Surreal Serenade & Dark Web Disruption w/ Anne Walsh, Pamela M. Lee, & Monica Amor

Please join us as Anne Walsh & Pamela M. Lee discuss their new books
with art historian and critic Monica Amor!


Video and performance artist Anne Walsh's encounter with and multipart response to surrealist painter Leonora Carrington's novel The Hearing Trumpet.

Contributions by Dodie Bellamy, Julia Bryan-Wilson, and Claudia LaRocco

Over the past decade, artist Anne Walsh has created an ongoing, multipart response to surrealist painter Leonora Carrington's novel The Hearing Trumpet (written in the early 1960s, published in 1974). Walsh's interdisciplinary works, encompassing video, writing, and performance, chronicle her time with the nonagenarian author and, ultimately, her assumption of the identity of the aging artist. Hello Leonora, Soy Anne Walsh is a visual and written "adaptation" of Carrington's feminist novella, offering a narrative in fragments: a middle-aged artist named Anne Walsh falls in love with the 92-year-old author of a book about a 92-year-old woman who is placed in a sinister and increasingly surreal retirement home.

Walsh courts the author, travels to Mexico to meet her, fantasizes about adapting the book for film, and spends the next decade searching for The Hearing Trumpet's form and cast. Having discovered in Carrington's novel a thrilling, subversive example of old age, Walsh casts herself as an "Apprentice Crone." She stalks old people and takes selfies with them. She becomes a mother, passes through menopause. She sings her daughter's Disney movie songs at "elder theater" classes. She studies and rehearses the trauma, the affliction, the indignity that is old age, and she writes to Leonora Carrington.

The story is told through facsimiles of hand-written letters, annotated research notes, post-it note flow charts, cast lists, scripts, and a photographic essay that loosely narrates Walsh's visits to Carrington in Mexico City, with additional texts by writer Dodie Bellamy, art historian Julia Bryan-Wilson, and poet and critic Claudia La Rocco.


How Silicon Valley, the dark net, and digital culture have affected our relationship to knowledge, history, language, aesthetics, reading, and truth.

In October 2013, twenty-nine-year-old Ross William Ulbricht was arrested at the Glen Park Public Branch Library in San Francisco, accused of being the "Dread Pirate Roberts" and mastermind of a dark net drug marketplace known as Silk Road. Ulbricht was an ardent libertarian who believed Silk Road--described by the New York Times as "the largest, most sophisticated criminal enterprise the internet has ever seen"--was battling the forces of big government. He was convicted two years later of money laundering, computer hacking, and conspiracy to traffic narcotics and sentenced to life in prison.

Art historian Pamela Lee reads this event as a fairy tale of disruption rather than an isolated episode in the history of the dark net, Silicon Valley, and the relationship between public libraries and digital culture. Lee argues that the notion of "disruptive" technology in contemporary culture has radically affected our relationship to knowledge, history, language, aesthetics, reading, and truth. Against the backdrop of her account of Ulbricht and his exploits, Lee provides original readings of five women artists--Gretchen Bender, Cecile B. Evans, Josephine Pryde, Carissa Rodriguez, and Martine Syms--who weigh in, either explicitly or inadvertently, on the nature of contemporary media and technology. Written as a work of experimental art criticism, The Glen Park Library is both a homage to the Bay Area and an excoriation of the ethos of Silicon Valley. As with all fairy tales, the book's ultimate subjects are much greater, however, and Lee casts a critical eye on collisions between privacy and publicity, knowledge and information, and the past and future that are enabled by the technocratic worldview.

produces works in video, performance, audio, photography, and text. Her work has been shown at galleries and museums including Artists Space, CCS Bard Galleries, Whitney Museum of American Art, Royal College of Art, and The J. Paul Getty Museum. She is Associate Professor of Art Practice at University of California, Berkeley.

PAMELA M. LEE is Carnegie Professor of Modern and Contemporary Art at Yale University and the author of Object to Be Destroyed: The Work of Gordon Matta-ClarkChronophobia: On Time in the Art of the 1960sForgetting the Art World (all published by the MIT Press) and The Glen Park Library: A Fairy Tale (no place press).

MONICA AMOR holds a Ph.D. from the Graduate Center of the City University of  New York. She has written art criticism and essays for Art MarginsArtforumArt JournalArt NexusGrey RoomOctoberPoliesterThird Text, and Trans. She has curated several exhibitions and written for numerous catalogues. She has lectured at The Ohio State University and Sara Lawrence College, and has taught at Hunter College, Parsons School of Design, Pratt Institute, the Instituto Universitario di Architettura di Venezia, and the University of Pennsylvania. She is Professor of Global Modern and Contemporary Art at the Maryland Institute College of Art. Her book, Theories of the Nonobject: Argentina, Brazil, Venezuela, 1944-1968 was published in 2016 by The University of California Press. Her current book project is titled: Gego: Weaving the Space In-Between.
Event date: 
Friday, September 20, 2019 - 6:30pm to 8:00pm
Event address: 
Penn Book Center
130 S. 34th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Hello Leonora, Soy Anne Walsh Cover Image
By Anne Walsh, Dodie Bellamy (Contribution by), Julia Bryan-Wilson (Contribution by)
ISBN: 9781949484038
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: No Place Press - July 2nd, 2019

The Glen Park Library: A Fairy Tale of Disruption Cover Image
By Pamela M. Lee, Michelle Kuo (Foreword by)
ISBN: 9781949484021
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Published: No Place Press - June 4th, 2019

Theories of the Nonobject: Argentina, Brazil, Venezuela, 1944–1969 Cover Image
ISBN: 9780520286627
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: University of California Press - March 15th, 2016