Sarah Nicole Prickett

  • diary December 13, 2019

    Inside Job

    A WOMAN IN A RED JACKET, doing her job, walked through the halls of the Miami Beach Convention Center on VIP Preview Day. An older, whiter man in navy blue walked beside her. They paused to look at a John Currin painting. “In the end, visual art is all about light,” said the woman. “Have you ever been to Ohio?” asked the man. He had a point.

    The point of Miami, both Beach and Basel, is that you don’t have to visit to understand it. “I am not here to do drugs,” said a man in a Panama hat, pacing the exhibition floor with a skull-topped cane. “It has nothing to do with drugs. It has to do with my


    THE ENLIGHTENMENT was over when bohemians and yuppies both started calling themselves enlightened. No tragedy there: Born two centuries earlier, it had had a good life. The New Age wasn’t as inauspicious as it sounded, either. Enlightened is in fact, happily, the title of a very original series on HBO about a spiritualized woman named Amy, played with thrilling sensitivity by Laura Dern, who yearns to speak with her “true voice . . . without bitterness or fear.” That Amy has never heard of parrhesia is not her problem. That Amy’s “true voice” can only be heard in her head, i.e., in her calmly




    Beyoncé went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and saw, at an exhibit called “Superheroes,” a costume worn by Lynda Carter for the purposes of being, on television, the first official live-action Wonder Woman. Beyoncé, a Carter herself, was impressed by the tiny waist and the spangliness. She wanted the lasso. “To make everybody tell the truth? I need that,” she told the Los Angeles Times. It was 2008. Superhero films were entering the prestige era, and the singer was on her way to what in pop music is called “worldwide domination.” Beyoncé Gisele Knowles-Carter

  • film January 05, 2018

    Point of No Return


    INTERVIEWER: Is Laura Palmer really dead?

    DAVID LYNCH: Ummm. [Thirteen-second pause.] I’m pretty sure.

    —Lynch on CBC Radio, 1990

    LAURA WAS DEAD, but her problems kept hanging around. It was as if they hadn’t buried her deep enough, to quote from her best friend’s scream by Laura’s grave in the Twin Peaks, Washington, cemetery where her body, unwrapped from plastic, had been inhumed six days earlier in 1989. One problem was the body itself. Another was the family, where odds are made. As for the rest, they were the problems of the human heart in conflict with itself, the only thing worth writing

  • slant September 02, 2017

    Peak Peaks

    PARTS 1 & 2

    EUCALYPTUS TREES, WEAKENED BY DROUGHT, are on their last legs all over Los Angeles. One fell and knocked out the power lines next to my friend’s house, where I am staying, in Eagle Rock, and we stood on the deck drinking Vinho Verde––delicious, like if wine were beer––watching the action. A fire truck loitered for an hour, produced no helpers, and left. Disruption made the street its own neighborhood. Homeowners came out wondering, hands synchronized on hips. One man retrieved his digital camera and tripod and took commemorative photos. Another ambled the length of his driveway twice

  • film September 01, 2017

    Some Dreamers of the Golden Dream

    A WORLD WHERE TWIN PEAKS is the center is horrifying and moral because there is, obviously, no God. There’s no sense of God, no shadow or presence. There’s not even a church, astounding for a town with a diner, a roadhouse, a hospital, woods, waterfalls and rivers. There is a church in the unincorporated community of Twin Peaks, California. There are three churches of the Mormon kind by the foot of the Twin Peaks range in Utah. A work so wholly American, American as Underworld, as A Face in the Crowd, and yet not Christian exists nowhere else. But in Twin Peaks, Washington, in lieu of a creator,

  • film September 01, 2017

    Screen Time

    OVER THE LATEST HOURS of Twin Peaks: The Return, two time lines emerge, one stronger, one fainter, like lines on a pregnancy test. (If my husband is reading this: I’m not pregnant.) Old Dougie Jones (Kyle MacLachlan) comes off a bender with the Mitchum Brothers (James Belushi and Robert Knepper) and the bunny-type girls (Amy Shiels, Giselle DaMier, and Andrea Leal) and swerves into the Lucky 777 Insurance office, horrisonous music, a marching song for manic-depressive clowns, playing behind him. Anthony Sinclair (Tom Sizemore), a double agent at the company, calls his criminal boss, Mr. Todd,

