Portrait of Kanye West by George Condo
“My goal, if I was going to do art, fine art, would have been to become Picasso or greater.”
So says the ever modest Kanye West, in his recent guest lecture at Oxford University. Read the whole rambling thing online here, including the rather juicy revelation that the video for Kanye’s next single, ‘All Day’ has been shot by none other than film maker and artist Steve McQueen.
I don’t care what anyone says, Kanye is a genius.
The Poetics,from right: John Miller, Tony Oursler, Mike Kelley, Bill Stobaugh, and John Arnheim
The late Mike Kelly was known for his work with Destroy All Monsters, a band he formed in 1973 in Detroit with Jim Shaw, Niagara and filmmaker Carey Loen, but audiences might be less familiar with The Poetics, an art rock band he played in with fellow artist Tony Oursler. The loosely assembled group kicked around between 1977 and 1983 and worked on various projects including a radio show, a sound track and a dance piece involving mop poles entitled ‘The Pole Dance’.
Still from Pole Dance by Mike Kelley, Tony Oursler and Anita Pace, 1997
During that period Oursler kept notes from each of the Poetics brainstorming sessions, later used as inspiration for The Poetics Project Installation created by Oursler and Kelly in the late 1990s at Metro Arts in New York that went on to tour internationally. Together, they re-examined the projects they’d begun in the 70s, re-mastering and releasing old tracks, re-executing The Pole Dance and creating an installation that was hailed by the New York Times as the ‘most irritating show in New York City’ (to Mike Kelley’s delight).
The Poetics Project, installation view at Centre Pompidou, Paris, 2013, featuring a projected interview with Genesis Breyer P Orridge (right)
Both artists were interested in exploring the conventions of documentary video and ‘rockumentaries’, and one element of the installation was Synesthesia, a suite of videos by Oursler featuring interviews with twelve legendary underground figures of the downtown New York art and music scene in the 1970s and 80s. Participants included Genesis Breyer P Orridge, Lydia Lunch, Kim Gordon and Suicide’s Alan Vega. Sadly difficult to watch online!
Still from Synesthesia: Alan Vega 1997-2011 by Tony Oursler
There are however some great texts about the project written by Kelly and Oursler respectively that you can read here and here. And you can watch Tony Oursler talk about The Poetics Project in situ in its 2013 incarnation at the Pompidou Centre here.
Posted in Art, Artists, Installation, Music, Video
Tagged Alan Vega, Anita Pace, Genesis Breyer P Orridge, Kim Gordon, Lydia Lunch, Mike Kelley, Pompidou, The Poetics Project, Tony Oursler
Love Christmas AND Krautrock? You’re in luck then. Here’s Can’s cover of Silent Night.
LOL hero Genesis Breyer P Orridge is involved in a new film project about voodoo. Directed by Hazel Hill McCarthy III, Bight of the Twin explores the relationship between Vodun and Western secular art and performance. Focusing on Vodun culture in Ouidah, Benin, McCarthy’s research had particular resonsance for P Orridge following the discovery of the ‘twin fetish’ and its associated rituals, which have curious interrelationships with P Orridge’s own practice and relationship with her late partner, Lady Jaye. P Orridge is recorded participating in twin fetish ceremonies, reactivating his bond with Jaye, and in the process, creating a film that becomes voodoo in its own right. Bight of the Twin is still in development with a second trip to Benin scheduled for later this year. If you want to support this project and generate some voodoo as well, you can donate here, but do it quickly – the campaign closes on November 22nd.
Posted in Art, Artists, Film, Music
Tagged Benin, Bight of the Twin, Genesis Breyer P Orridge, Hazel Hill McCarthy III, Lady Jaye, Ouidah, vodun, voodoo
Watercolour by Neil Young
Neil Young loves cars. He loves them so much in fact that he devoted a whole album (2009’s Fork in the Road) to his retooled Lincoln Continental. Now he’s taking things to the next level with a debut exhibition Special Deluxe at Robert Berman Gallery in LA featuring a series of watercolours of vintage automobiles. One of these paintings has ended up as the cover of his new album Storytone too. LOL’s favourite Young-related automobile imagery though is the cover to his super weird and not particularly popular 1982 album Trans (below). So misunderstood and actually good!