Thursday, 29 April 2010

it's true...

... I'm a bona fide contributor to Pikaland

Head over there now to see a big picture of my face on the site. Haha!!

I'm going to be doing oodles of interviews with artists that make my heart go boom! I already have a wish-list of interviewees long enough to make me feel faint!!

First up on the Pikaland site though will be an interview I did this week with the lovely Jill Bliss who was sooooooo nice to me & whose interview responses sent my brain into wild backflips of inspiration :)

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

zine exhibition - and - london college of communication zine library

From my inbox...


TOandFOR gallery is looking for zine-makers to contribute their publications, for the first of an exciting new programme of exhibitions taking place from the end of May.

Titled ‘Paper Exchange’ the exhibition aims to demonstrate the versatility of paper as it forms the medium for the dissemination of our ideas. Alongside book arts and paper sculpture we want to celebrate the self-publisher and pay homage to the paper pages!

TOandFOR is now looking for zine-makers to contribute their publications to the show. We would like to build up a collection of zines to be displayed and be available for perusal during the exhibition. The bigger the selection we get, the better the impression we can give of the sheer wonder and diversity of the zines! At the end of the show we would like to donate the zines to the London College of Communication Library who are building a zine collection.

As well as creating an extended period of zine appreciation for those of us well versed of the zine scene, TOandFOR also aims to bring a new audience into contact with the beautiful simplicity of the medium, and hopefully encourage some more self publishers in the making!

If you would like to contribute to the show in any way shape or form please get in touch! (please put ‘paper exchange’ in the subject line)

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Tuesday, 27 April 2010

relationship of art to politics today

Totally fascinating blog post asking questions like 'can art really have a stake in making political change? If so, has contemporary art been at all successful in doing so? How must art’s relationship to politics be understood, and what must be rethought in light of our present?'

Upcoming panel discussion event looking at these questions of art, autonmoy, and resistance open to those interested in critical cultural production to be held in New York.

roll on my trip to bristol in august!

Seriously, the idea of seeing the work of natalia fabia, camille rose garcia, elizabeth mcgrath, brandi milne, marion peck, gretchen ryan and mark ryden all in the same space makes me feel a little dizzy and giddy-sick!


A Big Brash Exhibition of the New American Art Scene

Saturday, May 1 – Sunday, August 22, 2010
Bristol’s City Museum & Art Gallery, Queen’s Road, Bristol BS8 1RL
Free entry. Open daily 10am-5pm

For the first time, a world-class collection of works from some of the finest emerging and noted living U.S. Urban and Contemporary artists from the new American art scene is being unveiled internationally in a museum exhibition for British and European audiences. Los Angeles’ Corey Helford Gallery is collaborating with Bristol’s City Museum & Art Gallery to present a diverse range of 45 artists, spanning the spectrum from pop surreal and neo-figurative to street art in the exhibition, ART FROM THE NEW WORLD. Virtually all of the works have been specifically created for the show and will infiltrate not only the exhibition gallery, but most of the ground floor of the museum.

Highlights include:

• A fifteen-foot tall “ice cream cone” balloon sculpture created by, and topped with the characters of well-known street artist Buff Monster (who is featured in Banksy’s new film, Exit Through the Gift Shop). The artist will also be on-site creating a “live painting” of murals on select museum walls during the days immediately leading up to the exhibition.

• On opening day, paintings by world-renowned artist Gary Baseman will come to life as a special collection of his costumed characters makes a rare appearance to interact with museum guests.

• The Todd Schorr painting “An Ape Allegory”, featured in San Jose Museum’s Todd Schorr retrospective and on loan from the Corey Helford private collection will be on display in the main rotunda.

• Artist Mike Stilkey will transform a wall of 2,000 books into a ten-foot “canvas” for his work. The unique sculptural installation will greet visitors as they enter the museum.

Presenting and curating the exhibition in collaboration with Bristol’s City Museum and Art Gallery is Jan Corey Helford, owner and curator of the noted Corey Helford Gallery, located in Los Angeles, California. Corey Helford has presented a wide range of artists from the new fine art movement, such as Gary Baseman, Ron English, Josh Agle (SHAG), Buff Monster, COOP, Natalia Fabia, Korin Faught, Sylvia Ji, Eric Joyner and Lucie-award winning photographer Chris Anthony. Helford’s husband, and partner in the gallery, is American television writer and producer, Bruce Helford (Roseanne, The Drew Carey Show, The Oblongs).

