Kristi Steinmetz’s students in Multidimensional Storytelling and the Art of Seeing are spending time with art this week, both in the halls of the New School and at the High Line (where Olga Breydo’s Architectural Narratives students went earlier this term). They’re also watching Beyoncé’s Lemonade (which Hinton Als put in the context of several other artists when it was released). (What’s more, Zadie Smith has a marvelous essay—”Dance Lessons for Writers”— on Beyoncé and other mesmerizing performers in The Guardian this week.) All the while Kristi’s students are taking notes and, as Kristi explained to them in the course prompt, trusting their “aesthetic and instinct” to lead them. I’d be very pleased to have some commentary about these visits below.
High Line Notes:
A swarm of bugs going in circles under the light above the park.fast.com billboard “so you can’t parallel park, it’ll be our little secret.” 7:33 pm, highline, October 19th
Sad narrow man playing sad narrow mandolin under bridge with empty food carts. 7:38 pm, highline, October 19th
Irrigation system on highline? Sound of water rushing. Self-contained river. Art installation, or practical self-cleaning system? Is this bad for the environment? Probably. 7:42pm, highline, October 19th
Trees with bright orange leaves at night. The first of the season to turn. Beautiful against the indigo sky overlooking the Hudson. Highline. 7:45 pm, highline, October 19th
Film screening at highline. Mary Reid Kelley “we’re wallowing here in your disco tent” (good pun)
Makes erotica films based on Greek mythology/ historical events. Creepy and weird. 7:47 pm, highline, October 19th
Zoe Leonard: 1992 “I want a dyke for president” so good. 7:50 pm, highline, October 19th
“The one that got away bone” Charles street & highway by Hudson in graffiti on the side of the center road wall
8:06 pm, West Side Highway October 19th
“Hold Up” Beyonce
What is she telling?
“Are you cheating on me?”
She is telling a story (maybe her story? indirectly) of the emotions a woman goes through when there is infidelity in a relationship. But, “Hold up” particularly shows Beyonce (or the woman) in a different light. She is portraying angry and crazy emotions, that are not tied to the “feminine” persona. As she takes her bat, and smashes windows she is liberating herself, and other women that feel like they are bound by having to be “ladylike”.
What is the cultural story?
“Tried to be soft, prettier, less awake”
Beyonce creates a duality between the feeling of being cheated on in a relationship and how it feels to be a black woman in America. They’re one in the same, she illustrates this.
What truth is being revealed?
She reveals how infidelity in a relationship affects a woman, and her identity. She reveals how this feeling is similar to how a African American woman feels in America. We feel cheated on. Constantly our culture is appropriated, without recognition. We’re ridiculed for the same things that women of other cultures and races are praised for, from black men as well. Through this she expresses the frustration of the black woman.
“What’s worse looking jealous or crazy?”
This also portrays the frustration with the “angry black woman” stereotype. Black women, including myself often silence themselves, or do not speak on certain things in fear of being portrayed as ‘angry’ or ‘crazy’.
Response to “Parents”, Master of None
“Do you understand?”
What is the embodiment of you?
“You”= the outcast
“Buffering took forever” – First World Problems
“Fun is a new thing.” “Fun is a luxury.”
When one is born with privilege and opportunity, one might not realize what past generations gave up and fought for to achieve their present.
Working for future generations, while giving up your own present.
Portrait of a person inspired by the story of “Master of None”
Lola Ribot Garrós was born in Pineda de Mar, Spain in a different era. I call her “yaya”, translated to grandma in English. She lived through my mother, her six siblings, the field that soaked up her drops of sweat, and the descendants she might not even live to meet. She lived through me.
Dream: To become a truck driver.
Reality: Taken out of school to work on the field and take care of a family of six.
Dream: To travel the world.
Reality: Urged her daughter and brother to learn perfect English and get out of that damn town.
Dream: To never be alone.
Reality: Husband died at the age of 50. He was never replaced.
My grandmother is the living and breathing definition of experiential knowledge ruling over scholarly knowledge.
Casual dialogue between my brother and I:
“I will not walk you to school. I don’t want to be seen beside you around my friends….”
“Max, I hate you!”
