Wednesday, March 09, 2005

From the St. Mark's Bookshop newsstand

In the March issue (#253) of the Wire, a fascinating interview of Daniel Dumile, AKA MF Doom, one of the most enigmatic musicians in pop music, never mind one of the elite rappers in the world of hiphop [last year's Madvillianry--Doom's project with turntable wizard Madlib--was among last year's best records]: Dumile's story is every bit as complex as his split musical personality--he records under numerous personae: Doom, King Geedorah, Viktor Vaughn, Metalface, King Ghidra--starting out in the seminal KMD from Long Island, where he mixed with De La Soul, Boogie Down Productions, and others. (The mask is based on a design from Gladiator.)

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In the Fall 2004 issue of Bidoun, a quarterly on "arts and culture from the Middle East," an article on the Atlas Group, a collective devoted to documenting contemporary Lebanese history, and particularly the history of Lebanon's civil war (1975-90): Walid Raad, a Cooper Union art professor and driving force behind the Atlas Group, imagined the project into existence in 1999 and fabricated an archives that include, amongst other documents, a notebook that traces the make and model of automobiles responsible for car bombings during the war years (see inset).

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  • From the March 3-9 issue of the Village Voice: "An Elegy for the Bowery," a collection of pieces recapping the history of America's most storied skid row, and its impending conversion to millionaire's row.
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Fjords magazine #13 ("Biography") is an exercise in fine production values, a Norse Interview populated with Aryan beauties in varying states of undress. There's an interesting piece on Hans Hamid Rasmussen--the half Norwegian and half Algerian embroidery artist--and a nice mini-photo-essay on Scandinavian interior design.

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Lastly, there's a piece on architect Bernard Khoury in the March issue of Wallpaper*; the designer of Beirut's happening (and beautiful--have a glimpse at the snap in the article) music club B018 is tackling the renovation of what is considered one of Beirut's biggest eyesores: the Beirut City Centre Building, or BCCB, or the "dome," the "egg," the "blob," or the "bubble," a former theater that shows the scars of the Lebanese civil war [see inset, left].
Strangely, though, the photograph that accompanies Wallpaper*'s article--the image here, taken from WSJ.com's Real Estate Journal, doesn't do the structure justice--makes it look nothing short of handsome, lovingly focussing on the structure's character without showing its environs. (None of the Wallpaper*'s photos that accompany the piece are posted online; I encourage everyone to make a detour and check them out.) Khoury's vision [inset, right] may be smart, but at the expense of a beautiful accident.

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