Wednesday, April 29, 2009


Rain might now taste like lemon
But your eyes are still the same
They've still got their demon
And I've still got your semen
In my mind
And in my mouth

You put your finger
And I like it so

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Tate Group Exhibition Explores the Themes of Disruption and Discontinuity within Processes

Anna Barham, Replanted images 2008. Courtesy of the artist. Copyright: the artist.

LONDON.- Stutter, the latest exhibition in Tate Modern’s Level 2 programme, explores the themes of disruption and discontinuity within processes of thought and language. The group show features works by international contemporary artists Sven Augustijnen, Anna Barham, Dominique Petitgand, Michael Riedel, Will Stuart and Michelangelo Pistoletto and includes a wide range of media, ranging from sculpture, work on paper and video, to performance and sound. The exhibition’s title, Stutter, comes from the onomatopoetic word for an interrupted act of speech.

Level 2 is Tate Modern’s space for emerging artists, dedicated to experiment and the latest ideas, themes and trends in international contemporary art.

Sven Augustijnen’s films Johan and Francois 2001 are intimate portraits of people suffering from aphasia, the loss of the ability to produce or comprehend language. Augustijnen’s skilfully edited documentaries gradually reveal the thoughts and memories of the patients and allow the viewer to access a world that is shaped by the experience of fragmentation and degradation.

The centrepiece of Anna Barham’s contribution to Stutter is a sculpture comprised of fluorescent tubes, orchestrated by computer codes. Creating an infinite number of flickering pulses, A Splintered Game 2008 manipulates ideas of geometry, structures and combinations as a way to illustrate and reveal thought processes. The installation is surrounded by seven of Barham’s drawings that show her interest in the potential of words and anagrams to create elaborate forms and to trigger images and narratives in the viewer’s imagination.

In a new spatial configuration, Dominique Petitgand presents Someone on the ground 2005-2006, where recordings of words, pauses, breaths and noise merge into layers of voice and sound, structured by break ups and cuts. Played back from various spaces in the gallery, this installation takes place alongside and simultaneous to other works in the exhibition, overarching and setting them in relation, creating tensions between speech and noise, figuration and abstraction.

Will Stuart (Will Holder and Stuart Bailey) present one of Michelangelo Pistoletto's Minus Objects from 1966, Structure for talking while standing. They challenge Pistoletto’s artwork through accompanying texts, exploring the use and significance of Pistoletto’s piece within the context of both the exhibition and Will Stuart’s intervention.

Michael Riedel presents an entirely new work, which arises out of an array of gaps, elisions and errors. These result from a complex process of editing video footage of film screenings, recorded over a period of many months, into a frenetic trailer lasting just eight minutes.

The exhibition is curated by Nicholas Cullinan and Vanessa Desclaux. next.............

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Big Man Tries Beckett

IN his dressing room last week
John Goodman stood up, emitted a long, blaring foghorn blast and then announced in a loudspeaker voice, “Now docking. ...” He was describing his Act I entrance as Pozzo, his first theatrical role in four years, in the Roundabout Theater Company production of “Waiting for Godot,” which opens April 30 at Studio 54.

Mr. Goodman is a big man — he’s 6 foot 3, and his weight these days hovers around 300 pounds — and in his Pozzo getup he seems even bigger. He wears a derby, boots and a voluminous riding suit with jodhpurs, and when he comes onstage, at the end of a long rope attached to his hapless slave, Lucky (played by John Glover), he does seem a bit like an ocean liner. Vladimir and Estragon (played by Bill Irwin and Nathan Lane) look astonished, and rightly so.

Pozzo is the least sympathetic and in some ways the trickiest character in “Godot.” He cruelly mistreats Lucky, and yet he is as lost and vulnerable as all the others. He is “an insecure gasbag who needs to be listened to and have things done for him,” as Mr. Goodman put it. “He’s like the Macy’s blimp no one wants to look at.” Pozzo spouts a lot of fustian and hot air, and Mr. Goodman said he was still trying to figure out the right voice for it. His Pozzo speaks in a deep, Goodmanesque rumble but with a lordly British accent.

“It’s just a voice I heard in my head,” Mr. Goodman explained, “along with all the other voices there — the barking dogs and the rest. I need to make it more distinctly American, sort of like Bill Buckley. I’m trying to make it more a patrician Yankee voice, but I worry that’s not going to sell. It’s going to sound like a bad English accent. So it’s something I’m still searching for.”


