Propeller No. 11, Spring 2012
Guest Editor: Wendy Bourgeois. Donna Hathaway on perfume, Rachel Greben on MOMA's Cindy Sherman retrospective, Alex Behr on Alexander McQueen, Sandra Derrick on wearing black in Azerbaijan, Sarah Kruse on Sonia Delaunay, and Dan DeWeese on the Whitney Biennial. Poems from Whiting Award winner Kerri Webster. Fashion memories from Alexis Nelson, Daneen Bergland, Chelsea Bieker, Lisa Ekman, and Rachel Greben. Fashion advice from history's favorite courtesan, Lola Montez. A Q&A with Jordan Sullivan. Rothko, Part 2: Photographing the paintings up close.
Propeller | Spring 2012
Guest Editor: Wendy Bourgeois
Donna Hathaway and the Perfume Trance
"When I was a child I would look at the magazine ads for a scent called Vent Vert featuring artistic renderings of women with windblown hair of vivid green and wish fervently that I could smell this apparently magical liquid. Once I was earning my own money, I discovered the wonders of fragrance and never looked back." By Donna Hathaway.
On Cindy Sherman's Pleasure Island
"Sherman's work is undeniably demanding. It is enticing, repulsive, funny, and horrible, but also, it is democratic." By Rachel Greben.
Alexander McQueen's Living Apparitions
"The four models--Polina, Katerina, Lyza, and Uliana--had their limbs and torsos and extremities painted with white acrylic paint. In some photos you can see the paint worn off, as if the skin were sanded. These women were dressed and posed. Then they vanished." By Alex Behr, with Jennifer Stady.
Among the Black Clad (Dressing in Azerbaijan)
"As we sat side by side for minutes holding hands, she shouted over the train’s loudly spinning wheels, 'You must give me your number and email!' She worried for me as though the little I'd so far experienced, none of which was threatening, was a facade, and I needed her protection." By Sandra Derrick.
A Poetics of Fashion: Sonia Delaunay's Vision of Color
"In Delaunay's designs, shapes move through one another, becoming both a unit and a composite, while remaining separate entities through the differentiation of color. She creates juxtapositions in the visual similar to the juxtapositions a poet creates through sound and language." By Sarah Kruse.
New poems from the 2011 Whiting Award winner. Webster's second book, Grand & Arsenal, was published by the University of Iowa this month.
Clarins #700 Red
"We found her room, and then: a surprise. Fate had brought her a handsome RN. 'Put some makeup on me,' she gasped quietly.'" By Rachel Greben.
"In desperation, I suggested she go on tour with Phish; I said I'd heard Phil Lesh was going to start out on his own. But Cat just gave me a sympathetic look and said, 'It's over, sweetie.'" By Alexis Nelson.
Calling Molly Ringwald
"What I can't admit to her is that I don't have any fashion credentials. My rules have veered from 'Do whatever Molly Ringwald is doing' to 'Wear what's comfortable and doesn't smell bad.'" By Daneen Bergland.
Lisa Ekman Clips Her Soul Up
"For me, a big part of growing up has been figuring out that I can change the story. I might see myself as the girl who can't put together an outfit, but I don't actually have to be her. Though if I really wasn't going to be her, I needed to find a garter belt." By Lisa Ekman.
Some Classics are Worth the Investment
"She had never owned anything so frivolous, so fashion forward, and though her mother saw no sense in it, Dorothy made it her mission to earn enough to buy those shoes. Now, more than seventy years later, she still has them." By Chelsea Bieker.
Mystery de l'escharpe
"French women were wearing scarves. They wore other things, too--deceptively simple things like tunics and tailored shirts, as well as very complicated things covered in unnecessary zippers--but nothing fascinated or perplexed us more than l'escharpe." By Alexis Nelson.
Famed beauty, veteran of scandals, lover of kings and knaves: Lola Montez offers advice on readers' pressing fashion quandaries.
Spring 2012 Reviews & Discussions
of books, shows, and events
Jordan Sullivan: Natural History
"There are these little poems I wrote on each of the photographs. One of them reads: Are we writing to erase? Are our angels with us? Is it better to forgive, forget, or to have never lived at all? A photograph is at once remembering, altering, and manipulating something." A Q&A with artist Jordan Sullivan about memory, sculpture, and what happens to the things we've forgotten.
Return to Rothko (Part II)
"I lack the mental endurance necessary to get through even just a thought experiment about reproducing a white canvas with pencil lines on it. In 1958 and 1959, Mark Rothko completed dozens of paintings that are massive in size, possess multiple layers, are created via treatments and techniques some of which are unknown, and bear evidence that, even in his 'sketches,' he chose to continue making decisions with his brush across every inch of canvas." By Dan DeWeese.
This Year's Models: Notes on the 2012 Whitney Biennial
"I realized while moving through the Whitney that I'm quite drawn to investigations of process, documentations of transitional states, or examinations of change--and these kinds of pieces are present throughout this Biennial--when they also carry the vulnerability and risk of delivery in a finished state." By Dan DeWeese.
Late Night Library
Late Night Conversation: Karen Munro and Roxane Gay
Late Night Library's programs include podcasts about debut titles, podcast conversations with cultural innovators, and events that connect diverse literary communities. In their latest conversation, Karen Munro asks Roxane Gay whether print publications are less likely than online journals to publish emerging writers. Roxane wisely points out, "I think they are open to [publishing new writers], but I also think there are economic realities that they have to deal with that online magazines don't. When you're putting together a magazine that probably costs $10,000 or $15,000 to produce, you need some known quantities."