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Posts Tagged ‘J&L Books’

Susanne Kippenberger on ‘Kippenberger’

March 13, 2012 | by

Martin Kippenberger in Venice, 1996. Photo by Elfie Semotan.

In 1997, when Martin Kippenberger died of alchohol-related liver cancer at the age of forty-four, Roberta Smith opened her New York Times obituary by writing that Kippenberger was “widely considered one of the most talented German artists of his generation.” In fact, outside of a subset of fellow Conceptual artists and prescient gallerists, he was not considered at all. At the time of his death, a museumgoer might have recognized a blurred Richter or a grim Joseph Beuys while being totally unfamiliar with Kippenberger’s hotel drawings, the now-famous series of doodles on hotel stationary.

Although his life was a fast burn, the creation of his reputation has been a slow cementing, set by an extensive 2006 Tate Modern show, a U.S. exhibition that came to MoMA in 2009, and now a biography, released by J&L Books.. Kippenberger: The Artist and His Families is written by Susanne Kippenberger, the artist’s youngest sister and a journalist at the Berlin daily Der Taggespiegel, and translated from German by Damion Searls. It is both a profile of a mad art star and a fascinating history of the bohemian scene in Germany before the fall of the wall. When Ms. Kippenberger met me at City Bakery recently to discuss the book, she did not, as her brother might have, jump on top of the table and pull down her pants then force me to stay out all night drinking.

I saw the Tate show in 2006 and left astounded by the incredible amount and range of work created by someone who died so young. The retrospective included the massive installation “The Happy End of Franz Kafka’s ‘America’,” which is an ersatz sports field filled with desks and chairs; the ironic self-promotional exhibition posters; punkish figurative paintings; self-authored catalogues; and sculptures. I was surprised to find, reading your book, that when he was alive his art seemed eclipsed by his renown as a personality.

Yeah, people thought, He doesn’t do anything. He just sits in bars, throws parties, and talks and drinks and puts on a show of himself. Read More »

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Leanne Shapton

February 16, 2012 | by

It’s no secret how much I admire Leanne Shapton. The former art director of The New York Times’ Op-Ed page is also the author of several books, including Was She Pretty? and Important Artifacts and Personal Property from the Collection of Lenore Doolan and Harold Morris, Including Books, Street Fashion, and Jewelry. She’s also a contributor to The Paris Review. Open any of the last four issues to glimpse her beautiful illustrations of Roberto Bolaño’s The Third Reich. Or buy issue 196, whose cover she painted. I visited her studio space north of Manhattan last spring. I can still remember her dog, Bunny, running to greet me. Leanne served tea and sweets, and we talked long after I turned off my tape recorder.

I wake up, walk the dog, or let the dog out. I’ll pretty much start working right off the top, depending on what I need to do, on deadlines.

I was talking to Sheila Heti about how and where we work. Sometimes I feel I get a lot done waiting for something else, with my shoes and coat on, with the car running. I don’t have a set routine. I can work for hours at a time, but I get a lot of stuff done in these weird starts and stops, which makes it a little bit harder to track. I have so many backs of envelopes with notes written on them in my pockets or stuffed into the side door of a car. I also use my Blackberry to write myself notes. Last night, I wrote myself an e-mail that said, “Tough girls with dark pink skin, England air, etc.” Now it’s sort of coming back to me, but when I woke up and read it, I was like, “What? What did I drink?” Lots happens in these little spaces between work and eating and sleeping. Sheila said she had this image of me standing up—you know how you stand up and eat when you’re really hungry? Well I stand up and work. It’s not a Hemingway thing, it’s more like I have to get this done, because the elevator is coming up. Some thing happens then. And that’s when I work.

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Contact

May 6, 2011 | by

I remember thinking, after the second or third unreturned phone call, maybe this is how it begins with stalkers. A few unreturned phone calls, three or four, but it’s the absence of a good reason that really sets you off. I mean, why isn’t he returning those calls? There’s no good reason. You want to address the problem, to set things straight. So there’s a few more calls, like, why aren’t you answering my calls? It’s not that it’s a big deal to me, it’s not that I don’t have anything else to do, or that my life lacks meaning, but there’s no good reason to be avoiding me. We used to be pretty good friends, and it’s not like we had a big falling out. I mean, it just came into my mind to give you a call, since we hadn’t been in touch for a few years, and I thought maybe you’d want to know that things hadn’t worked out with my marriage.

