Friday, July 15, 2005

The Scoots

Group shows perused in Chelsea yesterday. Much of it produced wanting to nap feelings. Half dead feelings. Why feelings. Like Idols of Perversity at Bellwether. Clotted, overhung, an overarticulated vision...usually I am interested in this. I get it - it's fun! Over the top! Wow! Salon style! Tacky is great! Big wide-eyed feelings swirling into tiny dangling decorative flourishes. Romanticism and angst, kitschy bad painting, all mixed up in the dreamy, sexy-time languid bed hours. But it was too much somehow. As though all of the forbidden pleasures of kitsch, the kind of excited embarrassment that used to be associated with it have now been subsumed and swallowed by the very fact of its emphatic promotion by a Chelsea gallery. Like when a little-known band you used to covertly love now has a song on a car commercial - all of a sudden they are everywhere and all the reasons you had for liking them evaporate...I don't know. There were things to love, little moments here and there, but mostly I felt crowded out, as though there was no room to breathe or think or have any kind of independent reaction or private discovery.

However, I was moved beyond expectation at the group show at Feature that opened yesterday. As you walk into the gallery on your left, there is a small shelf of Tantric drawings made in India. They are simple, anonymous and gorgeous. Tiny, centrally-focused abstractions - magical geometric shapes and bits of colored patterning that hover on sheets of paper. I have just started learning about them - there was a show of them this past winter at the Drawing Center's Drawing Room. They are generated as objects of meditation, that is their main purpose. Their modesty and purity somehow provided me everything I lacked at Bellwether. It is an unfair comparison, for sure, as the intentions behind both the work and the curation of the shows could not be more opposite. But I think I just get more pleasure out of finding something to love that's small, out-of-the-way, something not obviously on display.

85 comments:

hammy said...

Hi mm, i saw that show at the drawing center with my pal of the life sized horse. We both loved it coming from such different perspectives. There was something magical and touching about them. there was a similarity to the shaker gift drawings in the intent and beautiful simplicity

mountain man said...

I was thinking of the Shaker drawings too in relation to them. The combination of the folk/naive touch with the diagrammatic maybe.

PD said...

I am going to venture out to Chelsea today, after I clean my apartment. There is a reluctance to do so because of the threat of rain as well as the inevitably grumpiness. I will see the shows you've written about.

hammy said...

we spent a long time looking with them. There is a small catalogue at the drawing center I think.

mountain man said...

PD, that is very adventurous of you. Please be careful out there. I was thinking of you yesterday in my mini-tour and wishing you were by my side to make me giggle like last time.

postmoderndebunker said...

You must be referring to the Jasper Johns show and my attempt to strangle myself.

mountain man said...

Yes that is part of my reference. Also your propensity to cause charmless giggles and drooling about my mouth-area.

Moist Valve said...

It is hurting today, a desire for wormwood has caught me off guard. I am sinking into the muddy puddles and wishing for rescue to come via helicopter. I am thinking of an escape to the bountiless desert.

postmoderndebunker said...

I hate going to Chelsea alone. I must rev up the slicer just in case I run into someone of the Deihl or Wilner variety.

fairy butler said...

i have been avoiding chelsea like the plague. it is not right and I feel guilty constantly. I will look in on bellwether this week at the beige, but I think you summed it up nicely mm. The heavy handedness of this proposed show hurts me miles away, but, whatever. I am sure there is worse out there. I cannot think about this right now. ugh, open wound.

fairy butler said...

I love the title of this post mm, and content nicely done as well. did you see the show at Monya's?

nardlet said...

It was kind of fun to see the little mini show of what's-her-name, the artist that Becky stole from Steinberg.

mountain man said...

Yes I saw the show at Monya's. That is all I will say here. Yes I saw the stolen artist at Bellwether. That is all I will say. It is good to be tubular. That is all.

Corduroy Heart said...

There are feelings in the hands of the painter with feelings with big eyes and guitar. Long fingered feelings of loneliness. I understand.

fairy butler said...

i have a bad case of the scoots.

sloth said...

Understood, Mountain Man. We will discuss in depth at a later date.

mountain man said...

I have the scoots today too. Very embarrassing, uncomfortable.

sloth said...

Sticky.

Corny said...

