5 Things I Love This Week

by - Tuesday, February 15, 2011

1. Partially empty flights. My flight to New York was so empty I got a whole row to myself. It was epically awesome.

2. Hearing artists speak. This week at CAA, I got to hear panels with Coco Fusco, Joan Semmel, Shirin Neshat, and Zoe Leonard speak about their own work or scholarly perspectives on panels. Listening to their intelligent, funny, and well-spoken insights reminded me of how much I love learning and talking about art. They also showed, as art historians around them let things get catty or dramatic, how grace, good-humor, and thoughtfulness can reveal intelligence and insight better than any theoretical name drop. Neshat spoke so well both about the dangers of censorship and losing our freedoms, but what stuck out the most was her argument that you can't just tear down every cultural boundary, but people's beliefs are important and deserve respect. I wish I had written down everything Leonard said, but the room was too full for me to sit down! I could go on for days, but everyone should look at all these women's work. They are amazing, and seeing them made me feel very lucky that I am getting to do this PhD, even if in the end it comes to nothing.

3. Barbara Rose. I have loved her since writing my paper on Dan Flavin (which got me into Stanford), but she was so bluntly honest that she brought a whole panel basically to its knees. They were at her mercy. It was interesting to see how these sorts of dynamics come to play during a large professional conference, especially when people just put it out on the table, rather than resorting to professional politeness. I found that really fascinating.

4. Homemade English pea pancakes with basil butter and roasted vegetables. So amazing. If you want the recipe, just ask (and trust me, you do). A nice change from the same old Valentine's Day going out to dinner, though I think I enjoyed eating it more than Nick really appreciated cooking it.

5. Museums- I loved getting to go to MoMA, the Met, and the American Folk Art Museum all in the same week. It definitely made me wish I lived in New York. I don't think any of these places need a plug from me, but they were all pretty fantastic all the same.

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