Archive for December, 2010

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Monday, December 27th, 2010

As always, the year is speeding up wildly to come quickly to a crashing halt, and I find myself morbidly compelled to reflect and document some portion of it before it disintegrates. As I’ve alluded to more than once, it’s been pretty rough going at many moments here in Prague: I’ve not shared too much of it, because really, who wants to read a whiny blog, and anyway, there have been so many instances of the marvelous this past year that I’ve been seriously reconsidering my whole “mopey” thing anyway.

The short version, of course, is that the P and I moved to Prague a year and a half ago, and I had to come to terms with the fact that for the first time as an adult, I suddenly had no friends, no career, no linguistic supremacy, and no particular wherewithal to figure out how to address these things (despite, of course, having come here of my own volition). I swanned about for way too long in an extraordinary city under extraordinary circumstances, not feeling particularly capable of pulling myself out of it. And now, just as I’ve finally gotten into a pretty nifty little groove here, I’m heading back to California in January for a few months (to teach spring semester at a few schools). I’m of course delighted to go home for a bit, but unless something highly unusual happens, I’ll be happily (!) back in Prague by late May. And, given that I’ve been, you know, reflecting on this past year, I’m finding myself really excited to be heading back to the Ceezy.

I’ve been reflecting a lot on gratitude lately: for all of the undocumented moping that’s gone on (and by the way, thank you, dear friends, who had to hear about it directly way too much), when I look back through the past year in photos, I have to concede that it’s actually been a truly amazing year. I’ll never get this series of posts published if I try to write it all out in detail, so I’ll just share a small selection of photos that are evidence to the fact that I had a great 2010, despite myself. Mind you, teeny selection still = hella, and with my caveat that sometimes it’s not about the photo being good in any aesthetic sense, rather, it’s about the moment being good and a camera being handy. OK. Proceed.

Porta Potties of the Western World, Volume I

Friday, December 17th, 2010

Done and available, possibly in time for Christmas, even!

Mysterious new dark horse publisher Editions Wofflehouse and the fine people at Lulu.com present you with:

Click the above images or right HERE to go to the ordering page.

While it’s almost past ripe to do this, I just jumped on the Tumblr single-theme bandwagon (current fave: Kim Jong-Il Looking At Things), since it actually seems like an equally appropriate context for this project.

Lo:
portapottiesofthewesternworld.tumblr.com

Oh, and lookee–
a fancy button that also takes you conveniently and directly to the Lulu page for this fine publication:

Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.

Buy it.
I guarantee it’s the only book like it in the world.

final na!

Friday, December 17th, 2010

Sayang! Missed a REALLY fun holiday/closing party at Green Papaya Art Projects last night…
I either need to become a moneybags jetsetter or get a whole lot better at astral projection.

CHATSILOG: FINAL NA!

MAIL ORDER BRIDES/M.O.B. + CARLOS VILLA

THE FINAL PARTY, DECEMBER 17, 2010, 6PM (UNTIL BAR SUPPLY LASTS)

OMG! And who would ever think Green Papaya Art Projects will last another year to celebrate yet again another year-end party! To think the world almost collapsed at the beginning of 2010. Wasak! Yes. It’s the final party for the year. And it’s our (my) way of saying we will be here definitely in 2011. Life goes on. And a happy life goes on and on and on and on and on… I guess you all know know whose voice this is. It’s not a new voice. It’s not an old voice either. It’s just the voice that has never been heard much in these postings. The voice you will hear from now on in forthcoming postings.

Meanwhile. Thank you Carlos Villa, Jenifer Wofford+Eliza Barrios+Reanne Estrada (aka: Mail Order Brides) and Lian Ladia, Steve Eland, Ong Keng Sen, Tay Tong, Cecilia Alemani, Maximilliano Gioni, Mauricio Cattelan, Suherwan Abu, Theresia Irma, Haslinda Abdul, Antonio Luz, and all those who participated and supported Green Papaya Art Projects in No Soul For Sale Festival of the Independents in Tate Modern, The Night Festival in Singapore, Project Immemorial in Manila, Serial Killers: From Tate Modern to Taksu Singapore, and in the ongoing program The Ephemera of Disposable Goods. You were the drugs that kept us hooked to our addiction. You were the wind behind our butt. You were the flesh to our rituals. You were the air pumped into our nicotine-layered lungs. Thank you for breathing life into our stubborn desire to remain “independent” – whatever that means in this post-independent era.

