Yvonne Rainer, a Giant of Choreography, Makes Her Last Dance

“In 1966, Yvonne Rainer presented ‘Trio A,’ her celebrated solo that emphasized movement over expression. By stripping dance of narrative, of emotion and even of the dancer’s gaze — there is no looking at the audience — the steps could shine. And those steps, delivered with the same temperament no matter how simple or difficult, were the dance. What did Rainer banish? Affectation. In another iteration of ‘Trio A,’ in 1970, the work expanded to six dancers, including Rainer, who performed nude with American flags tied around their necks like halter tops, at the People’s Flag Show at Judson Memorial Church in New York. The event was a response to the prosecution of the gallery owner Stephen Radich for showing work that desecrated the flag. Censorship, the Vietnam War — these were issues of the day. Now at 87, with 61 years of choreography behind her, Rainer is even more aghast at the state of the world. As a self-proclaimed news addict — ‘oy, oy, oy,’ she said, summarizing the anguish she experiences when reading the newspaper — she is putting the finishing touches on ‘Hellzapoppin’: What About the Bees?,’ which will be performed at New York Live Arts starting on Wednesday. She is calling it her last dance. … Rainer, a founding member of Judson Dance Theater, the experimental collective that gave birth to postmodern dance in the 1960s, was part of a generation that revolutionized the field. Her 1965 ‘No Manifesto’ laid out a new approach to dance, stating an opposition, for instance, to spectacle, to camp, to virtuosity. … In a way, Rainer’s last dance is an end-of-life-coming-of-age story, a chance for her both to examine her history and to speak out using familiar artistic tools: words, dance and the notion of ‘radical juxtaposition,’ a term used by Susan Sontag to describe Surrealist techniques and that relates to the assemblage of seemingly disparate objects. …”
NY Times
Yvonne Rainer on How Filmmaking Gave Her Language
Why Yvonne Rainer Gave Up Dance for Film
ARTFORUM – Yvonne Rainer, Part One: The Dancer and the Dance (1972), Yvonne Rainer, Part Two: “Lives of Performers” (1972)

From Lives of Performers (1972)
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Frantz Fanon unveiled

“As a child in the 1960s, my mother would routinely pass a secondary school on her way home in downtown Algiers named Lycée Frantz Fanon. To her, the name was quite peculiar, since all the other schools had newly Arabic names, alluding to different figures within the independence movement and Algerian history more broadly. She was perplexed as to why this school kept this seemingly white French name, only to learn much later in life—from her son, a particularly angsty postcolonial teen—that it was named for a black man from the Caribbean and that he had made contributions to Algeria’s independence movement. This story differs quite radically from today’s nostalgic renderings of Algerian independence from budding, self-proclaimed revolutionaries—both in the academy and activist circles in the West—that place Fanon and his works at the center of the struggle. The two have become so inseparable that I feel the need to contextualize Fanon’s work as well as his role as a political operative within the Front de Libération Nationale, Algeria’s nationalist liberation front and subsequent ruling political party. … As Fanon became more entrenched with the FLN, though, he began to take the role of ideologue and ambassador—becoming an editor and routine contributor to El Moudjahid, the FLN’s newspaper, as well as publishing his own works, most famously The Wretched of the Earth and A Dying Colonialism. Fanon’s role as a spokesman for the FLN put him in quite a unique position, not seen in most anti-colonial movements. He was not an Algerian national, but that did not stop him from inhabiting a rather liminal space in the movement and Algeria as a whole. While he was known as Frantz Fanon on the world stage, to his FLN comrades his name was Ibrahim. In fact, he went as far as exclusively identifying as Algerian, with several accounts noting his frustration when questioned about the validity of this newfound identity. …”
Africa Is a Country
The Islamic Veil in Fanon’s post-colonial psychoanalysis: A changing symbol

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Desolation Journal By Jack Kerouac

Read any biography of Jack Kerouac and here’s essentially what you’ll learn: that in the summer of 1956 he spent two months in a mountaintop shack as a fire lookout for the US Forest Service in the North Cascades in Washington State, and nothing much happened. Mostly he was bored. Jack’s experience on Desolation Peak marked the climax of his involvement with Buddhism and of a decade of restless travel; it’s the high point of his journeying and spiritual seeking. A voracious reader, he nevertheless chose to go up the mountain without any books, only his personally typed copy of the Diamond Sutra, which he planned to read every day and transcribe yet again, this time in language more accessible to American readers, in order to achieve the enlightenment that he was certain would result. The extent of his solitude, thus, was acute. There were no radio stations from the outside world to tune into. No electricity. No running water. And most radically for Jack, two months without alcohol. It was his last, best chance to change the trajectory of his life, to avoid the alcoholic downfall that accelerated a year later with the instant celebrity from On the Road’s publication and that would ultimately kill him at age forty-seven. The following excerpts six pages from the one-hundred-and-eighty-page diary Kerouac kept during that time. —Charles Shutterworth …”
The Paris Review
W – Desolation Angels
Sierra Club: Rolling Towards the Moon
amazon: Desolation Peak: Collected Writings

