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jenlindblad

writer // curator /// stockholm // new york
hej [at] jenniferlindblad [dot] com

"There were some books that reached through the noise of life to grab you by the collar and speak only the truest things."
Jeffrey Eugenides, The Marriage Plot
— 1 year ago with 5 notes
#books  #novel  #literature  #jeffrey eugenides  #reading 
Super Swedish finds today at Strand #septembersmarts (Taken with Instagram at Strand Book Store)
48 cents for the Strindberg!

Super Swedish finds today at Strand #septembersmarts (Taken with Instagram at Strand Book Store)

48 cents for the Strindberg!

— 2 years ago with 6 notes
#books  #literature  #poetry  #Strindberg  #Transtromer  #Swedish  #authors  #scandinavia  #Strand 

on my virtual bookshelf

(Source: flytande)

— 2 years ago with 8 notes
#books  #sweden  #scandinavia 
"I can never read all the books I want; I can never be all the people I want and live all the lives I want. I can never train myself in all the skills I want. And why do I want? I want to live and feel all the shades, tones and variations of mental and physical experience possible in life. And I am horribly limited."

Sylvia Plath (via emotional-algebra)

get out of my head

(via artcomingoutofmyfists)

This quote gave me a flashback to my college admissions essay, which I found while doing some spring cleaning. The writing is so very embarrassing. Instead of telling about a personal hardship I chose to portray myself as a the ultimate nerd I am, basically wailing on for a full page about wanting to have ALL THE SKILLS AND KNOWLEDGE. It worked, though— the admissions people were like OMG LET’S GIVE THIS GIRL A PLACE TO LEARN BEFORE SHE EXPLODES.

Smith College ended up being that place for me, which makes this quote all the more fitting as Sylvia Plath went to the very same school. Alma mater love!

(via artcomingoutofmyfists)

— 2 years ago with 410 notes
#sylvia plath  #Smith College  #books  #desire  #personal 
"As we turn physical media—photographs, music records, books—into digital artefacts, we don’t merely translate from one medium to another, we render them readable by computers, by algorithms. The question arises: who are we doing this for? Bernhard Rieder calls these artifacts “data objects,” things which can be acted upon computationally, in turn producing what he calls “computational value”. We need to think carefully and clearly as to who or what this value accretes."
James Bridle, on digitization

(Source: observersroom.designobserver.com)

— 2 years ago with 4 notes
#James Bridle  #books  #robots  #digital age  #digitizing 
New books on my shelf. My thesis was sounding too rah-rah digital, so now I’m trying to understand the psychology of technophobia. Why don’t people like the internet, y’all?

New books on my shelf. My thesis was sounding too rah-rah digital, so now I’m trying to understand the psychology of technophobia. Why don’t people like the internet, y’all?

— 2 years ago with 8 notes
#thesis  #technology  #technophobia  #grad school  #books 
Some late night bleary thesis lit creeping on Amazon two days ago made this land at my doorstep this morning for $10. Not bad.

Some late night bleary thesis lit creeping on Amazon two days ago made this land at my doorstep this morning for $10. Not bad.

(Source: linedandunlinedlibrary)

— 2 years ago with 15 notes
#Umberto Eco  #grad school  #philosophy  #thesis  #books  #travels in hyperreality 
Just finished reading: The Last Gentleman, by Walker Percy.
This book was nuts! Picked it up on recommendation from a friend, and really enjoyed the beginning. After the first 30 pages it lost its charm for me and the protagonist’s anxiety and confusion became my own. I read to the end because I needed to know what happened, and was glad I did so, but it’s very rare that I lose interest in a novel this way (the only other writer I can think of who drags me into this kind of malaise is Murakami). One gem, though, among a dozen was this - 
"Then why not pick up the telephone and call her up and say, what about seeing you? Well, he could not exactly say why except that he could not. The worst way to go see a girl is to go see her. The best way is not to go see her but to come upon her. Having a proper date with a girl delivers the two of you into a public zone of streets and buildings where every brick is turned against you.”
Further reading: “The Art of Fiction” a SUPERLONG interview with Walker Percy in the Paris Review.

