From my inbox...
Let's start this season with a gay bang. The Stage is Set.
R e e n a S p a u l i n g s F i n e A r t is thrilled to announce....
K8 HARDY, artist
"to all the g#$%!s I've loved before"
OPENING SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 13TH, 6-8PM
(party to follow)
Reena Spaulings 165 East Broadway NY NY 10002
SHOW: September 13th - October 11th, 2009; Thursday through Sunday, Noon to 6pm
On May 27th 2009 I wrote the following exciting press release:
Reena Spaulings Fine Art
I don’t appreciate anyone trying to control my expressions and I will not let any gallery control what goes into a show of my art. I AM TAKING BACK TOTAL CONTROL! I don’t care if it won’t be any good. My work is fucking good! It’s not some minimalist anti-aesthetic don’t care about the world conceptual project, ok? It’s messy and I DON’T NEED YOU TO TAKE OVER THE PRODUCTION! I don’t want my hand taken out of my own fucking art show in order to take it “to the next level”. I am completely against that patriarchal view of success. I don’t care if my shit is unprofessional or tacky. I’ve been making art since before I ever walked into a gallery and been involved in crazier shit (LTTR) than this gallery.
ANYWAYS, All the guys my age are on their stupid Nintendo 9th show and I haven’t had one- so I got a lot of shit to show, ok? In fact I hope my shit show is really fucking bad and embarrassing for everyone in this super cool art scene. I want this to be the same as I had ten years ago in my dyke punk rock house: I’ve got something to say.
DO I HAVE ANY COLLECTORS ANYWAYS? Well you know that answer is NO. well why, why, why, I wonder why? So please just help me out this summer so this downwardly mobile “celesbian” can have her first show.
CRITIQUE THIS DADDY FUCKERS!
But before that I wrote...
“Re-working In the In-Between, Shaking It Out.”
The Process is Power conference caught my attention because it addresses two important issues for me:
Process as a foreign/other language inside one dominant language; frequently spoken by Lesbians but not limited to this Tribe; most often used outside of Patriarchal circles.
Process as a metaphor for working used most often in relation to Artists.
These are topics I am currently investigating in my new work, “Notes on Lying”.
What motivates me? I am an artist and an outsider, both simultaneously and distinctively, so a total of 3.
I studied various fruits in my education, each one sliced or deconstructed an/other way, an endless amount of variations- but not quite infinity. Yet, when confronted with “Process” I tend to let it go. As I release this grip, or hailing, there creates a void, torn open through rejection. This void is an open space, never able to be filled or closed, that which is not one. And so I stand empty-handed before myself, and before my reader. But I’m convinced this situation needn’t remain so. I think if we stretch the limits, we might find some wonderful tools for regarding Process.
In a theoretical world, there are as many ways to view a situation as there are ways of viewers. For this reason, I will use simply my own, sketch it briefly and then illustrate some results. I don’t pretend to present any ground-breaking or revolutionary ideas in this text, just to shift my point of view, and possibly yours.
Fluidity, fragmentation, and pleasure are associated with the metaphorical ground breaking. The nascent intellectual current is conceptualism, a modality that creates a structure with hierarchies, it’s symbols and signs. It gives process a rigorous, “one, two” and then falls to the floor. So it’s not what I’m looking at, it’s not the finality, but the backwards unfolding. When I say backwards, I do invoke a form of linearity, but don’t limit it within actual directions.
The focus on “Process” by which meaning has been achieved inherently reveals feminist concerns. Inherently you may ask why? Inheritance is a patriarchal mode of moving power that distinctly and forthrightly excludes women, when I use the word woman now, just briefly to make my point, it is to classify that which is outside heteronormative patterns. Here I assert that again, my concern is not much with what has been said or made or produced. I postulate a different strategy, a risk, for the inscription of Process.
If to speak is to act and I say perform, perhaps performance is a form of lying? That’s philosophy. But it’s hard to answer if you consistently question what is Real.
Objects are less important than process. Process will never earn a dollar. As related in point #2, the (O)ther Tribes, have a whole foreign language of process. Communication and dialogue create friction, a small warmness. Lying is done with language, writing, and also the space between words. Gaping holes of nothing, caverns of emptiness, the liminality of abject unknown. A preferred space to occupy, like a country. Let us not forget power.
I don’t always want to be an artist. Part of it to me is about carrying around a heavy load of ideas and an intense drive to write about them. By writing I mean making art. By writing, I like to imply the gesture of my hand so may I also call it painting? Is it controlled? Is it messy? Is it queer as a two-dollar bill?
Politics are intrinsic here, activating questions and thoughts in the world we live in today; all wars considered. It’s a load of dirty clothes for most in the United States. However, I wear dirty clothes every day. Cleaning, putting away the mess, taking the visibility out of mess, making mess invisible, belongs to the privileged. Visibility now marches into the room, on the paper.
I think of my basic gesture as the American middle finger flying in the air of defiance. We’re supposed to be rebels anyways. I will name the specificity of my stance. Two able bodied legs supported by the ground in the United States of America, foreign soil.
