Saturday, April 26, 2014

Annie Marie Musselman, Cottontail Going to Heaven.  From the sequence, Finding Trust.

Annie Marie Musselman, Nighthawk.  From the sequence, Finding Trust.

Two photographs made during the photographer's time as a volunteer at the Sarvey Wildlife Care Center in Arlington, Washington.  These pictures, particularly Cottontail,  touch something very deep in me that is not really accessible to language, what you might call an "ethics of care."  I highly recommend a browse through all 37 of the profoundly moving images from this sequence available at the photographer's website. (Scroll button located at upper left, above the paragraph of slightly ripe introductory text on the home page).

(In southwest BC, the Wildlife Rescue Association does similarly underfunded work, & once saved the life of a friend of mine). 

The author and critic-novelist-number-one-LA Clippers fan Mike LaPointe solve the universe's problems down the block at Gene Cafe.  Snapshot poetics by Keith Jardine.

After Pushing the "Site Reload" Button Approximately 50 Million Times...

Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, Portland OR: 10th row, dead center

Marymoor Park, Seattle WA (Saturday night): 6th row, dead center

Marymoor Park, Seattle WA (Sunday night): 4th row, dead center

Monday night & on: really hoping the road crew can use a volunteer semi-pro blogger/photographer.

"The important part of art, music, literature, theatre and film has always been immaterial, so it’s inevitable that the smart artist today would work with a medium in which the details of the final work are left up to circumstance. The same video played on three monitors will have three different colour schemes, but the specifics of any work are not what matter in the end. One point of refuge is the institution. If the work reflects on the structure it inhabits it can be contingent, devoid of concrete details and still cared for and looked after. The dematerialization of art is just an adaptation to contemporary conditions of production, which do not need to be seen as characterizing some millenial shift to the digital, but just normal and typical flimsiness. In distinction, there is work that is a real particular thing, that wants to be concrete and therefore specific and therefore unique."

To which I can only add, in the depictive arts, one consequence of what RL describes as the work's desire for concrecity and specificity is the underlying assumption that every aspect of a depiction counts toward some kind of cumulative effect, even if by undercutting or complicating that gestalt.  Each part of a depiction, even a so-called dumb photographic one, is presumably the result of an artistic choice. Handy example: Metzker's horizontal blurs.  Or the broad comedy of Baldessari's Wrong (1967), which I read as saying, All that matters is a snapshot's subject -- Hey, look at John over there! -- but the moment snapshot poetics start being evaluated for all-over cumulative-art-effect, something clearly goes "wrong."
Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Material for a Double Self-Portrait

Ray K. Metzker, Trolley Stop, 1966

The question of the challenge Warhol's Disasters (c. 1963) posed to to black-and-white "fine art photography" reconsidered from inside photography and not refracted through painting.  This extraordinary image is owned by MOMA but I've never actually seen it displayed there.  My guess, viz. the horizontal blurs that knit the composite image's densely textured surface together, is that Robbert Flick must know this picture well.  I saw a knockout exhibition of Flick's work at LA's Rose Gallery in February, but had never previously accounted for the impact of the "photojournalistic" aspect of Warhol's practice on either Flick or Metzker. 
Sunday, April 20, 2014

Fraser Garage, 2014

What a beautiful dream
That could flash on the screen
In a blink of an eye and be gone from me
Soft and sweet
Let me hold it close and keep it here with me, me


Elegant, 2014

Tip of the hat to Robert W. Chambers.

The author on his premises.

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