On this week’s show, I answer some mail with my friend, David James Poissant,
The Curator of Schlock #11 by Jeffrey Shuster
Freud + Frankenstein= Freudstein (The House by the Cemetery)
1981’s The House by the Cemetery from Italian horror maestro Lucio Fulci starts out with a couple of teenagers getting brutally murdered in (you guessed it) a house by the cemetery. How are they murdered? Well, the one guy (we’ll call him Steve because that’s what his girlfriend keeps calling out) has half his brain falling out of his head while he stumbles around. The pair of surgical scissors stuck in his chest must be kind of painful too. At this, his girlfriend screams (an understandable reaction given the circumstances) before getting a knife shoved into the top of her skull. She dies as a result and a monster hand drags her bloody corpse down into the basement. Start credits.
After that killer teaser, we’re treated this kid named Bob who’s busy psychically talking to a little girl who lives in a photograph of a creepy old house that looks and awful lot like the house by the cemetery we saw at the beginning of the movie. Bob tells his mother that they shouldn’t go to the house by the cemetery. His parents, Norman and Lucy Boyle (Catriona MacColl), are moving to the small New England town of New Whitby so Norman can continue the research of his late collegue, Dr. Peterson. You see, Dr. Peterson murdered his mistress and hung himself off a balcony in the local library, but that’s neither here nor there.
Anyway, they decide to move into the house Dr. Peterson’s was staying in a short while before the murder suicide, a house that resides by a cemetery. I know this because Mrs. Gittleson, the local realtor who’s renting the place to the Boyles, cusses “Damn tombstones” as she runs them over while leaving the property. The house by the cemetery has a few oddities. For instance, there’s an actual tombstone stuck in the middle of the living room floor. If you’re up late, you can hear the sound of children crying. There’s also a locked cellar door that bangs as if there’s something on the other side trying to get out.
Norman tries to assure Lucy that’s there’s nothing strange in the basement. As he unlocks the door and ventures down, a giant bat attacks Lucy’s head before biting into Norman’s hand. The bat will not let go and Norman runs back upstairs into the kitchen, stabbing it with a pair of scissors. Blood spays everywhere. Some of it even gets on Bob’s face. The bat finally dies and Norman tosses the bloody remains onto the kitchen floor.
I guess the bat spooks the Boyles and they decide they want to move out. Mrs. Gittleson says she’ll stop by later to check on the house. When she shows up, the Boyle’s aren’t home. Mrs. Gittleson walks over the tombstone in the living room, only for the tombstone to crack open and catch her foot. It’s around this time that the creepy hands from the beginning of the movie come into play again. One hand grabs a fire poker and starts plunging it into Mrs. Gittleson. She bleeds out in agony as we hear monstrous groans of delight in the background. The hands drag the body down into the basement.
Norman Boyle discovers that Dr. Peterson was doing research on a turn of the century surgeon named Dr. Freudstein who was kicked out of the medical profession for illegal experiments. Norman finds an old tape recording by Dr. Peterson where Peterson rants about “blood” and “hearing Freudstein’s voice” and “No! Not the children!” Norman then promptly burns the tape in an elevated fire stove in the middle of the library.
Lucy is out shopping while Ann, the babysitter, is looking after Bob. She hears the sound of a child crying down in the basement. Ann goes down to investigate, but panics when the cellar door slams shut behind her. And panic she should because the next thing we see is butcher knife slicing and slicing and slicing through her neck, blood gushing everywhere. When Bob goes down into the basement to find out what happened to his babysitter, Ann’s head starts tumbling down the cellar stairs. Bob screams like the little coward that he is and runs back into the kitchen. Seriously? Man up, Bob!
His mom goes down to investigate, but there’s no sign of Ann’s head. Lucy figures Bob must have imagined the whole thing and that Ann is just visiting her parents. Undaunted, Bob decides to go look down in the basement one more time for Ann’s head. The door slams behind him and he can’t get out. Bob screams that someone is coming up the stairs after him. Norman comes to rescue, breaking the door down. Norman exclaims that Dr. Freudstein has been living in their basement the whole time and that he’s been murdering people to renew his cells. That’s how Freudstein’s been staying alive for so long.
Dr. Freudstein is rather unsightly. He has one of those dried apple faces. He doesn’t talk. He just grunts and growls. Norman decides to be a hero and attacks Dr. Freudstein with a knife. All kinds of maggots and crap spill out, but Dr. Freudstein continues to move about undaunted. He tears Normans Adam’s apple out as Lucy and Bob look on with horror. Hmmmmm. Maybe they should have left the house while they had the chance.
