Not the difference between night-filled room and day-
washed garden but between both
those and the inside of a book when it is closed.
alLuPiNiT telegram: August 22, 2012
the new york city environmental magazine
285 E. 3rd Street
New York, NY 10009
Dear Steve Cannon,
It is an honor to inform you that you are the recipient of the 2012 alLuPiNiT NYC Dolmen Award for Outstanding Achievement in Art and Citizenry.
We present this appreciation to you for your continued commitment to art combined with your extraordinary vision, contribution and practice in the support of direct, diverse cultural exchange.
Also we recognize that this award embodies an appreciation that is shared by many around the globe well beyond the scope of our local community.
alLuPiNiT is organizing to present the award to you on the grounds of MoMA PS. 1., Long Island City, at our stand in conjunction with this year’s NY Art Book Fair on Sunday September 30, 2012 at 3pm. We hope that you will be able to attend.
Our congratulations and wishes for continued success, prosperity, health, peace and love,
The aNYCDAfOAiA&C is now it its second year.
2011 recipient : Ms. Bette Midler
alLuPiNiT, NYC is a 501c not for profit organization / since 2008 our publications review, interview and present works by artists, poets, playwrights, etc. dealing with issues that otherwise fall outside mainstream conversation / visit us online @
http://allupinit-nyc.blogspot.com/ <> our address: 579 Hudson Street 3F, New York, NY 10014 / email@example.com / 646-708-6303 / 646-654-1274 / !!! Free Leonard Peltier !!!
A Gathering of the Tribes, with a magazine of the same name, is proud to announce the release of its new magazine “Tribes 13”
10 River Terrace New York, NY
July 23rd 5-7pm.
The cover charge will be $10 and will include a copy of the new magazine (priced at $12.95). Attendance is free for contributors, so register at the door. Refreshments will be available.
Featuring readings by: Steve Dalachinsky, Kat Georges, Robert Gibbons, Jee Leong Koh, Puma Perl, Yuko Otomo, Amy Ouzoonian, and Kyrce Swenson with a musical performance by Bible Gun.
ARTIST Cynthia von Buhler Front Cover
ARTIST Jeff Sonhouse 1
ARTIST Tat Ito . 4
AUTHOR Anne Waldman . 5
AUTHOR Marge Piercy 6
ARTIST Bonny Finberg . 7
ARTIST Steve Dalachinsky . 8
AUTHOR Ellen Bass . 9
AUTHOR Yusef Komunyakaa 10
ARTIST Amy Bessone . 11
INTERVIEW Amiri Baraka . 12
AUTHOR Adonis (Ali Ahmad Sa’id) . 14
ARTIST Jenny Bhatt . 17
AUTHOR T. Duncan Anderson . 18
“Barnard Banjo Club, ca. 1897” I can’t help but stop to ponder this photo, as I walk through the tunnel.
These women – with their hair pulled severely back in buns, and their billowy dresses that come down to the floor – are my predecessors. My sisters. Yet, their faces, their posture, their poses, the banjos in their arms – they could be putting on a play!
Except they were putting on reality.
What would it have been like to be them?
Some days I feel far away from myself.
Detached from reality.
Thoughts quiver, like the hairs of a bow barely touching a violin’s strings.
One of those strange days.
Thoughts go by like items on an assembly line: too much homework, sunny day, need to find an internship, what’s for dinner.
But then – thoughts I don’t recognize emerge.
A couple strange, vaguely familiar strands. Perhaps from dreams, thoughts that the people close to me are feeling, suppressed childhood memories…or maybe from past lives.
Yet they flow easily between my own normal thoughts, so that it takes intense concentration to catch these thoughts in action, drag them up from the bottom of the ocean of my mind, while they wiggle in attempts to escape.
And then – I’ve lost them.
It’s a bizarre moment when you catch yourself in your thoughts;
Catch a phrase. Catch the voice in your head. It only happens rarely.
Rarely do you pause and think about the act of thinking.
And think about how one day you won’t be thinking,
But the cars will still zoom down Broadway; still barely stopping for annoyed pedestrians.
The light will still be beautiful on the river, in the springtime when the leaves of the elms reflect on the water: a thousand emeralds shining.
The bells will still chime at Union Theological Seminary, while an English class meets outside, because it’s finally reached the 70’s, and one girl will carefully sit down so not to get grass stains on a new spring dress.
Everyone will rush to class, work, home, downtown, uptown. Borough to borough, day to day, the subway spitting people up, and subsequently swallowing them. No stopping, no wrestling the clocks into submission, you can only flow with the current, flow with the current.
