Art In Conversation
Lawrence Weschler and Baldwin scholar, Rich Blint, recently visited the Rail headquarters, where they spent an evening discussing Baldwin, his enduring legacy, and relevance for our time.
The Rail has something to contribute to creating the conditions for coherent thinking about whats happening to us. FIELD NOTES intends to gather information about life in our age of austerity, and to think about it as clearly as possible.
In his typically charming and laissez-faire manner, the artist Ron Gorchov, when asked to conduct a public presentation of his watercolor work within the container of his concurrent show at Lesley Heller Workspace, instead invited his friend Nathlie Provosty to spare him the preparation and engage in a conversation.
Dance In Conversation
Since they began collaborating in 2003, Brennan Gerard and Ryan Kelly have produced interdisciplinary work using dance, writing, and visual art to reframe perceptions of queer consciousness, complicate relationships between performer and viewer, and explore our collective memory.
Works of art made under the auspices of grave illness or impending demise require a delicate approach from the critic: both an observational clarity and a genuine empathy. Derek Jarmans final feature-length film Blue (1993) is a freestanding aesthetic construct, but it is nonetheless determined by its existence as a final, courageous act.
For artists, the supposed dreamland art world of the 60s in Lower Manhattan is almost painful to hear about. The idea of working part-time as a security guard at MoMA alongside future bigwigs like Robert Ryman and Dan Flavin and earning enough to pay $20 a month for a live-in loft/studio on the Bowery, while curating exhibitions of your friends work at soon-to-be-legendary galleries and developing cutting-edge artwork in a reality where cubes were conceptually exciting, leaves a lot to be desired from todays New York.
Books In Conversation
Dan Levine and I didnt just go to college together: we roomed together, took many of the same classes, acted in some of the same theater productions and chased some of the same girls, hefted weights at the gym, spent hours refining our impressions of certain tweedy professors and loudmouth students, slammed Jello shots and shotgunned beers and took in deep skunky lungfuls of whatever herb we could score, trekked our way to a skeezy tattoo parlor to get inked, ate countless cafeteria servings of chicken parm in each others company, dressed up as the Karate Kid skeletons for Halloween, high-fived Method Man at a Wu-Tang Clan concert.
Fine arts and literature each have a well-established academic and commercial establishment that definesthrough teaching, curating, buying and selling, and criticismwhat it means to be working inside them. Outsider Art for them could be something as innocuous and tautological as a painting or a book that was created beyond the limits of what the establishment has set as normative.
From the Publisher & Artistic Director
As the winter has lasted longer than expected, we were soberly reminded that the fight against censorship is an ongoing struggle that requires our collective effort and strong commitment to articulate the nature of art and how artistsindividuals whose lives are devoted to the vocations of the arts and humanitiesare examples par excellence of those attempting to become free.
Editor's Messsage Guest Critic
If the notion of diversity suggests the fostering of a variety of expressions on an equal footing, then in the visual arts our scrutiny would have to be directed toward the situation of craft.