Friday, October 26, 2007


Here is a fitting poem for a dreary and somewhat anxious Friday afternoon by my friend the very talented poet Patrick Lucy, all the way from Philly.


There was the lawnmower every other Tuesday
and the highway, nearby. In the wind,
when the trees are involved. In their applause.

The unsteady television, late night. The turning
washer, the turning dryer. In almost any piece of music,
music— especially in public. There it is.

No. Just a flute, way buried. In crowded restaurants.
The stall next to mine. The refrigerator’s gruff baritone.
In a Jersey roller coaster pleading the breaks. Hello?

The afternoon chorus of registers. Dragging the vacuum
back across the floor. Somehow, in the silence of hours
rarely visited. Hours that stand like minutes, briefly.

But groggily. And no. The Volvo engine’s cry
for motor oil beneath the speakers’ bark. In the
lower rumblings of airplanes. What?

I swear to god. In the warble of a man
pissing. Several birdcalls have me
reaching into my pocket again.

Patrick Lucy

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Full Length of Life

Atlanta suffered a great loss last week with the passing of Ronnog Seaberg at the age of 75. Her acrobatic and spoken word performances, done with her husband Steve, have been some of my favorite and most inspiring art experienced in Atlanta.

Here is a shot from the SCULPTUREYEDRUM show in January 07. Seeing this performance during the opening really set the tone for an incredible showing of sculpture.

The last performance I saw of the Seabergs was at The Contemporary as part of the 'Talent Show". Ronnog's politically charged poetry, paired with a saxophone played by Steve, was truly moving. From racism to the blunders of the current president, Ronnog's words had a transfixing power.

I never knew her personally but Ronnog's energy is something all artists should aspire towards.
Steve emailed this out, it's Ronnog's last poem


Old age like a tiger
ripping at your skin
to set your mind free.
We kneel of course.

If old age has such force
what strength birth should be
or the full length of life
and the whole earth!

The old silent movies run
from rusty projectors.
The spiderwebs the spiders spun
on spider spindles
food and fun.

Ronnog Seaberg
10.15 2007

Thursday, October 18, 2007

The Rubdown

Later Saturday night was Sunset Rubdown at the Drunken Unicorn. The album"Shut Up I am Dreaming" spent the first half of 2007 on repeat in my studio. And it seems a fitting show after leaving Eyedrum - there is one song called "I'm Sorry I Sang On Your Hands That Have Been In the Grave."

Looking back over these pictures I think I had one too many of them vodker drinks.

I've got at least ten shots that look exactly like this one:

My only complaint about the show was the venue - it was too crowded to move or really even see the band. It would have been excellent at Variety.

Who's this guy? My "overhead" shot missed the stage entirely.

Here's Sunset Rubdown live in Chicago. It's a slightly better shot of the band.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Death is a Dialogue Between

Fall is creeping in, leaves are starting to drain of color, the early morning air brings goosebumps, and a reminder of life's passing lingers. What better time for a show exploring the "cycle of life/death/rebirth in the garden"? The large group show "Dead Flowers" opened at Eyedrum Saturday night and will continue through November with performances, films, and even a funeral procession.

This show appeals to that part of me that loves the dark world of Tim Burton and cemeteries and Halloween and walking through the woods at night and why October is my favorite month of the year. This show captures the bitter sweet of death in a really well put together, excitingly experimental show. For me this show takes full advantage of all that the Eyedrum gallery space is capable of facilitating.

This show could be an Emily Dickinson poem.

Suzanne McQuaide, "Underground"

AMPLE make this bed.
Make this bed with awe;
In it wait till judgment break
Excellent and fair.

Be its mattress straight,
Be its pillow round;
Let no sunrise’ yellow noise
Interrupt this ground.


"A DEATH-BLOW is a life-blow to some
Who, till they died, did not alive become;
Who, had they lived, had died, but when
They died, vitality begun."

Ruth Standford, "Alfresco"

It's great to see a show were almost everything is organic - a living show that faces expiration, with each visit things will have further shriveled or fallen apart, decay is inevitable, but the present is stubbornly alive.

Katherine Taylor, "In Memory, Loving"

AS by the dead we love to sit,
Become so wondrous dear,
As for the lost we grapple,
Though all the rest are here,—

In broken mathematics
We estimate our prize,
Vast, in its fading ratio,
To our penurious eyes!

Angela West, "Sweet, like..."

There's got to be a good story behind this one. The deflated cake of saccharine flowers.

Alison Weldon, "Tomorrow Never Knows"

I love this piece - the huddled purple flowers look like they are drowning in their own perspiration as the red wall looms so menacingly.

