The Musings of a Boho Girl

bōˈhēmēən (noun) 1. a free spirit ; 2. a writer; 3. an explorer of the Avant-Garde.

Tag: 1990s

Discovering Felix Gonzalez-Torres

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It was in the late 1990s when I discovered the work of Felix Gonzalez-Torres. The retrospective had ended three years earlier and I realised seeing his work would be a challenge. So I began with The Rosen Gallery, which has represented the artist since 1990. I went to the first exhibition after Gonzalez-Torres’s death in 1996. The Rosen Gallery was my first experience at NYC art gallery and it was memorable. Last month I came across an old catalogue and couldn’t help but think of the knowledgable staff who gave a teenage girl an informal tour, maybe that’s why my interest in Felix Gonzalez-Torres endures.

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Looking Forward and Backward: War of the Encyclopaedists, The Hay Festival, Five Dials, and Jonathan Larson

“There is no present or future-only the past, happening over and over again-now.”

—Eugene O’Neill, A Moon for the Misbegotten

It’s really too soon to write about this book, but I can’t contain my excitement. Christopher Robinson and Gavin Kovite’s War of the Encyclopaedists will be released on the 28th of May 2015 and this intriguing debut novel sounds brilliant, just read the synopsis.

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Why I’m Looking Forward to Sontag on Film

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“Today everything exists to end in a photograph.” – Susan Sontag

A few days ago I came across my old copy of On Photography, it’s slightly worn: the cover has faded and the spine is cracked; but this book changed how I saw the world. Weren’t photographs proof of genocides? After the Holocaust people looked at images of bodies piled upon each other; they promised it would never happen again. Sontag writes “photographs furnish evidence. Something we hear about, but doubt, seems proven when we’re shown a photograph of it.” Perhaps those words and the Life magazine photo of David Kirby changed my perception of illness, it was 1990 and I was still too young to contextualize AIDS. I barely glimpsed the image of Kirby before the school librarian took the magazine away, she said it was for older students. His eyes haunted me, I wanted to know why he was sick. So I used my allowance to buy Life magazine from a drugstore. I couldn’t stop staring at his emaciated body, none of it made sense. He had AIDS, but I didn’t know what that was. It was a disease that hadn’t reached the suburbs. No one could explain it so I stored the magazine and didn’t look at those pictures again until I read Sontag’s On Photography. Two years later the story Kirby’s pictures told made sense. Read the rest of this entry »

Re-reading David Foster Wallace

I like it when somebody gets excited about something. – Holden, The Catcher in the Rye

When I was fifteen I borrowed Infinite Jest from my local library. I was attracted to mammoth sized books. The librarian suggested I borrow a Sweet Valley High book, it was the worst thing she could have said to a teenager. She questioned my maturity. Now I insisted on the David Foster Wallace book. The librarian held onto the book and my card; I could see her contemplating her next move. She studied my face; yes, I was the girl, who at eleven, insisted the head librarian order The Handmaid’s Tale. Although they forced my mother to check out the book for me, I won that battle. So she handed over Infinite Jest and I left the library.

For five months, there was nothing else. I read David Foster Wallace attentively even while exhausted. When it was over, I didn’t know what to feel, but I had acquired a deep appreciation for footnotes, without them it would have been impossible to understand the drugs described in his book. I knew what I read was special. Read the rest of this entry »