Tuesday, February 28, 2006

the horror of the whitney biennial again- it happens every year

Signature survey measuring the mood of contemporary American art
Opens March 2

The curators have announced their selection of artists for the 2006 Whitney Biennial, which opens to the public on March 2, and remains on view at the Whitney Museum of American Art through May 28, 2006.

Whitney Biennial 2006: Day for Night is curated by Chrissie Iles, the Whitney’s Anne & Joel Ehrenkranz Curator, and Philippe Vergne, the Deputy Director and Chief Curator of the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis.

The Biennial’s lead sponsor is Altria. "Altria Group, Inc. is proud to continue its forty year relationship with the Whitney Museum of American Art by sponsoring the 2006 Biennial exhibition," remarked Jennifer P. Goodale, Vice President, Contributions, Altria Corporate Services, Inc. "This signature exhibition of some of the most bold and inspired work coming from artists' studios reflects our company's philosophy of supporting innovation, creativity and diversity in the arts.

Whitney Biennial 2006: Day for Night takes its title from the 1973 film by François Truffaut, whose original French name, La Nuit américaine, denotes the cinematic technique of shooting night scenes artificially during the day, using a special filter. This is the first Whitney Biennial to have a title attached to it.

“Through the curatorial lens of the Biennial,” said curator Chrissie Iles, “’Day for Night’ explores the artifice of American culture in what could be described as a pre-Enlightenment moment, in which culture is preoccupied with the irrational, the religious, the dark, the erotic, and the violent, filtered through a sense of flawed beauty. This reflective, restless mood is not unique to the United States; its presence across both America and Europe suggests a shift in the accepted values that have formed the basis of 20th-century Western culture.”

“This moment of questioning characterizes the broad context for the current moment in contemporary American art,” said curator Philippe Vergne. “The artists in the 2006 Biennial are working in a space between pre- and post-modernist parameters – somewhere between day and night, between the history of forms and the forms of history. In this twilight zone, many things are called into question or obscured.”

Some of the many intertwining and overlapping strands of the Biennial are discussed below.

Uncertain Identities and Unfixed Images
Sometimes this questioning or obfuscation manifests itself as an uncertain identity – two artists are fictional personae, one artwork is unnamed and almost invisible. In other cases a slippage occurs in definition – paintings can be part of a larger installation environment, as in the work of Jutta Koether; in Bernadette Corporation, a film can also be a performance, or an ongoing street activity; a journey can also be an exhibition, as Robert Gober and Pierre Huyghe seem to suggest.

In other cases, the instability of meaning can occur in the reading of the image itself, as in Troy Brauntuch’s haunting black-and-white canvases, after-images in which delicate specters seem to slip between light and shadow, as though seen through a mist, or in Mark Grotjahn’s white paintings, in which layers of creamy white paint cover an invisible image.

In Carter’s ghostly collages, photographs of faces are drawn over with pen or disguised by layers of cut-out paper, through which identity is glimpsed, but never fixed. Momus will move anonymously through the galleries, at various times throughout the exhibition, in the form of an “Unreliable Tour Guide,” discussing the work on display. In Hanna Liden’s photographs, masked figures in snowy forests render the landscape unreal and suggest an unknowable place of otherworldly, perhaps pagan ritual.

In Rodney Graham’s 35mm film installation Torqued Chandelier Release (2005), a large crystal chandelier spins around in the darkness, its glass ornaments flying, until it eventually comes to rest. Based on Isaac Newton’s experiment with relative motion, in which Newton spun a bucket of water round and round, Graham’s “thought experiment” de-stabilizes our sense of space and time, overlaying scientific reference with a hypnotic beauty.

A sense of existential languor can be felt in two large black and white paintings by Rudolf Stingel, made for the exhibition. Stingel’s pensive self portraits, depicting the artist in a creative crisis, demonstrate the way in which a classical model of painting is used to address profound doubts about the validity of the notion of historical progress. Such doubt is also underlined in Sturtevant’s installation, Duchamp 1200 Coal Bags, in which the artist fabricates a dozen of Duchamp’s ready-mades.

In an installation by Christopher Williams, conventional readings of mediums become modified by their relationship to each other within a single space. Photographs are shown with objects, which are in turn connected to a film program, curated by Williams, of films that have influenced his thinking. Williams’ work in photography, sculpture, performance, film, video and graphic design, is highly conceptual, and each element of his installation for the Biennial, which will include architectural fragments of the Whitney Museum, connects and transforms the other.

Since 1994, the international group known as Bernadette Corporation has explored strategies of cultural resistance. From the New York-based BC fashion label, which garnered a cult following in the 1990s, and the magazine Made In USA, launched in 1999, to the collectively-authored novel Reena Spaulings (Semiotext(e), 2005) and videos starring Sylvère Lotringer and Chloe Sevigny, Bernadette Corporation's projects amount to a precisely-calibrated critique of a global culture that constructs identity through consumption and branding.

Another group, Otabenga Jones & Associates, whose work involves actions, writings, and installations, was founded in 2002 in Houston, Texas. The group’s members are Dawolu Jabari Anderson, Jamal Cyrus, Kenya Evans, and Robert A. Pruitt, four African American artists, each of whom will be shown separately, as well as in the group they form together as Otabenga Jones & Associates. With its goal to highlight errors in the representation of African art, the group is named in honor of Ota Benga, an African pygmy brought to the United States in 1906 and exhibited in the Bronx Zoo.

The Biennial Catalogue

Reena Spaulings is a fictional artist founded in 2004 in New York under the auspices of the gallery Reena Spaulings Fine Art. The work—which includes painting, sculpture, performance, and music—is made by a shifting group of collaborators. By assuming a composite, fictional identity and entering an art world overwhelmingly under the sway of the market, both financially and creatively, in reverse—forming a gallery, then becoming an artist—Spaulings confronts the problem of maintaining integrity in such an environment and questions the art-star system that operates in conjunction with the market.

Shock and Awe
If Stingel’s dark night of doubt looks inward, a sense of dissatisfaction with the political status quo is articulated more outwardly in Don’t Trust Anyone Over Thirty, a large installation by Dan Graham, Tony Oursler, Rodney Graham, Laurent Berger, and the young Williamsburg band Japanther. This spectacular puppet show is presented here for the first time in its installation version, in which the 24-year-old rock singer Neill Sky is elected President of the United States after instigating teenage riots to change the voting age to 14 and putting LSD (ultimately standing for Let’s Stop Destruction) in the water of Congress.

Political art – or art made by artists who are consciously making political statements – forms one strand of the exhibition. Outside, in the Whitney’s Sculpture Court, Mark di Suvero and Rirkrit Tiravanija are recreating di Suvero’s Peace Tower, first constructed in Los Angeles in 1966 as a protest against the Vietnam War. The Peace Tower, also known as the Artists’ Tower against the War in Vietnam, was erected by a group of concerned artists known as the Artists’ Protest Committee. Di Suvero’s structure was surrounded by panels (2’ x 2’) made by 400 artists including Judy Chicago, Eva Hesse, Donald Judd, Roy Lichtenstein, James Rosenquist, Mark Rothko, and Nancy Spero. In di Suvero and Tiravanija’s creation of another Peace Tower for the 2006 Whitney Biennial, as many of the original group of participating artists as can be found are being invited to take part.

An “Emergency Room” serves as an exhibition space for a number of politically-engaged artworks by Critical Art Ensemble, The Center for Land Use Interpretation (CLUI), Deep Dish Television, and Natalie Jeremijenko. The space will include a videotape by Critical Art Ensemble, an artists’ collective dedicated to exploring the intersections between art, technology, radical politics and critical theory. Also showing is work by Deep Dish Television (DDTV), the original alternative satellite network in America, co-founded by filmmaker and activist DeeDee Halleck. DDTV’s program collection Shocking and Awful (2004–2005) examines the latest violent and highly controversial actions in Iraq. With segments produced by over 100 independent filmmakers and activist organizations, the impassioned, on-the-ground viewpoint of these broadcasts shows the flipside of the Bush Administration’s “Shock and Awe” military tactics.

