TABLE OF CONTENTS

PRINT November 2000

TOP TEN

Richard Hawkins

Richard Hawkins is an artist living in Los Angeles

  1. MORGAN ASHER, “PAINTING FOR BEGINNERS”

    The ex-filmmaker and chronic dabbler's treatise on smart painting, copy photography, and orthographic drawing (recently delivered at a variety of institutions in Los Angeles) is a reconnaissance mission for painting. Despite the cruel reductivism of the text, Fisher's delivery is littered with the symptoms of ambivalence and masochistic hope in the face of a practice that's always gonna be rife with problems. Fisher says, “I welcome you to challenge my assumptions”; as Beckett would say, “You must go on, I can't go on, I'll go on.”

  2. GOOD STUFF ON TV THIS SUMMER

    (1) Richard Hatch became the least user-friendly (that's a good thing) gay man on TV since Andrew Cunanan; and (2) on “The Replacement,” episode 19 of Making (the Boys in) the Band, Erik is subjected to a “throatoscopy,” revealing more about the lush pinkness and moist resilience of his alimentary canal than I (or starmaker Lou Pearlman, for that matter) could ever have dreamed up.

  3. PRINCE NASEEM HAMED VS. AUGIE SANCHEZ

    This summer's fight on HBO had sexy-yet-nobody Sanchez—replete with Vegas showgirlfriend—holding his own in the first round and almost scoring a knockdown in the second. By the third round, though, Hamed's succinct assaults had Sanchez bleary, bewildered, and as bedazzled as his gold-glitter trunks. He was carried out in a stretcher two and a half minutes into the fourth. I'm sure I'll get tired of the predictableness of Hamed's nontitle wins over journeymen, but his unadulterated gore tests are a pleasant relief from the fights of academic tap-scorers like De La Hoya.

  4. TIME CAPSULES AT THE WARHOL MUSEUM

    (www.warhol.org) Basically, the crap from Warhol's desk: fan letters, collectible spoons, stencils for the soup cans, porn, magazines that were probably props in Taylor Mead's Ass (1965), odd missives from Factory workers Brigid Polk and Billy Name, not very charming directives from Gerard Malanga, unopened junk mail to Warhol's mom from the Catholic Archdiocese, etc., etc. On my recent visit I found the time capsules could be alternately illuminating, overwhelming, or just dreadfully boring. But as the museum continues to catalogue the 600-odd capsules and advances toward archiving them in an online database, the monstrosity of Warhol's crap could become hypertext guru Ted Nelson's Xanadu dream, a machine that forgets by remembering everything.

  5. TIME REGAINED

    (dir. Raul Ruiz, 1999) We Proustaphiliacs crave all things Proustian, so another film version of yet another book of Remembrance is guaranteed to get uncritically slobbered over, relished, and added to our wretched pile of biographies and other Proustiana. But John Malkovich did have a certain deliciously oblivious Charlusian twinkle about him, and the stage devices (cumbersomely moving sets, protocinematic dissolves, rotating furniture) were odd and engrossing. Each new attempt to film Proust, though, reminds me that Visconti was to have made Sodom and Gomorrah in the early '70s with Helmut Berger and Brigitte Bardot. Marion Brando was to play Charlus. Oh, to have seen a cosmeticized Brando lumbering past the dressmaker's shop, half tanked, attempting to hum like a bumblebee!

  6. 3 WOMEN

    (dir. Robert Altman, 1977) I'm not much of an Altman fan; I do rent Popeye once a year just to see Shelley Duvall—winsome fists clinched to cartoon cheek, oversize heel lifted—singing “Heeee's Larrrrge.” But I'm sheepishly embarrassed to admit that, until this summer, I'd never seen 3 Women (on TV; it's still not available on video), which also features Duvall, as Millie. My next paintings are going to be for Millie's apartment: all banana, lemon, and French mustard—not English mustard—with white-enameled bamboo and wicker frames.

  7. IM REICH DER PHANTOME: FOTOGRAFIE DES UNSICHTBAREN

    (Cantz Verlag, 1997) (Okay, it's not new either, but I just came across it two months ago.) Though the text is in German and half the images are less interesting, occult-informed modern works, In the Realm of the Phantom is a great resource for investigating early photography's look into the spirit world. Beyond the staple Frances and Elsie Wright fairy photographs, it contains much cottony ectoplasm, table-turnings gone wrong, collaged negatives, goofy double-exposures, and, especially, numerous cardboard “apparitions” that seem to have appeared after being crumpled up and stashed behind the medium's ear.

  8. “THE PRINZHORN COLLECTION: TRACES UPON THE WUNDERBLOCK

    (Hammer Museum, UCLA [see review, p. 151]). Since God—or the superego, as the case may be—sees every sparrow that falls, he also sees every pencil stroke made. Consequently, for every quarter-inch dash made in these psychosis-informed drawings, the pencil has to return to the sharpener for another half hour of obsessive cranking. I sent my students to this show just to be able to discuss “investment in materials.”

  9. MARK ROEDER

    (www.otisphoto.net/jroeder) Photographs of Ray Conniff albums on blue plastic chairs, apartment furniture rearranged into photographabillty, Smithson's Enantiomorphosis underanalyzed. Somehow Dan Graham bending over to sniff a flower fits in, and his For Publication publication gets republished. Sometimes a sculpture is telling someone you fell down the stairs, Buster Keaton-like. Pretty conceptual, goofily beautiful.

  10. ANY PAINTING MADE WITHOUT USING MASKING TAPE

    If the masking-tape factory burned down, there'd be no
    painting in LA for at least a season.