Saturday, February 25, 2006

Fauns and Shackles Press Release

Here is the press release for Fauns and Shackles, the show Jody, Cathy and I are working on.

For Immediate Release: Exhibition at PS122
Fauns and Shackles: Homage to Harriet Hosmer (1830 – 1908)

March 18 - April 16 2006
Opening Saturday March 18 5 – 7
Panel discussion Sunday April 9 4PM with Jody Culkin, Kate Culkin and Kathleen Goncharov
Contact Susan Schreiber for information 212.228.4249

Fauns and Shackles: Homage to Harriet Hosmer is a collaborative exhibition featuring art works by Jody Culkin, a relative of the 19th century neo-classical sculptor Harriet Hosmer, the protofeminist who lived and worked in Rome and was part of the group of women artists that Henry James, disturbed by their independence, disparagingly termed the White Marmorean Flock.

Touted by collectors, Harriet Hosmer joined the 19th century American expatriate community in Rome, where she counted the poets Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning, and the author Nathaniel Hawthorne among her friends and supporters. An unknown when she went abroad in 1852, within six years she had achieved international fame. In her thirty years in Italy she became one of the most renowned sculptors of her time.

To 21st century eyes, Hosmer offers a fascinating example of a woman who refused to accept the constraints placed on her by society. Inspired by and inspiring the dynamic women’s rights movement of the 19th century, Hosmer’s works and life often critiqued the social status of women of the time. Hosmer also considered herself a scientist and worked on a perpetual motion machine for three decades. She was an ambitious, talented and independent woman at time when those qualities were considered unsuitable for a “lady.”

In mounting this exhibition, two of Hosmer’s relatives, Jody Culkin, sculptor and multimedia artist, and Kate Culkin, a historian writing a book on Hosmer, have joined forces with curator Kathleen Goncharov to create an exhibition and installation that responds to Hosmer’s work and life from the perspective of the 21st century.

The exhibition consists of original works by Jody Culkin and photographic reproductions of sculptures by Hosmer, as well as contextual materials. Despite their different media and eras, many common conceptual threads connect the work of Hosmer and Culkin. Both question assumptions about gender, often through the use of male nudes and depictions of female endangerment and wrath, and each explores the dual nature of chains, with both adorn and entrap, signifying both social status and powerlessness. Both artists refuse to accept the division between art and technology, examining the ways these supposedly isolated disciplines inform each other. Culkin’s work encompasses traditional sculptural issues as well as the role of technology in ways that make it clear the connection between the two woman goes beyond a shared family tree.

Kate Culkin received her Ph.D. in American History from New York University, where she wrote her dissertation on Hosmer. Her biography of Hosmer, entitled “’The Impossible Comes Naturally to Her:’ Harriet Hosmer in Nineteenth-Century American Culture,” is under contract with University of Massachusetts Press.

Kathleen Goncharov studied neo-classical art in graduate school and has been fascinated with the art and politics of 19th century Rome ever since.

Hours: Thursday through Sunday 12 to 6PM
PS122 Gallery The Classroom 150 First Avenue New York, NY 10009 212.228.4249

Friday, February 24, 2006

Cats I Know--Mao

Mao is Neilson's cat. He is a lithe, active little fellow. While reserved at first, he is very snuggly and loyal once you win him over. Mao is devoted to Neilson and waits for him outside the bathroom door. He spent his early years in communal houses in Portland, Oregon, but even then he knew he was Neilson's (and visa versa.) Now they both live in Brooklyn, where, unlike most city cats, Mao can go outside, which suits his adventurous nature. He does have a little problem with hair loss, especially on the backs of his legs. Thus his nickname, "Chaps."

Thursday, February 23, 2006


To the delight of to my hairdresser Rosie--and probably my mom--I have rejoined the world of cropped hair. Embarrassingly, this move was prompted in large part by America's Next Top Model. I was at the gym when an ANTM Season 2 marathon was on VH1. My hair was full of static from my overheated office and kept falling in face, as I had forgotten a barrette. The screen kept focusing in on Yonanna and her short hair, and it reminded me how easy and freeing that kind of crop is. So off I went to Rosie and her scissors.

So far the haircut has been a success. Rosie was thrilled to a disconcerting degree--apparently she had thought growing my hair out was an enormous mistake. A woman at the front desk of the salon, who had long, long hair, told me she wished she had the courage to cut off her locks. The guy in the deli where I buy my morning Diet Coke told me I looked ten years younger. (Apparently he was right, because I was IDed buying beer on my way home. Although I got IDed with longer hair as well.) It is a little strange how people talk about "brave" you are if you are a female and dare to cut your hair a little short. It is nice people like my haircut, but I wish in 2006 you had to do more to seem a brave woman than not look exactly like some magazine's version of femininity.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006


I just came home to find my block covered with reporters and cameras.