The exhibition will also include the original drawing by Richard Serra for his poster “Stop Bush,” which became a signature image around New York City when it was reproduced as a placard, poster, and billboard during protests against the Iraq War. Josephine Meckseper’s double-vitrine installation – one part is titled The Complete History of Postcontemporary Art and the other Tout va – addresses both American consumerism and political protest, and is shown alongside a film shot during the anti-war demonstrations in New York and Washington, using the same 16mm film stock as that used in anti-war films made during the 1960s, evoking an unsettling feeling not of nostalgia, but of déjà vu, or perhaps a premonition of things to come.

The dynamic between eros and thanatos becomes particularly intense in moments of conflict and uncertainty. “A desperate sense of lavish abandon,” as Vergne puts it, is visible in some of the works in the show. In Billy Sullivan’s 1968-2005 (2005), a three-part slide work to be shown here for the first time, a beautiful young woman named Serpa, clad only in a gold skirt tied loosely around her waist, poses in one section for Sullivan’s camera, on a bed in a luxurious New York hotel room. The eroticism of Sullivan’s images, taken one morning in the 1970s, is created in the easy intimacy between camera and subject. Dorothy Iannone, an expatriate artist based in Berlin, now in her 70s, has created voluptuous, erotic paintings using a libertarian, almost psychedelic language, since the 1960s.

In the paintings of Marilyn Minter, glittery, heavily made-up eyes, cracked heels in dirty stiletto pumps, and glistening open lips spilling pearls and fake diamonds expose the messy reality beneath the veneer of eroticized glamour. Monica Majoli’s disturbing watercolors deal with the psychological aspects of erotic experience, their soft, diffused tones suggesting a kind of disembodied consciousness.

By contrast, Francesco Vezzoli’s Trailer for a Remake of Gore Vidal’s Caligula, which premiered this past summer at the Venice Biennale, creates a false trailer for a re-make of the notorious film depicting the decadent government of Roman Emperor Gaius Germanicus Caligula, who gave his horse political office and hosted scandalous orgies in the Imperial palace. Vezzoli’s film, an implicit critique of the decadence of Hollywood cinema and of the innate corruption of government, includes Helen Mirren, who also starred in the original film, as well as Gore Vidal, Courtney Love, Karen Black, Benicio Del Toro, and Michelle Phillips.

The paintings of Peter Doig, JP Munro and Chris Vasell express a more mystical, almost Symbolist mood. Peter Doig’s paintings evoke a sense of magical realism, while Vasell’s large faces loom out of the canvas through layers of thinly applied paint, as though emerging from a dream. Munro’s depictions of art historical subjects are Romantic, decadent, mythological and sometimes macabre. Adam McEwen’s Obituaries present celebrities’ fictional deaths, written up by McEwen, who was once a newspaper obituary writer, and printed on the pink paper identified with The Financial Times, playing on our macabre interest in death and fame.

An Archeology of the Present
Whitney Biennial 2006: Day for Night features several important works of sculpture that reconsider, tongue in cheek and with a twist, the validity or the permanence of notions such as monumentality, formalism, narrative (Urs Fischer, Dan Colen, Gedi Sibony, Deva Graf, Trisha Donnelly, Matthew Monahan, Liz Larner, Hannah Greely, Lisa Lapinski, Aaron Young, Nari Ward, Jésus “Bubu” Negrón) while others explore through installation the subversive potential of art (Robert A. Pruitt, Reena Spaulings, Yuri Masnyj, Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla, Carolina Caycedo, Jennie Smith) or attempt to reclaim an American history that may have been confiscated (Matthew Day Jackson, Otabenga Jones & Associates). Lucas DeGiulio, a young, emerging artist from San Francisco, will show a group of small sculptures using found materials, some made for the exhibition.

The fugitive nature of the camera as an eye through which to create a reality

that undermines the current commercial photographic environment can be seen in a diverse group of photographs by Amy Blakemore, Anne Collier, Robert Gober, Hanna Liden, Florian Maier-Aichen, Dash Snow, and Angela Strassheim. Amy Blakemore’s elusive portraits are made using the Diana camera, a cheap plastic camera made in the 1960s, whose crude casing leaks light and causes blurring, heightening the oblique intimacy of Blakemore’s subjects. The disturbing images of Angela Strassheim address death, evangelical Christianity, and the notion of codified, standardized, safe living, among other subjects, with an unforgiving eye that belies her training in forensic photography. By contrast, Dash Snow uses the Polaroid camera to record his friends and his surroundings in intensely personal images that teeter on the edge of self-destruction.

Struggling with notions of mainstream, if not populist culture, a number of artists are unveiling an archeology of the present in which irony and critical distance convey a disgruntled relationship with the tired models dominating our media-driven environment. This can be seen in the work of such artists as Kori Newkirk, Mark Bradford, Spencer Sweeney, Kelley Walker, Tony Conrad, Cameron Jamie, Kenya Evans, Daniel Johnston, Jay Heikes, Dan Colen, Todd Norsten, and Dawolu Jabari Anderson.

Anne Collier’s spare images of iconic objects – LP covers, audiocassette tapes – and of herself, positioned against a stark white background, evoke the spare light of Los Angeles and call to mind the 1960s Finish Fetish movement, as well as the reductive images of Richard Prince. Florian Maier-Aichen’s haunting photographs of Los Angeles and the American desert bathe their subjects in an almost supernatural, apocalyptic light. The artist – as vividly seen in the work of the late Ed Paschke – remains irradiated by a culture of excess and overexposure in which politics, entertainment, and fictional truth leave us branded simulacra of ourselves.

Film legend Kenneth Anger is featured with a gallery installation that includes his most recent film, Mouse Heaven; a psychedelic poster for his earlier film Lucifer Rising; and a selection of photographs from his film Invocation of My Demon Brother, among other objects. Embodying the purest spirit of “underground” and subversion, Anger continues to exert an important influence on artists including several in the Biennial, such as Jutta Koether, Steven Parrino, and Anne Collier, among others.

The exhibition includes a strong group of film loop, slide and video installations. As well as new works by Francesco Vezzoli and Billy Sullivan, Anthony Burdin will appear with a new video installation incorporating an intense soundtrack of Burdin playing drums and guitar. The sound artist and composer Jim O’Rourke premieres his first video installation, Door (2005), a three-screen projection in which layers of sound build to form an environment of sound. Matthias Poledna’s sparely shot 16mm film installations are preoccupied with the relationship between sound, image, and the production process. Paul Chan’s projective installation, casting onto the floor shadows of objects falling through space, conjures the dark mood of the current political and social climate.

In Jordan Wolfson’s spare film loop installation, a small projection onto a wall shows a tuxedo-clad man signing Charlie Chaplin’s controversial speech from The Great Dictator, the overtly political message of which resulted in Chaplin’s being denied reentry into the United States. The speech, 700 words long, forms the title of the piece.

The exhibition also includes Kranky Klaus, a film installation by Cameron Jamie, in which villages in Central Austria await a visit from St. Nicholas’ nemesis, the mythical beast Krampus. Zoe Strauss creates searing, humanist portraits in a slide projection of her local community of South Philadelphia and in images of her recent trip to the devastated Gulf Coast.

Screen Life
Film and video works by both emerging and established filmmakers will be screened, as well as interventions by artists included elsewhere in the exhibition. James Benning will show 13 Lakes, a rigorous, contemplative study of lakes from Arizona to Alaska, in which the static camera records the subtle changes in the lake and the sky over an extended period. Lewis Klahr’s feature animation narrative in three parts, Two Minutes to Zero Trilogy (2003-4), will be screened in its entirety. Martha Colburn’s found footage animations, Marie Losier’s portrait of legendary playwright and Ontological–Hysterical Theater founder Richard Foreman, Louise Bourque’s The Bleeding Heart of It (L’Eclat du Mal), in which the artist dreams that a war is going on, and new videos by Joe Gibbons are also included.

