Archive for May, 2012


Tuesday, May 29th, 2012


May Day, Poland, 1971. Our neighbor, mining explosive engineer and avid amateur photographer R. Kondracki shot thousands of stills on ORWO color transparency film in this period.

ORWO was the East German cousin of Kodak, their histories fabulously intertwined:

This project is to honor Kondracki’s commitment to everyday photography, moments of joy, and especially to Color photography in a reality that is most often described as nothing but Gray.

After we left in April 1972 and were denied re-entry, our family reunions would happen in one or another Eastern Bloc country. Kondracki documented them all with great passion.

On the 40th anniversary of our exodus, I am gathering more ORWO Color photography from this era and from the Communist Bloc, shot by enthusiasts like Kondracki, to turn them into a book.

If you know anyone who visited or lived there in this period and who has ORWO Color pictures to share, get in touch! admin at,


Tuesday, May 29th, 2012


— This is the most expensive record I’ve bought (to date.) I think I paid $255.00 for it (plus shipping.)

It’s an early (1982), raw example of what would come to be known as Italo Disco, and was written by Gianluigi Farina, Francesco Rago and Monneret De Villard Xenia Olga Anastasia (aka X. Monneret.)

Farina, Rago and Monneret were responsible for other proto-Italo classics including Wanexa’s The Man From Colours and ‘Lectric Workers Robot Is Systematic and The Garden.

I’m still looking for a copy of The Man From Colours.

Matthew Higgs is an artist, writer and curator based in New York. Since 2004 he has been the director of White Columns, a not-for-profit art space located in New York’s West Village. Over the past twenty years he has organized more than 200 exhibitions and projects with artists, and has contributed writing to more than fifty publications. White Columns has a vinyl-only record label THE SOUND OF WHITE COLUMNS, its next release – summer 2012 – will be a 12″ EP of new recordings by Malcolm Mooney, the original vocalist from CAN.


Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

— Lately I have been receiving snapshots from around the world showing real life stuff that looks like my work. A curious fact, that I only realise now, is that they were all sent to me by people born in Norway.

Photo: Maria Brinch, 2 May 2012 10:39:49 CEST

Photo: Yngve Holen, 23 August 2011 12:43:35 CEST

Photo: Eivind Furnesvik, 9 May 2011 07:35:35 CEST

Nina Beier was born in 1975, in Copenhagen. Recent solo exhibitions include NINA BEIER at Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen; FOUR STOMACHS, Objectif Exhibitions, Antwerp; Standard (Oslo); Croy Nielsen, Berlin; and Laura Bartlett Gallery, London. Beier’s works have been included in various group exhibitions such as MODIFY, AS NEEDED, Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami; EXHIBITION, EXHIBITION, Castello di Rivoli, Turin; MUSEUM OF SPEECH, Extra City, Antwerp; UNDER DECONSTRUCTION, The Swiss Institute, New York; LOST AND FOUND; and Neugerriemschneider, Berlin; and AUDIO, VIDEO, DISCO, Kunsthalle Zürich. Forthcoming exhibitions include WHEN ATTITUDES BECAME FORM, BECOME ATTITUDES, CCA Wattis, San Francisco; THE NEW PUBLIC, Museion, Bolzano; DOGMA, Metro Pictures, New York, PERFORMANCE YEAR ZERO, Tate Modern, London.


Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

— Twenty years have already passed since I started drawing “my memories”, which began with a little fortuitous consideration. My drawings are like a diary, a recording of memories which are far away and blurred, like scenery flickering behind the deep fog. They continue to increase and there are almost ten thousand of them now.

Every secretly cumulated memory in my brain is a response to a delicate stimulation from my body or skin. These emerge at the moment of an event or incident, like when a polaroid photo gradually becomes vivid.

Keiichi Tanaami was born in 1936, in Kyobashi, Tokyo. He is one of the leading pop artists of postwar Japan. Recent shows include DRAWINGS AND COLLAGES 1967-1975, Galerie Gebr. Lehmann, Berlin (2011); DIVIDING BRIDGE, Nanzuka Underground, Tokyo (2011); LOST AND WANDERING BRIDGE SERIES, Nanzuka Underground, Tokyo (2011); Keiichi Tanaami / Oliver Payne, STUDIOLO, Zurich (2011); WANDER IN THE CHAOS WORLD – KEIICHI TANAAMI’S FANTASTIC WORLD, The OCT Art & Design Gallery, Shennan, China (2010); KOCHUTEN, Nanzuka Underground, Tokyo (2009); SPIRAL 2, Galerie Gebr. Lehmann, Dresden (2010); DAYTRIPPER, Art & Public – Cabinet PH, Geneva, Switzerland (2008). As a filmmaker Tanaami’s films have been included at festivals such as the Norwegian International Film Festival, the Rotterdom International Film Festival, the New York Film Festival, and the London International Film Festival.


Tuesday, May 29th, 2012


“I think I like it out here because everything seems still, there’s hardly any movement, everything seems stationary . . . I like that.”

“What’s down below, under the waves, down underneath, through the planks of wood, beneath the dirty water, beneath all of this? . . .”

“I don’t really think of much, I just look at the sky, the shape of things . . .”

“I enjoy the silence, I guess. I like it that way, not too many families walk all the way out here, it’s too long, and when the train isn’t working, it’s near empty. That’s the best time, for me, when no one else can get here . . . But it’ll all end. It’s not always going to be like this. Our time here, however we use it, is limited.”

Lee Rourke is the author of the critically acclaimed novel THE CANAL (winner of The Guardian’s Not The Booker 2010), the short story collection EVERYDAY and a work of non-fiction A BRIEF HISTORY OF FABLES: FROM AESOP TO FLASH FICTION. He is currently Writer-in-Residence at Kingston University, London.