Monday, December 27, 2010
For the end of 2010, Art or Idiocy? has invited ten guests to each contribute a list of ten items. Join us each week as a new list is published. Earlier contributors include Steve Ruiz, Danielle Paz and Nicole Mauser.
Thea Liberty Nichols is an arts administrator, independent curator, and writer who lives and works in Chicago.
Please enjoy this top ten set of songs I like to think of as "Beatles or Idiocy." All these tunes are slightly cracked and kooky in their own way; from a remix of an original, to an original run backwards; from operatic, mod, cabaret and big band style cover versions, to some barnyard animals and Tiny Tim thrown in for good measure. For the connoisseur of the awkward, happy listening! You can listen to them below, or have them to keep HERE.
Beatles or Idiocy?
1. We Can Work It Out • Jamie and the J. Silvia Singers
2. Ob La Di Ob La Da • Beatle Barkers
3. Can't Buy Me Love • Cathy Berberian • Revolution
4. Penny Lane • Better Beatles • Mercy Beat
5. In My Life/Here, There and Everywhere • Dianne Carroll • ABC Television Special
6. Esuaceb • Seltaeb • Sdrawkcab!
7. Girl •Tiny Time with Brave Combo • Girl
8. b--thd-y • EasyEW
9. A Hard Day's Night • Keely Smith • Sings The John Lennon/Paul McCartney Songbook
10. Help • Joah Valley • Beatle Songs (The New Wave Sound of Joah Valley - Maximo!)
Monday, December 20, 2010
For the end of 2010, Art or Idiocy? has invited ten guests to each contribute a list of ten items. Join us each week as a new list is published. Earlier contributors include Steve Ruiz and Danille Paz.
Nicole Mauser is a painter currently living and working in Kansas City. She has an upcoming exhibition and teaching fellowship at The University of Chicago’s Department of Visual Arts in 2011. She is a culture-hungry carnivore.
NICOLE MAUSER: TEN IN TWO-K-TEN
1. Flamenco at the Berlin Philharmonie
On my way to a Rudolph Stinglel performance and installation at Neue Nationalgalerie, I crammed into the elevator with a group of French students. They were running late to a Flamenco performance in the same Kultureforum complex. They asked directions and I obliged. When I realized I had the month and day mixed up for the Stingel event (I forgot the detail that the day is listed before month in EU), I tagged along with them. The performance blew my mind. I was not expecting the dance to be such a language of fierce sadness. The final performer was channeling the character and death so deeply, she was moved to tears during the performance. It brought the house down. Just like working in the studio, being flexible to being waylaid can really pay off. Best $10 euro I ever spent.
2. The Red Shoes (1948)
Originally done in brilliant Technicolor, the film recently enjoyed screenings across the country as it has been remastered and released by Criterion after a seven-year effort. Based on the Hans Christian Anderson tale, this film is “quintessential backstage drama.” I wonder if we will be seeing Aronofsky drawing from it in the forthcoming Black Swan.
3. IMA 100 Acres
The opening day for this park was electric. I appreciated the unexpected austerity, integrated landscape, and local fauna of Alfredo Jaar’s contribution. The IMA curator in charge of this undertaking, Lisa Freiman, will be representing the US with Puerto Rican duo Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla at the upcoming Venice Bienale.
Berlin Philharmonie = Awesome Acoustics • Moira Shearer as Victoria Page in The Red Shoes 1948 • View from Alfredo Jaar’s Park of the Laments at The Indianapolis Museum of Art’s 100 Acres
4. Kathryn Andrews (Rubell Collection)
Andrews was one of those artists that if you don’t know the work when you finally encounter it, feel blindsided. Her piece, Baldessari, composed of mirror, steel, and reflection of Goya Series: THE SAME ELSEWHERE, 1997 by
John Baldessari was stunning.
5. Lesley Vance (Art Basel)
Pay no mind to the reproduction; these little paintings are sheer knockouts in person. I’m really interested in her dive into a specific period of painting’s history and usage of the photograph as mediator for still life and process.
6. Sigrid Sangstrom (NADA)
The first time I encountered Sangstrom’s work, it was a large-scale piece that attracted my attention yet ultimately underwhelmed. The next day we returned and the booth had switched up their inventory (as many did to stay
fresh to repeat customers). The smaller works slowed me down, posed more questions, and kept my attention. Long live landscape.
7. West Gallery (Art Basel)
This booth at Art Basel Miami was a smart and challenging site-specific installation by artist Jasper Niens. Inside, our reward was a series of strong formalist works by Jan van der Ploeg and other Netherland-based artists.
Kathryn Andrews • Baldessari • 2010 • mirror, steel & reflection of Goya Series: THE SAME ELSEWHERE, 1997 by John Baldessari • 75 x 60 inches • Leslie Vance • untitled (39) • 2010 • oil on linen • 16 x 12 inches • View from inside West booth at Art Basel Miami
8. Do You Read Me?!
Located conveniently near numerous gallery spaces on Auguststraße, I was repeatedly sucked back into this bookstore. A fantastic space to discover new periodicals such as Gentlewoman, and get caught up on the latest Text Zer Kunst (Btw- did anyone else read the Painting Issue?). It’s like a larger version of Chicago’s own Golden Age. Thanks to DYRM?! my new guilty
pleasure is, Apartamento. *(A top ten list is not going to even scratch the surface of painting in Berlin. The Gemäldegalerie left me awestruck after three visits in one week. If you have the opportunity, you must go.)