Michael Snow’s films S S H T O O R R T Y and W V L N T will be shown, as well as films by Christina Battle, David Gatten, Doug Henry, Jeanne Liotta, and Ryan Trecartin, and two film performances by Andrew Lampert. T. Kelly Mason and Diana Thater’s Jump depicts twenty synchronized jump-ropers in a gym, accompanied by a rock band playing stylistically varying versions of Bob Dylan’s “Subterranean Homesick Blues.” Jimmie Durham’s film, Pursuit of Happiness, depicts the rise of a fictitious Native American artist, played by Anri Sala, who makes it to the top after a successful show of art made from garbage.

George Butler’s documentary Going Upriver: The Long War of John Kerry, a portrait of Kerry’s service in Vietnam and his subsequent protests against the war, released at the height of the 2004 presidential campaign by Butler, who has known Kerry since the 1960s, shows the trajectory of Kerry’s engagement from idealism to disillusionment. Dominic Angerame’s Anaconda Targets documents a bombing by the American military of a target in Afghanistan, while Jennifer Reeves’ The Time We Killed portrays the anxiety and uncertainty felt by a fictional character, Robyn, as she moves through a post-September 11th New York City. Lori Cheatle and Daisy Wright’s This Land is Your Land, which some have compared to the hard-hitting work of Michael Moore, documents the state of democracy in America, addressing the overwhelming corporate influence on everyday life in the U.S. through the voices of people interviewed across the country.

Bernadette Corporation will show a new film, and Studio Film Club, formed in Peter Doig’s studio in Trinidad by Doig and Che Lovelace, will screen some of the Biennial films at the Studio Film Club, while a selection of the Studio Film Club’s program will be screened at the Whitney, including the film Day for Night that gave the exhibition its name. Christopher Williams will curate a program of films that have influenced his work, including work by Kurt Kren and Carl Dreyer and, in homage to Kenneth Anger, a selection of Anger’s films will be screened.

Warhol film legend Taylor Mead, who will appear reading his poems, is also represented with a series of drawings depicting a naughty fairy tale, while Excavating Taylor Mead, documenting Mead’s life, will be screened as part of the film program. The poet, photographer, and filmmaker Ira Cohen will also read his poems, along with a special screening of his psychedelic film The Invasion of the Thunderbolt Pagoda.

Pierre Huyghe: A Biennial Collaboration with the Public Art Fund
For the 2006 Biennial, the Whitney is partnering for the fourth time with the Public Art Fund. This year’s collaboration takes the form of a film by Pierre Huyghe, A Journey That Wasn’t, based on the artist’s recent journey to Antarctica. A Journey That Wasn’t takes place in three moments in time: the artist’s actual journey to the Antarctic in February 2005; the orchestral musical presentation based on that journey, with music by Joshua Cody and a solo performance by Elliott Sharp, which was filmed at dusk in the rain in Central Park’s Wollman Rink on October 14, 2005; and the film made using footage shot on those two occasions. The project is curated by Tom Eccles, former director of Public Art Fund, in collaboration with Biennial curators Chrissie Iles and Philippe Vergne, and is presented by Deutsche Bank. Huyghe’s complex and multidisciplinary projects include This is not a time for dreaming (2004), a film and marionette opera.

The Wrong Gallery
In the Sondra Gilman Gallery, outside the main body of the exhibition, is a show within a show, curated by the Wrong Gallery. Founded by artist Maurizio Cattelan, curator and art critic Massimiliano Gioni, and writer and curator Ali Subotnick, the Wrong Gallery stages interventions. It initially consisted only of a glass door on a street in Chelsea, always locked, with one square foot of exhibition space behind it. The gallery serves as an incubator for artistic experimentation, inviting artists to create site-specific works within its space, and promoting clandestine interventions in the world outside. Although its exhibition spaces in New York are currently closed, the Wrong Gallery continues to expand, living on as a brand, an identity, a franchise, a concept, in projects such as Gagosian Berlin and at the Frieze art fair, manifesting itself, like a virus, within other organizations.

The 2006 Whitney Biennial catalogue, with 800 pages and more than 200 images, will use an innovative book format in order to present a remarkable artists’ section, "Draw Me a Sheep." Borrowing its title from Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's The Little Prince, the section will be a collection of individual artist pages done as a series of four-panel “poster” foldouts. By inviting each artist to create a page for the book, "Draw Me a Sheep" presents an image from the artist's world and explores how each artist deals with representation in his or her own time.

In addition to the artists’ section, the catalogue will contain a general introduction and a conversation between the curators, Chrissie Iles and Philippe Vergne and the art historian Toni Burlap; a foreword by Whitney director Adam D. Weinberg; and contributions by critic and teacher Johanna Burton; Bradley Eros, an artist, experimental filmmaker, curator, writer, performer, and researcher, whose work was shown in the 2004 Whitney Biennial; Lia Gangitano, founder and director of Participant Inc. and former curator of The Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston and Thread Waxing Space, New York; Bruce Hainley, a contributing editor of Artforum and Associate Director of Graduate Studies in Criticism & Theory at Art Center College of Design; Molly Nesbit, a professor of Art at Vassar College and a contributing editor of Artforum; cultural historian and media scholar Siva Vaidhyanathan; and writer and cultural commentator Neville Wakefield. In addition the book will include excerpts from a series of articles by the writer and noted French philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy (the complete series will be published by Random House in January 2006).

The book is designed by Conny Purtill, published by the Whitney Museum of American Art, and distributed by Harry N. Abrams, Inc. The retail price is $50 and the publication date is March 2006.

The Bucksbaum Award
For the fourth time, the Bucksbaum Award will be given. At the last Biennial, it was conferred on Raymond Pettibon, whose exhibition of recent work is currently on view at the Whitney. In 2002, the recipient was Irit Batsry for her film These Are Not My Images (neither there nor here). In 2000, Paul Pfeiffer was the first recipient. Endowed by trustee Melva Bucksbaum and her family, The Bucksbaum Award is given by the Whitney every two years to an artist chosen from among those in the Biennial. It includes a grant of $100,000, and an exhibition at the Whitney.

Biennial History
This year’s Biennial is the 73rd in the Whitney’s ongoing surveys of contemporary American art, begun in 1932, shortly after the museum was founded. Varying the approach a number of times throughout its history, the Whitney began by mounting bi-annual exhibitions of painting or sculpture (the latter including prints and drawings) between 1932 and 1936. Starting in 1937, two Annuals were held each year, one devoted to painting and the other to sculpture. This structure remained in effect (with slight modifications) until 1956, when a single Annual was held encompassing all media. Between 1959 and 1972, Annuals once again alternated between sculpture (sometimes together with prints and drawings) and painting. Motivated by the shifting character of American art, increasingly violated margins between traditional media, and the blurring of conventional distinctions, the present all-media Biennial system was initiated by the Whitney in 1973.

About the Curators
Chrissie Iles, the Whitney’s Anne & Joel Ehrenkranz Curator of Contemporary Art, came to the Whitney in 1997. Her Whitney exhibitions include James Lee Byars: The Perfect Silence, the 2004 Biennial (co-curated with Shamim M. Momin and Debra Singer), and Into the Light: The Projected Image in American Art 1964-1977, a survey of moving image installations that was named best theme show of 2001 by the International Association of Art Critics. Other exhibitions include Jack Goldstein: Films and Performance; Flashing into the Shadows: The Artist’s Film after Pop and Minimalism 1966-1976 (co-curated with Eric de Bruyn); Blind Side, a film installation by Liisa Roberts; Lothar Baumgarten: The Origin of the Night; Lorna Simpson: 31; Dennis Oppenheim: Aspen Projects; Mary Kelly: Antepartum; California Dreaming; and War! Protest in America 1965-2004. Iles has written numerous catalog texts, and is writing a book on art and film for the Phaidon series Themes and Movements. She is an Adjunct Professor at Columbia University, and is on the faculty of the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College and External Examiner for the Curatorial Course at Goldsmith's College, London. She is working on a Michael Heizer exhibition.