When I asked someone what happened, he said a man who lives in the building had "caught anthrax" from animal skins, and the city was sealing off his building as a precaution. That confused me a little, as I thought anthrax was a substance, not a disease. It turns out the sick man has been diagnosed with "inhalation anthrax," probably from using animal skins to create drums. This work in done in a workspace in Brooklyn, not on my block, so I'm not sure why people are piled up here. NY1 has the whole story.

Dinner in Denver

I just got back from Denver. Janelle had the great idea to have a family dinner with Granddad. Flo, Jane, Aidan and I made dinner and we had a big family dinner at the rehabilitation center.

Cheney shooting in Lego.

Lego and the internet- what a beautiful combination!

See the aftermath of the shooting incident here

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

The Aftermath

The storm was beautiful. Now its time for the clean up. These pictures were taken yesterday. The 50 degree temperture today helped get rid of these piles of snow.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Happy Valentine's Day from Harriet Jacobs

On Valentine's Day 1853, Harriet Jacobs wrote a letter to Amy Post, a fellow abolitionist and women's rights advocate who lived in Rochester, N.Y. Jacobs opened with the following words:

"I received your kind letter yesterday if silence is expressive of ones deep feeling then in this way I must ask you to receive the emotions of what my heart ↑and pen↓ cannot express hoping the time is not far distant when we may see each other but I must tell you what I am trying to accomplish"

I'm not sure of the status of Valentine's Day in 1853, but her words seem a more genuine expression than "U R Mine" on a, in Molly's words, candy heart that tastes like chalk.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Blizzard, N.Y.C. style

After a winter of creepily warm weather, we finally got some real snow in New York City. Apparently it was the biggest snowfall in N.Y.C. history, although I feel like there have been worse storms in the fifteen years I've lived here. Sometimes the city really doesn't function, but by this afternoon cars were driving around and businesses were open. But it was still fantastic. I walked around Fulton Ferry Park and across the Brooklyn Bridge. Everyone was in a great mood. The snow is getting dingy and dirty now, but slush is the price you pay for a winter wonderland.

February 17th

If you walk into any store these days it is painfully obvious that Valentine's Day is quickly approaching. I used to be extremely negative about this particular made up holiday but then I realized the positive aspects of overpriced roses and candy hearts that taste like sweet chalk. February 17th is what I like to call cheap chocolate day. This is the day that all Valentine's Day chocolate is sold for great discounts of 75% to 90% off. It is often tempting to buy candy on the 15th or 16th with discounts of only 25% but I suggest holding out for the really good deals. I also suggest going to a Walgreens or CVS that is out of the way, that way the supply hasn't been picked over as much. As an added bonus you also get to screw the manufactures that made up this jackass holiday in the first place, who could ask for more.
Happy Cheap Chocolate Day

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Olympic Update

Its only 4 o'clock on the first day of the competition, and already I've been sucked into the Olympics. Last night Jody, Cathy and I watched the opening ceremonies as we worked on our Harriet Hosmer project. It was appropriate as Hosmer lived in Italy for three decades and surely would have loved ridiculous pageantry of it. I especially enjoyed the aerialists forming themselves into a giant dove then Yoko Ono coming out and quoting John Lennon on peace. It had to be a snub of American foreign policy. Also great was the Italians silvery outfits, the fireworks lighting the Olympic cauldron, athletes talking on the phone and taking pictures as they walked into the stadium and Sophia Lauren still looking beautiful. This morning I watched the biathalon as I cleaned my apartment and briefly was very concerned as to whether the Slovakian would win an upset medal. (He didn't.)

Friday, February 10, 2006

Bad phone pics of Denver

This title is a bit misleading, these are actually bad phone pics of our family in Denver.

I was in Denver last weekend visiting Hosmer. I got to meet wonderful Anders for the first time, as well as super-kitty Ezra, and see the fabulous Aidan again. And everyone else! It was fun.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Watching the Detective

AM New York has a story today about a cat in foster care (yes, you read that correctly) who helped in sting operation to nab a guy posing as a vet. His name is Fred and he now sports a detective badge on his collar. Go kitty go!

