Work by Robin Juan of HungryMan Gallery, Bill Gross of 65GRAND, Vincent Uribe and Allison Kilberg of LVL3, Kirk Faber of Kirk’s Apartment, Elliot Reed, Erin Nixon and Patrick Bobilin of Noble & Superior Projects.
Noble & Superior Projects is located at 1418 W. Superior St. ONE NIGHT ONLY EXHIBITION, open Friday (tonight) from 6-10pm.
Work by Madeleine Bailey.
ACRE Projects is located at 1913 W 17th St. Reception is Sunday from 4-8pm.
A project by Brandon Alvendia with Todd Bailey and Bridgette Buckley.
Monument 2 Gallery is located at 2007 N. Point St. Reception is Saturday from 7-10pm.
Work by John Neff.
GOLDEN is located at 3319 N. Broadway. Reception is Saturday from 6-9pm.
Curated by Matt McAuliffe. Work by Matias Faldbakken, Sophie Calle, Joe Smith, Andy Kaufman and Benjamin Bellas.
Julius Caesar is located at 3144 W Carroll Ave, 2G. Reception Sunday from 4-7pm.
Like many artists based in Detroit, Gregory Holm addresses the physical and social conditions of the post-industrial cityscape. His 2009-10 project, Ice House, sought to bring attention to the 20,000 or so residential properties abandoned in the city by freezing a single-family foreclosed home into a solid block of ice. In addition to producing a spectacular photograph and video, the work cultivated a community surrounding the property, and initiated discourse on potential solutions to repurpose homes and reverse neighborhood blight. Ice House, which was completed in partnership with architect Matthew Radune, is indeed a chilling sight, and the project speaks equally to the national housing crisis as it does to the conditions of neglect specifically in Detroit.
Holm, who was working in New York, recently returned to Detroit to begin his next project, Fire House, an event and sound installation that opens next month. Leading up to Fire House, Holm has curated Haptic Resonance, an exhibition and aural landscape installed in 2:1 Gallery, a pop-up space in Detroit’s Eastern Market. The exhibition features work from a number of local artists, and was produced in collaboration with creative partners Kathy Leisen and Jeffery Williams. I spoke with Holm in 2:1 Gallery with amidst a collage of haptic resonances.
Discussed: Fire and Ice, pyrophones, ruin porn, a new style of everything, mediocre metal, Robocop.
Sarah Margolis-Pineo: So, what’s going on with the Fire House Project?
Gregory Holm: The Fire House is the old, historic firehouse #4 from 1879 that’s been empty for 25-30 years, and we are taking it, and turning it into a staging area and sound installation. We’re going to attach 36 tuned glass tubes [which will construct a pyrophone] to the façade of the structure, and all of the compositions—I’ve gotten six contemporary composers to write pieces based off the different tonal centers of the glass. It will be a staging area for an hour and a half long concert at the end of July… I’m taking a step back from making art, and I’ve become the director. I’ve created 4-5 themes for kids to write lyrics about. The lyrics are then given to the composers, and those composers are taking the lyrical content and creating music, the whole piece is then given to the Children’s Choir, who will sing it…I am also shooting a photograph, and there’s a chance I may shoot a film.
This idea came to me because I had a meeting in New York and someone said to me: “We loved your Ice House, why don’t you do another project? Give me a proposal, and I’ll try to get you funding.” And I came up with this project over the weekend. At the time, we didn’t have a firehouse, and I never would have called this Fire House—I did not want to do that. We had a space, we began working, and it didn’t seem right—it just didn’t seem like the right space. So we began driving around, and we stumbled upon this structure that was beautiful. We immediately went downtown, found out who owned the building and signed a lease with them. So then, what do we call it? Fire House came up as a joke, but when we sat down with the Director of Cranbrook Art Museum, he was like: “It makes total sense. Go with it.” And if the director of the museum says to go with it…
SMP: After coating a house in ice, are people thinking your turning to arson?
GH: I can pretty much guarantee there won’t be more something House projects. But, I think it’s really incidental to what’s happening with the whole project. What it’s called is just what it’s called.
SMP: Can you elaborate on how the Fire House project is a continuation of the dialog begun by the Ice House project?
