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Painter Painter Playlist: Molly Zuckerman-Hartung

What do you listen to in your studio? We asked this question to each of the artists included in the current Painter Painter exhibition. The artists responded enthusiastically with personal playlists, notes and reflections of what inspires them  or just what is currently stuck on repeat in their studio. The Painter Painter Playlist blog series will […]

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What do you listen to in your studio?

We asked this question to each of the artists included in the current Painter Painter exhibition. The artists responded enthusiastically with personal playlists, notes and reflections of what inspires them  or just what is currently stuck on repeat in their studio. The Painter Painter Playlist blog series will  shares these unique compilations on a regular basis throughout the run of the exhibition.  We hope these posts give a tiny bit of insight into the personalities of the artists while sharing some kick-ass music for you to enjoy.

Molly Zuckerman-Hartung leads off the series. Molly received her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2007, where she now teaches painting and drawing. She also  is co-founder of Julius Caesar Gallery, an artist-run exhibition space in Chicago. Molly writes:

I came of age in Olympia, Washington’s nineties indie/punk scene. Music laid out the rules of engagement and I (badly) concealed my folk tendencies while absorbing the punk critique of hippies. Love is compromised, mediated. No one is happy. Graduate school, in my early thirties, I curtailed listening completely. I have no desire to channel feeling through sound. In the past few years I’ve cataloged my record collection into mp3s; been chastised for my sepia taste, while still locked in the last few decades of twentieth century music with few exceptions. Painting is (my paintings are) DOA; gravity bound, cadaverous, but the excess of ambivalent ardor is stored in the digital cloud. Folksy rage, acoustic angst, autumnal euphorics, all with a cracked voice.  A stubborn critique from voices who knew they would be instrumentalized or “sold out” as we said in the nineties, but chose to articulate their trap anyway. These cages are social, but they are politicized, haunted, agonistic, derailed, monetized and jealous. Recently a student posted a video on my Facebook wall by a band called Girls. The song was Lust For Life, and it was chillingly lite. None of the self-lacerating rage of Iggy Pop (hence none of the wild glee,) and the video echoed the aesthetics and cast of Kids, the Larry Clark NAMBLA train wreck of a movie that set the pace for white twenty-something sexual and social intercourse in the nineties. Unprotected, non-amorous fucking and HIV fear was status quo. This is how I talk about Painting. My studio is full of silence, but I hope it seethes, whoops and throbs, like some of this.

1. The Game (acoustic demo). Echo and the Bunnymen
2. Ninety-Nine and a Half – Dorothy Love Coates

When the only available critique for the affective and cognitive labor class (ie the cultural worker) is apathy, well, my sentences get elliptical…
3. Hot Topic – Le Tigre
Name checking Yoko Ono, Gayatri Spivak, Dorothy Allison, Gertrude Stein, Valie Export, James Baldwin and so many other fighters. Don’t stop.
4. Come Again -The Au Pairs
The Rules for Sex under Network Capitalism in the guise of false feminism.
5. Season of Risk -Ether Island
6. Watchmaker – Excuse 17
7. Yr Mangled Heart – The Gossip
For Doug Ischar and my forever love of Beth Ditto, who I suspect is playing endgame in pop culture, and cuz everything I do has got a hole in it; the only way I can let the absence in.
8. The Ballad of Lucy Jordan – Marianne Faithfull
Regret is nostalgia for grown-ups. I said at the age of thirty-eight.
9. Here Come Cowboys – Psychedelic Furs
10. Vicky’s Box – The Throwing Muses

Kristin Hersh rides mood sidesaddle. When I was eighteen I thought the Throwing Muses were like the Cocteau Twins. I was a fool. I want to make paintings like Hersh makes songs. They are perfect, stubborn, thick and mutable.
11. Is This What You Wanted -Leonard Cohen
Leonard Cohen always knows the you he is singing to, and he knows that he will never know you. The album New Skin for the Old Ceremony is tinny, violas, a little Vegas strip mall razzmatazz and cynicism, K-Y Jelly and Steve McQueen. Neil Young and Leonard Cohen painted the 1970′s a rusty metallic orange sunset with backup singers.
12. BMFA – Martha Wainwright
13. I Don’t Like Mondays. The Boomtown Rats

Written by Bob Geldof after reading of 16-year-old Brenda Ann Spencer, who shot and killed two adults and injured eight children   at Grover Cleveland Elementary School in San Diego, California on January 29, 1979, because, as she said, “I don’t like Mondays, this livens up the day.” Geldof made a rock opera. I listened to this song on repeat after the Newtown Connecticut shooting. Something about the pop orchestration helps me cry.
14. I’m Not Saying – Nico
15. Throw Silver – Mecca Normal

“I used to be very careful about how I represented myself. I was responsible for everything I did and said. I learned that humour didn’t translate well. No matter how clear I thought I was I noticed that I was still misunderstood. In fact, the clearer I was, the larger the degree of misinterpretation. I regained control by deciding that I could allow that to happen. Then I was in the same position. In control. In order to get beyond this I needed to explore the dark. I would like to work my way back from the darkness taking slow steps, breathing in everything I missed along the way.”
-Jean Smith, from The Ghost of Understanding 1998
16. Faces and Names – John Cale
17. Fake Friends – Joan Jett and the Blackhearts
Anti-relational aesthetics anthem. What Markus Miessen calls the nightmare of participation. Or maybe I’m just bitter about not getting into Skowhegan.
18. Everything is Free – Gillian Welch
The melancholy backside of open-source downloadable culture. If everything is free now, why are we working so hard?
19. A Man Needs a Maid – Neil Young
20. People’s Parties – Joni Mitchell
21. Insanely Jealous – The Soft Boys
Green used to be the color of jealousy. Now it’s the color of virtual presence. It’s easier this way.
22. Green Gloves – The National
23. Black Walls – Mythical Beast

24. Pink Sunshine (acoustic version) – Fuzzbox
25. Roman Candle – Elliot Smith
I was an angry young woman.
26. I Shall be Released – Nina Simone
I love the beginning, when she says “y’all pushing, you’re pushing, you’re pushing, just relax, relax, you’re pushing it. It’ll go up by itself. Don’t put nothing in unless you feel it.”
27. Rise – Public Image Limited

Anger is an Energy
28. Brand New Love – Sentridoh