November 21, 2014

I am still processing this occurrence.

More later about why I was in Knoxville, Tennessee, but for now, just accept that I was. And accept also that I wanted biscuits and gravy around 8am EST, at a diner—an "original" diner, not a strip mall knock-off. Now that I've been magically transported to said diner, know that I ordered and consumed my biscuits and gravy in the splendor of overhead fluorescent lighting, tacky shit on the wall, and if grades were given out like they are in the wacky state of California, ten to one, there would have been a little note on the door letting me know, I could eat at my own risk. Nonetheless, I am alive and I'm not complaining about the food. Or the kitchen floor. The owners were nice, and I was nice back. That counts for something.

So now that we've established the location and my pleasant rapport with the owners, I will proceed.

I ate at a diner, paid, tipped, and asked the owner if I could take some photographs. He said yes. On my way out, in the foyer, I was trying to shoot the claw machine. It sounds cheesy but that's not the point. An old man came out and started yelling at me, telling me that my camera was scaring away all the other old men and they didn't want any part of that facebook stuff. (Yes, earlier, I had aimed my camera in the general direction of the table of old men, but no faces were visible, only their backs). He ranted and yelled for me get out. He yelled at me about 3 or four times and each time I calmly said was just shooting the claw machine and didn't mean to offend anyone. He kept yelling at me and then asked me if I wanted him to go tell Sam, like I was going to get a whooping or something. I told him if Sam was the owner, I had already asked Sam and it was cool by Sam. He yelled again for me to get out and I asked if he was kidding, because at this point, I was in disbelief. I was shooting the claw machine. Oh, and during breakfast when I looked over at the table of old men, one of them was making a lewd tongue gesture to the young cashier. That was my Friday morning and I still never nailed the exposure of the claw machine.

November 16, 2014

Cold Storage

Film stills from In My Mother's House, 1995 ©Mary Addison Hackett

One thing led to another and I stumbled upon some negs from the documentary, In My Mother's House. This is the scene in which I open a working fridge that contained only empty glass jars and the carefully preserved bones of a turkey breast. And twenty some-odd years of freezer frost. I was shooting the scene and interviewing my mom at the same time. We both laughed so hard we cried. 

November 14, 2014

Yesterday's Bounty.

Every now and then I cross-post so if you're following me on tumblr, it's double your fun day. 

Nov. 13, 2014 Nashville, TN.  Mt. Olivet Cemetery 
Most everyone died in the dead of winter. This was my first visit in autumn. My people are buried further up in the granite headstone section where no one leaves plastic flowers. It’s much bleaker, but I respect their wishes to rest with a sense of dignity. I’ll drop by again this winter with holly clippings and the spray-painted gold pine cones I found in the closet.

November 09, 2014

October 27, 2014

What's shaking.

And speaking of what on my mind, in a new column over at Two Coats of Paint, Sharon Butler invited me to contribute a list of things I've been thinking about lately. The current work spans the better part of a year and "lately" is key to this particular list. Enjoy.

October 22, 2014

9:53 AM  Sharon Butler  
I have followed Mary Addison Hackett’s blog Process since she left LA a few years ago and returned to Nashville where her mother was in the hospital. Unfortunately, as Hackett drove across country, she received word that her mother had died. Since then, Hackett has been dividing her time between LA and Nashville, where she lives and works in her childhood home, sifting through family images and objects. Over the years, the gracious home has gradually evolved from the house she grew up in, to a sprawling artist’s studio with paintings, easels, palettes and other evidence of her robust painting practice filling every room.
For the second installment of the “Ideas and Influences” column, I asked Hackett to put together a list of things she’s been thinking about. Her solo exhibition “Crazy Eyes" is on view at David Lusk Gallery in Nashville through November 8. 
[Image at top: Mary Addison Hackett, Seashells, 2014, oil on canvas, 52 x 44 inches.]
1. Stuff and maintenance. The physical stuff. The George Carlin monologue about “Stuff,” stuff. The stuff we maintain and why we maintain it.  
2. Essays by Rebecca Solnit—memory, our perceptions of place and identity. 
3. Camping: a minimalist, transient space for leisure, domestic, and work activity. 
4. Wanderlust, disjointed narratives, and small gestures. While looking through inherited family photographs, I became slightly obsessed with vernacular photography and began collecting found photographs (images above). I’m still fine-tuning my eye for specifics, but I’ve noticed how the need to create a shared narrative with a stranger’s life is almost compulsory and that some of the most interesting narratives happen on the edge of the frame. 
5. Vision and focus— metaphorically and literally. 
6. Sophie Calle’s piece Exquisite Pain. In brief, a Exquisite Pain is a project that began as one thing and,  due to the ending of a relationship, transformed into another. Calle didn’t exhibit the piece until 15 years later, at which point she deemed the breakup “banal.” It’s much more complex than this brief description, but everything about Calle’s piece speaks to me.
7. The night sky, constellations, satellites and flight patterns. (This grouping is attached to wanderlust.) 
8. Susan SontagRoland Barthes (again). After painting from direct observation and pretending I’m kino-eye I’ve been looking back to my own history with the camera and painting. 
9. Document. Documentary. 
10. Art without ego. 
11. Queued up in my virtual reading room: Dylan Thomas, Adventures in the Skin Trade
12. On any given day, I could pack one more item in this list.
Mary Addison Hackett, Hotel Soap, 2013, oil on canvas, 50 x 38 1/2 inches.
Mary Addison Hackett, The Democratic Forest, 2014, oil on canvas, 66 x 56 inches.
Mary Addison Hackett, Pistol Shells, 2013-14, oil on canvas, 24 x18 inches.
Mary Addison Hackett: Crazy Eyes,” David Lusk, Nashville, TN. Through November 8, 2014. For readers in the Nashville area: Hackett will be giving an Artist’s Talk at the gallery on November 6 at 6pm.
[reposted from Two Coats of Paint]

October 25, 2014

Gratitude List:

Unknown, Signal Point. Personal collection.
  1. They are no longer serving pumpkin flavored coffee at Trader Joe's. 
  2. They've run out of pumpkin flavored toaster pastries at Trader Joe's. 
  3. Root vegetables. After a month of pumpkin flavored toaster pastries, I'm eating roasted beets and carrots for breakfast and dinner. With this much fiber, who need lunch? 
  4. A friend I met in Los Angeles about 10 years ago serendipitously called me the other day and offered a suggestion or two while I was trying to pretend like everything was just fine. 
  5. Press and reviews. I know, technically this isn't something to be grateful for since it sounds rather attention-seeking, so gratitude might not be the right word, but I am grateful that I showed up to the easel every day—no matter what kind of colossal and irrelevant crap was looming in my head– and competed a body of work I feel good about and that some people have responded to the work.  The show has been hanging at the gallery for 2 weeks now. I haven't had the chance to view the work in solitude in a distraction-free, white cube space with decent lighting, aka, the gallery. I should make a point to do that next week. It's a Rothko thing. Chapel, up next. Ommm. 
  6. Friends and people I call family. 
  7. The dog. 
  8. Roof over my head. 
  9. The past, seriously. My life would have been boring without it, but I'm grateful it's the past. *I mean this in the best possible way. No one wants to be stuck in the past, even the glamorous, loving kindness salad days parts. It's the past, man. Time to move on. Note to self:  Birdman at the Belcourt opens this week. 
  10. Micro-moments of awareness.