Monday, April 30, 2007

Going to the dentist today for cavity-filling and drill-induced pee spurts (oops!). Apparently, I have Meth-mouth and the post-mortem bicuspids of Martha Washington. Sigh. And I am now going to the Jack in the Box of dentistry, "Castle Dental," where every root canal comes with a listerine slushie and a toy. Said toys include: "Tootie the Rainbow Colored Tongue Scraper!" and "Hari, the mustachioed Gingivitis Terrorist."

Worst of all: they won't give me nitrous oxide. Why else would I go to the motherfucking dentist? Do I look like the type of gal who lies comatose without a gas mask? I love nitrous oxide.

Otherwise, nothing is happening except that my thesis is due. I am really scared that the "man" will find something wrong with the formatting (i.e. the left indention is one space too far towards the right which indicates allegiance with the Hezbollah, a traitorous writing spirit, and an unholy love for Eastern treats like Falafels and the like).

For lack of other interesting matter, here is my review of "Stalemate of the Boozefox," courtesy of ...might be good.

After penetrating the gigantic cardboard fa├žade of Stalemate of the Boozefox, I instantly began sorting through cinematic references like Dune, Mad Max and even that ole’ George Lucas behemoth, Star Wars. But a little less expectedly, I was reminded of a wondrous place called Busch Gardens and a beloved reality simulator (that I think has since been dismantled) called “Questor.” This, my most thrilling of childhood adventures, involved an inconspicuous machine that allowed me to burrow deep below the earth’s surface looking for gold with an amiable elfish co-captain by my side. But even in my single-digit years, I didn’t completely believe that the gyrations erupting throughout the vehicle were the result of seismic vibrations from the earth’s core. And yet, the illusion was so fantastic that I was forced to shove aside my precocious childhood cynicism and suspend my disbelief.

Stalemate operates in the same way, as both reality simulator and reality suspender. Drew Liverman, Scott Eastwood, Mike Phalan and Jules Buck Jones transform the nondescript Mass Gallery into a really fucking sweet space battle. It certainly doesn’t appear as a gallery any longer, and that alone is quite a feat. I don’t mean to imply that it appears as spaceship either. The wavy cardboard, cartoon-like rendering and homespun control panels don’t exactly purport to technological realism. But, in my opinion, that’s what makes this installation so compelling. Although the main “cabin” of the U.S.S. San Lucas is equipped with windows that look out at convincing stars, nebulae and constellations that give the impression of movement, we are not hurtling through space. Really, we are hurtling through someone else’s idea of space, one replete with crystalline structures and multi-eyed monsters.

This particular vehicle is locked in a never-ending battle with an oversized mechanical mutation known as the nefarious Boozefox. Between the two warring parties, there is a series of “Ka-pow” projections that imply absent exploits and foregone action. This intersection of moving image with stagnant figures results in a kind of temporal confusion that permeates the entire Stalemate installation. The artists apply a self-referential approach to the staging of their quirky space encounter, and a personal sense of anachronism becomes more important overall than sequential logic. Walking through the installation, I felt a heady excitement at the bad sci-fi rationale and my inability to decode it. For example, when I toggle this switch, it falls off. It doesn’t matter that the monster has a head. It doesn’t make sense and it doesn’t have to. Good (i.e. bad) sci-fi is full of unanswerable questions; I still don’t understand Tina Turner’s role in Mad Max. I don't have to, I just love it.

I can’t finish a review of Stalemate of the Boozefox without mentioning the idea of an eternal stalemate as it could be applied to our current cultural climate. While I know the artists involved did not specifically reference the war in Iraq, I found the idea of constant combat poignant at a time when war seems inevitable and also infinite. Stalemate masquerades as the faux document of a surreal battle, but its premise is not as absurd or as distant as it appears. Thankfully, this bleak idea is balanced by an installation that breathes with optimism, playfulness and the joy of making art collaboratively.

Ali Fitzgerald is an artist living in Austin, Texas.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Here are two amazing things:
"The Host"
"Stalemate of the Boozefox" at Mass Gallery (closing party tonight 4/21)
One is about a Korean sewer creature, the other about intergalactic pimp-travel. Both are worth your time. I promise.
Here is a picture of Arturo and Becca.


Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Here's what the acronym "jpeg" really stands for:
Jacking off

*For those of you non-anglo-philes, "eejit" is a common Scottish slang expression for "idiot."
*This translation was brought to you in part by the Fitzgerald Foundation for Panty-Sniffers, Incompetent Image File Uploaders and Other Cultural Deviants.
And the fine panty-sniffers at CBN.

I spent an hour of my "lounge" time uploading shark-cum-chum-people paintings and sexy sudio shots of yours truly, but my efforts were thwarted by the evil Mr. JPEG, who smothered me with bad pixelation, thereby silencing my cries for help, my cries for a ball-gag and my whiny requests for extra "lounge" time.