“You forgot your keys again. I’m only letting you in if you sign this paper to show mom that you are an irresponsible little girl.”
“Max, it’s always your fault!”
My grandmother’s response:
“How come you kids are so rude to each other? What do they teach you in these overly expensive schools you go to?”
What did she work for?
I visited the High Line Park in order to get inspiration for my writing the sequence 2 paper. There were several art works that motivated me to write about the topic “what is home?”
The first sculpture I saw was called Wanderlust. It instantly reminded me of the journey my family went through to get to America and how their meaning of home is no where near the same meaning I have of home.
The second piece that motivated me was the lavender field in the High Line. It was windy the day I went and the way the flowers moved back and forth but never broke apart from the stem, made me realize a metaphoric meaning to what is a home. This made me question whether home was a physical space that could be entered, like a building or if it was a connection or emotion you had with a place.
I also visited MoMA because MoMA always seems to bring new ideas in mind to me even when I feel like there’s no hope of coming up with something good.
At MoMA I was inspired by this art work of a sock hanging off of a blanket and it once again tailed back to the idea of home. I thought perhaps the sock was attached to the corner of the blanket because that blanket was it’s home. It did not want to be completely attached to his home but it still wanted some part of it so it hung by the corner of it. This also reminded me of my moms journey to get to America. Her home was somewhere else but she had to leave. Even when she left she held a piece of her to that home.
Besides the High Line and MoMA I was also moved by a picture I took myself. I was riding the subway to go to Soho on a Friday morning when I realized the subway was completely empty except for me and another person. I started to think about how New York had become my new home and what that meant to me.
Overall I was able to collect different pieces of art that added up to different stories that created the collage piece I’m currently writing.
As I was watching lemonade I decided to write a haiku to the video for Beyonce’s “Holdup”
Doors are an ocean
A Woman stands before me
A river can dance
The touching episode, “Parents,” on Master of None, creates very real generalizations as well as similarities between first generation American citizens and those who have lived in America for generations. To demonstrate these similarities, the episode balances the comedic questions and requests all parents ask of their children with immigrant stereotypes. I found myself relating to Dev’s parents who are a completely different from my family because of the way that Ansari created the balance.
Beyonce’s Lemonade tells the stages of a bad marriage and a woman’s coping mechanism with these truths through music and visuals. This piece isn’t just about listening its about FULL EMERSION. FULL ENGAGEMENT.
Pulling from all media and all history– interconnecting it with her simple story of love and loss.
Within Beyoncé’s Hold Up video, she delves into the stereotype of the ‘angry black woman.’ It begins with her coming out of the suffocation of water and emerges in a gorgeous yellow dress. The yellow dress is indicative of her African roots, representative of the African Goddess Oshun, according to Dr. Amy Yeboah, associate professor of Africana Studies at Howard University. Theres a powerful sense of pride as she runs around with a baseball bat smashing down mirrors and windows of cars, as men watch in awe. She draws in images of children dancing in smashed fire hydrants, drawing parallels to her childlike sense of being carefree. The video stands on the cusp between denial and anger, as she begins with the image of her immersed in water, and ends with the image of her standing in front of fire.
Beyonce’s video of Hold Up from Lemonade questions the faithfulness of her marriage, and shows an internal dialogue to make sense of the feelings she has.
What the video brings to effect that solely hearing wouldn’t do is Beyonce breaking away from the idea that women should be well-mannered, polite. They should act, sit, talk like women, and not break that image. But in this video, Beyonce goes through the town smashing and breaking shops, cars, fire hydrants, expressing her anger and her mixed emotions. She takes back the power that’s been taken away from women who are advised to “act like a girl”. The video shows empowerment as she is most certainly not the only women who’s felt betrayed in a situation like this, it shows unity and solidarity.
Around the halls of the New School, there are numerous art pieces and installations that stand as you pass to classes, so normalized you forget to notice. Going to a school where art is so ingrained into our culture, it’s easy to take it for granted. In the main lobby of the University Center, there are neon purple words that curve the words above the heads of students that study and talk and walk through. The piece was commissioned by the school to Glenn Ligon, features the words from Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass. In an interview for the New School Free Press, the explanation he gives is this:
“Whitman created a new space in which to consider the American experiment, and over one hundred and fifty years after its publication, the poems in ‘Leaves of Grass’ continue to echo throughout the culture,” said Ligon. “The quotes in this piece are reflective of a space of encounter and transience, a restless space that in Whitman’s poems is characteristic of the space of the city.”
