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Posted inArt

Bad Girl Criminality and American Teen Dreams

News broke last month that celebrity Lindsay Lohan would soon be getting her own “docu-series,” aka reality TV show, on OWN, the Oprah Network. Now that she’s out of court-ordered rehab, she’ll sit down with Oprah for an exclusive interview about all things LiLo, airing August 18th; her reality TV show will begin in 2014. Lindsay is the American celebrity “bad girl,” and no matter how many times she fucks up, she always does it well.

Posted inArt

The Artist Is Not Present But the Brand Sure Is

CHICAGO — Every performance online and off is essentially about energy. Marina Abramović knows this, and so after her 2010 endurance-based performance at MoMA “The Artist is Present,” she disappeared in order to train with shamans in Brazil where she learned more about energy, and took time to heal. After reading fellow Hyperallergic reporter Jillian Steinhauer’s “Jay-Z Raps at Marina Abramović, or the Day Performance Art Died” last week, however, I’ve been thinking about the idea of the artist’s brand as being present rather than the artist herself, and how that affects Marina’s arguably new-age-y reasonings around “energy” and being present.

Posted inOpinion

The Perils of Sleeping in an Art Museum

There seems to be a particular penchant among famous actors for taking to performance art (we’re looking at you, James Franco). But actress Tilda Swinton’s ongoing escapade at the Museum of Modern Art, in which she sleeps inside a glass box, is actually a re-performance of an older piece done before Swinton’s recent turn in the spotlight.

Posted inOpinion

Two Overexposed Cultural Figures Get Just a Little More Overexposed

Think of the most overexposed figures in creative culture. I’ll give you a few hints: One stared at people for months straight in a major museum, had an opera made about her life, and is creating a museum devoted to her chosen medium. The other has turned his life into performance art, dabbled as a sculptor, and written a vanity short story collection, alongside a stint working on a soap opera.

Posted inArt

Poets and Popcorn

America, says Charlie Citrine in Saul Bellow’s novel Humboldt’s Gift (1975), is proud of its dead poets. Especially the mad ones: the bridge-leapers, the drink-guzzlers, the pill-snackers. Robert Lowell thought everyone was tired of his turmoil, but he obviously wasn’t thinking ahead to the possibilities he and his fellow scribblers presented to the movie business. You can only imagine the film gurus and movie execs surveying the poetscape of the twentieth century with nods of excited approval, foaming about their mouths. Drink, adultery, jealousy, madness, suicide: who knew poets led such cinematic lives!

Posted inArt

My Own Private Professor Franco

“The museum is a participatory social space,” Klaus Biesenbach, director of MoMA PS1 and Chief Curator at Large for MoMA, said to an eager crown of 200 in his introductory address for this inaugural edition of his Summer School series. Modeled after the salon style teaching more commonly practiced in European arts capitals, PS1’s two-part lecture series was offered free to undergraduates. It featured a classroom experience with James Franco and Gus Van Sant, among others.

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