Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Chicken Soup

A pause in our couple of weeks of sickness-

A recipe for a mean (yummy mean) chicken soup:

saute onions (1 and 1/2 finely diced)

add water, chicken (preferably including the bone), and salt

let boil

add 3 cloves of mashed garlic (my grandmother's touch is to add some mashed garlic directly into the serving bowl right before serving)

throw in all left over goodies (vegetables- spinach and carrots are our favorite, a starch- last night was tortellini, extra protein- beans and a couple of slices of fresh ginger)

boil and warm on low for as long as you need, want (it gets better the longer it sits)

salt and pepper to taste

lovely as a left-over

thinking of your Someone

Monday, January 28, 2008

Queen farm

Urban sustainability against the local razing machine. Very interesting grass roots potential of Queen farm in Buffalo New York.

Good for them I hope they can make it work.


I was walking to studio on Sunday morning, and a "Crime Scene Investigation" tape blocked my way. A single cop who was still on site told me that, in addition to being very tired himself, someone had gotten shot the night before. I didn't see the blood on the street, and walk the long way around the block to get to studio.

That afternoon the street had been cleared, and a mountain of sand had been poured over the blood to absorb and cover it. If one didn't know about the previous evening's violence, one would never have noticed the sand. But I did and it made me feel vulnerable and nauseated.

This morning I took photos of the makeshift memorial next to the now apparent blood stained street. The yellow gloves next to the hydrant also made an impression on me, as they seem so carelessly thrown away in the same way the sand was just poured over the blood in the road

Thursday, January 24, 2008

268 Berry Street

Our soon-to-be future home at 268 Berry Street. I visit it as much as I can, because I'm so excited it's almost done! The scaffolding is up because the brick face is still being applied, but as early as next week it'll be off.

A closer view of the front facade as it looked this afternoon

We ordered our flooring from a reclaimed distributor in Kentucky. All the wood on all floors is going to be from this lot. It used to be fencing. We love it.

This is the view of Manhattan that we are very shortly going to lose because the warehouse building is getting torn down to build a "luxury condo" building. The demo crew is working really fast. I am going to miss it
Can this be considered a three dimensional drawing? Update shots of the building

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

I'm quite sad to know Heath Ledger died today in SoHo. He was only 28.

the video

I edited the video and sent it to LA today. Fingers crossed we win the contest and get to plant those trees!

Sunday, January 20, 2008


Read this right after I viewed your post,

"A tree grows simultaneously in opposite directions, reaching toward the sky and stretching toward the center of the earth. As we practice an art in an authentic way over time, we also grow in two directions at once: we branch out into the intricate world that our art reveals to us, and we simultaneously send roots into the rich feelings that our soul reveals to us."

Good going, lady!

A few months ago I entered a contest that would help "make my dream come true"; namely, a magazine and fashion label were sponsoring a contest that would help three women with a substantial grant to assist their vision and help them realize a goal. My dream was to plant a large amount of street trees in south Wiliamsburg, to promote healthier living, beautiful a historically toxic neighborhood, and to provide future generations of children with a more aesthetic environment in which to grow up.

Yesterday at 5:30pm, I found out I was a finalist. 1 of 15 selected out of over 2,000 applicants. Yay!

With the help of a friend (and coordination manager of ReelWorks http://www.reelworks.org/, a teen filmmaking program based out of Brooklyn), today I enlisted the help of three young filmmakers named Kareem, Samori, and Nick to help me with a required 4-5 minute video to be sent to magazine headquarters by Wednesday of next week.

In below freezing temperature, we went to south Williamsburg, to the site I planted my first street tree with my Dad, and shot for as long as we could all stand it. We all contributed ideas about shots, lighting, feel, mood, and intention of our video. It felt like a true collaboration, and I really enjoyed spending time with the filmmakers.

Tomorrow we edit, so by Tuesday I hope to have the video to post here as well as have it to send to the magazine's HQ by the Wednesday deadline. Fingers crossed!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Performance Friday and Of Painter's Birth

Thanks for the date Angela and Hayley.

