sonnagram 40 / k. silem mohammad. 2009


Oh Lovely TV Lulu, Show Me Thy Fully Busty TV Tutu, Thy Fully Fluffy TV Tush, Thy Slutty UK TV Eye

Milli Vanilli, Tears For Fears, Oasis,
The Feelies, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Fun Boy Three,
Yes, TV on the Radio, Small Faces,
They Might Be Giants, Ween, Tenacious D,

Pere Ubu, Yo La Tengo, Alabama,
Velvet Revolver, Toto, Bow Wow Wow,
Of Montreal, a-ha, Bananarama,
Vetiver, Mott the Hoople, Henry Cow,

Menomena, The Go! Team, Mr Mister,
The Doobie Brothers, Hoobastank, Sublime,
Wet Willie, Kajagoogoo, Twisted Sister,
Hole, Animal Collective, Nifelheim,

The Slits, The Strokes, The Fugs, The Fools, The Fall,
The Who, The Move, The The, The Eels, The Call.

[Sonnet 40 (“Take all my loves, my love, yea take them all”)]


For those who aren’t familiar with my Sonnagrams project, I take Shakespeare’s Sonnets, scramble the letters with an anagram generator, then rearrange the scrambled letters into an all-new sonnet in iambic pentameter with the English rhyme scheme.  Once I’ve managed to create the sonnet, all leftover letters are used to make a title. K. Silem Mohammad

Per quelli che non sanno niente del mio progetto Sonnagrams, prendo i Sonetti di Shakespeare, ne mischio le lettere con un generatore di anagrammi e, quindi, riordino le lettere mischiate in un sonetto nuovo di zecca in pentametri giambici secondo le schema di rime inglese. Una volta che sono riuscito a creare il sonetto, tutte le lettere avanzate vengono usate per fare il titolo. K. Silem Mohammad


THE OUTER BANKS / Lewis Warsh. 2001


You could say that characters in The Bible were obsessed
 with hiding their nakedness

I touch the leg of the table with the toe of my foot

The child searches in a drawer for the damaged toy

Feeling of love were impaired by excessive anxiety

I put in my order for the butcher before it gets too late
 & the holidays are “upon us” or so they say

You can wear the same clothing every day & no one cares

She complains that she spends too much time making herself
 beautiful while he just picks up the clothing he
 wore yesterday from the floor & doesn’t even
 bother washing his face or combing his hair

I hear a rooster cry at dawn from someone’s roof

I experience an epiphany, I’m not what you might call handy

There’s a dead seal on the beach & a fishing boat
 on the horizon

The guy downstairs complains about a leak when I take a shower

Some people don’t mind if you take them for granted

She can’t break up with her boyfriend until she knows
 she has another waiting in the wings

It’s hard to love anyone who holds a grudge Continue reading “THE OUTER BANKS / Lewis Warsh. 2001”

john mccracken

mccracken.JPG    mccracken1.JPG   

My first rule in art-making: the work must have being, presence.
Second rule: it must be strong and beautiful. Third: it must be positive.
Metaphors for the work: energy object.
The real thing that brings real smiles.

John McCracken

[from: John McCracken, Almine Rech Éditions, Paris, 2000. Image: two McCracken works from Documenta XII, Kassel, 2007.]

FOURTEEN POEMS / Charles North. 1989


Similarly, whereby the current polarization
Holds out little hope for lasting revision


Meanwhile tragedy outgrows its religious
Origins in an effort to encompass


A dip in air pressure, the sense that daylight
Has slipped from its porch onto the grassy night


Need, ambition, unrest, and one-dimensional
Thinking latticed on a horizon of metaphysical


Rather than its extension by mutual process
Into means, and thence the directory of endless


Aquamaniles used to come in colorful guises
People and monsters joined in practical devices


In circuitous like memory in a snake.
You follow the coastline for several miles, then forsake


A large patch of dandelions, the sense that light
Has curled back into the eye—a figment of sight


A theory may be true and also a puzzle
As good weather includes an occasional light drizzle


Carthwheeled bolted to the explosion that worked
By individual decoy which for once unfrocked


The way “blue sky” is an appropriate term
Emitting a clear redundancy, like a germ


As beautiful as a jar that holds the beautiful
For centuries—or until the idea is full


All landscape and consequently all distance
Are wings, to which the essential substance


Raspberries being the perverse lacrymae
Confusing time and space. As for civic decay


Similmente; per cui grazie all’attuale polarizzazione
Restano ben poche speranze di una revisione duratura


Intanto nel tentativo di coinvolgere la tragedia
Trascende le sue origini religiose


Uno calo nella pressione dell’aria, l’impressione che la luce
del giorno scivoli via dalla veranda per raggiungere la notte erbosa


Bisogno, ambizione, irrequietezza, e il pensiero a una dimensione
sagomato come una grata lungo un orizzonte di metafisica


Al posto di un’estensione trasformata in mezzo grazie a un
Processo reciproco, e a partire da lì l’elenco degli infiniti