Ten Things I learned from watching The House by the Cemetery.
- There’s more Frankenstein than Freud in the Freudstein.
- If you find a tombstone in your living room, leave the house.
- They had Fiddle Faddle back in 1981.
- If you hear mysterious children crying in the middle of the night, leave the house.
- You can kill a bat with a pair of scissors, but I wouldn’t recommend it.
- If someone decapitates your babysitter, leave the house.
- Houses by cemeteries don’t make for decent love shacks.
- If you find out there’s an undead 19th century surgeon living in your basement, leave the house.
- Cellar doors should be kept locked at all times.
- If you see a bunch of dead bodies hanging on meat hooks in your basement, get out of the house.
Jeffrey Shuster (episode 47) is an MFA candidate and instructor at the University of Central Florida.
Loading the Canon #10 by Helena-Anne Hittel
Christo and Jeanne-Claude: Wrapping it Up
When you wrap things in fabric, they sometimes look more interesting. The essential shape of the object is more visible. Look at things this way. If you were to wrap a rock face in fabric, you’d see so much more. You could see the sharp points and the sheer drops and the overall shape of a coastline so much clearer under 1,000,000 square feet of grey fabric. Christo and Jeanne-Claude realized this, so, in 1968-69, they wrapped the coast of Little Bay, Australia.
Environmental artist couple Christo and Jeanne-Claude have collaborated on various projects since 1961, until Jeanne-Claude’s death in 2009. The team is perhaps most well-known for their wrapping of islands in Biscayne Bay, Florida, the Reichstag building in Germany, and Running Fence in California. This, however, is merely a small sampling of their projects.
In 1983, Christo and Jeanne-Claude wrapped 11 islands in Biscayne Bay in hot pink fabric and called it Surrounded Islands. Though small in size, wrapping one is a daring undertaking on its own, let alone 11. With the help of 430 workers, the project was realized and on display for two weeks. I loved these images when I saw them. If you were to eliminate the fabric, the islands are a bit dark, even with a small spit of sand to outline it. Christo and Jeanne-Claude have essentially taken a bright pink highlighter and outlined these islands, showing everyone in the Miami area what these islands actually look like.
In 1995, 12 years after their Surrounded Islands, the duo wrapped the Reichstag Building in Germany. This required over 1,076,390 square feet of fabric and took the work of 90 professional climbers and 120 installation workers. Even though the entire structure was essentially encased in fabric, the project still allowed for the building’s original use. This not only gave the viewing audience something new to look at, and left a little room for the imagination. After all, when all you can see is draped in fabric, there could be anything underneath.
Running Fence happened before both of the aforementioned projects in 1976. Spanning 24 1⁄2 miles across California, the project took 2,152,780 square feet of nylon fabric and 42 months to realize. That said, this project remained for two weeks, and upon dismantling, all materials were given to the ranchers whose lands were used. Both rural and urban lands were used. This fence not only gave you the topography of California, it also seemed to serve as social commentary, visually and almost figuratively restricting the cities by way of the roadways it traversed (even though the roadways still allowed use). In this project, Christo brought together two different communities while also maintaining this separation.
Even after Jeanne-Claude’s death, Christo is still at work on Over the River, a project originally conceived in 1992. His latest endeavor is to suspend translucent, silvery fabric about 25 feet over 8 specific sections of the Arkansas River in Colorado. Visitors can see this project from cars, busses, and boats on the river itself. He’s not exactly wrapping the river here, but by covering it, he will create the same effect.
If you were to wrap yourself in a blanket, you’d still see your shape underneath. What inspired Henry Moore in the air raid shelters of Britain inspired the environmental arts created by Christo and Jeanne-Claude, on a monumental scale.
Helena-Anne Hittel (Episode 35, essay) is an Art History Major at the University of Central Florida and Intern at the UCF Art Gallery.
Gutter Space #11 by Leslie Salas
Imagination as a Coping Mechanism in Comics Essays
Perhaps many of you have heard of an Internet entity known as The Oatmeal, a man (Matthew Inman) who writes funny webcomics, draws posters everyone wants on their cubicle walls, and even fundraised enough money to save Nikola Tesla’s lab and turn it into a museum. The Oatmeal’s most recent endeavor has been to rename the holiday that occurred on Monday to something a bit more appropriate, but that’s not what I’d like to focus on for this week’s edition of Gutter Space. Instead, I’d like to talk about one of his older essays, which happens to be my favorite, entitled:
The title itself is intriguing, but when paired with the first three panels, you realize that The Oatmeal intends to take you on a ride.
