‘The electric line facing the infinite reveals everything. Moment before my birth, moment before my death. Compressed between two walls of glass, I could see myself walking in the past. I could see my eye scrutinizing my eye. I stood there somewhere far away, looking at myself between two glass plates.
I had the impression of moving, but it was rather the way a worm relies on himself to go where he wants to go.
I could interfere in these spaces and rest a little, then distribute all that I am and all that I have been. But I panicked. I kept pushing my body inside.
I woke up compressed between walls of glass.
I thought I was walking.
I saw myself walking.
I could see my eye looking at me and where I would die when I was born.’ — Light Cone

Watch it here

 

KITTENS GROW UP (2007)
16mm found footage


Excerpt

 

SAD DAY GLAD DAY (2014)


the entire film

‘Luther Price devised a special performance for Australian audiences called ”SAD DAY GLAD DAY” which he realised in the intimate environment of Gertrude Contemporary’s Studio18 on Wednesday 11th June 2014 at 6pm. “Whether creating pummelling juxtapositions from repurposed porn images or with Price decked up in drag or dressed as a clown, his pieces come bounding at you in full heat. They are formally rigorous, relentlessly psychodramatic attempts to work through familial bonds, dark fantasies, and tortured realities.”. Andy Lampert (Anthology Film Archives).’ — Other Film

 

 































 

 

 

Age/Occupation/City:

born 1962……..january 26th……in Mass……the night my aunt sally took an overdose of sleeping pills……….37 sominex……..and red wine……..she was my mother’s younger sister………..she died at 23………the day i was born…….my death mother……….she was very beautiful……….i have the powder blue suit she died in………..it has a wine stain down the front of it ………i don’t think she meant to kill herself……..she crawled from her apartment in cambridge , mass,…………died at the hospital………while at the same time,…..i was being born into this world…………..i died when i was 23 too……….i was shot in nicaragua in 1985…………while on an artist cultural brigade…………..it wasn’t just my guts that spilled out that day on the warm ceramic tiles …..on that balcony of the bombed out mansion we were staying at…………the morning we were due to fly back to boston ………june 29th 1985………..i died that day……..and as they say …….you see your life flash by……….well it did………and i saw my aunt sally………..and then i knew what i had always known…………she was always with me…………………but that was 28 years ago…………..i still don’t know how i survived …………..if i had been shot anywhere else ,….i wouldn’t have………….but my guts are all screwed up………i was shot through my hip and stomach…….my right leg is paralyzed ……and i live with constant pain…….but to top that off ,…the US…GOVERNMENT TOOK MY PASSPORT AWAY FOR REPATRIATION …..BACK TO BOSTON , MASS………….WERE I SPENT TWO MONTHS IN THE HOSPITAL…….I RETURNED BACK TO MASS ART….THAT FALL ON CRUTCHES……..WITH A HOLE IN MY SIDE , STUFFED WITH GAUZE………THE DRESSING HAD TO BE CHANGED THREE TIMES A DAY, SO I USED THE NURSE’S OFFICE FOR THAT ,….THE ONLY STERILE PLACE……..FOR THAT…………..AS THE SEMESTER WENT ON ,I BECAME VERY SICK….THE WOUND WAS NOT HEALING…………….SO DURING XMAS BREAK I ADMITTED MYSELF BACK INTO THE HOSPITAL……..THEY FOUND THE BULLET……AND REMOVED IT ………..IT WAS LODGED IN THE DARKNESS OF MY HIP ……..NEVER CAME UP ON THE X-RAYS……….THE US OFFICIALS CONFISCATED MY MEDICAL RECORDS FROM NICARAGUA FROM THE DOCTOR WHO TRAVELED WITH ME BACK TO THE STATES………….SO , I NEVER HAD A CHANCE……..THE DOCTORS NEVER KNEW THE BULLET WAS STILL INSIDE ME…….ROTTING AWAY MY BONE AND GUTS ……..KILLING ME SLOWLY……….BY THIS TIME,….MUCH OF MY HIP HAD TURNED TO A PUSSY MUSH………..AND A LARGE PART OF MY LOWER INTESTINE HAD TO BE REMOVE AS WELL………..MY RIGHT LEG HAD GONE INTO COMPLETE ATROPHY………..AND THE NERVE DAMAGE WAS BEYOND REPAIR……………….BUT THE GOOD THING WAS,…….AFTER THEY TOOK THE BULLET OUT ……..MY WOUND COMPLETELY HEALED IN 9 DAYS……………..I WENT BACK TO SCHOOL IN THE SPRING SEMESTER…..STILL ON CRUTCHES…………AND COMPLETED MY LAST LARGE SCULPTURE PIECE…………‘EAT FUCK LIVE SHIT WANT NEED’……..1986……..11 OVER LIFE-SIZED…….HUMAN AND ANIMAL FIGURES …….MADE OF PLASTIC WITH A SKIN OF NEWSPAPER………WALL WORK………..4 FT X 8 FT PANELS ……….AFTER THAT …….I BEGAN TO WORK IN VIDEO…………I CREATED A CHARACTER THAT I BECAME CALLED ‘THE CUNT’…………..THIS WAS A PERIOD OF TIME WHERE I BEGAN TO INVESTIGATE MY DOMESTIC PAST…………..AND HOW MY MOTHER LIVED HER LIFE AS A SLAVE……………SHE WASHED CLOTHES BY HAND…………….TO THE POINT THAT HER HANDS LOOKED LIKE THEY BELONGED TO A 108-YEAR-OLD WOMAN………….WE FINALLY GOT A WASHING MACHINE……AND I THINK OUR FIRST COLOR TV ……………..BEFORE THAT ,…..EVERYTHING WAS BLACK AND WHITE……………….

