Three long robin's-egg-blue pages thick, with the top headlines "Green Gothic" and "Untitled Statement (1977)," the latest edition of the Seattle artist newsletter La Especial Norte—#4—is out and about. There's a meditation on rooting out ideology by Martha Rosler, and an erotic poem by Whiting Tennis including the line, "She finds this sexy to say the least," with a drawing of something that could be sexual in about seven different ways.
But what I love: Matthew Offenbacher's lead essay ("Green Gothic"), which ingeniously connects the vampire movie "Twilight," Gas Works Park, and Gretchen Bennett's colored-pencil drawings of YouTube stills of Kurt Cobain.
You really need to pick up a copy. They're free at Howard House, James Harris Gallery, Lawrimore Project, Crawl Space Gallery, SOIL, The Hideout (in the women's bathroom), Western Bridge, Henry Art Gallery (near the lockers), or Seattle Art Museum (near the auditorium). (You can also get one by sending a SASE to 1402 NE 63rd St, Seattle, WA, 98115 or get information—there's no digital edition—at email@example.com.)
This is Offenbacher's 2007 painting Recognizing the diligence with which death approaches, and trying to recognize also the desirability of her arrival, and to take advantage of such recognition. It has a nice visual analogue in the "Twilight" image, huh? But I also post it here because his essay, too, is about death and decay, and he makes another beautiful point, this time about Corin Hewitt's series of photographs now up at Seattle Art Museum. Hewitt's works feel profoundly right to me, and I wrote many words here trying to figure out why but didn't come up with this gem, which now strikes me as utterly true:
Corin Hewitt's current show at the Seattle Art Museum also hinges on the redemptive power of vegetative decay, in this case in an attempt to remedy some of the toxic aspects of the culture of photography, art production and circulation.
It's not just life that Hewitt is addressing, it's art. His practice of keeping lists of the materials he uses, and keeping materials through several continuous projects, is a way of keeping his work as alive as he can. Keeping it from the life-support machine of photographic reproduction and the art world itself.
Thanks, Matt. Here's a Hewitt to leave you with.