THE COLLOQUIUM FOR UNPOPULAR CULTURE presents:
ALICE BUTLER, LAST LETTERS AND LOVE LETTERS: GETTING CLOSER TO COOKIE MUELLER – a performative lecture
WHEN: Monday 7 November 2016, 6:30pm
WHERE: Room 674, 721 Broadway [at Waverly Place]
FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC. Refreshments provided.
Before downtown writer and film actress Cookie Mueller died from an AIDS-related infection in November 1989, Nan Goldin took countless pictures of her friend, photographs that gave her the one name of ‘Cookie‘. These were later assembled into a posthumous portfolio. Beyond and behind these images is one of the most dazzling writers of the 1980s, whose witty life-writing performances, across the most touching and transgressive of short stories, took a unique view of the world around her, and the circumstances she found herself in – from burning down her friends’ house in British Columbia to faking sex with a chicken on set with John Waters. One of the final images of Goldin’s The Cookie Portfolio is of Cookie‘s empty Bleecker Street apartment, taken in the aftermath of her funeral. In LAST LETTERS AND LOVE LETTERS, Alice Butler tries to imagine the ephemera strewn across the floor, outside of the camera’s frame…
ALICE BUTLER is a writer based in London, a PhD researcher on a thesis provisionally entitled Close Writing: The Personal Performances of Kathy Acker, Dodie Belamy, Chris Kraus, Cookie Mueller and Eileen Myles, and the winner of the 2012 Frieze Writer’s Prize. She has written catalogue essays for artists such as Joanna Rajkowska, Lucy Clout and Marianna Simnett. She has given talks at institutions such as the Centre for Contemporary Arts in Glasgow and the Royal College of Art. In 2015 she was Jerwood Visual Arts Writer in Residence, and earlier this year she participated in the Whitstable Biennale.
IMAGE: Alice Butler, with illustration by Katie Rose Johnston, Fan Letters of Love: Cookie 1, 2016