Category Archives: CONVERSATION

SUSAN SONTAG — FROM THE ARCHIVE

We felt that this was very exciting. That this film could be something very new. But we couldn’t judge. Because the script didn’t say so much.Agneta Ekmanner, actor in Duet for Cannibals*

On Friday, two UCLA institutions—the Film and Television Archive and the Library Special Collections—will screen the 2K restoration of Susan Sontag’s directorial debut DUET FOR CANNIBALS and present a selection of the Susan Sontag Papers.

DUET FOR CANNIBALS

Friday, February 7, at 7:30 pm.

Billy Wilder Theater—Hammer Museum

10899 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles.

*Agneta Ekmanner, author’s interview in Benjamin Moser, Sontag: Her Life and Work (New York: Ecco, 2019), 313.

From top: Susan Sontag, photograph by Jill Krementz, 1974; Sontag, Duet for Cannibals (1969) (4). Images courtesy and © Jill Krementz, the filmmakers, actors, producers, stills photographers, and Metrograph Pictures.

GINEVRA ELKANN AND ALBA ROHRWACHER IN LOS ANGELES

A midweek highlight of this year’s Los Angeles Italia film festival: Writer-director Ginevra Elkann, actor Alba Rohrwacher, and co-writer Chiara Barzini will present their film MAGARI (IF ONLY), which opened last year’s Locarno Film Festival.

MAGARI (IF ONLY)

Wednesday, February 5, at 7:30 pm.

Chinese Theatre

6801 Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles.

Ginevra Elkann, Magari / If Only (2019), from top: Brett Gelman (far left), Oro de Commarque (girl at left), Riccardo Scamarcio (right), and Alba Rohrwacher (far right); de Commarque and Ettore Giustiniani; Magari, Italian film poster, with Milo Roussel (seated left rear); de Commarque and Luigi Catani; Elkann on set. Images courtesy and © the filmmaker, the actors, the photographers, and Wildside.

BETH B AND LYDIA LUNCH — THE WAR IS NEVER OVER

This week in Manhattan, independent legends and old friends Beth B and Lydia Lunch will discuss their documentary collaboration THE WAR IS NEVER OVER.

And on Valentine’s Day, the film will screen in Paris as part of Fame 2020, a festival of music films.

BETH B and LYDIA LUNCH—VISITING ARTIST LECTURE

Tuesday, February 4, at 7 pm.

School of Visual Arts Amphitheater

209 East 23rd Street, 3rd floor, New York City.

THE WAR IS NEVER OVER

Friday, February 14, at 7:30 pm.

La Gaîté Lyrique,

3 bis Rue Papin, 3rd, Paris.

From top: Lydia Lunch; Lunch, photograph by Annie Sprinkle; Beth B, The War is Never Over film poster; Teenage Jesus and the Jerks; album cover, No New York, Brian Eno’s 1978 compilation album featuring Teenage Jesus and the Jerks, Mars, DNA, and James Chance and the Contortions; Beth B.

LUC TUYMANS AND HELEN MOLESWORTH IN CONVERSATION

Celebrating the third and final volume of his Catalogue Raisonné of Paintings—edited by Eva Meyer-Hermann and published last year—join Luc Tuymans in conversation with Helen Molesworth at the Morgan Library.

The artist will present a new solo exhibition at David Zwirner, Hong Kong, in March 2020. In 2009 at the Wexner Center for the Arts, Molesworth curated the first United States retrospective of Tuymans’s work. 

LUC TUYMANS and HELEN MOLESWORTH IN CONVERSATION

Thursday, January 23, at 6:30 pm.

Morgan Library and Museum

225 Madison Avenue (at 36th Street), New York City.

From top: Luc Tuymans photograph and Catalogue Raisonné cover courtesy and © the artist, David Zwirner, and David Zwirner Books. Photograph of Helen Molesworth by Catherine Opie, courtesy and © Opie and Molesworth.

TO PAINT IS TO LOVE AGAIN

Paintings are everywhere on Instagram. They circulate freely outside the control of the market, though they endure the censorship of social networks. Instagram is the universal exhibition of today – the Painting Salon of the 2020s. This is where I see more new paintings than I see in the galleries. This is where I discover more new artists and insensibly follow them, without even thinking, and then get off so easily.