And for those who have missed the previous posting:

For “The Ephemera of Disposable Goods” series, Mail Order Brides/M.O.B. and Carlos Villa offer the delights of CHATSILOG, a reflection on the desire to connect across distance and time zones, a meditation on the shortcomings of digitally-dependent communication and the false sense of security it provides, and an effort at long-distance collaboration between 4 artists inhabiting 4 different places in the world, with the goal of producing a remote project in a 5th location.

CHATSILOG  is the fourth installment of The Ephemera of Disposable Goods, a program by current curator-in resident Lian Ladia. A curatorial platform presenting collaborations between two artists of similar or dissimilar genres investigating social sculptural projects based on context of time/place, relational works and encounters. This project aims to make available to featured artists Green Papaya’s space as an open studio facility where artists and public can engage in discussions as artists go through their process of constructions and deconstructions during their open sessions. Remnants of the day’s work remain on view at the shop window leading to a final documentation and installation at the end of each project.

THANK YOU Visual Pond for the TV monitors, Kokoro-works.com for the FTP Server, 24Hr Art – The Northern Territory Centre for Contemporary Art (Darwin, Australia) for the DVD players and amplified speakers and Melissa Ramos, current Green Papaya artist-in-resident, for technical curatorial assistance.

Festivus

Monday, December 13th, 2010

Well folks, Chatsilog is up and running which is nice, and the holidays are upon us, which is nice. Christmas and New Years the P and I will be out of Prague, then back again for a bit in January, and then I leave again in mid-January for a few months, so things are about to get a little hectic. This week, I’ll post some recent photos and stray GHOTCZs, for your entertainment.

First off, I’ve been working on a photo book, which I’ll be publishing via Lulu: don’t know that it will be print-ready for Christmas, but I’ll keep you updated as to when it’s available and where you can order it:

This publication may be of no use to anyone besides me and 3 other people, but that’s probably enough for now. For those who may have missed it earlier in the year and who could use some clarification, you may enjoy going back and reading this post or viewing these photos.

Anyway, I’m all fired up about yet another photo series I’ve just begun, at present titled “Worst Souvenirs of Prague” or “Poorly-Crafted Matryoshka Dolls” or some such. Haven’t quite got the title down, but the subject matter speaks for itself.

In my estimation, they’re not so much bad as good, of course. (And what is value, anyway? Go ask Robert Pirsig.) Mediocre souvenirs are a dime a dozen: I’m a rather exacting connoisseur, so it takes a lot to impress me. What I think I’ve identified that I enjoy so much about the novelty matryoshka dolls are these factors:

1. They’re incredibly poorly-made. Like slapdash, someone’s-mentally-ill-cousin-chained-in-a-basement-closet-made-these, poorly-made. The art brut aspect fascinates me.

2. Sloppy geography. Matryoshka dolls are not really a Prague thing: they’re a Russian thing, but are still lumped into that generally fuzzy touristic-geographical category of post-Eastern Bloc whatevercloseenough.

3. Surrealist Dinner Party. They’re often grouped indiscriminately, which is how you end up with Che Guevara next to Obama and Berlusconi but below Dirty Dancing and Madonna but above Kate&Will. It’s a lot like the way I used to love going to Longs Drugs in Oakland and finding the rubber dragons next to the american flags next to the japanese bread crumbs next to the Tupperware next to the hot dog stand. Juxtaposition makes everything fun and new again!

4. They’re disposable indicators of culture. which makes it really fun when they become passé. There’s something very poignant and abject about the matryoshkas that have outlived their relevance, and go on sale: the P just bought a set of discounted Cleveland Cavaliers nesting dolls (LeBron James edition), as a bittersweet remembrance of what might have been. And I just got John Kerry, at 80% off! (I almost bought John McCain too, but the dolls nesting inside him were not more sad John McCains or Sarah Palins, but rather, a rogue’s gallery of Former Great Republicans, which was neither desirable nor abject enough).

Sigh.

Poor John Kerry.

opening today!

Friday, December 10th, 2010

Prague in snowy winter-time is lovely, but oooooh don’t I wish I were in balmy, tropical Manila right now…mad props to Lian Ladia and Peewee Roldan at Green Papaya Art Projects, and to artist-in-residence Melissa Ramos, for hosting, installing and documenting this!