After enduring a canceled flight, an entire JFK airport ground stop, and our longest flight delay ever (seven hours in an airport terminal), we are home and I don’t know how Oscar managed to get himself to work. Last I checked, we got home at six o’clock this morning.
Not here to dwell though.
We flew into NY on Friday morning, checked our bags at our posh little place on W56th and 7th Ave. (down the block from Carnegie Hall; we can thank my parents for the hook up here), and headed to the Brooklyn Museum for the © MURAKAMI exhibit. There’s Oscar saying hello to a gargantuan Tongari-Kun, aka Mr. Pointy:
So this exhibit is dense and totally crazy, and it was helpful to have first walked through the Utagawa: Masters of the Japanese Print, 1770–1900 exhibit so we could get some perspective on Murakami’s influences and concerns with composition and theme, which we see in the Superflat of his pop art, and because Hokusai is not a part of the School of Utagawa, think instead of Hiroshige’s waves resonating in Murakami’s fields of flowers with faces, his spirals of flowering vines, his Milk (pink canvas accompanying Hiropon), Cream (blue canvas accompanying My Lonesome Cowboy). Think of their compositions and studies of perspective when thinking of Superflat, and also think of their explicit erotic art. Ultimately what it appears Murakami aims to do, while drawing upon those classical influences, is to not merely blur but eradicate the line between high art, pop art, pornographic art, and also commercial art to the point of hardcore commercialism.
Yay! Audio is now available of my Segue reading with Bhanu Kapil on December 15, 2007, hosted by Evelyn Reilly and Brenda Iijima.
Click here for Penn Sound’s Segue at the Bowery Poetry Club page.
Click here for my and Bhanu’s reading.
I love an incisive introduction, particularly one which gets to the critical heart of the work without “giving away” everything (as well, I love that she links my blogging to my poetic body politic projects). That said, below is from Brenda Iijima, who, with Evelyn Reilly, co-curated the Fall/Winter 2007 Segue Series at the Bowery Poetry Club.
This reading is one I’ve greatly anticipated. Before I introduce Barbara Jane Reyes I’d like to say how vital it is to have Bhanu Kapil reading here today. Her forthcoming book Humanimal is greatly anticipated. Her work along with Barbara’s smashes the demagoguery of imperialism’s staunch and brutal claims with brilliance and generative impulse. Thanks for journeying out here for this reading Bhanu!
In Chapter 1 of Edward Said’s book, Culture and Imperialism, Said begins with an epigraph by Toni Morrison from her book Playing in the Dark.
Here’s Morrison, “Silence from and about the subject was the order of the day. Some of the silences were broken, and some were maintained by authors who lived with and within the policing strategies. What I am interested in are the strategies for breaking it.”
This last line of this quote expresses with grace the modality of Barbara Jane Reyes’ work—how she engages the crux of the problem—that of othering others.
Barbara’s work is a resounding force—compelling in its lyrical beauty, critical identity, hybridized cultural holism, political activism and intellectual acumen. She writes a blog that is a feisty example of social criticism meeting up with lingual smarts—this is a space she’s created that undauntlingly accesses and opens up poetry’s ramifications of the body politic. She is the author of two full-length collections of poems, Gravities of Center and Poeta in San Francisco, which won the James Laughlin award.