Sunday, April 30, 2006

Extra Special Thanks


Ms. Ellen Maher
Ms. Anna Knighton
Mr. Nick Knighton
Ms. Gracie Maher

Friday, April 28, 2006

52 new photos for 2006

It's not set in stone, but it's at least a deck of cards of new photos...

collapsed building white2-1web copy

new tattoo jorge2web

doo rag

mcdonalds sign warped15-1web copy

gulfport woman's home spelling achievement award-1web copy

man nude reclining on bed

lights in Chinatown



Thanks to my Mom for this!

The I-95 show underpass is directly across from Target.

From Points South via I-95

I-95 N to the Columbus Blvd- Exit 20 towards Washington Ave (0.2 mile)
Take the ramp toward Snyder Ave / Oregon Ave (0.1 mile)
Turn slight right onto S. Columbus Blvd (0.2 mile)
Turn right onto Tasker St (0.1 mile)
Turn left onto S. Front St (0.2 mile)
End at S. Front & Mifflin

From Points North via I-95

I-95 N to the Columbus Blvd- Exit 20 (on the left) towards Washington Ave (0.2 mile)
Turn right onto S. Columbus Blvd (0.7 mile)
Turn right onto Tasker St (0.1 mile)
Turn left onto S. Front St (0.2 mile)
End at S. Front & Mifflin

From New Jersey Turnpike and Points East:

Jersey Turnpike to Exit 4.
Follow Route 73 to Route 38 West.
Follow Route 38 West to US 30 West over the Ben Franklin Bridge.
When you exit the bridge, immediately merge right onto I-95 S toward Chester / Philadelphia International Airport.
I-95 N to the Columbus Blvd- Exit 20 (on the left) towards Washington Ave (0.2 mile)
Turn right onto S. Columbus Blvd (0.7 mile)
Turn right onto Tasker St (0.1 mile)
Turn left onto S. Front St (0.2 mile)
End at S. Front & Mifflin

From PA Turnpike and Points West:

Take I-76 E toward Philadelphia
Merge onto Vine Street Expressway / I-676 E / US 30 E via Exit 344 on the left toward Chester /
Philadelphia / International Airport
Take the Columbus Blvd- Exit 20 (on the left) towards Washington Ave (0.2 mile)
Turn right onto S. Columbus Blvd (0.7 mile)
Turn right onto Tasker St (0.1 mile)
Turn left onto S. Front St (0.2 mile)
End at S. Front & Mifflin

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Epic proportions

I will have the order of 95 done tomorrow and will be dropping off the copies to be laminated on Thursday or Friday. I am one full month behind due to the Whitney and ICA but I will be ready. Bank on that, baby.

I regard this installation as epic in scale, literally and figuratively. Epic describes the acknowledged scale as well as asserting a narrative not bound by time or geography.
I'm working on putting forth the particular to describe the universal.

As always, it's a surprise when the ordering is done. Many photos that I love don't make it and other photos that aren't as dynamic make it because they fit formally or are appropriate for inclusion in more than one theme and help to make the installation more fluid.

And all the photos must work next to each other, across from each other and within their row all the way across, particularly the North/South row but also the East/West row. Plus, they have to make sense within the context of the whole installation.

Gaslight Square made it again this year, and it's a pain in the ass to order it. It should be in row three and if it faces west, directly across from a row 2 image, it probably won't face an image with text or a gender ambiguous portrait, which are heavy in row 2. If Gaslight Square faces East, it will face an image that deals with the schizophrenia of working out American identity, e.g. Limerick Houses.

As it is with the placement of all the photos, there are many factors that determine the placement of Gaslight Square; to make sure it's not heavy handed, that it balances formally taking into account geometry and color, that text isn't read as a literal commentary on the photos on either side of it or across from it.

There will not be as many Mississippi photos as I thought, there will be between 10 and 20. My guess is that many will find their way in next year as I continue to reorder.


One thing that's been a problem for me has been I have not had a respite from thinking about my work for at least a few months and that's super hard for me. I like to think and all, but within the framework, structure, and parameters I created for the 95 project, the production of the photos along with the ordering needs to be organic and unconscious. Certainly I work endlessly on checking out the formal structure within each photo and ordering them using a sense of continuum from one to the next, but I need to be a little outside myself to really nail it.

Also, at this point I am waking up in the middle of the night with concepts of reworking the order or including a new image. It's like Lord of the Rings at this point, "I see it with my waking eyes!" Christ, I am one step away from Byberry!