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#7 – Jed Birmingham

“It does not matter if you have five books or five thousand, one’s own book collection is inherently the most important and most interesting. These are the books that mean the most to you personally otherwise you would not have taken the trouble of collecting them. Book collecting is egotistical and narcissistic. Book collectors are also envious and competitive. … That said, with the publication of Soft Need #23, Martin (and Udo Breger) looks to have created one of the great Burroughs-related collectibles of the past decade. I also believe he supports museum and gallery exhibitions with his collection. I was going to say that Martin does this discreetly, but I am not sure that is correct. He does it in Europe, which may be why his activities are not more well known in the States. So, I am not merely egotistical and narcissistic; I am also nationalist and xenophobic. Geez. Envy, narcissism, and xenophobia all might play a part in why Jim Pennington is not on my list. If I put Pennington on it, I would have to remove myself. Or I could just expand my list to make Pennington the Eighth Wonder of the Burroughs Collecting World, but like many collectors I am obsessed with numbers, like limited editions and print runs. It must be a list of the Magnificent Seven and in the current climate you must shamelessly self-promote in order to be magnificent. But for Mike Stevens, Jeff Ball, and me, Pennington is a major Burroughs collector, who generates a degree of that dreaded performance anxiety. With Stevens, Pennington owns the single most important and interesting book from Burroughs’ personal library: Edmund White’s biography of Jean Genet. The book is the most heavily annotated book in that library and arguably the most important book to Burroughs. I know Stevens covets it. The question of whether Stevens would trade his entire Burroughs collection for the single book that captures the essence of his collection is interesting barroom conversation. There is some talk that Pennington is planning on doing something with the book. Let’s hope so. …”
Reality Studio

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The Real Inspector Hound – Tom Stoppard (1966)

The Real Inspector Hound is a short, one-act play by Tom Stoppard. The plot follows two theatre critics named Moon and Birdboot who are watching a ludicrous setup of a country house murder mystery, in the style of a whodunit. By chance, they become involved in the action causing a series of events that parallel the play they are watching. The play was written between 1961 and 1962, drawing on Stoppard’s experiences as a Bristol theatre critic. It was initially named The Stand-ins and later, The Critics. It is a parody of the stereotypical parlour mystery in the style of Agatha Christie‘s The Mousetrap, as well as of the critics watching the play, with their personal desires and obsessions interwoven into their bombastic and pompous reviews. The title is a direct reference to the ending of The Mousetrap, a play well known for guarding the secrecy of its twist ending, although the producers of Agatha Christie’s play could not publicly object without drawing even more attention to the fact. The Real Inspector Hound, much like Stoppard’s earlier play Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead, examines the ideas of fate and free will, as well as exploring the themes of the ‘play within a play‘. Stoppard’s play is an example of absurdism as well as farce, parody, and satire. Critics have often praised it as a witty depiction of the reviewer’s craft. While the story is set in a theatre, the play within the play is set in Muldoon Manor, a lavish manor surrounded by ‘desolate marshes’ and ‘treacherous swamps’ and paradoxically also located near a cliff. It is a direct parody of Agatha Christie’s ‘closed’ settings in which no one can enter or leave, so the characters know that the murderer must be one of them. The manor itself is described as having French windows and a large settee. The play is set, as announced by Mrs. Drudge when answering the telephone, in the ‘drawing room of Lady Muldoon’s country residence one morning in early spring’. …”
[PDF] The Real Inspector Hound

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The Bootleg Series Vol. 4: Bob Dylan Live 1966, The “Royal Albert Hall” Concert