I read your post Friday midday and decided to get to work- Protest was documented with video (hope to upload within a few days.)

Protested in three settings around our house (Alenka was napping so I could not get farther into the suburbs.) The work did not have any spectators, except for one car that drove by.

Wearing an clack overcoat and my arms raised, I chanted to myself, "hitting someone you love is against the law."

From the Protest:
The black overcoat mirrored one soldier's uniform- so I want to somehow (be it with a projection of myself or a painted image) explore our connection; like extending a hand, and hugging.
I've been reading "Creativity Beyond Compare" - and inspired through it. Here's the second version to our birth: The forms will be completely erased except for small squares and the larger one of the umbilical cord.


Last night I saw a preview of an extraordinary movie called War/Dance about displaced Northern Ugandan children and their experience in a national Music competition. It's heartbreaking and inspiring and eye-opening.


meaningcleaning January 18,2008

Collaboration between Hayley Severns
and Angela Rose Voulgarelis Illgen

January 18, 2008
E train platform @ WTC site, 12:30pm
Duration: 1 hour

Products brought:
-Red dust bin with handle
-Pink plastic broom
-Yellow latex gloves, large
-Scrubbing tool

I arrived about 20 minutes before Hayley, to the overwhelming smell of urine and feces coming from the platform and train tracks. Although disgusting, I knew we had chosen an appropriate place to clean. I decided to sweep entire length of platform; riders and MTA workers alike did not approach me or say anything to me. A few people stared as they walked by.

Hayley arrived at 12:20. We collectively decided to clean between 3 I-beams that created two large squares of platform. Our intention was to clean a portion of the platform in relation to the rest of the (dirty) platform as intervention.

We quickly realized that buffing the platform portion to a high shine would be an added bonus as a visual component; cleaning was not enough. Both of us felt we were back in La Cipressaia cleaning the floor together on a Sunday.

Initially, no one asked us questions about what we were doing. The overall responses from MTA workers was positive and appreciative. One worker wanted to nominate us to be "New Yorkers of the Week" from NY1 News. We said we were taking responsibility for our environment. We were largely ignored by train riders.

After cleaning the platform portion, we infused the space with lavender oil to attempt to mask the urine smell eminating from the tracks. We had moderate and temporary success with that. Since the station we chose was the last stop on the line (in many ways: at night the E train is a homeless mecca; during the day it brings business people to the financial district), the trains were held there for 5-10 minutes, a perfect amount of time to infuse a single train car with lavender oil before its departure north through Manhattan.

We worked very quickly: I infused the bases of the poles in the middle of the car while Hayley aesthetically rubbed down the upper poles and seat poles. We also infused the corners of the entry way doors with oil and picked up any debris. We thought a nice follow up would be to travel from the beginning to the end of a train line infusing each car as its moving.

The responses from train riders about the lavender was also mostly positive. We were asked if we were doing "community service" or punishment for breaking the law. Although we were doing community service, we both contributed voluntarily.

The performance lasted one hour. We cleaned a 20' square of platform and infused four train cars with lavender oil.

No one asked us why were were doing this, only "what are you doing?"

We thought we were going to get in trouble, and had a lot of premeditated trepidation, but were pleasantly surprised with the overwhelming humanity by the MTA workers. We were given ideas to include more people to "really be effective". Our cleaning created a point of entry for conversation and inquiry.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Horoscope from a friend

Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23)
FEW PEOPLE truly want to face their fears. Fewer yet want to face themselves. The planets are pushing you to do both.

Not only will you be a better person for it, you will feel better and live with a greater sense of connection to your own existence, and to all these people who surround you: those whose names you know and those you do not. The whole problem with your fears is that they are so detailed. This detail gives them a sense of reality that they might not otherwise have.

What this season of your life is trying to teach you is that you are bigger than your anxieties and, as such, they are like pictures you draw rather than lions who can eat you. The ability to see this distinction is not learned in a day. Most people live like they are being chased down the street by a pack of wild dogs. But there are those points of breakthrough, and you are in one right now. Part of the process involves acquiring mental discipline that is not, frankly, a skill that's rewarded and barely even noticed in our current moment of collective psychic chaos.

