This week: Part 2 of our residency project at the Contemporary Art Museum of St. Louis! This week we talk to critic, poet, gallerist, the award winning Director of the Fort Gondo Compound for the Arts Director and Art in America contributor Jessica Baran. This was one of those interviews that I will look upon as a personal favorite. Besides Bad at Sports declares war on Art News. What could be better.
Jessica Baran is the author of the poetry collections “Remains to be Used” (Apostrophe Books, 2010) and “Equivalents” (winner of the Besmilr Brigham Women Writers Award, forthcoming from Lost Roads Press, 2013), as well as the poetry chapbook, “Late and Soon, Getting and Spending,” produced by All Along Press (2011). She lives in St. Louis, Missouri, where she is a freelance art writer and co-curator of the fort gondo poetry series.
Welcome to our residency/art show. Maybe you should come visit?
We have a few events coming up in the next 8 days.
Saturday 14th noon- 4:30pm Art21 recording session/loop gallery tour.
Tuesday 17th 11am-12:30pm Live interview with a special guest
Wednesday 18th noon-1:30pm Live interview with Manuel Orellana
THURSDAY 19th 5pm-8pm CLOSING/RECORD RELEASE PARTY with DJ Richard Holland
Saturday 21st Afternoon party 1-5pm
Here is what it has looked like…
This week Bad at Sports started a residency at the A+D Gallery (618 South Wabash, Chicago) at Columbia College. We have many plans for what will be done in the space and how it will be done, but how it evolves depends on all of us and you.
In the space we will be varying our activities between meetings, live interviews, live recordings, Ping Pong (Wii and probably Foosball,) working on a couple of sound pieces, skateboarding, blogging, watching Game of Thrones, and other such nonsense. Watch our twitter feed for who we are interviewing, when, and what fun stuff we are doing on our Saturdays (gallery tours, live Art21 tapings, skate posse meet ups to skate Dan Peterman’s skate park, and some other fun stuff) We will have the following folks in for live interviews: Catherine Sullivan, Steve Reinke, Jason Salavon, Jessica Stockholder, Joe Meno, Dan Tucker and more…
YOU ARE WELCOME ANY TIME!
We ask that you not interrupt tapings but we are happy to talk to you or play pong anytime we are not on mic.
What you missed this week…
Kate and Duncan started work on a two channel version of the piece we are working on. This time we were shaping a conversation between Nato Thompson and Mary Jane Jacob, which we will scale up over the next two weeks to include Mark Dion, Pablo Helguera, and Liam Gillick.
We interviewed Ken Fandell and Christy Matson and ran a small Ping Pong tournament on Thursday night (the gallery is open to 8pm on Thursdays) with a few people who turned up.
Here are some photos of these weeks progress. We can’t wait to see you!
The Bad at Sports podcast has been going strong for over six years and thus far has produced–wait a sec, are you f*%king kidding me?– 322 *weekly* podcast episodes??! With a new podcast released every week?! Each featuring an interview with a different artist or maker hailing from parts all across the Western Hemisphere? Uh, that’s pretty extraordinary. Over the last six-plus years of existence, Bad at Sports has talked to hundreds of artists, from local upstarts to living legends. Because B@S is constantly putting out new material, it’s easy to forget that they’ve built up a massive audio archive of material that is virtually unrivaled (William Furlong and his amazing Audio Arts casette tape magazines, of course, is the grandaddy precursor to Bad at Sports’ project). In honor of B@S’ sixth year of life on this planet, we’re going to start digging through the podcast archives on a weekly basis to highlight key episodes from the past. This, in addition to the new podcasts that the B@S team continues to create and upload for your listening pleasure each and every week.
So, please to enjoy the following selection from Bad at Sports archives, recorded in 2007 and featuring an interview with Jeff Wall that took place just prior to the opening of Wall’s retrospective exhibition at The Art Institute of Chicago.
“I was … looking at the exhibition and I realized, what I feel about many of my exhibitions…that no matter how well installed they are, no matter how well lit and if the rooms are great, and all that…a lot of the time my pictures just don’t look very good together. No matter how well you hang them they often just don’t really go together. It’s hard to make what I would call a really successful show as an event or as a circumstance, because they’re very singular, each one: and each one has its own structure, its own space, its own colors, its own light, or whatever. And they don’t go in groups. At least, they only go in groups more or less. I don’t see it as a virtue or a negative thing either, it must just be how I see, or how I do things. I really see my pictures as singular. I don’t have any interest in making variations on a theme, or any of those kinds of things that tie pictures together. Each one does come from a real experience. I used to think about it [in terms of] genre, but I don’t think about it like that anymore….Genre means something known. When you think you know something, you create limitations.” – Jeff Wall, interviewed by Duncan MacKenzie for Bad at Sports
Next up in our Mantras for Plants series, artist Heidi Norton and I interview Cris Merino, Isa Merino and Carol Montpart, the directorial team behind The Plant Journal, a biannual magazine based in Barcelona, Spain (The journal’s editor is Cris Merino, and its art directors/graphic designers are Isa Merino and Carol Montpart). The Plant Journal’s editorial statement describes the publication as follows:
Besides providing botanical contents in a simple, personal and cozy way, The Plant Journal offers to plant lovers a new look on greenery by featuring the works of creative people who also love plants. As a curious observer of ordinary plants and other greenery, the magazine presents a monographic on a specific plant and brings together photographers, illustrators, designers, musicians, writers and visual artists, both established and emerging, from all over the world, to share with The Plant Journal their perceptions and experiences around plants.
