Friday, March 27, 2009

Traveled with Kennergy to Northampton and another notable North (as in Adams) once again, in the Mass, to make & do, look & work.
As Eremite has sold his big old home we stayed in one of the rooms-for-hire places that I wrote about for my NoHaMa piece for the Shiny Happy Mag.
Image numero uno, the toppermost, is an exterior shot of the sprawling and mind-enhancing Mass MoCA, my second visit there.
There is an incredible installation by photog Simon Starling with ultra-magnified silver molecules, ultra-magnified stereoscopic images of Chinese immigrants who were imported to North Adams (home of Mass MoCA) to work in a factory that stood where the Mass MoCA campus now does.
Upon entering the expansive arts venue, a former factory, had the nice front desk lady remind me what was fabricated there at Sprague.
Capacitors, she said.
I thought to fabricate my own understanding of what in hell a capacitor is but opted for the big Q.
Capacitors, it turns out, store electrons.
And Sprague made the switch for thee H-bombs of H-istory.
Bad H-istory.

The lines and spaces and concepts of Sol Lewitt are gleefully, thoughtfully drawn on nice white walls there, ready to be marveled at.
For your edification see image at right.
Whilst trundling through Mass MoCA came upon an installation and made my way through a little faux grassy knoll replete with music, some Gilligan's Island-worthy benches, some unstrung patio lights.
And, off in a corner, the sleeping artist.
Yours Truly sat there looking about making sense of the jumble before her, including a few computers and attendant circuitry.
After a few moments YT realized that the artist was simply exhausted and the installation was incomplete.
So moseying along was in hot pursuit.

Jubilant round-up of the journey's art sights.
Finally saw Smith College Museum of Art which had Lauren Greenfield work hanging - two of her femmecentric series. LG has a lovely sense of light and her people always feel real. Upstairs had an excellent shoe conversation with a guard guarding a small gallery. She complimented my very new J-41s that I'd had for a whopping hour or so. She said she'd thought of purchasing them in black but couldn't commit because of the contrasting band across the top of the foot. That was the selling point for me, YT stated. Then I went on to point out other lovely features, including map of the Berkshires underneath. She was wearing Pumas. I pointed to the bag in my left hand stating that my own green Pumas were in that very bag. I also found, I told her, the comment of the shoe salesman to be most curious as he said How many pairs of black shoes could someone own. Not enough, YT stated with complete and utter conviction.
Mass MoCa.
Full of wondrous sights - art and architecture. Walking distance from Porches hotel, excellent Gramercy Bistro, and a curious package store selling odd snacks.
Williams College Museum of Art.
Nice compact arts venue full of grandeur and some lovely surprises. Sol Lewitt work makes an appearance here as well - drawn on walls as well as the sculptural pieces.
Nice room of examples of work by workaday photogs. Had a good time reading some of their collection of historical docs, like a copy of thee Declaration of Independence, not the fancy-schmancy copy that everyone signed, but one of 25 copies meant to be passed around to the VIPs and framers. Here they have a piece by the femme who invented cyanotyping, who used the ironific process to document flora.
Clark Museum in historical Williamstown was another newbie surprise to YT. Some more surprises on the walls. The Singer sewing machine fortune translated into thousands of purchases, including some Toulouse-Lautrec prints and what made it all bigger and better and best was the inclusion of some historical documentary photos from thee place, Le Moulin Rouge, the ladies, and some work by other artists of the same era capturing the effervescence.

Today/night documented the wedding of two favoured people, two I've known for a long time. One I've known for three decades, the other two.
YT went up to Niagara-on-the-Lake to capture the vows alongside the lake under the sun, a happy gathering. Onwards then to a dinner to celebrate but not before reaching the Peace Bridge with my very brand new pocket-sized birth certificate to show to the border patrol person in his booth. He was not overly impressed. He also wished to see my driver license. YT had just noted that this semi-impressive new card (all black and shiny with hologram of the Middling City's seal upon it) was not on thee list of acceptable docs to present in such circumstances in the near future to not be hauled off for further questioning and possible tears.

Onwards and Onwards Still.
Artful, Loveful Love, Love.

Monday, March 23, 2009


1. Yesterday whilst perusing the Middling City News and multi-taskingly having tea and kissing dogs chanced upon a theatre review. In most usual circumstances YT does not read theatre reviews if the play under the microscope was not sat through by YT. But it was a production by Buffalo United Artists and YT is a pal of founder Javier Bustillos.

There, amid the dissection and such was some phrases that oozed ethnic stereotype, the last remaining unchecked sort - Italian American bashing.

The reviewer, who has been noted as having made other blunders of ethnic stereotypical proportions, stated that the onstage action was "strained and repetitive even for the often heedless passions that can run rampant in Italian households."

YT did a stop, and restart of this phrase. And then immediately stopped the onhand multi-tasking that was truly just a bit of R&D for the pieces YT was about to write for the Shiny Happy Mag. YT fired off a letter to the editors of the MCNews and then sent the article in question (offensive sentence highlighted), along with my letter, to a list of media friends, writers, and others of Italian-mix.

Today YT received a call from the MCNews to verify not only my whereabouts but my heretofors and ID. Yes, it is YT, I stated. We will be printing your letter within the week, YT was informed.

And, for Your edification, here is my letter to the editor.

I had to reread a phrase in the Sunday, March 22 edition of The Buffalo News, a review of the Buffalo United Artists play “In Gabriel’s Kitchen” by Colin Dabkowski. The phrase in question was a jolt in an otherwise innocuous piece.

In this short piece, that glowingly announces the new home of BUA on Chippewa Street, and in the very issue in which News editor Margaret Sullivan states, rightly, that “newspaper journalism protects our freedoms and guards our way of life,” Dabkowski pens a phrase dripping with troubling ethnic stereotype.

While mentioning that several moments of “In Gabriel’s Kitchen” could have used some deft edits to shorten some onstage arguments, he goes on to say that these dramatic arguments “seem strained and repetitive even for the often heedless passions that can run rampant in Italian households.”

“Heedless passions?” “Italian households?” Oh my. In our historical era of both democratic revamping and change, as well as ongoing international wars and lines drawn for tribal reasons, it seems that most journalists would be more careful to pen such a careless sentence. This sentence could be easily read over, but it does much to re-instill generalities.


Seems a little sensitivity training might be in order here.
A pal was asked to attend such a genre of meeting of minds recently for a dissimilar reason and she did inform me and some other femmetastic pals of some facts and concepts gleaned over those several hours. I asked her for a recap today, as I recalled there was a handy acronym. A very forgettable acronym, apparently.

She emailed back that it was EASY.

She writes:

E.A.S.Y. is as follows:
E.xpress (example: "Nancy, when you throw strawberries at me it makes it difficult for me to work.")
A.ddress (example: "my clothes are getting stained, it's a waste of good berries, and i like blueberries better.")
S.ay (what you would like to have happen) (example: "I'd like you to stop throwing strawberries at me while i'm working."
Y. (ask a Yes or No question) (example: "Can you do that?")

Oso handy.

Love of the Sensitive, Love.