Week in Review: Running the Gamut

October 6, 2013 · Print This Article

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Thea Liberty Nichols writes about a new independent film project by Laura Stewart:

The two main protagonists of Laura Stewart’s latest film are the titular “Shooter,” motorcycle gang leader of Green Bay, Wisconsin’s Black Pistons, and Whitley, a young woman who is both his partner in crime and charity project….Shot without a script, the film uses voice-over narration to reveal the thoughts, fears and desires of Shooter and Whitley, and we experience the filmic world Stewart creates through the lense of their impressions and experiences. Although Stewart confesses that a typical days shoot would involve “having a general idea what I’d want to film,” she cultivated a collaborative relationship with her actors and actresses wherein they would agree or decline to proceed given the premise she would establish. The goal was always to produce scenes that most realistically reflected their lives, so although the relationships and events of the film are all constructed, the characters had, “the freedom to expose the parts of their lives that they want(ed to).”

Saint

Another fantastic post from our game blogger, Paul King:

The world of Dark Souls is, as the title would suggest, dark. It’s a classic, worn down fantasy world where everything is crumbling. Your character begins in a prison for the lost and undead; your default state is one of decay. Even as you continue to a city meant for gods, all is in dangerous, ruinous disrepair.

And most of the game is spent alone. Save a few neutral, stationary characters, any sort of dialogue is non-existent. Your hero never speaks, only grunts in the heat of battle, and these stationary merchants quickly run out of new phrases, things to sell you, or purposes to exist.

But at a certain point, your character may buy (or steal) a chunk of soapstone from one of these merchants. Once you obtain the soapstone, you may use it to write, coating the floor in incandescent orange scribbles that, upon interaction, reveal their text.

During the course of Dark Souls, no fix for the broken world emerges. At times, other characters hint that the universe has descended into darkness from a former glory, and your lone hero’s quest might be the thing to restore it. But nothing you do on your journey really changes anything; felled enemies reappear upon your death and subsequent rebirth, and also upon the saving of your progress. But while your standard fantasy actions yield no change and are easily erased, the soapstone allows you to impact the game’s world in a singular, everlasting way: through writing.

A detail from from Untitled (Blood and Feathers), 1974, by Ana Mendieta. Photograph: The estate of Ana Mendieta, courtesy Galerie Lelong, New York

A detail from from Untitled (Blood and Feathers), 1974, by Ana Mendieta. Photograph: The estate of Ana Mendieta, courtesy Galerie Lelong, New York

Repost on Ana Mendieta;  as her tragic end  seems so often to eclipse her narrative, I was especially excited to read more about her life:

Cuban-born and American-raised, Mendieta described her work as “earth-body” art. From 1971, when she had her first solo show while an MA student at the University of Iowa, until her death, she created a diverse collection of work that included silhouettes of her body created in mud, earth, rocks, wild flowers and leaves, performance pieces that evoked the folk and occult traditions of her native Cuba as well as her beloved Mexico and subversive self-portraits that played with notions of beauty, belonging and gender. In her performance pieces, where she sometimes used blood “as a very, powerful magical thing”, she evoked the power of female sexuality as well as the horror of male sexual violence. In her photographic self-portraits, she pressed her face against glass to distort her features or pictured herself dripping in blood or disguised as a man with glued-on facial hair.

Mendieta’s art, like her spirit, was feuled by a restlessness rooted in her exile from Cuba. Friends described her variously as “sparky”, “provocative”, “tempestuous”, “outspoken” and “fiercely ambitious.” After her death, many saw, in her often dark and ritualistic art, a foreshadowing of her fate – she once staged a performance in which visitors came upon her prone under a blood-splattered white sheet. Others claimed her as the freest of female free spirits in a male-dominated art world. The curator and scholar Irit Rogoff, her as “essentialised through an association of wild appetites and with unbounded female sexuality.” It is only now that the power of her art is finally taking precedence over the stereotypes that were thrust upon her and the darkly dramatic manner of her death.

Repost from Dezeen on curation and design, wherein 96 Curatorial Theses are propsed:

» Museums should tell the truth.

Andreas Fischer, Supposing We Were Ever So Sure Of All Those Things -What Would We Know Then That We Don't Already? 23" x 21" Oil, acrylic, charcoal, and pencil, 2012.

Andreas Fischer, Supposing We Were Ever So Sure Of All Those Things -What Would We Know Then That We Don’t Already?
23″ x 21″ Oil, acrylic, charcoal, and pencil, 2012.

I interviewed Andreas Fischer who forever transformed my thinking about painting with the following statement (and the rest of the conversation is just as good):

Well, I think of painting as decidedly not static and that is a big reason I am interested in it.  I do think that so called fixed images are different from what we more clearly accept to be in motion.  Paintings are moving perhaps more slowly and can be understood as attempts to visualize actions in a heightened way.  Literally and chemically paint is  moving and changing over time from the moment pigment is ground, through the gesture of applying paint, to the drying; shrinking; aging and cracking that paint undergoes over time.
THE LOVE AND ROCKETS COMPANION: 30 YEARS (AND COUNTING), edited by Marc Sobel and Kristy Valenti (Fantagraphics, 2013)

THE LOVE AND ROCKETS COMPANION: 30 YEARS (AND COUNTING), edited by Marc Sobel and Kristy Valenti (Fantagraphics, 2013)

Mairead Case continued her lovely series, Maintenance this week, opening with a quote from Mierle Laderman Ukeles’ 1969 Manifesto for Maintenance Art: “The Life Instinct: unification, the eternal return, the perpetuation and MAINTENANCE of the species, survival systems and operations, equilibrium” Case discusses books:

Here are five books I read this month, and pictures of three more. An asterisk means the book (or zine) came out less than 365 days ago. (The green polish is Selena Gomez Nicole by Opi. I don’t own the bottle but I did bonk my thumb running for the #18, and a nice lady at the library let me do a touch-up. The silver is Wet n Wild.)

+ Library Mixtape (exhibition catalogue) (John M. Flaxman Library at SAIC, 2013)*
+ Radon by Travis Fristoe and Aaron Cometbus (Salad Master, 2013)*
+ The Wayside by Julie Morstad (Drawn and Quarterly, 2012)
+ The Long Goodbye by Meghan O’Rourke (Riverhead, 2011)
+ You’re So Sexy: When You Aren’t Transmitting STDs by Isabella Rotman (self-published, 2013)*

 

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