Issuu on Google+

Ampersand kansas city art institute

Issue 1: Winter 2008


AMPERSAND

INTRO + CONTENTS

An introduction:

Issue 1. RAMZY MASRI | EDITOR IN CHIEF

Ampersand [&] is about connections. Between design & art. Art & music. Music & literature. Literature & fashion. Fashion & photography. In starting Ampersand, our goal was to create an avenue for expression that didn’t exist before. To give students more opportunities for exposure. To create more parallels between departments within the school, between the students and the faculty, between the faculty and the administration, and between the school and the community. This isn’t a traditional newsmagazine. Perhaps we were wrong in calling it that. See this as a collection of curated pages, instead. In many ways, this issue represents our interest in reexamining what journalism can mean to a private art college, and to an arts community. How do we reinterpret traditions to work in a much more visual way, for a much more visual community? Give this issue more than a once-over, and hopefully you’ll find out.

2

VOLUME 1: WINTER 2008


Contents. 4

VISUAL SAMPLING fashion in the midwest

16

PHONOGRAPHY

5

REVIEWS hendrik kurstens

6/7

8/9

FEATURED ARTIST

LITERATURE u n t i l n o w, m o k i t a

michael smith

the boy in the

petunia

striped pajamas

untitled

17

WHOOP-DEE-DOO!

18

19

DO IT YOURSELF

THIS, OR WELFARE

sound writing

10/13

BANTEN [OFFERINGS] photo essay

14/15

DON’T JUDGE A COLLINS BY HER COVER. feature interview

20

RECOMMENDED EATS: happy gillis

Staff. EDITOR IN CHIEF

FORM EDITOR

DESIGN EDITOR

COPY EDITOR

PHOTO EDITOR

ILLUSTRATION EDITOR

ramzy masri

laura berglund

morgan ashley allen

tiffane friesen

emily henson

brian hettler

DESIGNERS

WRITERS

PHOTOGRAPHERS

ILLUSTRATORS

corie chambers

veronica houghton

frank gotay

branwen cromer

jessica lyew ayee

ian tirone

cj schrat

steele snover

ian tirone

anne vieux

matt urlaub

brian hettler

3

jessica lyew-ayee


AMPERSAND

STORY TITLE FASHION

VOLUME 1: WINTER 2008

visual sampling A NEW AUTHENTICITY

ANNE VIEUX | CONTRIBUTOR RAMZY MASRI | PHOTOGRAPHY LAURA BERGLUND | DESIGN

With the absence of a high-fashion culture, the Midwest has developed its own uninhibited visual economy. Brand names don’t matter much here, and the “it” thing doesn’t exist. Kansas City has it’s own seedy underbelly full of messy oversized graphics to chic faded black cheap thrift finds, and classic tailored fits. From fine arts to fashion there is an ambiguity floating around visual culture. Looking to post-modern design, one can see the influence of pastiche and appropriation on the present. I start to think of contemporary fashion as a corporeal equivalent to Frank Gehry’s ‘Gehry House’ built in 1978. His use of an existing base as the context for the house created a range of possibilities for deconstructional meaning. But something else is happening in the Midwest. Reference to history with accessories can be playful and uninhibited. The authenticity and the simultaneity of the past, present, and future become part of the references for interesting compositions I have noticed as a part of the Kansas City style. It seems that this style is demanding an ambiguity. Using existing hierarchies to subvert each other creates this ambiguity. The context becomes the difference in these combinations. It is not about picking a single era of the past to reinvent, but a multiplicity of references, so that they lose their weight of meaning on their own and become something else. Over-stimulation is not

4

necessarily the goal here, like genetics, certain references recede in the presence of more dominant ones. Committing to the nostalgia of one time period seems overly sentimental and suspicious, with no suspension of disbelief. Maybe it is also a little like wearing a whole outfit from one store… Here is where the line between modern style and costuming comes rolling along. Recreating an outfit from a particular time period, such as a flapper, or 1980s punk chic, would be a dead appropriation, cliché and passé! Right? Trends come around again and again but how they are thrown about seems to just gain momentum at different points in time. Whether it comes from personal history or aesthetic admiration, inventiveness and combinations in visual culture in the Midwest are endless. In reusing that faded glory there is new potential for the past.