Now, the idea is to restore and translate something of my digital experience on Instagram in an art gallery format. It’s a different kind of exhibition experience. But I ask myself, is the gallery transference interesting? Will a group show of such works hold up? Can we exhibit artists without knowing who they are? Or without first seeing their work in the flesh? What can I even say about this recent mutation of taste in narrative, pictorial, eclecticism…a sense of taste that, for me, includes sexual, fetishistic and maybe neo-surrealistic tendencies?

A theoretical question also arises: What’s painting even doing on Instagram?

First, let me say that a painting on Instagram is just an image. It’s a simulacrum, an image of an image, even a non-image or anti-image. A painting does not reproduce reality, nor does it duplicate it, and the image of a painting does not reproduce or duplicate a painting’s physical reality. A painting is a world apart. A world of shadows and lights. A mystery of surface and depth. An enigmatic mixture of colored matter and sensation. A painting stands in opposition to the digital experience of images that can be consumed en masse. Yet the image of a painting on a phone screen slows down my typically speedy, one-after-another consumption of images. The image of a painting often intrigues and even surprises me. Some linger in my memory, and a few more works by the same artist can deepen what began as a fragile and vague emotion. Unlike endlessly scrolled images, the digital image of a painting makes me think. It can even block the flow of thousands of images even as it too is carried off in the digital current. It stays because another kind of desire is played through it.

The images that cross in front of us, that absorb and consume us, embody a new form of global forgetfulness and contemporary amnesia. In the end, it’s a sadomasochistic suffering that we inflict on ourselves in war with images. Love may reside in the social network on the side of paintings. A single painting, in the midst of the seemingly intimate torment, is like a new beginning: to paint is to love again.

My desire to make an exhibition of Instagram paintings begins with what Instagram does to paintings. Instagram returns to a painting what belongs to it. This is neither its decorative value, market value nor spiritual value, but rather its symbolic exchange of value. Isn’t that basically what Instagram tries to actualize or make us dream about: reinventing symbolic exchange? In the social and digital arena, where images of the world can defeat the world, paintings actualize a real connection to and between us. — Olivier Zahm

Join Zahm this weekend for the opening party of TO PAINT IS TO LOVE AGAIN, the show he’s curated for Nino Mier.

TO PAINT IS TO LOVE AGAIN Opening

Saturday, January 18, from 6 pm to 9 pm.

Exhibition runs through January 28.

Nino Mier Gallery

7277 Santa Monica Boulevard, West Hollywood.

To Paint is to Love Again, Nino Mier Gallery, January 18–28, 2020, from top: Alison Elizabeth Taylor, South of France, 2019, marquetry hybrid; Brad Phillips, Christine at 7:20 in the Morning, 2017, oil on canvas; Judith Bernstein, Birth of the Universe (Voyeurs) , 2014, oil and acrylic on canvas; Vanessa Beecroft, Untitled, 2019, oil on linen canvas; Rita Ackermann, I Wanna Be Free To Do What I Want To Do, 1993, acrylic on canvas; Rita Ackermann, Honey please don’t load your machine gun on our dining table, thanks alot, 1995, acrylic on canvas; Rene Ricard, Love I did the homework but flunked the Exam, 2010–2012, oil stick and acrylic on canvas; Becky Kolsrud, Vanitas, 2019–2020, oil on canvas; Brianna Rose Brooks, Untitled, 2019, oil, acrylic, and airbrush on canvas; Brianna Rose Brooks, Untitled, 2019, oil, acrylic, and airbrush on canvas; Maurizio Bongiovanni, Autopilot, 2018, oil on canvas; Maurizio Bongiovanni, American Noise, 2018, oil on canvas; Adam Alessi, 1 Night in Paris, 2019, oil on canvas; Adam Alessi, The Viewer, 2019, oil on canvas; Amanda Wall, Kitchen Floor, 2019, oil on canvas; Amanda Wall, Comeback Pillow, 2019, oil on canvas. Images courtesy and © the artists and Nino Mier Gallery; quote courtesy and © Olivier Zahm and Nino Mier Gallery.