Gregory Holm: I’m a Detroiter, I’ve been here my whole life; however, I’ve been in New York as well for the past 5 years, and going back and forth working as a photographer out there and coming back here to do my personal projects. We started with the Ice House project, which was pretty successful in terms of how many people were interested in it and picked up on it. What we wanted to do is create that as a first chapter and have a continuation. Instead of talking about the sad aspect of the housing crisis, we wanted to take an abandoned building—in the case of Fire House, a full, historic firehouse from the 1850s—and turn it into a staging area for playing music, specifically involving children. So, it spoke more to the positive aspects that lie dormant in the city and how we can really, with a little bit of foresight and a lot of time and collaboration with these kids, get them to be a part of a larger project—something that they can look back at in ten years and say: “We did this amazing thing with musicians from the DSO (Detroit Symphony Orchestra), crazy contemporary artists, and we wrote lyrics!” [The Fire House project] can create this memory that would perhaps allow them the encouragement to be artists, and do really sophisticated work.
SMP: It is my understanding that there was a bit of controversy surrounding Ice House, in that its spectacularness spoke to some of the “ruin porn” being produced in the city. Did this critique of Ice House inform your process for Fire House?
GH: I don’t know what the criticism would be. I think the difference between ruin porn and what the Ice House was is that ruin porn captures this obviously destructive aspect of a city, and capitalizes on it. In this way, taking photos distances you from the city. We really wanted work with a community, and go into a community and create a beacon of dialogue, say: “Hey! Come around here!” And we didn’t have to encourage the neighborhood—we were out there for 24-hours straight for a month. I think it’s very different. The amount of endurance and physical challenge that we put on ourselves. Criticism? I dunno. I’m a photographer, I wanted to do a photograph, and we have a beautiful photograph from it. The production itself just took it to a whole other level as far as I’m concerned. And yeah, [Fire House] is a continuation. We do address different issues now. I did see a lot of what was lacking in that project. The idea of taking something that is negative and turning it into something beautiful, which I guess could be seen as “ruin porn,” I’m not sure. Here we’re starting from the ground-up, removing myself from the project in a way that we can only encourage the city to move forward in a very specific and productive way.
A lot of people who saw the project knew me as a New Yorker, but I moved to Detroit in 1992 right out of high school. At the time, there was nowhere to see music, get a drink—it was a very different place. I stayed here for a long time, and really a hope that the city would transform into something that would allow me to be a part of this larger picture of creative investigation into the city. It just didn’t happen though. Then when I left five-years ago, it started, and I just kept turning my head back. I was coming back here, like, every two months or something—I still have a house here—and now it’s to the point where this is an amazing landscape and there’s a lot of potential here right now. I have a very intimate relationship with the city and with the community of people who have been here for a long time.
SMP: I’m wondering if you could elaborate on the expansion from the micro, neighborhood-based dialog of Ice House, to the macro, city-based interaction of Fire House?
GH: It’s an interesting process, because I never saw myself as someone who was dealing with social issues. I’ve never been that person—I don’t volunteer my time, I never have. I just do things that I think about, that in my mind are sort of complete and I’m able to say: “Okay, I’m going to do that,” and that’s the beginning of the process. In this project, there’s a huge connection with social aspects and with youth in particular. We’re dealing with a lot of different groups, and we’re trying very actively to connect with a lot of different people. Often we sit back and have to question what we’re trying to do here, and ask: “Are we diluting our process of doing very avant garde pieces—creating strange spaces like [the 2:1 Gallery]?” But there’s something very unique about where the city is at right now, and that it’s receptive. Every event we have in here we have over 100 people, and they’re new people that I don’t know, and they’re coming from all over the place, and they’re receptive to very different types of things. But there’s a lot of questioning in my own head, like: “Am I a social activist now? What am I doing? Does the work suffer because I’m looking at two different things?” But I think with Detroit, it’s calling for a new style of everything. If we’re going to reinvent the city, it’s going to be done in a very different way, and everyone is looking at a lot of the resources that are here. You can’t do anything in this city without having an investment in what is the fabric of the place. The idea of creating this situation so children 10-20years old can be a part of it… Just imagine what they could do in another ten-years. That’s where my head is at the moment. It’s not real thought out—I don’t write about it or really try to investigate it, the process is just very natural.
SMP: And you’ve been able to retain your practice as a photographer…
GH: Yeah, I love photography. I’m bringing in again, Richard Sands, who is the director of light for Gregory Crewdson, and I worked with him years ago. We’re going to light up Saint Anne’s Church and the Fire House, and do another 8’x10’ photograph, which is really exciting for me.