Just finished reading: The Last Gentleman, by Walker Percy.

This book was nuts! Picked it up on recommendation from a friend, and really enjoyed the beginning. After the first 30 pages it lost its charm for me and the protagonist’s anxiety and confusion became my own. I read to the end because I needed to know what happened, and was glad I did so, but it’s very rare that I lose interest in a novel this way (the only other writer I can think of who drags me into this kind of malaise is Murakami). One gem, though, among a dozen was this - 

"Then why not pick up the telephone and call her up and say, what about seeing you? Well, he could not exactly say why except that he could not. The worst way to go see a girl is to go see her. The best way is not to go see her but to come upon her. Having a proper date with a girl delivers the two of you into a public zone of streets and buildings where every brick is turned against you.

Further reading: “The Art of Fiction” a SUPERLONG interview with Walker Percy in the Paris Review.

— 2 years ago with 6 notes
#books  #literature  #novels  #walker percy  #the last gentleman 

Currently reading Walker Percy’s The Last Gentleman and came across a beautiful passage about an afternoon spent at the Met:

One day next week, a rainy Thursday afternoon, he stood in a large room in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Somewhere in the heights a workman was rattling the chain of a skylight. Happy people were worse off in their happiness in museums than anywhere else, he had noticed some time ago. In here the air was thick as mustard gas with ravenous particles which were stealing the substance from painting and viewer alike. Though the light was technically good, illuminating the paintings in an unexceptionable manner, it nevertheless gave the effect of descending in a dismal twilight from a vast upper region which roared like a conch shell. Here in the roaring twilight the engineer stationed himself and watched people watch the paintings. Sometime ago he had discovered that it is impossible to look at a painting simply so: man-looking-at-a-painting, voila! —no, it is necessary to play a trick such as watching a man who is watching, standing on his shoulders, so to speak. There are several ways of getting around the ravenous particles.

 

Today the paintings were there, yes, in the usual way of being there but worse off than ever. It was all but impossible to see them, even when one used all the tricks. The particles were turning the air blue with their singing and ravening. Let everything be done properly: let one stand at the correct distance from a Velazquez, let the Velazquez be correctly lighted, set the painting and viewer down in a warm dry museum. Now here comes a citizen who has the good fortune to be able to enjoy a cultural facility. There is the painting which has been bought at great expense and exhibited in the museum so that millions can see it. What is wrong with that? Something, said the engineer, shivering and sweating behind a pillar. For the paintings were encrusted with a public secretion. The harder one looked, the more invisible the paintings became. Once again the force of gravity increased so that it was all he could do to keep from sinking to all fours.

 

Yet the young man, who was scientifically minded, held himself sufficiently detached to observe the behavior of other visitors. From his vantage point behind the pillar he noticed that the people who came in were both happy and afflicted. They were afflicted in their happiness. They were serene, but their serenity was a perilous thing to see. In they came, smiling, and out they went, their eyes glazed over. They paintings smoked and shriveled in their frames.

— 2 years ago with 8 notes
#walker percy  #the last gentleman  #books  #novel  #the metropolitan museum of art  #painting  #happiness 
"Unlike most Americans, who speak as if they were sipping gruel, he chose his words like bonbons, so that his patients, whose lives were a poor meager business, received the pleasantest sense of the richness and delectability of such every-day things as words. Unlike some analysts, he did not use big words or technical words; but the small ordinary words he did use were invested with a peculiar luster. ‘I think you are pretty unhappy after all,’ he might say, pronouncing pretty as it is spelled. His patient would nod gratefully. Even unhappiness is not so bad when it can be uttered so well."
Walker Percy, The Last Gentleman
— 2 years ago with 5 notes
#walker percy  #the last gentleman  #books  #novel  #language 
On my imaginary shelf.
Edited by critic Jerry Saltz, published by Frieze in 1998. The world’s foremost artists, writers and critics name the books they’ve found most relevant to contemporary art.