And perhaps only one of those people will look up at the sky and smile and feel glad to be alive.
It’s funny how days don’t really exist.
How can they exist, if one week later we don’t remember what we did, wore, ate, said, laughed at.
One year later can’t remember our state of mind.
Ten years later, all we remember is that we went to Barnard, liked it.
100 years later you’re a photograph on a wall that someone passes, and gives ten seconds to wondering who you are, what it was like to go to Barnard in your day.
“Girl sitting on Lehman Lawn, typing on laptop ca. 2010”
A Gathering of the Tribes and The Aquarian Arts (aquarianarts.org) are co-sponsoring a poetry contest. First prize will be $150 and publication in Tribes literary magazine. Second: $75, Third: $50. Deadline is July 1st. Send up to 3 poems (include SASE for winners) and a $5 dollar entry fee made payable to The Aquarian Arts, 502 Plandome Road , Manhasset , NY 11030 . Deadline is July 1st.
Finalist Judge will be Yerra Sugarman who received the 2005 PEN/Joyce Osterweil Award for Poetry for her first book, Forms of Gone, published by The Sheep Meadow Press in 2002. Her second book, The Bag of Broken Glass, was published in January 2008, also by Sheep Meadow. She is the recipient of a “Discovery”/The Nation Poetry Prize, a Chicago Literary Award, the Poetry Society of America’s George Bogin Memorial Award and its Cecil Hemley Memorial Award. Born in Toronto , she lives in New York City , where she has taught creative writing in undergraduate and MFA programs. She is currently teaching poetry at Rutgers University and is Writer in Residence at Eugene Lang College – The New School for Liberal Arts.
Winners will be notified and posted online.
“Other Dimensions of Abstract Art”
at Tribes Gallery and Gallery Onetwentyeight
Jan. 8th — Feb. 5th 2005
A group show can be the despair of a viewer who is trying to put a finger on its general impact rather than identify with particular works, especially if he or she believes, with Bachelard, in the existence of transcendent qualities. These he defines in The New Scientific Spirit as “something that is not a property of any part of the system, but which may be imputed to that system as a whole.” Not every show will have this unity, but if the curators select sensitively, their tastes will imbue the collection with an overall stamp.
Such is the case with the exhibition “Other Dimensions of Abstract Art,” running concurrently at Tribes Gallery and Gallery Onetwentyeight. Here is one in which a distinctive attribute, which might be missed in the examination of a single piece, becomes evident on perusal of the whole show. We can thank the curators, Kazuko Miyamoto and Rui Uchida for this. They put up the show to highlight minority abstractionists. Following a suggestion by Tribes Gallery owner Steve Cannon, the group show is being given as a counterbalance to the exhibit at the Jack Tilton/Anna Kustera Gallery, named “No Greater Love, Abstraction,” which featured the work of African-American and Euro-American artists. The Tribes/Onetwentyeight show looks at the abstract work of American artists with Oriental, Hispanic and Native American backgrounds.
Both this show and Tilton’s were presumably concerned with battling a prejudice against minority artists, which holds that their art is exclusively concerned with attacking discrimination and stereotypes, as Kerry James Marshall did, for instance, at his recent show at the Studio Museum of Harlem. This show documents the fact that many minority artists have concerned themselves with the creation of abstract art.
Moreover, to come to the transcendent quality on display, it would seem that Hispanic/Asian/Native American artists have a special way of doing abstraction that distinguishes their work from that of the canonical styles. I would call this mark “combustible spirituality,” that is, it is otherworldly, but in a low-key, non-demonstrative way. This would separate their stances from that of the modern and postmodern masters, such as Kandinsky and Mondrian (the former) and Rothko and Kline (the latter), who imbued their work with mystical, religious or vaguely spiritual overtones so as to call attention to the profound depths and chilling power of the extra mundane. By contrast, the notatation of the spiritual by the artists in this exhibit is lighter, almost throwaway. Their god is not a stone behemoth, but a flimsy cut-out. Materially, the works in “Other Dimensions” seemed poised to take flight or be swept away, as was a sculpture strewn on the floor by Athena Robles.
This piece is carved in fine, yellow sand that lies on a white square frame. It driftworks contain lovely traces of vegetal forms that imply fronds floating in a stream. Another work with the same simple materials is comically referential to art history. “One-Eyed Jack `Spine Me’” by Gordon Sasaki consists of a mounted bicycle tire on which is pasted a red spiral made from cheap paper. Its obvious allusions are to Man Ray and Duchamp, but it eschews the brashness and iconoclasm of the earlier generation, settling for a quieter, unabrasive humor. The spiritual accent is not intrusive in either work, although Robles’ piece alludes to those done by Native Americans in the Southwest to depict divine beings. Sasaki’s work puns on the icons of modernism, who are seen more as spiritual valences than men.
