This summer, the MFAH continues its series of grand-scale, immersive exhibitions. Pipilotti Rist: Pixel Forest and Worry Will Vanish brings together two mesmerizing works newly acquired by the Museum. Under the direction of the artist, these light-based and video-based installations transform the vast, central gallery of Cullinan Hall into a cosmic journey through time and space. —MFAH website
My review: I’ve been having a lot of fun imagining the entire internet as “the pixel forest” since experiencing this exhibition. Except, it’s much more magical to get lost in this installation than the internet.
Even more dreamy than the pixel forest? The Propeller Group at Blaffer Art Museum, as they rebrand communism, journey beyond death and write a cross-cultural narrative for Vietnam. I wrote a full review for Aeqai—and I really did hear a song from “Miss Saigon” on the way to the show.
“Homebodies: Coverature” – gut-punch comic by Arwen Donahue on The Rumpus:
On the one hand, I can certainly appreciate why a comedian might look at the score awarded to their latest comedy special by a particular publication and complain that it’s a reductive way to summarize years of their work, and yet I also understand why an outlet like The A.V. Club—one which is in the business of art criticism—might not see it as a huge stretch to attempt to evaluate comedy using the same metrics that they apply to other art forms.
—Hershal Pandya for Splitsider
After 49 days, the cat couldn’t take it anymore, bit his tongue, and bled to death on [his owner’s] grave. Leave it to a cat to take the most metal route to death.
—Louise Hung for The Order of the Good Death
And then she said something that kind of blew my mind: “You know, [Mary Magdalene] was the first one to whom our Lord appeared on Easter Sunday morning. In that time, a woman’s witness was worth nothing — so that Jesus would choose to appear to her and say ‘go and tell the others’ is huge! Of course, they didn’t believe her, but Jesus was making a point about the importance of believing women.” —Anne Therieux for The Establishment, speaking with Sister Bernadette and other nuns about feminism and their calling. Consider my mind also blown.
“In Other Words” by Jhumpa Lahiri
Translated from the Italian by Ann Goldstein
2016, Alfred A. Knopf
I think that my new language, more limited, more immature, gives me a more extensive, more adult gaze. That’s the reason I continue, for now, to write in Italian…. When I began to write, I thought it was more virtuous to talk about others. I was afraid that autobiographical material was of less creative value, even a form of laziness on my part. I was afraid that it was egocentric to relate one’s own experiences. In this book I am the protagonist for the first time…. A little like Matisse’s “Blue Nudes,” groups of cutout, reassembled female figures, I feel naked in this book, pasted to a new language, disjointed. 215-6
Jhumpa Lahiri’s memoir of life in another language — Italian — is a work of art in itself. Lahiri is most comfortable in English, but also speaks Bengali with her parents, and began learning Italian later in life. This memoir was written in Italian, with her original text flowering from the left side of the page; employing a translator removed temptation to revise or correct.
The book is a beautiful exploration of identity, intention and vulnerability. Her ruminations will resonate with anyone who has studied another language:
When I read in Italian, I’m a more active reader, more involved, even if less skilled. I like the effort, I prefer the limitations. I know that in some way my ignorance is useful to me. 43
Behgali is my past, Italian, maybe, a new road into the future. In both I feel like a child, a little clumsy. 157
Beckett said that writing in French allowed him to write without style. On the one hand I agree: one could say that my writing in Italian is a type of unsalted bread. It works, but the usual flavor is missing. 179
Last but not least: I’m so happy that Sasha Velour won RuPaul’s Drag Race! Loved this “magical bitch” all season—all of the final four queens were fantastic, but I’m glad an art weirdo has been crowned. From the sound of this article, she is going to do great things.