Philippe Vergne, recently named Deputy Director and Chief Curator at the Walker Art Center (WAC), joined the Walker Art Center staff in 1997. As Senior Curator and head of the Visual Arts department at the Walker from 1997 to 2005, Vergne organized the exhibitions How Latitudes Become Forms: Art in a Global Age, Let’s Entertain, Herzog & de Meuron: In Process, and House of Oracles: A Huang Yong Ping Retrospective; coordinated artist residencies with Joep van Lieshout, Christian Marclay, and Nari Ward; and oversaw, with Richard Flood, the collection exhibitions inaugurating the Walker’s expanded facility. In addition to authoring numerous exhibition catalogs and contributing to others, Vergne has written for Artforum, Parkett, Asia Pacific Magazine, and other periodicals. He is currently working on a Cameron Jamie survey, a Kara Walker survey, and an Yves Klein retrospective.

About The Whitney Museum
The Whitney Museum of American Art is the leading advocate of 20th- and 21st-century American art. Founded in 1930, the Museum is regarded as the preeminent collection of American art and includes major works and materials from the estate of Edward Hopper, the largest public collection of works by Alexander Calder, Louise Nevelson, and Lucas Samaras, as well as significant works by Jasper Johns, Donald Judd, Agnes Martin, Bruce Nauman, Georgia O'Keeffe, Claes Oldenburg, Kiki Smith, and Andy Warhol, among other artists. With its history of exhibiting the most promising and influential American artists and provoking intense debate, the Whitney's signature show, the Biennial, has become the most important survey of the state of contemporary art in America today.

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Peace tower comes to NY

Whitney Biennial brings Iraq "Peace Tower" to NY
Tue Feb 28, 2006 8:43 PM ET14

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A giant "Peace Tower" with panels by 200 artists likening the war in Iraq to Vietnam will be the first thing to confront visitors entering the leading showcase of contemporary American art, the Whitney Biennial.

"The anti-war sentiment among artists has been very strong, it's what we felt everywhere, whether we were at an artist's studio doing abstract paintings or whatever," said Chrissie Iles, co-curator of New York show which opens on Thursday at the Whitney Museum of American Art.

"It's just a general sense of anger that they feel, this sense of things falling apart," she told Reuters as the museum unveiled its Biennial 2006 to the media ahead of the opening. The show will run until May 28.

The "Peace Tower" was assembled by artists Mark di Suvero and Rirkrit Tiravanija in a recreation of a 1966 project in Los Angeles called "Artists' Tower Against the War in Vietnam."

Some of the panels are paintings; others resemble demonstrators' placards with messages such as "Kill not," "VietIraqNam," and -- incongruously -- "Free beer." The 50-foot (15-meter) tower stands in a sunken courtyard and rises past the main entrance of the museum on New York's Upper East Side.

Philippe Vergne, who curated the Biennial with Iles, said the "Peace Tower" creators had tried to set it up during the 2004 Republican convention in New York but were unable to complete it.

"When we heard that, we approached them and asked if it was possible to do it here, since the war is not over," he said.

"It's not only Iraq, it's what's happening in Sudan, it's what's happening all over the world," Vergne added.

He said war was not so much the theme of the show -- which also includes work that is not directly political -- but rather an overall backdrop for contemporary art.

"It's not a theme, it's a reality. In every studio visit that we have done it was there -- anger and disappointment and melancholy," said Vergne, who spent more than a year with Iles traveling to find work for the Biennial.

Among the more overtly political work is a painting called "Stop Bush" by Richard Serra. It shows a hooded figure in an iconic image taken from photographs of Iraqi prisoners abused by U.S. soldiers at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. Continued ...

© Reuters 2006. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, February 26, 2006


last night i went into manhattan to see Billy Joel. it was a great concert. most of the participants were over 40 and probably got laid to Billy Joel. THose boys who looked like ray romano with their big haired wives dirty dancing to Billy joel, singing all tehwords...from their high school days or days getting laid in the car. New Jersey or Long island its all the same..

i came home and went to bed and slept in. One of my dreams involved JOhn harrison, a guy i work with who doesnt think much of women. in the dream i had an encounter where i confronted him and refused to do "housekeeeping or woman's work for him" i proceeded to tell other people in the dream how john was stereotyping and demeaning to me about relegating me to woman's work. I saw him off in the distance and heard him tell someone in power that i was inciting the others... I woke up thinking that this was important and i needed to edit myself around john or at work and let things that bother me alone

a racoon in my path

i was coming home last night from MSG and as i was walking down Newkirk ave. which is like anyother city street, a racoon ran in my path and hid behind a tree. I yelled for it to leave and it ran under a tree. I was afraid of the racoon who was fat and probably looking for food in the trash. I see these racoons by the sides of the highways generally AFTER they have been hit by cars not running the streets between the houses and in the trash cans in MY OWN neighborhood..

Friday, February 24, 2006

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

the weather in Chicago ...


Capricorn Horoscope for week of February 23, 2006

Capricorn Horoscope for week of February 23, 2006

Verticle Oracle card Capricorn (December 22-January 19)
The language we use has a tremendous power to shape our experience. This is especially true for you right now. The words you choose to describe your feelings and adventures will tip the balance of your energy toward delight and vigor or else toward discouragement and apathy. The fewer negative perspectives you formulate, the better your health will be. To spur yourself in the right direction, make frequent use of beautiful words like the following (or create your own list): mellifluous, thrive, melody, luminous, undulate, freshening, reverence, primordial, shimmer.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

lost show dog at JFK

Westminster Dog Still On The Loose At JFK
Port Authority Police Have Been Searching Since Noon

(AP) QUEENS A dog that won an award in this week's Westminster Kennel Club show escaped from its cage at John F. Kennedy International Airport on Wednesday and was believed to be on the loose in the surrounding area, authorities said.

The dog, a whippet, broke free at about noon, said Tiffany Townsend, a spokeswoman for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which runs area airports.

Port Authority police were working with its owners to search the area where planes arrive and depart, she said.

"They're looking every possible place they can to see if they can locate the dog," Townsend said.

She said she didn't know where the dog's cage had been when it escaped or where its owners had been heading. The airport, in Queens, covers more than 4,900 acres.

Barbara Nyby, a member of the American Whippet Club in California, said the dog was Bohem C'est La Vie, known as Vivy, though that spelling could not be confirmed. The dog won an award of merit at Westminster, the nation's most prestigious dog show.

The dog's owners were listed as Jil Walton and Paul Lepiane, of Ojai, Calif.

The dog had been booked on a Delta Air Lines Inc. flight. Atlanta-based Delta said it was working with local authorities to retrieve the animal.

More than 2,600 dogs were entered in this year's show at Madison Square Garden, including 25 whippets, a short-haired athletic dog similar to a greyhound. Best in Show went to Rufus, a colored bull terrier with an egg-shaped head.

(© 2006 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.Psychics called in to look for dog (CBS) QUEENS With few physical clues to the whereabouts of an escaped show dog, the hunt for the award-winning whippet has entered another realm.

About 12 psychics are counseling searchers as they check the heated cargo buildings near where Vivi escaped from a travel cage at Kennedy International Airport, Paul Lepiane, the dog's co-owner, told Newsday for Tuesday editions.

"They are telling us that she is alive, and they are telling us she is warm," said Honi Reisman, a friend of the dog's owners. "They are saying she's in a building -- but there are hundreds of buildings."