We’re conducting this questionnaire over email, and have been told that you use a stream-of-consciousness style in writing, not dissimilar to the way your films, through their mix of found footage and your own stagings, can be like stray thoughts gathered together. Is there an underlying structure to your art?

Many of your around 200 films exist as only one copy. Because you scratch, burn, and dye them, they can even change from one screening to the next. Film itself is something of a dying art. Do you believe your art and the medium are ephemeral?

You got your start with Super-8 film and then shifted to 16mm, but you’ve recently begun to experiment with slides, exhibited for the first time in the Whitney Biennial. You build them up with dirt and detritus like ants, sprinkles, tape, and hair. Sometimes, you even bury them in the ground to rot. What creative power do you see in this kind of decay?

Has one of your films ever totally wrecked a projector or melted during a screening?

…………….WELL,………..I THINK I GET A BAD RAP……….IT’S BECAUSE OF THE INKBLOTS AND THE GARDEN FILMS…………ALL MY FILM WORK IS ORIGINAL…….I HAVEN’T MADE A COPY OR PRINT SINCE 1995………..THAT CAME ABOUT BECAUSE MOST OF THE GREAT MOM AND POP LABS WERE FORCED TO SHUT DOWN…….AND MOST OF THE BIG LABS WERE FREAKED OUT BY ANYTHING THAT WAS NOT COMMERCIAL………..THIS ,……..BOTH PHYSICAL………..WORKING OF THE FILM AS WELL THEY WOULD HAVE A SAY IN WHAT AND WHAT WAS NOT APPROPRIATE AS FAR AS CONTENT …….. MY FILMS WERE RENDERED …….TOO COMPLICATED TO DO A STRAIGHTFORWARD PRINT OR THE SUBJECT MATTER WAS AT ISSUE ………….MUCH OF MY WORK WAS DEEMED PORNO……………SO ,….THESE LABS WOULDN’T EVEN DEAL WITH ME……….GONE WERE THE DAYS WHEN A GREAT TECH GUY WOULD TAKE YOUR FILM AND UNDERSTAND THE ART OF IT ……..AND IN THE END BECOME A COLLABORATOR WITH IT IN THE PROCESS………AND A WONDERFUL PRINT WOULD COME OUT OF IT ………I MISS THOSE DAYS…………….BUT , LEFT IN THE DUST ………….I MOVED ON ……….AND TRIED TO MAKE MORE PROJECTION-READY FILMS………FILMS THAT WOULD BE ABLE TO RUN THROUGH A PROJECTOR…………..MULTIPLE TIMES …….AND STAND THE TEST OF TIME……………I’VE ALWAYS HAD GOOD CRAFT IN MY WORK …., SO THAT WAS NO PROBLEM………..I JUST NEEDED TO STAY AWAY FROM MAKING ‘A FRANKENSTEIN MONSTER’…………….WORK THE FILM ……..BUT , STILL AT THE POINT WHERE IT COULD RIDE THROUGH THE PROJECTOR AS A PROJECTION-READY FILM………………WITH THIS ,….I JUST NEEDED TO MAINTAIN GOOD CRAFT IN SPLICING ……..BUT WITH THE INK BLOTS,…….THE ELEMENT OF MATERIAL IS NOW PAINT AND INK………………IT’S A GIVEN THAT BECAUSE THEY ARE ORIGINAL FILMS, THEY WILL LEAVE SOME RESIDUAL MATTER IN THE PROJECTOR………….THAT’S WHAT Q-TIPS ARE FOR………………BUT I USED THIS WONDERFUL INK THAT DRIES REALLY QUICK……SO YOU CAN ROLL IT OUT AND WORK AS YOU GO……….THE THING IS,……..ONCE IT DRIED , IT LEFT A POWDERY DUST ON THE SURFACE……………….SO ,……I BEGAN HEARING THAT THESE FILMS WERE PROBLEMATIC…………..PROJECTORS…………WERE NOT HAPPY AND PROJECTIONISTS ……….WERE VERY UNHAPPY……………..I READ SOMETHING ONLINE ….SAYING ……..‘THE UNPROJECTABLE FILMS OF LUTHER PRICE’……………I RAN FILMS THROUGH MY PROJECTOR AND MY PROJECTOR DIED …………….AFTER RUNNING SEVERAL FILMS THROUGH IT…………..I REALIZED THIS INK DUST POWDER FORMED……………..AT THIS POINT , I KNEW WHAT THEY WERE TALKING ABOUT…………IT TOOK MANY Q-TIPS TO CLEAN MY PROJECTOR BEFORE IT COULD RUN AGAIN………….BUT THAT DIDN’T SOLVE THE PROBLEM…………………I HAD ALMOST 50 INKBLOT FILMS SITTING ON MY SHELF…………..THAT WERE NOW UNPROJECTABLE……………………….AS WELL , MY GARDEN FILMS………….FILM FOOTAGE , THAT WENT INTO THE GROUND…………IN FALL AND DUG UP IN THE SPRING………………ROTTED FILMS , WITH BEAUTIFUL DISTORTION AND COLOR………………..I WOULD OF COURSE TAKE THEM IN AND WASH THEM OFF IN MY KITCHEN SINK…………THEN DRY THEM IN THE SUN …….BUT STILL …………A SLUDGE OF GRIT WOULD REMAIN ON THE SURFACE AND THEN THROUGH PROJECTION,……………WOULD BUILD UP IN THE SPROCKET WHEELS OF THE PROJECTOR ………….AND LEAVE A TAR-LIKE SUBSTANCE……………..NOT GOOD ….NOT GOOD AT ALL………………ALL THIS NEW WORK…….AND IT WOULD REMAIN ON MY SHELF………………..BUT I HAVE GOOD FRIENDS …………..THEY DIDN’T GIVE UP ON THE FILMS AND WOULD SCREEN THEM EVEN SO……………..ED …..PATRICK AND MARK…………..IT WASN’T UNTIL LAST YEAR………….I FELT I HAD TO TRY SOMETHING …………….I FOUND THAT WITH THE INKBLOTS ……………., I COULD WASH THEM WITH COLD WATER , TO GET RID OF THAT RESIDUAL DUST……………I FOUND THAT HOT WATER REMOVED THE ARTWORK…………AFTER THIS PROCESS,….MY FILMS WERE CLEAN AS A WHISTLE………………….AND AFTER THEY WERE DRY AND REELED UP…………….., I CHECKED ALL THE SPLICES………………CLEANED THEM UP ………AND THEY WERE READY TO GO OUT INTO THE WORLD………………..I DID THE SAME WITH MY GARDEN FILMS ………I DON’T THINK THE PROJECTIONISTS HATE ME ANYMORE…………… ‘SALLY FIELDS’

Describe a typical day in your life as an artist.

