Sunday, November 14, 2004

my notes are scribbly from last night, as in, I wonder what I thought of that...

Bernstein read a lengthy war poem. you could say it was an anti-war poem but I think that's a weighted subjectivity that serves merely to simplify. I don't think that's Bernstein's point. it was a list poem, war is, war does. "war is the extension of prose by other means" was a good line. somewhere along the way he said (not in that poem) "paintbrush is the forest of society". from the Drucker/Bee artist book: "Becky her best friend for life was in mega trouble", with an accompanying children's book girl image. Bee's work is full of sweetly alarming points of odd recognition. noir and fifties ads combining in a feminist vision. Bee said her work has been described as "feminist assemblage" which I guess she didn't disagree with but flinches some from the determined nature of such a phrase. it seems like the nature of Bernstein's work that nuggets jump out of the disjuncive mass. there's a lot of play ("the puppy is the father to the dog") and sudden pile ons": "efficiency without reason is desperation". sometimes the work seems too facile, sometimes too hard. I think he thinks too much. Bee really didn't have to explain much, you could see that the pleasure is as she said, in bright colours and odd, weird images. with Bernstein, it's a little like he has to explain why funny is funny.

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