Indroduction by Christian Lorentzen
“One of the most important chroniclers of the modern psyche.”
The novelist, cultural critic, and indie icon serves up sometimes bitchy, always generous, erudite, and joyful assessments from the last thirty-five years of cutting edge film, art, and literature.
Whether he’s describing Tracy Emin or Warhol, the films of Barbet Schroeder (“Schroeder is well aware that life is not a narrative; that we impose form on the movements of chance, contingency, and impulse....”) or the installations of Barbara Kruger (“Kruger compresses the telling exchanges of lived experience that betray how skewed our lives are…”), Indiana is never just describing. His writing is refreshing, erudite, joyful.
Indiana champions shining examples of literary and artistic merit regardless of whether the individual artist or writer is famous; asserts a standard of care and tradition that has nothing to do with the ivory tower establishment; is unafraid to deliver the coup de grâce when someone needs to say the emperor has no clothes; speaks in the same breath—in the same discerning, insolent, eloquent way—about high art and pop culture. Few writers could get away with saying the things Gary Indiana does. And when the writing is this good, it’s also political, plus it’s a riot of fun on the page.
Here is Gary Indiana on Euro Disney resort park in Marne-la-Valée outside of Paris:
John Berger compares the art of Disney to that of Francis Bacon. He says that the same essential horror lurks in both, and that it springs from the viewer’s imagining: There is nothing else. Even as a child, I understood how unbearable it would be to be trapped inside a cartoon frame.