"What if you stop and cut off the analogy you’re about to make and leave it open? But what if I stop there, rather than completing the image the words connect to? What if they’re not like anything? What any analogy exposes is not the exact thing itself but its failure, that it’s not this thing. Hold back and there’s a gap, the space the simile was going to paste over. Let the hole remain and you expose something more profound, certainly more unfinished and shaggy than the thing you were going to compare it to in the first place." What happens when language fails us? When words are just poor approximations, and they smooth over the weird and wonderful. Meet Kate Newby, who I write about for The Weeklings and whose art can be radically slight, and is failed by trying too hard to describe it.
Entries in The Weeklings (28)
LYNNE TILLMAN IS one of the finest writers our country has today, and easily one of the best essayists. She also has a new collection out called What Would Lynne Tillman Do. And yes, the WWJD analogy here is deserved. I write about her work and how she has saved – or at least radically changed – my life for The Weeklings.
This started out as an essay on four paintings by Rochelle Feinstein, an artist whose work I love. It's tricky, funny, smart and angry. She also finds something like the Abramovic Method, which bugs her and me, and uses it to generate work. I took the Abramovic Method, which involves something a bit between EST and ESP and thought about the real, copying, fidelity, plagiarism and celebrity. Plus Big Foot and two fake Vermeers in Washington DC. The essay is weird, additive, hybrid – and also makes me damned glad for The Weeklings which published it, that there is a place to push the boundaries of the form. Also a place where I can write about contemporary art like this. So without further ado (and with video of Lady Gaga naked): The Plagiarist is Present.
Okay so that number doesn't equal dollars. We're far from rolling in it (and what we do take in goes to our writers), but I am very very proud to say The Weeklings, the site I co-founded with Greg Olear and Janet Steen and Sean Beaudoin, has hit a milestone in internet terms: One hundred thousand unique visitors a month. This is both a surprise and not (but is definitely a delight). Our visitor numbers climb each month. But, what is heartening or maybe surprising is that people want to read what we do, that in this our age of fast everything, people are interested in a site that does an essay a day, every day and nothing else. Just one essay. Montaigne is our hero and that idea of essayer, of attempting and exploring, is behind what we try to do. Every day.
On this the sesquicentennial of Gettysburg, with two Civil War shows at the Met I look at how the unspeakable nature of war gets translated into art. And what we gain and lose. And, the legacy of the Civil War today. This first appeared on The Weeklings and then Salon