…………………WELL……A DAY IN LUTHER’S LIFE…………….IT DEPENDS ON WHAT I DID THE NIGHT BEFORE……….MOST TIMES …………YOU WRAP IT UP ……………AND YOU TAKE THOSE UNANSWERED ………UNRESOLVED QUESTIONS WITH YOU………………YOU THINK ABOUT FOOD BUT IT’S TOO LATE………….AND IF YOU TRY TO EAT, YOU CAN’T ANYWAY…………….KAREN CARPENTER AND I WOULD HAVE BEEN FRIENDS…………….ONLY , I LIKE FOOD AND WANT TO EAT…………….I LOVE TO COOK………..FOR MY FRIENDS ……………BUT I MOSTLY LIKE TO WATCH GUYS EAT………….. SEXY………….BUT I HARDLY EAT……………..BUT I STILL HAVE A FAT STOMACH , AFTER MY GUN SHOT……………..LOST THE WALL OF MUSCLE THAT HOLDS IT ALL TOGETHER………….SO I HAVE A BULGE …………..I WORK MOSTLY ALL DAY………………..THINKING ABOUT THINGS AND STINKING IT UP…………….I LIKE TO HAVE THE TV ON …………..I ONLY WATCH INVESTIGATIVE TV…………………THEN I SIT AND WORK ALL DAY ………………BECAUSE CUTTING FILM ………….AND……….FILM MANIPULATION IS NOT A STAND UP JOB……………..PERFECT FOR ME…………….BECAUSE I MOAN AND GROAN WITH PAIN…………..BUT MY THREE STRAY CATS,………GURLY…………….MR. GREY AND CARTOON…………KEEP ME IN LINE……………….THEY ALWAYS WANT SOMETHING……………SO I HEAR A SCRATCH AT THE DOOR ……AND IT’S ONE OF THEM….SOMETIMES , ALL THREE ………………THE KIDS ARE GOOD …………..‘DORIS WISHMAN’’’’’’’’’’’’’’,…………I’M JUST TRYING TO FIND MYSELF THROUGH MY WORK ………………..EACH DAY , BRINGS A NEW DESTINATION………………AND I’M UP FOR IT …………, IF I GET UP………………SOME DAYS , I CAN’T GET OUT OF BED THESE DAYS …………..TOO MUCH PAIN……………I MADE A NICE BED NEST……………..WITH A PRINCESS AND THE PEA IDEA …………., I WENT OUT AND GOT LAYERS OF FOAM ……………TO LINE MY BED ……………….OVER MY SAGGY FUTON……………I NEED A NEW NICE BED AND A TV………………..AND THEN I’LL BE HAPPY ………….I MAY EVEN ORDER OUT FOR KENTUCKY FRIED CHICKEN ……AND DO IT UP BY GETTING THE WHIPPED MASHED POTATOS AND EXTRA GRAVY,……………….EAT ………….AT ………..MY TV DINNER TABLE ……………AND WATCH ‘LOCKED UP ABROAD’ ……………..OR ‘ANCIENT ALIENS’……………….THEN VOMIT IT ALL UP IN MY KITCHEN SINK AND TOILET………………..UNTIL THERE IS NOTHING LEFT BUT AN EMPTY PIT IN MY STOMACH…………………………..SO I DON’T THINK I’LL DO THAT………..ALTHOUGH I DO HAVE A CRAVING FOR CALAMARI…………….BUT THEY NEVER HAVE IT ANYWAY …………….VERY TOP SECRET ………..PERHAPS ONE ORDER ……………SOMETIMES NO ORDER ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

