march/marzo/březen

December 27th, 2010 | Posted in Art | 0 Comments

Preface to these 12 posts, here.

As with February, March is an already-well-rhapsodized month here on Wofflings, but here are more pics of the things that Italy can do for one’s soul, anyway: as the weather got better and better, the Bogliasco Fellows took more and more excursions, and tried less and less to resist temptation.

(that’s my Bogliasco villa-mate, Doug, expressing how we felt about visiting the town of Camogli.)

San Fruttuoso:

Portofino:

The pleasure of digging into a bathtub of tiramisu, and helping oneself to as much as seems right/obscene:

Inside the mysterious, perfect, Viganotti chocolate shop, in Genoa:

One of my favorite people ever, friend and former Bogliasco Fellow SuperGavazza, comes to visit Bogliasco (and Joy listens):

Happy with the other Fellows:

Sad without the other Fellows (I was the last one to leave, and ate alone on my last night):

It was a pretty rough reentry to Prague after having been in an artist’s fantasyland: given how lovely Prague is, I know what a disgraceful jerk I seem like when I re-read my own whine, but I definitely went through a pretty nasty briar patch, not knowing what to do with myself next, or how to even begin to match the intensity of the highs I felt in Italy. Worry not, gentle readers. Eventually, a Woffle always finds the butter and syrup.

february/únor/febbraio

December 27th, 2010 | Posted in Art | 0 Comments

Well. There’s not a lot to say about February’s highlights that I didn’t already say and show here, but here are a few more photos of my glorious six weeks in Italy, anyway. A couple of days in Milan and Turin to start and finish, with 5 weeks in and around the Liguria Study Center in between.

Standard tourist photos of Milan’s Duomo and Galleria (which is so, like, not, like, that Galleria):

Then on to Bogliasco, Genoa, and more achingly perfect food than I knew what to do with:

To be continued in March.

lookback: january/leden

December 27th, 2010 | Posted in Art, Czech Republic, Filipino, Wofflehouse | 0 Comments

The highlight reel begins! My bro (er, sis) The Clam came to Prague! And she, the P and I took the midnight train to Georgia Budapest to ring in 2010. (side note: I’m mildly superstitious about New Years, and prefer to do something and be somewhere that will positively affect the year to come. So: thank you Budapest, for starting 2010 out on a good note.)

Incidentally, bunk bed train cars are really, really fun.


But no! The fun doesn’t stop there. The illustrious Sam Chanse also showed up, and the shenanigans in Prague continued:

Lady Chanse and I shot footage for what we refer to as The Greatest Film Ever, which I have referred to before and have even made a painting about but which remains not quite finished, a year later, although I have full confidence that I will complete it. (Hey, it took Brian Wilson a while to finish SMiLE, too.)

Meanwhile, Chanses trotted off to Berlin while the Clam, the P and I experienced the legendary spa town Karlovy Vary for the first time, where the converging lines continued and then tilted, and where the medicine tastes like Christmas in a bottle:

After starting off the year with houseguests and travel, I was both invigorated and overwhelmed, but it certainly set the pace for the year to come.  2010 was maybe not the most productive year for me professionally, but as far as experiencing and sharing the pleasures of getting to live and travel in Europe, hey: not so bad. At all.

lookback

December 27th, 2010 | Posted in Art, Czech Republic, Filipino, Wofflehouse | 0 Comments

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

December 17th, 2010 | Posted in Art, Czech Republic, Wofflehouse | 0 Comments

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!

December 17th, 2010 | Posted in Art, Filipino, Galleon Trade | 0 Comments

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

December 13th, 2010 | Posted in Art, Czech Republic, Uncategorized | 0 Comments

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!

December 10th, 2010 | Posted in Art, Filipino, Galleon Trade | 0 Comments

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!

insane diasporic filipino clown posse

November 8th, 2010 | Posted in Art, Filipino, Galleon Trade | 0 Comments

Or
How To Make Art With
4 People in 4  Places
for a Venue in a 5th Place

Around December 10, CHATSILOG, Mail Order Brides/M.O.B.‘s collaborative piece with Carlos Villa will open at Green Papaya Art Projects in Quezon City!

Despite my love of all things “-silog“, I didn’t choose the title this time, I swear. But for an iChat-inspired project that was only possible through the miracles of video chat and built-in cameras, it just seemed to work. And considering all the time zones involved with this project, it’s highly probable that it’s always breakfast time for someone

The show was originally scheduled for Nov 1, so we finished work on the project early (if uninentionally so), for a change. There will be some installation updates later once it’s actually in Green Papaya, but since the work is fresh on my mind, here are some deets.