Live 1966: The ‘Royal Albert Hall’ Concert is a two-disc live album by Bob Dylan, released in 1998. It is the second installment in the ongoing Bob Dylan Bootleg Series on Legacy Recordings, and has been certified a gold record by the RIAA. It was recorded at the Manchester Free Trade Hall during Dylan’s world tour in 1966, though early bootlegs attributed the recording to the Royal Albert Hall so it became known as the Royal Albert Hall Concert. Extensively bootlegged for decades, it is an important document in the development of popular music during the 1960s. The set list consisted of two parts, with the first half of the concert being Dylan alone on stage performing an entirely acoustic set of songs, while the second half of the concert has Dylan playing an ‘electric’ set of songs alongside his band the Hawks. The first half of the concert was greeted warmly by the audience, while the second half was highly criticized, with heckling going on before and after each song. After touring North America from the fall of 1965 through the winter of 1966, Dylan, accompanied by the Hawks (later renamed the Band), embarked on a six-week spring tour that began in Australia, wound through western Europe, Ireland and the United Kingdom, and wrapped up in London. Dylan’s move to electric music, and his apparent disconnection from traditional folk music, continued to be controversial, and his UK audiences were particularly disruptive with some fans believing Dylan had ‘sold out‘. … However, Dylan’s now-legendary confrontation with a heckler calling out ‘Judas‘ from the audience, clearly heard on the recording, was well documented as having occurred at Manchester‘s Free Trade Hall on May 17, 1966. … Dylan rejected that edition; three years later, he authorized a markedly different version for his second ‘Bootleg Series’ release. One song recorded at Dylan’s real Royal Albert Hall concert had been previously released: his May 26, 1966 performance of ‘Visions of Johanna‘ on the Box set Biograph. …”
YouTube: Bob Dylan – The 1966 Live Recordings: The Untold Story Behind The Recordings 12:31
YouTube: Visions of Johanna (Live at Free Trade Hall, Manchester, UK – May 17, 1966, Fourth Time Around, Desolation Row, Baby, Let Me Follow You Down, I Don’t Believe You (She Acts Like We Never Have Met), Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues, Like a Rolling Stone

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How the Chicago Freedom Movement Made Way for the Fair Housing Act

Chicago Freedom Movement march, South Kedzie Avenue, August 5, 1966

“History teaches us about important lessons, people, and events. It shapes a nation. It tells us who we are and where we came from. It tells us about our past evils and also about our good deeds. As we conclude Black History Month, I want to tell you an important part of history, a movement that took place in Chicago, in our own backyard, but that gets neglected and lost in history. I want to tell you about a movement that inspired many people and changed a city forever: the Chicago Freedom Movement. The Chicago Freedom Movement was a coalition led by radical Black organizers in the 1960s who raised awareness and pressured city officials to address racist housing discrimination. The seeds of why and how the movement came about can be traced back to the Great Migration, in which some seven million African-American people left the racist repression of the Jim Crow South to look for work and safety in northern cities, and its legacy is the creation of the Fair Housing Act. More than half a million came to Chicago between 1916 and 1970. ‘Before this migration, African Americans constituted two percent of Chicago’s population; by 1970, they were thirty-three percent,’ according to the Encyclopedia of Chicago. Yet Black people continued to face discrimination in the north, as Chicago was segregated along ethnic and racial lines. Irish, Polish, German, Italian, and Black people lived in their own segregated communities. At first there was discrimination against Irish, Polish, and Italian immigrants, but eventually, they were integrated into American society, accepted, and treated as equals. Through policy and force, Black Americans were kept isolated and not allowed to live in large swaths of Chicago. The Chicago Freedom Movement Program would later state, ‘Racism, slums, and ghettos have been the essentials of [Black] existence in Chicago. While the city permitted its earlier ethnic groups to enter the mainstream of American life, it has locked [Black people] into the lower rungs of the social and economic ladder.’ …”
South Side Weekly
W – Chicago Freedom Movement

Posted in Black Power, Civil Rights Mov., Jesse Jackson, MLKJr., Poverty, SCLC | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Collected Stories 1939-1976 – Paul Bowles

“After an early false start as a poet and a substantial career as a composer, Paul Bowles began his career as a short story writer in his mid-thirties, when he was asked to edit an issue of a magazine on Central and South American culture and felt an urge to invent some myths of his own. He hoped to inhabit the primitive mind, and resolved to adopt ‘the old Surrealist method of abandoning conscious control and writing whatever words came from the pen.’ In ‘By the Water,’ for instance, a young man enters the baths of a strange and unfriendly town, and after following the long dark corridors to the pools, happens to run into the proprietor of the place: ‘The creature’s head was large; its body was small and it had no legs or arms. The lower part of the trunk ended in two flipper-like pieces of flesh. From the shoulders grew short pincers.’ These early stories contain the stuff of myth, all right, but can seem a little fragmented and unsatisfactory: one can sense around the outlines the highly intelligent writer who has invented these myths. It was when Bowles allowed this side of himself to enter the stories that he found his real theme, the conflict between the civilized and the primitive, the intellect and the unconscious. … In the quintessential early Bowles story the protagonist is a traveler, often a kind of innocent, at least innocent of the extraordinary situation he is entering. The physical conditions are extreme, and generally the extreme of climate is an overwhelming heat. The protagonist finds himself at the edge of things, the border where a town gives over to a forest or desert, the edge of a ravine, the section of town where the lights give way to darkness. There is an overwhelming sense of menace. Something apparently unnatural, irrational, takes place — harm might be done to some harmless thing — and we enter a world that is starkly primitive beyond anything we had imagined. A Bowles story is a journey to an alien place, but also into the depths of a human being, as the linguist, for instance, discovers what sort of man he is without speech. …”
The Sun Magazine
The Stories of Paul Bowles by Paul Bowles