……………..that got me thinking ,….so i called ‘tings’……and they actually had fried squid………so , i put in three orders……………..mr, grey is saying things ……………….he wants to go outside but it’s raining……………the cartoon is content in …………..my studio back room ………..have not seen Gurly yet though…………………IT’S A GOOD NIGHT FOR ALL THE KIDS TO STAY IN…………..CAUSE………..IT’S RAINING OUTSIDE ……..AND CATS HATE RAIN………………….’GURLY JUST CAME IN ……DRIED HIM OFF WITH A TOWEL…………..HIS BROTHER, MR. GREY DID ALLEY CAT SONGS WITH HIM………..ANYWAY , MY DELIVERY OF FRIED SQUID SHOULD BE HERE SOON…….I’M NOT WORKING TONIGHT BECAUSE THE ELECTRIC IN MY HOUSE IS SCREWED UP AND THE ELECTRICIAN IS COMING OVER AT 8 AM………..TO FIX THE PROBLEM……………SO TONIGHT , I’M JUST HAVING A BOY’S NIGHT IN ……………..MY GOODNESS ,………………HOW CUTE WAS THAT GUY…………….FRIED SQUID IN THE RAIN WITH A YUMMY CUT ASIAN GUY ,….HANDING YOU A BROWN PAPER BAG FULL OF DELICIOSO………..TOO BAD HE HAD TO GO BACK TO WORK………………….I LIKED HIS TAN BROWN WOOL HAT…………SO ………………….I WAKE UP……………..EITHER ….ONE OF THE CATS WANTS TO GO OUT OR GET IN…………….HAVE COFFEE……..THINK ABOUT FOOD BUT DON’T EAT …………..I MAKE GOOD EGGS TOO………….LOOK IN THE MIRROR IN DISGUST……………AS I TAKE MY MORNING PISS……………BRUSH MY TEETH AND GAG AT THE THOUGHT OF ANOTHER DAY……………THE ROOMS GET SMALLER…………….THE TIME BECOMES SHORTER………………THE DUST IS THICKER…………….THE OCEAN ,…OUTSIDE MY DOOR IS CHURNING FOR SOMETHING,……………..JUST WAITING…………..TO CONSUME…………….I TAKE A PEEK , OUTSIDE MY FENCE…………….JUST TO SEE WHAT IT IS LIKE OUTSIDE………..BUT ONLY FOR A MINUTE…………………SOMETIMES THE TIDE IS LOW AND I CAN SMELL THE RESTITUTION OF THE SEA LEFTOVER ……………OR THE ROARING OF THE WAVES THAT WILL EVENTUALLY BRAVE THE EARTH AND TAKE MY HOME……………….I LOOK AT THE SEA AND THE SHORE…………….AND FIND ROCKS WITH FACES IN THEM………………….AND I THINK ……………PERHAPS THIS IS ALL BIGGER THAN WE THINK…………….PERHAPS WE SHOULD JUST LIVE………….AFTER ALL THAT WAS WHAT WE WERE BORN TO DO……………..AND WITH THAT……………A VISION………………A SIGHT………..NO SKIN OFF MY BACK………………I JUST WANT TO SEE……………FEEL AND BE REAL………………AND IF SOMETHING MATERIAL COMES FROM THAT ,…………………..AN OBJECT OF SOME KIND,………………..FROM THE THOUGHTS OF THE DAY…………………..IT WILL HAVE A LITTLE BIT OF THIS AND A LITTLE BIT OF THAT IN IT……………..AND THEN THE DAY STARTS OVER AGAIN…………………………..