We love that their focus is simply on “plants,” yet that subject alone can take them in an infinite number of cultural directions. Also note that Plant Journal’s Spring/Summer 2011 issue features the mind-blowing photo-collages of Chicago artist Stephen Eichhorn! You can subscribe to this print-only journal by going here. We want to thank Cris, Isa, and Carol for answering our questions!
Heidi Norton: How was The Plant Journal conceived? Who are your readers? What types of people, places, things are featured?
Editors: We suppose everything began when we realized that every time we had to make a gift, it was a plant. And our friends do the same with us. Plants arrive to your home, you care of them and you establish quite a special relationship with them. Furthermore, as we love publications, especially in paper, we thought that it will be a beautiful idea to create a magazine completely dedicated to plants, since we didn’t find any that gave plants the relevance and the approach we had in mind.
The magazine is addressed to people more or less like us, who enjoy plants even if they seem incapable of keeping them alive, people who feel inspired by greenery and whose creativity is open to establishing connections with plants. That’s why in The Plant Journal you can find photographers, illustrators, designers, chefs, etc. Probably they are also our readers. On the other hand, since plants spread out whenever they want to without asking anyone’s permission, we look for them wherever they are, in their own natural habitat, but also in our cities, homes, offices, etc.
Claudine Ise: Yes, I really like how you use the subject of plants as a jumping off point to talk about a range of subjects — music, art, film, and other areas of culture. The essay that looked at how houseplants were arranged in some of Eric Rohmer’s films as a way to investigate his approach to formalism is a great example of this. Can you talk about how you solicit articles for the journal – what kinds of essays hold appeal?
Eds: We were thinking about the connections between cinema and plants, so we looked for Lope Serrano (from Canada productions www.lawebdecanada.com). He writes articles for a cultural magazine from Barcelona, and we knew about his vast visual and cinematographic knowledge. And it was Lope himself, during a chat, who suggested the connection between the ethical and aesthetic formalism of many of Rohmer’s films and the plants that appear in some scenes. As we admire Rohmer’s films, we loved this approach. The result is a very academic and didactic article that completely fits with the aim of the magazine. But in general, there’s a little bit of everything in the articles. There are some that are proposed by its authors and others cases when we explain a general idea to the writer and then, after exchanging ideas, we reach an agreement. In the case of sections such as “My plants by” or the interviews, our work is about finding the right person. That’s why it is very important for us to have a wide network of contributors who share our interests.
HN: The introduction that you use to promote the journal states, “providing botanical contents in a simple, personal and cozy way.” Can you explain what you mean by “cozy”? I ask because, there is something “cozy” about plants, an unpretentiousness that makes places, objects, spaces, and materials more accessible.
Eds: With ‘cozy’ we want to emphasize and vindicate the affection for plants. At least in Barcelona, people don’t use plants as much as we would like in the way that you explain. So we think it’s not always obvious that plants are cozy by nature. You sometimes have to stop and think about it, and that was one of the reasons to create The Plant Journal. We had an example of this a few days ago. We created an installation with plants and macramé for the magazine launch party in Otrascosas de Villarosàs gallery in Barcelona. The space also contains the meeting room for an important advertisement agency, with its typical big table and nothing else. Well, yesterday Marc (who is responsible for the space) told us that since plants were there, people want to have the meetings next to them, and they even asked him to leave them there. That’s nice, because plants have made that room a better place. And nobody there thought about it until now! That’s why we thought we must emphasize the coziness of plants.
CI: Your journal’s content isn’t available online. Do you think it’s important, conceptually or otherwise, that the journal remain a paper publication that is circulated “on the streets,” as opposed to via cyberspace/the internet?
Eds: As we love publications, we like to go to a bookshop or a newsstand, choose a book or a magazine and then read and enjoy it calmly in your place. You can get it back whenever you want to, you can collect them, write on them, cut them out, etc. It might be fetishism or nostalgia, but we think that the experience of paper is more accessible, relaxed and intimate. It is obvious that the Internet offers a lot of opportunities for a publication (starting with the production costs, always more expensive in paper), but we never doubt it: the magazine is printed in paper, an object that in addition is beautiful. We will create some different contents for our site, but they will be more casual and fast consuming contents specifically created for the Internet. For us, it is priceless: the Sunday aperitif with the daily papers and that feeling is something a screen will never give you, no matter what the possibilities that an iPad can give to you.
HN: What things are inspiring you today, right now?
Eds: We are now very interested in rediscovering traditions that seem to be ignored because of the high-speed way of life and the anxiousness for new stuff. That means we get inspired by and enjoy cooking for friends, going on a trip looking for mushrooms in the countryside, caring for our little gardens, knitting macrame, etc. All kinds of domestic, simple and everyday activities that make your life better. As music, cinema, arts and books also do.