(An important aside- The biggest problem in my marriage is my lady's hatred of science fiction and fantasy. I'm trying to tell her my deepest emotions and she can't even hear the Lord of the Rings analogy I've cooked up to describe the intensity of my feelings. She can't even hear the word "Frodo." Don't even get me started on when I tried to use Dune.)

In addition when I'm in the home stretch of ordering and going over my work, I become hyperemotional. I am exhausted and in a state of constant heightened emotions.

Such a big part of my work is the letting go of the precious qualities involved in photography, like the obsessive need for spotless prints. My biggest issue, the slightest difference in color and saturation is something I have to let go of and it can make me fucking nuts. I generally like the photos to be color correct on the warm side, but sometimes they need to be a little cooler but whatever with that. If I start with working on the photos past glaring color errors and differences, I'd never get anything done.

Look, I love beautiful prints as much as the next lady, but that's not what I'm about. I make myself crazy with this, but I've got to let it go and have the images go through the color copier at Staples and still hold up.


An extended narrative poem in elevated or dignified language, celebrating the feats of a legendary or traditional hero.
A literary or dramatic composition that resembles an extended narrative poem celebrating heroic feats.
A series of events considered appropriate to an epic: the epic of the Old West.

Of, constituting, having to do with, or suggestive of a literary epic: an epic poem.
Surpassing the usual or ordinary, particularly in scope or size: A vast musical panorama... it requires an epic musical understanding to do it justice Tim Page).
Heroic and impressive in quality: Here in the courtroom... there was more of that epic atmosphere, the extra amperage of a special moment (Scott Turow).

[From Latin epicus, from Greek epikos, from epos, word, song. See wekw- in Indo-European Roots.]


adj 1: very imposing or impressive; surpassing the ordinary (especially in size or scale); "an epic voyage"; "of heroic proportions"; "heroic sculpture" [syn: heroic, larger-than-life] 2: constituting or having to do with or suggestive of a literary epic; "epic tradition" [syn: epical] n epochlong narrative poem telling of a hero's deeds [syn: epic poem, heroic poem, epos]

But what makes the ordinary, extraordinary?

My most influential movie ever.

An original model or type after which other similar things are patterned; a prototype: Frankenstein, Dracula and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde are the archetypes that have influenced all subsequent horror stories (New York Times).
An ideal example of a type; quintessence: an archetype of the successful entrepreneur.
In Jungian psychology, an inherited pattern of thought or symbolic imagery derived from the past collective experience and present in the individual unconscious.

Everything is everything.


Everything is everything.

Everything is everything.

Everything is everything.

Everything is everything.

Zoe Strauss Photo of the Week Club

Remember friends just send me an email and I will put you on my photo of the week email list.


Hell's Angels, Pagans and the Omish, baseball players, truck drivers, mothers and pilots; you folks have any suggestions for me other than speed? I know some of you have secret pick me ups. I'm a little tapped out.

First, let me tell you that

Crystal Meth

are all out

And as you all know...
"Caffeine is also effective at reversing some of the effects
of fatigue. It compares favorably to amphetamine in
improving cognitive performance but is less effective in
maintaining alertness."

Jesus, how much coffee can one lady drink? And I need mental clarity, which the coffee doesn't really help with.

Obviously I'm dating myself with this, but no black beauties. I will eagerly accept any energy drink suggestions. Let me know.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

9 web

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

ICA Update Part VI

So the show is ALMOST done with the exception of a little tiny bit of detail work tomorrow.

This is the big image and that's what the whole project is about.
ica inside view 11am

ica night view straight ahead
I knew that I wanted to put this image up from the moment I began thinking about the ramp. I was certain I wanted to use the windows as an integral part of the project.

I wanted an image that is looked through figuratively and I wanted to put up an image that could be looked at as well as through and, in addition, change visibility throughout the day, both inside and outside.

And I wanted that moment filled with intensity, desperation and desire. I most certainly wanted folks to see our strong drive to forget and feel good and put some thought into what can bring us to that moment in the photo. And I wanted this image to be a direct, unsentimental and unwavering portrait of a person who is so often unseen, but who is living a life that's not uncommon here in Philadelphia.

This posed a number of problems. I went back and forth about the ethics involved in putting a up a giant photo of a woman smoking crack. After I found her and make sure it was copacetic with her I was able to focus on the other shit.

And then there was the choice of material that the image was printed onto. It was a difficult decision because a number of the options had strong features but lacked inside visibility, lacked the transparency needed or was a zillion dollars over budget.

