You’d think I’d be more diligent at uploading time-based events, given my background in publishing, but here we are. Dina Gadia’s solo exhibit at Silverlens, Situation Amongst the Furnishings, closed on 12 August 2017, almost two months ago. Is there a point to uploading these things at all? To my mind, yes. I don’t know about you, though. I do know that I have a hard drive full of photos that I always “mean” to upload but never do. I do know that I always wish someone would post photos of exhibits that I’ve missed. So here’s something, maybe, for someone who would’ve liked to have seen this show but didn’t get to.
Aside from being really aesthetically into Dina Gadia’s work, which is always graphic and vibrant and just attractive, part of why I think I always enjoy seeing her work is that it’s infused with humor and wit. There’s something a little bit off or irreverent about her work, but it’s never in a way that’s too in-your-face and it never tries to be overtly provocative. It just is, in a strangely quiet way.
The paintings in Situation Amongst the Furnishings were a delight to see, for me. (This write-up’s probably coming off as a little trite and shallow, but it’s a blog, lol. Give me a break.) It’s what you might have come to expect from Dina’s work, but with the volume turned up, a little bit.
For full exhibit notes and installation views, click here.
As someone who’s used to making small and intimate pieces, I’m always in awe of artists whose work seem to effortlessly occupy their designated spaces. One of my favorite artists, whose eye and perspective I value highly (although personal conversations with him are rare, heh), is Nilo Ilarde.
In Almost Doing Nothing, Ilarde creates visually stunning work that subverts and respects the space it’s in, gathering references and influences, invoking histories and memories, but never in a way that’s too on the nose or obvious or easy.
The signage from the now-defunct mag:net cafe, a gallery for which Ilarde has curated many shows, presents a simple statement: “place rather than thing.” In Almost Doing Nothing, there is a suggestion for the viewer to consider the space, through the artist’s own alterations to it, and what it is, and what he’s intended for it to become. In the video room, he carves out literal screens, some that look out into the other spaces, inscribed with “video of its own making.” Evidence of the process of this making is strewn about the resulting environment.
My favorite piece is, predictably, the centerpiece of the show: the work that dominates the Tall Gallery, a space that intimidates a lot of artists but one which Ilarde seems to work with with ease. The mirrored images imitate a labyrinth — “which is a straight line” — a long work, visually infinite, contained in a small space. It is a beautiful tribute to Roberto Chabet, one that is fitting and perfect.
Almost Doing Nothing is on view until 28 September at Finale Art File. Read an excerpt of Jonathan Olazo’s notes on the show here.
I’m not sure when it started, but I’ve been making an effort with regards to listening to new music as they come, instead of waiting for the songs and albums to turn into toddlers. I don’t usually talk about new music anymore, aside from unabashed gushing, but here’s… something. It’s an exercise in writing about music and things I enjoy… or more verbose unabashed gushing, probably, I don’t know.
“The Louvre” by Lorde
Easily my favorite track off of Melodrama, which I love despite all the Jack Antonoff, “The Louvre” is deceptively playful and upbeat, betraying a tangible sheen of melancholy that runs all throughout the album. “The Louvre” is big, grand gestures and dangerous all-consuming love, but it’s also about the loss it leaves behind when the fire burns out. (Listen here.)
(If you’re curious, my second favorite is “Hard Feelings/Loveless,” which has a pretty amazing Vevo x Lorde session. The bridge kills me every time.)
“Appointments” by Julien Baker
Pleasantly surprised that the first single off of the to-be-released sophomore album, Turn Out the Lights, is one that I hadn’t heard yet. “Appointments” starts off slow, a bit like it’s leaching into you, bit by bit, and when you resurface, you realize how much of you it already has in its hands. At the end, she sings “Maybe it’s all going to turn out alright / And I know that it’s not / But I have to believe that it is,” and it’s super fucking bleak, but the way she sings it, you’d sing along, thinking it was a hymn. (Listen here.)
“Can’t Get It Out” by Brand New
The second track off of Brand New’s surprise album drop (so surprising that I only found out about it because Petra sent it to my email), “Can’t Get It Out” is the one that’s stuck to me the most and it’s the song that I “bonded with” immediately. Jesse Lacey, with fuzzy guitars and an ominous whistle, managed an approximation of how heavy-laden I feel on most days. (Listen here.)
“Carin at the Liquor Store” by The National
So far, The National’s released four new tracks off of Sleep Well Beast, which they’re aiming to release by the 8th of September. This is probably my favorite, and it’s not because it has all six letters of my name in the correct order; it feels the most melodic, the most intimate and personal. Like an end-of-the-day song, the soundtrack to you, taking off your day-to-day masks in front of someone you love. (Listen here.)
I’ve been waiting for new music from Phoebe Bridgers for a while. Even as she sings about betrayal and a falling out, there’s a steady sad calmness to the song, her rage tempered, somehow, with resignation. (Listen here.)
“Provider” by Frank Ocean
Frank Ocean was someone I’d avoided listening to for a long time, and I’m still not sure what is it about his music that resonates with me. “Provider” sounds like the calmness of a night on a beach washing over you. (Listen here.)
