Saturday, June 21, 2003

Chivalry Lost

Funny the things recalled offhand when being told of something cataclysmic. How words spoken conjured up the Holy Grail, of Sir Robin storming the rampart to kill temptation is appropriately Pythonesque. Our gallant hero fighting onward in the name of all that is good -his chin firm, his progress steady, his arm strong. But waging battle deep into the wanton heart, the lascivious desire, the righteous sword of virtue does weaken. For the dragon to be slain is perfumed and partly clothed, moaning an ecstatic tongue. Eventually the pleasures of flesh swarm and overwhelm him and he falters. Who would think so valiant and true an individual could fall prey?

But of course he succumbs, constantly flirting with and tempting the fates as he does. Frailty of moral being is often susceptible to carnal lust especially when left alone to its own devices. Distance prevents accidents of intimacy. So much for the protection of forged armor.

Sunday, June 15, 2003

Notes on Imitation of Life

Imitation of Life is an installation that dissects the popular racist schoolchildren rhyme, “Chinese, Japanese, dirty knees, look at these” photographically and textually to comment on racial stereotyping. Based loosely on the Douglas Sirk melodrama of the same name, this work consists of two sets of twelve black and white photographs depicting mimicked exoticized Asian facial characteristics through sexual innuendo and accompanying text, framed excerpts in print researched from anthropological textbooks about taboo Asian cuisine, divided into four groups. Each group features the same Caucasian adult male, female, and young male child reenacting a single section of the rhyme. The textual passages are reedited to approximate a “fortune cookie saying” grammatical style associated with how Asians are perceived to speak. Viewed as a whole, these sections resemble the syntactical structure that forms a sort of “visual sentence” in conjunction with the actual food text. A similarly framed mirror and blank sheet of paper positioned on the opposite wall faces the main body of this piece.

What this work intends to project is a flux of language as visual information depicting pictorial image versus text per se as typographical element to reinforce prejudiced notions of perception. To see without hearing the rhyme refers to learning by rote, sometimes an oral tradition alluding to repeating gestures passed on from generation to culture to generation. This notion relates to how the food text centers on perceptions of how printed information becomes the accepted norm as a single version of the truth or represented truisms. Showing scientifically, or medically, supported statements to validate Asian cooking and eating habits within this work questions the whole idea of what is taboo food and consequently who determines what are the systems of standards used to judge acceptable from unacceptable. To perpetuate a negative stereotype is a guerrilla tactic to compare the equal absurdity in the racism of these particular images and text.

Friday, June 13, 2003


Today a younger Jamie Lee Curtis avoids the shower, fearful to repeat the cinematic precedent inflicted by Hitchcockian neurosis. Or does she? Funny how the apple (or peach in this case) falls close to the tree. Some like it hermaphrodite hot as it were but enough so that dyslexia inverts the thirty first into yet another series of neverending sequels. Does evil abound as a hockey mask? What about those lucky charms? Silly rabbit, magic tricks are for kids, you know. But Donald Pleasance no longer blinded after his great escape chases after Jason mistakingly instead. So what else can triskaidekophobics dread?

"Mister Sandman, bring me a dream...make him the best that I've ever seen.." And make sure he wears a horseshoe especially.