Archive for Arts

Sunday reading

Henry James by way of The New York Review of Books is always good:

James summarizes the moral that America emerging from the Gilded Age seems to offer: “To make so much money that you won’t, that you don’t ‘mind,’ don’t mind anything—that is absolutely, I think, the main American formula.” It follows that if you don’t make money you will “mind” the public thinness and waste of American life, and be reduced to “the knowledge that America is no place for you.” There is a grim social price paid by American “progress”; finding in the city streets a “new style of poverty” compared with what he had observed in European cities, James notes: “There is such a thing, in the United States, it is hence to be inferred, as freedom to grow up to be blighted, and it may be the only freedom in store for the smaller fry of future generations.”

‘Heroines Revisited’ review

Mala Rai’s review of Lincoln Clarkes‘ “Heroines Revisited” gets the important things exactly right.

For the people that loved her, whether she is missing, deceased, or transformed, these pages are a sensitive keepsake. As half the women photographed may be closely connected to [or even have been among] are murdered and missing indigenous women, these pictures may be the sole glimpse into a family member or friend’s troubled time. How can the surroundings be so dire, yet every woman in that instance is utterly stunning? They are in terribly vulnerable places, yet invoke the persona of tough-as-nails heroine: Your sister riding a 10 speed, smoking a cigarette, clad in page boy at and a crop top. Your former high school friend at St. Paul’s hospital, perched in a confident, yogi pose upon her bed. The woman who’d become your mother, about to inject, focused on her syringe, but 13 pages later, impeccably put together, she is confidently staring right back at you. A tender Mother’s Day sisterhood collective. Perhaps their arrival at that destination in life was a shock. Maybe it was expected. It isn’t profound sadness or pain that I see in each frame, but the significance of these women in our society. They likely had no idea that their images in the finished product would comprise a collection of artful history. The pictures make us hunger for more details of each person’s personal history, but there are no crumbs to spare.

It’s now Lucy Sante

Such a terrific writer. I’ve followed her work for decades, beginning with her New York Review of Books pieces. She has a fine website.

Phyllis Christopher

‘The Guardian’ interviews wonderful photographer and friend Phyllis Christopher. Her book “Dark Room: San Francisco Sex and Protest, 1988-2003” is being published this year.

There have been few times in history where women run the camera, the press and the ecosystem of publishing. But the world we created in San Francisco felt like a beautiful laboratory. It wasn’t separatist by any means – we didn’t seclude ourselves from men and non-lesbians – but we were making work for each other. I think that’s evident in these images.

I wrote about Phyllis Christopher’s work a few years back.

Happy birthday, kat