I think Stan Woodard had something to do with this, for my part, very badly documented installation.

The mound by Pandra Williams is amazing. I've never seen a pile of dirt and bricks look more like a womb in my life. And from what I hear Williams hand made all of the clay bricks lining the inside of the tomb. I propose giving this piece a permanent home somewhere in this fair city - like Oakland Cemetery or in my backyard if I had one.


DEATH is a dialogue between
The spirit and the dust.
“Dissolve,” says Death. The Spirit, “Sir,
I have another trust.”

Death doubts it, argues from the ground.
The Spirit turns away,
Just laying off, for evidence,
An overcoat of clay.

And there was a performance piece by, I'm not sure who, maybe Lori Guarisco?

She emerged from the mound like a wood nymph and reciting common plant names with a sing-song relish that slowly aged into a bitterness of life lessons learned - or at least that is what I got from the chanting of "cattails, dandelions, and clovers..."

Bret and Jody (with bling in tow)

Claire Paul, "Lungs"

The opening was so full of people to talk to that I never got to see the entire show. I plan on making my way back over there soon (more pictures to come). The installation of this work created a space I truly did not want leave. In continuing celebration of the theme, there are events from now until the closing party on November 24th 2007. Check out the schedule on the Eyedrum site and be sure not to miss the experience of this show.

ok ok... just one more.... I could sit here and do this all day...


DEATH sets a thing significant
The eye had hurried by,
Except a perished creature
Entreat us tenderly

To ponder little workmanships
In crayon or in wool,
With “This was last her fingers did,”
Industrious until

The thimble weighed too heavy,
The stitches stopped themselves,
And then ’t was put among the dust
Upon the closet shelves.

A book I have, a friend gave,
Whose pencil, here and there,
Had notched the place that pleased him,—
At rest his fingers are.

Now, when I read, I read not,
For interrupting tears
Obliterate the etchings
Too costly for repairs.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Fall Chicks

“21 Under 30”, curated by Mary Stanley, opened at The Granite Room Friday night. Looking beyond the somewhat superficial reason for lumping 21 photographers together, the show offered a nice cross section of photography - with just about every format and process represented in the cavernous gallery space.

Brandon Jones had a really nice series of diptych lambda prints. "Bathroom Break/Championship Jesus" above and "Communal Dissent/Communal Ascent" below.

But back to the issue of age...honestly, what’s age got to do with anything here? What's the point in having a showing of art from a particular age group? I think art can be more readily divided by "new idea" vs. "old idea" than "young person" vs. "old person." I can't say that this show proclaimed any new movement in the under 30 crowd or separation from photographers in their thirty's on up.

I guess I don't like the art market's fixation with artists under thirty and this idea of “the one to watch” being propagated. It sounds like something on the cover of Cosmo. It reminds me of the "Movers and Shakers" show at MOCAGA. Really, how many of these people will still be showing when they actually turn 30? Nobody knows but I guess the work won’t be as interesting since they will be so old. Isn't thirty suppose to be the new twenty anyway thanks to all the growths hormones and antibiotics in milk? But that's neither here nor there...

Maria Watts, "Intuition"

One of the highlights of the show for me were the two works by Stephanie Dowda from the "Time & Time" series. "Red" above and "Blue" below. I had seen "Red" a year prior at the ACA gallery and it was interesting to see what I remembered about it versus what information is actually given. The fragmented images seem to play with memory, giving only snippets, and in the past year my mind had filled in the gaps, creating a rather fuzzy but complete image.

Apparently the guy in the plaid is on Law and Order. (the plaid below that is)

Trevor had to have his picture taken with the celeb. The first four attempts may have been considered "discreet" but after that I think the guy started to notice.

Turns out the guy, Christopher Lowell, had some really beautiful work.

"Sisters #14, Atlanta, Georgia"

"Ginnifer & The Dolls, Memphis, TN"

This was Trevor's favorite piece in the show. Called "Nest" by Jessica Triggs.

Stephanie and Erin contemplating ageism - or something.

The video installation "Lost in Media Soup" by John Paul Floyd added another dimension to the show, blurring the boundaries of photography, and toying with our media riddled culture.

So young! So fresh!

Christian Bradley West had a nice grouping of small, contemplative works on aluminum. Which were in sharp contrast to his very sweet ride that I heard grumbling through Castleberry Hill long before I saw it.

The show is up at The Granite Room through Nov. 1st 2007.

Friday, October 12, 2007

The Space In Between

Alec Soth spoke at the High Museum last night.

New Orleans, Louisiana 2002

He said that even though he works with an over arching theme in each project, such as photographing along the Mississippi River in the Sleeping by the Mississippi project, the photographs are really about his own "wandering."