NIGHT SKY explores what the noted author and physicist Steven Hawking has called the two remaining mysteries -- the brain and the cosmos. When she is a struck by a car, the brilliant and articulate astronomer Anna loses her ability to speak. In place of conventional speech, she expresses herself in a hodge-podge of unconnected words that are alternately poetic, funny, confusing and profound, and sometimes all four --a little-known medical condition called 'aphasia' -- resulting in a rich new language which, indeed, can communicate, but only if one listens in a manner equally new.
At the same time that it considers the varied ways through which we communicate with one another, NIGHT SKY movingly dramatizes the resilience of the human spirit in crisis, as a woman, her family, her career and life's work are put to a powerful test.

eTuesday - Fri 8pm
Saturday 3pm & 8pm
Sunday 3pm

May 20 - June 20, 2009
At Baruch College Performing Arts Center
All preview tickets Regular tickets
May 20 - May 30, Only $45! $45 & $65
Same day Rush $25 Same day Rush $25

For information about Night Sky or about tickets,
please contact us at:

For more information about aphasia and
the National Aphasia Association,
please visit Designed & Maintained by Ronn(i.e.) designs

Baker, Stanek, Milligan Will Explore Night Sky, a Play About Aphasia, Off-Broadway

By Kenneth Jones
20 Apr 2009

Jordan Baker, of Off-Broadway's Three Tall Women, will play an astronomer who loses the ability to speak in Susan Yankowitz's Night Sky, to play Off-Broadway starting May 22.

Opening is June 2 in the Rose Nagelberg Theatre at the Baruch Performing Arts Center, 55 Lexington Ave., in Manhattan.

Daniella Topol (Palace of the End in NYC) directs the production, presented Off-Broadway by Stan Raiff/Power Productions (Irena's Vow) in association with the National Aphasia Association.

Baker returns to the New York stage after a 15-year absence. She was last seen there in the 1993 original cast of Edward Albee's Three Tall Women opposite Marian Seldes and Myra Carter.

According to production notes, "Night Sky explores what the noted author and physicist Steven Hawking has called the two remaining mysteries — the brain and the cosmos — as the play looks at what happens to a bright, articulate astronomer, her family and her career when she is struck by a car and loses her ability to speak conventionally, a condition known as 'aphasia.' As she is left to expresses herself in an alternately funny, poetic, confusing and profound hodge-podge of words, astronomer Anna, her daughter, fiancĂ© and colleagues face uncommon challenges of the mind and spirit as they discover new ways to communicate, and what it really means to listen."

Also featured in the cast of Night Sky are Jim Stanek, Tuck Milligan, Lauren Ashley Carter, Dan Domingues and Darlesia Cearcy.

The play is "inspired by and dedicated to the memory of the late, revered actor, director, playwright and founder of the Open Theatre, Joseph Chaikin, himself affected with aphasia following a stroke in 1984," according to the producers. "Having recovered sufficiently to continue writing, directing and performing until his death in 2003, Mr. Chaikin commissioned Ms. Yankowitz to write a play that dealt with aphasia."

Since leaving New York, Baker has appeared on several television series including as a regular on "The New Adventures of the Old Christine" opposite Julia Louis-Dreyfus, along with roles on "Brothers and Sisters," "Medium," "Cold Case," "Without a Trace," "The O.C.," "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," "Passions," "Gilmore Girls" and "Still Standing."

Yankowitz is a playwright, novelist, lyricist and librettist. Her plays include Phaedra in Delirium (Classic Stage Company/The Women's Project), winner of the QRL poetic play competition; Terminal and 1969 Terminal 1996 (collaborations with Joseph Chaikin's Open Theatre); Slain in Spirit, a gospel-and-blues opera with music by Taj Mahal; Cheri, an opera/music theatre work with Michael Dellaira (finalist for the 2006 Richard Rogers Award and a featured opera at the 2006 Opera America New Works Sampler, to be produced at Long Leaf Opera in 2012); and bookwriter/lyricist of True Romances, a musical fantasia with Elmer Bernstein.

Night Sky will run Tuesdays through Fridays at 8 PM; Saturdays at 3 PM and 8 PM, and Sundays at 3 PM (with an added performance on June 1 at 8 PM and no performance on June 3).

All tickets during previews are $45, and will range $25-$65 after opening. There will be a limited number of $25 Student Rush tickets available for each performance. Tickets go on sale May 1. For reservations, call (212) 352-3101 or visit


The month of June is National Aphasia Awareness Month. It is estimated that over one million Americans have aphasia — the sudden inability to communicate, speak, read, write or understand language. Noted figures who have experienced "aphasia" include cinematographer Sven Nykvist, poet Ralph Waldo Emerson, composer Maurice Ravel, ABC-TV reporter Bob Woodruff and Sen. Tim Johnson of South Dakota.