midwest fashion is a “hybrid product”


Reviews

what to see in kansas city

GALLERY:

BYRON COHEN

BRIAN HETTLER | ILLUSTRATION EDITOR

A small selection of works by Dutch photographer Hendrick Kerstens is currently being shown at the Byron Cohen Gallery, in the Crossroads District. At first glance, these large-scale, high-gloss images of a girl, adorned with headdresses made of everyday objects that are thought of as highly disposable, such as paper towels, bubble wrap, and tin foil seem of another time. There seems to be a connection between the works of Kerstens and that of Johannes Vermeer, as the subtlety of the gaze and the luminescence of these images truly propels this work to a status of contemporary mastery. Kerstens himself feels no intrinsic appropriation is present in the work of the Dutch masters, but acknowledges a connection that has been adapted to fit the needs of the contemporary art viewer. He is very interested in the new romantic and the subtlety of

messages, attempting to create a dialogue about the beauty present in a chaotic world. Kerstens referenced his interest in global warming and recyclables when speaking about his work and stated that he did not want to send a bold message but was more interested in hinting at global issues through profound beauty. All of his images are of his daughter, Paula, as he is looking to her youth as a symbol of the contemporary, presenting a wide range of subtle emotional shifts. From the translucence of the skin to the minor variations in tones of shadow, these images are truly breathtaking and have been edited meticulously to show a small collection of high-quality contemporary portraiture. This work will be up at the Byron Cohen Gallery at 2020 Baltimore Ave. in the Crossroads District of Kansas City until December 27.

MOVIE:

THE BOY IN STRIPED PAJAMAS

VERONICA HOUGHTON | STAFF WRITER

In a world defined by shades of grey, humanity has few truly black and white icons to look toward except in fiction. This is probably why the subject of Nazis and the Holocaust, a pure black swatch in the spectrum of human history, is such a popular subject. Considering the plethora of books and films already in existence about the subject, it’s hard to imagine that anything really innovative could be done about the subject. But it’s for this very reason that The Boy in Striped Pajamas is a worthy viewing. Based on the book of the same name by John Boyne, the story is told from the unique, innocent perspective of an eight year-old German boy, Bruno (Asa Butterfield). The story unfolds in 1940s Berlin where Bruno’s father (David Thewlis) announces a prestigious promotion and that he is moving the family out of the city and onto an isolated estate in the country. With no friends to play with, young Bruno breaks his parents’ rules to go off exploring in the woods surrounding the new home. He comes across a young boy, much like himself, with a strange name and what Bruno believes to be striped pajamas. Oddly, the boy appears to be living on a “farm” surrounded by razorwire where all the workers wear numbers. The boy, Schmuel, is a Jewish prisoner, and Bruno’s father is the administrator of one of the most infamous Nazi concentration camps of all time. The narrative’s perspective rarely breaks from the naïve eight year-old’s viewpoint. The viewer is left in wonder at the rationalizations of a child’s mind when faced with such horrific topics as a work camp and exterminations. Because Bruno cannot grasp the concept of a concentration camp he creates his own mythos of a farm whose workers just happen to all wear striped pajamas. He rejects what he is taught about the Jews, not because he is morally superior to his elders but b cause he is bored by the lessons of his tutor and can’t grasp how someone so similar to himself could be anything but good. In the same vein, his sister Gretel (Amber Beattie) immerses herself in the Hitler youth not because she understands and

