Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Call Her Applebroog

The possibilities and limitations of art as a route to self-knowledge are on display in Call Me Applebroog, Beth B's gently incisive portrait of her mother, Ida Applebroog. For much of the documentary, Applebroog, now in her 80s, culls through her conceptual drawings and self-published books, many of which incorporate handwritten-looking, Dada-esque snippets of thought or observations, in what she calls “a mass excavation of myself and my mind and everything that's pertained to me over the years.”

Choosing pieces for exhibits at a series of high-end art galleries, Applebroog explores her work like an archaeologist, fascinated but mostly perplexed by these shards from the past. Most are highly personal, drawn from or referring to incidents from her life. Yet she often remarks on how far removed she feels from the person who created the work, calling one journal excerpt “a description, of—I have no idea!” and saying of a series of drawings of her vagina that she had forgotten making that “it's almost like finding specimens of yourself hidden away someplace.”

Read the rest in Slant Magazine

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