The Oatmeal braids this story of this broken cat (and fifteen other cats) with the chilling tale of how he was woken up early one morning to discover that his house was on fire.
The Oatmeal compares horrible events with ideas from his imagination that take the edge off reality and to cope with extenuating circumstances. He uses a powerful refrain throughout his essay: “This is not the truth, but it’s how I like to remember them,” to ground us as readers into the playful and humorous imagination of the speaker, and the knowledge that the speaker recognizes the truth but willfully chooses to assign his feelings to an alternate reality.
“When Your House is Burning Down, You Should Brush Your Teeth” is a touching essay that bridges the thin, narrow line between fiction and nonfiction in order to tell a compelling and heartfelt story of humor, danger, and love. The quality of the storytelling is literary, and showcases the power that a talented sequential artist can yield.
If you’d like more from The Oatmeal, take a look at his books.
Leslie Salas writes fiction, nonfiction, screenplays, and comics. She earned her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Central Florida and attended the University of Denver Publishing Institute. In addition to being an Associate Course Director at Full Sail University, Leslie also serves as an assistant editor for The Florida Review, a graphic nonfiction editorial assistant for Sweet: A Literary Confection, and a regular contributing artist for SmokeLong Quarterly.
Heroes Never Rust #11 by Sean Ironman
At the end of September, Fox announced they were developing a TV series featuring Detective James “Jim” Gordon before he became commissioner, before Batman. I love the idea of concentrating on the police force in Gotham City. A cop show that is able to draw on the mythology of Batman interests me a great deal. Unfortunately, Fox’s version sounds like a mistake. An obvious one at that. Didn’t anyone pay attention to the failure of Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood or Antoine Fugua’s King Arthur? Stop taking cherished properties and taking out everything that people love and remember about those stories. Why set a story in the Gotham police department before Batman, before his villains come around? It’s just another cop show that happens to feature characters that share the name of Batman characters. What’s most frustrating about this news is that DC Comics already had a comic series about the Gotham police department that would have made an excellent TV series. This comic series was set right alongside Batman and his villains.
Gotham Central ran from 2003 to 2006, but even with only forty issues, the comic has been well regarded and is still talked about a decade after its debut. It was written by Greg Rucka and Ed Brubaker (a couple of the best writers in the comics industry) and drawn by Michael Lark (another great). The series is basically a cross between Batman and Homicide: Life on the Street. It is written in alternating story arcs between the night shift and the day shift. Rucka took the day shift and Brubaker the night, with Lark penciling both. Some of the cast is made up of Marcus Driver, Renee Montoya, Crispus Allen, and Romy Chandler. It also featured more well-known characters, such as Jim Gordon, Batman, Harvey Bullock, and many of Batman’s villains.
I don’t want to spoil any of the comics. Brubaker and Rucka do some amazing character work over the course of forty issues. But, I also feel like I can’t really say anything unless I get too detailed. The comic isn’t about huge world-changing moments. These are the street-level characters, the ones that have to find a way to not only survive but strive in a world out of their control. When I was a kid, I didn’t want to read comics about regular people, but as I’ve gotten older and my reading tastes have matured and I’ve come to find the human characters in the superhero world to be more fascinating than the super-powered characters.
What would it be like to be a cop in a city that has Batman? Cops in the real world don’t get enough respect—think about what it would be like if Batman was coming in and saving the day. How would the city’s view of the police force change if Batman was relied on to solve everything? Would cops like or hate Batman? What’s so great about Gotham Central is that there aren’t any easy answers or clear sides. Some cops like Batman, some don’t. Some fall somewhere in the middle, respecting the Bat but wanting to be of use to the city.
In the first story arc, Mr. Freeze is the villain. The cops don’t have any special gadgets that help fight off the results of Mr. Freeze’s freeze gun. They just die. But they don’t stand back and let Mr. Freeze run amok and wait for Batman to handle things. They have a job to do. What would it be like to track down a super villain that Batman has trouble dealing with and all you have is a badge and a gun? And not just do it once, but that’s your job. Mr. Freeze. The Joker. Two Face. Catwoman. These cops don’t have high-tech gadgetry. They didn’t spend their youth training in the martial arts. They’re regular Joes.
