Friday, November 30, 2018

ROBERT MORRRIS, VITO ACCONCI & PERFORMANCE ART


Robert Morris the artist has died. I go in and out of the art world depending on who’s exhibiting and what I am writing and editing. I never met Morris.I knew Don Judd through John Wesley as well as other leaders of performance art and minimalism. I worked with the late Hannah Wilke and also especially Colette.  
I met the late Vito Acconci mid-performance at Documenta in Kassel in 1972. He had blindfolded himself and was walking around an otherwise empty room following instructions pre-recorded on his reel-to-reel tape recorder. We were alone. It was fascinating. Then four or five loud dumb drunk German tourists wandered in and fell to laughing at Vito. After three or four minutes one of them thought it would be hilarious to unplug Vito’s tape. He had been well aware of their unpleasant presence. Vito then physically attacked the drunkest. Their smirks were replaced with alarm, and they vanished. Vito and I then spent the next few days meeting intermittently and talking. Too bad I didn’t record our conversations. Back in New York he did a piece for Unmuzzled OX. Vito’s death like the deaths of Morris and Judd and Wilke seem impossible.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

ADOLESCENT PORN

I try to keep my adolescent humor to myself. For instance, the main street of Princeton is called Witherspoon. It's named after John Witherspoon, a president of the university and a signer of the Declaration of Independence. Reese Witherspoon the actress is a descendant. For neither of these reasons I silently refer to the street as Withersporn. I keep it to myself. But I'm checking a book out of the library and accidentally call the street Withersporn. I am embarrassed and profusely apologize to the librarian. "Relax," she says. "At least once a day I find myself writing 'Princeton Public Library'."

Sunday, June 03, 2018

Suicide was something adults did

Suicide was something adults did when they got in a really bad mood. Failure at suicide resulted in hospitalization, which was shameful and thus a secret. The adult had simply “gone to Toronto.” Sharing such a secret made children friends.
Read more »

Monday, May 28, 2018

T h e L a t e T w e n t i e t h C e n t u r y


The poet James Wright (1927-1980) was wholly of the twentieth century, dead now these 38 years.  Like William Dean Howells (1837-1920) he was born in Martins Ferry, Ohio, wrote a few books, and died in New York City.  Howells was a bigger deal, editing The Atlantic; like his hero Silas Lapham, Howells faded away. Wright seemed to die young. My interview with Wright appears in the print edition of Unmuzzled OX.

EMOTIONAL


Emotionalism is everyone’s philosophy, pervasive as greed, producing some marriages and all divorces. People know their parts. Excitement is the goal of the coolest gambler, ambition pervades society because – triumph excuses hysteria. People mount hysteria, a mountain whose feet they suck. But history violates hysteria. What violates the judgement sculpted in sand, lost at each turn of the moon? Conviction.

Thursday, February 02, 2017

GROUNDHOG


Our North American Ground Hog Day seems to secularize the British Candlemas. Both occur February 2. A sunny Candlemas presages a cold spring.
Read more »

Saturday, July 09, 2016

DO I LOOK DIFFERENT?

Her: Do I look different?
Him: You look much better. Your new apartment and new job in this new town have transformed you and made you radiant.
Her: That’s not it.
Him: What is it then?
Her: I lost twenty pounds.

JENNIFER AND BARACK

I really love Obama. I also love Jennifer Lawrence but our relationship is special and secret. Obama's hair has gotten gray and he's cut it short and I'm not enamored of the look. But his ears seem to stick out even more. I think that's a sign of intellect and vigor. He's a great president and an even greater guy.

Read more »

Sunday, January 17, 2016

SWEET SIXTEEN

At the New Year’s Peace Gathering Saturday night in the Princeton Chapel, pretty much everyone pounds a drum and chants Give Peace a Chance. Sprouts directly descended from those sprouts sold in 1969 at Woodstock are for sale here. Suspicious brownies. www.peaceweavers.com Sweet 16!

Read more »