Monday, October 1, 2007

Swerving off course (or 'sleight of blog')

30 September 2007

I know -- you're waiting for me to track back. Believe it or not, I actually do have something more to post about Allison Miller (I made a quick reconnaissance over ACME last weeek just to make sure I hadn't lost it between galleries and autostrada that particular night; I have a certain distrust of my own enthusiasms and obsessions); and there were the other shows I mentioned. Then there was the sleight-handed Whitney Bedford's show I saw that Friday night (the 21st) at Cherry & Martin which was notable (though perhaps alarmingly perishable), as well as the Vincent Valdez at Western Project the previous week, where I ran into my old L.A. Weekly pal, Lynnell George and met my new Weekly pal, Daniel Hernandez. (Kidding -- though I wish he were. A moot point in any case: he's off to Mexico City to write a book taking off from the feature on Mexican electoral politics he wrote for the Weekly this past year. He was a model for some of the Valdez paintings.] Oh yeah -- Ry Cooder ... [sound of my heart stopping] ... was there. What a gas.

And no -- I'm not going to spend much time right now on the Francis Älys show at the Hammer. Yeah, I went to the opening (though not to the press preview; I haven't read the catalogue, which I'm assuming is either written entirely by, or at least features an essay by, Russell Ferguson; he co-wrote the Phaidon monograph on Älys). It's both a little too 'interactive' and perhaps not interactive enough (if you can grasp that paradox) to give a meaningful or coherent précis of its various components and presentations, much less a critique of its overall success as a show. By that, I mean I need to play with it a little more; and I hope I'll have an opportunity to do that.

And I missed the Swerve festival stuff, the openings downtown and in Westwood (I mean, besides the Hammer). I'm exhausted, of course; but beyond that, I'm absorbed in a magazine feature I'm writing on an important L.A.-based artist, whose work has such a sweeping and richly resonant cultural compass, that it seems to be threatening a breakdown in the electric grid of my synapses and vacuuming up every bit of cultural intel and awareness (okay I didn't say it wasn't limited) around them. It's like summer in my brain with less than adequate air conditioning. Or something like that. Anyway, my brain's smithereening in a zillion directions from Calvino to the Clash, Barbarella to La Notte and everything in between ('so what else is new?' you say), and I'm just trying to pull it all together so a reader can follow it on the page. Does that make any sense? Anyway, bear with me. Hopefully, it will be worth it.

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