Batman has had some great stories (The Dark Knight Returns, Year One, Arkham Asylum, The Killing Joke), but like any character that’s been around for almost seventy-five years, there’s really only so much you can do by tackling the character directly. By opening the world and seeing how other characters have to say about Batman, Brubaker and Rucka are able to add depth to the Batman mythos without trending worn territory. I don’t usually do this, but follow this link and go get yourself a copy of the first ten issues. You won’t regret it.
P.S. A few weeks ago, Post #7, I wrote about Miracleman. I felt bad about writing about a comic that is so difficult to track down, but it was one the best so I did so anyways. Well, just this past weekend at the New York City Comic Con, Marvel Comics announced that starting in January, they are reprinting Miracleman leading up to Neil Gaiman finishing the story he started twenty years ago. So the wait is nearly over!
Sean Ironman is an MFA candidate at the University of Central Florida, where he also serves as Managing Editor of The Florida Review and as President of the Graduate Writers’ Association. His art has appeared online at River Teeth. His writing can be read in Breakers: An Anthology of Comics and Redivider.
In Boozo Veritas #11 by Teege Braune
One Night Five Years Ago
Yesterday was the five year anniversary of Redlight Redlight’s last night in the original location on New England Avenue. The tiny bar was packed with everyone who had fallen in love with it during its three years in the upstairs space that resembled some secret, old-world tavern or, as one customer described it, the inside of a pirate ship. Brent and I, sad to be leaving a place that was so dear to us and excited for a new adventure in a bigger location, put our emotions aside for a few hours as we desperately tried to keep up with the overflowing crowd.
Amongst friends and acquaintances I noticed a girl I had recently met named Jenn. I didn’t know much about her, but was aware that she taught art and liked Tom Waits. Furthermore, she was the subject of a conspicuous piece of profane graffiti in the restroom, and while the slur was completely inaccurate, scrawled by a jealous, jilted admirer, Jenn bragged about being named within a bar bathroom obscenity rather than feeling embarrassed by it. I found her unwillingness to be shamed very attractive. Truth be told, there was much about her that I found very attractive.
As it was close to Halloween, I was playing horror films and An American Werewolf in London was on, mostly unnoticed by the raucous crowd.
“This is one of my favorite movies,” Jenn said to me unsolicited.
“This has been one of my favorite movies since I was six years old and believed I was a werewolf,” I responded.
I took a much needed break so that we could watch David Naughton transform into a large, angry dog.
We both agreed that, thanks to Rick Baker’s award-winning makeup, it was still the greatest transformation scene in the history of cinema. We talked about werewolves, and Jenn asked me if I had read Sharp Teeth by Toby Barlow. I said I hadn’t, and she explained that it was about a crime syndicate composed of a gang of werewolves living in Los Angeles.
“It’s an epic poem written in free verse, which means that there are lines, but they don’t rhyme,” she explained.
When my hectic and stressful night of bartending was finally coming to a close, I was pleased that Jenn had hung around still nursing her last beer. Brent, some close friends, and I had all planned on hanging out after shutting Redlight Redlight down, but most everyone had gone their separate ways, many of them too drunk to stand. In desperate need of a drink myself, I asked Jenn if she wanted to head around the corner to Eola Wine Company, which had long been my afterwork spot.
As it was a beautiful autumn night, though overcast, we decided to walk the few blocks to the bar, but halfway there a fine mist turned into a downpour. I threw my jacket over Jenn, and we ran the rest of the way in the rain. By the time we got to Eola we were both soaked.
We managed to find seats amidst a drunken office party that was raging around us, and shouting over the din, Jenn and I fell into casual chitchat, asking each other about our lives, where we grew up, where we went to school, etc.
“What did you study in college?” she asked me.
“I was an English and creative writing major,” I answered.
“So I’m guessing you know what free verse means?” she said.
We laughed it off and quickly discovered that we had an almost uncanny number of common interests and mutual loves. At no point during our first date did we suffer any awkward pauses. Instead our conversation was routinely punctuated by, “I can’t believe you’ve read that book!” or “It’s amazing that you like that movie!” Before we realized much time had passed, we were alone in the bar, and it was five o’clock in the morning. The manager Matty had been patiently biding his time, friend that he is, not wanting to rush us.
“Thanks for letting us hang out so late,” I whispered to him when Jenn had stepped away for a moment.
“No problem, man,” he said. “She’s the best date you’ve brought in her yet,” and I definitely agreed.
