8 Consecutive Nights of KRAFTWERK! (NYC MoMA, April 10th —> 18th)

Holy shitballs. New Yorkers, you lucky ducks, you get to have ALL the retro-badass fun! Via East Village Radio:

Kraftwerk –one of the most important groups in electronic music’s relatively short history– will be the focus of a retrospective taking place in April at the Museum of Modern Art in NYC, the New York Times reports. The band, featuring lone founding member Ralf Hütter, will be present and performing as part of the celebration named Kraftwerk-Retrospective 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8.  Starting April 10th […] Kraftwerk will perform over eight consecutive nights, with each evening dedicated to one of the pioneering group’s albums in chronological order, starting with 1974’s Autobahn.

The concerts will be held MoMA’s (appropriately retrofuturetastic) Donald B. and Catherine C. Marron Atrium. Tickets go on sale at noon, February 22nd, $25 a pop. (Zounds, they’re gonna go fast!)

Ed Sanders: Fuck You, A Magazine of the Arts (1962-1965)


“Fuck You” Opening Party is tomorrow (Thursday, February 16th) from 6pm-9pm. Exhibition closes Thursday, March 8th. Boo-Hooray is open every day from 11am-6pm.

There’s a gallery space down on Canal St. in NYC called Boo-Hooray; it’s a splendid place dedicated to 20th/21st century counterculture ephemera, photography, and book arts. Tomorrow evening (Thursday, Feb 16th) is the opening night for their most recent exhibition: a comprehensive collection of publications from Ed Sanders’ legendary Fuck You Press, including a complete run of Fuck You, A Magazine of the Arts.

Ed Sanders‘ an unofficial patron saint of the 20th century underground who has often been referred to as “the bridge between the Beat and Hippie Generations”.  More specifically, he’s a poet, singer, activist, author, and publisher. Any way you cut ‘n’ paste it, this man broke the mold and the mimeograph!

Boo-Hooray’s exhibition of fabulous Fuck You-ness will commemorate the publication of Sanders’ characteristically feisty, funny memoir, Fug You: An Informal History of the Peace Eye Bookstore, the Fuck You Press, the Fugs, and Counterculture in the Lower East Side (Da Capo Press).

Sanders shares a bit of history about his publication:

“In February of 1962 I was sitting in Stanley’s Bar at 12th and B with some friends from the Catholic Worker. We’d just seen Jonas Mekas’s movie Guns of the Trees, and I announced I was going to publish a poetry journal called Fuck You, A Magazine of the Arts. There was a certain tone of skepticism among my rather inebriated friends, but the next day I began typing stencils, and had an issue out within a week. I bought a small mimeograph machine, and installed it in my pad on East 11th, hand-cranking and collating 500 copies, which I gave away free wherever I wandered. (…)

Fuck You was part of what they called the Mimeograph Revolution, and my vision was to reach out to the “Best Minds” of my generation with a message of Gandhian pacifism, great sharing, social change, the expansion of personal freedom (including the legalization of marijuana), and the then-stirring messages of sexual liberation.

I published Fuck You, A Magazine of the Arts from 1962 through 1965, for a total of thirteen issues. In addition, I formed a mimeograph press which issued a flood of broadsides and manifestoes during those years, including Burroughs’s Roosevelt After Inauguration, Carol Bergé’s Vancouver Report, Auden’s Platonic Blow, The Marijuana Review, and a bootleg collection of the final Cantos of Ezra Pound.

Other contributors to Fuck You included Allen Ginsberg, Andy Warhol, Julian Beck, Ray Bremser, Lenore Kandel, Charles Olson, Tuli Kupferberg, Joel Oppenheimer, Peter Orlovsky, Philip Whalen, Herbert Huncke, Frank O’Hara, Leroi Jones, Diane DiPrima, Gary Snyder, Robert Kelly, Judith Malina, Carl Solomon, Gregory Corso, Robert Duncan, Robert Creeley, Michael McClure, Ted Berrigan, Joe Brainard, Gilbert Sorrentino, and countless others.

It was a ‘zine “dedicated to free expression, defying taboo subjects, celebrating sexual liberation and the use of psychedelics years before the Summer of Love. Sanders and his collaborators bridged the Beats of the Fifties and the counterculture of the late Sixties, and helped define many of the differences between the two—the latter building on the breakthroughs initiated by the former.”

The Fuck You opening party is happening Thursday, February 16th – 6pm-9pm. Sanders will be reading from/signing copies of his book. Exhibition closes Thursday, March 8th. Boo-Hooray is open every day from 11am-6pm.

