I’m the King of Jubilee Jumbles

artist Nayland Blake natters on about art and other things

Archive for February 2005

Today’s Headline

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SPITEFUL, BIGOTED POTATO ENTRANCES
MILLIONS BY CONTINUING TO LIVE

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Written by naylandblake

February 28, 2005 at 12:22 pm

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Elaboration…

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…on some themes from yesterday:

It’s been a fraught few weeks, attemting to fit what essentially is a full time job into a part time schedule, preparing a series of pieces for exhibition, and maintaining a sense of connectedness with the world and with others. In the midst of it I’ve been feeling the lack of mentorship, of older and more experienced artists to talk to, and in a sense to be unformed in front of. At the same time I’ve been going out and seing things, as one does here and more often than not they have served to point up my current dilemma. A patial list: The Nomi Song, Night: an exhibition of photographs by Peter Hujar from the late 70’s and early 80’s, and Richard Foreman’s latest play The Gods Are Pounding My Head. They have, singly and in combination, made me, as I put it yesterday, sad.

Sad because they have forcibly brought home to me the loss of my own adolescence, the end of the city I grew up loving, the current scarcity of work that inspires me, indeed, the lack of available mentors. I feel two reasons for this. One, Foreman articulates beautifully in his program notes for his play:

I come from a tradition of Western Culture in which the ideal,(my ideal) was the complex, dense and “cathedral-like” structure of the highly educated and articulate personality – a man or woman who carried inside themselves a personally constructed and unique version of the entire heritage of the West…

…But today I see within us all (myself included) the replacement of complex inner density with a new kind of self – evolving under the pressure of information overload and the technology of the “instantly available”. A new self that needs to contain less and less of of a repertory of dense cultural inheritance – as we all become “pancake people” – spread wide and thin as we connect with that vast network of information accesed by the mere touch of a button.

The other cause is simply AIDS. The Nomi SOng reminded of the frightening alienness of the early years of the epidemic, and for me personally, I have been feeling the empty vastness of the museums, the silence of the halls and clubs that might have been filled up with the works of those artists who are gone. Seeing Hujar’s pictures was like stumbling on the beautiful wreckage washed ashore long after the fact. It seems ludicrus to be saying it at this point, but I feel that those of us who are left are still shell shocked, even iff we don’t know it. Today I see the simpering trivialities who populate the meatpacking district and I think Ethyl Eichelberger died and made way for that?

I know it is incumbent on me to keep going, because I am one of the ones whose still around, and every work is a testament to and an argument for a way of life, even if that way is as Forman is argueing, already compromised. But I’m tired right now, and confused, and looking for someone further along to tell me what to do next. And even in the midst of that I am a surly and wounded pupuil who retreats and rebels and is a little too in love with the sound of his own voice.

In the midst of thoughts like these I have to say that I found Donnie Darko to be more symptom than relief: thoughtful but bland. Many people have recommended it to me first because it has a guy in a rabbit suit in it, but also because I sense that it was pivotal for many of them. I respect that, but I have to say that it wasn’t enough to pull me out of my own orbit.

I did see two things that cheered me yesterday: The Saul Steinberg show at Pace, and The Tigerlilies’ Shockheaded Peter courtesy of Thor. Puppetry always makes me glad.

Written by naylandblake

February 25, 2005 at 8:06 am

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What, more snow?

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I’ve been feeling out of it for days now, actually going home sick with what felt initially fluish but seems more like exhaustion, seeing as I slept 13 hours subsequently. I’m lucky I don’t own a three ended candle, since they’d all be alight. Wallowed in Project Runway last night and I know it will please some folks to know that I have now finally and officially seen Donnie Darko. (sorry Matt, I know I was supposed to wait, but the netflix envelope kept taunting me). And now I hear more snow is on the way to New York today. For those of you who are new subscribers.

Much of the art I see these days makes me sad – and now I’m off to see many, many images of not very good work.

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February 24, 2005 at 8:59 am

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Protected: Hiya Dominic

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February 21, 2005 at 12:41 am

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So much for more substance…

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That wasn’t really me who wrote about wanting to make this journal a more engaging experience…

Written by naylandblake

February 17, 2005 at 3:35 pm

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That’s what “friends” filters are for…

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Somehow, every time I tell someone new about this blog, I seem to go into a period of not being able to post to it. Recently I told my oldest friend about it and sent him the url – then immediately no desire to write. Or no will to write or no ability to write. I think that if people listed “writer’s block” in their interests, it would probably be one of the top connections everyone has.

To look at the stalled writing thing: If I was examining this from the outside, I’d say that my reluctance stems from a fear of rejection (oh no there’s another person in the audience now). LJ deals with that by providing filters to chop your audience down to a manageable size. But my problem is lying somewhere beyond that:the feeling that if I don’t turn in well crafted little essays here , like those of the posters I admire, I’m not really doing it.

(response pre-empt: I know I should just do it come what may, and that what ever I post is fine)

And yet it’s not fine. There is reflection and then there is reflection. There is the recounting of the day’s events, the blurting of moods, and then there is the the use of writing as a way to make something of those moods and events. I feel like I’m not allowing myself to do the latter. I make faint efforts, but no more.

I’d like to do it differently, to provide something here that more approaches real content, something that helps me think.

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February 15, 2005 at 9:43 am

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Protected: Smackless….

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Written by naylandblake

February 15, 2005 at 8:18 am

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