  • film August 06, 2017

    Saving Face

    CORRECTION: I SAID “WE CAN GUESS” that Miriam’s letter, bearing witness to Richard Horne’s (Eamon Farren) manslaughter of a boy, would make its way to the sheriff and would be believed. But she is not dead—yet. Emerging on all fours from the woods, she is found and taken to the emergency room, where she, uninsured, requires a life-saving operation. Sheriff Frank Truman (Robert Forster) delivers the update to Ben Horne (Richard Beymer), who says he will pay for it. A bad thought arrives: He could pull a Leland Palmer and suffocate the witness at her bedside. But from now on, “we” will refrain

  • film July 21, 2017

    Electric Sheep

    “ELECTRICITY IS HUMMING,” says the Log Lady to Hawk in the tenth hour of Twin Peaks: The Return. She says “electricity” like she’s a kid with a crush on Ben Franklin. She says it flows like a river and is heard in the river, too, and in the mountains, and is seen to glow around the moon. It’s a long conjure, electricity: a literal expression of magic that also connotes the satisfying pop of eureka, the blue purl of genius finding its vessel, a longed-for apotheosis, like when wires burst and flood the walls with lightning as Henry unites with the Lady in the Radiator in Eraserhead (1977). Drama

  • film July 07, 2017

    Tonight, Atomic

    FLAMMABLE AND INFLAMMABLE both mean “easy to burn,” though many people have tested their luck by reading inflammable as “fire-proof.” Flammable is, in one sense, how Lynch pronounces human. On the eighth and finest hour of Twin Peaks: The Return, his elegant pyrotechnics commemorate the birth of today’s America, and a near-wordless script shows that whether you describe a monstrous act as human or inhuman, you are right. But you are not trying to be right, you’re trying to be sincere, an effort so helpless as to defer meaning. Igor Stravinsky, a man so depraved he once asked the Nazis—nicely—to

  • film June 29, 2017

    Theme and Variation

    THE SECOND-BEST USE of “Falling” outside the original Twin Peaks is on the fourth hour of Twin Peaks: The Return. Those vespertine keyboard notes, which used to go off with the regularity of an egg timer at an all-day diner, are saved until the moment you stop listening for them, and then: Officer Bobby Briggs (Dana Ashbrook) sees the portrait of Laura Palmer at the Twin Peaks Sheriff’s Department and cries like he’s never cried in his life. He cries like he’s never seen the very first episode of Twin Peaks, the one where everybody—hilariously—cries, or like he’s on a Twin Peaks–themed Saturday

  • film June 06, 2017

    Weirder Things

    “BLUE IS THE WRONG COLOR FOR ROSES,” says the crippled, disconsolate Laura in The Glass Menagerie (1944), my favorite Tennessee Williams play. “It’s right for you!” says Jim, her old high-school crush. They are about twenty-three years old and have been reunited in the one-sided hope that he’ll pick her out, pick her up, and carry her off. Once, all those years ago, she told him she was sick with pleurosis, which he misheard as “blue roses.” The mondegreen stuck. “The different people are not like other people, but being different is nothing to be ashamed of,” he says to her. “Because other

  • film June 01, 2017

    Wild Thing

    LAWS IN THE WORLD OF DAVID LYNCH are unnatural but do not lead to order, and things disordered lapse into “thingness.” This should be one of Lynch’s favorite words, lent to him in that book by Dennis Lim: “In his own speech—and in the speech patterns of his films, with their gnomic pronouncements and recurring mantras—the impression is of language used less for meaning than for sound. To savor the thingness of words is to move away from their imprisoning nature.” Write down the “academic definition” of “Lynchian,” suggested and sent-up by David Foster Wallace in his notes from the set of Lost