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Roy Lichtenstein – “Ohhh… Alright…” (1964)

Ohhh…Alright… is a 1964 pop art painting by Roy Lichtenstein. It formerly held the record for highest auction price for a Lichtenstein painting. In November 2010, Ohhh…Alright…, previously owned by Steve Martin and later by Steve Wynn, was sold at a record US $42.6 million (£26.7 million) at a sale at Christie’s in New York, which surpassed the 2005 $16.2 million Lichtenstein record set when In the Car sold. The hammer price was $38 million.[3] It was surpassed in the following year by I Can See the Whole Room…and There’s Nobody in It!, which sold for $43.2 million. Measuring 91.4 cm × 96.5 cm (36 in × 38 in), Ohhh…Alright… is derived from the June 1963 edition of Secret Hearts #88 by Arleigh Publishing Corp. (now part of D. C. Comics). After 1963, Lichtenstein’s comics-based women ‘…look hard, crisp, brittle, and uniformly modish in appearance, as if they all came out of the same pot of makeup.’ This particular example is one of several that are cropped so closely that the hair flows beyond the edges of the canvas. The image was featured in the edition of November 8, 1993 of Time, which discussed the 1993 Lichtenstein retrospective at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.[7] It was also the image used to promote the 2012 Lichtenstein retrospective at the Art Institute of Chicago. This was painted at the apex of Lichtenstein’s use of enlarged dots, cropping and magnification of the original source. The exhibition history of this work includes three 21st-century exhibitions: Las Vegas, Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art, April–September 2001; London, Hayward Gallery; Madrid, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Roy Lichtenstein: All About Art, August 2003-February 2005; New York, Gagosian Gallery, Lichtenstein: Girls, May–June 2008. …”
Roy Lichtenstein’s Painting “Ohhh… Alright…”

Ohhh…Alright…‘s source was Secret Hearts #88, June 1963
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Ted Berrigan: Has Henry James Put Me in This Mood?

Collage made as a proposed cover for “Memorial Day,” a long poem by Anne Waldman and Ted Berrigan.

“Ted Berrigan was the first in the circle of poets around the Poetry Project at Saint Mark’s Church to ask me to design an announcement mailer for one of his readings. He encouraged others to do the same. In the late sixties, I designed a number of flyers and covers for mimeographed poetry books. These gave me the first public exposure for my work. Ted and I saw one another off and on for about five years. In the spring of 1970, we lived together on Saint Mark’s Place in the East Village, until June, when Ted went to teach a course in Buffalo. I moved into the artists Rudy Burckhardt and Yvonne Jacquette’s loft on East Fourteenth Street while they summered in Maine. Ted stayed with me for a number of weekends that summer, and he proposed that we undertake a collaborative book. As I remember, I began the collaboration by making drawings with empty word balloons. I’m pretty sure Ted provided the project’s title at the outset. Ted would take the drawings—I think I made them in batches of four or five—back to Buffalo, where he began to fill in the words. We went back and forth this way, sometimes in person, sometimes by mail. I had forgotten all about this collaboration by the time Ted Berrigan’s youngest son, Eddie, contacted me in the summer of 2018. He wanted to bring me something his father and I had done together, which had recently turned up. As I looked at sixteen pages of my drawings and Ted’s handwritten words, the memories came back. These diaries describe some of them, along with the artistic milieu I was in in New York at that time—which included the painter Martha Diamond and the poets Bernadette Mayer, Michael Brownstein, Anne Waldman, and John Giorno. The summer of 1970 was a turbulent time in our relationship. … I had kept mine over the years, and now here was Ted’s. In the end, Ted and I remained great friends. …”
The Paris Review

Dennis’s cover for Jim Carroll’s 4 Ups and 1 Down, published in 1970 by Angel Hair, a press run by Anne Waldman and Lewis Warsh.
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