January 23, 1987 |
It's ironic that French philosopher Jean Baudrillard has become a theoretical guru for many Post-Modernists. His post-Orwellian warnings about loss of meaning in an image-saturated society, where language exists solely for the mere "ecstasy of communication," have proved very seductive to the younger generation of painters who have emerged since conceptualism. What better way to justify painting's renewed life after death than to attach it to a philosophy that appears to validate redundancy?
February 3, 2002
Something about mimes really ticks people off. Maybe it's that precious handing-out-flowers-in-the-Latin-Quarter thing. Or perhaps it's the vague air of menace associated with whiteface. Either way, if the anti-mime jokes, Web sites, "Why We Hate Mimes" lists and mimes-versus-clowns feuds are any indication, the art of pantomime doesn't look like much of a growth industry. But Derek Martin isn't just another arty gesturist.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 5, 2001
Last month the Museum of Contemporary Art posted 61 billboards throughout Los Angeles. Designed like curators' notes, with black letters set against a stark white backdrop, the billboards tersely describe features in the landscape around them, encouraging harried commuters to consider urban details they may have dismissed as mundane.
September 13, 1993 |
Howard Stern, Shock-Jock. The words are almost inseparable in any media description of the now top-rated morning radio host. And although the expression may be a convenient (and by now, conventional) shorthand for describing the complex Stern, it obscures a deeper, more noble truth about Stern and his broadcast.
July 9, 2000 |
A cluster of bronzed young boys floated on bodyboards in Hurricane Harbor, eager for the lifeguard to activate the wave pool. Many of them had paid $23 and waited half an hour to spend just nine minutes riding the 2-foot mechanically generated crests at Irvine's Wild Rivers Waterpark. Why a virtual beach when a real one is nearby? "There are better waves at the beach, but it's more accessible here," said Chase Paddack, dripping and winded from the pool.
August 1, 1993 |
The chic underground has been featuring piercings and tattooings. Whips and chains are prevalent in fashionable photography. The shocking self-penetrations of recent body-centered performance art are being rationalized by concepts of "empowerment," of "owning" our bodies. We hear references to Rome in its decline, primitivism and savage mutilation rites.
June 14, 2010 |
Poor Flag Day. It has to be the single most ignored national holiday in an otherwise patriotic country that loves its holidays — and no, it's not just because we don't get the day off. Nor is it because Flag Day gets lost between Memorial Day and the Fourth of July. The real reason that most Americans ignore the June 14 holiday is that it's utterly redundant. In the United States, every day is Flag Day. That's right. In this flag-crazy world, Americans are arguably the most obsessed with our national banner.
January 3, 1988 |
"April Galleons," John Ashbery's 11th volume of poetry not counting his recent "Selected Poems," sails in the postmodern waters whose nauseous chop and spooky fog this poet loves so well. His skill and cleverness (and something more) are such that he makes the reader appreciate, if not the waters, then at least the navigator's talents. How can you not like a gifted poet who wants you to have a good time sliding around on his deliberately slicked decks?