Archives for posts with tag: art

At the end of September, I went to Zagreb, Croatia for a week.  I was dancing naked in a show. And then I went to Paris for a week. I walked around for hours every day, ordered a lot of “veh” and muttered “Je suis desolee. Je ne parle pas Francais. Parlez vous Anglais?” to people who chose to talk to me. I did it so they would like me for my American modesty. OR. If they weren’t sold on that look, then maybe the classic “a girl who is sorry.”  I felt embarrassed to love France so much and to be so dumb in the mouth.

I’ve been home for a week and a half.

The hardest thing and the only thing I am obligated to do right now is work on my own musical web series project. Which is why I’ve been trying to find lots of other things to do. Like, I enrolled in a French class.

Also, I was scrolling through my facebook newsfeed and found an article somebody had posted: “How Capitalism Can Save Art” by Camille Paglia.  One of Paglia’s claims is that young artists don’t have any vocational skills. They don’t actually know how to do anything with their hands that doesn’t involve a computer. And that this creates a really sterile liberal-upper-middle-class-studio-art BFA/MFA alienation from the rest of the world. Paglia’s very “THE SIXTIES MEANT SOMETHING REAL.” And I felt very YEAH about it.  I immediately google searched “trade school NYC.” I wanted to find something along the lines of fixing a car or making a tiny stool out of wood—a class I forfeited in middle school to take keyboarding. So the first thing that came up in my google search, of course, was a conceptual trade school, a school that operates on a barter system, being run out of a gallery at the New School.

Forgot about the stool. I took a two day course called “Digital Cinemantics: Movie Making in the 21st Century” taught by a guy who renamed himself Noemi Charlotte Thieves after moving out of his Mom’s house. He had a Muslim name, and  as a thirteen year old in post-911 Florida, he got detained at the airport for hours every time he tried to fly anywhere since.  His old name included parts of four of the suicide bomber’s names. His first name is now the same as my Grandma’s. She died when I was really little so it felt pretty special to be at the table with another Naomi as a big girl. In exchange for his grandmotherly 21st century digital filmmaking knowledge, I brought potato chips with ridges to his first class, and for the 2nd day of the course, I will be making him dinner.

I also took an i-ching class. I brought Polish cookies and  learned how to read people’s fortunes with nickels using the oldest spiritual book people still care about.  I’ve been reading some of my fortunes too.

Yesterday, I held my nickels between my palms and asked the i-ching, “What can I expect if I choose to produce the musical webseries, The Dardy Family Home Movies, myself?” I tossed them six times. And this is what she told me.

Hexagram 7: The Army 

or Organized Discipline.

If you hold or aspire to a position of leadership, remember that the true leader captures the hearts of the people, and articulates a clear, simple vision that binds them together….  Only when the state is economically prosperous can the army be strong… Only when the army is disciplined can the state be protected from disruptive outside forces.

Modesty and generosity at the center can be a magnetic force that keeps the relationships intact.

Solidarity among all elements is essential for success at this time.

Steven is letting me borrow his snare drum.

Tomorrow I am taking a software coding class and a cyanotype photograms glass.

Then I am obligated to rally the troops. Rat a tat tat.

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I remember when Lovefool came out on the Romeo and Juliet Soundtrack. I would shut my bedroom door. Lock it. Blast that shit. Watch myself dance in the full length mirror. Once, my friend Logan pretended like one of the posts of my canopy bed was a stripper pole and did sexy dances with it. to Lovefool. It was the craziest thing I had ever seen anybody do. I knew it was bad.  So I just quietly checked the doorknob. To make sure.

Last night, I got to be in a show with the singer of that song. Nina Persson. She wore a mustard yellow blouse and a grey pencil skirt and pretended to be a therapist while she sang the Bruno Mars chorus of Lighters. Everybody in the audience put their lighters in the air. But I don’t smoke.

So I held up a candle.

I guess it really is Fall. I guess it’s Autumn. I guess this happens every year. But this elephant always forgets.

I am a sucker for Dumbo’s eyes. and Pinocchio’s.  I guess the thing they have in common, besides/because of the whites of their eyes, is that people want to exploit them as performers. In the circus, Dumbo has to dress up like a clown baby and stand in the window of a burning building. Top floor. While a bunch of fire department circus clowns “rescue” him. A clown dressed in elephant mommy drag histrionically screams “my baby! my baby! save my child!”  while Dumbo’s real mom is shackled to the inside of a car on the circus train. The car is labeled: MAD ELEPHANT. At the end of the act, Dumbo jumps out of the window (correction: he’s pushed and made to look like he jumps) to land on one of those fire department canvas landing pads. But the canvas is a facade. He falls right through it into a pool of whipped cream.

This sounds fun to me.  But you can tell it’s not fun for Dumbo.  He’s humiliated and scared.  The clowns/ringmaster were sort of banking on that feeling. They knew that’s what was thrilling about the number for the audience. the humiliation and the fear.

I feel very Phantom of the Opera fantasy mask about it. Like part of me is the ringmaster and the other part is Dumbo.  I can get into humiliation. I usually learn a lot about what my fucking problem is.

Tonight I’m going down to Occupy Wall Street for the first time.  So are a big group of Marines.

When I was little,  my Aunt Pat gave me a a teddy bear dressed in a nurse’s uniform.  I looked at it and saw some kind of future.  I don’t mean that I explicitly thought I would become a teddy bear nurse or even a nurse, but that for some reason, i felt like a stuffed animal in an employer uniform was a weird hint. Aunt Pat was the only woman in my family who had a job.  My mom, Aunt Chris, and Aunt Ruth were all homemakers.  Aunt Jo was a nun, and that just felt like she was a different gender than the rest of the world, and that that was a job, and that  job meant having short grey hair, singing way louder than other people at church, and joyously playing Kings In The Corner with me and Granddad on Thanksgiving.

When you’re a kid, people want to know what you want to be when you grow up.  Given my options, I obviously wanted to be a nun.

(I think it’s important to note that a subletter in my apartment who does a lot of coke is doing what sounds like filing his nails really really fast in the room next door to mine.)

I’m not a nun. And I’m grown up.  I’m an artist who accidentally took the vow of poverty.

The difference between taking the vow of poverty as a clergy member and accidentally taking the vow of poverty as an artist, is that, as a clergy member, you get to make up a meager budget that covers all of your basic needs.  Rome pays for it.  Nothing extravagant.  Shelter. Medical. Food. Utilities. Car. Gas. Stuff like that.  You work related to what you specialized in, medical, administrative, etc. in the context of your spiritual practice.

Rome doesn’t pay for my art.

But here I am dressed as an elderly teddy bear. Reading a monologue at an art party. a few years ago.

Some of you will recognize this format and some of you won’t– the beauty and terror of secrets.