According to breeder Bo Bengtson, the animal bolted across the tarmac last week at 25 mph as workers chased her on foot and in three cars. The 3-year-old whippet, also known as Champion Bohem C'est La Vie, nosed into a marsh area and disappeared.

The dog's escape came within days of winning an award of merit at the Westminster Kennel Club show, the nation's most prestigious.

Lepiane said dog droppings consistent with the 30-pound whippet's were found Monday behind an airport cargo building. He has announced a $5,000 reward for Vivi.

The 3-year-old whippet apparently escaped her travel cage on the JFK tarmac as she was about to be put aboard a plane for the flight home to California.

Vivi was wearing a black wool sweater and a collar with her owner's phone number. She also has an inserted microchip with contact information.

More than 2,600 dogs were entered in the Westminster show at Madison Square Garden, including 25 whippets, a sleek, short-haired breed similar to a greyhound.

(© 2006 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report

dreaming again when i am sick

i have been fighting periodic fevers and have been going to bed around 9 when i have a night when the fevers sink in . Saturday night at Chris's great house concert, i broke into a fever. I have had a stiff neck since January 30th. I thought i slept wrong and i have suffered with larygitis and scratchy throat. Saturday, i found a lump in my clavical and then on monday, another appeared on my neck muscles. My necks and glands are sore and i went to the doctor day and i have an infection. She gave me a script for Cipro and i was on my way

we talked about my hot flashes and the Tylenol PM not working and i have to go back in a week for a blood test and to make sure the lymphnodes are not still swollen and inflated.

i have been feeling like shit for about 2 months and saw my blood results with EBV results.. at least i dont have Lyme disease. Other blood rates were off but my overall
clorestoral was 168... that rocks..

so the dream
when i am sick and feverish i have odd dreams

i dreamed that i was telling Mary CHapin carpenter my entire life long dieting history. i started at the 5 year old and told her that i weighed 210 -106 throughout my life. I stopped in the dream and told someone that i didnt know why i was telling her my diet history but i did

i woke up in the middle of the night

Curling is a cool sport.....

I have gotten my heart into olympic curling....its the grooviest and least sweaty sport....

from MSN....

SKATE AT YOUR OWN RISK. That’s the sign that greets you at the Broadmoor Curling Club in Colorado Springs, Colo. Though it’s hard to feel like your life is in jeopardy at a place where your hosts have put out a spread of Cheez-Its and Fudge Shoppe fudge sticks, I proceeded with caution in stepping onto the ice with other journalists assembled last October for the U.S. Olympic Team’s Media Summit. Once we were huddled together, Darrell Levitt, the club vice president, asked, “Who here has ever been curling?” Almost no one had. “Well, It’s not something you do with your hair,” he said, repeating a joke that must have been popularized when the Scots introduced curling … in the 16th century.

It was hard not to giggle, however, when we were escorted around half of the rink’s perimeter by a kilted man playing bagpipes. This little tour gave me an opportunity to inspect our surroundings more closely. Through the Plexiglass, I could make out a few goth teens snacking on Chick-fil-A and the entrance to a Ruby Tuesday’s. Let’s back up a bit: the Broadmoor Curling Club is in a shopping mall. Just across the parking lot is an Arby’s, an Advanced Auto Parts and, rounding out the trifecta, a warehouse with a big lit sign that says LIQUOR OUTLET. But the Chapel Hills Mall is not the club’s permanent residence. The club members and executives are searching out housing options, says the group’s Web site. But I don’t see why they’d want to move from a place so close to Ruby Tuesday’s patented “foodertainment” system.

After we reached the rink’s far side, Stu Baird, Broadmoor’s league coordinator, tutored us on how to “deliver” a stone, the stone being a 42-pound, circular slab of granite with a handle on top. For those of you curling at home: if you’re right-handed, crouch down and grip the stone’s handle with your right hand; it should be just in front of you, slightly off to the right. Balance yourself with a broom (bristles turned upward), whose handle should fit snugly under your left armpit. Position both feet in the starters (similar to the launch points you’d find on a track field), push off with your right foot, use your left food as a guide, glide, deliver stone.

I repeated this process three or four times, and should have known that I was doomed to fail from the beginning: the brooms we used were made by a company called Brownie.

Brownie did not do a heck of a job. I wobbled, my left foot glided less than it jerked and my delivery went all of about 10 feet, or 136 feet shorter than it needed to enter the “house.” See, with racquet sports, skills translate. If you can hit a tennis ball, you probably know how to go about hitting a shuttlecock. But there’s no other game that mimics curling’s motions; every aspect of delivering the stone felt foreign. So I tried sweeping, with Baird’s Law—“The one rule about sweeping is that you’re not allowed to bleed on the ice”—in the back of my head. After all, you’re on your feet, you make no deliveries and you use the broom for its God-given purpose. Effective sweeping can help a rock slide up to 15 more feet. Ineffective sweeping of the kind that I was doing is no help. Why did I have such subpar curling skills? (Why were my inner thighs so sore?)

As always, it’s all about the shoes. Curlers use “sliders” to help glide during delivery, and keep pace with the stone while sweeping. Sensing, perhaps, that I was about to stumble and bloody myself, Stu Baird lent me a slider. I slipped it over my left shoe. Suddenly, I was delivering pretty respectable stones—nothing house-worthy, but a vast improvement over my initial attempt. I’d have this whole curling thing mastered by last call at Ruby Tuesday’s. Which, it turned out, was only sort of wildly unrealistic. Jessica Schultz, a member of the women’s curling team, which has struggled in these Winter Games so far, told me that it took her only about a year to deliver stones with any reliability and another year to start understanding strategy. So, as our rink time wound down, I realized this: it only takes two years to become an Olympian, and I’ve got four until the next Winter Games. Sweet—plenty of time to snack on a few fudge sticks.

february lasts into march

Monday, February 20, 2006

the weather in Chicago ...


Ring of Fire the musical

The cast of three men and three women sitting around a table in a spare studio on 45th Street were rehearsing for the March 8 Broadway opening of "Ring of Fire," the new show based on Johnny Cash's songs. Only on this cold January day, there wasn't going to be any music. Just reading. Richard Maltby Jr., the director and a pioneer of the popular jukebox musical, wanted to hear Mr. Cash's lyrics recited.

"Don't feel a need to get cute, or to dig for no purpose," he said, "Just let the meaning of the lines come out. There's no obligation to be interesting."

So one of the actors, Jeb Brown, started reading. Slowly and intensely, the other cast members — including the Grammy-winning country and gospel singer Lari White, and the Tony winner Jarrod Emick — joined in:

I keep a close watch on this heart of mine.

I keep my eyes wide open all the time.

I keep the ends out for the tie that binds.

Because you're mine, I walk the line.

A noisy heater broke the mood. Still, the austere elegance of the language came across with precision and force. It brought to mind something that Bob Dylan wrote about "I Walk the Line" after Mr. Cash died in September 2002: Every line is "is deep and rich, awesome and mysterious all at once. Even a simple line like 'I find it very, very easy to be true' can take your measure."

Such sentiments were not initially apparent to Mr. Maltby. Although he had won Tonys for "Ain't Misbehavin,' " which was based on Fats Waller's music, and "Fosse," he wasn't at all familiar with Mr. Cash's music until the producer William Meade approached him about directing "Ring of Fire." His first response, he said, was "Why me, Lord?" He then spent days listening to Mr. Cash's songs over and over, which convinced him that the deceptively simple songs could work onstage.

Despite Mr. Cash's basic harmonies ("I'm a seventh and ninth man myself, " he said, referring to his preference for more complicated chords), he soon found the poetry in country music's unadorned clarity. "These songs are incredibly sophisticated, some of them profound," he said over a rushed meal during a rehearsal break several weeks after the table reading. "The honesty in them just startled me."

