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He’s a poet and the FBI know it: how John Giorno’s Dial-a-Poem alarmed the Feds...
19 hours ago
After receiving hundreds of thousands of calls, the poet’s project almost broke the New York telephone exchange – leading to an FBI investigation. Will it cause similar chaos in the Instapoet era?In 1968, the poet and visual artist John Giorno was on the telephone when he was hit with an idea. It came to him that “the voice was the poet, the words were the poem, and the telephone was the venue”. He imagined utilising the telephone as a medium of mass communication, in order to generate a new relationship between poet and audience. This would become Dial-a-Poem: one telephone number that anyone could call, 24/7, and listen to a random recorded poem – liberating spoken poetry from what Giorno termed “the sense-deadening lecture hall situation”. As part of New York’s avant garde scene, he quickly enlisted talent, tape-recording the likes of John Ashbery, Bernadette Mayer, Anne Waldman and David Henderson reading poems at 222 Bowery, his loft. He found a project sponsor, 10 answering machines fitted with these recordings were patched together and connected to phone lines and Dial-a-Poem went live.In 1970, the project moved to MoMA, expanding to host a total of 700 poems by 55 poets – including Black Panther poets and queer erotic poetry. As the project gained press coverage, calls to Dial-a-Poem skyrocketed into the hundreds of thousands, putting immense strain on the Upper East Side telephone exchange. It’s a powerful image – thousands of people who, through some collective desire or curiosity, stretched the project and its public infrastructure to breaking point. Giorno was interested in the pattern of the calls. He imagined bored office workers phoning from their desks, or people tripping on acid, unable to sleep, dialling at 2am. The project’s popularity, for him, was “a poignant expression of the need and loneliness of people”. Continue reading.........
From Britney to Beyoncé: Photos Capturing the Magical Beauty of the 2000s...
1 week ago
Markus KlinkoI think what we’re seeing right now—for the first time—is people in the art gallery scene are extremely interested in the 2000s period. In fashion and music, the 2000s nostalgia is not as new.We’ve been seeing it everywhere, and I think some of the work shown in my upcoming art gallery exhibitions in Munich, Toronto, Vienna, London and Dubai is what a lot of people remember when they were 14. Everything in fashion has a comeback. The people that really love the 2000s are generally people who were very, very young at that time. Now they’re in their 30s, and they’re very melancholic about that. Back then, I was really referencing the ‘70s, the whole disco era. So, what we’re looking at now is actually a 2000s vision of the ‘70s. It was a more innocent era. It was the time before social media, and I think that people enjoy going back to a simpler time when you were not judged constantly by your Instagram profile.Beyoncé in Times Square, all of that. She was about to launch her solo career, and my task was to really envision who Beyoncé was about to become, and to anticipate the image that wasn’t really her quite yet.Read more at The Daily Beast.......
‘Some of art’s most luxurious orgies’ – Poussin and the Dance review...
1 week ago
National Gallery, LondonSo sombre Poussin was actually a hedonist? What a surprise! By dwelling on his decade in Rome, then a city revelling in raw sensuality, this show casts him as Caravaggio’s lewder cousinNicolas Poussin intimidates me. This 17th-century French artist, who spent most of his life in Rome, is so profoundly serious it can feel like you’ll never be quite grownup enough to get him. Quail before his solemn depictions of the Seven Sacraments. Melt under the severe gaze of his Self-Portrait in the Louvre. His greatest champion in Britain was the art historian and Soviet spy Anthony Blunt, who presumably found something delicious in possessing a secret knowledge of the Poussin code, the one I’ve never been privy to. It was also possessed by the snobbish writer Anthony Powell, whose novel sequence shares its title with Poussin’s painting A Dance to the Music of Time.Now the mystery is blown wide open. The National Gallery has cracked art’s most elitist code. Its liberating new exhibition unleashes a Poussin who is human, passionate and high on ancient history. This it achieves with a razor-sharp focus on his first 10 years living in Rome and feasting on its pleasures. Continue reading.........
Sponges, blood cells and sound-art: the exhibition hoping to cure my cancer...
3 weeks ago
The UK’s first ever cancer research exhibition pairs up patients with researchers to show the creative paths taken on the cutting edge of human discoveryShortly before the pandemic hit, I found myself dressed in a red lab coat, trying to find a cure for blood cancer. Although that might be overstating things a little. It’s Professor Dominique Bonnet who is at the cutting edge of cancer research, whereas I was just tagging along for a day at the Francis Crick Institute, hoping to get a feel for what a career in the laboratory looks like.It was a fascinating experience, especially seeing how Bonnet’s work could be surprisingly hands-on. I learned that she uses sponges of collagen in her research because the material is so similar to the bone marrow in which our blood cells are made. By dipping these tiny sponges into human stromal cells and then inserting them into the backs of mice to develop naturally, scientists are better able to monitor how cancer progresses and reacts to certain interventions. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the sponges can be removed afterwards, leaving the mice unharmed, although of course other cancer research is not able to be as humane. Continue reading.........
Forced from home: the humans and animals under threat – in pictures...
3 weeks ago
Nick Brandt visited five animal sanctuaries in Africa to portray the people displaced by droughts and the creatures whose very existence is under threat Continue reading.........
Sci-fi script and a cage-shaped mosque: Islamic art gets subversive...
3 weeks ago
From subtle riffs on traditional script-based decoration to a late father’s letters to his lover, the artists vying for the Jameel prize generate deep emotion from meticulousnessWords have had outsize importance in Muslim culture since the beginning. The Qur’an, which literally means “recitation”, was of course revered as the word of God. But, crucially, images of human beings and animals were disapproved of because they could distract people from prayer; as a result, artists poured all their creativity and imagination into calligraphy. Facing the same restriction, craftsmen and architects created dazzling geometric forms into which words were often incorporated. The discipline imposed by not being able to depict living things gave rise to some of the most beguiling decoration on the planet. Continue reading.........
Join our clube! Brazil’s secret photography auteurs – in pictures...
1 month ago
Between 1946 and 1964, a group of amateur photographers changed the face of Brazilian photography – yet are almost forgotten outside their homeland Continue reading.........
Justin Favela, Artist Lecture...
Des Moines Art Center
1 month ago
Justin Favela shares significant touch points about his artistic motivations, influences, and explorations, ending in a description of his exhibition at the Des Moines Art Center, Justin Favela: Central American. The post Justin Favela, Artist Lecture appeared first on Des Moines Art Center.......
Drag queens to cloud surfers: highlights from Photo London 2021 – in pictures...
1 month ago
Featuring Malcolm X, Ronald McDonald and a turtleneck-wearing demon, Photo London returns in style with 88 galleries from 15 countries Continue reading.........