Una volta di aquamanile se ne facevano d’ogni tipo e colore
Gente e mostri riuniti in pratici accorgimenti


Tortuosa come in un serpente la memoria.
Per parecchie miglia segui la costa, poi l’oblio


Un bel pezzo di prato coperto di denti di leone, impressione di una
luce rincantuciata nell’occhio—un fantasma della vista

Non si esclude che una teoria possa essere vera o anche un rovello
Così come il bel tempo non esclude una pioggerella di tanto in tanto


Piroettato inchiodato all’esplosione che ha funzionato
da parte di una finta che almeno una volta si è tolta


Il modo in cui “cielo azzurro” deve dirsi esatta definizione
capace di trasmettere , come un virus, una non equivocabile ridondanza


Bella quanto un’anfora che contiene il Bello
Per secoli e secoli—o finché l’idea resta piena


L’intero paesaggio e pertanto l’intera distanza
sono ali, delle quali la sostanza essenziale


Essendo i lamponi lachrymae perverse in cui vengono
confusi spazio e tempo. Quanto poi al civico decadimento

[Traduzione di Luigi Ballerini. In: Nuova poesia americana. New York / a cura di Luigi Ballerini, Gianluca Rizzo e Paul Vangelisti, Mondadori, 2009]

tobias rehberger




Taking a normal situation and retranslating it into overlapping and multiple readings of conditions, past and present […]. Create a situation which does not erupt so much as emerge from normal conditions which are radically altered […]. The artist’s objects and environments draw on a repertoire of daily use and are produced to mimic the shiny perfection of the manufactured. He turns to industrial process to make objects that look as if they are mass-produced. Rehberger is careful not to add anything extraneous to the world, often choosing to amplify – or like the Situationists, détourner – what is there already. […] The potential social and moral virtues of craft, architecture and domestic decoration.


Iwona Blazwick




“I’m not afraid of creating an immediate rush because I don’t see a problem if somebody likes or dislikes something for its aesthetic qualities – as long as there are other qualities too. Of course seduction can be a trap, but I like the idea that you don’t have to go into any depth to enjoy something, although if you do, then there’s more to gain. You can appreciate it on different levels. Maybe it’s like a trick to keep people awake, to see if their interest goes beyond the surface of things, while still allowing them not to feel the need to go deeper. If something is very rough or unpleasant it’s very hard not to say: “Ok, that can’t be it! There must be some other qualities in it”. I like the idea that you don’t have to do that. It’s also a matter of not being didactic.” 

“Why can’t being positive also be a critical element? There’s a dimension of politics that allows me to be as positive about things as one can be critical. It induces a type of problematic that makes it even more critical – not of the product, but of the general idea of how we, especially in the art world, deal with statements and criticism.”  “Every positive quality implies its problematic side. It depends a lot on what perspective you have on things or how you look at them, how you go into them.” 


(From: Tobias Rehberger, Private Matters, Whitechapel, Jrp | ringier, 2004. Images: Tobias Rehberger, The sun from above, 2000, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, installation; Self seduction, 2004, Whitechapel, London; other works at Barbel Graesslin.)


WITTGENSTEIN'S LADDER / David Lehman. 2005



“My propositions serve as elucidations in the following way: anyone who understands them eventually recognizes them as nonsensical, when he has used them––as steps––to climb up beyond them. (He must, so to speak, throw away the ladder after he has climbed up it.)”
––Ludwig Wittgenstein,  Tractatus



The first time I met Wittgenstein, I was
late.  “The traffic was murder,” I explained.
He spent the next forty-five minutes
analyzing this sentence.  Then he was silent.
I wondered why he had chosen a water tower
for our meeting.  I also wondered how
I would leave, since the ladder I had used
To climb up here ha fallen to the ground.



Wittgenstein  served as a machine gunner
in the Austrian Army in World War I.
Before the war he studied logic in Cambridge
with Bertrand Russell.  Having inherited
his father’s fortune (iron and steel),  he
gave away his money, not to the poor, whom
it would corrupt,  but to relations so rich
it would not thus affect them.




He would visit Russell’s rooms at midnight
and pace back and forth “like a caged tiger.
On arrival,  he would announce that when
he left he would commit suicide.  So, in spite
of getting sleepy, I did not like to turn him out.”On
such a night,  after hours of dead silence,  Russell asked,
“Wittgenstein, are you thinking about logic or about
your sins?” “Both,” he said, and resumed his silence.

  Continue reading “WITTGENSTEIN'S LADDER / David Lehman. 2005”

BIZART BAZ'ART / Ben Vautier. 2003




we sell chaos for international situation


why art?


find out what your future contains


don’t smile


I’m not for sale


we kill for money pay now


be yourself don’t cry


this is not art so don’t worry


don’t throw away anything today it’s art sell it as art


get out of here quick save money


get what you want now


rien est grave


words are reality


attention art


pick up necessary


we sell doubts


please can I undress you


buy or cry


buy or die



[Scritte dall’installazione Bizart Baz’art, 2003; foto in apertura: Ben Vautier.]