I started as a musician. I studied music with La Monte Young in 1995, and I played music for a decade. I’m very interested in microtonalality, and the resonating and acoustic qualities of sound. For me, coming back, and being able to create a space like [Haptic Resonance] on the fly—it came as an idea, and within two weeks we had a show, and it was amazing.
SMP: That’s Detroit.
GH: Yeah! It is. And there’s so many great resources. These are all friends of mine that I asked, and within a week we filled the space with these interesting things. So it is interesting to be able to retain this idea of my practice as a photographer but my roots are really in sound, so it’s really nice for me to be able to go back to the 90s when I was doing sound regularly.
I have a close relationship with that neighborhood [in southwest Detroit], like I did with the neighborhood of the Ice House in the east side. I grew up there for a short time with my Mother as a young child, and two blocks from where the firehouse is is where my Grandmother was brought up. So it’s going back to this maternal home in some ways, which is really nice for me to be over there and drive down her street.
SMP: Is the Fire House project about changing the experience of growing up in Detroit for young people?
GH: Yeah, I think there are a lot of gaps in this city. There are a lot of groups, say Southwest Solutions, who have a lot of money because they are really good talkers, and they have these spaces, and they have these poetry groups, and they get thousands and thousands of dollars to support it; but when you go to one of these poetry groups there’s one kid in there, and they don’t have transportation. So there are a lot of gaps, and we’re trying to think of ways of filling them in ways that really make sense that don’t just get to the punch line without figuring out the ramp that’s going to get people there. There is no sound space in Detroit, and it made sense to do this. We can do it well. We can investigate a lot of different things that are sort of missing in the city right now. I’m sure it’s going to be a completely different place in ten-years from just seeing what has happened in the past few. And to be a part of it is really exciting.
SMP: Do you feel that it’s the responsibility of artists through their projects to locate and fill these voids?
GH: It’s definitely creating dialog. Whether or not you agree with a Robocop sculpture downtown; there are so many different layers of how you could consider that. We look at a balloon sculpture or a Michael Jackson sculpture and somehow that is contemporary art that is worthy of millions of dollars, but a Robocop has somehow crossed the line. You could also consider the fact that a lot of the people that have problems with it drive down Woodward and go to Hart Plaza on a daily basis and somehow don’t notice that that contemporary art which cost hundreds of thousands, and which is just awful to look at, and it just fills every void in the space—there can’t be more room for more mediocre metal!—and somehow, people don’t argue with that, but they argue with young kids from some other part of the country who have a crazy idea. Ultimately, I think it speaks to something else that is happening. We get a lot of outsiders here that are very ambitions because they haven’t been wading through the same waters of Detroit as people who have been here for the past 20-years. It’s just a matter of what kind of ambition you’re bringing to the table, and what kind of energy and hard work. It’s just inspiring being in a space you can create new ideas from.
Haptic Resonance will be exhibited at 2:1 Gallery through June 16, 1480 Gratiot Avenue, Detroit. It features the work of Clem Fortuna, Heather Hagborg, Frank Pahl, Ron Zakrin, Jeffrey Williams, Gregory Holm, Graem Whyte, Ian R. Clark and Jeff Karolski.
Fire House will open July 22, 8:55pm, at Engine Company #4, 1016 18th Street, Detroit, and will feature the Street Poets’ Society and Detroit Children’s Choir, as well as original music and sound art composed for the event.
Ice House is currently on display at the Te Tuhi Centre for the Arts in Auckland, New Zealand. The work will be featured in the exhibition No Object is an Island, at Cranbrook Art Museum, opening November 2011.
Sarah Margolis-Pineo is a curator and writer. She is currently the Jeanne and Ralph Graham Collections Fellow at the Cranbrook Art Museum.
I have been both in classes and casual conversations where “Artist-as-entrepreneur” is raised as an explanation or model for behavior. It feels like a fashionable phrase. Its sounds nice, exciting even, in that million-dollar-idea kind of way. It suggests an inherent value in artistic merit: like a gold mine, if you just figure out how to tap that vein and harvest its treasures, the world will pay top dollar for your whims of fancy. It implies a level of control; your creativity is like a racehorse, and something to leverage in a competitive environment.