When you express yourself in a daring way, you will take the pressure off of yourself. The hottest focus of your chart these days is on the sign Aquarius, the most creative house in your horoscope, and the place you go when you feel like a genius. This you do from time to time, but the paradox is as follows. To tap into your brilliance, that true light that comes from beyond you, you need to soak yourself in your struggle. You need to feel and live through the extent to which your revelations are the result of your pain, your sense of not belonging, and most of all, your craving for the passion that you have not yet experienced.

At least in recent years, you have begun to move toward that hunger, rather than trying to satisfy yourself with a fantasy. Here is a clue. Give the darkness in you a voice that you own. Paint with the colors of your shadow. Feel the freedom in doing so, and listen to what others say to you when they respond. All in all, this is the miracle of healing.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

If Marina Abramovic had the courage to do this in the 70's, so should we now
So let's get on with it already.

Our performance is re-scheduled for Friday due to illness. But now there's a better chance of getting it documented, which is good.

Do you have time on Friday to also do your performance? That could be interesting to parallel our performances.

Contact Anitra about R*EVOLUTION.

Let's keep making work.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Performance Parallels

It seems, as I read your posts, Angela, that we are thinking of the same things at the same time.

The one post that struck a cord, was the one of getting down to business. I have to enter the gallery scene here and show my work on a much larger scale. I really need to take my art to the next level. (It's been lurking around for a decade and always took second place.) I can't push it aside anymore- it's sort of screaming out!

The other one was your last one of performance; here' s a description of a video

me dressed in black, standing still
3/4 shirt so my arms are bare
holding no sign
yet arms are up
eyes eventually close
thinking/chanting to myself "HITTING SOMEONE YOU LOVE IS AGAINST THE LAW"

meaningcleaning round 2

Meaningcleaning has its first NYC performance this coming Wednesday at the WTC train platform of the A, C train. 7AM. Hayley Severns and I are bringing our cleaning gloves and brooms and plan to clean the last subway car and /or platform before each train departs again north through Manhattan...

Thinking about the changeover times between homeless and corporate raiders' use of the train, the site being something to clean in and of itself, etc. We'll see when we get there what we actually wind up cleaning, but that's the intention so far.

We're hoping to document it, with video and/or photos.

Yellow kitchen gloves
Pink kitchen gloves
Broom and dustpan
spray cleanser
lavender oil
Elbow grease

Sunday, January 13, 2008

The beginnings of performance art.

Under the clouds

Tara Donovan's work at the Tate. Saw another of her works at the Met last week. I'm happy that her work was chosen "mid-career" by that museum.

Snow is approaching. The temperature is changing

So much to think about. I don't want to be a bad daughter.

I feel like I'm under this tumbling wave in the ocean.

My first doctor's visit in 10 years tomorrow. Is this what health insurance feels like?

Friday, January 11, 2008

The fighter

Sometimes I feel like the woman standing, but today I feel like the woman on the floor.

My paternal Grandmother in Greece broke her hip yesterday and is in surgery today. In Greece. Due to the *delicate* relationship I have with that side of the family I don't know any more about it. I probably won't know any more either.

She's the last Grandparent I have alive, and I've only met her twice; once when I was 15 and once when I was 20. I can't really communicate with her because she doesn't speak English and I don't speak Greek. But I know what she's saying. And I was named after her. I think of her often, and recently found a small painting I did of her from memory.

A broken hip is often a death sentence for an elderly person. I hope it's not for her. I feel sad.

H and G

Thursday, January 10, 2008

What a difference a "D" makes

The other day a postcard for an upcoming show caught my eye: "the Lack of Desire" opening next week in DUMBO.

Looking at the list of artists, I saw one name I recognized, except it was spelled wrong (or so I thought)... a former colleague, Jill Magid's name was listed, except without the last "D".

Jill Magi.