Fortunately Jenn didn’t hold it against me that I had gotten a little drunker than one should on a first date. She chalked it up to my stressful night of bartending and agreed to go out with me again. The second date lead to another and so on. At the time I met Jenn, I would have been excited to simply go out with someone else who liked to read, but I got so much more than that. It didn’t take long at all before I knew that I had fallen in love with her. Common interests and physical attraction had given way to a simultaneously passionate and solid union. Through some very difficult times and many more filled with joy, Jenn and I built our life together. A couple months ago in a little cemetery on the beach at Captiva Island I asked her if she would marry me. There is no one I trust or care about more than Jenn. I’m so glad that I got drunk with her one night five years ago.
Teege Braune is a writer of literary fiction, horror, essays, and poetry. Recently he has discovered the joys of drinking responsibly. He may or may not be a werewolf.
Like a Geek God #9 by Mark Pursell
Geeks, Ghouls, and Gore
Fear—being brought face to face with your own mortality and the possibility that you will be somehow damaged or erased in mind, spirit, and/or body—has always been replicated in our cultural objects, from scary stories told ‘round a bonfire in the prehistoric dark to the horror movies playing on TV screens and laptops across the world as Halloween approaches. We build society to eliminate, by ever more miniscule degrees, the possibility of personal peril and the situations that would cause us to feel true, deep fear. But approximated in the form of art, it becomes a cathartic drug, a vicarious high that shakes you up in the safety of a theater or your living room and sends you to bed recalibrated, and grateful for the peace of your relatively fearless real life. Horror as an entertainment media genre isn’t for everyone, but geek culture has always embraced it. There’s an entire “horror geek” sub-subculture, men and women who obsessively collect and categorize the endless movies and books and games and shows designed to keep you up long after bedtime, staring paranoid into a corner of your room where the shadows seem a little thicker than they should be. This is, perhaps, because geek culture thrives on the frontier. Whether penetrating the farthest reaches of outer space or pondering the insoluble mysteries of our own brains, geek culture properties tend to be powered by an exploratory spirit, a willingness to boldly go where no man, etc. And what greater frontier is there—what territory more treacherous and titillating—than fear?
Of course, I’m talking about pop culture objects that inspire true fear, which is not the predominant model being followed by many people in the business of crafting chilling stories. Cheap thrills—jump scares, blaring music, torture porn—are lucrative and easy to manufacture. Moviegoers line up for the next Saw or Paranormal Activity (a franchise with a genuinely terrifying first entry that quickly devolved into lackluster contrivance), and the money continues to flow. These movies aren’t really scary, though. They are shocking, but the shock is hollow. You are “scared” not because there is a true atmosphere of dread, but because a banging door or a manipulative quick cut makes you jump. And that’s fine for the milling masses who want merely to be startled, two nervous hours in the dark that they can brush off on the drive back home, hours which sink in and leave an impression as permanent as a bootprint in snow. But geek culture craves more than that. True dread is difficult to bring to life in a pop culture object, but not impossible. Our history as a creative race is littered with stories that electrify our nerve endings, tales humming with an unease that grows, slow but implacable as molasses, into dread. So this Halloween, celebrate like a geek. Pick up the novel Pet Sematary by Stephen King. Watch Rosemary’s Baby. Play the original Resident Evil video game. Spend some time vicariously besieged by the forces of darkness. Leave the jump scares to the plebeians.
Mark Pursell is a lifelong geek and lover of words. His publishing credits include Nimrod International Journal, The New Orleans Review, and The Florida Review, where he also served as poetry editor. His work can most recently be seen in the first volume of the 15 Views of Orlando anthology from Burrow Press. He currently teaches storytelling and narrative design for video games at Full Sail University in Winter Park, Florida.
The Curator of Schlock #10 by Jeffrey Shuster
The Hand: A Story about a Phantom Limb (Mwa ha ha ha ha)
1981’s The Hand is a psychological horror movie starring Michael Caine. Over here at The Museum of Schlock, we typically thumb our nose at psychological horror. We want blood and guts and zombies and devil babies. We don’t want to think. Unfortunately, there is a demand for more films starring Michael Caine on this blog and The Hand is the only one I have at the ready. What could possible go wrong?
Michael Caine plays Jon Lansdale, a husband and father who spends all of his time earning a living for his family by drawing a comic strip about a barbarian named Mandro. Lansdale’s wife, Anne, wants a separation so she can find herself in New York City. They get into a fight while she’s driving and Lansdale gets his hand lopped off by an approaching truck. They don’t find his hand in the tall grass, but that’s okay, it’s not like it was his drawing hand or anything…Oh wait. It was his drawing hand. There’s an ugly stub where his drawing hand used to be. Let’s all laugh at Jon Lansdale! Hahahahaha!