This is the first new project that the Brides have done since 2005, it’s the first time we’ve collaborated with Carlos, and it’s the first time we’ve made a piece without being in each other’s actual physical presences. While we’ve spent years concocting highly impractical projects to execute, the challenges of this project were in a whole new category. Still, all of the video chats we’ve logged over the past month have been hilariously good fun, and it’s just been so heartening seeing Reanne, Eliza and Carlos, if in mediated form. I miss ‘em all something awful.

We went from a serious of initial discussions like this:

To conversations like this:

While chatting in iChat, we constructed a sort of loopy narrative of actions amongst the 4 of us, which we also recorded  individually in Photobooth. (We are not topless, BTW. Just costume-less, since our super-hero outfits are in storage in California.)

All of the individual Photobooth files were then emailed to me, so that I could edit them into 4 linked videos. I lost Final Cut Pro when my last hard drive failed, so I edited the whole thing in (shudder) iMovie. Which, after re-learning it a bit, wasn’t so bad, actually.

Syncing all 4 films up without FCP, however, was a bit challenging: I would have to export the vids and then open them as individual quicktimes, to ensure that they were syncing up with each other accurately.

I often return to this quote  from my very first blog entry here on Wofflings, as I think Emily Ignacio helped provide some inspiration for this project:

Emily Noelle Ignacio’s “Building Diaspora” (Rutgers, 2005) describes how Filipinos widely scattered around the world, have embraced the internet as a way to develop connections, community and a stronger sense of self-identity. She identifies the multiple modes in which it’s contributed to creating a more concrete sense of the Filipino diaspora, how it has helped Filipinos better understand and articulate their postcolonial situation, as well as their relationship with other communities around the world. Moving beyond, or perhaps complementing Yen Le Espiritu’s definitions of “home” (Homebound, 2003), Ignacio suggests that while “home” is ever further removed from geographic place, it is being increasingly territorialized and renegotiated in cyberspace.

GHOTCZ#12: pošta noční přepážky

October 31st, 2010 | Posted in Czech Republic | 0 Comments

This weekend’s big discovery? That Prague’s main post office on Jindřišská is open from 2 am to midnight, 7 days a week. This is the greatest thing I think I’ve discovered yet in Prague (you know, besides hot dogs and the žižkov tv tower).

I had an application for a program that had a postmark deadline of Oct 31, which we all know was a Sunday, and therefore impossible. And in most of the Czech Republic as with the U.S., most post offices keep limited Saturday hours, and I had to work on Saturday, to boot (I’ve had a part-time gig here for a few months now). Rumors had drifted my way that there was a magical late-night post office in Prague, but it seemed too good to be true. I made some inquiries with friends here, and Jana, of course, sent me a link to the PDF that changed my life, with lists of ALL the post offices in the Czech Republic that keep late/Sunday hours.

Every artist I know has to periodically mail off an application to some program or grant or another, and will invariably do this at the last possible minute. For me, my saving grace was often the West Oakland main post office, which kept slightly later hours, and was particularly fun on Tax Day: I’ve always liked being out doing things at odd hours (hence my longstanding obsession with wandering the aisles of Longs Drugs in the middle of the night), so there was always some little thrill at the prospect of getting to do something at a time one isn’t supposed to.

Unfortunately, even West Oakland failed me on occasion, as they reduced their late hours a bit, taking some of the fun out of things. Plus, they caught on fire once, a few years back. Sigh.

Anyway, Prague’s post office is truly amazing, even by day: it’s like everything the DMV wishes it was, but will never be, in terms of efficiency, organized waits, and, oh, fin de siècle loveliness. Plus there’s a great Turkish restaurant near by. Also, the Mucha Museum. The train station. And the theater where Mozart debuted “Don Giovanni”. Take that, DMV.

The night office is a small room off to the side of this main hall, however. After my drop-off, I was so excited about it that I took this picture of the sign on the door (which, as it turns out, is the quickest way to get a septuagenarian security guard to freak the hell out on you: whoops, honestly didn’t see the “no photos” sign):

Not a particularly riveting image, but for me, it’s like a Sasquatch sighting, so the blur is apropos.
And anyway, Henri Cartier-Bresson stated, “Focus is a bourgeois concept.”

I think I’m going to organize a small holiday studio sale this year after all, now that I’ve got a whole new  post office fetish.
More on that soon!