MM you are spot on...I haven't seen the Bellweather show but I'm picking up what your laying down. I'm thinking C├ęzanne and Pissarro show at MOMA is a good bet for finding inspiration.
We need tee shirts:
I heart O.L. Art shows (on line)
or
I Heart Home Curating
or
I heart Blog Art Shows
or
I heart blart shows

mountain man said...

Corny, I like I HEART BLART SHOWS best. Yes to t-shirts. I am meowing to myself.

Sammy No Hands said...

I am talking trash to myself with my stubs.

Urine Trickle said...

I have caught mental illness from the streets.

mountain man said...

Whatever to do with the sharks on the head? Faux purple. Strange. Nighty night prisoners of love and guilt by association.

Martin said...

I want a blart t-shirt. Good night, Mountain Man.

Good night Urine Trickle and Sammy No Hands. Good night Corny, Sloth, Fairy Butler and Corduroy Heart.

mountain man said...

Thanks Martin!!!! I heart Martin is another t-shirt that would be good.

MM had a great time with the fry-daddy pals last night. Thank you for your antics by the sea. I truly love all of you with curly-q kisses from bi-valves on your throats.

Urchin said...

I never did anything more exciting than what I am doing right now, sitting on this couch. I am surrounded by incomprehensible texts, I have lost my ability to read but not write. It is un-magical. I am wanton and scattered, not desirous of any plan except my inner plan which includes ruffling.

PD said...

Hey MM--so good to hang with all of you at the deep fry. Your purple locks and zig-zag cut look amazing!

And of course it was a pleasure to finally meet the Krix.

fairy butler said...

urchin, are you clinging to the side of the coral? are the pages swirling about?

coal miner said...

I am looking for the nuggets. the black nuggets. I am crotchety.

Urchin said...

I am in possession of the deeply black nuggets, the soul nuggets, the earth nuggets. I can share. There is no coral here.

sloth said...

My kitty has a box of lovely black nuggets that she says you can have.

Urchin said...

Nuggets to share, both brown and black.

fairy butler said...

the other night we must have just missed the turd burgler, speaking of the nuggets. He left empty handed apparently, and in the surprise he left them strewn about the stairs and hallways.

sloth said...

A jaunty effect!

fairy butler said...

sloth, what was the book you were recommending last night? I need to read something decent. My next book club meeting features a book I can hardly believe I am being forced to read, but am viewing it as a anthropological experiment. so I need an alternative.

sloth said...

Headlong, by Michael Frayn. You will not be sorry.

fairy butler said...

it is called "he's just not into you." can you believe I have to read this? other book clubbers are equally alarmed but we just went with it . luckily it is short. i will read it in hiding. but maybe it will be better than I think. I should not judge so much.

sloth said...

How cool that you are in a book club... Sloth is in awe and admiration.

pooter said...

i am scooting downwind, earth-side, i am leaving seedlings in the moist earth as I lurch back and forth. I can smell the grimness of despair but also the hope of the fry. Please join me in the scoots.

fairy butler said...

book club = drinking and eating mostly at eachother's houses. we talk about the book for a bit but mostly gossip - laugh - talk. It is sort of fun. we could start a blogger book club. that might be taking it to far down into dork world though.

sloth said...

Thank you for planting your seedlets, pooter. One day there will be a forest in your wake.

sloth said...

You are a funny butler, FB! Laughing.

Urchin said...

I would like to join you in the down-wind scoots. There is a grinning on the undersides, an openness to the rugged earth, a melding of darkened situations. I am happy to scoot in a group, it is uplifting, relieving the trauma that befalls without reason.

fabeebles said...

yo yo yo let's scoot it up! that krunk juice is running through my rims, spinning and a grinning. i wants to rub the rumps.

pooter said...

let us join in a group scoot, a melding of the nether-backs. we will till this good earth and give back trauma nuggets.

fairy butler said...

let us hold a scoot-ring in honor of ham paw. it can happen mentally. I can sense the nugget rain already.

fairy butler said...

i am losing my mind. i need to get a life.

sloth said...

Oops, my scoots are backing up. They are returning to the source... Bad! what to do...

sloth said...

The mind-loss is fun, FB. Embrace it.

krixfort said...

gar FB, I cannot believe that book is worthy of book club attention. It is in my house. It does not belong to me. I will not touch it. It is like a bug. eeeuuuw.