**Omniscient narrator: "Mr. JPEG" was a Nesquik-induced chocollucination brought on by Ms. Fitzgerald's penchant for liquids high in fructose and crack cocaine.

Ali: I have seriously become ADDICTED to Nesquik. I am not kidding, it is delicious.

Narrator: You've got to be kidding me. When one needs a creamy bit o' cocoa, one need only look to "Ovaltine" which is rich in minerals and nutrients.

Ali: They use ground children to make Ovaltine, it's proven. Say, are you British?

Narrator: Yes.

Ali: Why are you British?

Narrator: Because you think British people are inherently smarter, more together, and more physically dextrous (as proven by their ability to pass Grey Poupon through limo windows). Therefore this narration is more accurate and reliable if you throw in some U.K. type wisdom. Plus, you worshipped the Beatles as a child and now associate their Liverpool accents with your own polytheistic religion, which is called "Beatolick."

Ali: I have a religion? I believe in something? You are so smart. I just wish this wasn't so cliche. A British narrator? Next up will be an auditory tour of my life with a voice-over by Morgan Freeman. Sooo predictable.

***Later on it was discovered that the British narrator in question was a Valium-addled Helen Mirren. Ali was crushed but was allowed to keep her period clothing and so was appeased. She continues to consume far too much Nesquik.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Sol LeWitt and Kurt Vonnegut died. So sad. I hope they are upstairs smoking a dooby and making a psychedelic collaboration in the clouds.

Kurt always wrote amazing truths I think:

"Here is a lesson in creative writing. First rule: Do not use semicolons. They are transvestite hermaphrodites representing absolutely nothing. All they do is show you've been to college."

"Like so many Americans, she was trying to construct a life that made sense from things she found in gift shops."
-from "Slaughterhouse V"

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Starting tomorrow (or some tomorrow-ish day) I am going to scan a new book-type-thing (isn't my attention to detail startling?) and try publishing one panel a day for a while. It's about a girl who lives inside a shark. I call her Sharky. No, actually her name is Shandra, which, as a name, has all the fun alliterative associations of the word"shark" without actually saying it. Fun.
Ok, on a real note, I am going to list things that I've applied for and am not going to get. You might be asking, "Why wouldn't you get them Ali? You are a groovy image-maker, and your writing/drawing is so subversive (which is completely hot right now) and besides which, many people (including an astute Taco Cabana employee) have said you resemble Debra Winger, which makes you a stone-cold fox."
Well, I shall list the reasons according to the institution.

-Whitney Independent Study Program:
Not verbose or edgy enough, subject matter does not include sodomized Uncle Sam or fragile hypodermic needle constructions.

-CORE Program: Shockingly, I think I'm a little too objecty and too Texas for this program, which seems to get off on accepting only internationally born artists who deal with ephemerata.

-Irish MOMA artist-in-residence program: I'm not sure what this is all about, but it's in Dublin for 6 months and they pay you. Reasons why I will not get in: their last 2 exhibits were Alex Katz and Georgia O'Keefe. I do not paint big pastel, flat things. But my last name is Fitzgerald, which should secure me at least a second round o' lookin.'


Joan Mitchell Award: Fuck. Too modernist for some, too postmodernist for others.

Sexy Debra Winger Lookalike Fund for Sexily Unemployed Debra Winger Lookalikes
: I'm riding this mechanical bull all the way to the bank!

Monday, April 09, 2007

So I've been going crazygonuts with the blogging. I can't help myself; my shiny new laptop beckons me with her rounded keys and cool, glossy countenance. It's such a pleasant departure from my last computer, who I called the Peevish Dell from Hell. Peevish Dell used to give me such shit, especially when I spilled jelly or beer on her (motherboard munchausen syndrome?). But my new computer (named Applinaya, goddess of limewire and discreet internet porn) knows her place. That's right, that bitch is going to download youtube animations all day and not slow down a bit. I even switched my screensaver to an agit-prop poster of a happy Russian satellite with a sickle lodged in its claw. Yes, I knows how to control my Applinaya.
Another blog about blogging? God, I'm so meta.

Depressing things to think about:

-Tammy Faye Bakker's son has a reality show.

-Julie Mehrehtu won a Macarthur genius award.

-I am so heavily in debt that I will have to use my beautiful, beautiful body as collateral. Like Catherine Sullivan, who arranged a fuck-session with a collector, filmed it, then gave the aforementioned collector the first edition. What a wonderfully literal way to express the pimpalicious world of art n'money.

-This is more of a question, prompted by reading Ezimmerman's blog (which I shall link in a bit): what is the role of a museum (or gallery for that matter)in the "reading" and legibility of art? Sometimes I think that once an art object is placed in that context (museum, gallery, any place whose purpose is to explicitly "show" work) it becomes insincere, disingenuous. Unless it talks about the context; addresses the museum as a space that purports to be "objective." Then it is sincerely insincere, or acknowledges that every space is charged with an agenda and therefore is completely mutable. I think for this reason I enjoy artists playing with the "idea" of a museum and using their collections to reimagine the arc of art history, or at least to confuse the faux linear timeline we're supposed to follow. People who have done this: Kara Walker curating her own work alongside the Met's collection. Robert Gober using the Menil's collection. I think Glenn Ligon did something similar? Also, Nicole Eisenman went to the Contemporary Arts Museum in Mexico and drew all over the glass covering drawings by the Mexican Muralists. Yes. These are Museum interventions I enjoy.

