Art Blog:Blue Cats Mews
Towards a Science of Consciousness conference
Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden, May 1-8, 2011
NYU Synesthesia Symposium and Dave Chalmers’ Multi-sensory party
NYU, November 20, 2010
The Opening of the Poetry Door
Openings took place on May 15 and June 18, 2010
See video clips by George Spanos of Opening of the Poetry Door parties
..more painted poetry by artist Mark Turgeon
First… at the Bowery Poetry Club, you saw
the ‘Poetry Steps’
Then… up at Bob Holman’s fabulous loft you saw—
the Poetry Floor
..and now…in the heart of Chelsea, it’s—
the Poetry Door!
Another original work of painted poetry
by Mark Turgeon
See the list of the Poetry Door Poets
Paintings 2006—2009, by David Hockney
Josh and I got to meet David Hockney, our magnificent contemporary painter that I wrote about in Blue Cats. (I wrote about those red tree trunks and blue leaves he painted his stage sets for the Metropolitan Opera (because reds and blues were the colors synesthete-Hockney (yes, synesthete-Hockney) "heard" in the music of Ravel.
The meeting with D.H. was at the private party that preceded the opening of his first New York exhibition in 12 years—of the Yorkshire landscapes he’s been painting since moving back to England. I will never forget all that pinkish light in the gallery space (or was that my own synesthetic reaction?) And those paintings of the hawthorn, oh the hawthorn—you can just feel those branches brushing against your skin when you look at those paintings.
I told D. H. that, and he smiled in a friendly way, but I fear he did not hear a word I said as there was much ambient noise and my voice was high and shy (I was meeting David Hockney, after all!) and D.H. has lost much of his hearing over the years. We were introduced by my kind friend Arthur Lambert, whom David Hockney did a (six-foot!) portrait of many years ago (see above). How does he capture that “Arthur-ness” of Arthur? How does he capture the feel of the hawthorn? The colors of Ravel’ s music? Oh, the mystery of Hockney’s eye and art.
‘Elegant’, ‘intimate’ and ‘soulful’ describe this celebration at the historic Players Club (originally founded by Mark Twain and other 19th century artists) on Gramercy Park.
The fête honored Bradley Strahan, founder of Visions: The World Journal of Illustrated Poetry. For 30 years, poet Strahan has been committed to gathering a range of the world’s poetry – work in English and in English translation that hails from countries including Croatia, Hungary, Iceland, Macedonia, Pakistan, the US, to name a few. Poet and artist Ellen Peckham read her work, as did Visions contributors including Susanna Rich and Brad Strahan himself.
I don’t write poetry but I was thrilled to read translations of poems by Drago Stambuk, Croatian Ambassador to Japan and a leading poet in Croatia.
Visions has also published work of leading poets Ai, Andrei Codrescu, James Dickey, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Jack Gilbert, Allen Ginsberg, Linda Gregg, Marilyn Hacker, Ted Hughes, Sharon Olds, Naomi Shihab-Nye and Louis Simpson
And at The Players post-poetry reception, poets, visual artists, UN staffers, and friends mingled---the company, wine and sesame tuna hors d’oeuvres were “poetry” themselves.
Jakob Montrasio's 11-foot skyscraper photos at the "China Prophecy: Shanghai" show
The Skyscraper Museum, 39 Battery Place, through Winter 2010
Could Shanghai replace New York as the 'world city' of the 21st century? That is the question this exhibit of 11-foot skyscraper photos, models, and videos asks. With a population of 18 million and growing, 'vertical cities' of skyscrapers could be Shanghai's population salvation, and a model for China's -- and the world's -- growing urban centers. Of note in this exhibition are Jakob Montrasio's 11-foot skyscraper photos of Shanghai's towering towers (at 128 stories, the 'under-construction' 'Shanghai Tower' will surpass New York's 102-story Empire State Building). Also catch Montrasio's 20-minute Shanghai video and glide through the illuminated walkways of China's ancient city of the future.
Goldberg Haas' Dances for a Variable Population
Downtown Dance Festival, Chase Plaza, NY August 21, 2009
This group did it again! Choreographer Naomi Goldberg Haas has assembled a company with dancers of different shapes, sizes, and ages (ranging from early 20's to late 70's). Haas works with the movement styles of her diverse dancer-types -- to make wonderful exhilarating works like Fanfare.
At the end of the show, the audience was invited on stage to join in.
Everybody: the short, the tall, the old, the young, the cool, the clumsy.
Vivent les differences!
Caecilia Tripp's New York film
Bowery Poetry Club
screening/reception, July 21, 2009
A "Euro magic-realist" view of downtown New York with repeated scenes à la Gertrude Stein. Though the repetition can get to you, Parisian filmmaker Caecilia Tripp's work lingers in the mind…with luminous scenes of Washington Square Park nighttime and Chelsea daytime.
Bob Holman's Poetry Floor
"Hollywood Poetry" after-party May 10, 2009
I am jealous of Bob Holman's Poetry floor up in his one-of-a-kind loft. Lines of the world's greatest poetry (from Rimbaud to Dickinson to Whitman, plus so many more—and in many, many languages). The fab floor was painted by artist Mark Turgeon. Now I want a Poetry floor too. I love the way something as 'up-in-the-clouds' as poetry—becomes part of the solid foundation that holds us up! (in Bob's loft anyway). And at the "Hollywood Poetry" after-party, the loft's poetry floor held up the likes of celeb-poets Patricia Clarkson, Michael O'Keefe, Sapphire, Amber Tamblyn, Claire Daines, and more. Bravo Bob!
Jonas Mekas and Cecilia Vicuña dance at the UN
UN Correspondents Association Clubroom, February 21, 2009
Legendary avant-garde filmmaker Jonas Mekas and multi-lingual poet Cecilia Vicuña danced in celebration of International Mother Language Day (February 21) at the United Nations Correspondents Association Clubroom. Both gave readings and talks at this benefit to promote literacy projects (co-sponsored by the UN Language and Communications Programme). Jonas Mekas spoke lovingly of Lithuanian, his native tongue and of his struggles to communicate in other languages. Said Mekas, "Always it was a struggle. I spoke the wrong dialect, my accent was too heavy. 'We don't understand. What are you trying to say?' were the words I heard most often from other people. Then I discovered the language of cinema and said, 'Finally, a universal language that the whole world will understand.' But then people watched my films and said, 'We don't understand. What are you trying to say?' "
Filmmaker Jonas Mekas and poet Cecilia Vicuña
"Being" is a compound of three forms: "to grow", "to set in motion"
And "yes it may be so."
"To be not an estar, but a way of being." – Cecilia Vicuña, Instan
Sean Duffy provided technical assistance