On the first day I actually stopped to read the words, I had already been in the space several times. I was coming down the stairs walking home from class when a small orchestra of students was playing down below, and our group stopped to listen. Finally looking up, I began to read the words that I had not before given much thought as students came and went and music played throughout the whole space.
In preparation for writing a collage essay, I was tasked with watching Beyonce’s Lemonade and considering the questions she sought to reconcile.
I thought about closure.
How do you remember how someone’s been loved and lost without remembering how you’ve lost? You asked the guide at the tribute center if those were the names of all the victims. It was a tall, white wall with short, black names and, no, they’re sorry but the tribute is exclusive. They only mention the loved ones whose families can afford to remember them. You look down. You don’t know if it’s because you’re ashamed to have asked or if it’s because you’re ashamed for them to have said it. You walk outside and you think you should’ve known. There’s a big waterfall to remind everyone how they’ve been forgotten. Tourists from Greenland are taking pictures on a gravesite. You wish they could have their own museum for their own tragedy. You wish they had walls covered in blown-up images of their divorce papers, and you want them to take pictures in front of a plaque that explains how their uncle bit cancer. When did your incessant need for closure turn into buying tickets for the memorial museum over and over again? When did remembering a loss become a matter of listening to hysteria on loop? You have to watch the projection of a woman jumping off a building to consider how it’s “Always Remember” and “Never Forget,” but they’ve already done the opposite.
One of Beyonce’s newest songs titled “Hold Up” is one of her greatest hits yet. Throughout the years, rumors had been spread multiple times claiming that Jay-Z (Beyonce’s Husband) had cheated on her. With Beyonce’s debut visual album, it is clear through her lyrics, that she had been cheated on, and she did not hold back at all during any of her songs. The video of “Hold Up” starts with Beyonce falling fully-clothed into the water as her voice over says “I tried to change, closed my mouth more” signifying that she wanted to try to act in different ways because she thought she might have been the reason for Jay-Z’s affair, and so she was silent as she didn’t want to spark up an argument or maybe find out the truth. Beyonce continues on about how she tried to be “prettier… and more awake” and almost seems as if she is blaming herself throughout, trying to become someone that could change her husband’s mind. Beyonce falling into the water signifies her diving into her thoughts, and getting in touch with her soul and mind; reflecting. “Fasting for 60 days, wore white, abstained from mirrors…”, Beyonce is trying to tell us that she tried to cleanse herself and almost rebirth who she is in order to understand and change what was happening in her life. She asks herself “are you cheating on me?” as if changing her mind, soul, and body in any way possible could ever fix the decision he made, and yet Beyonce still didn’t seem to fully know the truth. When the doors finally open, and Beyonce walks out as the water rushes past her, it shows her finally coming out of her denial and questioning; the truth is revealed. She is wearing a beautiful yellow dress as she holds the door open and lets all the water flow down the stairs. As previously seen under the water, Beyonce looks saddened, but as she struts down the street, her power is restored and she looks like the baddest bitch in the world. She is ready to take on revenge for the pain and suffering her husband has brought upon her, and she proudly shows that emotion as she continues on her way. During this moment, the lyrics begin and the words “Hold up, they don’t love you like I love you. Slow down, they don’t love you like I love you” play. These words are Beyonce telling Jay-Z that no matter who he cheats on her with or how much he hurts her, there is no one that will ever love him like she loves him; she is the only one that can ever treat him the way he wants to be treated. She continues with, “what a wicked way to treat the girl that loves you” showing how stupid Beyonce thinks Jay-Z is for acting after all the love and support she has shown him. Beyonce takes a bat from a little girl and immediately a big smile appears on her face. She feels strong, powerful, and rejuvenated and she is ready to let out her anger with no one to stop her. She skips playfully down the street, bat in hand, and the words “I smell your secrets, and I’m not too perfect, to ever feel this worthless. How did it come down to this?” play to say to Jay-Z that she has known about his adultery and she loves herself enough to know she doesn’t deserve to be treated in such a disrespectul way. Right before Beyonce is