Hedi El Kholti

  • Walking Through Clear Water in a Pool Painted Black, New Edition

    Walking Through Clear Water in a Pool Painted Black, New Edition

    Collected Stories

    Cookie Mueller, Hedi El Kholti, Chris Kraus, and Amy Scholder

    The first collected edition of legendary writer, actress, and adventurer Cookie Mueller's stories, featuring the entire contents of her 1990 book Walking through Clear Water in a Pool Painted Black, alongside more than two dozen others, some previously unpublished.

    Legendary as an underground actress, female adventurer, and East Village raconteur, Cookie Mueller's first calling was to the written word: "I started writing when I was six and have never stopped completely," she once confessed. Mueller's 1990 Walking through Clear Water in a Pool Painted Black, the first volume of the Semiotext(e) Native Agents series, was the largest collection of stories she compiled during her life. But it presented only a slice of Mueller's prolific work as a writer. This new, landmark volume collects all of Mueller's stories: from the original contents of Clear Water, to additional stories discovered by Amy Scholder for the posthumous anthology Ask Dr. Mueller, to selections from Mueller's art and advice columns for Details and the East Village Eye, to still "new" stories collected and published here for the first time. Olivia Laing's new introduction situates Mueller's writing within the context of her life—and our times.

    Thanks to recent documentaries like Mallory Curley's A Cookie Mueller Encyclopedia and Chloé Griffin's oral biography Edgewise, Mueller's life and work have been discovered by a new generation of readers. Walking through Clear Water in a Pool Painted Black: Collected Stories returns essential source material to these readers, the archive of Mueller's writing itself. Mueller's many mise en scènes—the Baltimore of John Waters, post-Stonewall Provincetown, avant-garde Italy, 1980s New York, an America enduring Reagan and AIDS—patches together a singular personal history and a primer for others. As Laing writes in her introduction, Collected Stories amounts to "a how-to manual for a life ricocheting joyously off the rails... a live corrective to conformity, conservatism, and cruelty."

    • Paperback $17.95
  • Reynaldo Rivera

    Reynaldo Rivera

    Provisional Notes for a Disappeared City

    Reynaldo Rivera, Hedi El Kholti, and Lauren Mackler

    Photographs by Reynaldo Rivera that document a vanished LA of cheap rent, house parties, subversive fashion, and underground bands, and long-closed gay and transvestite bars.

    Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, Reynaldo Rivera took personal photos of the Los Angeles that he lived in and knew: a world of cheap rent, house parties, subversive fashion, underground bands, and a handful of Latino gay and transvestite bars: Mugi's, The Silverlake Lounge, and La Plaza. Most of these bars are long closed and many of the performers have died. But in Rivera's photographs, these men and women live on in a silvery landscape of makeshift old-style cinematic glamour, a fabulous flight from unacceptable reality.

    As a teenager, Rivera took refuge in used bookstores and thrift stores, where he discovered old photo books of Mexican film stars and the work of Lisette Model, Brassai, and Bresson. Inspired, he bought a camera and began photographing people at his hotel. In 1981 he moved to Echo Park and began taking photos for the LA Weekly.

    This book is an ensemble of almost 200 images selected by Hedi El Kholti and Lauren Mackler spanning more than two decades in Los Angeles and Mexico. The book also includes Luis Bauz's story, “Tatiana,” about one of the subjects of these photographs; a critical essay on Rivera's work by Chris Kraus; and a novella-length conversation between Rivera and his friend and contemporary Vaginal Davis about their lives, work, fantasies, and collective histories.

    • Hardcover $34.95

Contributor

  • The Missing Pieces

    The Missing Pieces

    Henri Lefebvre

    An incantatory catalog of cultural artifacts either lost to time or never realized.

    • A boarder for two years following a national funeral, Mirabeau is removed from the Pantheon and transferred to the cemetery of Clamart when his pornographic novels are discovered • A photograph taken by Hessling on Christmas night, 1943, of a young woman nailed alive to the village gate of Novimgorod; Hessling asks his friend Wolfgang Borchert to develop the film, look at the photograph, and destroy it • The Beautiful Gardener, a picture by Max Ernst, burned by the Nazis—from The Missing Pieces

    The Missing Pieces is an incantatory text, a catalog of what has been lost over time and what in some cases never existed. Through a lengthy chain of brief, laconic citations, Henri Lefebvre evokes the history of what is no more and what never was: the artworks, films, screenplays, negatives, poems, symphonies, buildings, letters, concepts, and lives that cannot be seen, heard, read, inhabited, or known about. It is a literary vanitas of sorts, but one that confers an almost mythical quality on the enigmatic creations it recounts—rather than reminding us of the death that inhabits everything humans create.

    Lefebvre's list includes Marcel Duchamp's (accdidentally destroyed) film of Man Ray shaving off the Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven's pubic hair; the page written by Balzac on his deathbed (lost); Spinoza's Treatise on the Rainbow (thrown into a fire); the final seven meters of Kerouac's original typescript for On the Road (eaten by a dog); the chalk drawings of Francis Picabia (erased before an audience); and the one moment in André Malraux's life in which he exclaimed “I believe, for a minute, I was thinking nothing.” The Missing Pieces offers a treasure trove of cultural and artistic detail and will entertain even those readers not enamored of the void.

    • Paperback $13.95
  • In the Shadow of the Silent Majorities, New Edition

    In the Shadow of the Silent Majorities, New Edition

    Jean Baudrillard

    Baudrillard's remarkably prescient meditation on terrorism throws light on post-9/11 delusional fears and political simulations.

    Published one year after Forget Foucault, In the Shadow of the Silent Majorities (1978) may be the most important sociopolitical manifesto of the twentieth century: it calls for nothing less than the end of both sociology and politics. Disenfranchised revolutionaries (the Red Brigades, the Baader-Meinhof Gang) hoped to reach the masses directly through spectacular actions, but their message merely played into the hands of the media and the state. In a media society meaning has no meaning anymore; communication merely communicates itself. Jean Baudrillard uses this last outburst of ideological terrorism in Europe to showcase the end of the "Social." Once invoked by Marx as the motor of history, the masses no longer have sociological reality. In the electronic media society, all the masses can do—and all they will do—is enjoy the spectacle. In the Shadow of the Silent Majorities takes to its ultimate conclusion the "end of ideologies" experienced in Europe after the Soviet invasion of Hungary and the death of revolutionary illusions after May 1968. Ideological terrorism doesn't represent anything anymore, writes Baudrillard, not even itself. It is just the last hysterical reaction to discredited political illusions.

    • Paperback $15.00