9. Indiana Dunes State Park: Escape from Chicago
The Dunes State Park has a serious, unique, and uncanny beauty. Spare yourself a toll-road drive and take the South Shore train straight to the park. Spend the day communing with nature and do the dune hike. This secluded park has immense and wild beaches squeezed between two steel factories pumping out bucolic puffy white clouds. It gives way to a decidedly apocalyptic mood. On the woodsy trails I felt as if I was in Mathias Poledna’s lush Crystal Palace piece. Enjoy!
Tobey Albright & Claire Michelson perusing periodicals inside, Do You Read Me?! • Indiana Dunes State Park • Everyday abstraction in KCMO
10. Homeless Abstraction, On Repeat, Blue Highways
I’m thrilled to be back in KCMO working on a new body of work and haunting my favorite spaces for nurturing art (Grand Arts, Dolphin, Review, Nerman, Charlotte Street, and many more). During my daily commute, I pass this painted image on the front door of a provisional church while listening to John McLaughlin’s Peace Piece. I am enamored by this architectural non sequitur. Does anyone else notice it? What was the urgency that caused it to pop up? Is it religious or political? Was it always there? It is part the fabric of everyday. A book that left a lasting impact this year was not theoretical but personal, somber, and multi-layered. If you are into Americana, philosophical introspection, and taking off on road trips in the face of disintegrating
relationships, then dust off this eighties best seller: Blue Highways.
More images on
Friday, December 10, 2010
For the end of 2010, Art or Idiocy? has invited ten guests to each contribute a list of ten items. Join us each week as a new list is published. First was Steve Ruiz.
Danielle Paz is a Chicago-based artist working in video, photography and installation. She believes watching movies everyday in the winter is a good thing to do.
2010 has been a year of reacquainting and reassessing.
This list is a sampling of the material and non-material that changed things around a bit …. a casual -sort of- chronological list of memorable stuff.
- A marketing executive giving a lecture for my piece, Devices for Illusory Space at Reception Gallery.
- On the Political Imaginary exhibition by Tania Bruguera at the Neuberger Museum of Art. Specifically, experiencing Untitled (Havana, 2000), 2000. Walking in the dark and smelling the dank, sweet smell of sugar cane and not knowing you would happen on figures later in the distance, unforgettable.
L: Danielle Paz • Devices for Illusory Space • 2010 • photographic slide lecture • R: Tania Bruguera • unititled (Havana, 2000)
- Trifecta of Thievery - Bike, wallet and smart phone stolen within two months of each other.
- Last Tango in Paris, again.
- DeerHunter’s Halcyon Digest So varied and thoughtful, it reminded me how satisfying it is to listen to a complete album, from beginning to end.
L: Marlon Brando & Maria Schneider in Last Tango in Paris • 1972 • Bernardo Bertolucci, director • R: album cover for Halycon Digest by Deerhnuter
- Divine Ms. M performances at the Continental bathhouse from the 1960’s on youtube.
- Pork rinds from one of Atlanta’s really great restaurants, Sauced. This took me back to my mother’s farming people.
- An Open Letter to the Frameworks Community from the founding editor of UbuWeb, Kenneth Goldsmith. I visit the ubuweb site all the time, specifically looking for certain works or even perusing. This letter defends and explains the short history of this comprehensive archive that seeks to give free access to all sorts of media-related artwork otherwise unavailable outside of an institutional setting. It does not seek to reproduce or lessen the value of the work, just merely provide a glimpse.
Pork rinds • The Carolina Chocolate Drops • Joaquin Phoenix
- Seeing the Carolina Chocolate Drops at the Park West in Chicago. This was a performance like none other. It was pure enjoyment in the act of playing music----A pair of dried cow bones used as castanets, c’mon.
- I'm Still Here Directed by Casey Affleck. Experimental film documenting Joaquin Phoenix’s transition from actor to rapper. Unsettling and hard to watch, there has been talk it was a hoax. Feels too crazy to be a hoax to me.
Thursday, December 02, 2010
For the end of 2010, Art or Idiocy? has invited ten guests to each contribute a list of ten items. Top tens, worst of's, specific subjects, sprawling samplings, join us each week as a new list is published. First is Steve Ruiz.
Steve Ruiz is an artist and writer living in and around Chicago.
He makes paintings and writes about art, mostly at Chicago Art Review.
Ten Things to Download
Like a lot of people, I spend a good amount of my day working on my computer. To make this time more pleasurable, I like to keep an eye out for software that lets me do things easier, faster, or just better. Here are ten applications which are nice to have around. Note that most of these are for Windows, but some are for Mac too.
This tiny application delivers nearly instant results when searching for files on your computer.
While Notepad++ is most useful as a tool for writing code, it's also open enough that you can use it as a very customized word-processing or note-taking application.
Dropbox is probably the most useful application I've ever used. It creates a local folder which is synced between all of your computers or devices - including phones - allowing you to pretty much re-gift your USB jump drives.
VLC Player http://www.videolan.org/vlc/
VLC does it all for video, covering almost every file type, and allowing as many display options as you can think of.
Windows Office is great, but if you want a free, constantly improving alternative, go for LibreOffice.
HoeKey lets you bind custom actions to any key-strokes, so it's great for reducing common, multi-step actions to a quick command, like opening a new e-mail with Control+Shift+E.
WinDirStat lets you see at a glance exactly where and how all of the space on your hard drive is being used up. Great for deleting big things you've forgotten about.
OCD about your music? MP3Tag makes editing ID3 tags on your music a breeze.
Everyone loves a good cracked copy of Photoshop, but if you're at work and need to do some visual editing, go for GIMP.
Google Chrome http://www.google.com/chrome
Fast, stable, secure, and very expandable browser. There's no going back!