5 ILLUSTRATION BY | BRANWEN CROMER

believes the message it preaches but because she is trying to impress an attractive older soldier, Lieutenant Kolter (Rupert Friend). The few glimpses of the adults’ worldview come from the parents. The mother (Vera Farmiga), whose acceptance of the current situation is an eggshell-thin shield that eventually shatters, tolerates more and more until she finds her and her family helplessly lost in a moral blackhole. The father, upheld by his son as the model heroic soldier, never seems to waver from his concept of duty to the Motherland except when the audience learns that he is hiding his mother’s dissension from his superiors. The artful naïveté of the narrative begin to fall apart when the movie reaches its climax. Without giving away too much, the viewer is blatantly manipulated by the heavy-handed treatment of the tragic conclusion. The finale even becomes insulting when one realizes that we are meant to empathize more with the unfortunate consequences to the single German boy than to the deaths of the thousands of Jews in the camp. The ending is meant to leave the audience reflecting on the horror of the Holocaust, but the overbearing and extremely implausible way in which the final minutes unfold obscures the message and leaves the audience pondering the sudden lack of finesse in a film that up until the end gave much to think about. Some viewers may find the ending heartwrenching and emotional if they can manage to overlook its flaws; the superior acting skills of Farminga and Thewlis forgives much. Overall, The Boy in Striped Pajamas is a unique and interesting look into this tragic time in history. It’s no Schindler’s List or Everything is Illuminated, but it does have its moments. Even though the book it is adapted from is marketed as a children’s novel, parents should consider carefully whether or not their children are ready and able to handle the mature content of the movie. the boy in the striped pajamas is now being shown at the Cinemark Theater on the Plaza.


AMPERSAND

FEATURED ARTIST

is a Junior in the painting department at the Kansas City Art Institute.

Michael Smith

michael smith

featured artist :

untitled , m . smith , micron pen , 2007 6

VOLUME 1: WINTER 2008


over a little He didn’t ever get to go to the dentist, so his mouth got filled up with green plastic pieces. Amateur pulp shims. Within a week they had pressure cracks that felt like canyons. They didn’t go to the doctor when he snapped his ankle off the brown van. It healed stupid, looked like a wet sack of gravel. One shoe went tight over it so they cut it a little lose with a pocket knife. He wasn’t good at anything and he smelled like dry wax, but he could kick a rock all the way to the bus stop. The snow made the playground poles black. A girl he liked turned his nose into wet chunks of flint. What he did back made him run all the way home. When he got there he heard the oven door slam.

fancy dirt The crickets got together and started talking. She could hear them a little bit. They were talking about new company. They just started understanding about simple things this year. Most of their clicking was unintelligible, but the pill bugs made slight sense of it. There was another box. It wasn’t quite as full though. The top half was lighter, and it didn’t seem to have been open as long. The corners left a little while ago, burnished away by elbows. She had been here a very long time. The company was a familiar except that it had pieces of sick around the top. Pieces of sick that had been shattered off. The company wasn’t comfortable. He swallowed too fast, and slid down without proper procedure. It took a couple more years of listening, but she figured out that he had done this to himself. Over the course of her listening she also noticed a recurring pattern of tapping every week. The tapping had good intentions but didn’t change anything.

7


AMPERSAND

LITERATURE / POETRY

VOLUME 1: WINTER 2008

FROM THE BATY HOUSE U N T I L N O W, M O K I TA t h e b a t y h o us e is home of k c a i ’s liberal arts department. The following excerpts were curated by Ampersand, and by the faculty of the School of Liberal Arts.

MATT JACOBS

I set down the bowl in front of my brother. He looked at it for a minute then picked up the spoon with his cracked hand, worked, just like Dad’s.  It wasn’t like the movies, you know. We didn’t get to look into each other’s eyes.  She was just gone, and I was flowing with the crowd towards the lifeboats.  Jesus they were strong. Old women like linebackers.  He took a sputtering breath. I remember her in pink Barbie shoes eating peanut butter and celery on the couch after school. She had his eyes. Glancing up for a second I could see those eyes, black now, like the blue had been burned out. 

You know you don’t have to do this. I said.

No, you’re right, it’s for the best. The funny thing was I could still read the name of the ship, middle of the night and there it was: Mokita.  A smile cut across his face like an earthquake. An ancient change. It faded quickly.  No one knew what was going on? No, I didn’t even get up until we were already going down. I remember setting my feet down, and the floor felt like it was slipping away from me. You know we put all our faith in the floor, but it can give. Anyway, when I opened my cabin door some asshole clocked me right in the eye. He shows me the cluster of sunset colored spots just outside his cornea. A miniature constellation, a reminder.  We had lost power, so everyone was just feeling their way around; it was like a ship full of blind idiots. I honestly don’t remember how we got off, but we-       He catches himself and looks up from the table. The vanilla light from my kitchen fan circling around and around on his face like it’s holding on, but not for much longer.  I. I got off.   Looking me right in the eye, he tells me this with a forehead as certain as wood grain. What can I possibly say except, I’m so sorry.