In a statement released by the gallery, Jan Corey Helford explains the significance of the exhibit, ART FROM THE NEW WORLD. “Like the Arts Decoratif of Paris in 1925, or the bright, poppy England of the 1960’s, America is gushing forth a new wave of taste and style born of Pop Iconic culture, expanding American diversity, resistance to the mainstream art world and a need to communicate to an art audience looking for relevance in America’s Age of Uncertainty. The selected artists are part of an exciting new art movement that encompasses all forms of media and art – painting, sculpture, printing, stencil, photography, digital art. Their work defies traditional paths and has been embraced by a new generation of collectors and enthusiasts who crowd the exhibitions of a growing circuit of alternative galleries spreading throughout the United States. This is an exciting opportunity to raise the profile of this movement to new audiences.”

ART FROM THE NEW WORLD will open to the public in Bristol, England on Saturday, May 1, 2010 and will be on view through August 22nd.

Participating Artists:


Juxtapoz coverage
BBC coverage

Bristol’s City Museum & Art Gallery
Queen’s Road
Bristol, UK BS8 1RL
T: 0117 922 3571

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amy, audrey, lesley, and stella hit london - yay

Rad looking exhibition hitting London this summer:

‘The Next Generation: A New Chapter In Contemporary Art’ – curated by Thinkspace
Opening Reception: Thursday, June 3rd, 2010
London Miles Gallery
242 Acklam Road, Studio 303
London, W10 5JJ, United Kingdom
(44) 020 317 08618

salford zine library

Salford Zine Library, based at Islington Mill, Salford is looking for artzine submissions:

Salford Zine Library is a new venture which aims to create a Library of self published work from around the world. The library is based at Islington Mill home to over 50 artist studios.

Please send contributions to:
48 Landos Court
Gunson St
M40 7WT

the latest from aorta

Aorta Magazine (formerly known as ArtXX Magazine) is proud to announce Cardiac Unrest, the hottest reading and release party in MAY, 2010! Come see the biggest heartthrobs of the San Francisco literary scene reading some of the hottest most radical poetry and prose. Dance the night away with hard pumping beats courtesy of DJ Puppet. Buy some yummy swag and look at some fantastic art from our very new ISSUE 3 of Aorta Magazine.

Saturday May 8, 2010
Doors @ 7, Show @ 8
$5 - 10 sliding scale

@ Million Fishes Arts Collective
2501 Bryant St, SF CA

You don't want to miss radical readings from:
Dusty Horn
Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha
Meliza Bañales
Charles Vasquez
Rose Sims

Delicious visuals from:
Judith Page
Nikki Nefarious
Umayyah Cable

Musical temptations by:
Linda Moody (of Bay Area band Excuses for Skipping)
Zoe Boekbinder (storyteller, songwriter, loop pedal master)
Bass-thumping rhythms by DJ Puppet!!!

And, for further delights, expect to treat yourself to food, libations, and raffle prizes.

Come get your ears teased by words and rhythms and work yourself into a state of Cardiac Unrest!


Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha is a queer Sri Lankan writer, spoken word artist and cultural worker whose life’s work is telling queer of color, radical South Asian, high femme and survivor stories. As a spoken word artist she has performed widely in the United States, Canada and Sri Lanka. She has featured at Bar 13, Michelle Tea's RADAR Reading Series, The Loft, Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, as well as at universities including Yale, Sarah Lawrence, Oberlin, Swarthmore and the University of Southern California. Her first one woman show, Grown Woman Show, debuted at Toronto's Alchemy Theatre in August 2007.

Dusty Horn is a Show Business Impresario, urban cowboy cyclist, part-time hippie, loud fast and loose drummer, face-melting wah rhythmn guitarist, social worker, porn performer, and practitioner of professional BDSM. Her culture writing has been published in McSweeney’s The Believer, Maximum RnR, and Kitchen Sink, and she pens, publishes, and distributes a nominal sex worker memoir/critical theory zine.

Meliza Bañales, aka Missy Fuego, writes books, sews clothes, and makes movies. She has one book of poems, Say It With Your Whole Mouth and has work in several anthologies. Whether creative, spiritual, or activist, Meliza's work aims to give more complex awareness around issues of queerness, race, gender, and class using humor, sharp wit, and a lot of spandex.


Issue #3 is hot off the presses!