The point is, I suddenly had an insight about how stalkers are born: mounting frustration, burning resolution, determination to make contact. So you’re thinking the stalker gives birth to himself, but the stalker, and I use the word loosely, very loosely, isn’t necessarily responsible for the birth; there’s at least two parents, I mean.

There was never any threat to your person. With the restraining order you reported that you had reason to believe that you were in danger. The only one who was in danger: me. I’m the first to admit that I went too far with some of my ... When I cut off the tip of my finger and sent it in a package. Sent the tip of my thumb, with the note: What would it take Dale? (What does it?) How did that add up to a threat to you Dale? It added up to a lot of pain for me, but not a threat. If he stopped thinking about himself for five minutes and thought about ... Sent him my finger. Do you know what that’s like, in terms of pain?

Friend is: Dale

This story first appeared in Another Ventriloquist.

See also: “Adam Gilders and Another Ventriloquist.”

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Adam Gilders and ‘Another Ventriloquist’

May 6, 2011 | by

Adam Gilders.

In 1998, Adam Gilders, a Canadian writer, was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. Before his death in 2007 at the age of thirty-six, he wrote close to two hundred stories. Though Gilders’s fiction has been featured in The Paris Review and The Walrus, two of his friends, Jason Fulford and Leanne Shapton, decided to publish a more comprehensive book of Gilders’s writing under their independent imprint, J&L Books. Together, with Geoffrey Bainbridge, Miranda Purves, John Zilcosky, and Adam’s mother, Carla Gilders, they edited Another Ventriloquist, which debuts this Saturday, May 7, at the J&L FUNdraiser. We spoke to Jason and Leanne about the book.

Another Ventriloquist is an unnervingly good read. Can you talk about the status of the book when Adam died of a brain tumor in 2007? Had any of his friends discussed with him the possibility of gathering his writing into a book?

He never talked about publishing a collection of his stories. That was all our idea.

When he died, he had around two hundred unpublished pieces on his computer. One of the first conversations we had with his mother and friends after the funeral was about needing to get his stories collected and published. We never even knew he wrote so much. He was very critical of his own work and most of it he would have never brought forward for publication, especially not the older pieces or funny stuff like “Michael Douglas.” This is the one silver lining we can see to the situation—we get to read all these stories.

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A Big Week!

May 4, 2011 | by

It’s a big week for friends of The Paris Review, one full of readings, parties, and performances that we thought you, our dear readers, might like to attend:

Saturday, May 7: FUNraiser for J&L BOOKS

Leanne Shapton and Jason Fulford will host a fundraiser for their imprint, J&L books, which dedicates itself to publishing well-designed books of previously unpublished or rarely seen work by contemporary artists. A $10 ticket will get you a letterpressed Mother’s Day card and a raffle ticket, as well as access to a sale of vintage clothes, and original art by J&L artists. Later that evening, J&L will celebrate the launch of Another Ventriloquist by Adam Gilders. Click here for more information.

Monday, May 9: David Bezmozgis and Francine Prose

The New York Public Library’s Cullman Center will host a conversation between David Bezmozgis and Francine Prose, who are the authors of The Free World and My New American Life, respectively. Tickets are free but must be reserved. Click here for more information.

Tuesday, May 10: Geoff Dyer Talks with Lorin Stein

At Greenlight Books, Geoff Dyer and Lorin Stein will discuss Dyer’s latest book, a collection of essays called Otherwise Known as the Human Condition at Greenlight Books. Click here for more information.

Wednesday, May 11: Pop-Up Magazine + ESPN Magazine

What happens when you make a magazine for just one night? Nothing is published, nothing goes online—it’s a live magazine. Join contributors to The New Yorker, This American Life, The New York Times Magazine, Harper’s Magazine, and others as they share stories, films, interviews, photography, and much more live on stage. Tickets are $25, click here for more information.

And keep up by checking out our events calendar!

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