I don't normally like to discuss my personal life here, except to the extent that it enters into the world of art. Likewise, I realize that it's painfully cliche to apologize for not updating your blog more often. I'd hate to do that. But I do want to say that I've been suffering from chronic insomnia, which makes it difficult to to write, think, experience art or to do much of anything else. If anybody has any unworkable folk remedies, by all means let me know. The more colorful (and ridculous), the better.
On a slightly less self indulgent note, if I'm not feeling too lousy, I'd like to follow-through on my long simmering plans to visit Boston later to this week. Among other things, I'd like to see (and write about) some art. Things that seem of particular interest include the Decordova Annual and Linda Price-Sneddon's "The Trees Have No Tongues", currently up at the Hallspace gallery. I like Linda's kind of work and don't get to see any around here. Wandering around the MFA would be nice, for old times sake. Saturday, Mobius is organizing a day of performance art and other oddities in front of city hall. Finally, Eva Hesse in NYC, if I can make it there. She's neat. If anybody has any tips, let me know.
I spent a few hours this afternoon at the Johnson, most of them with Willie Cole's travelling "Afterburn", which features work made in the past decade. (The title is a joking reference to his signature motif, the iron.) You might have read about it in the last Art in America. I took notes and will write substantially about it, although probably not in the next few days. I'll give you some idea of what I'm thinking. I want to discuss the work throught the filter of two concepts: primitivism and pastiche. I touched on the former in my last post, conveying my dissatisfaction with work which (naively, I think), attempts to recreate an idealized "primitive" condition within the modern world. Cole's work escapes this trap. My working hypothesis is that it does so by being contemporary (in its references and materials) while maintaining an anthropomorphic, animistic quality which links it to the past. As for the latter, it is difficult to write about his work without citing his numerous quotations from modern and contemporary art. And while recognzing these is part of the pleasure of his work, its important to go beyond simple name-dropping. Anyway, all of this is less tediously academic than it sounds, so of course I'll discuss individual pieces. The show is a lot of fun!