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Ben Tripp

BEN TRIPP is the author of What About Frasier (Gauss PDF, 2015). More of his writing can also be found via BOMB, Hyperallergic, CCM Entropy, and HTML Giant.

Albert Oehlen

In Albert Oehlen’s large, bright and raucous new canvases at Luhring Augustine, paint seems to pollute the compositions as though it has nowhere to belong.

Structured Simplicity

This colorful show of new sculpture, video, and installation sets out to explore the rudimentary nature of form, material and utility in art making. The artists in the exhibition share an interest in what unadorned materials communicate alone. Newspaper, cardboard boxes, a rug and several other household items become sculpture that is more plastic and/or alien than anything a viewer might recognize as familiar.

Poetry: A Life Sentence

“Words are my life…” the 1930s Objectivist poet Louis Zukofsky once confided, “the poet’s form is never an imposition of history, but the desirability of making order out of history as it is felt and conceived.”

Osama Alomar's The Teeth of the Comb & Other Stories

By 2012, Syrian author Osama Alomar (born and raised in the city of Damascus, until expatriating in 2008) already had something of a foothold amongst a certain North American literary elite. He had escaped before his country’s Arab Spring/Civil War etcetera, well on his way, embarking on his second life abroad by necessity.

FICTION: All Scenes Lead to Each Other

As part of a 1957 interview in New York City on the late-night radio program 'Night People' hosted by Jean Sheperd, a young actor and denizen of the city's underground theater expresses his disappointment with the most recent Hollywood film he has just been brought onto the show to promote; claiming—as an honest challenge to the audience—that all it would take was a dollar sent to the studio from everyone who happened to be listening at that instant, and with that money he could direct a different kind of film outside of Hollywood about real people and the issues that actually mattered.

Non-Fiction: “Following the Iconic”

Christopher Felver’s assemblage of images and text for Beat evokes the ephemeral sense of a photo-album or personal scrapbook. The typewritten dedicatory page of Howl appears alongside the invitation letter Allen Ginsberg wrote in 1955 to the mythic ‘6 Poets at 6 Gallery’ event.

Lit(t)eral Poetics

+|’me’S-pace’s task is to unravel language before our eyes. It is the first in a series of CalArts feminist/critical studies teacher Christine Wertheim’s open notebook investigations of the atomic elements of language; namely, the letters of the alphabet which as she says, “like musical notes only produce Sense when arranged in relational complexes, i.e. propositions…[and] compose into molecular or chord-like arrangements that we call words.”

Nonfiction: The Poetics of Sociability

Don’t Ever Get Famous follows the publication of Daniel Kane’s earlier book of essays, All Poets Welcome: The Lower East Side Poetry Scene in the 1960’s with a further analysis of the second-generation ‘New York School’ in avant-garde poetry.

Poetry: Before- And After-Image

Kenneth Patchen’s reputation as a proto-beatnik poet, visual artist, activist, jazz performer and all around bohemian emanates an aura of saintliness.

Anthony DeCurtis's
Lou Reed: A Life

A teenage Lou Reed wrote under his High School yearbook photo that he had “no plans, but will take life as it comes.” It sounds like a Lou Reed song already. Young Lewis also wrote that he liked basketball, music, and “naturally, girls.”


Christian Marclay began experimenting with turntables as an art student in Boston in the late ’70s. He had no formal music training and no interest in learning how to play a traditional instrument of any kind, but he had been to New York and witnessed the raw energy of the early punk bands performing there.

Virginie Marchand's Telegram

Telegram came as the prodigious finale of French dancer and filmmaker Virginie Marchand’s three-year project honoring the work and inspiration of Japanese Butoh dancer Kazuo Ohno. The film was projected as Marchand performed at the Emily Harvey Gallery in December in celebration of Ohno’s 101st birthday.

“The Very Life We’re Living”

A night at Black Mountain College, a summer night, in 1952: artists gather in the school’s cafeteria for an evening of theater. For Carolyn Brown and her husband in New York, “Black Mountain meant nothing more to Earle and me than some place where David [Tudor] would be…thereby enabling us to use his vacant flat.”

Three Stories

They seem quirky and wonderful. They write books or want to write books that, for instance, might endear you to those strangers sitting around & nearby in a local coffee shop.


The Brooklyn Rail

SEPT 2023

All Issues