What’s the first artwork you ever sold?

………………I DON’T KNOW ,ME ……….I HAVEN’T REALLY SOLD ANYTHING …………..WE SHOULD HAVE A YARD SALE…………….BUT ,LET ME THINK…………….LIA SOLD SOMETHING OF MINE ,…………….I THINK IT WAS A BLOW-UP STILL FROM THE ‘GAR HAR CLOWN’………………..THE DR. WHO INVENTED BOTOX……………IT WAS INSTALLED IN HIS WAITING ROOM……………..PERFECT ……………I THINK……………

What’s the weirdest thing you ever saw happen in a museum or gallery?

………………..I JUST COULD NOT BELIEVE HOW ALL THESE MUSEUM LADIES COULD HAVE NOT ONLY THE SAME HAIRCUTS BUT THE SAME FACES TOO……..THEY ALL LOOK LIKE THEIR FACE WAS MOVED TO THE LEFT…………..AND ONE EYE ,….LOOKING THIS WAY AND THE OTHER EYE LOOKING THAT WAY………….LIKE GOOGLE EYES AT THE 99 CENT STORE………………….BUT I HAVE TO ADMIT,………….THEY SMELLED NICE………….

What’s your art-world pet peeve?

…………….PET PEEVE…………..I’VE ALWAYS BEEN TREATED WELL AND I LIKE WORKING WITH CURATORS…….IF I COULD PUT MYSELF IN THEIR WORLD,……..I MIGHT UNDERSTAND HOW MUCH WORK THEY MUST HAVE TO DEAL WITH AND LOOK AT……………BUT THERE ARE HIDDEN GEMS……………..RIGHT UNDER THEIR NOSES………………I WOULD LOOK FOR THE UNDERDOG……TAKE A RISK AND GO BEYOND WHAT IS IN YOUR FACE ……………ARCHIVE AND DISCOVER ………….THAT’S WHAT A TRUE CURATOR SHOULD DO ….I THINK …………………FIND THE WORK …………GET SOME DUST ON YOU…………………..

What’s the last great book you read?

…………..CHARIOTS OF THE GODS …………..BY ERICH VON DANIKEN………………SHOULD HAVE READ IT YEARS AGO…….BUT I DIDN’T…………….

 


“Meat” by Luther Price, Screening at LOUIS V. E.S.P.


Lecture by Luther Price


2012 Biennial: Luther Price

 

Luther Price @ Wikipedia
Luther Price @ Callicoon Fine Arts
‘The hand made Luther Price’
Luther Price by David Duncan
Luther Price @ Underground Fi;m Journal
‘Luther Price: Poetry of the Found’
Book: ‘Luther Price: Imitation of Life’
‘I’ll Cry Tomorrow’
‘Kittens, Biscuits, and Blots: Films by Luther Price’
‘Postcard from Oberhausen’
‘LUTHER PRICE — (WAS) BLEIBT / REMAINS LUTHER PRICE’
‘The films of Luther Price’ @ Autopsies Research Group
‘Luther Price’s latest exhibition is not for the faint of heart.
‘Never pass up an evening of Luther Price films.
‘Film and Obsolescence’