Linked to Robles finding form in sand is a painting by Sumie Okoshi, which sees objects laced by rain. Her “Invasion” is composed using an enlarged pointillist technique. Its abstract angular forms are made up of many tiny ovoids, some of which are colored in with red or blue tones where others are left empty. When I asked Okoshi about the inspiration for her basic building blocks, the ovoids, she said she thought of them as raindrops, adding, “Rain is the most important thing in heaven, because it connects earth and sky.” It seemed the rain was forming shapes in its falling sheets.
A more urban theme is struck by Ham San Son’s “Reformation.” This work is made up of six to eight layers of cardboard that have been pasted together, shaped, gouged, and painted with white and black acrylic to produce what might be taken for a tortured, abstract building. Indeed, Son said he drew some of his ideas from the construction sites and factories he sees in his daily commute through Queens, and which, like his “Reformation,” seem “to hide something.” Although the spiritual theme is muted here, the “aged” surface of the architectural inlays gives the work the feeling of a tomb, temple or some other edifice with an above average spiritual gravitas.
More overtly mystical is Noriko Wako’s “Ha-Go-Ro-Mo.” It takes up one corner of Tribes Gallery with long coils of rice paper, decorated with black ink swirls, that fall from the ceiling to the floor, twisting like waterfall tongues, touching viewers’ feet and half burying the gallery’s piano. On the wall beside the scrolls are five photographs of a nude dancer who is ritualistically entangling herself in the coils. Wako explained that she saw these hanging papers as the vestments of heavenly maidens from Japanese folklore. When the dancer moved in the robes, she was “transferred miracle things,” that is, given supernatural abilities. Viewing the flowing paper through the artist’s words, it is striking to see that the exalted maidens are wearing tearable, humble clothes.
Yuko Otomo also uses unprepossessing materials. Her drawings are done in modest browns and white, light hatchings that could be taken for grids found on dried, warped paper. “Kakizome #2″ shows a central pillar, leaning way to the left, fuzzy with meticulous pencil strokes. Otomo traces her own lineage to a trio of great figures in early abstraction: Kandinsky, Malevich, and Mondrian, who acknowledged their own utopian qualities in their writings. She says, each one saw abstraction as “not related to the visual reality of our dimension,” and in their practice, they tried “to not get anything from this reality.”
Here, she is striking the dominant chord of the whole exhibition. Many practitioners say abstract art is essentially about the aesthetic values of color, design, balance, and so on, and that those who try to add a philosophical dimension to the work are making a category mistake by importing extrinsic values into the artistic realm. Yet, to my mind, positive aesthetic qualities, such as balance, are only admired because they latently imply an ethics — the balance necessary for a good life, for instance — and, behind this, a metaphysics. If this is so, as Otomo hints, then the transcendent quality evident in these minority artists is the connection of abstract art’s general metaphysical sense to a casual, unstressed, unforced presentation, which, like Otomo’s precious, nearly evanescent drawings, are hesitant and incorruptible.
begged mohammad for his help
he let me know he don’t deal with
no whores told him i was a virgin
but you got the heart of a whore, he said
begged solomon to put in a good word with fate
he said i’d have to marry him
replied that i was saving myself for another prophet
too bad he don’t deal with no virgins
on my knees i pleaded to jesus
sorry i only deal with virgins or whores
well was born a virgin and plan to be a whore i promised
already got my two marys he called over his shoulder
buddha wasn’t down with my troubles
he couldn’t understand my intimacy problems
osiris couldn’t hang with me
cause my temple didn’t hang right
jehovah wasn’t even trying to hear me
i was too far back on line
jah told me to smoke my trials away
but my lungs were too small for his divine high
my knees were bloody
from kneeling forever
pages of all the holy books stained my hands red
my eyes burned from the incense in all those temples
blood of all the holy wars stained my hands red
my eyes burned from the incense in all those temples
blood of all the holy wars stained my hands red
the prayer rugs were frayed and soiled
prayer beads were loose on the floor
slipping me up
no communion baptism nile libation
ain’t no ritual around to cleanse me
of these demands
the prophets gotta pay the rent
they gotta get off too
the messengers gotta do what they gotta do
they gotta pimp and scheme just like we do
then they come to me
asking for a good word
from Tribes Issue 7