Monday, March 30, 2009

JENNY HOLZER: Protect, Protect

In a moment of blind luck, I was invited to preview Jenny Holzer's largest retrospective in fifteen years, "Protect Protect" at the Whitney last week. Running til May 31st, the show is immaculately curated, a winding journey favoring a lot of Holzer's more contemporary works and then ending in a darkened room with her trademarked neon flashing messages.

A brief glimpse of Jenny Holzer: She gained recognition in the 70s with her "Truisims" which were a type of "Escatological Laundry List" that she posted everywhere. She began to project onto buildings, using phrases and sentences that were aggressive, usually dealing with war or sex. Dark, critical and deliciously masochistic, her work then continued with "Lustmorde," which was a depiction of rape from the view of the perpetrator, victim and viewer. Today she is working on "Redactions," which takes "unclassified" documents detailing the Iraq war detainee treatments and quite literally blows them up to be examined.

Because her work is unapologetic and inflammatory, there is something adolescent in a lot of what she does - magnifying words or difficult speech and then making the viewer swallow the often painful imagery. One of the suits from the Whitney was explaining, almost apologetically, that "with Jenny Holzer, its not just the words that she is depicting, but the actual visualization of the words." While it is true that the flashing marquees and neon lights are fairly beautiful, I totally disagree: It IS the words that are so moving. Simple, unhinged language being ignited like a billboard is incredibly and irresistably powerful. A lot of her work challenges the viewer as being passive - by reading this you are passively accepting the world - but then encourages a different course - RUIN YOURSELF BEFORE THEY RUIN YOU. This dichotomy, this tension, is what draws me to her work. She is both the accuser and the accomplice.

It takes a while before you can step over intert bodies and go ahead with what you were trying to do.

Some days you wake and immediately start to worry. Nothing in particular is wrong it's just the suspicion that forces are aligning quietly and there will be trouble.

Some Redactions.

A confession from a soldier admitting to killing a child. The hand written note and the fact that it was on a wall by itself was simply impactful.

The physical presence of the confessions.

Jenny giving us a tour.

Massive handprints of torture victims.

Some of her neon structures.

Lustmorde. This is my favorite of her works. She took human bones and bound them with metal that was engraved with her work. The statements themselves are nauseating and powerful. I was physically shaking at the pure physicality of her imagery. You can see more here.

I feel who you are, and it does me no good at all.

The simplicity of her language and presentation is so vehement.

May 31st at the Whitney.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Twitter? But, I just met 'er?!

You can follow me now.

If you had been following earlier, you could have witnessed my traipse around Washington Square Park to locate the elusive Topshop truck.

I promise you it will be good fun.


Tuesday, March 24, 2009


The lovely ladies over at Is Mental always talk about how amazing TenOverSix is - with good reason. The LA-based retailer is a bit of LA's response to, say, Opening Ceremony (besides, er, Opening Ceremony) or something a little more quirky. And, for FW 09, the gals have created their own capsule collection, made of lovely coats, bags and even a couple pieces of jewelry.

Actually, the laptop bags are quite cool - I really have been noticing a lot of paint dipped things recently and I like that you can actually discern a where the paint stops.

Oh, and two-toned shoes are always amazing, and are apparently made by Kristen Lee, whom I've been following secretly since Surface did its big LA thing.

Is there something happening in a Navajo-print, native inspired way here? Can I get a poncho?

Monday, March 23, 2009

Where The Wild Things Are

Massively uplifting news today. The dream project "Where The Wild Things Are" is not only in production, but trailers are being released this weekend and stills have finally hit the interweb. Possibly one of the best adaptations of all time (except for Jodorowsky's ill-fated Dune, perhaps, or Terry Gilliam's Watchmen). If you haven't heard, this is like, a fortuitous alignment of impossible forces: The story is apparently very faithful to Sendak's 1963 children's masterpiece, it's directed by Spike Jonze, written by Dave Eggers and starring Catherine Keener and Forrest Whittaker.

And the test footage was so heart-warming it almost melted my ice-encrusted soul:

The pictures that surfaced on USA Today look amazing. Max is irritated instead of cute, the movie looks thoughtful instead of oafish and there is a general sense of expanse and melancholy.

Oh, and to top it all off, the boy who PLAYS Max is actually NAMED Max as well. I can't wait til October.

Saturday, March 7, 2009


Very exciting news that I wanted to draw the general attention to. Camille Altay, who you might recognize from such roles as My Best Friend 4Ever, just got accepted into her first real-live jurored show. Located at the fairly large and reputable Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts, Camille is one of several artists located all over the east coast to be featured in a show that "engages latitiude, limits and attitudes with boundaries either upheld or transgressed."

Camille's work has always been fascinated with geometry and placement: things meld, morph and merge in often cartoonish, overtly sexual ways. Abstract notions feel somewhat tangible - and there is always something a little threatening but also precocious lurking beneath the surface (like a child offender...?). I think this show has a theme that is very much in line with her work, and it sounds like it's quite a good fit for her. Rumor has it she is going to apply for a solo show. And, it's Delaware, which is quite fancy.

Here are some lovely, line-featuring works of Camille's:

I believe that the "Universal Events" series is the piece that made it in the show, but I can't find a digitial representation of the specific work.

Anyway, if anyone heads to Delaware in the next few weeks (the show is up til the end of April), check it out, take some pics and I would totally post them.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Want More Leila??

You can always stalk me over at Interview. Just check the fashion blog, or here.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Amazon in the Mood


Since when did start getting amazing shoes at absurd prices? Why didn't I know about this? Why are they so cheap? And, is it wrong to like how well Jessica Simpson rips off of Balenciaga? Has this been going on for a while? Can someone talk to me about this?

Guess "Maeve" Boots for $60.85

Botkier Jamie Boot for $168.73 (marked down from $460...)

Camper Twin bootie, $58.00 (marked down from $200)

ALL BLACK cut out bootie, $58.00 (marked down from $170)

Oh dear. Jessica Simpson taking a page out from Nicolas Ghesquiére for these heels. Quite nice - at $104.00

Nine West Nistka lace-up, $50.00 (marked down from $150). It's ok to like Nine West. High quality, most of their ideas are not their own. It's okay, I promise...

Killer 'bats from Seychelles, $72.00

Diesel Prairie boots, $79.00 (marked down from $238)

Perhaps you can't tell, but I'm not quite ready to let go of winter, because my footwear options run dry. But boots and shorts, as we all know, is probably the best combination since chocolate milkshakes and fries.