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Gallery Space: John Waters: Indecent Exposure

614now

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My first exposure to the work of John Waters is as banal as it gets—a pubescent 15-year-old boy greedily popping in a VHS tape of a film that touted itself as the filthiest movie ever made: “Pink Flamingos.” But as the years rolled by, my palate matured to appreciate Waters’s contribution to the American cinematic lexicon beyond baseless shock value. Sure, the experimental Baltimore-based filmmaker has certainly deconstructed the 50’s puritanical model in which he was raised with sleazy, postmodern zeal, but there is much more to Waters than freaking out audiences.

A cultural icon for individualism, Waters is emblematic of artistic force and deviant expression—a shining star of queer and racial identity. His newest art exhibition, “John Waters: Indecent Exposure.” is a wide assortment of Waters’s visual art, presenting over 160 photos, sculptures, writings and films that has been waiting in his arsenal over the past decade. By bringing his darkest fascinations to light, we get to see inside the mind of the 60-something sophisticate, armed with a camera, a pencil thin mustache, and anecdotally, a lifetime supply of poppers.

(614): Tell me about the genesis of Indecent Exposure.

Waters: It began, I guess in 1992, which is probably the date of the earliest piece that is in here when I secretly took pictures off the television screen. Then Colin de Land, an art dealer in New York who I really enjoy, asked me if I’ve ever done anything with them. I guess you can say I’m celebrating familiar and insider knowledge of the film and art business in a way that’s hopefully humorous, because I like to make fun of things that I really like.

Do you think this work shares the same artistic goals of your films?

I think saying “artistic goals” might be a little lofty. You could say it, but I wouldn’t say it about myself certainly. I think everything that I do—my spoken word shows, my books, my movies, my photographs, my sculpture—all have the same value, which is that I am trying to make you laugh at things that things that maybe aren’t funny in real life and to get you to see something in a different way and to accept things that go wrong and fail and that are incomprehensible to the regular people that go look at art.

Give us a couple of examples of your work and what it means to you.

Well, I love to do jokes on minimalism. I have a piece in there called “21 Pasolini Pimples.” At first, you think that they are just nipples, but they’re not. From seeing so many Pasolini movies, I realized that he liked men that had pimples. So, I went through all of his movies and just cut out all of the pimples as artlessly as I could, glued them down in a kind of kindergarten way to show a very obscure fetish that maybe no one ever noticed about Pasolini.

John Waters Beverly Hills John, 2012. Chromogrenic print. Rubell Family Collection, Miami Image courtesy of Marianne Boesky Gallery © John Waters

I did the same thing by collaging Grace Kelly’s elbows, because I think she has such beautiful elbows. But do men ever say, “Wow nice elbows?” I just wanted to have a piece that wasn’t sexist that was calling out “Hey! Great elbows you got there!” Each time I try to notice things you’re not supposed to notice.

Would you describe your exhibition as a comedy showcase?

Sure, because my entire goal is to make people laugh. But there are parts that are also serious. You look at this piece called “9/11” and it’s just the name of two movies that are completely forgettable that were on the planes that crashed that day. A terrible detail can be something that makes you makes you go “whoa.” When you look at it, it is completely benign, but when you find out why it makes you think of those movies in a whole different way. I am always trying to take the original meaning of whatever the original films were and convert it into something completely different than the writer or film director ever imagined.

How do you define trash?

Trash as a word is kind of overused. I did “Mondo Trasho” when Warhol did “Trash” and we had no idea we were using those terms at the exact same time until the films were released. I once had a critic say, “Why do you beat us to the typewriter by calling your own work trash?” I wanted to take that word and make it my own.

How has your audience reactions changed since you first started your career?

Well what I did in the beginning of my career is on television now…. So what I am saying is that it is much closer to what American humor is today. Today I think what you have to do is make people laugh at something they wouldn’t normally laugh at to get people to listen.

“Indecent Exposure” runs from Feb. 2 to Apr. 28 at the Wexner Center for the Arts.

