In 2008 I was working at the Whitney Museum of American Art. It was my first job out of college – I know, I know. Except the problem was that the Whitney is on the Upper East Side and I’m a downtown girl at heart, born and raised in the bowels of the East Village. Working on the Upper East Side has a certain effect on a person like myself – a person who grew up in a studio apartment on Saint Mark’s Place with two bohemian parents who suggested activities like ‘drawing to music quietly’ in Middle School in lieu of going to see R-rated movies with boys that would inevitably try to put their hands up my skirt, and who regularly gifted me copies of everything from Karl Marx to Sun-Tzu with meaningful handwritten notes inside (‘You are the future’; ‘Save this planet from itself’; ‘Revolt! Be mutinous!’) even when I explicitly requested gift certificates to shitty stores that weren’t age appropriate like Victoria’s Secret (to buy bras I didn’t have the tits for), or Joyce Leslie (to buy club clothes for clubs I was too young to get into).
A fictive retrospective of The Bruce High Quality Foundation
Two nights running I woke up with heart going crazy. The first time, as I lay there in the dark, I heard a group of guys outside. They were running, shouting 'Hurry!' and 'We'll miss it' I wondered if I should do something, but I couldn't hear any fighting or smashing glass. I got up when they were all gone. I kept my light off and parted my blind to look down.
Interview with Sophie Calle
Sophie Calle is France's most celebrated conceptual artist. Her highly autobiographical, multi-disciplinary work combines the confessional and the cerebral, and is typified by the imposition of often bizarre rules and schemes upon her everyday existence. Her work – realised in photography and film, writing, performances and installations – is simultaneously emotionally wrought and clinically detached, inducing in its audience a furtive sense of voyeurism and intrusion.
Barking From the Margins: On écriture féminine
May 2, 2011. The novelists Siri Hustvedt and Céline Curiol are giving a talk at Shakespeare and Company in Paris. The shop is filled to bursting, and the audience spills onto the sidewalk outside. The topic of their discussion, they announce, is the ‘strange bias against fiction in general and fiction by women in particular.’ Men don’t read books by women, they lament; women’s writing seems only to appeal to other women. ‘Would you have written the same book if you were a man?’ Curiol reports having been asked on numerous occasions. The question, she implies, has become so banal as hardly to be worth answering: ‘Yes, no, maybe,’ she says. Both authors dismiss the idea that men write as men, and women write as women.
The Lady of the House
Wow it’s so still. Isn’t it eerie. Oh yes. So calm. Everything’s still. That’s right. Look at the rowers – look at how fast the rowers are going. Ominous – yes, like the calm before the storm. If you like. Look at the rowers! Two long boats and bodies – rowers – like rungs or something. Like notches or rungs – or struts or bolts – something. The sound of the machine drying the bathmat behind me in front of you, very low – a good machine. Time to leave you to it pretty much. Handwriting, here and there – little notes, as you go along, things not to forget. They move me actually. Along with the photo on your travel pass, they move me.
Thank You For Your Email
Two years ago I was walking up a mountain path having been told of excellent views from the summit. The day was clear and hot, the sky wide and cloudless. There was only the sound of my breath, my boots treading, and the faint clonking of cowbells back down the track.
Occupy Gezi: From the Fringes to the Centre, and Back Again
Taksim Square appears at first a wide, featureless and unlovely place. It is a ganglion of roads and bus routes, a destination and a waypoint, at once central and marginal. Many of the people and neighbourhoods surrounding it are also simultaneously at the centre and the fringes. The square lies in Istanbul’s nightlife district of Beyoğlu – vibrant yet seedy – a must-go spot for visitors who want to see more than just mosques and the Hagia Sofia.
11 22 2011 – Love Dog For months Hamlet has been floating around. Its book covers popping up everywhere. Non sequitur references during my classes with Avital Ronell. In other texts. In my letters to Elaine and in her letters to me. The other night, in my laundry room, someone left a copy on a shelf of donated books. On tables at work. I even stole one copy and took it home with me as a token, as proof.
Interview with Paul Muldoon
A major figure in English-language poetry for decades, Paul Muldoon has enjoyed one of the most successful careers of his generation. His first collection was published when he was still an undergraduate at Queen’s University, Belfast. Famously, Muldoon’s schoolteacher sent on a batch of his poems to Seamus Heaney (allegedly asking him what was ‘wrong with them’, to which Heaney replied, ‘Nothing’) and Heaney later recommended Muldoon’s work to his editor at Faber & Faber, Charles Monteith.
The New Writing
The way I see it, the avant-garde emerged at a point when the professionalisation of artists had consumed itself and it became necessary to start again from scratch. Art had already been invented, and the only thing to be done was to go on producing works, and the myth of the avant-garde came about to restore the possibility of making the journey from the origin again.