So who owns what and why? Who claims to own the unknown thing that dares not bare its name? If one had to live in a closet, lying out of necessity, does the closet ever leave the room?
Persona is a reaction to Patriarchy. As everyone searches for their true self, they use the fake one they have been given, or fail miserably at that effort. Authenticity is slippery. Mimicry is the tenet of femininity.
It’s easy to obsess over the little things, scrape off the top layer of eye shadow your sister’s friend gave you from her stash of samplers at the department store where they both work. She’s a make up artist. It’s another kind of great artist. I look at the scraped up dirty little pads of packed powder and wonder if the germs from all the rich ladies, because it is a nice department store, I wonder if they could seep all the way to the bottom, totally saturate the rectangle of color. No matter, I’ll let my immune system work it out.
It’s so rude when an acquaintance maybe friend says, “I’m going out with my girlfriends tonight, me and my girlfriend, I just love all my girlfriends, and I really need to have girlfriends.” The gendered friendships keep slapping me on the face with their hallowed placement. Now every time I here a sex signifier I become suspect. I feel like there must be something conservative lurking around it. And these days you can guarantee if something is called a Women’s group, it’s usually for conservative means.
It’s scary how activist terms can get co-opted to the point of innocuous. Yet still I am part separatist and have no problem with making statements about Men. Oh Power. No problem at all. Bold statements regarding the still dominant sex, but oh how those women dream that’s behind us. It’s oh so embarrassing for straight people. Ha ha ha. Must we really bring that up? Let’s just party and have a good time. tickle tickle he he. Me and my girlfriends are liberated.
Stereotypes can’t contain the people within them. It’s violent. So take me on my own terms, or lay yours out so that I can see them. Take a position. I’m wary of silent terms, unspoken, invisible ground.
I’m still not fitting in. I’m a collision. You know what I mean?
Should we decide what to do together? I’m stuck in a pattern. I want to continue. I want clarity. The emotions are muddled. I have a deep commitment. I have conceptual questions. I want to check out.
It’s time to look over all my notes and find some more meaning. I need to keep adding meaning, searching. I make no apologies. I want everything to be clear to myself, not to you.
And coffee. Why does it have to be so bad for you? Is it? Everything is bad. All the artists are sober tea drinkers eating lots of greens and staying in shape. No more drugs, we run our studios like a tight little business ship. You can’t be a mess if you want to succeed!
I’m flipping pages. I’m looking at old super 8 movies. Animals I filmed at the zoo, incessantly walking back and forth, pacing in the cage, back and forth and back and forth in black and white. It’s kinda hard to watch. I think about Guantanamo. I think about this upcoming election and I get freaked out. The elephants are out of focus. The footage from France with the topless girls on the beach makes you want to question your participation in perversity, that’s the United States at work in your mind.
My jeans are dirty. The special black jeans from Trash & Vaudeville where the punks have been making the same cut of jeans since the real deal. The ass has ripped so many times, just came back from the tailor at the dry cleaners, and I feel like I am walking around with a diaper on. It’s weird but my ass still looks good in them. I wish I could afford new clothes. Some avant-garde designer with the freakiest weird shit, who knows if they even sell it to stores even.
I still believe in the male gaze. Seems like everyone has given up on that.
Different ideas. I’d like to dress up as each of my friends and take their portrait, a portrait of me, an homage. Maybe I’ll do it but I wonder if it’s worth it.
The underwear were merely a symbol for the body. The location of the most disgusting form of abjection. I chose the underwear for the location. I buy used underwear. Everyone says they don’t do it. I mean, I check the crotch and make sure it’s not stained, and only if they are like really cool or interesting. And of course I wash them before I wear them. A friend lost my favorite pair of crotch-less panties while performing in the Miss L.E.S. Pageant. Can’t blame her for that. I got them from a Saver’s in Springfield. Now used crotch-less panties no worries. They were low-cut, black lace, from the 70s.
I like to carry around my twenty-something half finished notebooks and journals. I want to finish them because I don’t want to waste the paper. I wish I was an eco-terrorist, but I try to get close. So I try to carry around them with me wherever I go if it is a significant amount of time. I have little ones and regular too. At a certain point a journal will become so time specific that I can’t possibly add to it. Then I will tear out the unused pages and recycle them, making lists and notes and whatnot. I’m so jealous of those hyper organized people. They probably keep their lists in their journals and never fall behind deadlines.
The fancy ones are nice. I can’t afford them all the time, but then who cares. If they get too precious yr fucked because the pages’ value combat the value of your words. You see someone with those pristine perfect notebooks, perhaps in black leather? You wonder, what kind of ideas are going into that special notebook? Probably ones that are continuing to make that person richer. I digress, but details like that are always on my mind. I’m not jealous, just aware. Details, like I was saying. Signifiers as others properly note.
