Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Last night

This old blog has been quiet for a long time.
This morning though it felt like time to update and address some things, news ... occasion being last night's Whitney Biennalle preview party and dinner afterwards.
So many people, long line to get in - thankfully not so freezing as other recent nights.
We went to see our old friend and collaborator Gretchen Bender's art piece "People In Pain" was chosen and featured across one wall - cheers Phil Vanderhyden for the reconstruction & curator Michelle Grabner. When Gretchen passed in 2004, her work was known by some art world, appreciated for what it was by some.
It was difficult to find much info about her work anywhere as time passed though, bar credits on certain music videos, a note here and there about her past electronic theatre pieces @ The Kitchen, video install @ Danceteria, an interview in Bomb by Cindy .
Think for a minute about the artists who have put everything on the line to make their art.
The scientists and engineers who came up w ideas that took decades or longer to seem 'true'.

Phil Vanderhyden found her early audio piece and began examining her other works leading to the restaging of GB's multi channel "Total Recall" @ The Poor Farm in Wis 2012, The Kitchen 2012.
Gretchen's work looked, felt and sounded better then ever.
The world seemed to have caught up with Gretchen's mindset.
Her art blows away the *hit.

Well done Phil - who spent more then a year reconstructing the piece which had been 'destroyed' in time , thank you Michelle & congrats Gretchen !
Taking taxi down Fifth Avenue to Odeon- Robert's old haunt for midnight dinner Noyuri and I were talking w Johnathan Bender and his wife ( never got her name sorry ). You may have seen Johnathan's black suited frame & outstretched tie falling through thin air in Longo's "Men In Cities" B& W works , New Order's "Bizarre Love Triangle" music video ( by Longo w Bender edit) or Christian Bale's 'psycho killer's art on wall in his apt. Echoed in say, Apple's ads from some years back or "Mad Men" opening seq. We hadn't seen each other in oh 20 years.
He has set up art consultants to help deal w surge of interest in GB's from some cool US and UK institutions.
Johnathan was also involved in Longo's music video productions, "Arena Brains" short movie and beginnings of the lengthy "Johnny Mnemonic" production and now lives in DC w his family.
How many times had we rolled through the city looking out through taxi windows ...

I had met Gretchen at an opening @ Peter Nagy & Allan McCollum's E Village gallery Nature Morte in Jan. 1984 and introduced myself as I thought our works seemed to go together.
We worked together through to her last electronic theatre piece "Aggressive Witness" 1990 or so.
She had alot of art to still do ...

I began working w Robert as i began working w Gretchen on Wild Dead and Dumping Core , we became fast friends, hanging out, seeing the Challenger disaster together on TV down at R & G's South St seaport loft.
And he had me work on his ever larger productions , collaborating closely for another decade through to the opening screening of "Johnny Mnemonic".
So many projects, works, tough sessions, long rehearsals & high times - sometimes nailing what we were aiming for ...
I heard last night that the old 85 South Street building they lived in is being renovated after Storm Sandy fired the wiring in the basement.
One of those building artists happened into , Katherine Bigalow and John Tuturro lived there as well, DCC shot music video w Gretchen there, Black rain edited our video piece for Pepe Moreno's "Hellcab" video game there.
Last night Robert was in rare form, recounting stories of how we lived then, the 'mornings after', Loft fires, rents, cats & yes, rats.
They so graciously took me in when i had no place to go.
We read Robert's Variety, discussing what movies were coming attractions, which were likely to get made, which seemed *hit while wishing it was us making something ...better.
Robert had the script to David Lynch's "Ronnie Rocket" lying around the space. Never got made.
Can still smell the still dust on the wooden stairs ...
"Yer talkin' about memories..."

Ladies, do get checkups from time to time , you never know ...
it could save your life
Do your work , do your art and do it hard.
Before you go


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