You are right though, it is like a socio cultural anthropological experiment. Study and learn about the masses.

pooter said...

you must clear yourself mentally, sloth, and try again. the buttocks must just graze the floor for maximum velocity.

Baby Mama said...

Fabeebles! Where you been? Where my money?

fairy butler said...

yes, krix. double gar. i am determined to be hateful of it in book club if deserved. I am already forming feminist arguments and i have not even started reading. this is probably unfair though. must approach with blank slate.

sloth said...

Okay, got it now... the flow is un-reversed. Thank you pooter.

sloth said...

Could you read the Cliff's Notes, maybe? Less time wasted.

fabeebles said...

BM, I been down under the slabs, bitch. i don know what you talkin bout. where's my money?

baby mama said...

I ain't got no money fabeebles! Don't you tryn' trash talk at me. I'll take back my rims. Snap.

Sammy No Hands said...

Listen I gotst the money in my front left pocket. Reach in. Take what you need.

mountain man said...

I am ouching myself to death. Today is a slow useless tard type of day. Oh Zog help propel me out the door to the relic shack. Why do I resist movement?

sloth said...

It is the dog-breath of summer.

virus said...

nothing is accomplished.

Cranial Capacity said...

I can't feel anything anymore (lie).

PD said...

I am nearing the coma state and am looking forward to the horizontal snooze in the AC.

mountain man said...

It was so hot in the hotbox that I fell asleep, waking up in a pool of the droolies. Too utterly hot and heavy to focus. But looking and calm sort of came. I thought about the crazies and satan and that gave me a lull into the next phase. Now is time to make MM stew.

fairy butler said...

arthur called me in from the relic shack to help install air conditioner at home. finally. one down one to go. i am making very random relics.

PD said...

Great job on the cools FB. I got one here in my home...but want one most at the shack.

PD said...

MM: UGH!!!! I've got the sticky-ickies. I am sitting near the AC and waiting for my smoked meats.

sloth said...

No cools at the shack for us either, PD. It's moist like ointment.

FB, the relics of Sloth are also random at this moment. Maybe a pattern will emerge? Also the going is slow and uncertain, but gradually improving.

mountain man said...

Banality comes into the head of those who wish for watery glands. It is spiteful, I am inverted.

cool and the gang said...

why so banal and inverted MM? there is banality in all things.

fairy butler said...

much time was spent on bad relic - mind exists in fog, thought is was ok. but no. soon i will be hitting the craft show circuit.

sloth said...

FB, put the bad relic away, then take it out again after a while. Your perception of it may very well change with time, and it will seem like a good reli, or you may have an idea to transform it. Sometimes they just need to compost.

mountain man said...

Tenuous connection from the woods, wanting to post new blart show but the forces of telephonic menace say no. Am trying to commune with normalcy, be upstanding figure of help and authority. Semi-working, semi-not. There is a cross-current between generations that is not taversed with normalcy. I am less mature than those who are half my age. It is bizarre, in the way of the serfs.

Anonymous said...

should we call you mountain boy?

ham paw said...

Hi MM, YOu are missed.

fairy butler said...

i hope you are catching some frogs for MM stew! We miss you. Please go swimming in the streams today. I almost considered calling in sick & going to the beach. It is gross out.

krixfort said...

please say hello to furry woodland creatures but stay away from the angry ones, like alligators, sasquatch, and rabid bats.

fairy butler said...

but pet the bobcats and whisper to the will o' the wisps.

postmoderndebunker said...

Aweemboway, MM.
Miss your wise words and multiple personalities.
It is disgusting here!

mountain man said...

phone lines are misbehaving here, naughty rebellious phone lines, no bloggy for me. i miss you all deeply, in the fruit of the issuances of my loins. my burgundy hairs are doing battle with the beasts of the swamp and bog, the rabid foaming ones. i am fortifying my gut with rampant consumption and my paws are swelling to chop-sized proportion. i will be back tomorrow to participate in the mutant urban hots. all my personalities are square dancing in harmony, with only minor skirmishes here and there, mostly ok, mostly healthy. i send brainwaves of sugarlicks to you in your beige-ish daytime porscine hells. be strong!!!!! good day my gumdrops!!!!!!

xoxo
mm

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