Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Wallace Berman Solo Exhibition in New York City

Nicole Klagsbrun Gallery is pleased to present a solo exhibition of
*Wallace Berman* (1926-1976) running from November 6 to January 9,
2010. An opening reception will be held on Friday, November 6th from
6:00-8:00 pm, featuring a screening of Berman's collage-film /Aleph/
(1956-1966) with a reading by Tosh Berman and a live performance by John
Zorn of his score for the film.

Building on the gallery's longstanding involvement with artists of the
California counterculture, this exhibition presents a rare opportunity
to consider the scope of Berman's practice. Considered by many to be a
major figure of the assemblage movement, Berman was active within the
Los Angeles and San Francisco Beat communities and acted as a mentor and
spiritual advisor to many artists. Anticipating mail art and Fluxus
movements, Berman's work has had wide-ranging influence despite the
artist's determination to operate outside of the public eye.

Through sculpture, collage and the underground publication /Semina/,
Berman fused aspects of photography, film and print. Central to
Berman's multifaceted practice is the Verifax collage, an early
photocopier technology. Berman manipulated ephemeral compositions
directly on the copier plate, creating prints that are in fact unique
originals. A magazine advertisement of a hand holding a small 1963 Sony
transistor radio recurs throughout in these works; in place of the
radio's rectangular speaker, Berman inserts collage elements such as a
cross, a snake, and a Buddha, transforming the repeated image in a
quasi-magical operation. Also on view in the exhibition are a rock
assemblage, photographic collages, and hand-printed posters, giving a
sense of the breadth and complexity of Berman's visionary oeuvre.

The project room features a restored version of /*Aleph*/ both in its
original silent form and with a new score by John Zorn, courtesy of the
National Film Preservation Foundation with the assistance of Anthology
Film Archives and the Film-makers' Cooperative.

Wallace Berman was recently the subject of a retrospective exhibition
/All is Personal: the Art of Wallace Berman/, Camden Art Center, London,
UK (2008). This is his third exhibition in New York; his first was at
Charles Cowles, 1982, followed by Louver Gallery, 1990.

Nicole Klagsbrun Gallery
526 W. 26th Street, No. 213
New York, NY 10001
P. 212.243.3335
F. 212.243.1059

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Wallace Berman's "Aleph" but bootleg version

Ah this was bound to happen. Someone has put my Dad's (Wallace Berman) film up on YouTube. Well enjoy.

Jah Wobble's "Memoir of a Geezer"

Memoirs of a Geezer: Music, Mayhem, Life Memoirs of a Geezer: Music, Mayhem, Life by Jah Wobble

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Public Image Ltd has hooked me on Jah Wobble when I first heard “Public Image”. Johnny (Lydon) Rotten’s band right after the Sex Pistols. Punk was moving to another world, and Wobble and his bass was taking me to another part of the neighborhood. Also being aware of the visuals of the bands and artists (which for me is extremely important), Wobble had a great look. A two-day beard, a suit, and strong facial features. He also seemed to have a wild sense of humor.

30 years later he wrote his first book, a memoir that is both culturally interesting as well as a personal statement on a life that is well lived. The cultural aspect is the first thing that got my attention in this book. The title says it all “Memoirs of a Geezer.”
A geezer I presume is British slang for a man, who is basically a good fellow. Wobble is obsessed with fellow citizens who were raised and went to public schools. Which is a high-class world of privilege. Wobble, by his nature, and being a hardcore East London mentality – hates that world. And this is one of the many things that make him interesting as well as a good document how the British see other English people.

Wobble strikes me as a personality, a character and at times a slightly dangerous man. Especially under the spell of alcohol. Jah Wobble hasn’t drink since the 80’s and through out his career he has made a series of great recordings. So what we have here is a musician struggling in 20th Century London. Of course the main interest is in the Public Image years, and they are fascinating. But equally fascinating again, is his take on being British and the class system. A really good read, and I think a must for those who are interested in the music world circ. 1970’s/1980’s.

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Friday, October 16, 2009

Pianococktail Part 1

From Boris Vian's "L'ecume des jours (Foam of the Daze) comes the invention the Pianococktail. The art of it is that when you play the keyboard or piano a cocktail gets made. It warms my heart that someone actually made the damn instrument. This is what I call powerful music.

The opening film credits to "J'irai cracher sur vos tombes" (I Spit On Your Graves)

Boris Vian hated this film with a passion. In fact he passed away at its private screening. I saw the film in French (and I don't speak the language) and visually it's an odd film. A very 1950's French version of what a small American town looks like. Since the main character works in a bookstore (that alone is worth seeing the film) it is interesting what they pick up as "American culture." The soundtrack by Alain Goraguer is superb. In fact all his music is superb. Someone really needs to put a focus on his work.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Working Cover for Boris Vian's "To Hell With The Ugly" plus special announcement

This is the basic design by Tom Recchion for the cover of the TamTam Books edition of Boris Vian's "To Hell With The Ugly" (ET ON TUERA TOUS LES AFFREUX). This will come out shortly as we fine tune the graphics. Which will also have artwork by Jessica Minckley illustrating this rather naughty narrative.

On top of that, I am going to be putting chapter-by-chapter of "To Hell With The Ugly" on this website. There will be a new chapter every two weeks. Once i put a chapter up, I will remove the previous chapter. So in the sense there will be two versions of this novel. One in the traditional super designed edition with artwork and introduction by its translator Paul Knobloch. And the other as a serial of sorts for this blog. Let me know what you think.


Saturday, October 10, 2009

The Incredible B-Side of Roxy Music Singles

Roxy Music's "The Pride and the Pain"

Roxy Music's "The Numberer"

Andy MacKay's "Ride of the Valkyries"