Thursday, March 17, 2011

Letters to Distant Cities; Multi-Media Performance

Letters to Distant Cities


Shara Worden and My Brightest Diamond
Clare and the Reasons
Rob Moose (Sufjan Stevens, Antony & the Johnsons)
Poetry by Mustafa Ziyalan
Curated & produced by photo/videographer Murat Eyuboglu


Monday, March 21, 7–9 PM

$10 at the door

The powerHouse Arena · 37 Main Street (corner of Water & Main St) · DUMBO, Brooklyn
For more information, please call 718.666.3049

Music, poetry, and photography converge in Letters to Distant Cities. The album will be re-created in a multi-media release event featuring live performances by Worden, Moose, and Manchon, as well as readings of the poetry in the original Turkish by Ziyalan with English readings of the translations by Worden, and a video for two of the album's songs (The Sea and Invisible), produced by Eyuboglu and edited by David Sarno (videos available online only). To round out the evening, Worden and Manchon will perform a few extra tunes of their own, not included on the album.

About Letters to Distant Cities:

New Amsterdam Records welcomes singer-songwriters Shara Worden (of My Brightest Diamond) and Clare Muldaur Manchon (of Clare and the Reasons), along with indie-classical multi-instrumentalist/composer Rob Moose, as collaborators in the enchanted and melancholy Letters to Distant Cities, a multi-media project curated and produced by photographer and videographer Murat Eyuboglu, exploring urban solitude through the poetry of Turkish-American poet, Mustafa Ziyalan.

In addition to the CD, the album package includes a set of 24 pristine keepsake cards, comprising a photographic illustration for each of Zilayan's poems collected on the recording. The images were captured by project visionary Murat Eyuboglu with model Jamie Ansley. Designer Adam Frint brings musical, poetic, and photographic elements together, creating a physical connection to the album's sense of memorabilia.

About the Artists:

Singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Shara Worden spearheads the indie-folk band My Brightest Diamond. With a background in classical music, Worden studied opera at the University of North Texas and Manhattan School of Music, and studied composition with composer/performer Padma Newsome (Clogs, The National). My Brightest Diamond involves elements of rock and classical music, with the combined sound of instrumentalists Rob Moose, Earl Harvin, Chris Bruce, and Zac Rae. Their first record, Bring Me the Workhorse, was released on Asthmatic Kitty Records in 2006. Their sophomore album, A Thousand Shark's Teeth, was released in 2008.

Clare and the Reasons, fronted by collaborators Clare Muldaur Manchon and Olivier Manchon, is a Brooklyn-based indie-pop outfit started in 2005. Live, they have a steady list of contributors, with a host of acoustic instruments—cellos, violas, things to hit, kazoos, baby kotos, saws, recorders, and a bass drum that says "Kaboom" on it. Clare and the Reasons deliver an assortment of meticulously constructed and arranged songs. Walking the line between musical maturity and sophistication and primal, childlike musical instincts, Clare and the Reasons floats comfortably between both worlds.

A graduate of the Manhattan School of Music in violin performance, Rob Moose has established an exciting and eclectic presence as a performer, arranger and conductor in the rapidly changing atmosphere of contemporary music. Since joining Antony and the Johnsons in 2005, Moose has also toured with Sufjan Stevens, Beth Orton and Duncan Sheik, and recorded with Vampire Weekend, Grizzly Bear, Arcade Fire, The National, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Rufus Wainwright, and Marianne Faithfull.

Mustafa Ziyalan's poetry, short fiction, essays and poetry translations have appeared in many literary periodicals, anthologies (most recently in New European Poets), and also in book form. Istanbul Noir, an anthology of short fiction he co-edited with Amy Spangler, was published by Akashic Books in 2008. His most recent volume of poetry, Land of Smiles/Gülümsemeler Ülkesi, a bilingual collection of poetry with original woodcuts by Vladimir Ginzburg, was published in 2009. Su Kedileri (Water Cats), a collection of short fiction, came out in 2005; Yakilacak Kentlerden (From Cities Slated to Burn), a collection of travel writing with original photography by Murat Eyüboğlu, in 2007; and, Manhattan'da Şiir Konuşmalari (Poetry Talks in Manhattan), a collection of writings on poets and poetry, in 2009.

Murat Eyuboglu started photography as an apprentice to Josephine Powell in Istanbul. After attending the Academy of Fine Arts, School of Photography (Istanbul), he transferred to Bennington College, Vermont, where he studied music, literature, and philosophy. He lived in Paris and returned to New York to pursue studies in music history. His dissertation was on the utopian aspects of Gustav Mahler's works. Since 2000, he has focused mainly on portraiture and has been working on various collaborative projects. In 2007, he also started working in video. He participated in the documentary Claude Lèvi-Strauss: Auprès de l'Amazonie as assistant director. His photographs have been published by the French edition of National Geographic, and his music videos have been released by Asthmatic Kitty Records and New Amsterdam Records. He lives in New York City.