-Whew, what a tangent. That shit is too heavy. Now I remember why I shroud my thoughts in vacuous pop-culture phrases.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Alone on Easter!
I'm working in the studio, and have been invited later on to attend a screening of "Jesus Christ Superstar." I don't think I've discussed it here, but I really love J.C.S. My favorite part is Nero wailing a rock ballad (a la Meatloaf) on some orgy barge. Orgy Barge!
Ok, here are other things I've consumed lately that I would highly recommend eating/watching/listening to/swimming in:

-Alfred Tennyson: I forgot how much this poet moves me with his incessant talk about dragons, Romans, queens and death.

-The Decembrists' song "Mariner's Revenge." This song has an accordion and a story about sea-faring men trapped in a whale. Enough said? Yes, enough said.

-Tomato Basil Mozzarella panini at Clementine. Delicious.

-"Half Nelson" I liked this movie a lot and thought the performances by the hunky yet tortured Mr. Gosling and his little sidekick merited an Oscar for sure.

-The Animation show at Arthouse--I really, really, really liked the animation in this show. I was especially taken with Nathalie Djurberg, whose claymation nightmarescapes stole my heart. I also love David Shrigley and maybe would marry him if he asked me via a hairy man drawing.

-"Savage Love," the column in the Onion and the podcast by Dan Savage. He is irreverent and dirty and lovely.

-The Dresden Doll's cover of "Pretty in Pink."

Friday, April 06, 2007

Slimy Cinema : An Analysis of 2 Films

Movies that I have recently seen that are awesome with an emphasized "awe":
"Jesus Camp"

"Slither" is about giant zombie-cum-worms that infect someone's body. "Jesus Camp" is about indoctrinated evangelical children who speak in tongues and perform puppet shows about demonic possession. Eerily similar you say? Well, let's take this further. Slither's subtext is one that includes the physical manifestation of fear of inappropriate sexual arousal (the afflcited become one giant orgiastic worm body and have phallic little probe-thingys), Jesus Camp's subtext is the same. Those poor precious repressers are going to have so many unnecessary wet dreams. And many of them will star the holy trinity and self-flagellation devices. I really am sad for them. Really.

I'm disturbed as well, I mean those little kids described their god-gasms in ways that were exceptionally creepy. Also, their violent shaking and hand-grasping visually paralleled the way a worm-riddled body would react in "Slither."

Conclusion: Christian people = worms. Watch out, they come apart in segments and regrow and form more offshoots of CBN.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

So I do this weird thing where I don't say "hi" to people. I don't know why I do it, it seems to have very little to do with the person (A.K.A. I am an equal-opportunity ignorer). Although this behavior occurs across the board, I especially withhold my "hello" from people whom I admire. Certain professors, colleagues, snappy waitstaff and sexologists (I forgot to mention that I met Annie Sprinkle, renowned "sexologist" while frothily drinking my soy-latte at a Broadway Starbucks) are all victims of my salutation performance anxiety. All I'm saying, is that if you're reading this, and I ever passed by you frostily, it is not because I'm stuck up and/or don't remember you. The truth is, at the danger of being immodest, I remember almost everyone I meet. That means you, strange cleft-chin stock broker who brushed up against me at Highland Mall.
I remember most names and faces and without exception I usually care what they think. Hence my sometimes conversational paralysis: I cares too much. I also really hate prolonged eye-contact, which has resulted in many humiliating staring contest defeats at the hands of my freakishly large-eyed sister, Andie. Ahh, ole Marble-eye Andie, she was a master. But I was a quickdraw at the surprise arm hair tweezing, so it all evened out.

I think this problem of mine is best summarized by Jodie Foster's performance as "Nell." It is like I have been raised in some backwoods swamp, suckling on moonshine tree-sap and interacting only with alligators and other slithery things. Note that these creatures are undeniably frigid, as evidenced by my recent run-in with an iguana. We had a great time at Trudy's then that bitch didn't even approve my Myspace friend request. Fucking scaly thing.
So, in summation, I am not:
A high-falootin' bitch who is too big for her powder-blue britches.
An oblivious artist who never remembers anyone's name, and/or pretends to forget a name in order to perpetuate the "mysterious artist" mythos.

What I am is:
Nell, or a Nell-like reptillian individual. Thank you, and good night.
P.S.--I just re-watched "Slums of Beverly Hills," which is SUCH a good movie. Everyone should watch it immediately. Also, Natasha Lyonne is so cool.