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

When Darkness Falls

Karla Jay is a Distinguished Professor of English at Pace University, where I work. She recently published an essay entitled "When Darkness Falls," about losing her sight. It appeared originally in the Chronicle of Higher Education, then was republished on the Pace website. Whenever the conversation turns to the question, "What would you rather lose, your hearing or your sight," I always answer hearing. (For some reason my friends discuss this topic a lot. Maybe that is a little strange. We also, although we are all only in our mid 30s, have plans to move into a retirement community together when we are older.) I like listening to music, but almost all of my favorite activities--reading, writing, watching t.v., going to the movies--involve sight. Also, like Jay, I can't stand the thought of being dependent on people. Hopefully nothing like this will ever happen to me, but, if it does, I could only wish to handle it with Karla Jay's grace and determination.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Super Bowl Party

Every year, my friend Andy hosts a very fun Super Bowl Party. He has high definition t.v. and surround sound and a quite comfortable couch, so his apartment is an excellent t.v. watching venue. The party is made more enjoyable by the fact that no one there really cares about the game. Well, if the Patriots are in it, there are a few New Englanders who have some semblance of interest, but not too much. It is really an excuse to get together, eat, drink, talk, and laugh at the commercials and the half-time show. Last night was another good time. Kristen made an excellent dinner of fried chicken, mac and cheese, and spicy green beans. I must say we hit a new low (or high) in terms of attention to the actual game. First, tipped off by a friend, we kept switching to the Puppy Bowl on Animal Planet, which was some of the best three hours of television ever. In case you missed it, the show consisted of puppies running around on a small version of a football field, chasing toys and playing with each other. There was also a kitty halftime, in which kittens frolicked on a giant cat tree. What I really liked about this show is that puppies were mixed breeds, a casting decision designed to encourage people to adopt muts from the pound. We did eventually switch back to the Super Bowl and the half time show. No kitties, but the Rolling Stones were actually pretty impressive. At that point we gave up all pretense of interest in the sporting event and watched an episode of the new Battlestar Galactica. So I can't tell you anything about the game, but now I know what Cylons are.

Olympic Fever

I LOVE the Olympics. I always have, luckily I share this love with my family who manages to become experts all rare and odd Olympic sports, at least for a two-week period. We all will talk about the athletes and the medal count obsessively. I personally become patriotic for a two-week period every two years, but then it quickly goes away after the closing ceremonies.

You can imagine the excitement that is building with the winter games so close. Adding to the excitement is the fact that best Olympic movie ever, The Cutting Edge, was on TV this weekend. The Cutting Edge stars Moria Kelly, now seen on One Tree Hill, and D.B. Sweeney, who is wonderful in Eight Men Out.

The fact that the movie was on TV is slightly irrelevant, since my grandmother bought me the movie about 10 years ago. She initially had a hard time finding it, the same thing happened when my former housemates tried to buy me Footloose for my birthday. They all claimed that it was because no one wanted to buy either movie but I firmly believe it is because the stores just can't keep them on the shelves

What could be better than an ice skating star being forced to skate with an injured hockey star because she is so mean no one else will, and then them falling in love but not being brave enough to tell each other, and then finally telling each other just as they are about to skate their long program a the Olympics?

This movie has given us great lines such as "Toe Pick" "You should have started with a go to girl" and my personal favorite, which I am sure we have all used at least once in our daily life:

"If that button meant the difference between a long satisfying life and a long agonizing death from hypothermia I still wouldn't give you the satisfaction. Now SKATE!"

Saturday, February 04, 2006

The vet just gave Capers a good bill a health, his tail is still in the process of healing, but he will be just fine. The vet even gave him a stylish purple bandage to wear. He isn't going out at all these days so he has to view the world through a window.

Capers seems to be relating alot to Johnny these days, especially since you can hear the trains by my house at all hours.

"I hear the train a comin'It's rollin' 'round the bend,And I ain't seen the sunshine,Since, I don't know when,I'm stuck in Folsom Prison,And time keeps draggin' on,But that train keeps a-rollin',On down to San Antone."

Friday, February 03, 2006

Anders at play.

Just so you all don't think that Andy and I are working Anders too hard, I wanted to show some proof that his life is not all work and no play. We just recently got out this new Duckie bathtub. If you squeeze the bill, it quacks. Anders thinks it is lots of fun and likes to splash by kicking his feet. Out of all his bath toys, he likes sucking water out of the washcloth the best. Good thing baby soap is non-toxic.

Anders at Work

Somehow a whole month has gone by without any new pictures of Anders. Well, he apparently spent some time at work with Trish this week and proved to be quite industrious. He will have his own corner office soon.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

More Dog News

To continue the dog theme of this week, I direct you to the "What Dog Are You" quiz. You simply answer ten short questions, then you are told what you would be in canine land.

I turned out to be a miniature bull terrier, a cross between a Bulldog and a White English Terrier. The description reads: "Some people consider this dog the picture of ugliness while others only have doting admiration for what has been described as the 'gladiator of the canine race.' Despite its fierce appearance and strength it makes a faithful and devoted pet." Hmm. Push the red play button below to see more.

Speaking of Bulldogs, tomorrow is B.Y.O.B. (Bring Your Own Bulldog) day on Martha, the new Martha Stewart show. The description of the show on the website promises everyone in the audience will have Bulldog of some sort and Martha's French Bulldog, Francesca, will get a little sister. Set your TIVOs now!