Submissions are welcome. Send worthwhile pieces to: ampersandnewsmag&gmail.com

The words slid right over him; like he’d heard them so many times he had built up a tolerance. He pulled out a cigarette and lit it as I watched the sweat from his hands evaporate off the table. We sat there saying nothing and everything to each other. Finally he crushed the butt inside his bowl and we both watched its last breath be swallowed by my forty-Watt God.  I’m gonna go. I nodded and sat there for a long time after he’d left, trying to imagine my chair sinking through the floor.

8


Untitled IAN TIRONE

X I would have never bought it had i known. These tiny inconsistent pieces. Boxed up in a chamber soft. She wore them consistently around her neck. Captivated by the obscurity it afforded her. I tolerate the way she moved a moment longer. I thought that if I could keep her form getting longer. Unfortunately she had known. They were there to evaluate her. Before I could eat the pieces. I never wanted to buy her neck. Even now she is hideously soft. Even her fingernails are soft. I should not look any longer. This is always the way; sticking out my neck. In time she was known, To have closed the pieces. This ending note is her. I, him, he was always with her. He couldn’t pretend it wasn’t soft. He’ll never finger the pieces. It will never get any longer. He will have never known. The reds crawl down his neck. They migrate from his to her neck. He could have bought anyone but her. What she could have known. The place between was soft. I think he would hold longer. His form was in pieces. I’ll never understand why he ate pieces. He chewed them whole. Down his neck. He always chewed longer, When he was with her. Maybe because it was soft. He would have bought it had I known. What these pieces of people haven’t known, Any longer is that her Unscrupulously inscrutable neck is hardly soft.

Petunia Adam Beris

Tuesday afternoon, I come home from work to find a foreign suitcase by the front door. Inside, my Potential Wife was being tossed around our living room by two bulbous, hairy men. Italians, Greeks--I wasn’t sure. She squealed and squeezed away at parts indistinguishable from kneecaps and armpits. I stood, awestruck. We never had that much fun on our own naked time. Pleasure parties, toys, we even tried role-playing. We would dress up as the devious and inseparable duo, Mike & Kathy. They work together at the same law firm, bowl together on league bowling nights, and volunteer at the local nursing home. Their values were planted in the traditional sense that married couples were one, a collaboration of morals through sickness and health, till death do they part. They even go as far as sharing the same toilet in public places. I find out the strange, hairy (yet superior) men were mail order groomsmen. Men who, from various parts of the world like Albania, Moldova, the Philippines, surrender their man-pride for warm houses, two-car garages and khakis. I imagine a bunch of surly men in a snowy setting huddled around a garbage can fire, arguing in their thick accents, In America, women can do anything they want. There are many more rich and successful women across the ocean than here. Surely some of them need big, strong men to discipline their kids and rub their beautiful American feet. My Potential Wife jumped on that bandwagon. Those men deserve medals. I wasn’t crazy about squeezing her corns and palming her size twelves. She wanted me to scold her two teenage daughters, Joy and Joyous. I couldn’t yell at them for hanging around the leather clad boys in rock bands who would drop them off at two in the morning on school nights. The boys’ custom mufflers would announce the girls’ arrival and, once inside, inevitable chorus of I hate you’s. Things are better these days. I moved out. I’m getting my strength back. I bought the new Caterpillar 287B Tractor. Its auxiliary hydraulics and thick yellow frame let me drive it in rain, sleet, or snow. The smooth mammoth of a machine gives me the right to drive over any terrain. I cruise the cul-de-sacs, observing the residences, the ones with big families, big refrigerators and comfortable couches. I uproot their trees, their gardens, flowerbeds, hoping somehow to better understand the foundation of the household.

