Magazine article Artforum International

Top Ten

Magazine article Artforum International

Top Ten

Article excerpt

1. MORGAN FISHER, "PAINTING FOR BEGINNERS" The ex-filmmaker and chronic dabbler's treatise on smart painting, copy photography, and orthographic drawing (recently delivered at a variety of institutions in Los Angeles) is a reconnaissance mission for painting. Despite the cruel reductivism of the text, Fisher's delivery is littered with the symptoms of ambivalence and masochistic hope in the face of a practice that's always gonna be rife with problems. Fisher says, "I welcome you to challenge my assumptions"; as Beckett would say, "You must go on, I can't go on, I'll go on."

2. GOOD STUFF ON TV THIS SUMMER (1) Richard Hatch became the least user-friendly (that's a good thing) gay man on TV since Andrew Cunanan; and (2) on "The Replacement," episode 19 of Making (the Boys in) the Band, Erik is subjected to a "throatoscopy," revealing more about the lush pinkness and moist resilience of his alimentary canal than I (or starmaker Lou Pearlman, for that matter) could ever have dreamed up.

3. PRINCE NASEEM HAMED VS. AUGIE SANCHEZ This summer's fight on HBO had sexy-yet- nobody Sanchez--replete with Vegas showgirlfriend--holding his own in the first round and almost scoring a knockdown in the second. By the third round, though, Hamed's succinct assaults had Sanchez bleary, bewildered, and as bedazzled as his gold-glitter trunks. He was carried out in a stretcher two and a half minutes into the fourth. I'm sure I'll get tired of the predictableness of Hamed's nontitle wins over journeymen, but his unadulterated gore fests are a pleasant relief from the fights of academic tap-scorers like De La Hoya.

4. TIME CAPSULES AT THE WARHOL MUSEUM (www.warhol.org) Basically, the crap from Warhol's desk: fan letters, collectible spoons, stencils for the soup cans, porn, magazines that were probably props in Taylor Mead's Ass (1965), odd missives from Factory workers Brigid Polk and Billy Name, not very charming directives from Gerard Malanga, unopened junk mail to Warhol's mom from the Catholic Archdiocese, etc., etc. On my recent visit I found the time capsules could be alternately illuminating, overwhelming, or just dreadfully boring. But as the museum continues to catalogue the 600-odd capsules and advances toward archiving them in an online database, the monstrosity of Warhol's crap could become hypertext guru Ted Nelson's Xanadu dream, a machine that forgets by remembering everything.

5. TIME REGAINED (dir. Raul Ruiz, 1999) We Proustaphiliacs crave all things Proustian, so another film version of yet another book of Remembrance is guaranteed to get uncritically slobbered over, relished, and added to our wretched pile of biographies and other Proustiana. But John Malkovich did have a certain deliciously oblivious Charlusian twinkle about him, and the stage devices (cumbersomely moving sets, protocinematic dissolves, rotating furniture) were odd and engrossing. …

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