TABLE OF CONTENTS

PRINT October 2000

TOP TEN

John Tremblay

John Tremblay is an artist who lives in New York.

  1. “BIG BROTHER”

    Not the TV show and not the camera at Houston and First Avenue that takes a picture of your car whenever you go through a red light. (When a friend got a photo of his license plate in the mail along with a fine for a hundred bucks, he sent back a photograph of a hundred-dollar bill. They got the joke and sent him a photograph of a pair of handcuffs.) This Big Brother is a program by computer whiz John Briggs, a kid who's most likely someone's little brother. Miltos Manetas told me about Brigg's project, saying, “This is a great artwork, the guy is a genius.” To download “Big Brother,” go to www.manetas.com and look under “The Best Software in the World.”

  2. LIAM GILLICK, INSIDE NOW,WE WALKED INTO A ROOM WITH COCO-COLA COLOURED WALLS, 1998

    Now in a private collection in Geneva, this piece comes in the form of a certificate, which amounts to a set of instructions directing the certificate holder to paint color swatches on the wall in an attempt to match the exact hue of Coca-Cola. The result: an area covered with various browns and redish brown swatches. It could be perfect for your next group show. Since only the collectors are permitted to enact the work, contact them directly at jrp-editions.com.

  3. THE NOTORIOUS B.I.G., READY TO DIE (1994)

    When Biggie Smalls released Ready to Die, it stunned us like a Jordan jump shot. I'm told that every single line of his magnificent wordplay was committed to memory, each song stored in his head like a tiny movie so we could watch his world with our ears. A lot of it's funny as hell. But in the end, the hero had to die. Long live the “Triple Beam Dream.”

  4. THE APPLE (dir. Samira Makhmalbaf, 1998)

    Something other than a documentary, this film tells the true story of two young Iranian sisters who were imprisoned in their house by their parents. The movie also says something about the world beyond the garden wall. The girls' ultraconservative father and blind mother admit to being “overprotective,” while the social workers who try and help the siblings reenter society call the confinement criminal. Samira Makhmalbaf, who was eighteen when she directed The Apple (her father is the well-known Iranian filmmaker Mohsen Makhmalbaf), found the ideal “actors” for the parts: the girls in the film are the real-life sisters and their father “plays” the father. A kind of punishment for the parents, the movie becomes a cathartic passage for the sisters, reenacting their incarceration while setting them free.

  5. F. SCOTT FITZGERALD, “THE CRACK-UP” (1936)

    Under twenty-seven years old: a short story that could change your life. Over twenty-seven: Write your own version.

  6. MISS KITTIN AND THE HACKER, “FRANK SINATRA” (1998)

    Miss Kittin, a Geneva-based DJ, is very famous. She once said to me: “Here, carry my records,” and they were very heavy. Being famous must be nice. Her single “Frank Sinatra” was a big hit in Germany. Germany has the third-largest music industry in the world. Miss Kittin=Famous.

  7. FRENCH COMMUNIST PARTY HEADQUARTERS, PARIS

    Viewing Oscar Niemeyer's building will help you take out the trash when it comes to preconceptions about Communist architecture—or architecture period. This is what happens when science fiction collides with an office building. Where does the outside stop and the inside begin? Why aren't the walls at right angles to the floor? Perhaps the solution for leveling a stratified class society is to make the floors uneven. Niemeyer, true to Communist scripture, accepted no payment for his work on this building. Apparently, the trippy side of radical humanist architecture is free. Go to see the place du Colonel Fabien and see for yourself: Though designed in the mid-'60s, Niemeyer's building still looks toward that greater future, waiting for the rest of the world to catch up.

  8. SERGE GAINSBOURG, “HISTOIRE DE MELODY NELSON” (1971)

    The most gorgeous and heartbreaking twenty-eight minute love story ever told, even if you don't understand a word of French.

  9. AIRTRAIN

    New York's new “quickest way to the airport.” JFK has never had decent mass-transit access, but soon it will join its cousins around the world who have had stellar city-to-plane connections since around the time Emilio Pucci designed the outfits for Braniff Airways' “hostesses” in the mid-'60s. When the project is completed in 2003, the line will not only connect all the far-flung terminals and airport parking lots, but link up with various subway lines and the Long Island Railroad as well. It just goes to show that a little urban unplanning and billions of dollars can erase miles of bad road, and, like Pepsi, AirTrain will belong to everyone.

  10. BEWARE THE HOLY WHORE (dir. Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 1970)

    One of the truly great movies about making movies. The location: off-season at a Spanish seaside hotel. The actors and crew sit around waiting for the story to begin. The fashion is wonderful, even if most of it was probably the actors' own. You could watch the film only for the clothes. The drink of choice? Cuba Libres. In fact, “Cuba Libre, por favor” is repeated so many times that it becomes a political statement. When the bored cast isn't fucking or fighting, they're tossing coins in the jukebox—Leonard Cohen, Ray Charles, Elvis singing in Spanish, and Spooky Tooth's “I've Got Enough Heartaches.” We watch this movie whenever we feel like a vacation.