Saturday Sessions: Hosted by Triple Canopy and Dalkey Archive Press featuring "An Afternoon of Failure"

Saturday, April 2, 2011
3:00 PM to 5:00 PM

The first fatal airplane crash in history, September 17, 1908. A plane co-built and piloted by Orville Wright suddenly fell one hundred feet, overturned in the air, and crashed in Fort Myer, Virginia, injuring Wright and killing his lone passenger, Army Lt. Thomas E. Selfridge.
(Photo courtesy the Associated Press)

Keith Gessen
Photo: Brett Messenger

Triple Canopy and Dalkey Archive Press host an afternoon of failure, to celebrate the release of the Review of Contemporary Fiction's "Failure" issue, guest-edited by Joshua Cohen. The program will include attempted readings from the issue by Eileen Myles, Helen DeWitt, Sam Frank, Travis Jeppesen, and Keith Gessen; a malfunctioning tribute to the classics of American literature by the theater group Elevator Repair Service; mangled covers of pop songs by US Girls; and an effort by Derek Lucci to resurrect William Gaddis. 

Joshua Cohen's most recent novel is Witz (2010). He is the guest editor of the Review of Contemporary Fiction's "Failure" issue.

Eileen Myles's Inferno (a poet's novel) is just out from OR books. For the essay collection The Importance of Being Iceland (2009), she received a Creative Capital/Warhol Foundation grant. Sorry, Tree (2007) is her most recent book of poems. In 2010, the Poetry Society of America awarded her the Shelley Prize.

Helen DeWitt is author of The Last Samurai (2000) and, with Ilya Gridneff, coauthor of Your Name Here (2007).

Sam Frank is an editor of Triple Canopy.

Travis Jeppesen is a novelist, poet, and art critic based in Berlin. His books include Victims (2003), Poems I Wrote While Watching TV (2006), Wolf at the Door (2007), and a collection of art criticism, Disorientations: Art on the Margins of the "Contemporary" (2008).

Keith Gessen is an editor of n+1. His translation of Voices from Chernobyl won the National Book Critics Circle award for nonfiction in 2005. His first novel, All the Sad Young Literary Men, was published by Viking in 2008.

Elevator Repair Service, a theater ensemble, was founded by director John Collins and a group of actors in 1991. At MoMA PS1, ERS presents a sneak preview of a new collaboration with installation artists Ben Rubin and Mark Hansen. They will playfully mine several of their past shows—including the acclaimed Gatz, a six-hour enactment of The Great Gatsby—and reimagine the material as it falls apart and reforms itself into unexpected new scenes. The work will feature Mike Iveson Jr., Vin Knight, Scott Shepherd, Susie Sokol, Victoria Vazquez, and Ben Williams.

US Girls (Meg Remy) has released two albums, Introducing and Go Grey, both on Siltbreeze, and singles and CD-Rs on Chocolate Monk, Not Not Fun, Hardscrabble Amateurs, Cherry Burger, and Atelier Ciseaux.

William Gaddis (1922-1998) was the author of five novels, two of which won National Book Awards. He taught a course titled "Literature of Failure" at Bard College in 1979.

Actor Derek Lucci, in collaboration with director Ain Gordon, light designer Jennifer Tipton, sculptor Reed Barrow, and documentary film and television maker Scott Boggins, are experimenting in a series of four workshops with the text of AgapÄ� Agape by William Gaddis. The piece, adapted by Lucci, will have its second workshop at Yale Repertory Theatre this spring, followed by a third in New York in early summer.

Triple Canopy is an online magazine, workspace, and platform for editorial and curatorial activities. Working collaboratively with writers, artists, and researchers, Triple Canopy facilitates projects that engage the Internet's specific characteristics as a public forum and as a medium, one with its own evolving practices of reading and viewing, economies of attention, and modes of interaction. In doing so, Triple Canopy is charting an expanded field of publication, drawing on the history of print culture while acting as a hub for the exploration of emerging forms and the public spaces constituted around them.

The Review of Contemporary Fiction was launched in 1981 to provide a critical discourse around innovative literary works of the highest caliber that have largely been ignored by the mainstream media. Over the years, the Review has provided an alternative canon for contemporary fiction and has introduced such writers as David Foster Wallace, David Markson, and Gilbert Sorrentino, well before they were embraced by the critical establishment. (Wallace served for a time as an editor of the journal, and guest-edited a "Future of Fiction" issue, in 1996.) The Review has also published numerous anthology issues dedicated to new writing from foreign countries, special issues dedicated to innovative publishers (Grove Press, Editions P.O.L), and special topic issues, including the present "Failure" issue.


Saturday Sessions is a program of events designed to introduce wide-ranging directions in performance. The experimental program is structured around collaboration and focuses on engaging MoMA PS1 visitors in a unique, two-hour-long experience. Each session features a different host and will occur every other Saturday of the month in the Third Floor Main Gallery.   

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