7 Years: Dreaming of Ghosts

September 16th, 2013 § 1 comment

I always thought dreaming of the deceased would be wonderful, and there was a substantial period of time, many years ago, when I used to wish for it. For those dream moments I wouldn’t realize it wasn’t real, my mind would recreate you as I remember, just as it would formulate entirely new memories. We’d be talking about something we’d never discussed, or be someplace we never went. For that alone, any disappointment suffered upon waking would be worth the moments of ignorance and indulgence. In all the years that you’ve been gone, however, I’ve never been able to force a single dream. Now that I don’t wish for it, now that it’s no longer on my conscience mind, you seem to have slipped through into the cracks of my subconscious, and not too long ago I did dream of you.

musician-montpellier

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A Buried Interview

April 20th, 2013 § 0 comments

Artists Space Books - Talks

Sitting down in the slightly damp, roomy space on 55 Walker Street with the soft-spoken, mild mannered, but extremely articulate curator of Artists Space and the new Books & Talks venue, we discussed the goals of the new program, and how it fits into the ongoing relationship between art and verbiage. 

Tell me a bit about yourself…

Richard Birkett- I am the curator of Artists Space and I’ve been in New York for a couple of years now. I moved from London a few years ago, and have a background as an artist. I had a studio practice in London for a while, but I gravitated more and more toward curating.

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6 Years: Death & Objecthood

September 17th, 2012 § 0 comments

With every year that passes I try my best to negotiate a new kind of truce with your death, to find peace in the lingering and everlasting grief, and each year it’s a different kind of truce. Six years now—I can hardly believe it—since you shattered my 22-year-old world, one that was cozily wrapped up in a kind of childish innocence about what life could, would, or should be. My childhood ended, and all things associated with it, mainly my youthful marriage, that lonely day years ago when you left. It’s not the immediate heartbreak of grief that scars us, but living with it year after year that leaves traces we can’t erase. Like the slow process of aging, the subtle shifts in our body’s abilities, loss etches lines that are just as permanent.

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Art School & Arguing

July 15th, 2012 § 0 comments

It was pointed out to me recently that I love to argue, and that I tend to engage with every subject like it’s worth the serious critical thought I give it. My poor rebuttal to this observation was, “well at least it makes things interesting!” The incredulous look on my friends face seemed to say something along the lines of, “what’s wrong with a little silence once in a while?”

Realizing shortly after the words had left his mouth that he was right, I wondered what happened. After all, I was that silent child playing by myself in the backyard for the first ten to fifteen years of my life. My first thought was that it must be some kind of family trait. We used to tell my older brother that he should become a lawyer because of his gift for arguing his way out of chores. Then I realized something much more obvious was to blame; art school.

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The Return of Photographs

January 15th, 2012 § 0 comments

The final months of 2011 were good for writing, and good for my photography. Prolifically shooting while in South America, switching between lenses I borrowed that allowed me much more freedom than my own kit lens, I finally had a reason to edit and publish my images—I’d promised my editor a few art related photo essays while on vacation. It was an excuse, really, to do what I would have done anyway, and that extra motivation I need to get the images edited and published. I’m thinking of turning all my vacations into business ventures, or things I can get paid to write about later, and have my sights set on the upcoming art biennale in Havana, Cuba this May—with four weeks of paid vacation this year, travel options are much less restrictive than in the past.

Though I am very detailed in my research while writing here at home, I found I was much less committed to getting the necessary information while away, perhaps understandably, though it’s something I’ll have to work on in the future to save myself hours of Google time later. While in South America I covered street art in Rio de JaneiroBuenos Aries, and a show about India at the Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil. My piece on street art in BA was tweeted by MoMA as a “great read,” and as a result was read, looked at, liked, reposted, and retweeted by more people than have looked at anything I’ve done, ever. That particular piece is also going to be republished by the online magazine Global Graffiti sometime in February.

As usual 2011 was brought to a close by Patti Smith, who gave one of the least impressive performances I’ve ever seen her give, leaving me to think perhaps her 65 birthday was too much for her to handle. I wrote a piece about the show nonetheless, and I’ve got a good feeling about 2012—it’s going to be a damn productive year.