Aorta is proud to announce the release of Issue #3! Once again, we're delivering a magazine crammed full of the talents of women, queer and trans artists. Issue #3, printed in an edition of 250, features an array of visual, performative, musical, and literary artists, including: Daphne Gottlieb, Jennie Ottinger, Marci Washington, Ginger Brooks Takahashi, Nikki Nefarious, Larisa Escobedo, Still Black, Dusty Horn, Maryclare Brzytwa, Mangos with Chili, Imogen Binnie, W.A.G.E., Amy Casey, Ill Nippashi, Cristy C Road, Rose Sims, Judith Page, and more!


Aorta is a self-produced, collectively-created, bi-annual publication that features a diversity of emerging and established female, queer and transgender artists.

Aorta Magazine is a 501(c)3 sponsored project of the NY Foundation for the Arts and is supported in part by Southern Exposure's Alternative Exposure grant program.

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Snap from inside issue two:

Monday, 26 April 2010

oompa indeed!

“All fizz and finger-poppin’ talent. Such fun!”
- Diane DiMassa, creator of Hothead Paisan, Homicidal Lesbian Terrorist

“ ‘Oompa!’ will give you eargasms!”
-Annie Sprinkle, Artist/sexecologist

What would you do after editing a Lambda nominated anthology with bell hooks, Nan Goldin and Kate Bornstein? Well, if you’re Sabrina Chapadjiev, editor of Live Through This- On Creativity and Self-Destruction, you shorten your name to Sabrina Chap and hit the road with your hot brand of vaudevillian and ragtime stomp.

After ditching her role as ‘feminist editor,’ Sabrina Chap turned back to her first love- songwriting and performing, and it’s a good thing too! She’s got the ballad lyrics of Tom Waits, the onstage antics of Phyllis Diller and the voice of a whiskey angel. After performing what has been called ‘The Dirtiest Song Ever’ in a performance the New Yorker called, “Rousing!”, she’s proved that she’s also got moxie.
[NB. I've just searched high and low for videos of the performance, and the New Yorker review to link to, and it appears it was all so dirty that it's all been taken down from the web!! -Melanie]

Released for the first time in her debut studio album, ‘Oompa!’, her songs are a ragtime stompin' good time, full of laughs, heartbreaks, and just plain good songwriting.

A classical pianist from the age of 5, Sabrina has performed in nine Ladyfests throughout the US and Europe, anchored two European tours and hit every small bar and club in New York and Chicago.

The album title, ‘Oompa!’ stems from the typical left-hand stride that is found in ragtime, where the left hand is incessantly playing, “oompa, oom-pa”. A majority of the songs on the album originally contained this rhythm, and soon the album became an exploration on how to riff off of this basic musical theme. In one track, a Dixieland band is added, in another a trio of strings. Fellow feminist editor,
Melody Berger (the F-Word zine, “We Don’t Need another Wave”) brings her bluegrass fiddle to the track, ‘Carolina’.
All in all, ‘Oompa!’ is a musical feast of Americana’s favorite styles that’ll keep your toes a tappin and your finger’s snappin’.

A dynamic performer, Sabrina has found that it is the burlesque scene where she is finding her strongest supporters. In February she brought her bawdy vaudeville numbers and razor-sharp wit to the burlesque joints and sideshows of East Coast. Currently, she is playing solo shows in the New York area, while planning a travelling circus sideshow tour this summer, The show will feature a fire-eater,
burlesque performer, magician and herself as a one woman band performing the songs from ‘Oompa’. Hilarious and fearless, Sabrina is gearing up to become one of the hottest voicest in ragtime revivalor as an interview in the Queerist recently put it, “Wildly articulate, witty and passionate, Sabrina Chap is an artist to look out for.”

Head over to Sabrina's Myspace to hear songs from the album (my fave, for the record, is Boat Song)

mel, i heart you, love melanie

Today, I mostly want to be Maria

sometimes i get overhwelmed by the rad things my friends are doing/organising (Pt. #804)

Jane Arden Project: An active research project, culminating in an exhibition and limited edition artist bookwork, that invites women artists and writers to contribute responses to the work of Jane Arden.


