Aaron Cockle here today with Jackie Kirby at the Rowhouse Residency; Leonara Carrington; Babel Unbound; some dispatches from the CBLDF; Florine Stettheimer; William Blake
A poet and a comics maker, they really dug deep into their practice while they were here and had a lot to share and teach Frank and Sally and the Pittsburgh comics community in their turn.
“My conversations with Frank were thoughtful, engaging, and exciting. Among the most interesting aspects of our discussions was comparing analogies of music and poetry to comics. I know very little when it comes to music. Half-kidding – it’s one of the few popular art forms I’m not a snob about, and I’ve tried to keep it like that. Frank, on the other hand, is a total music nerd. I came into his house for espresso one afternoon and he presented me with a piece of scrap paper on which he had written “2/3 ¾ rectangle riff seen from a poet’s pov in relation to ‘meter’ / and relation to ‘the Breath’ or Dylan’s ‘long line of spit.’ ”
Frank and I chatted for hours regarding this. He would riff for fifteen minutes or so about music and I would respond with a riff on poetics. Forty five minutes could go by without comics being explicitly mentioned once, but the composition and formal techniques of comics practice underlined every moment. When I brought this up, Frank brushed it off, saying “Of course we could talk about how Robert Crumb is this or that but we both know that.” What’s interesting is what we can learn from each other.”
‘Even though you won’t believe me / my story is beautiful’
At Hyperallergic, looks at some books by Leonara Carrington:
In her memoir and fiction — and, in retrospect, her visual art as well — Carrington strives to understand people’s “systems;” to peer into them and visualize all their beautiful or ugly selves, often through animal incarnations, as in fables. Evil characters have hair “like black vipers” or “a little bird’s laugh,” and good ones have skin that glints like stars. In Pamela Robertson-Pearce’s 2000 film about women Surrealist artists, Gifted Beauty, Carrington advises, “We have to listen to the soul … and to know when it’s a soul. … Each soul has a daemon.” It seems to me that both her writing and visual art takes up this very exercise — a kind of study of the human soul.
Closing July 8 at the CIT Wandesford Quay Gallery in Cork, Ireland, Babel Unbound, by Leslie Mutchler and Jason Urban.
Referencing a series of historical works intertwined with the function and performance of the library, such as Aby Warburg’s Atlas Mnemosyne, Borges’ The Library of Babel, and Walter Benjamin’s Unpacking my Library, the artists contemplate the library of today- one filtered through reproducibility, access to information and an ever-evolving understanding of curation, aesthetics and the archive. The library is a fertile place for exploration, a place that most often prioritizes use over display whereas the gallery is a site that prioritizes display over functionality. Babel Unbound attempts to do both; and while doing so slowly becomes aware of itself, as illegible, complicated, incomplete…
At the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund
A couple of recent posts of note from Maren Williams at the CBLDF:
- Cartoonists Under Threat Worldwide
Two years after the attack on Charlie Hebdo staff, the world’s free expression focus has largely shifted away from cartoonists. That certainly does not mean the danger has disappeared, however, as a recent 30-page report from the French nonprofit Cartooning for Peace/Dessins Pour la Paix shows. The report brings together profiles of cartoonists under threat and background information on the free speech situation in the countries where they work — or from which they’ve been forced to flee.
- New TSA Rules May Require Books to be Scanned Separately
Air travel in the U.S. may be about to get a bit worse for the literate, as the Transportation Security Administration is reportedly testing a new requirement for passengers to remove books and other paper items from their carry-on luggage during security screening. While the TSA says the proposed new policy arises only from scanning machines’ limitations in discerning explosives from other contents of packed bags, there is no doubt that privacy concerns can and will arise.Testing of the new procedures quietly began last month at a handful of small airports including Colorado Springs, Boise, and Lubbock. Since that time, according to the Wall Street Journal, passengers at larger airports have also encountered new rules on paper goods but those rules may “change line by line, airport by airport.”
‘You might say she took the red, yellow and blue that Mondrian was just discovering and added purple, orange, pink and black.’
Roberta Smith at the New York Times reviews the Florine Stettheimer: Painting Poetry show:
The first Stettheimer cult was the one she painted. After a disappointing — and premature — solo show at Knoedler in 1916, she exhibited most frequently at her private salons. The women in her scenes were almost always her mother and sisters. The men were for the most part movers and shakers of the small New York art world, dandies, if not gay, who frequented the salon and admired Stettheimer.
Block Museum of Art
William Blake and the Age of Aquarius will consider parallels between Blake’s time and mid-twentieth-century America, touching on such issues as political repression, social transformation, and struggles for civil rights. Blake’s protests against the conventions of his day were inspirational for many young Americans disillusioned by perceived cultural tendencies of social uniformity, materialism and consumerism, racial and gender discrimination, and environmental degradation. This generation sought in Blake a model of independence, imagination, and resistance to authority. The exhibition will feature American artists for whom Blake was an important inspiration and will include more than 130 paintings, prints, drawings, photographs, films, and posters, as well as original Blake prints and illuminated books from collections throughout the United States.
A Cosmic Journey – 7-4-2017 – by Cameron Arthur
Suzy and Cecil – 7-4-2017 – by Sally Ingraham
Joanie and Jordie – 7-4-2017 – by Caleb Orecchio