On my imaginary shelf.

Edited by critic Jerry Saltz, published by Frieze in 1998. The world’s foremost artists, writers and critics name the books they’ve found most relevant to contemporary art.

— 2 years ago with 4 notes
#books  #jerry saltz  #art criticism  #want 
Just finished reading: Where Art Belongs by Chris Kraus, 2011.
 For once, I found myself comforted by the words of a fellow art writer. Instead of coming off as pretentious or intimidating, Kraus’s writing is real—accessible, conversational. It’s poetic and simple, lacking all the convoluted language of art historians and critics. Although she mentions the greats—Debord, Benjamin, Baudrillard, Deleuze and Guattari—she doesn’t namedrop them; she makes them exoteric, exciting again.
In one chapter, she voices a subtle lament against the current situation of art writers. The setting is September 2009 at Greene Naftali gallery in Chelsea. An artist collective, Bernadette Corporation, has produced an exhibition entitled The Complete Poem. It includes a series of black and white fashion photographs advertising an unidentified project and a 130-plus page epic poem entitled A Billion and Change that caused a bit of a stir in the poet community.
 “Displayed in a series of 13 custom-built vitrines, Bernadette Corporation’s epic poem filled the gallery. […] But as it turned out, the insertion of poetry, displayed like a work of visual art in a gallery space, was deeply disturbing to most. For years writers have played a circumscribed role in the visual art world. Our job is to write about art; to give it a language that translates into value. Perhaps the only paid, nonteaching job now for poets and nonmainstream American writers is churning out art reviews and catalogue essays for high-profile museum and gallery shows. In the 21st century, art writing plays the same role as magazine fiction did for mid-20th century writers like Philip K. Dick and Chester Himes. It offers a badly paid livelihood. As [poet] Eileen Myles said, ‘The old exchange has always been poets writing about artists. And that was always contingent on the poet being interested in the artist’s production, and the marketplace bringing them together.’ 
 "Audaciously, Bernadette Corporation insisted on treating the 130-plus pages of A Billion and Change as an original artwork. No press copies, no posting online, no Xeroxed handouts. As [one of the members of the collective] John Kesley recalls, ‘Some of our most politically correct friends were outraged that we weren’t passing the poem out for free or putting it online. And artist friends basically say, ‘art should be for sale, writing should be for free.’ It’s crazy how this conventional distribution of labor and value persists, even among smart people. As a sometime art writer who gets paid shit for labor, this may be a sore point for me, that text backs up and explains the art, but should not share the value of art. Not that the poem was all about this… but it was a real point of contention that arose during our show… poetry should be free.’ [pp53-55] 
In another chapter, Indelible Video, Kraus discusses the effects of the prevalence of video art:
“The complete ubiquity of video and other digital forms within contemporary art has rendered discussion about it, as a medium, obsolete. There is no longer anything singular about video. Images are everywhere. To attempt any one definition of video would be as meaningless as asking ‘what is contemporary art?’ All art now is conceptual, defined by its stance in relation to other art and its place in the market. It would be more fruitful and interesting at this point to ask how an image transcends other images, or even more to the point: How can the market be used to do what art used to do? Baudrillard describes the incursion of images into every sector of life. Striving for emptiness when it is already empty, visual art has become transaesthetic. Like pornography, art no longer exists because it is virtually everywhere. Naïve to complain that the market has vanquished contemporary art, rather, it’s the ‘DEGREE XEROX OF CULTURE,’ the transcription of everything into visual signs, that has voided art practice. The only aim of the image is the image, Baudrillard writes. Endlessly solipsistic, an image can no longer imagine the real because it is the real.” [pp119-120]
In the last little nugget I’ll leave you with, she discusses the general condition of boredom in art: 
“It is possible for for someone to be highly intelligent, and yet have no information. This condition—usually associated with youth or prolonged adolescence—results often in boredom, the existential progenitor of nearly every significant art and cultural movement. […] Boredom, a brililiant and brazen stupidity, is dazzlingly preemptive. When the bored youth is no longer young, he/she generally enacts his/her own early demise, or devotes him/her-self to acquiring information. Specificity preempts boredom. Like the incandescence of pop, boredom cannot be sustained indefinitely. The seduction of pop is to render everything nascent, just on the verge of becoming. […] Boredom is pop’s weighted corollary, but it can’t be sustained once someone acquires an interest in details. […] Taglines of critical thought float in the vacuous space of the gallery, a passive-aggressive performance whose viewers define themselves through their responses.” [pp155-156]
I received Kraus’s book as a gift, and I doubt the giver knew what the text entailed. Its plain orange cover and bold assertion of a title made it seem like a manifesto, and perhaps it is… But unlike a manifesto, Kraus’s book does not give the answer its title alludes to, it simply relates a handful of anecdotes about the specific artistic atmosphere the writer found herself in during the late 2000s: Los Angeles artist collectives, musician/artists, poet/artists, and galleries in flux. One has to wonder, then, about the title. Where does art belong?
A meditative volume like this seems to suggest that although a particular work or show has come and gone from the gallery, it can live on in anecdotes, in the consciousness of those who bore witness to it. It can, and should. Perhaps we should stop “reviewing” art in the traditional sense, to cease assessing its value in relation to other art. I’ve always thought this to be a counterproductive task. Maybe it’s the art historian in me, but I feel sometimes that current art writing lacks perspective: it is caught up in the details, too unremoved from the conditions of the present to be able to make meaningful reflections. In my professional art writing I avoid injecting too much opinion into a review. The thought behind that is not so much to allow the art to speak for itself—in this case, writing at all would be redundant—but rather to observe and report, to allow readers who did not attend the exhibition in person to see the works and form their own opinion. But in my personal art writing, I find myself much more inquisitive, open-ended, anecdotal, atmospheric. How to inject this into my professional writing… I found Kraus’s descriptive, considered approach to be a fine model, and hope to read more of it.