 

 

*

p.a. Hey. ** Steve Erickson, Hi. Yeah, Leavitt’s prominence was pretty dependent on the thing critics and readers to some degree had re: the emergence of a ‘gay literature’ in the early 90s wherein he was positioned at the center. But when that became less of a thing and gay lit was kind of homogenised into lit at large, his work had to stand on its own, and its acceptability and lack of daring neutralised most of the interest. I do know Ton Steine Scherben at least a little, strangely enough, although it’s been a long tine time since I’ve actually listened to them. Curious how it holds up/sounds now. I didn’t find it wildly distinct way back when, but it’s always interesting how distinctiveness often needs the future to clarify it. Thanks! ** Marilyn Roxie, Hi, Marilyn. Ah, thank you a lot. I really look forward to watching that. Everyone, Marilyn Roxie was one of the curators of a recent film event ‘Just Experimenting: Playing the Sexual Edge of Film’ in San Francisco, and, if you’re interested, there’s a video of the event that you can watch here, and I highly recommend you do. ** Sypha, Hi, James. Have you gotten the results from that test? Obviously, I hope the outcome or diagnosis was as friendly to you as possible, and that you were able to make the best of your weekend. ** Misanthrope, Hi, George. Yes, I will go investigate Bourdain’s work, probably after all the fuss around his death dies down a little because that’s a little assaultive at the moment. But, yes, I will, and again my hugs and great condolences. ** Cal Graves, Hi, Cal! I wondered and hoped that you would be around see the repost of that wonderful day you made. It holds up like a total charm. Thank you about ZCR. Yes, I think it’s probably more playful. My confidence in that weird medium is letting me play and try new things, and I’ve become less interested in fighting the fact that gifs are inherently a comedic form and letting myself work with that subversively, I guess. I hope everything is super great with you. ** H, Hi. Okay, good to know. I’m still a bit headlong into making ‘Them’ ready and work, but the piece will settle soon, I think. It’s getting towards being what it needs to be. ** _Black_Acrylic, Thank you again so very much, Ben! ** Kyler, Hey! Cool, Saturday. It should be rarin’ to go as much as it’s able by then. Thanks for getting a ticket. ** Keatonus, Hey, pal! Awfully nice to see you, bud! Things go well. Mostly working on ‘Them’ and readying it for the run of shows here in the big A. So far so good. Miami! Interesting. On PGL, I’m not sure yet. We have a US distributor, but right now it’s all about film festivals. I don’t know if it’ll get a theater release in Florida. Doubtful. But it’ll be streaming on the big sites and on DVD/BluRay at some point. Awesome: a new thing by you. I’ll greedily fit it into my head as soon as I get my next rehearsal break. Thanks a lot, man. ** Right. The blog asks you to investigate the extremely interesting films of the very unique, and, as is often the case with unique artists, under-known Luther Price. Please have at it. See you tomorrow.

16 Comments

  1. Thanks for expanding our horizons once again Haven’t heard of Luther Price before. Sounds like a cross between Jack Smith and Andy Milligan.

    Lates FaBlog: Homage a Robert De Niro

  2. Hi!

    First of all, today’s post is perfection! I haven’t heard of Luther Price before and what a shame! Thank you so much!

    It sounds like you have quite an intense and busy time in New York which, with all the rehearsals, also sounds pretty lovely to me. I’m glad ‘Them’ is improving constantly! How does it feel to work on it again?
    When does Zac arrive?
    How did you end up in the not-so-ideal apartment? Is it an airbnb thing or a friend of a friend of a friend went on vacation or…?

    I haven’t had the time to sit down and compose a satisfying letter to the young drag queen but one of these days. I hope she’ll be into it! And to answer your question: I actually have no idea why Hungary doesn’t seem to have a high-quality drag scene. It seems so absurd. I mean, there are “transvestite shows” but they tend to be solely about entertainment whereas I love drag as a complete art form, with quality make-up and dresses and ideas and performances. I also love “alternative” drag – the type Charity Kase is doing, for example. I’m constantly looking for these because I have the nagging feeling that these people must exist here too, I just haven’t found them yet. But yeah, I’ve got friends who are a lot more outgoing and familiar with LGBTQ places, etc. than I am, and they also reported to have found nothing. Nothing other than what I know too. Weird. Maybe it has to be me who starts something up, haha!
    Oh, cool about the documentaries about Budapest! Well, the main difference is that originally, Buda was the rich half of the capital city and Pest was the home of the working class. Today, there’s not much real difference. Or at least not to me but I’m not very perceptive when it comes to cities, haha.