about to strike the car, she says “I don’t want to lose my pride but I’m gonna f**k me up a bitch.” Here, Beyonce is getting serious, and she is showing her anger at her fullest potential. She is telling the world that she will not be taken for granted and will act on what’s most important to her. She swings the baseball bat at the car and finally releases her built up feelings. Continuing on, Beyonce is free and is letting the world know that her freedom to express herself is back, and she will no longer be silent or kept in the dark. She smiles while continuing down the street, and she’s not nearly close to being done with showing everyone how she feels. Beyonce is having a great time, big smile still on her face, and everyone around her is looking at her, almost applauding her for releasing these emotions. “What’s worst, looking jealous or crazy?” Beyonce repeats over and over in the video, as she dances around town breaking objects and acting a bit “crazy” because her husband has done a horrible thing to her. The destruction being caused in the town signifies the feelings of her world being torn apart from finding out that the love of her life betrayed her trust and her love. She keeps a happy face while chaos is all around her because that is how she had to act when she was suspecting of her husband but couldn’t speak on it. Beyonce has had to pretend she is okay throughout everything, and the damage she caused to cars, shops, fire hydrants, etc. represents her internal emotions during these moments. Lastly, Beyonce begins laughing because she realizes what her world has become and how she knew her suspicions were correct the entire time, while it was only brought up to the table recently.
Master of None
-Ansari captures and talks about culture in a compelling, entertaining, yet enlightening way.
-This episode not only govrs appreciation to the sacrifices parents make, but the sacrifices people in certain cultures make.
-Very real and realistic, not over dramatized or forced dialogue.
-Aziz Ansari shares a piece of his real family history.
-This episode shows how jaded the next generation has become, not realizing the struggles their parents had to go through.
David Shringley “MEMORIAL”
A monumental slab of granite is erected in Central Park. For such a seemingly important piece of stone, it was engraved with not-so-important words. Crackers, cheese, peanut butter. The grocery list continues. Ziploc bags, shelf brackets, aspirin, tampons.
What makes an item list worthy? How do the words that don’t make it on the list feel? Is an actually grocery list as important as a David Shringley’s list sculpture?
Ironically, my notebook I use for writing features a piece by Shringley with a frail peculiar man declaring, “I ♥ LISTS.” What a strange world. A world full of lists, and pictures of lists on top of notebooks where people write lists, and giant list sculptures.
Aziz Ansari plays Dev in his new show Master Of None. It portrays the difference between immigrants who moved to America and their first generation children. In episode two “Parents” the viewer is given a glimpse of parents growing up in India and Taiwan. They do this to show how differently their kids live from them. Dev’s father says, “Fun is a new luxury only this generation really has” and it could not be more accurate. One of Dev’s friends says he cant run an errand for his father because he wants to go to a movie theatre to answer trivia questions. Meanwhile his father had to kill his chicken as a kid to have dinner. It does show this generation isn’t as grateful for the luxuries they do have. I related to this and it reminded me to be more mindful and appreciative.
While watching the second episode of Master of None, a Netflix Original, I was very amused because I could relate to it so well. As a first-generation child who grew up in an Asian family, there were many scenes portrayed that I also experienced while growing up. It also made me realize how many hardships my parents had gone through in order to be where they are right now. They both left their families in Korea to start a new family and their own business in America. This episode inspired me to document more events in my life so I will be able to share them in the future with my peers and family. It was also very well produced and directed, and I hope to incorporate this style into my writing so those who read my work will able to feel as touched as I was when watching this episode.
Notes on Lemonade
-A part that really hit me was the sequence before “Daddy Lessons” where Beyonce asks “Am I talking about your husband? Or your father?” I felt like this drew a connection to Freud’s Oedipus Complex theory and how our development and experiences with our parents growing up reflect themselves in our romantic relationships. People always tell women to date a man that treats you like your father does with a positive connotation but what does that mean for women whose father’s treated them or their mother’s horribly?