Raising Hell: This half hour documentary profiles the experiences of the children of Lesbian and Gay parents in the UK aged 12 to 35, exploring themes of School, Gender, Sexuality, Prejudice and what the word Family means. Set alongside an examination of the rich history of Lesbian and Gay parents from the late 1960s to the present day this film at once normalises and elaborates on the unshared and unheard experiences of the children of Lesbian and Gay parents

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bonfire madigan in LA every sunday in may‏

New Music Residency Showcase 2010

Composer, Singing-Cellist Bonfire Madigan curates and performs a unique concert every Sunday in May at the Bootleg Theater, 2220 Beverly Blvd. Los Angeles

May 2nd, 9pm Bonfire Madigan performs pieces from her Kill Rock Stars catalog and selections frm her forthcoming full length album. 8pm Cate La Bon from Europe

May 9th, 9pm Bonfire Madigan plays songs by mom's (a special Mother's Day show - bring a mom!) 8pm surprise guests

May 16th, 9pm BMad w/ a tribute to American composer Moondog 8pm Rachael Cantu

May 23rd, 9pm BMad plays w/ the work of composer, singing cellist Arthur Russell 8pm DUBUS frm Tijuana

May 30th, 9pm BMad debuts selections frm her original score to the theatrical event Elektra opening Sept at the Getty Villa, starring Academy Award winner Olympia Dukakis 8pm Emily Jane White frm San Francisco

only $8 in advance $10 at the door

Thursday, 15 April 2010

gives good interview

Sabrina Chap sure gives good interview...

CG: You seem to have many different creative outlets. How do you juggle being such a jack of all trades?
SC: I don’t. I’m a mess. In fact, I’m crying right now.

Totally love Sabrina :)

[p.s. I interviewed Sabrina years ago too. You can read here]

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crazy ass 'democracy'

Okay, so once again I'm behind with the news, but this sucks

Iraqi artists denied entry to Britain for their own exhibition. Visas refused on grounds that applicants could not provide bank statements

As the article says, Proof of financial stability and a bank account in the applicant's home country is a bureaucratic requirement for British visa authorities, but it is also, according to Iraqi experts, a very tall order in an occupied country with no banking infrastructure.

"Since 2003, Iraqis have been promised democracy but Britain and America have not managed to do what they promised. We tried to use art to rebuild some of that trust. This incident loses that trust ... The artists have been refused visas for not having bank statements; many Iraqis do not have bank accounts. It's an unstable country, usually its citizens are paid in cash"

The artists denied entry include Shaho Abdul Rahman, 36, a designer and painter, Azar Othman Mahmud, 22, an installation artist, Sarwar Mohamed, 37, a filmmaker, all from Sulaymaniyah; Falah Shakarchi, 45, a painter from Baghdad and Julie Adnan, 24, a photojournalist from Kirkuk.

Friday, 2 April 2010

the diary of a teenage girl

OK, so I don't really 'do' theatre, and there's probably little to no chance of it coming over to the UK so I don't know what I'm getting so excited about, but Phoebe Gloeckner's amazing graphic novel 'The Diary of a Teenage Girl' has been adapted in to a stage play in the US. Wowzer!

The basic premise: 'It’s San Francisco in the 1970s. Fifteen-year-old Minnie has just started an affair with her mother’s boyfriend. Shit.'

Oh, and I love this touch: C. Andrew Bauer’s video designs cleverly incorporate Ms. Gloeckner’s drawings. A small exhibition of Gloeckner originals in the lobby pays further tribute to the unblinking honesty that inspired this heartfelt production.

"When you enter the building, you're treated to an unexpected exhibition of original art by Phoebe Gloeckner -- and I promise you, this alone is worth the price of admission. The selections draw heavily from the comics and illustrations found in Diary, including some of its most memorable pieces -- a dalliance between Minnie's best friend Kimmie and her ersatz boyfriend Monroe on the beach literally made my jaw drop, while I laughed aloud at seeing the book's memorable rear-view portrait of Monroe and Kimmie arguing in the buff. But one of "Minnie"/Phoebe's comics from her teenage years was also on display, as were several of her astonishing illustrations from J.G. Ballard's The Atrocity Exhibition, including that infamous fellatio cross-section. Throughout, it's almost awe-inspiring to see how much more frequently white-out is used to erase lettering mistakes or alter word-balloon placement rather than fix the art itself; Gloeckner's line appears to flow fully formed from her brain to the page. I was hard pressed to pull myself away from them to enter the venue proper, or to leave and catch my subway at the end of the night." (from: this rad review)

How I wish I was in New York to see this :(

get your cray-on for the bay area child care collective

(Click to enlarge for all the small print!)