The creators decided that like Mr. Maltby's groundbreaking work on "Ain't Misbehavin'," this production would have no book and no narration, just a carefully constructed series of three dozen songs written by or associated with Mr. Cash (including the work of writers ranging from Kris Kristofferson to Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails), out of which a story would unfold.

"I wanted this to be about him as a writer, not about the public story" of his troubles, Mr. Maltby said. "You kind of go into the songs and find out what life is in them, and the show begins to structure itself, and people begin to emerge from it," he explained.

Mr. Maltby, 68, feels comfortable playing around with music. His father was a bandleader and arranger who worked with Tommy Dorsey, Benny Goodman and later Lawrence Welk.

"The nice thing about working this way," he said of his open-ended approach, "is that you don't predict what the outcome will be."

His idiosyncratic style might be identifiable to fans who know him more for his talent at puzzles than at musical theater. He has a cult following as the author of head-spinning "cryptic puzzles," sometimes published in Harper's Magazine, in which each clue is a puzzle in itself. A Manhattan resident and father of five, he often refers to the "clues," "tricks" and "deceptions" involved in assembling a show like "Ring of Fire."

The musical, for instance, starts with one of the last songs that Johnny Cash recorded and ends with one of the first. "Nobody will get that," he said, "but then again, they do feel it."

Mr. Brown, whose previous Broadway appearances include "Aida" and "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof," said the show's early rehearsals were strikingly free-form. Presented with a script that consisted solely of song lyrics, the actors spent their days listening to Johnny Cash records, talking about the words, trying out different interpretations. "Somewhere in the third or fourth week," he said, it became clear that Mr. Maltby "had more of an overall vision, that he really did have a sense of the shape but that he didn't need to spell it out for us, and that we would work the pieces and discover the story together."

He added, "That kind of freedom can be scary, but it was very satisfying and exciting."

Such a strategy is not without risks. Creating a show around a prepackaged score is tough enough. Although Broadway has seen a few successes, like the fabulously popular "Mamma Mia!," based on Abba's music, and the more recent "Jersey Boys," based on hits by Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, there are many more failures. And one of the more notorious was the musical "Lennon," which also did not have a single person playing the role of John Lennon.

The greatest challenge with a nonbook musical, said the producer Robyn Goodman, is making it seem like more than just a concert. "Audiences today are so literal, so narrative-driven," said Ms. Goodman, whose shows include "Avenue Q" and "Altar Boyz." "And with Broadway's high ticket prices, people want to feel like they saw a full show — so you have to theatricalize it, give it an underlying metaphor or a larger vision and make the songs accumulate emotionally."

But Mr. Maltby thinks producers underestimate audiences. "We've trained Broadway audiences to be clobbered over the head to get their attention," he said, "but I really do trust that they listen and think."

He was encouraged by the reviews of "Ring of Fire" after its world premiere last fall in Buffalo. Variety wrote that the audience "ate it up with a spoon, laughing and cheering throughout."

The play may also benefit from the current wave of attention generated by the movie "Walk the Line," which has five Oscar nominations and has helped propel several compilation CD's and vaulted Mr. Cash's 1997 autobiography back onto the best-seller lists.

Mr. Meade spent five years trying to persuade Mr. Cash to allow his music to be used for a stage production. Not long before he died, Mr. Cash agreed. "My father loved plays, and he'd seen many musicals," said John Carter Cash, the only child of Johnny and June Carter Cash. "He felt honored, flattered that somebody with such talent and energy wanted to do this. He was excited both by the individuals involved and the idea of it."

John Carter Cash, who plans to co-produce the soundtrack to "Ring of Fire," said he was most excited about the inclusion of some of his father's lesser-known songs. Selections like "Look at Them Beans" and "Flushed From the Bathroom of Your Heart" reveal how unpredictable, goofy and downright weird his writing could sometimes be.

"His writing kept going back to those really simple country images," Mr. Maltby said. "There is in that an American myth, and he lived it. It's almost archetypal, like Johnny Appleseed or Paul Bunyan: a young man leaving home, going out in the world, getting lost, going astray, finding his way back through Jesus and the love of a good woman. It's not everybody's Johnny Cash; it might not be anybody's Johnny Cash, but it's an essence that emerges from looking at what he wrote."

Friday, February 17, 2006

Capricorn Horoscope for week of February 16, 2006

Capricorn Horoscope for week of February 16, 2006

Readers sometimes ask me about Ophiuchus, the supposed 13th constellation. They've heard that it should be included in astrological thinking, and that it messes up the whole zodiacal system. Here's the truth: The proponents of Ophiuchus are self-described debunkers who hate astrology. Furthermore, they haven't actually taken the trouble to educate themselves about the ancient art. If they did even a smattering of honest investigation, they'd see how irrelevant their theory is. Let this serve as a cautionary tale, Capricorn. Right now it's crucial that you get your facts straight before critiquing anyone. Make sure that those who want to analyze you do the same. And beware of red herrings, straw men, and fool's gold.

the weather in chicago


6 more weeks of winter

the meme of me

Ten Top Trivia Tips about Sharon g!

1. A cluster of bananas is called a hand and consists of 10 to 20 bananas, which are individually known as sharon g.
2. In Chinese, the sound 'sharon g' means 'bite the wax tadpole'!
3. Sharon g can fly at an average speed of fifteen kilometres an hour!
4. If the Sun were the size of a beach ball then Jupiter would be the size of a golf ball and sharon g would be as small as a pea.
5. The blood of mammals is red, the blood of insects is yellow, and the blood of sharon g is blue!
6. Half a cup of sharon g contains only seventeen calories.
7. Birds do not sleep in sharon g, though they may rest in her from time to time.
8. The water in oceans is four times less salty than the water in sharon g.
9. Olive oil was used for washing sharon g in the ancient Mediterranean world.
10. If you chew gum while peeling sharon g then it will stop you from crying.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

sorry guys

Penis Enlargement a Waste of Time, Study Says
LONDON (Feb. 14) - Thanks to the incessant spam, it's become the most hyped of all operations but researchers said on Tuesday that most men who have had penis enlargement surgery are not satisfied with the results.

"For patients with psychological concern about the size of the penis -- particularly if it is normal size -- there is little point in offering them surgery because it makes no difference," said Nim Christopher, a urologist at St Peter's Andrology Center in London.

Christopher and his colleagues, who questioned 42 men who had the surgery, found the dissatisfaction rate was very high. Often the men requested another surgical procedure.

"The average increase in length is 1.3 centimeters (or half an inch), which isn't very much and the dissatisfaction rate was in excess of 70 percent," said Christopher.

He added that spam e-mails advertising penis enlargement surgery were inaccurate and gave men unrealistic expectations.

Rather than having surgery, he and his colleagues, who reported the findings in the journal of European Urology, said the men should be referred for psychological counseling.

"We now know that the majority of these patients are dissatisfied after these procedures. Research should be directed toward non-surgical options," said Yoram Vardi, of the Rambam Medical Center in Haifa, Israel, in an editorial in the journal.

two anxiety dreams

i dreamed that someone should protect Bruce Jackson, that emaciated young man in NJ who was starved from the press. (there was an article last week in the paper where he testified at his adoptive mothers sentancing and explained HOW she hurt him- some of the things he listed may have been one time incidents or his perceptions- some of them came across as whiny and additions) i understand that he may have perceived them as major or was coached to add things up to make the whole.
My dream was that someone needed to protect this young man from the press

I woke up in a sweat at 445. My next door neighbor (though it was no MY next door) had feral cats or many cats and the ASPCA was coming for the cats. She had all sorts of cats. i worried about my cat. I looked for her and couldnt find her and then saw her trying to sneak between a door jam. I picked her up and told her that i would keep her safe and woke up to locate my cat at the end of my bed. I tried to go back to sleep and finally fell back to sleep and slept anohter hour

i went to bed at 930 and this getting up every 2 or 3 hours sucks..you never feel quite rested or relaxed and i am always exhausted.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

the weather in Chicago ...



