Sunday, 21 January 2007

Arty stuff

I have seen:

• Annie Leibovitz exhibition at Brooklyn Museum;
• Drum of the Waves of Horikawa performed by Theatre of a Two-headed Calf at HERE;
• Readings from Check the Rhyme: An anthology of female poets & emcees edited by DuEwa M Frazier, at Bluestockings radical bookstore.

The Leibovitz show closed today but i recommend the book - 25 years of photographs, from war to celebs to her own family. In the UK you can buy it from Libertas. Never mind coffee-table book, you can use it as a coffee table.

As for Drum of the Waves of Horikawa, Paige (who used to work at Oscar Wilde's) and her friend Erin asked me along. It was sold out and we had to squeeze in where we could. I sat next to two women of a certain age who were discussing whether you would choose your dog or your son to rescue from a burning building if your son had killed a classmate. Shouldn't he be in kiddie jail?

The play was based on a work by Monzaemon Chikamatsu, the “Shakespeare of Japan.” It was performed with percussion, physical theatre, nudity and running around. It was melodramatic, funny and only 40 minutes long, and therefore met my first requirement for theatre - that i can watch it without fidgeting. A little bird filled me in on the gossip - my second requirement.

Last night i walked down to Bluestockings through freezing cold streets. Another wonderful independent bookstore, this one run by volunteers. Well that's one way to solve the problem of making no money from books. The readings/performances from Check the Rhyme were amazing. We heard from the editor, DuEwa, plus Patty Dukes, Ellen Hagan and Karen Gibson Roc.

As a visitor, hearing poems about growing up in the Bronx, the disaster in New Orleans, the lack of sex education in schools, the sell-out that's happened in commercial hip hop, etc, was like being dunked straight into the culture. The poets had great energy and there was a real buzz.

And when i bought the book, the lovely DuEwa gave me not just her card, but this T-shirt. (In the pic I am thrilled to have worked out how to use the self-timer on the camera.) She runs Lit Noire publishing house herself and also teaches. Check the Rhyme is a great book to use in schools with young women.

OK, i should probably go outside at some point today.
Bye for now,
H x

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