Monday, February 6, 2012

Things That Happened This Week: Mike Kelley, Dorthea Tanning, Knicks vs. Bulls, Reading

It’s February, how boring is that? Well we have been lucky in NYC as the weather has been mild, down right spring like some days, so I guess there isn’t too much to complain about but still, it’s February the blah-est month of all. This blah seeps into everything, the brain, emotions, pallor, outfits, all of it. The idea of zesting things up, one way or an other won’t solve much as sometimes it is necessary to surrender to the dullness of life and embrace the chalkiness of it all. Alkaline for the doers and shakers of this fair city. Although this blah is stacked upon me, life is still happening and sometimes taking stock into one week lived is the best way to realize certain things or to assess what was and what is to come. Below are a few things that happened inside, outside and all about this past week in this spec of a thing called my life. I hope you had an interesting week as well and hope you too will endure the blah until its lounge in the sun time.

Mike Kelley died this past week and it felt like a sucker punch. He was a fantastic artist that had a bit of punk, a bit of nasty and a lot of humor and heart. He committed suicide, a gesture that is still shockingly tragic in our culture. This act makes one think, how is it possible that someone so cool, so talented, so on top of his game could feel so much a certain way that they would end their life. Suicide is a tricky idea, one that is too intensely private to ever justly analyze. What suicide does do is make people pause and to question oneself in respects to mortality and to contrast oneself to the person who decided to take their life. It’s an unsettling but natural reflex. Mike Kelley was a force and luckily he lived an immensely rich life that he shared with strangers.

Dorthea Tanning also died this week but of natural causes. She was a glorious 101 but her death was eclipsed by Mike Kelley’s which was on the same day. I was only first introduced to her sculptures this past winter when I saw her Cousins at the The Menil Collection in Houston but since then I have been incanting her work in my visual searching. Her death, and her life bring up issues of some hurdles of being a woman. She was married to Max Ernst and like most women then and also still today, her partner’s success was much more dominant over her own. She was also a writer, amongst many other things, and although she had a voice, it has been dimmed with time and lack of institutionalized scholarship. I hope that people don’t forget her or her work, she is just too brilliant a person to let fade away.

I went to the New York Knicks versus Chicago Bulls game this past Thursday. These two teams have a longstanding rivalry and with the recently resolved league standoff, there is an insatiable want of basketball and a face off like this. The Knicks have star players like, Carmelo Anthony, Amere Stodemire, Landry Fields, etc. that bring buzz and higher ticket prices but until some of these recent trades, the Knicks have been a losing team. They have improved but they are not quite there yet. The Bulls are doing very well this shortened season and are number one at the moment. I was thoroughly impressed by the Bulls player and also MVP, Derrick Rose. He is short for basketball height but he gets all Matrix-like when he has the ball and seems to slow down time and space. He is superb to watch. Anna Wintour was at the game, wearing Knicks’ orange and at center court, first row. She left after the first half. Ah, the spectacle of it all.

I’m trying to defrost my brain from all the reality TV I have been watching as confessed last week. To do so, I have been checking out books left and right from the library and also borrowing a few. I recently read Alfred Tennyson’s Enoch Arden. I found a very old print of the book from 1865 and it is just the most beautiful object. Sadly it is stained hence my ability to buy such a gem. Enoch Arden is a perfect poem of a sailor and his family and Tennyson’s writing is lyric and hooks you in. Reading a book with the quality of paper and letter pressed type of the time it was printed is the ultimate cleanse for the eyes. I have also started reading Jean Baudrillard’s Fragments. It is a collection of thoughts, whims, statements and mind farts by Monsieur Baurillard. Some of them zing with legitimizing quote-ability while others are just eye roll worthy. Either way it’s like doing squats for the remedial philosophy muscle in the brain. Lastly, I am reading Shakespeare’s Macbeth. It is fabulous. Really truly, juicy stuff. I love the Weird Sisters aka Three Witches. Weird Sisters equals best all girl band name ever. Reading is the illest and I think it is the best distraction to the blahness of anything life may throw you.