The phrase bothers me. When it comes up, it feels like it’s been taken for granted as a truth, as compelling today as “inner child” was in the 90s. What’s interesting, however, is examining what the term implies about the artist’s relationship to his or her work and its place the world. In Mark Fisher’s book,Capitalist Realism he suggests it’s easier to imagine the end of the world than to imagine the end of capitalism. “The power of capitalist realism derives in part from the way that capitalism subsumes and consumes all of previous history: one effect of its ‘system of equivalence’ which can assign all cultural objects, whether they are religious, iconography, pornography or Das Kapital, a monetary value…Capitalism is what is left when beliefs have collapsed at the level of ritual or symbolic elaboration, and all that is left is the consumer-spectator, trudging through the ruins and the relics” (Capitalist Realism, Zero Books, 2009). By calling ourselves entrepreneurs we resign whatever resistance (or even, more bleakly idea of resistence) we might pose via ideology. We internalize the expectations of entrepreneurship, welcoming them into our studios as a means to thereby measure success and failure. Even the artist must justify him or herself according the terminology prescribed by capital. It is this latter point that I find most dangerous, precisely because of how difficult it is to shed those values once they have been adopted.
Jean Baptiste-Say coined the entrepreneur in the 1700s. He suggests “the entrepreneur shifts economic resources out of lower and into higher productivity and greater yield.” The artist therefore becomes an intermediary between the lower work (the labor of making), who make that process more efficient and brings it to a public. The goal is a yield, what can translate into revenue or cultual capital. Under this light, the goal is not the work itself, but the yield to be gained.
It’s worth pointing that, based on that criteria, artists are inherent failures. We are terrible entrepreneurs. Assess the cost of a single work you make. Tally up the number of hours it took, the cost of supplies and then compare that with your prospective price point (if there is one). Consider the percentage you have to give up, if you are represented by a gallery: art making is a fool’s errand. The yield is very very low. While that might be different for those at the top of the ladder, they are nevertheless exceptions with a tenuous hold on their economic standing. There are very very few among us who look anything like Gorden Gekko.
I don’t deny the useful application of business strategy. There are daily issues of sustainability—how does one feed oneself, pay rent, and even disseminate ones work? There is much to be gained from businesses strategies, both on operational and administrative levels. However, I distrust unreflective applications of terminology. Rather than legitimize one’s cultural contribution through ready-made titles, I would like to discuss new terms by which to articulate the artist’s position. Terms reflective of the awkwardness in our easily marginalized but, I would argue, essential civic participation. We could just as easily call ourselves spirit hunters or visual philosophers: what happens to the expectations we have of ourselves under other labels? At the very least could we find terminology that reflects the holisitic relationship between the work itself, the process of making, its modes of dissemination and use-value.
Artist Heidi Norton and I share an abiding interest in all things plants. During several conversations we had while I was profiling her for Art Ltd., we often talked about the relationship between art and gardening. Heidi incorporates living plant matter directly into her sculptures and has used various types of house plants in her New Age Still Life photographs, along with the more recent series of images shown in her show Not To See the Sun at ebersmoore last month. Heidi and I have continued to talk about the relationship of art, plants, and gardening, and as the next iteration of what has become an ongoing exchange, we’ve decided to conduct a series of interviews with other artists to further explore those connections. Voila: Mantras for Plants, a new, irregularly appearing series of posts.
First up, Heidi talks with Chicago photographer John Opera about his practice and his use of the Anthotype printing process. Opera recently exhibited his photographs at Andrew Rafacz in Chicago and at the Contemporary Art Museum in St. Louis, MO. He’ll be exhibiting his work in a group show titled “To Tell The Truth” at Monya Rowe Gallery in New York from June 17th-July 29, as well as in another group show at Statler Waldorf Gallery in Los Angeles that opens June 17th.
Heidi Norton: What is an Anthotype? Can you explain the process? How did you come to find it and how do you feel it fits into your practice?
John Opera: The Anthotype is a printing process that was invented by Sir John Herschel around 1832, five years after the first known photograph. It represents a moment right at the beginning of photography as a medium. The discovery of the process was very much a part of the initial experiments that led up to photography, as it was eventually known in the 19th century, both in technical terms and in metaphoric terms as well.
In addition to his photographic research, Herschel was also an accomplished botanist and researched the chemical properties of light. His experiments often crossed disciplines. That’s how the Anthotype came about—it was an attempt to connect fixing a photographic image to photosynthesis. Herschel discovered that he could make a rudimentary print emulsion using pigments extracted from plant material. He made his prints by treating paper with the plant-based emulsion and pressing a negative tightly against the paper under a sheet of glass. The prints are then exposed during the height of summer when the sun is very intense. The printing process can require anywhere from a week to three weeks in direct sunlight.