Adam Frint is a Chicago-based graphic designer with a love for music and typography, an appreciation for illustration, and a passion for black and white fine art photography. A senior designer at AGI, a global leader in design, packaging, print and production for the entertainment industry, Adam has had the opportunity to work with many great clients ranging from the Sony Group and Walt Disney Studios to EMI Music, HBO, and Warner Home Video. He is a graduate of Northern Illinois University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Visual Communication and a Minor in Photography, and a founding member of the online design community, He has been affiliated with, and draws inspiration from, local designers and artists from Lumpen Magazine, Chicago Country Club, CPG (Chicago Screen Printer's Guild), ADLOVE, OhNo!Doom and Prairie Mod.

David Sarno is a freelance editor and has worked in television production for over ten years. After receiving his Bachelor of Arts in Cinema and Photography from Southern Illinois University, he moved to Chicago and began his editing career. The scope of his work covers a broad range, including broadcast television, music videos, and internet programs. Highlights include working at Kurtis Productions where he cut 4 episodes of American Greed, a documentary series airing on CNBC. Also while at Kurtis he cut two episodes of The Entrepreneurs for CNBC, a series profiling small businesses on the fast track to building national brands, and a one hour episode of American Originals, about the history of the Westminster Kennel Club. David has also worked at Thea Flaum Productions where he edited twenty-six episodes of From Junky to Funky, a home remodeling show on the DIY network, and Anderson Productions where he cut six episodes for the Emmy-nominated series, CPS Right Now!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

William Pope L. Limited Edition at Art in General

William Pope.L
a philosophical solution, 2011
Mixed media sculpture
13.5 x 4 x 4 inches
Courtesy the artist. Published by Art in General.
Edition Size: 20

Join Art in General and William Pope.L on March 23rd for a special reception where the artist will launch his new edition, a philosophical solution. Pope.L joins a long list of artists who have generously supported Art in General's exhibitions and programs by producing a limited edition, including Allora & Calzadilla, Jim Lambie, Glenn Ligon, Paul Pfeiffer, Spencer Tunick, and Pae White, among many others. Space for this event is extremely limited.

Please RSVP to Anna Starling at 212.219.0473 ext. 25 or if you are interested in attending.

a philosophical solution is a conceptual readymade, a wine bottle filled with a dark mysterious liquid in a branded wooden crate. Like a riddle, this piece contains hidden messages–a tiny tongue, a closed box, a sealed bottle, an opaque elixir. Together these elements expose our complicated relationship to language and those libations that let our own tongues run. In the artist's words, this edition is: "A beverage of dark mental liquid in the vein of such ideas as: 'the text wrote itself' or 'language has a mind of its own'; a thirst- quencher that silences the sipper while versing the sipped."

William Pope.L (born 1955 in Newark, New Jersey) is a prominent multidisciplinary artist known for his conceptual, often performance-based art practice, which actively confronts issues of race, sex, power, consumerism, and social class. As the self-proclaimed “friendliest black artist in America,” Pope.L invites dialogue through provocative performances, installations, and art objects. His work has been exhibited and performed at The Whitney Museum in New York, Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles, Institute of Contemporary Art Philadelphia, and the Renaissance Society in Chicago.

For inquiries or to purchase this work, please contact Anna Starling at 212.219.0473, ext. 25 or

About Art in General

Founded in 1981 in Lower Manhattan, Art in General is a nonprofit organization that assists artists with the production and presentation of new work. It changes in response to the needs of artists and engages the public with their work. Since it was established, the organization has emerged as one of New York City’s leading nonprofits devoted to supporting and stimulating the creation of contemporary art, providing an environment in which artists may exhibit unconventional work and exchange ideas with their peers.

Location: 79 Walker Street, NYC, at the southeast corner of Cortland Alley. One block south of Canal Street, between Lafayette and Broadway.

Subway directions: take the 6, A-C-E, N-Q-R, or J to Canal Street.

Gallery hours: Tuesday-Saturday 12-6 pm.

Admission: Always free.

Art in General's 6th Floor Gallery and restrooms are wheelchair accessible, and we can provide assistance to visitors with disabilities as requested.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Scandals of Susan Sontag: One-Day Conference

On Friday, March 4th, the Center for the Humanities at the The Graduate Center (CUNY) will host the conference The Scandals of Susan Sontag, in collaboration with Stony Brook University’s Humanities Institute. The event will take place in the Skylight Room, The Graduate Center, 365 Fifth Avenue, New York. The event will begin with registration at 10:00 a.m. and is free and open to the public.

