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WHO? Larry Clark at the New Museum

February 19, 2013

(Larry Clark montage -1993– shot by Susan Kirschbaum)

02-19-2013 It was a decade ago (almost exactly) when Tiffany Limos —  the girlfriend of Larry Clark — took me to the screening of Clark’s film Ken Park at the Tribeca Grand. Tiff presented a kind of hybrid, sweet and feminine — a gal with origins from both Hawaii and Texas– but also fiercely ambitious and studious of intricacies of human nature. With her, you felt somehow she had a revolving third eye  that caught everything within her radius, which made it all the more difficult, sitting next to her in a small film room,  to watch her have sex with two guys on screen. I remember her asking me to make Larry some matzoh ball soup, as his ex wife is Jewish (his kids half Jewish) and he had a thing for “Jewish penicillin,” my ultimate comfort food.

Now – just last week —  I spied Clark’s contribution to “NYC 1993: Experimental Jet Set, Trash and No Star: “ a time capsule exhibit of that year at the New Museum. It goes back even further, a decade before I met Tiff, and to Clark’s first film, Kids, in which a skater boy who is HIV positive deflowers every downtown virgin he can find. (In her breakout role, Chloe Sevigny portrayed one of them.)

At the time of both films, I had problems with Larry’s work, since it disturbed me profoundly. But, in an exhibitionist age when the self leaked sex tape presents itself as a cheap image booster, what Larry did represents high art.  In all its ugliness, it spoke LOUDLY.

The video shows the history that spurred it on.


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