Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Rodarte, Gurlesque, Poetry

Here's an article from Art Forum by John Kelsey about the fashion lable Rodarte.

I talked about that in my talk about "spasmodic" poetry in Chicago last week, and I hope to have a few minutes today or tomorrow to write about it here on this blog.

I'm discussing it tomorrow in my seminar on modern poetry - how it pertains for example to Chelsey Minnis or "gurlesque" poetry.

In particular I like this quote (where for "European" or "haute coutoure" you might say something like "Official Experimental Verse Culture" or some such, because it seems to say something about the way "gurlesque" poetry and other poetries that I'm interested in deviate from the standard "experimental" poetry mantra):

"And it is not just in terms of what the late film critic Manny Farber called “termite art” (“it goes always forward eating its own boundaries, and, likely as not, leaves nothing in its path other than the signs of eager, industrious, unkempt activity”) that we can identify Rodarte’s aesthetic as American, but in all the improvisatory ways it de- and recodes a culture that is already impure and blended with crisis. If the typically European strategy is to construct avant-garde gestures around the inversion of established, legible codes (aristocratic or bourgeois), an American vernacular is corrupt in advance, the border between high and low long since dissolved. Here, it is less about turning the queen on her head than a matter of tracking mutations in the desert, where celebrity and nothingness have always shared a strangely productive cohabitation. Rodarte are perhaps closer in spirit to Roger Corman or Wes Craven than to the top men of haute couture."


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