I was curious, as I used to share a studio with Jill Magid with a "D"...so I googled her with the "incorrect" spelling, and found a completely different and new artist: Jill Magi. It was as if I conjured her up out of thin air. Ironically, I loved the work of this (new to me) artist.

Really interesting work, very much in line with work I used to do when I was sharing space with Jill Magid. It inspired me to see someone's process take form in the way her work has.

I would like to introduce myself to her at the opening. Now I'm definitely going to go to the opening. I'm having trouble embedding the link to her website on this page, but I'll keep trying.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Saartjie Baartman and Christian Boltanski

Went to the Guggenheim last night with a friend to hear Christian Boltanski speak about his work. What a treat!

It's interesting that he called himself a painter; he thinks of himself as a painter.
He noted Joseph Beuys as a main inspiration as a youth.
I heard him say that, with painting, one has to only really have one idea and work it though for one's whole life.

It was also interesting to note the differences of existence between the interviewer, the curator of photography from the Gugg, and the artist himself, Mr. Boltanski.

Art Institution and artist on the same stage. I had a discussion about this with the friend I went to the talk with; she raised some interesting questions about where artists would be without institutions of Art. I still felt very uncomfortable by the over-intellectual nature of the interviewer, although I realize it's the lens she has chosen to see the world through.

Anyway, the evening was interesting enough; I'm really glad I went.

Christian Boltanski

Christian Boltanski

Another issue that keeps coming up for me is that of judgement of the female body, the male gaze, and measurement/measuring up/ keeping the measure, etc. Thinking about comparisons of the Other, Saartjie Baartman comes to mind. Something that keeps coming up since Cape Town workshop.

Hottentot Venus

Monday, January 7, 2008


yes it does not matter,

and yet for ourselves, our spirits, how we live every moment is important- we are part of this great mystery (that's what history should be called, mystory, mystery).

good night...


You know, to complement a sometimes more cynical outlook, it also occurs to me more often than not that none of this actually matters.

I keep thinking of being at Clan William in South Africa looking at the cosmos, being absolutely silent, realizing how much noise we make on this planet and how little any of us actually matter.

I macro zoom out beyond Us into the quiet of space, and look at our planet... I think of all the madness of human consciousness, all the ways we've driven ourselves crazy over the Milena and feel how insignificant we are in relation to space at large.

But then I see another Rembrandt and realize the capacity of greatness of consciousness and begin to question everything again...


Started 10 years ago in Florence when I was studying abroad, as left-over primed canvas ends that I made into postcards and sent as Christmas presents.

I continued in NY sitting with imagery usually from war (right after 9/11). I was trying to paint exactly what I saw and through the process tried to sit with the horror. (Crying a lot.)

Now from my current perspective the left-over black and white scraps needed more. Color. I am taking the direct translation and adding a layer of subtlety. It does not hit you in the stomach so hard, but the message is still there. I am almost at the end of "Light, Darkness and Color in Ptg. Therapy" which has helped me tremendously in feeling colors and their qualities.

Where a group of standing figures (onlookers or perpetrators) stood over decapitated bodies, now all bodies are erased, leaving all head in dialogue.

(Still exploring how to hang these)

the stars

concerned about exposure
artwork coming along
things never left behind
constellations, 16th century
sadness and beauty in mark making

Saturday, January 5, 2008


It's so interesting and great to see the progress shots in your studio Tereza. I love the idea of erasing the calendar after each month...time is so arbitrary anyway. I felt fake in a way "counting down until the New Year" this year. We just looove to categorize everything, we humans.

The painting sketches are really nice to see. What are your concepts involving the images you are working with? What other images are coming to mind for you?

I hope to see you in February for your birthday. Please let me know when you'll be in town.

I feel a bit like the lady at the desk today. Very tired. Calling it an early night tonight so I can brave The Last Day Of The Rembrandt Show At The Met. A friend and I are going. I already went earlier this week but have to return to see the collection one last time.

My mother and handkerchiefs.

