Gerard Malanga has a cock

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Among Gregory Battcock’s papers kept in the Smithsonian Archives of American Art — a page from issue nine of Kiss, a ‘newsprint “sex weekly” distributed from 105 Second Ave., NY, 10003’. The caption reads:

Some truths are self-evident, but the fact of Gerard Malanga’s cock, noticeably absent from the photograph, is one of those truths we must hide from you, dear Readers, because the facts of life are considered ‘OBSCENE’ by the local big honchos and other politicians busily scampering for office come this November. For the record then, yes: Gerard Malanga has a cock, a fact undisputed by some of the most beautiful people in New York.

being friends with your head

Russell Hoban, afterword to Riddley Walker:

People ask me how I got from St Eustace to Riddley Walker and all I can say is that it’s a matter of being friends with your head. Things come into the mind and wait to hook up with other things; there are places that can heighten your responses, and if you let your head go its own way it might, with luck, make interesting connections…

Why are they exposing us to these nuts?

Uptown Party and Velvet Underground’s First Appearance. See also Velvet Underground’s First Public Appearance at jonasmekasfilms.com (one of Mekas’ The First 40 collection). The description places the VU performance at a “Psychiatrists Convention” and the party footage at the apartment of Stephen Shore.

The convention was in fact the New York Society for Clinical Psychiatry’s 43d annual dinner at Delmonico’s Hotel.

Three quotes from The New York Times’ report the following day (which can be read in full here):

“The Chic Mystique of Andy Warhol,” described by an associate of the painter as “a kind of community action-underground-look-at-your-self-film project,” was billed as the evening’s entertainment … And until the very last minute, neither group quite believed the other would show up.

“I suppose you could call this gathering a spontaneous eruption of the id,” said Dr. Alfred Lilienthal. “Warhol’s message is one of super-reality,” said another, “a repetition of the concrete quite akin to the L.S.D. experience.” “Why are they exposing us to these nuts?” a third asked. “But don’t quote me.”

The evening ended with a short talk by Jonas Mekas, film director and critic. But long before that, guests had begun to stream out.

One is elated. One laughs without its being funny.

Jonas Mekas, Films – Vidéos – Installations (1962 – 2012), Catalogue raisonné:

A small port in south of France, a lighthouse, the sea.

The year was 1966. The month of July. I was visiting Jerome Hill. Jerome loved France, especially Provence. He spent all his summers in Cassis. My window overlooked the sea. I sat in my little room, reading or writing, and looked at the sea…

Jerome Hill, ibid:

The 24 hours that pass over the Cassis landscape take only a few minutes in this episode, but, during that time, the sea, the sky and mountain are brushed in by a mighty hand; boats and people are animated otherwise than in daily life. The effect is at the same time uncanny and yet immediately recognizable as belonging to the artist’s inner vision. One is elated. One laughs without its being funny.

When I wore dinosaur tights at Tate Modern

Boris Charmatz on Roman Photo:

In Merce Cunningham: Fifty Years, all Cunningham is included: pictures from every piece, and Merce is portrayed from the age of five… when I read this book, it came to my mind that the collection of the pictures was not only about nearly all the projects that he did until now, but formed a choreography in itself close to Cunningham’s processes to create dance: dance happens in between the postures, between two positions, and I guess we could invent a piece from this score of pictures, performed from beginning to end. On the one hand it would be a purely “fake Cunningham” piece, but on the other hand, I think if we succeed that it could become a real one, a real Cunningham piece, a Meta-Cunningham event with a glimpse of his entire life and work…

I consider this experience as an integral part of our research, of our specific interest for the issue of archive, history and scores, which could meet here its tumultuous dimension: the entire history of a life’s work become book, transformed in its turn into a performance elaborated by a handful of dancers.

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