New Yorkers! Don’t miss this! (And by all means, report back in comments.)

(Hat tip to William Gibson.)

“Pony” by Tim Lewis, and the Kinetica Art Fair

This is “Pony”, a motion-sensitive kinetic sculpture by Tim Lewis. Unsettling and beautiful:

“Tim Lewis combines mechanical devices and sculpture to investigate, test and experiment with his own doubts and perception of the world.” (via)

Lewis, recently interviewed about his work by Dazed Digital, makes a compelling statement about the power inherent in tangibility:

I think that when you first approach a piece of art, and you imagine it and draw it, there’s a sense that it will always remain somewhat in your imagination. Its only when you take the 2D object and re-work it into the physical 3D world that it becomes somewhat more real. It no longer just exists in your eyes and mind, but instead has to react with the floors and walls around it in the physical world. For me, kinetic art highlights the importance of bringing both inventions and imagination into a physical existence.

Lewis’ work is regularly exhibited and promoted by the folks who run the Kinetica Museum and related events in Spitalfields, London. Their annual Kinetica Art Fair is coming up in February. As it has for the past several years, the Fair will bring together “galleries, art organisations and curatorial groups from around the world who focus on universal concepts and evolutionary processes though the convergence of kinetic, electronic, robotic, sound, light, time-based and multi-disciplinary new media art, science and technology.”

Are any of our UK readers going? Please do report back! It sounds amazing.


Via Tertiary, thanks!

World AIDS Day

In 1985, when Coil recorded this cover of the Gloria Jones tune (not long after Soft Cell), frank and open discussion of the HIV/AIDS crisis was still considered taboo. Many media sources were too uncomfortable with/outright offended by Peter Christopherson‘s “Tainted Love” music video (featuring partner John Balance as a dying man, and Marc Almond as the Angel of Death) to acknowledge its existence.

Coil’s Scatology single Panic/Tainted Love was, in fact, the very first official AIDS benefit music release, with all profits from sales donated to the Terrence Higgins Trust. Coil’s following full-length release, Horse Rotorvator, is also steeped in themes and emotions engendered by several AIDS-related deaths in Christopherson’s and Balance’s circle of friends. (HR is arguably the most influential record Coil ever made– as bleak, fearless, and uncompromising as they could get… which is really saying something.)

Today, Coil’s “Tainted Love” music video is widely considered a creative and cultural watermark on humanity’s ongoing battle against AIDS, and has been put on permanent display at The Museum of Modern Art in New York.

It’s all-too-easy in 2011 to take it for granted that candid discussion of HIV/AIDS is not only acceptable, but encouraged. And yet, we’ve still got a long way to go.

On a more personally related note, a longtime carnival chum, supporter of Coilhouse, and fellow alt-culture editor (of the splendid Culture Flux Magazine), kSea Flux, is at this moment in the ICU of San Francisco General Hospital, fighting the fight of his life. Please keep him in your thoughts. (Should you feel moved to, you can also donate to kSea’s health-care fund by using PayPal: ksea@culturefluxmagazine.com.) Lots of love, kSea.

Our mutual friend Whitney Moses, whose name you may remember from this blog post, will be pedaling from San Francisco to Los Angeles in the 2012 AIDS/LifeCycle ride in honor of kSea and other loved ones, in memory of her father, and to raise more money and awareness in the ongoing battle against the disease. She says:

“Being a rider is a big challenge for me as I’ve never been much of a cyclist, but it’s worth it. This fight is important to me for so many reasons. From losing my father to AIDS as a child, to witnessing friends suffer now with this disease, it has been a major player in the lives around me for most of my life. Every little bit helps.”

She will ride with Coilhouse’s financial support, and hopefully that of some of our readers. Thank you, Whitney!

Oh-So-Cute & Creepy

Please give a warm welcome to our newest guest blogger, Caroline E. Willis! Caroline describes herself as “a writer and occasionally an archaeologist.” She also has a highly entertaining blog “about dressing up and hitting people with latex.” Needless to say, we like Caroline a lot. -Mer


“Sentimental” by Kathie Olivas, 2009, oil on canvas, 30”x40”. (Via)

“Most of us can agree on the artistic value of a Monet or Titian, but this work is for a daring audience, an audience open to exploring the strange beauty and the ecstasy inherent in our culture’s aversions.”

~Carrie Ann Baade
Guest Curator of the Cute & Creepy exhibition, FSU Museum of Fine Arts.

