When you think someone is a genius, and then she asks you to collaborate with her, it’s a real high—a huge compliment and a terrifying dare. Years ago Cecilia Dougherty asked me to help her with the sound for her 2001 video Gone, a piece based on the 1970s PBS documentary series An American Family. She used the Le Tigre song “My My Metrocard” in the soundtrack (later this passage of her video was projected behind us when we performed the song live), and I recorded some original music and sounds for her. I used an MPC 60 and an 8-track in the Le Tigre sub-basement practice space on Mott Street and bounced the mixes to DAT tapes. I still have a cookie tin on a high shelf full of those tapes with labels like “Pat’s Theme” and “Fake Park Noises II.” Gone will be screened with more of Cecilia’s brilliant videos at Anthology Film Archives on April 20th. A conversation with another great person will follow: Ed Halter.
Seagull’s creative-color visionary Carly designed this custom editorial blond for Shaun today. Way more subtle and weird than the My Little Ponies of the pink spectrum, this pastel patina is more like a rosegold take on the vomitpink phenomenon and the pale pink walls of Seagull itself. Carly diluted color to the perfect barely-there shade and balanced the rosiness with a wash of green undertone for this mauvey, mossy blond-pink haircolor we are calling “Dusty Rose.” Pastel pink blonde haircolor by Carly.
County Down is a cross-platform, episodic, digital film exploring an epidemic of psychosis among the adults in a gated community that coincides with a teenage girl’s invention of a designer drug. Mirroring rave culture and the unbridled optimism around technology during the 1990s, County Down presents a society so obsessed with novelty and consumerism that it euphorically embraces its own destruction. The multigenerational cast of downtown performers and artists including: Chloe Bass, Becca Blackwell, Ellen Cantor, Patty Chang, Marti Domination, Nicole Eisenman, Jim Fletcher, James Fotopoulos, Andy Haynes, William Powhida, Emily Roysdon, Kate Valk, Stephanie Vella and Sacha Yanow. The soundtrack and musical arrangements are by Johanna Fateman, formerly of Le Tigre, and also include music by JD Samson, Wynne Greenwood, Long Hind Legs, and Lesbians On Ecstasy. Costumes and Styling are by GGrippo.
Sanja Iveković, Sweet Violence, 1974 (video still, via MoMA)
“Is it more surprising that Croatian artist Sanja Iveković has never had a major exhibition of her work in the United States until now, or that this overdue retrospective is taking place at MoMA? Iveković’s work is overtly political, incisively tackling issues of women’s rights, life under dictatorship, East-West relations, and the political struggles in the countries of the former Yugoslavian federation, both during and after Communism. Moreover, it defies easy categorization in terms of medium and style: though the exhibition,Sweet Violence, is presented under the aegis of MoMA’s Department of Photography, the work on display ranges from photo-based conceptual projects to collage, drawings, performance, video, and installation. Iveković has exhibited widely in Europe, and is considered a crucial figure in post-war Eastern and Central European art, yet she is little-known in the United States, an art historical blind-spot this retrospective aims to correct.”
I wrote about Sanja Iveković’s MoMA retrospective for Idiom.
Something I didn’t talk about in the review, but have found consistently interesting (perhaps more accurately: annoying) in the way the show has been discussed are the comparisons drawn between Iveković and the work of her American counterparts—Cindy Sherman and Barbara Kruger, mostly. Such discussions are perhaps inevitable given that MoMA has a Cindy Sherman retrospective on view a few floors above, and the artists are roughly the same age, working with certain similar themes, but framing Iveković in these terms strikes me as being far more limiting than productive. Frankly, a more relevant conversation might center around the fact that it is unprecedented for MoMA to be presenting two major solo shows of female artists at the same time, particularly since both are coming from the same curatorial department. Which is to say: why these two shows, these two artists, at this particular time? And, moreover, why this particular department—is there something inherent about photography as a medium that lends itself to exceptional female artists, or is this a matter of curatorial decision-making? Never mind the fact that the discussion only ever goes one way: I’ve yet to see anything discussing Sherman in terms of Iveković. Instead, the implicit assumption is that Iveković is elevated by the comparison to Sherman, Kruger, and so on; that she is a “minor” artist who needs to be validated (even though, from the vantage of Eastern and Central Europe, Iveković is hugely influential—a decidedly “major” one.)