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Dear I-670 drivers, your lives are about to change

614now

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Notice anything different on your I-670 and/or I-270 commute this week? Could be the nine 600-square-foot, 110,000-pound digital signs towering over the freeway.

When operational this fall, these signs will display information about the first ever Ohio SmartLane.

The I-670 “SmartLane” is the left shoulder that will be opened when traffic slows to a crawl. It will begin just east of I-71 in downtown Columbus and extend to I-270 on the East Side.

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The SmartLane will be closed most of the time, indicated by a red X. But when traffic dips below 50 mph, The Dispatch reports traffic monitors will send signals to the overhead signs to open the SmartLane.

A green arrow will appear along with a speed limit for SmartLane drivers to abide by (slower speeds keep traffic moving during congestion). A yellow indicator will appear when the lane is about to close.

ODOT will be installing more than 30 traffic cameras to monitor the lane for any obstructions, reports The Dispatch. The right shoulder of I-670 will be free for disabled vehicles to use.

The $61 million project is expected to be open in October. Visit ODOT.com for more information on the project and the new traffic patterns.

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Review: “Not” Chicken at HCT is poised for a takeover

Mitch Hooper

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Hail seitan!

No, this isn’t a religious cry—it’s a plant-based one. And the newest addition to the ever popular Hot Chicken Takeover will soon have everyone from carnivores to vegans saying the same thing.

Hot Chicken Takeover is a solidified Columbus staple. The lines for lunch at the North Market prove that, and expanding to Clintonville as well as Easton Town Center further show that the hype for HCT is real. And as a vegetarian, my jealousy was at an all time high. But now I can officially confirm: Hot Chicken Takeover is certified good. Look out Impossible Burger, you’ve got some competition.

The menu option at HCT is created out of the aforementioned seitan. Basically, as Wikipedia so eloquently describes it, it is: “Wheat gluten is a food made from gluten, the main protein of wheat. It is made by washing wheat flour dough with water until all the starch granules have been removed, leaving the sticky insoluble gluten as an elastic mass which is then cooked before being eaten.” I know what you’re thinking: yummy!

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But before you stick up your nose, this isn’t just your run-of-the-mill tofu knock-off. Compared to tofu which can become squishy and sponge-like, seitan holds it’s consistency where it stays more firm similarly to what happens to fried chicken. And this holds true at Hot Chicken Takeover. Whether you have yours served on a sandwich or atop two slices of white bread, the seitan never loses it’s texture and consistency. It goes to show that nine months of hard work pays off (shout out to Craig Morin!).

Speaking of texture and consistency, the exterior of the seitan brings all the flavor and heat you’d imagine from the regular menu options. It’s crispy and soaks up that house-made ranch dressing, plus little fried bits fall off throughout the eating process. It’s the simple things like crispy and spicy bits of the “skin” that give you the full experience.

Eating this “Not” Chicken Takeover really reminded me of my first experience of trying the Impossible Burger. As a vegetarian, you almost feel guilty eating something that resembles what it’s trying to replicate so well. Though the Impossible Burger takes the crown for appearance (it freakin’ bleeds, ya’ll), HCT is a close rival. And the seitan at HCT isn’t nearly as a flavor diva like the Impossible Burger. The flavor is similar to chicken, but it also allows the other flavors to shine like the sauce. Meanwhile, the Impossible Burger sometimes feels like it’s just trying too hard. Chill out, ya know?

It’s a big ask for meat-eaters to ditch the delicious chicken at HCT for a meal, but it’s worth it. As I brought back leftovers to my predominately carnivorous office, the only complaint they had was they wanted more. As for my vegan and vegetarian friends, save some house made ranch for me.

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Former attorney of Casey Anthony, Aaron Hernandez could represent Mt. Carmel doc

Mike Thomas

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The attorney who previously represented Casey Anthony and former NFL player/convicted murderer Aaron Hernandez could now take up the case of embattled former Mt. Carmel doctor William Husel.

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Attorney Jose Baez has filed a motion to represent Husel, who faces 25 counts of murder after allegedly providing deadly doses of the drug fentanyl to patients under his care.

Husel was fired by Mount Carmel earlier this year following an internal investigation. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

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