For my Anthotypes, I used beets, blueberries, pokeberries, chokeberries and several varieties of lilies. It’s pre-photography. I was really interested in that notion. There is a strange connectivity that the process has to the natural world. It feels alchemical to me. I collected some of the plants at sites where I made landscape photos in the past, specifically the pokeberries, so I guess you could say that some of the images have a connection to my past work, or at least they are part of a continuum.
The images in the prints are of drawings that I made in a glass bottom tray device that I designed which allows me to expose directly onto large format film without a camera. There was no lens used in making the images. They are essentially contact prints of ink in water. For me, the prints point toward the fundamental principles of image formation in photography. They are also still-images about liquid and its connection to the medium.
HN: One of things that fascinate me is the relevance of light in this work. All photography is reliant on light, but the way light is utilized in these pieces is extreme. The “ink drawings” must be created in complete darkness. I imagine you sitting in a dark closet, dropping ink into a tray of liquid, flashing light to expose the latent image. The second process is actually making the contact print. Like you mentioned, at times the exposures can be up to three weeks in direct sun. Can you comment on this duality?
JO: Honestly, I’ve never consciously thought about that connection, but it is a really interesting one for sure. A duality in the process like that is probably a good thing. The pictures are about a balance in a lot of respects I guess—formally, conceptually. The negatives are made in a traditional darkroom setting, while the printing process takes place under very different circumstances. It can take up to 120 hours in direct sunlight to break the emulsion down enough to make a photograph. The image of the drawing is captured on film in less than a second. I see what you mean by “extremes.”
During the printing process, I have to pay attention to the weather and monitor the prints daily. They can only be made during the summer months when the sun is a its highest point in the sky. I suppose there is an interesting parallel between how the prints come into the world and witnessing plants in a garden do the same. I’m reminded of Jeff Wall’s image Poppies in a Garden, which is in the Art Institute’s collection. For me, that image is about the potential universe contained within the poppy. It’s also an image that draws connection to the latency you are talking about in photography. There is a delay between the time a photograph is made and when you see the negative or print. This is what happens to the gardener in the garden as well. I suppose my Anthotypes are somewhere around there in that they are about something provisional. I like to think that their point is also that they break from the observed world, like a hallucination.
HN: Speaking of “hallucination.” This break from the “observed” world, we can call a “secondary” experience or even a transcendence from the lived experience. Maholy Nagy uses of abstraction of light coupled with technology, exemplifies the idealistic and utopian thinking of a specific era. He coined the term “the New Vision” for his belief that photography could create a whole new way of seeing the outside world that the human eye could not. Is this a relevant conversation today?
JO: I think that every image is a secondary experience to an extent. I feel like photography has reached such a point of self-consciousness that we can agree that any kind of photograph, whether it’s a documentary image or a photogram, occupies a secondary, or abstract position.
At the same time though, I think what you’re getting at is a transcendence of observed experience. There is only so much that a lens-based image can describe, right? I guess that it’s the reason I have periodically revisited abstraction over the past 5 years or so. Despite their straightforward manner, I have always thought of my landscape pictures as being about a topography of interiority. I couldn’t quite get there though. I think I have always used abstraction to express what I couldn’t do with a straight photograph.
HN: The colors and images of the anthotypes have a “West Coast”/LA appeal to me. Perhaps it’s because I know they were made in the summer and we hung out a lot during the time of their creation so in some ways they resonant a certain level of nostalgia. But there is a history of west coast makers that use “west coast” light to influence their practices and works. I definitely make different types of work in the summer–perhaps due to the changes in color palette, a different energy, geographic location, longer days… Besides the fact that the sun is the strongest in the summer, I want to know: Does the sun and warmth solicit certain types of making practices or “types” of art for you? Is there such thing as summer art? If these were made in the winter, would they look aesthetically different?
JO: I’m not sure if there is such a thing as “summer art.” I thought about the Anthotypes all winter long! Although, making the work has definitely made me more aware of the changing of the seasons and of the Sun’s position and path across the sky. I feel like the process of producing the Anthotypes has really been a process of aligning myself with the seasonal cycle, probably a lot like a gardener or farmer would have to do.