“You’re Dreaming” by Wolf Parade
You know how, when you’re too attached to old music and the artist releases new stuff and you can’t quite get around to liking it right away. Well, this is a super convoluted way of saying that that’s not what happened here with me, haha. Wolf Parade’s Apologies to the Queen Mary is one of the albums I keep harping on and on about until now, 12 years later.
A new Wolf Parade album is coming out on October 6th and if the rest of it’s going to sound like “You’re Dreaming,” I can’t wait. (Listen here, though the video is great.)
In 2011, MTV released a “remake” of Teen Wolf—Michael J. Fox’s werewolf extravaganza, released in 1985—where the main character was played by JLo’s kid in Maid in Manhattan.
Except it wasn’t exactly a remake because it deviated from the source material a lot. Like, a lot lot. In many good ways, at least, for me. So, since 2011, I’ve been watching—both with adoring eyes and loathe-filled necessity, depending on the storyline—the series, and although I’ve thought many times about dropping it, but I didn’t.
This Tyler Posey tweet is essentially all of my feelings on the matter:
Anyway, so I learned that Tyler Hoechlin—Derek Hale—is going to be at Asia POP Comic Con this year and I have gone through so many roller coasters made of pure emotions because a) he will be here!!, and b) there will be a meet and greet!!
Tyler H. hasn’t been on Teen Wolf for like, a season and a half, but he’s been in a Linklater movie and is currently the live action!Superman in Supergirl world (which, honestly… he’s a pretty fucken perfect Clark Kent). So, like, I’ve had doses of “Derek” in my periphery, but catching up on Teen Wolf 6B? AND CATCHING A GLIMPSE OF HIS FIDGET SPINNER TATTOO?
Well, I fell into that pit fandom that I unwittingly avoided at the height of my wolfy love. So, essentially, I’m in love with Derek Hale, and it’s not 2011-2014.
Anyway, although you may be fooled into thinking that I am actually going to the meet and greet because of the exciting way that I have announced it, I’ve resolved that I probably won’t be able to make it. Probably. I think. (And trust me, I did try—shamelessly—but alas. I will probably have to fork over actual money I shouldn’t be spending on this. I’d like to think that my run-ins with the people I love, so far, have been serendipitous, but a number of them have involved me spending some cash, so I guess fate is fake.)
Here are some questions I would probably ask if I were to end up going and not chickening out of conversation:
What do you do in your free time? (AKA PLZ update your social media more, I am desperate.)
Is your favorite project, thus far, the porn-y dudebro Linklater movie, or is it the porn-y dudebro Linklater movie?
What was it like jumping from broody alpha werewolf with PTSD and abandonment issues to porny dudebro athlete to actual ball of sunshine, Clark Kent-slash-Superman?
WHY WON’T YOU TALK ABOUT STEREK ANYMORE? WAS ANY OF IT REAL? (Although, probably not. But I’ll think this one really, really, really hard. Maybe he’ll hear me.)
WHY DID YOU LEAVE BEACON HILLS THEY NEED YOU THEY ARE FLOUNDERING
Then I’d probably ask for a hug or something.
LOOK, I just saw the Teen Wolf 6B trailer the other day and I’m just so fucking happy that Derek and Stiles are back, every episode I watch is like a damn stakeout for Sterek, tangled in love’s embrace or not. It’s all probably going to be in the last twenty minutes of the SERIES FINALE, too, so I don’t know why I bother with hoping.
Whatever, it doesn’t matter. I just miss Derek. (And Isaac… and Allison… and Stiles… Fine, maybe even Jackson.)
P.S. Speaking of, in the last episode I saw, Liam was all “BE LIKE CLARK KENT, REMEMBER?” to like, manage his anger or something, and I swear I died a little bit.
I haven’t been posting art shows here recently (obviously), but I do try to take photos of the ones I go to. Try, operative word, etc. etc. Here are some photos of a really gorgeous set of simultaneous shows that opened at Artinformal last week.
When an exhibit works out well, it’s all the more enjoyable, but when the individual shows happen in one space and they seem to be having a good conversation with one another, it almost feels like magic.
Alvin Zafra’s Hi-Way 54
Done with white stone over sandpaper, Alvin Zafra’s work is an exercise both in patience and in perspective. When your subjects are so heavy on straight lines and require precision, it’s hard enough trying to render them as true-to-life as possible. Doing it in reverse feels like a little more than a small victory.
Costantino Zicarelli’s ot / a/ biillno/ aersy years \billion \a \to
In Cos’ exhibit notes (written by Itos Ledesma), there’s talk about chance apparitions, where meaning is ascribed to things that very may well mean nothing. What I enjoy about his work is the commitment to pushing the boundaries of a material or an image or a method, and though I’ve been familiar with his work and its evolution the past few years, I almost never know what to expect.
Nice Buenaventura’s Wave Drawings No. 11-12
There is something awe-inducing when you realize that the gradients in Nice Buenaventura’s work are rendered by the artist’s hand. The work may initially come off as cold: variations of black and white and shade, but the basis of the drawings is personal—recorded vibrations of the artist’s hand—as is the sculptures/objects that accompany them. The green salt blocks represent negative space in Nice’s home; their existence is where “the absent is made present.”