Just finished reading: Where Art Belongs by Chris Kraus, 2011.

For once, I found myself comforted by the words of a fellow art writer. Instead of coming off as pretentious or intimidating, Kraus’s writing is realaccessible, conversational. It’s poetic and simple, lacking all the convoluted language of art historians and critics. Although she mentions the greatsDebord, Benjamin, Baudrillard, Deleuze and Guattarishe doesn’t namedrop them; she makes them exoteric, exciting again.

In one chapter, she voices a subtle lament against the current situation of art writers. The setting is September 2009 at Greene Naftali gallery in Chelsea. An artist collective, Bernadette Corporation, has produced an exhibition entitled The Complete Poem. It includes a series of black and white fashion photographs advertising an unidentified project and a 130-plus page epic poem entitled A Billion and Change that caused a bit of a stir in the poet community.

“Displayed in a series of 13 custom-built vitrines, Bernadette Corporation’s epic poem filled the gallery. […] But as it turned out, the insertion of poetry, displayed like a work of visual art in a gallery space, was deeply disturbing to most. For years writers have played a circumscribed role in the visual art world. Our job is to write about art; to give it a language that translates into value. Perhaps the only paid, nonteaching job now for poets and nonmainstream American writers is churning out art reviews and catalogue essays for high-profile museum and gallery shows. In the 21st century, art writing plays the same role as magazine fiction did for mid-20th century writers like Philip K. Dick and Chester Himes. It offers a badly paid livelihood. As [poet] Eileen Myles said, ‘The old exchange has always been poets writing about artists. And that was always contingent on the poet being interested in the artist’s production, and the marketplace bringing them together.’ 

