Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A Painting. A Hat. And Kimsooja.

I visit my friend Terrence Campagna at his studio on Cass Avenue in Detroit. We catch up over tea and baklava, relaying to each other the large and small changes in our art practices that have grown out of large and small life changes. We go outside for a walk and immediately encounter two paintings laying on the sidewalk next to the street. Heading up Woodward, I bemoan the fact that I left my hat at home-- misled by the two-day thaw and now the wind leads me to regret. Not one minute goes by before a gentleman is walking our way with a small handful of knit hats for a dollar. "This one is your color," he says, glancing down at my dark plum pants as he hands it over. Ten more steps up Woodward and another gentleman who witnessed the exchange approaches, saying "My turn! Wannaseewhatigot!?" We laugh, walking on to the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit.

The day before, I'd been up at school for a meeting and stopped by to pick something up at my office, only had forgotten the key. My neighbor Valerie, a professor in Communications, was there in her office and we smalltaked grading and research until she excitedly told me about a video artist named Kimsooja. Now, coincidentally, with Terrence, at MOCAD, I find myself seeing her work for the first time. And I am finding it refreshing.

We walk back to the studio, and the painting of the grasshopper has been taken.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Guitar, Hand, Fox.

The baby and I are poking around in the closet when we find some of my old business cards from UTSA in an old bag. On the backsides, I draw some pictures of things she knows. Then I remember a scene from the film version of Paul Bowles book, The Sheltering Sky.

After the female protagonist has nursed her husband through a long and drawn out episode of typhoid in the middle of nowhere in the desert, ending in his death, she lets herself drift into a situation where she is a willing detained guest of a fellow with many wives. She has a tiny suitcase of her possessions, including a travel journal that she disassembles, hanging the pages on the rafters to decorate the room of her beatific imprisonment.

The journal is a symbol of a former life, which has given way to chance encounter without a clear path or focused direction any more. I knew that having a baby was going to change my life beyond recognition. And I am grateful for it.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

I be cursed and blessed

with an acute aptitude for synthesis.  My mind impulsively infiltrates the elements of any given circumstance.  It surrounds, infuses and grows connective tissue in the gaps.  Organic and fecund.  Solve et coagula.

I now resurrect the best bio I ever had, this one here below, which was bestowed upon me, kindly, by my collaborator Jason Jay Stevens, a decade ago.

"Leslie Raymond does not use recipes. All of her efforts are experiments. She approaches a selection of disparate ingredients with the spirit of a pioneer and an inventor. She is an artist without limitations of medium. Those extracategorical spaces are her territory, bringing together material and data--and often other artists--from far reaches and allowing a culture of relationships to grow. She creates art this way, and she generates grand spectacles this way. Leslie Raymond is, herself, one of these experiments, with a line of Russian Jewish heritage in one direction, and Chinese Taoist off in another. Her father is an architect; her mother is a potter. Where these strands come together is where Leslie Raymond begins, experimenting with process, texture, taste, and presentation." -JJS