Drive past enough hazy bayous and bent oaks, sacrifice enough November butterflies on the altar of your windshield, and you’ll find something creepy in the heart of Florida. Carrie Ann Baade has collected the works of 25 fellow artists- works of beautiful, grotesque, adorable art- for the Cute & Creepy exhibition that’s currently taking Tallahassee by storm.

Over two-thousand people attended the opening- four times more than any other opening at the museum thus far, and some strange lure continues to draw unprecedented numbers to this show- a lure as hard to define as the subject of the show itself. Cute & Creepy is an exploration of boundaries, but the artworks on display do not so much “cross the line” as seem unaware that any boundaries exist. Each object is wholly itself; it is the viewers for whom categorization fails.


Toddlerpede 2.0” by Jon Beinart. 2011, mixed media sculpture, approximately 36”x36”x36”. Photo by Caroline E. Willis.

“Custos Cavum” by U-Ram Choe

Via Devon, thanks!

This beautiful video footage was recently shot by the Asia Society Museum in New York City, where Korean artist U-Ram Choe‘s most recent triumph, a shimmering, golden, “breathing” sculpture, is being premiered.

Most of Choe’s elaborate kinetic sculptures are assembled from stainless steel and acrylic, and motorized with robotics that he himself develops and programs. The above work, called Custos Cavum (“Guardian of the Hole” in Latin) is a particularly delicate and elaborate piece created as a response to this tenth-century Shiva Nataraja sculpture. (Custos Cavum is part of the Asia Society’s “In Focus” series, which invites contemporary artists to craft new works inspired by pieces from the museum’s permanent collection. Choe’s new work is being shown with the Shiva sculpture.)

Choe has stated that his creation is “a creature [that] protects the flow of communication between the two realms that assures mutual respect. In this fable, the guardian is a symbol of coexistence just as the Hindu god, Shiva, is a symbol of balance and harmony.” (via)

The exhibition will run until December 31, 2011.

Previously on Coilhouse:

Fashioning the Sublime: Alexander McQueen at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

CONTRIBUTOR’S NOTE: This week marks the final chance to see Savage Beauty before it closes on Sunday, August 7th. Due to the exhibit’s overwhelming popularity, the Metropolitan Museum has scheduled special viewing times for the upcoming weekend. Do not miss the opportunity to witness this one-of-a-kind show honoring one of the most spectacular talents to ever grace the fashion world.


Alexander McQueen’s “The Horn of Plenty”,  autumn/winter 2009-10. Black duck feathers. (via)

“When I am dead and gone, people will know that the twenty-first century was started by Alexander McQueen.” -Alexander McQueen (1969-2010)

The death of the Scottish designer Lee Alexander McQueen in February of 2010 sent shockwaves throughout the fashion industry that rippled steadily outward, pervading the worlds of fine art, music, theatre and design. Suddenly, one of the bravest, boldest and incredibly imaginative forces in fashion was gone. McQueen’s suicide took place just a week after his beloved mother, Joyce, died from cancer, and with little more than a month to go before he was to debut a new collection in Paris. The international outpouring of grief was palpable, as everyone, from socialites, celebrities and fashion students from countless walks of life remembered the designer in extensive magazine features, blog posts, Twitter updates, and Tumblr tributes. McQueen’s strong features and piercing stare appeared on the cover of most major newspapers.


(via)

McQueen’s influence was undeniable; he had unleashed, with collection after collection, a romantic assault on the senses and invited his viewers to look with their minds, not merely their bodies, when deciding what to wear and how to wear it.

Never had a designer injected so much personal anguish and cerebral delight in his creations, and the materials he used, from pony skin, ostrich feathers, medical slides, hammered silver, balsa wood and tulle, became fashioning for the soul. For the past several months, devotees have streamed through the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City to personally experience many of his most iconic creations up close, presented in the Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty retrospective. Curated by Andrew Bolton of The Costume Institute, the exhibit shows more than one hundred designs in tailor-made galleries befitting each of McQueen’s influences.

Another Vietnam: Pictures from the Other Side of the Vietnam War

A surreal and haunting photograph taken in Cambodia in 1970, deep in the mangrove swamps of the Ca Mau Peninsula (this was an actual medical situation, not a publicity setup):


Photograph by Vo Anh Khanh © National Geographic Society

In 2002, it was included in curator Doug Niven’s Another Vietnam: Pictures of the War from the Other Side– the first ever exhibition of Vietnam War images by North Vietnamese photographers, presented at the International Center of Photography.

