Exhibition Dates: October 7 – November 19, 2017
Opening Reception: Saturday, October 7, 6-9pm
Public Programs: TBA
Curated by Matt Sussman
Objects of Mutual Affection presents art from the homes of Bay Area writers Dodie Bellamy, Bruce Boone, Robert Glück, Kevin Killian, and Jocelyn Saidenberg. Instigators and practitioners of what has come to be called New Narrative writing, these individuals have also been vital participants in the Bay Area’s visual arts communities. Their frequent collaborations with artists have included publishing ventures, performances, and exhibitions, alongside a steady output of writing on visual art, including essays, profiles, and reviews. The pieces in Objects of Mutual Affection provide a record of the overlapping social and creative worlds in which these activities have taken place. Filled with mementos of decades-long friendships, art world crushes, serendipitous encounters, and departed lovers, Objects of Mutual Affection is both an extended family portrait of a creative community and a reconsideration of “collecting” as something other than a private or financial enterprise.
The exhibition is supported by and will coincide with the conference Communal Presence: New Narrative Writing Today, at the University of California, Berkeley from October 13-15, which considers the legacy of New Narrative writing in both the Bay Area and abroad. For more details, visit communalpresence.com.
Dee Dee Kramer
Turd Forest Collective
Dodie Bellamy writes genre-bending works that focus on sexuality, politics, and narrative experimentation, challenging the distinctions between fiction, essay, and poetry. Her most recent collection is When the Sick Rule the World, from Semiotext(e). Her reflections chapbook, The Beating of Our Hearts, was published in conjunction with the 2014 Whitney Biennial. With Kevin Killian she edited for Nightboat Books Writers Who Love Too Much: New Narrative 1977-1997 (2017).
Bruce Boone’s published work includes Karate Flower (1973), My Walk With Bob (1979, reissued in 2006), Century of Clouds (1980, reissued in 2009), and, with Robert Glück, La Fontaine (1981), The Truth About Ted (1984), and a variety of essays in small press journals. In addition, Boone has translated the work of Georges Bataille, including Guilty (1988) and On Nietzsche (1994), several works by Pascal Quignard, including On Wooden Tablets: Apronenia Avitia (1984) and Albucius(1992), and Jean Francois Lyotard’s Pacific Wall (1989). He lives in San Francisco.
Poet, fiction writer, editor, and New Narrative theorist Robert Glück has served as director of San Francisco State’s Poetry Center, co-director of the Small Press Traffic Literary Center, and editor for Lapis Press and the literary journal Narrativity. He lives in San Francisco and is a Professor Emeritus of Creative Writing at San Francisco State University.
Kevin Killian, a poet, playwright, novelist, arts writer, and photographer, has written three novels, Shy (1989), Arctic Summer (1997), and Spreadeagle (2012), a book of memoirs called Bedrooms Have Windows (1990), and three books of stories, Little Men (1996), I Cry Like a Baby (2001), and Impossible Princess (2009). He has also written four books of poetry, Argento Series (2001), Action Kylie (2008), Tweaky Village (2014) and Tony Greene Era (2017). Killian has written often on the life and work of the American poet Jack Spicer [1925-65] and with Peter Gizzi has edited My Vocabulary Did This To Me: The Collected Poetry of Jack Spicer (2008)—which won the American Book Award—for Wesleyan University Press. Wesleyan also brought out Killian and Lewis Ellingham’s acclaimed biography Poet Be Like God: Jack Spicer and the San Francisco Renaissance in 1998.
Born and raised in New York City, Jocelyn Saidenberg is the author of several poetry collections, including Dead Letter (2014), Negativity (2006) and Cusp (2001), which was chosen by poet Barbara Guest for the Frances Jaffer Book Award. Frequently employing syntactical variation and repetition as a mode of inquiry, Saidenberg’s poems are concerned with narrative, loss, and the body. Founding editor of the publishing collective Krupskaya Books, Saidenberg has also served as director of Small Press Traffic Literary Arts Center and as curator for New Langton Arts and Right Window. She lives in San Francisco.
Matt Sussman is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in Art in America, KQED Arts, Butt, the San Francisco Bay Guardian and The Wire, and who has been a longtime contributor to Art Practical. He lives in Oakland.