(noun) nonchalant absurdity with a dash of embarrassment.

(verb) to be shark bitten.

(adverb) in a manner that is nonchalantly absurd and embarrassing.

11 February 2011

Photographer: Michael M. Koehler

I stumbled upon photographer Michael M. Koehler while reading Art Papers magazine. His photos, mainly shot in black and white, vary from tranquil landscapes to sweet moments frozen in time. Documentarian in style, his eye takes the viewer all over the world: his locale specific projects include, but are not limited to, Philadelphia, New Orleans and other parts of Louisiana, the wine regions of Italy, the mythic landscapes of Belize, random small cities in United States, and Croatia.

For more photos visit the artist's website: Michael M. Koehler

10 February 2011

Last Night: Tehching Hsieh Lecture at the New School

Last night I was fortunate enough to hear Tehching Hsieh speak at the New School. A small lecture hall, but filled to capacity with academics, art students, critics, and art lovers to hear the man most famous for his One Year Performances. Born in Tawain, Hseih dropped out of high school at 17 and began painting only to give it up after his first one man show at the gallery of American News Bureau in Tawain. Shortly after he stopped painting he made a performance action "Jump Piece" in which he broke both of his ankles. While explaining this performance he showed a photo of the action piece mid-jump, right before he hit the ground, breaking his bones.

Starting in the 1970s (living in NYC as an illegal immigrant until he was granted amnesty in 1988) Tehching Hsieh made 5 One Year Performances; each which he explained in detail last night with his statements, witness letters, photographic evidence, and posters. On September 30, 1978 Hseih declared in his statement:

I, Sam Hsieh [Sam is the name he chose to conceal his illegal immigrant status],plan to do a one year performance piece, to begin on September 30, 1978.

"I shall seal myself in my studio, in solitary confinement inside a cell-room measuring 11'6" X 8'.

I shall NOT converse, read, write, listen to the radio or watch television, until I unseal myself on September 29, 1979.

I shall have food every day.

My friend, Cheng Wei Kuong, will facilitate this piece by taking charge of my food, clothing, and refuse."

This particular performance was exhibited as an installation piece in the MOMA in early 2009.

Overall, I was thoroughly impressed with the discipline that went into his One Year Performances. He took performance art to the next level, and the rawness and socio-cultural aspect of his work is one that would be extremely difficult for a contemporary artist to replicate nowadays, especially in 2011 NYC versus 1981-82;this is the time period when Hsieh lived outdoors for one year, never going inside. His statement for the project further goes on to proclaim:

"I shall not go in to a building, subway, train, car, airplane, ship, cave, tent.

I shall have a sleeping bag.

The performance shall begin on September 26, 1981 at 2 P.M. and continue until September 26, 1982 at 2 P.M."

To directly quote the biography on his website (ONE-YEAR-PERFORMANCE): "Using long durations, making art and life simultaneous, Hseih achieved one of the most radical approaches in contemporary art."

I only referenced two of his One Year Performances, but please visit his website and explore more of his extraordinary work.

bumblebee. xx.

07 February 2011


Hole Gallery Press Release:
FEBRUARY 10 – 22nd, 2011
Opening: FEBRUARY 10, 6-9PM

The Hole and ALIFE are pleased to present ART MACHINE, a special project at the gallery February 10 – 22nd, 2011. In this show, we present a huge artist vending machine filled with special products and artworks from $5 and up, all the way to the thousands.

From special personal artist memorabilia (“artist’s panties”) to customized products (“artist bicycle”), to actual artworks (mini painting and mini sculpture!), to limited edition products (T-shirts of G-Shock watches) this machine will vend out items by over fifty artists in our ALIFE and Hole joint communities. Check out our website for details on these items: http://shop.theholenyc.com

First come first serve, bring your credit card, and take home a cool art object before they are all snapped up.

ALIFE is a lifestyle concept based on and in downtown New York City. It is focused on art and creativity with a strong penchant for originality, even if that means stealing it. Alife’s mission is to showcase, elevate and perpetuate the downtown culture from which it is born. Alifenyc.com more info: arnaud@alifenyc.com

Kathy Grayson, owner of The Hole, curated her first show in 2003 because of a zine the ALIFE guys carried in their pop up shop at Deitch Projects, 2002. She has always wanted to pass on this fantastic resource to other aspiring curators who might be looking for that next amazing underground artist featured in this project.

The ART MACHINE is made possible with the support of G-Shock watches. www.g-shock.com