– “Foward” always makes me sob. There’s the surface meaning up pushing forward through the hard times in a relationship but then there’s this heartwrenching second layer that deals with being Black in America. This part of the visual features the mothers of police brutality victims, civil rights activists, and Leah Chase, the owner of a Creole restaurant known to serve some of the most prominent civil rights activists. I felt the pain of these women but also hope. The image of us as a people being able to keep pushing forward and keep fighting for our rights and futures. It’s a very cathartic scene.
– How amazing to see a prominent Black woman create something for Black women. I live!
– The nods to the orisha, Oshun. I love it.
– “Love God herself”
Notes from the High Line
Nari Ward “Smart Tree”
– Everyone interested in the car parked on the High Line
– Great representation of the merging of nature & electronics, I can make parallels to our everyday life
Zoe Leonard “I Want a President”
– Poem still applicable despite being written in the 90s
– Makes me wonder, what has changed in society? Has anything changed?
Tony Matelli “Sleepwalker”
– Incredibly lifelike, many passersby unsure if it is real
– This makes me feel sad, I feel like I’m intruding on an incredibly private moment
– The way people stare/mock the statue also make me sad (do I feel sad because the statue looks so human?)
It was one of those cliche “I’m living in NYC and this is everything I hoped it would be ” moments. The sun was setting over the Hudson as I gazed upon Zoe Lenard’s “I Want A President” at the High Line. Lenard’s piece had me speechless. Finally! Someone finally said it! Like most young adults my age I am disappointed in my country and that this presidential election is my first. I want to be passionate about who I am voting for not choosing between the “lesser of two evils”. “I Want a President” perfectly sums up what I feel it’s like to be a minority hopelessly watching from the sideline. Politicians say they empathize for people like me but the truth is they can’t because they haven’t even lived the half of it. I want a president who lives among me not above me. This idea that we’re making so mush progress as a country is false: Zoe Lenard’s “I Want a President” was installed at the High Line no more than a couple weeks ago and has inspired hundreds of people but was written in 1992.
Speaking based on a visit to the High Line, there were various art pieces that I would initially attach with being abstract. Though all works of great interest, such as the Smart Tree (Nari Ward) and Sunbathers I (Kathryn Andrews), I was most intrigued by Barbara Kruger’s, “Untitled (Blind Idealism Is…).” Kruger’s pieces stay uniform throughout her portfolio in terms of appearance, but I wondered why specifically this piece of art was chosen to be amongst the High Line. As large as it is, it’s hard to go unnoticed. So, what representation can be brought from the words places on the wall?
Regarding the words that were not crossed off by red paint– “Blind Idealism Is Deadly” — could easily relate to many general topics. Though in current times, it was brought to my attention amongst peers that this could be a phrase even geared towards the election of 2016. I didn’t find the association with the election at first, I saw it more as a general statement. Blind idealism in this case intriguing myself to think of a false utopian generalization. Though, I am still curious as to what Kruger sought to portray with these words.
“Why are these people so mad”
Deflecting the twins from the real problems by telling them to look for some food to eat
“They are children”
“They are black children”
“Soft pedal the real”
“It’s a gray area”
OJ is the default: We had to root for him and That’s the sad part
“There are to kind of people you need to worry about; the police and thugs”
There are only 7 words you need to know when you talk to the cops:
“Thank you, sir”
Cooperate with the cops make it so that you see your day in court
Beyonce’s, “Hold Up”, music video notes:
Watching Beyonce’s, “Hold Up”, the visuals all invoke different feelings. The yellow shades and tones of the music video once she leaves the mansion is ironically mellow and soothing despite the fact that a second ago she was reciting a poem of the betrayal she’s feeling. Her long and flowy yellow dress and the sun shining behind her as she angrily smashes car windows. Emotions of anger, hurt, and betrayal as she questions, how could you do this to someone who loves you? It’s a good kind of insanity. An outlet for these intense emotions and to express them. Is it viewed as insanity because it’s coming from a woman? A woman of color? Maybe this is why I have under reacted to when someone asks me where I really am from because simply saying, “New York”, does not satisfy them or tell me how exotic looking I am. As if I am an animal from the jungle. In fear of being perceived as angry instead of just taking their remark as a compliment.