I look cute today and I would like to go somewhere and be appreciated for it. Guess I’d like to go thrift shopping or somewhere public or something in a cruising zone but my money is so tight I can’t even afford that, much less the cab I would need home. I suppose most people could resolve that problem on the Internet, a blog or whatever. I need immediacy, human contact, and human feelings. I need to feel desired.
I’m really pushing it now in a total new over the edge way. Credit cards are maxed out, no more savings. It’s weird to identify with what the politicians are saying, like hey that’s me. No Health insurance, no nothing, broke. hahaha. Borrowed some cash from a friend. Never done that before. Big fucking sigh. I’m freaking out about food but I still continue to look glamorous and that is so confusing. No not the looking part, that’s confusing to other people, it’s the notoriety. I’m not supposed to complain about that. It’s just alienating when you’re broke. And I’m an elitist, and educated, total cultural elitist.
Downwardly mobile they used to say and still some may say about me. It doesn’t stick though anymore. My generation can’t expect to do better than their parents, like our parents could. So there is a downward shift and then slap on being an artist, slap on fighting to be an artist, and downward the finances go. Maybe I’m just in shock cuz I was raised middle class.
Isn’t that so embarrassing for some people? Yet they don’t know what it’s like to have nothing to lose. I wonder how much my not boring life is worth. It sure is fetishized. Glamour. Is that what it costs? It feels like poetic vindication to all the boring straight people out perhaps. They’ve got the Internet, TV, and magazines but not the people.
Is that mean? I really don’t want to sound mean but then I’m afraid I couldn’t write anything down at all.
I’d like to just walk around and let my tits accidentally fall out of my shirt, or hang out. I’m an exhibitionist so it gets me off. Ask an old crotch and she still may say it’s an offense against women. I’d like to offend men and women simultaneously.
I’d like to do a performance with an amp so I could get so loud. I have so many fucking ideas like an idiot high school boy with a boner and a guitar.
Timing again. It’s weird when someone gives you flowers. Every time my dad fucked up or made me mad I would get flowers. It’s like the offense of making your girl cry, not an apology. Flowers make it all better. I like getting flowers now. Maybe it’s the city or the person sending them has better taste than carnations. Really it’s the luxury and color and gesture. Is that killing the earth?
I like to spray myself with perfume before I go to bed. Roll in it. Especially the ones I don’t wear out anymore, like CK1. I was 16 going to gay clubs in Dallas by myself. It was hot. That smell permeated the whole fucking club and that whole time period. You couldn’t turn around without smelling it. I would bring an apple to the Village Station, the three story-12 room mega dance floor gay club, and dance for hours on end. I was exhilarated. Just dancing, no drinks. The thrill of gay movement and being on a floor without being ogled or mauled by men was beyond any free space I had ever known. It was mostly men there. A separate room and bar, of course, for the drag queen shows. I was transfixed, the only white girl with bleach blonde hair in the corner. Often then I was the only white girl and I really enjoyed that.
I feel subservient to the politically righteous conceptual artists of my peers. They frame themselves in such a safe way, who could argue? If you did, if you dare to disagree, then you disagree with the politics. Sometimes I feel like that is what is put on the line, challenge me and my feminist work and that means you are ignorant and patriarchal. And I don’t know what they risked. I guess I want that. I want to feel a little passion. I want to put up a high school art show. I’m not a minimalist. I want to make a mobile, can’t decide out of what.
“I pledge allegiance to shit” is what my Born Against t-shirt said in high school. A soldier saluting a coffin. I got sent home one day for wearing it. Maybe I can find it on eBay. I almost got up to do just that as I wrote it.
I’m horny but I don’t feel like doing anything about it. It’s the end of my period. My flower pharmacy panties are ragged out. I have a thing for pharmacy panties. Especially if I am in a foreign country. I want to touch the average woman. In Austria they had thongs at the pharmacy, could you imagine? Here they call the condom section family planning. We have a language problem in this country.
It barely gets hot up here and that makes me homesick, though by now I don’t know if home could be used properly in that world. I guess there is a forever argument regarding that one and formative years.
I’m probably too old by mainstream standards to walk around with my ass hanging out of my pants like this, but I guess that’s the beauty of it. I keep having to battle my personality aka performance against my work. It’s like S says about how people decide to take things seriously or not. By now I’m not going out of my way to suntan in order to keep my skin looking nice. I’m concerned about wrinkles.
I have deep dream fantasies of places to call home. Houses on the beach left with the past inhabitants possessions including a closet of vintage clothes. Every one of these places unfolds and becomes an endless maze of undiscovered bedrooms and closets. Our parents all expected us to do better than they themselves, only this time the American dream didn’t work that way. None of us expect to do better, doing as in money having. Although we all hope for it. It leaves us in this hole of expectation without work. Not that I can compare myself too much, if I did have the same values, I would be doing “better” most likely.
So here I AM an artist and what do I have to hold on to?
Some respond RIGHT ON SISTER, I am feeling you.
Others are confused think, she’s asking me to look at her and look away at the same time. I feel compelled to look. Another says FUCK YOU TOO.