not to brag, but writing incisive, exhaustive angry letters is among my very limited and random skills, which include hearing a makeup artist say that women should never wear translucent powder and knowing that is a magazine-worthy beauty tip; or that when anna wintour asks in an interview if you will be able to attend events in the evening that she really wants to know which neighborhood you live in and you just have to assure her it’s soho to get the job; and hopefully something that has to do with sex.
last semester i wrote about the angry letters in the readykeulous show, which exhibited in exhilarating, excruciating detail the many modes of queer and feminist anger, the loudly or quietly desperate ways in which outsider subjects try over and over, with different formal strategies, to get what they want. today i will be like carolee schneemann and near-politely simmer! tomorrow i will use seriality and ventriloquism, like catherine lord, to make my point! at least you get “art” out of it.
in a gallery full of written missives, visual manifestoes, and other forms of fuck you, k8 hardy’s angry letter, above, was the angriest of all. i love the way she deploys an amateur aesthetics to evoke the cycle that keeps queer and feminist artists unprofessional; i love how the memo form conjures the barely-contained resentment of would-be-artists-moonlighting-as-secretaries-slash-wives-of-famous artists; i love that she says her work is “rad as hell.” sometimes i don’t think so, but this totally is.
as barbara pointed out to me, there is an entire relevant genealogy of aestheticized pissed-off epistolary communications, like adrian piper’s calling cards or kara walker’s letters from a black girl. or like chris kraus’s i love dick, which jeanne wrote about on her tumblr just as i was writing this.