HN: So I will ask you the same question I asked Barbara Kasten because it is relevant with your work (and I’d like to compare your answers). I feel we are experiencing a similar scientific/technological revolution in relation to how we capture and perceive light and color. How do you feel digital manipulation has changed the production, consumption and criticism of abstract photography? Do you feel that the abstractions inherent in the medium, particularly evident in your work, are enhanced or obscured by the further abstraction embodied in the act of digital capture/rendering and/or manipulation? Do you feel it’s important to explain this to people or ensure they know the works are not “manipulated”?
JO: Things are definitely changing, but I won’t say if it’s good or bad. For me it’s just happening. Digital is definitely erasing certain glitches and characteristics of analog photography, but it’s also creating its own set of peculiarities too. Digital is actually very close to surpassing film in most respects. What will eventually remain is the nostalgia for certain arbitrary properties—film grain, solarization, fogging, etc.
Actually, it’s not really important to me that people know how the images were fixed to the prints, although that is usually the first question people ask me. So how are these made? I could have captured the images on a digital device—actually that would have been a lot easier. There would have been fewer steps. The important thing is that they recorded fleeting compositions—whether that was achieved digitally or traditionally is not important. The fact is that I had to scan the film in order to produce larger printing negatives, so there actually was a digital step to this process. See, now we’re getting too hung up on process.
I’m not sure how abstraction is affected by the digital shift. Abstraction in photography is like abstraction in painting—its meaning shifts according to context—always. The way I use abstraction is different than how it functions in Barbara’s work and vice versa.
Heidi Norton received her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2002. Her work has been exhibited all over Chicago in venues such as Monique Meloche Gallery, Dominican University, Northern Illinois University Gallery, and Andrew Rafacz Gallery. Nationally and internationally, Norton’s has been exhibited at the Contemporary Art Museum in Baltimore, the Knitting Factory in New York, as well as in Los Angeles, London, and Valenica, Spain. Norton was published in My Green City by Gestalten in 2011. This past year she had solo shows in San Francisco at Hungry Man Gallery and ebersmoore in Chicago. Her work will be included in the group show The World as Text at Columbia College Chicago, opening June 16th.
It’s easy to think of the New York art scene as a big, gay playground. Okay, maybe not a playground, but a place where gay men have had the opportunity to be relatively open, at least within the parameters set by the norms of their particular era. Think Johns, Rauschenberg, Warhol, and sometimes Larry River who, although didn’t identify as gay, often took one for the team. In his book Between You and Me: Queer Disclosures in the New York Art World, 1948-1963, Gavin Butt presents gossip as an alternative, let’s say queer, way of knowing. Butt proposes that when we consider an artist and his work (all the artists presented are male) that we consider more than just reception histories and textbook biographies. Butt suggests that we look deeper than that, showing how gossip informed the work these artists produced, as well as the way the public and art world received it.
Why is gossip important? Well, even in the comparatively liberal New York art scene, it was still the 50s and even if one’s homosexuality were “common knowledge” that didn’t mean it was accepted by the general public. Artists were often inned by galleries and the mainstream art press. Butt gives many clear of examples of this. He also uses the queer press as confirmation of alternative histories placing such publications as The Mattachine Review and Gay Sunshine Press on the same level as The New York Times.
In a chapter entitled “Dishing on the Swish, or, the ‘Inning’ of Andy Warhol,” Butt outlines the experience of a young Warhol, whom we now think of as a purveyor of prurient gossip. But at the beginning of his career, Warhol was the victim of gossip. In the hyper-masculine 50s, Warhol’s sissy demeanor was an embarrassment to the traditionally masculine artists (both gay and straight) in the scene. Warhol became re-invented, not as gay or straight, but as asexual. While the entire art world knew his orientation, Warhol and the media effectively maintained a beyond-sexuality public persona. We can see this same method employed today every time someone says an artist’s work is “universal,” or that his or her sexuality is “unimportant.”
Between You and Me lingers between art history and queer theory, which in itself makes the book queer. This is an older title, published by Duke University Press in 2005, and somehow it feels like it never really found it’s niche. Perhaps it is because of this inbetweenness, or maybe because the subject is gossip, which is inherently unserious. I highly recommend this book, not because of what it teaches about the golden age New York art scene, but what it teaches us about queer ways of knowing art today. Between You and Me is a serious academic book, but because of its subject matter left me with an overall feeling of playfulness. Good summer reading, if summer ever comes.