two nights ago i dreamed about coming face to face with Sherry Sherman, a woman i knew in the 80s who was intrumental in my defining my career, a friend who i had a cut with, a mentor and older sister and an important woman in the development as a social worker and as a woman.

i dreamed i came face to face with her and we reconciled our cut off. She updated me on her happenings...she married after many relationships and finally settled down. She told me hesitantly she dated many men and stopped ...and told me she dated a woman and it was one of her better relationships. when i tried to apologize about the cut off, she mentioned it was not necessary and i woke up

i woke up many times all night and went back to sleep into one long dream that really was scattered parts of dreams

last night i dreamed of child abuse trainings. I dreamed of all sorts of situations where child abuse training would occur. I was mostly at my orthopedic doctors. there were multiple waiting rooms with mulitple people. I wanted him to look at my glands, which have been swollen ( in real life for over a week) and hurt to the touch.
my exterminator was there and called for shoes in size 8 and 9. These were special Slipper Merrills that he was giving away to a post man for being a nice guy. i moved to the second waiting room, which was a living room and i thought i was at the gynacologist office. again, i wanted my glands checked out as they are swollen.
i work up thinking that if there is a war on terror and a war in Iraq. why cant there be "a war for children".

with all teh sexual abuse, child abuse and fatalities....there needs to be a war For Children. I wonder if i can copyright that Line...

it came to me in a dream......

Monday, February 13, 2006

heart of gold weekend

it was only a week ago that i was ready to leave my downcoats for spring jackets and just as the crocuses and daffodils were starting to sprout, that ground hog did not see its shadow and i geared for 6 weeks of winter....sure....like the new englander i am, i filled my tank with gas, went to the grocery store, stocked up with essentials and veggies and hunkered down for a storm... i made barley and mushroom soup and turned on the olympics..

the snow started on saturday about 5pm and it wasnt stickin but by 3am, the street i live on was a winter wonderland. By 9am, when i went out to get the paper, i couldnt see my mittens in front of my hands...i came back in and put on the flannels and found the kitty and watched TV til 1230 when i had to get dressed and start to shovel my car free..i shoveled and shoveled and shoveled and bribed the guys with the snowblower not to spray my car by heading over to dunkin donuts to get em coffee... then i saw the poor covered SUV of my neighbor who is 19 and just got his first car, so i shoveled his tail pipe and cleaned off his car... i went to the grocery store of the older americans who live in my building and got Millie some lettace....

the snow drifts are as tall as i am and cars were covered but i didnt care, i had today off so i didnt have anything to do by shovel again... and dig my car out..

i took advantage of a snow day( i have the right boots) and went to see the Jonathan Demme movie on Neil Young's Prairie Wind called Heart of Gold . It was filmed at the Ryman in August as Young was preparing for surgery for his anuresym. Its a theatrical masterpiece. THe direction is stunning, the subject, Neil, his band and friends, and the Ryman are captured as actors in this movie.

the Music is the cd Prairie Wind from top to bottom and then more acoustic music by Neil et al . EmmyLou Harris is featured prominently in the movie as is Pegi Young. There is steel petal, piano, fiddles, bangos and even a dulcimer as actors in this movie. Its a concert film and a retrospective as well as introspective.

I am not a guitar player but i wondered how a performed or guitar player would see this film. I watched the concert and wanted to clap after each songs. Neil speaks and tells some stories about the songs but the movie is a concert. And its a hell of a concert...

see jonathan demme's Heart of Gold is a great concert film...what a way to end a snowed in weekend.....

the weather in chicago


Sunday, February 12, 2006

what do you do on a snow day

i got up at 8am and drank some coffee and then went out in the blizzard with white out conditions to get the sunday papers. i watched some of the coverage of the blizzard of 2006 and then watched Michelle Kwan's leaving the olympics.

around 12 i went out to brush off my car and shovel it out. I worked on my car for over an hour, walked to get my super some coffee and then checked on Millie who needed a head of lettace. I walked to Shoprite to get her some lettace and some fruit and broccoli. I also bought some shrimp for me

I came home and cooked the shrimp and broccoli and then settled in with my receipts and all sorts of bills so i could sort them, throw away what i dont need and prepare to get an appointment with the accountant to do my taxes.

I ususally do that sort and file and collect data chores around presidents day. I used a snowy afternoon to watch the olympic coverage and sort receipts. I have millions of them to sort through... But its now done and i can watch the rest of desparate housewives in peace

i am off from work tomorrow so i have another snow day to shovel and clean off my car

maybe ill watch a movie or zoo out in front of the tv...but i doubt it

the weather in chicago


Saturday, February 11, 2006

the weather in chicago


Thursday, February 09, 2006

dreams of suzanne vega

i had multiple dreams of suzanne vega and the downtown crowd. the talk was the suzanne was drunk. it seemed to be that she was chronically drinking and it was not to her benefit.
there were many little dreams that seemed to blur into each other

another had me in a classroom, as an observer. IT was a classroom like the Manhattan Adelphi campus or a high school the type you see on TV and i was sitting in the audience in one of the chairs with the arms. Again the topic of a drunked suzanne vega came up

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

the week of february 8

Happy Valentine Daze, Capricorn! To begin our meditation on love, let's turn our attention to your appearance. I think you owe a huge debt of gratitude to the fact that you don't have the face and body of a dazzling supermodel or gorgeous hunk. The temptation to rely on your physical attractiveness at the expense of developing your character would be virtually irresistible. In the coming days, this fact will bring you a fresh batch of benefits, including a subtle breakthrough in your romantic life. Here's your quote of the week, from Katharine Hepburn: "It is the plain women who know about love. The beautiful women are too busy being fascinating."

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Sunday, February 05, 2006

song for sharon

Song For Sharon
by Joni Mitchell Printer-friendly version of this lyric print

I went to Staten Island, Sharon
To buy myself a mandolin
And I saw the long white dress of love
On a storefront mannequin
Big boat chuggin' back with a belly full of cars
All for something lacy
Some girl's going to see that dress
And crave that day like crazy

Little Indian kids on a bridge up in Canada
They can balance and they can climb
Like their fathers before them
They'll walk the girders of the Manhattan skyline
Shine your light on me Miss Liberty
Because as soon as this ferry boat docks
I'm headed to the church
To play Bingo
Fleece me with the gamblers' flocks

I can keep my cool at poker
But I'm a fool when love's at stake
Because I can't conceal emotion
What I'm feeling's always written on my face
There's a gypsy down on Bleecker Street
I went in to see her as a kind of joke
And she lit a candle for my love luck
And eighteen bucks went up in smoke

Sharon I left my man
At a North Dakota junction
And I came out to the "Big Apple" here
To face the dream's malfunction
Love's a repetitious danger
You'd think I'd be accustomed to
Well I do accept the changes
At least better than I used to do

A woman I knew just drowned herself
The well was deep and muddy
She was just shaking off futility
Or punishing somebody
My friends were calling up all day yesterday
All emotions and abstractions
It seems we all live so close to that line
and so far from satisfaction

Dora says "Have children"
Mama and Betsy say "Find yourself a charity
Help the needy and the crippled or put some time into Ecology"
Well there's a wide wide world of noble causes
And lovely landscapes to discover
But all I really want right now
Is find another lover

When we were kids in Maidstone, Sharon
I went to every wedding in that little town
To see the tears and the kisses
And the pretty lady in the white lace wedding gown
And walking home on the railroad tracks
Or swinging on the playground swing
Love stimulated my illusions
More than anything

And when I went skating after Golden Reggie
You know it was white lace I was chasing
Chasing dreams
Mama's nylons underneath my cowgirl jeans
He showed me first you get the kisses
And then you get the tears
But the ceremony of the bells and lace
Still veils this reckless fool here

Now there are twenty-nine skaters on Wollman Rink
Circling in singles and in pairs
In this vigorous anonymity
A blank face at the window stares and
stares and stares and stares and stares
And the power of reason
And the flowers of deep feeling
Seem to serve me
Only to deceive me

Sharon you've got a husband
And a family and a farm
I've got the apple of temptation
And a diamond snake around my arm
But you still have your music
And I've still got my eyes on the land and the sky
You sing for your friends and your family
I'll walk green pastures by and by

Copyright © 1976; Crazy Crow Music

Saturday, February 04, 2006

capricorn Horoscope for week of February 2, 2006

capricorn Horoscope for week of February 2, 2006

Verticle Oracle card Capricorn (December 22-January 19)
Good news, Capricorn. Right now your financial prospects look almost as bright as those of the oil industry, whose earnings grew 42 percent in the last three months of 2005. There is a caveat, however. If, like the companies that sell gasoline, you attempt to capitalize on bad news and profit at the expense of the collective well-being, your money situation will suffer. To gather all of the good economic fortune that's available, you've got to redouble your efforts to maintain high levels of integrity.

