The MAK Center Schindler House, Los Angeles
13 June 2012
Context Note: In April, May, and June of this year, Les Figues Press hosted a short series of long conversations on queer art and literature. Titled Q.E.D., in honor of Gertrude Stein’s novel by the same name (and one of the earliest coming-out stories), each Q.E.D. event explored the constructions of speech, art, literature, materiality, and sex. The conversations were moderated by Vanessa Place at the historic MAK-Schindler House, L.A.’s original nod to green architecture.
An evening of Authentic Objects: Julie Bamber, Dodie Bellamy and Terry Castle in conversation.
In the third installment of Les Figues Press’ Q.E.D. Series, moderated by Vanessa Place, the initial questions were, “Does an object need a form? Does an objection? Does anything speak for itself?” Artist Julie Bamber, writer Dodie Bellamy and critic (and writer and artist) Terry Castle assembled in the MAK Schindler House in West Hollywood to discuss questions of object-hood before an excited audience.
Patrons gathered, drank Pellegrino and looked at programs. Grapes and cookies sat on a table on the lawn. The copper of the fireplace was bright, next to the concrete walls of the house, with low beams suspended with small lights. A sliding door opened the wall. Afternoon light slanted across the concrete floor, grey.
July 6th, 2012 / 12:00 pm
Discussed in Non/Fiction:
A great essay about the memoir in the modern age that anyone working in fiction or nonfiction should read. (What are un-bendable facts? Where does lying end and art begin? Fact ≠ Truth.)
One of the assigned readings that we didn’t talk about was Jo Anne Beard’s Werner. Excellently strange essay. Would have liked to hear someone’s opinion on it. (It’s in the Best American Essay edited by DF Wallace if you’ve got that on your bookshelf and want to read it and report back to me. No pressure.)
Writing Assignment: Write a short piece (or essay or story) that responds to the title, “The Use of Nonfiction.”
Lethem’s Masterclass was full of zingers. Lots of furious note taking and laughter.
Here’s an idea: What if Wikipedia means the death of post-modern uncertainness? What if Wikipedia necessitates the end of the novel of facts, the novel that is freckled with reportage? Lethem said something to the effect of “putting a fact in your novel is almost a wasted line,” considering that anyone can look up almost anything at any time on the internet.
We mostly talked about Terry Castle’s My Heroine Christmas and The White Album by Joan Didion. Both awesome.
Read by 2/9: Out of Sheer Rage by Jeff Dyer, which looks fun because I took a killer DHL survey my first semester here and I am still digesting