A detailed view of mom with handkerchiefs.
And then after lunch I have to run to MoMA for The Last Day Of The Seruat Show At The MOMA. It's going to be a doozy.

But, to be honest, I started my first big painting today in about a year and started drawing again after seeing the Seurat show. Brought me back to what I was interested in 10 years ago, what I stopped working on about 3 years ago. It's so interesting to pick things up again that one left "behind"... nothing ever really leaves.

Thank you as well for the response to the "dirty laundry" piece. It's quite new for me and I appreciate the consideration. I'll send you a card and pencil so you can participate in real life not over the internet. The handwritten response is important to the piece. I was inspired to make it in a way because I've painted the laundry line over and over again in my former paintings that I wanted to see what an actual laundry line could mean in three dimensions. The embroidery also is very meditative and continuing on with "women's work".

What graduate programs are you applying to? That intention seems to be shared by many artists I know.

One of my own resolutions is to not be an artist no one knows about any more. I am finally getting my work on the internet, in galleries, and most importantly out into the world. My very own site to be built and up by mid-year. I'm tired of being afraid of success and afraid of revealing myself to others.

Catherine Lee "the Mark Paintings" at Gallerie Lelong. Woke up to them this morning. Very obsessively made, and very inspiring.

Detail of one of many many canvases like this one. The grid was everywhere for her!

another piece in the show...

and another detail. I get such a sense of Agnes Martin in these pieces. I almost forget they were made in 1977.

Airing dirty laundry

Questions about the reality of such a thing- The literal translation is quite nice-
In our culture of obsessive cleanliness and isles upon isles of cleaning products, of dishwashers, washing machines, dryers, robotic vacuum cleaners, car washes, we hardly see our ‘shit’.

And any personal interaction with it is quite foreign. Hmm, it's making me think of recording a change of personal habits-a diary of keeping dirt or cleaning by hand, more on that later...

I think if one has experienced the chore of cleaning ones clothes, by hand, one would have an all together different interaction with this piece.

It is very pretty (the embroidery, sheets in the wind.) quite a contrast to the concept.

I am also thinking of color- it is on my mind. To actually use dirty laundry perhaps in all kind of weather- undressing from the day and hanging up your dirty laundry, letting it be, living with the smells, the colors- heck just using the laundry line will already make a statement. (Are there not some US laws in place that do not allow one to hang laundry outside?)

The pencils are interesting and desk, test taking elements, putting the viewer into this position and then with the phrase, “Do No Harm”- I love that, all pencils should say this especially in test taking.

Perhaps you can also have people respond via web, I would love to participate.
I’m interested in what some of the phrases are… So do let me know what this piece leads to.

I'm keeping a calendar of daily recycling- in many forms. At the end of the month I erase the words and start anew. I have been much more conscious of my daily movement while doing this.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Today's beginning

I feel like the lady at the desk today, this year. Alenka will be off to school come September and so will we, I hope (applying for an MFA program.)

Still dancing part-time, preparing for a show in April, off to visit the east coast come February and celebrating the 30 years of my existence. Somehow a lot of responsibility comes for me with this number. More to myself than to others (but of course I have others to be responsible for as well).

I want to get into a habit of showing my work- in cafes, hospitals, schools anywhere really. Was inspired by the Seurat sketchbooks enormously- need an exchange with artists. I know what you meant when you said the exchange with artists in LA "came naturally". I felt the same way in Oregon last fall. Want that to continue wherever I am.

So here is a showing (you are my first viewer) of works in progress from the studio, keep in mind that my camera work is not professional but you can get the feel of the work:

image of holding ali for the first time- more about the feel of that. need to work with all the images from birth and this murky red, maroon liquid. ( These will not be paintings- I want something with actual liquid where the images will float- the image of the umbillical cord for example)

scraps- continuing paiting in color over some older black and white images- erasing the figures with some gray, turquoise paint

detail- albeit blurry

scrapbooking-transfers of soldiers in various fields

comission- cobalt, lemon yellow and red madder underpainting

day's end

this is how I felt at the end of last year. Thank God it's 2008!