Queery and The L Word

Early this year, Showtime announced the reboot of the L Word! The renewed series will reunite many of the favorite characters from the original as well as add more diversity and inclusion with new characters. The new series will be led by Marje-Lewis Ryan, director and writer of many things including the Four-Faced Liar.

With all that excitement comes Cameron Esposito’s “Queery“, a podcast dedicated to discussions with queer thought leaders that explores identity in contemporary culture.  What really makes this podcast work is Esposito’s genuine curiosity for other people, how they experience their own queerness, and the stories that make up their lives.

Below is a more recent episode of Esposito in conversation with Ilene Chaiken, the original showrunner and creator of the L Word.   They dive into unknown secrets and insights of the show back when it first aired as well as where it is heading in the future.  It’s a great conversation about how visibility has or hasn’t changed over more than a decade since the first episode of Chaiken’s groundbreaking show.  For many lady loving ladies, me included, The L Word was one of the first times I saw a woman openly expressing her desires for another woman.  Seeing this show, despite all of its problems, gave an example of the possibility of living an open and honest life when this felt impossible.

Check out the episode here: https://www.earwolf.com/episode/ilene-chaiken/

Stella Donnelly

Stella Donnelly’s “Boys Will Be Boys” is a stunning anthem relatable to anyone who has experienced sexual assault.  The song was written in response to a friend of hers being assaulted years prior to #metoo.  The song’s re-release this year on her new album “Beware of Dogs” hardly seems coincidental.  Donnelly tackles rape culture head on with uncompromising force, proclaiming her rightful upset through reclaiming a chorus we’ve all heard many times before: “Why was she all alone/ wearing her shirt that low?/ They said ‘Boys will be boys’/ Deaf to the word ‘no’.”

Stella Donnelly comes to Deluxx Fluxx in Detroit on March 25.  Tickets here.

Richard Wentworth

“The point about art is it’s all in its interpretation. Art is something that you encounter and you know it’s in a different kind of space from the rest of your life, but is directly connected to it. … It’s a great privilege to be near art because when you’re near art, you can be another kind of person, and it allows you to think differently about things that you have never done.” — Richard Wentworth

Mary Oliver

Wild Geese

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting –
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

-Mary Oliver

 

Carey Young “Declared Void”

I have been working with squares, specifically taped squares, since this summer and recently happened upon Declared Void (2005) by Carey Young, showing once again the extraordinary possibility in the form.  Here, Young creates spatial divisions to arrive at the complexities of positioning in public space.   The instructions transform the sectioned off space from anyplace, anywhere gallery to political zone (almost using the idea of the “white cube” against the gallery itself).  It also provides a decision point of interaction for the viewer.

Steve Paxton “Satisfying Lover”

A large group of people (thirty to eighty-four) walk from stage right to stage left, stopping to stand or sit according to a written score, demonstrating another way to think about walking and celebration of pedestrian movement.  Jill Johnston wrote of the 1968 version of the piece that she was impressed with the assortment of bodies.  “The fat, the skinny, the medium, the slouched and slumped, the straight and tall, the bowlegged and knock-kneed, the awkward, the elegant, the coarse, the delicate, the pregnant, the virginal, the you name it, by implication every postural possibility in the postural spectrum, that’s you and me in all our ordinary everyday who cares postural splendor.”

A Philosophy of Walking

A few ideas from the first chapters of A Philosophy of Walking by Frédéric Gros

“Because the city-dweller tends spontaneously to interpret such activity [walking] in terms of deprivation, whereas the walker considers it a liberation to be disentangled from the web of exchange, no longer reduced to a junction in the network of redistributing information, images and goods; to see that these things have only the reality and importance you give them.”

Walking liberates you from time and space.

“…by walking you are not going to meet yourself.  By walking, you escape from the very idea of identity, the temptation to be someone, to have a name and a history.”

 

 

As Far As I Could Get (10 seconds)

As Far As I Could Get is a series of photographs made by John Divola in 1996/97.  He pushed a self-timer button on his camera and ran as fast as he could to get away from it.  The exposure time was 10 seconds.   This project offers a different take on the role of walking/ running within an artistic practice and also speaks to the limits of time when it comes to realization of a complete idea.  You can only get as far as you can get.  It reminds me of a Steven Wright quote: “Everywhere is within walking distance if you have the time.”

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