  • film May 23, 2017

    Eternal Return

    EUCALYPTUS TREES, WEAKENED BY DROUGHT, are on their last legs all over Los Angeles. One fell and knocked out the power lines next to my friend’s house, where I am staying, in Eagle Rock, and we stood on the deck drinking Vinho Verde––delicious, like if wine were beer––watching the action. A fire truck loitered for an hour, produced no helpers, and left. Disruption made the street its own neighborhood. Homeowners came out wondering, hands synchronized on hips. One man retrieved his digital camera and tripod and took commemorative photos. Another ambled the length of his driveway twice an hour to

  • diary May 02, 2017

    Last Calle

    SOPHIE CALLE WAS SMOKING AND TEXTING on stone steps in a green velvet dress, which I wanted to touch. She said sure, so I felt up the hem. It was heavy, deluxe. I asked her where she got it, and instead of answering, she asked me why I liked it. Suddenly I heard myself talking about my childhood, my mother who sewed dresses, and the velvet dresses I always asked her to make me, even after I knew how much the material cost. I stopped, embarrassed. Was I telling a secret? But anyone could see I had been a child, and it was obvious green velvet would suit me. Calle opened a map on her phone and

  • “Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology”

    Any great dress is wearable technology. It’s the product of technology, insofar as clothes that deserve to be expensive are manifestations of craft, art, and workmanship—of technē, as the Greeks denoted “cleverness of hand.” It’s also a kind of tech product, in that clothes augment perceptions of the wearer that become the wearer’s reality.

    This spring’s extravangaza is a show unconcerned with whether hands or machines are cleverer. Paid for by Apple with additional help from Condé Nast, “Manus x Machina” weaves together (handmade, traditional) couture and (machine-made,

  • diary April 18, 2016

    Whatever Works

    MORE NIGHTS THAN NOT THIS PAST WINTER, Amanda Bates, a bartender at Public in North Adams, Massachusetts, would see her favorite new customer, Alex Da Corte. He would walk in from the museum across the street, where he and his two assistants and a team of seven workers were installing his eight-room survey, “Free Roses,” and order a glass of sangiovese or a mezcal with ice, depending on his stress levels. By the time it got to be spring, she was pouring a fair amount of mezcal, but she never saw him drunk. She would ask him about work; he would complain, gently, about a lack of sleep or a supply

  • picks April 08, 2016

    Sojourner Truth Parsons

    Strawberry-flavored Dippin’ Dots, Sobranie Slims, Himalayan salt lamps, the ombré hem of Gwen Stefani’s wedding dress, the drunk tank at Santa Clara County, carnations on Mother’s Day, orchids, a love stone, Cam’ron in mink, Sissy Spacek as Pinky in 3 Women (1977), a Juicy Couture velour tracksuit, a Jem doll’s hair, Bazooka gum, an inflatable flamingo, Pucci lingerie from the 1960s, Wet n Wild 901B in a black plastic tube: These are the shadings of pink in Sojourner Truth Parsons’s new paintings that involve, variously, a Dalmatian, flowers, cigarettes, acrylic nails, and a temporary tattoo

  • picks March 11, 2016

    Berlinde De Bruyckere

    Berlinde De Bruyckere is an artist whose work has made me cry in public. It’s remarkable when art makes you cry, unlike when you cry at a movie or listening to music, since hot tears are fine in the dark, yet unerotic and, at best, often disgusting in a white space. De Bruyckere is a master manipulator who doesn’t care how you feel. There is no other explanation for the horses she shows dead and hog-tied, one at a time or three together, piled in a mahogany armoire like the victims of a massacre.

    Before you get to the great roan bodies in “No Life Lost,” you have to encounter them flayed out and

  • The Year in Sex

    AS ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE gets bodied, the question on everybody’s tech vertical this year is: Should humans and robots have sex? The answer would seem to be no—obviously not. Thousands of years of earth’s history suggest that unless robots envy a life of permanent and unnecessary drama with a two-thirds chance of (incurable) herpes, they should stay far away from human flesh. Not even a sitting president or a movie star married to another movie star is safe from the ramifications of screwing a mortal. Sex with humans wrecked the home of the Greek gods and obliterated that other Olympus,