Monday, August 12, 2013

You Know It's August When There Only Two Events in A Week, Plus a Preview for Next Week--Billy X. Curmano and Adam J. Schrager

With both of our authors using their middle initials, I feel obligated to include mine as well. The C. is for Charles, and as is the case with my first name, I have no idea if I was named after someone. It's probably a Chaim.

Tuesday, August 13, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Billy X. Curmano, author of Futurism's Bastard Son.
This event is co-sponsored by Dryhootch.

I don't know if the X. in Billy X. Curmano is for Xavier or Xerses or just because it sounds good. You all of course know tha the W. in Harry W. Schwartz stood for nothing. I asked Mr. Curmano to give me a taste of what he has in store.

"Futurism's Bastard Son is a kind of coffee table art book with an optional DVD that documents several decades of work from somewhat traditional objects to conceptual plans, performances and intimate musings often with a sly touch of humor. The birth of performance or live art is often placed at the feet of the Italian Futurists inspiring the title.

"The book exposes both major and minor works. Curmano was once buried alive for three days in the internationally acclaimed Performance for the Dead. It was followed by a 10-year, 2,367.4-mile lengthwise Mississippi River swim as performance and environmental statement with re-creations in among other places the Milwaukee Art Museum. His search for what separates the masterpiece from the common piece included a 40-day Death Valley Desert Fast. His welded steal Vietnam War inspired sculpture, Tiger Cage on Wheels, was a familiar site around UWM and went on to exhibitions in Minneapolis and at the New Orleans Contemporary Art Center. There are plenty of odds and ends like Arbitrary Time Zones, In Case I should Ever Be Murdered and Live Art for cows and other under-served audiences.

"Curmano served with the 4th Battalion, 503rd Infantry, 173rd Airborne Brigade in Vietnam during 1968 and 1969. He was wounded near Tuy Hoa and carries some of those battle scars into his work. There are even those that have said his extreme projects, art and music have kept a high level of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in check.

"Futurism's Bastard Son was published by Mark Pezinger Verlag – Vienna and released in Kassel, Germany parallel to the international art exposition Documenta 13. The US release followed at the Museum of Modern Art's New York Art Book Fair. It's an artist's life as art in 164 black and white images, poetry and text on 115-gram Munken Lynx paper with stitched thread binding and French Flap covers designed by Astrid Seme. The hard copy is relatively guilt free. Curmano spent several years as a tree planter."

Wednesday, August 14, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Adam J. Schrager, author of The Sixteenth Rail: The Evidence, the Scientist, and the Lindbergh Kidnapping

"The Sixteenth Rail captures the true science behind the Lindbergh baby kidnapping and offers a fresh look at the greatest crime of the twentieth century. Award-winning journalist Adam J. Schrager focuses on the indispensible work of Wisconsin native Arthur Koehler, whose vital role in the case has never been told in such depth. As a forensic scientist and wood expert, Koehler was able to trace the ladder used in the kidnapping to Bruno Hauptman, who was arrested and found guilty. Schrager details Koehler’s process in riveting fashion, making this a must for fans of CSI and NCIS."

From Library Journal: "Framing the story around the kidnapping case, Schrager has written a much-needed biography about Koehler and his important work in the early days of forensic science. Dynamic and compelling, Schrager’s book is a perfect read for anyone interested in the history of criminal justice.”

Adam J. Schrager is an investigative reporter and producer with WISC-TV, the CBS affiliate in Madison, Wisconsin. He has covered politics for more than twenty years and has won numerous journalism accolades, including more than twenty Emmy awards.

And a preview of next Monday, August 19, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Reuben Eisenstein, author of Date Certain.

Reuben Eisenstein is a retired pathologist who has spent most of his career working in academic teaching hospitals. He is the author of many medical and scientific articles and several invited chapters in his fields of interest. Date Certain is his first published work of fiction. So it is no wonder that the work of fiction his is presenting is about the chief of pathology at a Chicago hospital. Let's hope this story isn't drawn from life experience!

"Set in the 1970s, Date Certain is pathologically spooky. The story's full of gruesomely fascinating details, with misidentified body parts on display like so much inventory. At the heart is Benjamin Stone, a well-meaning physician who's been given knowledge he doesn't know how to deal with, from a source he doesn't trust or understand. He finds himself in unsettling company: a know-it-all medical examiner, a bullying detective, an unidentified corpse, and a mysterious Middle-Easterner who might know what this is all about but isn't telling. This is a tale of dreams and nightmares, a fantastic voyage inside the human body and brain, and an exploration of what we might make of the certainty of death."

We sign off with Billy X. Curmano's video account of swimming the Mississippi.

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