    There was yet another book festival where I had to work this weekend so I didn’t have much time to rest but at least the atmosphere was good and I bought a poetry collection by a Hungarian writer I haven’t known so far (Judit Szeles) and it looks really promising. Except for the daily rainstorms it was pretty good.

    I vaguely remember reading that you might not have the time to do the p.s. from the 15th on so… I’ll just say that I can’t wait to talk with you again and I’m really excited to hear about what happens between now and then! All the very-very best, Dennis!!

  3. Hello! Today very quick, but from June 16 to 24, quite flexible. Other days, heavily working mode, alas…but hope to see you this time, as I think I might (?) leave NYC at the start of the next year. Call or text me anytime for scheduling. So we can plan it. Morning or evening coffee or tea would work for me. Good luck with the rehearsal. Please let us know how it goes. x.

    • Oh daytime is okay too. But I meant morning and evening are also fine! (Sorry for the confusion) in fact, I hope to see you around parks and anything else in the day!

  4. Dennis, awesome post today. Totally compelling images and text.

    Thanks for the fb love for XRAY mag.

    Love back to you!

    P

  5. Big D, Thanks again. Yeah, ’twas a really strange weekend. One good thing is that most of the hubbub about Bourdain’s death is positive stuff about what a decent guy he was. A few assholes out there, of course, but mostly positive all the way around. He made a lot of people’s lives a little brighter here and there.

    So weird to feel this way about someone you’ve never met, you know? I realize that. But some people, you can just tell they’re pretty damn genuine and honest and decent.

    Btw, I did read ZCR. I enjoyed it. It was a fun adventure. That’s how I saw it, as an adventure. I don’t know if that makes sense.

    So yeah, you might remember that I used to get these clusterfuck headaches on the left side of my head every 3 or 4 months and they’d kind of zombie-fy me for a week or so. Well, it’s like one a year now and I got one Saturday night. Woke me up. Took two 500-mg Tylenol and eventually an 800-mg ibuprofen and lots of water before I could get back to sleep. It’s still lurking and has moved to my right side. A real pain in the ass. I’m a bit out of it. But I’ll be all right. It just takes time and rest.

    Still writing, though. 😀

  6. I joined a Facebook music discussion group last Thursday that someone recommended to me. There are 42,000 members and about 500 posts a day. (Needless to say, I only read about a dozen, especially since many are along the lines of “I’ve never listened to country music. Please recommend some artists.” followed by 15 people saying “Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash are great.”) One has to be approved to join it, and I had to submit a list of my favorite albums and agree to a long list of conditions, one of which was “no racism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, etc.” Well, it took 2 days for me to see someone breaking that rule, saying “DAYTONA is more like GAYTONA.” (For all I know, they’re gay themselves and this is meant as ironic praise, but I don’t have that context. Of course, it’s impossible to moderate a group of this size, although they do have to approve all new topics.) On one hand, it’s refreshing to interact with what seems to be a huge group of relatively young people who are into new music; on the other, I had no idea how much Anthony Fantano seems to have more influence and a larger audience than any music critic with a written platform. (I do watch a lot of his videos and think he’s worth taking seriously, but I am not going to write an ultra-excited post one way or another on the subject of “Fantano gave KIDS SEE GHOSTS a 10/10!”) But despite these misgivings, it seems more appealing than the other public music forums I’ve recently participated in, which are heavy on nostalgic middle-aged dudes.

    I’ve been researching Illuminati/Freemason conspiracy theory videos for ID, and I feel *so* tempted to write and direct a video under a name like deepstateilluminati666 in which a menacing-looking man wearing a dark suit and a necklace of a pyramid with an eye inside or double triangles talks about his job as a head honcho with the Illuminati putting subliminal messages like “killing Trump is fun” in Beyonce and Jay-Z songs and attending orgies where Hillary Clinton, Jordan Peterson and Alex Jones smoke DMT, sacrifice a goat and all have sex under a pentagram, then post this to YouTube and see how many people get the joke and how many think the conspiracy is being revealed. There is already an 18-minute video from “Illumicorp,” addressed to new recruits to the Illuminati, on YT. It is obviously satire, but that hasn’t stopped true believers from reposting it because they think it tells the truth anyway.