Bonnie (with a photograph of an angel), Port Gibson, Mississippi 2000

Soth had a lot of say about photographing people. He finds it incredibly difficult to approach strangers and convince them to allow him to take a portrait. He actually hates the experience but feels completely "energized" by it and wrestles with the issue of "using" the people that he photographs by portraying them in a certain way.
The model often has to wait more than ten minutes as Soth is setting up and adjusting his large format camera. He said the photograph is as much about the space between two people (himself and the subject) as it is about the subject, themselves.

Impala 2005
Soth also said he does not see photography as "storytelling" but instead it "suggest things" more like "poetry."

I can't go on like this 2005

It was an interesting talk. Soth showed an incredibly large body of work - going all the way back to an example of a high school painting to show the complete evolution of his work. Next on his plate is a commission with the High Museum in which he is a doing a series on the south, but couldn't bring himself to show any of the work yet. He approaches a subject, like the south, cautiously, with no preconceived idea of what will catch his attention and eventually grow into the themes running through and linking the work.

I was curious to hear how his very great and popular blog evolved and how that coexists in his life as an international art star but it never came up.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Home Revisited

I had the opportunity to speak with Susan Todd-Raque this past Wednesday about the show “Responding To Home” currently at the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia. Todd-Raque curated the show and it was interesting to hear her inside perspective of how the show came together and her purpose behind it.

Susan Todd-Raque with a work by Karen Tauches

One of the curatorial decisions Todd- Raque explained to me was the placement of Karen Tauches’ large works on the wall opposing the entrance. Tauches’ works are ghostly photographs of homes imagined as disappearing in Atlanta’s great appetite for gentrification and leveling of buildings for something new. Being the first thing seen as the viewer enters the space, it sets the tone for a show dealing with the past and memories.

For me the house alludes to a ghost that seems to haunt many artists in the show. I learned from Todd-Raque that some of the photographers were documenting a home or town from childhood, a place they had since left for better or worse, and were now returning to, documenting their own reconciliation. Each photographer was grappling with their own loss, or the large divide, between childhood and adulthood.

While I still believe some photographers did a far more successful job than others in returning to these homes and capturing the loss of time, i.e. Joe Siegel’s work is amazing, this concept makes the overall show a very worthwhile venture into the possibilities the camera provides, and ways in which people use the camera, as a coping mechanism to deal with the passing of time.

The show is up at MOCAGA until Nov. 24th 2007. Check it out!

Related Post:
Sentimental Snapshots

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Show 'n Tell

More on my art-packed Saturday - I spent a majority of the day getting my photography looked over at Atlanta Celebrates Photography Portfolio review. It was a great opportunity to meet with gallery owners, curators, etc to discuss the work and also the fine art photography business in general. Admittedly, I left the reviews feeling a little disappointed in the lack of actual critique I received, but with a 20 minute time limit there may not have been enough time for the reviewers to dig that deeply.

The highlight of the entire experience was the Artwalk later that night at Grady High School. The 58 photographers involved in the review were given tables to lay out their work and the great citizens of Atlanta walked through, turning the place into a show 'n tell of really incredible photography. I was so impressed by what I saw, here are a some favorites:

Chuck Hemard from Columbus, GA was there. It was cool to meet him and see more of his work after seeing three of his pieces in the current "Responding to Home" show at MOCAGA that I wrote this post about.

Nancy Floyd, professor of photography at Georgia State, has a great series on guns and the women who use them.

Laura Noel's candid photographs were stunning and in retrospect I think she may have a thing for watching people smoke.

Pamela Pecchio, from Asheville, NC, had really incredible work. (and a cool tattoo)

The photograph below is called "Sutures." Why do I love this so much?

And from getting close enough to take this one Pecchio said she actually got lyme disease (which, let it be known, she has since been cured of). All I have to say is - it was so worth it.

The very cute Stephanie Dowda was showing off her work. She also has some work at the current Beep Beep show - pictures of which can be seen in this posting. And will also be in the "21 Under 30" show opening this Friday.

Her work takes a very different approach to portraiture by placing herself in the frame with the close friend she is photographing. The portraits become more narrative but the figure of Dowda seems to be engaging the viewer more than the subject. For me the works seem like I am being let in on a secret, Dowda is very aware of the viewer, and is purposefully showing the viewer an intimate moment, while acknowledging this action to the point of placing herself in front of the camera instead of behind it.

And Christian Bradly West who is also in the show '21 Under 30" opening Friday.

His photographs are created with silver emulsion on aluminum and the imagery is layered and rich. (Hope that kid didn't get lyme disease).