Susan Sontag’s provocative career resulted in a body of artistic and intellectual work that is scorned as often as it is admired. This one-day conference brings together a renowned roster of scholars and critics to consider the impact of her work and life. The event is co-organized by Aiobheann Sweeney, Director of the Center for the Humanities, CUNY, and E. Ann Kaplan, Director of the Humanities Institute at Stony Brook. “The conference does not aim to glorify or make a saint out of Sontag,” explains Kaplan. “It rather aims to take a steady look at just some of the many contributions to thought Sontag offered across a range of topics.”

The event will feature the filmmaker Nancy Kates screening excerpts from her upcoming film, Regarding Susan Sontag. Other participants will include:Barbara Ching, Iowa State University ; Lisa Diedrich, Stony Brook University; E. Ann Kaplan, Stony Brook University; Laura Kipnis, Northwestern University; Susie Linfield, New York University; Heather Love, University of Pennsylvania; Nancy K. Miller, CUNY: José Muñoz, New York University; Deborah Nelson, The University of Chicago; Elaine Showalter, Princeton University; Catharine Stimpson, NYU and Jennifer Wagner-Lawlor, Pennsylvania State University.

The Center for the Humanities at The Graduate Center, CUNY, was founded in 1993 as a forum for people who take ideas seriously inside and outside the academy. The Center puts CUNY students and faculty from various disciplines into dialogue with each other as well as with prominent journalists, artists, and civic leaders to promote the humanities and foster intellectual community across the city. The Humanities Institute at Stony Brook was established in 1987 to promote interdisciplinary research. Its varied programs have built, and continue to build, bridges between the human sciences and the medical, technical and natural sciences, and to reach out to the local community.

For more information please contact Aoibheann Sweeney, The Center for the Humanities, or (212) 817-2006 or Olivia Mattis, Humanities Institute at Stony Brook, or (631) 632-9957.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

I Submitted My Dissertation to My Committee. (Or, Bring Out the Gimp).

Former President Reagan's daughter Patti Davis answered "Fun!" when asked what it was like to write her first book. (It was a memoir about how hard it was to grow up the daughter of a rich, white movie star-turned-politician who didn't communicate his feelings.) Pete Dexter, the brilliant writer and columnist responded that writing a book is not "fun" and instead compared it to "getting caught in your zipper and not being able to get unstuck for three years."

I'll ask those of you without dangly bits of your own to forgive the metaphor because it is so perfect.

I submitted my dissertation to my committee yesterday. And I feel... I am not even sure how I feel. Or how to describe it. A peculiar combination of elation, relief, giddiness and... loss. Isn't that crazy? For the first time in--literally--years I don't have part of my brain working on writing this damn thing. It's not simmering away on the back burner while I pretend to be interested in the stuff normal people talk about. My burners are cold. That book--because that's what it really is, don't kid yourself: A Book--is out of my hands. My zipper is unstuck in a big way but a sick, masochistic little part of me (let's call it the Gimp) actually misses it. I have that seat belt- after- a- long- car- ride feeling on my brain.

It has been a long process. There were times over the past few years that I thought I would crack from the stress. I wrote about... difficult things. At times they made me soul-sick even though I knew they were important to write about: Guantanamo, self-immolation, suicide terror, torture, hunger strikes. There were times I thought, "What the hell am I doing?" "Why am I not writing about something simpler?" I had nightmares for years.

I read a lot for pleasure and I have knocked back 200 page books in a day many times, no problem. But I never thought about the labor involved in writing until I started this... the task of it. I wrote, and ate takeout Chinese food, and wrote, and watched weird daytime TV, and wrote.

I saw every single episode of Judging Amy twice because the reruns came on during my break time every afternoon and they cycled through them back to back for a solid year. (For the record Bruce and Amy never would have worked as a couple, they were too different. But Jared's death took me by surprise. Maxine was never right after that, even though they hooked her up with Cheech near the end.) I am pretty sure my neighbors thought I was a junkie because I didn't leave the house for days at a time. (I have heard folktales about people who exercise regularly during their writing phase. And they climb on their Unicorns and ride them to the gym. Me, not so much.)

And then I finished it!... Three years ago. My defense has been delayed for one reason or another but the upshot is: I have been in Limbo. Which is where all the unbaptized babies go instead of Heaven (You kind of have to be Catholic to get that but if you aren't: trust me, it's funny). So even though I was finished I wasn't finished-finished. It was the worst of both worlds, I did all of the work and got none of the credit. I wanted to be official already.

But now. Now it is re-formatted according to arcane rules designed to drive you insane, expensively reproduced and bound (thanks for nothing, Kinkos) and distributed to people whose job it is to judge the hell out of it.

And I feel.

Yeah, no. Still not sure.