"Audaciously, Bernadette Corporation insisted on treating the 130-plus pages of A Billion and Change as an original artwork. No press copies, no posting online, no Xeroxed handouts. As [one of the members of the collective] John Kesley recalls, ‘Some of our most politically correct friends were outraged that we weren’t passing the poem out for free or putting it online. And artist friends basically say, ‘art should be for sale, writing should be for free.’ It’s crazy how this conventional distribution of labor and value persists, even among smart people. As a sometime art writer who gets paid shit for labor, this may be a sore point for me, that text backs up and explains the art, but should not share the value of art. Not that the poem was all about this… but it was a real point of contention that arose during our show… poetry should be free.’ [pp53-55] 

In another chapter, Indelible Video, Kraus discusses the effects of the prevalence of video art:

The complete ubiquity of video and other digital forms within contemporary art has rendered discussion about it, as a medium, obsolete. There is no longer anything singular about video. Images are everywhere. To attempt any one definition of video would be as meaningless as asking ‘what is contemporary art?’ All art now is conceptual, defined by its stance in relation to other art and its place in the market. It would be more fruitful and interesting at this point to ask how an image transcends other images, or even more to the point: How can the market be used to do what art used to do? Baudrillard describes the incursion of images into every sector of life. Striving for emptiness when it is already empty, visual art has become transaesthetic. Like pornography, art no longer exists because it is virtually everywhere. Naïve to complain that the market has vanquished contemporary art, rather, it’s the ‘DEGREE XEROX OF CULTURE,’ the transcription of everything into visual signs, that has voided art practice. The only aim of the image is the image, Baudrillard writes. Endlessly solipsistic, an image can no longer imagine the real because it is the real.” [pp119-120]

In the last little nugget I’ll leave you with, she discusses the general condition of boredom in art: 

It is possible for for someone to be highly intelligent, and yet have no information. This conditionusually associated with youth or prolonged adolescenceresults often in boredom, the existential progenitor of nearly every significant art and cultural movement. […] Boredom, a brililiant and brazen stupidity, is dazzlingly preemptive. When the bored youth is no longer young, he/she generally enacts his/her own early demise, or devotes him/her-self to acquiring information. Specificity preempts boredom. Like the incandescence of pop, boredom cannot be sustained indefinitely. The seduction of pop is to render everything nascent, just on the verge of becoming. […] Boredom is pop’s weighted corollary, but it can’t be sustained once someone acquires an interest in details. […] Taglines of critical thought float in the vacuous space of the gallery, a passive-aggressive performance whose viewers define themselves through their responses.” [pp155-156]

I received Kraus’s book as a gift, and I doubt the giver knew what the text entailed. Its plain orange cover and bold assertion of a title made it seem like a manifesto, and perhaps it is… But unlike a manifesto, Kraus’s book does not give the answer its title alludes to, it simply relates a handful of anecdotes about the specific artistic atmosphere the writer found herself in during the late 2000s: Los Angeles artist collectives, musician/artists, poet/artists, and galleries in flux. One has to wonder, then, about the title. Where does art belong?

A meditative volume like this seems to suggest that although a particular work or show has come and gone from the gallery, it can live on in anecdotes, in the consciousness of those who bore witness to it. It can, and should. Perhaps we should stop “reviewing” art in the traditional sense, to cease assessing its value in relation to other art. I’ve always thought this to be a counterproductive task. Maybe it’s the art historian in me, but I feel sometimes that current art writing lacks perspective: it is caught up in the details, too unremoved from the conditions of the present to be able to make meaningful reflections. In my professional art writing I avoid injecting too much opinion into a review. The thought behind that is not so much to allow the art to speak for itselfin this case, writing at all would be redundantbut rather to observe and report, to allow readers who did not attend the exhibition in person to see the works and form their own opinion. But in my personal art writing, I find myself much more inquisitive, open-ended, anecdotal, atmospheric. How to inject this into my professional writing… I found Kraus’s descriptive, considered approach to be a fine model, and hope to read more of it.

— 2 years ago with 10 notes
#books  #art criticism  #writing about art  #where art belongs  #chris kraus