Anyway, Lansdale keeps having dreams about his severed hand crawling around all over the place. His wife thinks he should see a shrink, but Lansdale says there are better things to spend their money. Lansdale’s editor hires a new artist to work on his Mandro strip and the new guy wants to make Mandro into a namby-pamby hero because namby-pamby heroes sell. Lansdale’s wife is spending an awful lot of time hanging out with her studly yet sensitive yoga instructor, but they’re just friends. Let’s all laugh at Jon Lansdale! Hahahahaha!
Anyway, Lansdale quits his cartoon strip to teach at a small college out in California. He teaches a class on drawing comic strips to a bunch of students who don’t really like comics. But one of his hot female students has thing for men with scary prosthetic hands. Lansdale likes this girl and even buys her some lingerie. Then he finds out she’s been sleeping with another professor who resembles a rodeo clown. The student and professor end up missing and the audience is treated to scenes of Lansdale’s severed hand attacking and killing these people.
I won’t spoil the ending for you on whether the hand is real or not, whether Lansdale is doing the murders or if the murders are even happening at all. I don’t think that’s the point of the movie. It’s psychological. It’s an exploration of the darker side of human nature. It’s…who am I kidding? It’s about a bunch of characters who deserve to die from the hand of a protagonist we genuinely identify with. This is one of Michael Caine’s best performances. We see his anger bubbling under the surface and exploding out in full force when the scene requires it.
The direction is impeccable. For a movie released in 1981, it’s held up extremely well. There’s a timeless quality to The Hand and it looks better than most movies made today. Pacing is excellent. The director is a little known filmmaker named Oliver Stone. Yes, Oliver Stone made a horror movie featuring a psychotic Michael Caine and his severed hand. And the movie is good. I don’t know what to tell you folks.
Jeffrey Shuster (episode 47) is an MFA candidate and instructor at the University of Central Florida.
Loading the Canon #9 by Helena-Anne Hittel
Professors Make Art, Too
Today at 6:00, the UCF Art Gallery will open its annual Faculty Exhibit. Now that the professors have passed their BFAs, MFAs, and maybe even received their Doctorates, they can relax and do what they’d like. This is the ultimate dream for an artist today. After you’ve worked so hard to pass your portfolio review, what could be better than having time to follow what your passion truly is, and not having to worry about what anyone else has to say?
This is local art, but with an international background. Some of UCF’s own have exhibited and studied internationally. Some even have works in permanent collections at different institutions. There certainly aren’t many who can say that. Students, this is what you could be in a few years.
A show like this isn’t just a time for the professors of UCF to show off, although the works are fantastic. This is also a good opportunity for the students to remember that their professors are not just arbitrarily chosen to teach art. A while back, I wrote about how mind-blowing it is to think that someone actually sculpted, designed or painted the artworks we know of today. This is kind of like that, except that the artist is (probably) in the room with you. You can go up to them and ask them what is is they were thinking about during the creation of their work and the type of techniques they’ve used. I could actually walk over to wherever Kevin Haran is standing and ask him how he got the inhuman patience it must have taken to draw what is hanging on the wall in front of us. Besides artist talks, when would you get this kind of opportunity?
This show will also give you an opportunity to see one artist’s process live. Wanda Raimundi Ortiz will be painting at the opening reception of this exhibit. This is the stuff of interviews that she is giving us. Not only can we see her in action, we can see how her pieces come to be. How does she start them? How does she know when to stop? You won’t find out unless you take a look.
At a show like this, it’s also easier to get a sense of who these people actually are as artists. They’ve given the audience artist statements, which may or may not de-mystify what you don’t understand, depending on the professor, but looking at their works is also a good way to find out what makes them tick. Their art helps you know them better on a human level, and yes, they are still humans. Even though your drawing professor tells you he doesn’t like your cow skull does not mean that he doesn’t like you as a person.
Helena-Anne Hittel (Episode 35, essay) is an Art History Major at the University of Central Florida and Intern at the UCF Art Gallery.
On this week’s show, I talk to the fiction writer Tessa Mellas,
Cheryl Strayed’s essay about Alice Munro is available here.
The Heaven of Animals, the forthcoming collection from friend-of-the-show David James Poissant, is available for pre-order. Please support the launch of his book, which is remarkable fucking reading.
Orlando Shakespeare Theater presents Dracula: The Journal of Jonathan Harker, from October 9 – November 10, 2013.
The Drunken Odyssey‘s review of this production will appear next week.