Tag Archives: Chris Hosea

People are looking better: Christopher Williams at David Zwirner

So you are standing outside David Zwirner Gallery David Zwirner Gallery at the far western end of 19th Street in Manhattan. Across the way stands Frank Gehry’s misty agglomeration of salt shakers, the IAC Building IAC Building. IAC is an Internet company that brings us The Daily Beast, Match.com, Urban Spoon, Ask.com, BlackPeopleMeet.com, and Vimeo, among many other Web sites—including MyWebFace™, where html surfers may “apply dramatic effects to photos” and “create a cartoon version of themselves,” and Proust.com, where one can “ask and answer questions about the different chapters of their lives helping move their oral history into a protected time capsule.” Don’t be distracted, though. You’re here to see Christopher Williams’s new show, “For Example: Dix-Huit Leçons Sur La Société Industrielle (Revision 12),” up through February 12, 2011.
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Oak

Kim Bennett. <em>1</em>, 2007, ink on paper, 5 x 7 in. From <em>Oak</em>, a collaboration with poet Chris Hosea. Courtesy of the artist.
1.
I want to throw myself under the train, he told me.
It was hard to establish exactly when he boarded the T
the night before the police used one of the house’s rooms
to conduct interviews. He told he sometimes shut his eyes
on platforms, rocked his heels, feeling
the way the subway pushed ahead a warm breeze
sweet as mildewed bread. Actually, he said nothing
about the breeze or smell, but he did mention the comfort
of thinking he could bring the end with a quick move.
To my memory, we held these talks after dark,
after drinks and slipshod hilarity. I told him to see someone
qualified. I said I would make an appointment.
He changed to a different subject, and I did not persist.
There are generations of suicide in my family,
proud men who with precision blew open their own skulls,
yet I was as ready as anyone to believe he had improved
with the first melting of the snows. The detective asked me
when I had seen him last. I remembered the final time
I heard him. There was a party at the house,
and the guests had filtered home. Lights out,
I was naked in bed with a girl and he came knocking,
whispering, then shouting about his gloves.
To my shame, I snuggled and stifled giggles
until the pleading and pounding ended
and with his footsteps he faded from our thoughts.
Did I know if he had any enemies?
(The police were ruling out a murder theory.)
It was March madness, and though I was no fan
my room got the best reception. Some kids brought their set
and a case of beer. I was too near-sighted to make out the score,
much less follow the elaborate dance of passes and jumps.
The boys were howling at the screen as if electrocuted, all except him.
I slouched on the futon like a punctured balloon.
Where did you get that knife? he asked me.
(It was a large Swiss jackknife, bright red.)
Oh, I don’t know, in Paris, I think.
Where can I get one like it?
I have no idea.
I didn’t ask him why or what for.
I felt a mild irritation, as though stuck in traffic,
and looked up at the blurry tube.
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Posted in ISSUE #4 WINTER 2008 | Also tagged , | Leave a comment

From the Ministry of Silly Walks: Francis Alÿs at David Zwirner, New York, Winter 2007

Though my Stone Roses T-shirt provided little cushioning, the Kalashnikov’s barrel didn’t much hurt when the militiaman used it to prod at my chest. I kept asking myself why I felt so calm. A general placidity blossomed in me like an opiate as soon as the barefoot man appeared with his rifle, seemingly out of [... more ...]
Posted in ISSUE #2 SPRING/SUMMER 2007 | Also tagged , , | Leave a comment

Two Poems

I’m Lovin’ It

I speak to it, and it never talks back.
I see it disappear and change me.
But it’s always there.
I can’t remember a life without it.
My father didn’t have to tell me never to forget it.
It is understood wordlessly, like a stone wall.
It keeps me straight in this place.
In the most crowded room, nobody can come between it
and me.
It’s inside of me, purring like a pacemaker.
It’s not something you can explain on a first date.
People lie and say they don’t need it,
leaning on it even as they say “no.”
It is made by people hidden away far in the night.
How could they be nothing like me?
I am no one and it is everything.
Not of my flesh, it is my flesh.

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Posted in ISSUE #1 WINTER 2007 | Also tagged | Leave a comment