The transparency issue meant that the low east facing wall couldn't have anything on it.

Over all, I'm very happy with how it's turned out.

There needed to be a slide projection at the turn as well as photos along the 2nd floor to landing wall with images. Those photos are laminated and mounted on pine boards and will be replaced with other images when I take the ones right off the walls at the ICA and nail them into telephone poles in South Philly. I'll keep the configuration but put up new images during the course of the show.

I will go into more detail about this later, but I was working and working on ordering the photos and having an unbelievably hard time. I finally figured out that all of the portraits, excepting striding figures, had to be a direct gaze, looking right at the viewer through the large image.

This actually directly relates to photographs in the 1994 Andres Serrano Philadelphia ICA show. More later.

ica wall

I am sound asleep as I'm writing this, as usual.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

ICA Update Part V

Here's the image that is on the ICA windows now. I cropped it to formally fit the space.
88 crack camden  copy.jpg

ica night view straight ahead
View from outside looking in at night.

ica inside view 11am
View from inside looking out at 11 AM

ica inside view 11am with subway surface steps

In chosing the photo for the front window, I tried to take into account the outside details as well as the inside. For example, the subway surface steps outside the ICA and to the south of the ramp seemed to be an extension of the slope.

Friday, April 14, 2006

ICA Update Part IV

The first part of the ramp project is mostly done. This is the day view of the image. More later.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006


i'm going nuckin futsweb

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Richard Dorment UK Telegraph Review of the Whitney Biennial

Here's a good review...Telegraph. He seems to think that all of the photos were in the South following Katrina but feels the slideshow. The label for the slideshow is a little misleading, so I can fully understand that and I'm really happy that the work feels that cohesive.

Roosevelt Mall


Thursday, April 06, 2006

Big TV Breakthrough!

just when you thought, "Jesus Christ! Enough with your media onslaught!" here's a piece featuring none other than me that aired last week on Channel 13, the NY PBS channel.

Check it out!

NY Voices

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

ICA Update Part III

I am working nonstop right now on the ICA and will be going into all day everyday with 95. This is resulting in a low level of posting. Sorry to disappoint with the lack of pithy writings, but believe me, the ICA will not disappoint and that takes precedence.

Please do not miss the ICA opening.
Friday, April 21

Join the ICA as they celebrate spring with a new season of four exhibitions.

"Make Your Own Life: Artists In & Out of Cologne"
"Candida Hofer: Architecture of Absence"
"Project Space: Soft Sites"
"Ramp Project: Zoe Strauss"

Exhibition Walkthroughs (ICA Members Only, Join On-Site), 5pm

Opening Reception, 6-8pm
FREE and open to the public

72 giant mouth pleasures21.jpg

Monday, April 03, 2006

Whitney Talk part II

Thanks to all who came out for the birthday talk at the Whitney. I was thrilled to see a hardcore Philadelphia contingent.

Check out the great Libby Rosof's opinion about it... artblog

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Talk at the Whitney

I have much more to say later, but right now just check out this commentary on the panels...

the Unreliable Tour Guide was on the first panel and has written a brilliant assessment of the evening.

I unfortunately didn't stay for the entire 3rd panel, so I was unable to fully experience the distinct differences between my panel and the following.

Here's what Momus has to say, "The difference in tone between the second and third panels last night was so gob-smacking that I couldn't help wondering if some new kind of left-right split hadn't inscribed itself into the leftish consensus, in the manner of Freud's "narcissism of minor differences". Tone and texture, mannerism and body type, gesture, outlook and focus were all fascinatingly different (see Figure 1)."

Figure 1

Holy shit, except for the "social worker" part I am every one of those things. My God, I'm an open book! However, I had to write to Momus and tell him that I was claiming Duchamp, fiction and intelligent in my column as well. And I would like to add these to his Outreachers/ In-Groupers list...

conspicuous vs. cloistered
earnest vs. knowing
True Absence of Fashion vs. Didactic and Ironic Absence of Fashion

From the little I saw of the 3rd panel, I'm certain of those distinct differences.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Randall Sellers's Most Brilliant Idea

Why not move the Barnes to the Gallery?

PEI trip to the Whitney

I was very, very pleased to see these folks at the Whitney yesterday...

The ever fabulous and brilliant Paula Marincola
Ellen Maher
Tiffany Tavarez
Alex Baker
Bill Adair
Kate Ware
Elyse Gonzales
Eileen Neff

The above list is just a list of great people.

It was a strong Philadelphia contingent. I was very proud for myself and the state of Philadelphia arts.