DECEMBER 2004/JANUARY 2005
The cover depicts a “garden of unearthly delights,”
where the principal fruits produced are the heads of eleven artists:
Tessa Chasteen, Harry Dodge, Francesca Gabbiani,
Charles Garabedian, Matt Greene, Stanya Kahn, Tom Knechtel,
Nick Lowe, Jennifer Pastor, Mindy Shapero, and Thaddeus Strode.
Cover illustrations: Charles Burns!
VOL. 2, NO. 12

The Believer DVD
by Various
Includes:

  • Deformer (love-song to Huntington Beach, dir. Mike Mills);
  • Is a Woman (transcendent music video, dir. Shynola & Fiona Hewitt);
  • Tortured by Joy (seems bad at first but ends up incredible, dir. Henry Griffin);
  • Sombra Dolorosa (Mexican wrestling via Lumière Bros., dir. Guy Maddin);
  • Sweeter as the Years Roll By (Pt. 3) (two-minute Cartesian art flick, dir. Will Rogan); and
  • Squash (brutal and elegant French sports film, dir. Lionel Bailliu).
Total running time of DVD: 70 minutes.

A Possibly Haphazard and Condensed Picture of the True Cinema Today
by Estep Nagy
Three hundred words on the enclosed DVD and the films that wrestle with all the right doubts.

Slaves to the Visual
by Benjamin Weissman
Paintings, sculpture, and installations by ten L.A. artists you may or may not have heard of, presented in a lush, color-soaked array. Including:

  • Tessa Chasteen (crappy paper, perfect boats),
  • Mindy Shapero (everything has hair),
  • Harry Dodge and Stanya Kahn (video art that stands up to the Marx Bros.),
  • Francesca Gabbiani (uncomfortably silent construction paper),
  • Jennifer Pastor (research-obsessed sculpture),
  • Matt Greene (666 guitar-wielding girls),
  • Charles Garabedian (remarkably tender violence and gore),
  • Tom Knechtel (teeny-bopper posters by Rembrandt),
  • Nick Lowe (went to high school with Bosch), and
  • Thaddeus Strode (metal bands, Buddhism, and ghosts).

Returning to the Hand
by David Hockney
Reproduced in its entirety, this six-page handwritten fax-screed is the most recent entry in one of the most rancorous debates now raging in art history.

High Desert Drifter
by Jim Ruland
A navy veteran cum punk-rock zinester searches the high desert for artists who appreciate the land, defacement, and “Frank Roid Lights.”

FULL TEXT
In Praise of Termites
by Franklin Bruno
Manny Farber’s paintings—like his film criticism—celebrate tiny details that can transform their immediate boundaries into big ideas.

FULL TEXT
Night Driving
by Christopher R. Beha
John Hawkes’s dreamy, violent, and sex-laden novels ask: can an odd—if not downright contemptible—vision still succeed?

Eric Fischl
interviewed by Christopher Bollen
Whether he’s in India, suburbia, or New York City, Fischl gives meaning to the gestures of the human body.

FULL TEXT
Raymond Pettibon
interviewed by John O’Connor
The press-labeled “punk artist” offers careful musings on the economics of drawing, the degradation of competition, plus guns, fists, and Gumby.

Ed Kienholz
interviewed by Lawrence Weschler
At the end of a five-day, ten-session summit in 1976, Kienholz finally yielded the infamous “TWA story”—but at what price?

Joan Silber
interviewed by Sarah Stone
The National Book Award finalist believes that writing is a matter of balance, but her characters keep succumbing to unexpected appetites.

Schema: The Genealogy of the Supermarket
by Nina Katchadourian