“I want a president” by: Zoe Leonard
Even though it was made in the 90’s it is still relevant today with the current election. We still don’t have all she has described but with this upcoming election it is possible with Clinton and Trump being the controversial candidates they are. Since this was written we’ve had a black president, which was stated as a thing she wanted. It’s crazy to see that not much has changed in 20 years.
“Lemonade” by: Beyonce
The whole album revolves around the realization of her man cheating on her. First she goes with her intuition, then to denial, anger, apathy, emptiness, sense of responsibility, then she rebuilds, forgives, resurrects, hopes, and finally she achieves redemption. It’s the way of life. She shows everyone that she is just like us, she has flaws and people can try to step all over you but you need to perspire and defeat your rivals.
Silhouette painting of a woman with birds flying through her by: Kara Walker
She creates this to show how people can try to walk through you and won’t help you when you need them. They can take advantage of you and ruin you but you have the strength to fight back and defeat those who challenge you. Also, people only care for themselves not for you, you need to look out for yourself otherwise people will take advantage of you.
As I sit on the Highline, looking around at all of the unfamiliar faces, new smells and sounds, an entirely different place then I’m used to I try to find familiarity with the world I know. I look for my mom as I watch a mother hold her young daughters hands. I try to imagine that one day that little girl would grow up to be just like me, sitting at a park bench thinking about her mom between the phone calls and text messages that connect you. What I would do to go back to that time. But I’m not too different from the little girl. She holds her moms hand to support mine, and even though mine is hundreds of miles away she will always be my number one support system.
Further down, there is a piece of art on the side about the kind of president a women wants to see. “I want a dyke for president” is how the piece begins. Again, I find a familiarity with this art piece I had never before seen to my own life. God I hope, I really actively hope, that a female gets elected. It’s time right? As I ponder this thought many more New York tourists scurry past. To them, I’m a stranger working on some homework, to me they are the subjects. Character studies in the story of finding myself in this unfamiliar world.
I try to focus in on a conversation that a young couple is having close by. Here are a few of the things I catch:
Girl: How am I supposed to be friends with her anymore?
Boy: You always do this
Girl: Oh my god you have got to be kidding me
Boy: Again with the drama *laughs*
Girl: You’re laughing.
I begin to tune out, hoping the rest of my generation can try and have more interesting conversations then this couples. They are fighting about fighting. Again, a familiarity in this new world comes to mind. Fighting with my twin sister about anything. Never big, but always just driving each other slightly insane. A little smile creeps on my face subconsciously. Funny how when we take a second to appreciate how new things are they suddenly become instantly familiar.
“I want a president,” Zoe Leonard
“Sunbathers I & II,” Kathryn Andrews;
“Wanderlust,” Various Artists;
“Smart Tree,” Nari Ward;
“Untitled,” Barbara Kruger
The experience of the High Line expand far beyond the message of the individual pieces themselves. This is because they were set up not to display themselves but to accompany the park in a way that distracts attention. But everything about the park is distracting. The plants include Seuss-esque trees and thistles and grass that reminds me of Kansas plains. The plants seem to be breaking up the concrete, and the architecture is like a winding stream. It suggests that it’s unfinished but in motion. With the skyline, its’ a place where memory and imagination converge. All the art can be described as disruptive. It demands your attention and doesn’t allow you to take your current existence lightly. Contrary to the peaceful experience I associate with most parts giving, the High Line is trying to fight your complacency.
My trip to the Highline and the exploration of art around The New School.
With visiting the Highline and having the thought process of looking for related concepts and the meaning behind the various art, I perceived it in a whole new way. I had never really thought of how the agriculture and art went hand in hand with the philosophy of New York city and industrialism. When visiting I was still a little unclear of just how a collage essay worked but looking at a landmark such as the Highline in a new way really helped me process the ideas behind a collage essay. One art piece that really stuck out to me was the “Sunbathers” by Kathryn Andrews. It depicted a simple white sign with the words “Beyond this point you may encounter n**e sunbathers.” It is a simple art piece but it evoked such a sense of freedom and individuality. Her appropriation of pop culture is fantastic and proves that even a simple font can’t have a big impact. (and a funny one at that)
A similar situation occurred with the observations of art around our central school building. I had never paid much attention to it before so I am glad you assigned it. After looking on each floor I realized that all the pieces weren’t merely student art but works done by significant and impactful artists. Many of the pieces had some social issue as the main focus and inspiration, ranging from race to politics. The art seemed almost juxtaposed within the building yet they all came together in an odd way. Definitely a metaphorical concept that assisted me with my collage essay. my favorite piece had to be Kara Walkers silhouette piece on the third floor, the emotions of race identity and violence were very much present.