Friday, February 03, 2006

the joni tribute

Music Review | Tribute to Joni Mitchell
Songs Open to Interpretation Flaunt Their Staying Power

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Published: February 3, 2006

One way songs survive is to prove themselves adaptable: to become widely heard through endless rearrangements and multiple genres. Another way is to be just the opposite: so personalized and obstinate that every performance becomes one more imitation of the song's originator.

Joni Mitchell has written both kinds of song, to judge by a tribute concert on Wednesday night at Carnegie Hall. It was a benefit that raised $130,000 for the Music for Youth Foundation, which supports music education. Ms. Mitchell, who has post-polio syndrome, was not there; a statement from her said she was home with "a very sick cat that needs medicine twice a day." But her open-tuned guitar chords, her vocal slides and her vibrato were emulated by half of the 23 acts on the bill.

The concert only hinted at Ms. Mitchell's eclecticism. Representing jazz was the ballad singer Little Jimmy Scott, who performed the standard "At Last" — which Ms. Mitchell has recorded — as a series of short, stabbing, utterly dramatic outbursts. Most of the lineup featured singer-songwriters playing acoustic guitar or piano.

Dar Williams, Amy Grant, Shawn Colvin, Sonya Kitchell (backed by Assembly of Dust), Joanne Shenandoah, and even male performers including Martin Sexton, Marc Cohn, Jesse Malin and Mark Oliver Everett (leading Eels) stayed close to Ms. Mitchell's versions of the songs they chose. It was a measure not only of how inseparable Ms. Mitchell's songs are from her performances of them, but also of how many songwriters have modeled themselves on her since the 1960's.

On the surface, Ms. Mitchell's lyrics have the candor and detail of a diary; behind them is a meticulous organization of ideas and images. Her music has grown ever more idiosyncratic. She began her career with the simple folk harmonies and symmetrical melodies of songs like "Both Sides Now," but went on to incorporate jazz harmonies and the spontaneous rushes and pauses of conversation in her phrasing. What seems improvisational in the first verse is clearly a structure when it returns.

With songs from the 60's, the 70's and the 90's, the concert sketched Ms. Mitchell's trajectory. As a young woman, she made grand philosophical statements about life's cycles and paradoxes in songs like "Urge for Going" and "The Circle Game"; Tom Rush, an early advocate for Ms. Mitchell's songwriting, performed them both with reflective serenity.

"Both Sides Now" got two renditions. Laurie Anderson used pulsing electronic chords and plucked fiddle notes to make the song a solitary reflection on disillusionment; Judy Collins made it sweetly optimistic. Nellie McKay tried to remake "Chelsea Morning" with a hint of piano rumba; it resisted. And Richie Havens sang "Woodstock" as a quiet elegy for long-gone 1960's idealism.

Ms. Mitchell's 1970's songs grew more restless, more willful, and more innovative. She sang about a character — possibly herself — who was constantly in motion, traveling from place to place and man to man. The folky melodies gave way to mutable lines that were more naturalistic and more virtuosic.

Michelle Williams (from Destiny's Child) sang "Help Me," from 1974, following the melody's leaps and dips and swoons while using the breathy tone and self-congratulatory moves of current R&B, a fascinating mismatch. The Cowboy Junkies turned "River," from the 1971 album "Blue," into a rootsy torch song.

The Wood Brothers (Chris, from Medeski Martin & Wood, on bass with his brother Oliver on guitar and vocals) brought a bluesy openness to "Black Crow," from 1976, and Suzanne Vega, sounding closer to Ms. Mitchell, sang "Amelia" backed only by a bass, making it the song of a lone voyager. Neil Sedaka cheerfully linked "Raised on Robbery" back to piano-pounding 1950's rock.

By the 1990's, Ms. Mitchell's melodies were stretching toward jazzy recitative, as her lyrics confronted a world she found ever more merciless. Meshell Ndegeocello, playing bass accompanied by ghostly guitar and percussion, captured the desolate tension of "Cherokee Louise," about an abused teenager. And Bettye LaVette turned "Last Chance Lost," a terse and bitter breakup song, into an intense, wrenching soul lament that seemed to encompass a lifetime of disappointments. She made the song her own — no easy feat.


A tribute in tune with Joni

The salute saw Shawn Colvin soar.
Tribute concerts are tricky things.

With multiple performers tackling the sacred songs of an icon - often on short notice - it's easy for interpretations to end up imitative, perverse, literal-minded, indulgent or just plain dull.

The land mines multiply when you're talking about saluting an artist like Joni Mitchell. Not only does her catalogue have few peers, the material features chord changes and melody lines that could daunt even the most seasoned star.

Thankfully, the concert given in tribute to Mitchell at Carnegie Hall Wednesday kept the missteps to a minimum. And those artists who brought daring and dash to the songs more than made up for them.

This particular tribute was more necessary than most. Since Mitchell says she'll no longer perform, record or write, it's up to others to keep her legacy alive.

Not that she's showing much interest these days. While Mitchell appeared at past toasts to her talent, this time she had curator Michael Dorf read a note revealing the following excuse: "My cat is sick and I can't leave."

Why not stick with "My dog ate it"?

At least the night's proceeds benefited a worthy cause - Music for Youth, which provides lessons in the schools.

Any serious music student could have learned plenty from Wednesday's show. With 24 artists taking on as many Mitchell songs, the show made fans marvel, again, at the breadth and musicality of her work. Genres included rockabilly (a campy take on "Raised on Robbery" from Neil Sedaka), folk (Judy Collins' sterling version of "Both Sides Now"), country-rock (Jesse Malin's wily interpretation of "Carey") and jazz (Meshell Ndegeocello's rubbery "Cherokee Louise").

Many artists fiddled with the songs' points of view: The alterna-rock band the Eels inverted "All I Want" from an expression of female need into an example of male withholding. Tom Rush turned Mitchell's tale of wanderlust ("Urge for Going") into a rumination on lost opportunities. Nellie McKay made "Chelsea Morning" plucky.

No one selected Mitchell songs from the '80s - not bad considering her output then. While classics of the '60s and '70s dominated, two of the night's highlights came from 1994's "Turbulent Indigo."

Shawn Colvin found a sturdier melody for the title track. And Bettye LaVette performed miracles by turning "Last Chance Lost" into a desperate soul shouter, contrasting its spare instrumentation with high drama.

There were stumbles: Michelle Williams (of Destiny's Child, not "Brokeback Mountain") couldn't find the melody, or the rhythm, of "Help Me." And the Native American singer Joanne Shenandoah delivered "The Dawntreader" entirely flat.

But the night's flaws faded in the face of performers like the Wood Brothers, who gave "Black Crow" a sexy new jazz groove. Or Richie Havens, who turned "Woodstock" into a tale of youthful possibilities squandered.

Such moments made this tribute not a rote rehash, but a night adventurous enough to deserve Mitchell's difficult, hungry spirit.

Thursday, February 02, 2006