Rich girl, street punk, lost girl and icon ... scholar, stripper, victim and media-whore: The late Kathy Acker's legend and writings are wrapped in mythologies, created mostly by Acker herself. In this first, fully authorized biography, Kraus approaches Acker both as a writer, and as a member of the artistic communities from which she emerged. At once forensic and intimate, After Kathy Acker traces the extreme discipline and literary strategies Acker used to develop her work, and the contradictions she longed to embody. Using exhaustive archival research and ongoing conversations with mutual colleagues and friends, Kraus charts Acker's movement through some of the late 20th century's most significant artistic enterprises.
Essays on and around art and art practices by the author of I Love Dick.
A border isn't a metaphor. Knowing each other for over a decade makes us witnesses to each other's lives. My escape is his prison. We meet in a bar and smoke Marlboros.
-from Social Practices Mixing biography, autobiography, fiction, criticism, and conversations among friends, with Social Practices Chris Kraus continues the anthropological exploration of artistic lives and the art world begun in 2004 with Video Green: Los Angeles Art and the Triumph of Nothingness.
Social Practices includes writings from and around the legendary "Chance Event-Three Days in the Desert with Jean Baudrillard" (1996), and "Radical Localism," an exhibition of art and media from Puerto Nuevo's Mexicali Rose that Kraus co-organized with Marco Vera and Richard Birkett in 2012. Attuned to the odd and the anomalous, Kraus profiles Elias Fontes, an Imperial Valley hay merchant who has become an important collector of contemporary Mexican art, and chronicles the demise of a rural convenience store in northern Minnesota. She considers the work of such major contemporary artists as Jason Rhoades, Channa Horowitz, Simon Denny, Yayoi Kusama, Henry Taylor, Julie Becker, Ryan McGinley, and Leigh Ledare. Although Kraus casts a skeptical eye at the genre that's come to be known as "social practice," her book is less a critique than a proposition as to how art might be read through desire and circumstance, delirium, gossip, coincidence, and revenge. All art, she implies, is a social practice.