As a wire service photographer in Cambodia from 1991-96, I worked on occasional assignments in nearby Saigon. There I got to see firsthand images from the “other side.” On the same tree-lined street where American war correspondents had offices during the Vietnam War, grimy street kids now peddled war memorabilia, such as fake U.S. Army dog tags, Zippo lighters, and handmade black-and-white postcards of the conflict. While the images they sold were not very high quality, their existence suggested to me that more photographs must exist. Thus began the adventure of rediscovering lost Vietnamese-made war photographs.

During meetings with various communist officials over endless cups of bitter green tea, doors slowly began to open. Word spread that a young American was trying to collect and print photographers’ war negatives. Soon, everyone wanted to help. Entire archives were opened up, and tables overflowed with catalogues of images, both good and bad. One photographer brought me trash bags of dusty, curling negatives, none of them ever printed before. Another photographer kept his pristine film airtight in an old U.S. ammunition case, packed with roasted rice to absorb the moisture.

Ultimately, I was able to locate thirty surviving war photographers from all corners of Vietnam, as well as thousands of pictures by photographers who had long since died. The living photographers shared their stories with me, and I worked with them to edit and print their old film. From hundreds of such encounters, this exhibition emerged.

Another Vietnam is now available as a book, published by National Geographic Press. Visit Nivens’ site here.

Houdini: Art & Magic – The Wonders Never Cease


via

Yet another Doomsday has mercifully passed us by. Meanwhile, the horrors taking place around the globe stay their course. Corruption, scandal, and greed continue to rocket to the front pages of our newspapers.

Has there ever been a more dire need for magic?

In the shimmering hills that surround Los Angeles, art, wonder and the hope that only a spectacle can birth are being celebrated. The hard-working ghost of Harry Houdini is traveling the country via Houdini: Art & Magic, a comprehensive retrospective chronicling the life of an immigrant Rabbi’s son turned bonafide American showman. On a recent drive back from Malibu, the first stop on my long-overdue west coast vacation, street markers with stiff black flags trumpeting the arrival of Art & Magic at the Skirball Cultural Center had me jumping out of my passenger’s seat.


via

I had first seen the exhibit at the Jewish Museum in March before it closed at the end of the month. That same week, Houdini’s last living assistant, Dorothy Young, died in a retirement community in New Jersey at the age of 103, three days before what would’ve marked Houdini’s 137th birthday. The stars were aligning rapidly before me, and I, a sucker for synchronicity, could not churn out the review I wanted in time for the exhibit to end. I sat among pages of obsessive notes describing what I had seen at the museum, from Houdini’s diaries, to photographs of him with his beloved mother, and his performance trunk curling with worn and cracked brown leather. I swooned over the thin, almost romantic curl to his handwriting, lamented his untimely death, and dug up details from the obituaries of Dorothy, a woman who, at the age of 17, had been selected by the magician from a crowd at Coney Island, and kept her stalwart promise never to reveal his secrets.

Revisiting The House of Collection


Photo by Trevor Tondro for The New York Times

Two urban faery friends of ours in Williamsburg, ladies who have cultivated one of the most unique and enchanting domiciles you’ll ever see, are attracting a lot of attention, lately! Coilhouse first posted about Paige Stevenson and her Brooklyn loft, now called The House of Collection, in Feb of 2008. Since that time, the ever-inspiring Paige and her consummately luminous domestic partner, Ms. Ahnika Meyer-Delirium, have been working (and playing) toward making their wondrous 2000 square-foot loft more vibrant than ever.

Paige’s interview with All That We’ve Met last month is sure to inspire. Even more recently, the New York Times’ in-depth coverage of the House of Collection, –which features both Paige and Ahnika discussing their kindhearted philosophies of life and decor–  offers a gorgeous tour of their abode. An excerpt from that article, titled “In Williamsburg, a Live-In Cabinet of Curiosities“:

It’s the way objects are deployed — all over the place, in large quantities and with a sense of play — that makes for something unexpected. A mounted deer’s head is one thing. A deer’s head with a pink brocade eye patch, false eyelashes and a glittery nose is another.

Likewise, grouping all the plants in the living room, even when it’s a room as large as theirs, makes an impact. “People sort of melt open,” Ms. Meyer said. “They feel as though they’re in a magical fairyland. But they also feel at home.”

The House of Collection is rich in such contrasts, a place cozy and vast, one that is urban but, thanks to the greenery, the farm tools and animal forms, has a country feel. It’s fitting for a couple who are both very domestic and deeply unconventional.


Photo by Trevor Tondro for The New York Times

New York City can sometimes feel like an especially cold and aloof realm… yet the HoC is as warm, welcoming and accepting a place as you are ever likely to observe.

Ah, you beauties! Well done.