  7. Nice to see you Mr. Them is fun, and kind of scary.
    I think of 3 things when I think of Them: cruising in
    my covertable through the city listening to Them, staring
    at a wall on an old stomping lot talking to myself before
    going out, and turning at a weird street corner. I’m getting
    the creeps, need to find a new town. Can’t wait. I feel like
    I’m stuck in a continuous loop of watching Elevator to the Gallows
    with an encore of Lust Winter. Hope you enjoy the story, almost
    hated it, just had to get it out. A thousand kisses on your brow, K.

  8. Nice to see you Mr. Them is fun, and kind of scary.
    I think of 3 things when I think of Them: cruising in
    my covertable through the city listening to Them, staring
    at a wall on an old stomping lot talking to myself before
    going out, and turning at a weird street corner. I’m getting
    the creeps, need to find a new town. Can’t wait. I feel like
    I’m stuck in a continuous loop of watching Elevator to the Gallows
    with an encore of Lust Winter. Hope you enjoy the story, almost
    hated it, just had to get it out. A thousand kisses on your brow, K.

  9. Hey Dennis!

    What a fascinating artist, Sodom specifically reminds me of Peter Tscherkassky or Craig Baldwin if their obsession happened to be chaotic sex and violence. Plus, Sad day glad day looks like the best kind of depraved performance art. Definitely going to look more into his stuff, I feel like I haven’t checked out an exciting video artist for a few months now.
    That’s interesting about the TV show. How was writing with characters in the forefront? I know you’ve spoken about not being super interested in characters, plot, etc. in your writing, so I imagine it must have been a departure from the way you usually think and work. Also, how is everything going with ‘Them’? Looking forward to catching it later this month! I hope the trip to NYC was fine and the jet lag wasn’t too bad.

  10. i don’t have time for a full check in but for what it’s worth, the much-heralded “hereditary” both sucks and is an instant classic; more here.

    https://letterboxd.com/josiahmorgan11/film/hereditary/

    u don’t have to read it but some people here will probably gain something from it

  11. Congratulations on the new Yuck ‘n’ Yum, Ben and contributors!

    Luther Price looks totally up my alley, though I’ve sadly not come across his work all this time. SODOM has this flickering flow that’s quite mesmerizing.

    Hope the New York trip is going well, Dennis. I’ve mostly been hanging with friends in Berlin, caught a concert by some SF friends. The Biennale is on, with mixed reviews, so I’m not sure if I’ll go.

    Bill

  12. @ Bill, thank you!

    I’m at home today to wait for the deliveryman to collect a Compendium, and to email a couple of potential Glasgow-based distributors. Tomorrow I’ll head to the DCA to see if I can persuade their shop manager to stock this thing, which I think they really should. And I’ll go see the new Eve Fowler exhibition and the McQueen documentary that I’ve heard such relentlessly good things about.

  13. Ben, really nice Y’n’Y post and congrats on the compendium!!! i’ll be buying mine in a couple of days as soon as some cash hits my account:)

    hey denvertible, how’s nyc treating you? what is it about that apartment you got that’s so shitty? really cool day, didn’t know luther price, but now i won’t miss an opportunity to see his films if it should present itself! i’m done with 2nd year of my bachelor, school’s out, but we’ve been given studio space here over the summer so i’m still here and working. i’m doing some furniture-sculpture, for lack of a better description, it’s really fun. basically working with found pieces of furniture and textile primarily, i really do love interior design and fashion so i’m getting to use those instincts which is really nice. think i’m gonna do some painting too this summer. i got a stipend from the school for 20 000 norwegian kroner to develop my artistic practice! very very cool and unexpected. i will definitely be looking for textile shops in paris, now that i’m suddenly monied, and also obsessed with fabric. presumably you’re not the guy to ask, but do you know of any good places? or know someone who knows? you might remember i’ve mentioned my best friend with past addiction issues, we’ve just ended our friendship because of her recurring addiction and disinterest in seeking help or changing. one of the hardest things that’s ever happened to me and that’s saying a lot. it’s really shitty, but i’m doing really well somehow, i think our relationship was a little fucked up because of her issues and not good for me. i’m growing a lot suddenly. i’m keeping busy with my art and i’m working out a lot, haha, which i never thought i would like but i do. i’m on a waitlist for top surgery which might even happen before paris, fingers crossed. i’m really really excited for paris!! it’s like the light at the end of my tunnel, but in a good way! here’s one of the pieces i’ve been working on this spring/summer. hope you’re thriving in new york! love love love k

  14. grrrr i wrote a really long comment and clicked post and it’s nowhere to be seen. hoping this is some of that comment trouble you’ve been having and i just can’t see it? if not i will try again tomorrow xxx

  15. oh now i see my comments, weirderino…

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