Hold Up Analysis
-Her monologue/words show vulnerability
-Water is a symbol of birth/rebirth, makes me wonder how they filmed it?
-I envision scenarios of it happening, the confrontation between her & Jay Z
-Even though she’s calling him out there’s still love behind her lyrics
-The damage to pretty things is a symbol for her
-“I don’t want to lose my pride”, by admitting this, she’s normal and understood
-“I’d rather be crazy”, addresses the crazy girlfriend stereotype but admits it’s okay
High Line Art Performances
-Movement #2, dancers move slowly and change position, reveals a vulnerability among the chaotic city, intimacy yet removed from their surroundings, makes me wonder what they’re thinking to portray these strong emotions on their faces?
-Composition 20, musicians stand on their amps while performing songs simultaneously, use their medium as a pedestal to stand on, new definition of spotlight, solo performances but all together, makes me think of an art installation I saw at the Broad in Los Angeles.
The “Denial” part of Beyonce’s latest album “Lemonade” starts with her falling down into water. She wears black suit. The monologue starts right from the beginning. She unzips her clothes. We see her in a bodysuit drowning in a bedroom filled with water. She starts speaking faster and her moves became swift. As if she was transforming into someone. We see her swimming out of the room to the hall. The front door opens. Beyonce in yellow dress walks out of the house. She comes down from big stairs. Water pours on the steps. She is walking down the street. Takes a bat from little boy’s hands. Crashes car windows with it. Crashes store camera. Dancing on the top of the car. She laughs and smiles. It’s started to rain. Kids are dancing on the wet road. Her hair and dress stream in the breeze. She looks right into the camera. She spins the bat in hands. Hit! The camera falls down crashed. We see the bat on the ground net to her feet. She is leaving. The scene ends with that little boy anxiously looking into the camera.
“I tried to change. Closed my mouth more, tried to be softer, prettier, less awake. Fasted for 60 days, wore white, abstained from mirrors, abstained from sex, slowly did not speak another word. In that time, my hair, I grew past my ankles. I slept on a mat on the floor. I swallowed a sword. I levitated. Went to the basement, confessed my sins, and was baptized in a river. I got on my knees and said ‘amen’ and said ‘I mean.’
I whipped my own back and asked for dominion at your feet. I threw myself into a volcano. I drank the blood and drank the wine. I sat alone and begged and bent at the waist for God. I crossed myself and thought I saw the devil. I grew thickened skin on my feet, I bathed in bleach, and plugged my menses with pages from the holy book, but still inside me, coiled deep, was the need to know … Are you cheating on me?
Cheating? Are you cheating on me?”
“I Want a President” – Zoey Leonard
– written in 1992
– Eileen Myles
I’ve seen these piece all over the place, and I do love it. The first time I saw it was probably on tumblr, twitter or facebook, uncredited as so much art of circulating the web is. Looking at it superimposed on a wall is different to seeing tiny pixels on a screen. The words have always resonated with me, but what I’m finding interesting is how my brain registers the piece differently according to it’s presentation. I’m much more inclined to look at this piece as “Serious Art” than the digital versions, because people obviously put in the time money and effort to install it on such a large scale. Before I had seen this installation I categorized this piece of writing as just another poetic chunk of writing I liked online. Looking at it towering over me now I am forced to see it as more than that. So I wonder what the intention of putting this piece here, now, is. It evokes feelings of this nightmare of an election, sure that’s impossible to ignore. But why not super impose a new piece of writing about this election? Why dig back to 1992? perhaps to highlight the parallels between this time and now, to say “We really have not moved much farther forward.”