Art Writing #7.

Vigee Le Brun. `Allegory of Poetry’


Speaking to. Speaking of.

I’m attempting to find a room to talk in the Met. I mean, there are people talking, but they are talking to each other, and I am the Bo–Bothmer Gallery I. A bunch of, you know, bronze statuettes of a hunter, Terracotta neck amphora. Look at him. Very pert little penis.

Um. I tried to go to see Gayatri Spivak talk about Marx and uhmm feminism. this morning at Columbia and though that was interfering with my … ooo…Vigee Le Brun!… Woman Artist in Revolutionary France. Look at that… mould. That is? terracotta. By Augustin Pajou. It’s very quiet in here. Oooh look at her paintings. ‘Til 1842. whispered[ I feel like I’m disturbing people. I ought not to be in here.] There’s a curvy person…I might take a picture…singsong[Take a picture]…which direction…I’m gonna to take a pict…No PHOTOS PLEASE…Oh sorry sorry….No photos in any of the special exhibits, please..Oh thank you.

Oops. no photos. “Allegory of poetry.” 1774. Oil on canvas.

Can’t take a picture.

Academy. 19. When she was. Silver studio. Pretext.

St. Luke. First exhibition. So this is…


“She looks upward conveying a moment of inspiration”






Out! I’m out of it! Let’s see if that’s still recording…

Considering how often I talk on a sidewalk, it is so strange to talk into a microphone when I’m around a gallery. I’m not accustomed to speaking aloud in the presence of other people except when I know they know I’m talking to someone else.

I remember when I used to think “oh my god that person is talking to herself”




Rooms I never come into

Western Sudan

These pieces are just so unfamiliar

Unfamiliar shapes

I mean familiar in their unfamiliarity

Design in the Americas

To be placed into

Resting places





They built dollhouses for gods.

It’s like a teapot.

So kitsch.

Peruvian Andeans


Cupisnique culture?


It’s like…they’re tchotchkes. I mean. They’re not.

The little man takes up so much of the little house.

Are there always little people?


There’s just a head!

200 AD To…From…50BC

I recently developed an embarrassed conviction that I modulate my voice when I speak to men on the street or to vendors at stores. I feel myself speaking higher, younger?, as if to make myself less threatening, more vulnerable and available to assistance. Does it just happen when I hope to get a free coffee from the coffee cart barista?

I write and re-write in my head. I chew on words as if seeing them scrawled on some paper in candled wax yellowed desks in the cavern of Caravaggio shadows in the recesses of my imagination — is that what you call the inside walls of your skull that you dimly make out when you pretend yourself inside your own head? I had meant to see Spivak. I skipped yoga to go, after skipping New Jersey state tax returns, my taxes complete. Then I thought I’d go to the Met Breuer unfinished works show. Also unfinished — or un-open. Closed. So plans undone for the fifth or sixth time of the day, I wandered in from the rain and my broken umbrella.

I am on the phone when I walk. It feels like the perfect clearing, the discourse made productive by the exercise. Each task — airing ideas, aerating limbs– made more allowable by the other. Why does talking aloud in a gallery transgress so many feelings — I’ve long stopped worrying when people approach as if talking to themselves.  And I’ve grown comfortable talking to myself at home. Or maybe it’s in my head. Sometimes, I surely mutter. Comfortable echoes. What is the interlocutor? Not who. Is the movement out and back the key? Not in my head but to somewhere beyond. Where do I hit the point of departure? When does the idea become external?

I hate talking in museums.

Giggling? Sure.