X

9


AMPERSAND

STORY TITLE

VOLUME 1: WINTER 2008

in english:

Banten

[ OFFERINGS ]

with Gamelan Genta Kasturi JESSICA LYEW-AYEE | ILLUSTRATOR FRANK GOTAY | PHOTOGRAPHER

On November 11, 2008, as an installment of the artsounds series at kcai, Gamelan Genta Kasturi performed with assistant professor in photography & digital film making, Dwight Frizzell. Dwight accompanied Kasturi on Clarinet. Gamelan orchestration mixed with western composition made for a unique musical experience. Dancers also accompanied the music, performing traditional Balinese numbers.

6


11


AMPERSAND

STORY TITLE

6

VOLUME 1: WINTER 2008


AMPERSAND

STORY TITLE

10 7

VOLUME 1: WINTER 2008


AMPERSAND

KATHLEEN COLLINS

VOLUME 1: WINTER 2008

feature interview:

don’t judge a collins by her cover. president of the kansas city art institute , kathleen collins reveals her clandestine coolness . RAMZY MASRI | EDITOR IN CHIEF

I used to be one of them. I used to be one of the students that complained about President Kathleen Collins. I think it’s natural to want a scapegoat for issues within the school. I, like my peers, felt uneasy about a woman I’d never seen or met, working to represent my interests. I wondered about the way our tuition dollars were being spent — it was quick and easy to blame it all on Collins. However, instead of basing my opinion of the President upon the status quo, I really thought about my complaints and realized that they weren’t grounded in reason. What I found when I actually spoke with her was something completely different from my preconceptions — I was surprised by the fascinating, wonderful, and humble woman that I met. One of the first things that I was surprised by was Collins’ unique past. An undergraduate student at Stanford during California’s rebellious 1960s, Collins was part of this golden era of self-righteousness and protest that so many long to have experienced. “I was there when Bob Dylan was starting out, [...] one of my colleagues married Joan Baez, [...] I was at a Rolling Stones concert front row, center stage – so I was in this amazing era with all of those groups that were so important.” At one time a social worker, at another a waitress, and unexpectedly an employee of Macy’s toy department; I feel as though it’s important to stress that Collins is just like the rest of us. So much so, that she wasn’t afraid to take criticism, to hear complaints, and to question the traditions of art education. Perhaps most importantly, it’s critical to realize what Collins has done while in office to truly affect the quality of this school, inheriting 12 years ago a very different Art Institute, one riddled with very serious problems ranging from low endowment, to conflicts between faculty and administration, a scandal involving the Kemper, and truly unacceptable facilities. During her time here, she has secured our endowment, added and renovated several buildings, made new and important relationships with donors, and “[...] gotten the college to a very different plateau, so that the next administration will have something really strong to build on.” So, whether or not the students realize it, she deserves a lot more credit than she gets. 12

“When I was fairly young, I knew what I wanted to do – I wanted to be a social worker, which is why I ended up getting a degree in psychology.” Beginning her career in a very different field than her current profession, Collins worked for New York City’s Welfare Department, helping Cuban refugees. “It was a hard job in terms of growing up really fast. It was pretty profound.” While her life is very different today, booked almost incessantly from 9-5 with meetings and school affairs, some of the foundations of her early career still apply. “I am sort of a social worker as a President. I’m always dealing with people and issues and how to mediate, so I think there’s an aspect of my job which is a lot about social work.” Though her early passions were for social work in its traditional sense, Collins would also find ways to articulate this in her fine arts practice. As a photographer, Collins documented America’s blue collar workers with an 8 by 10 camera, actually getting a grant for the project. When asked about her ambitions, she said she would have liked to extend this project on a national level, but due to her time constraints as President, isn’t able to. As an artist herself, and President of an art school, I was curious as to the department she would be in if she was enrolled in the college. Collins expressed an interest in fiber and


Collins also articulated how being “open to change” can diversify our student body and attract more illustrious faculty and more talented students because of this college’s rich tradition of breaking the art educational mold. “I think the future has to do with being open, reaching out in specific ways, being obviously thoughtful about what that means, and finding ways to bring that back to the campus so that we can change in a sensible, interesting, and relevant way.” Collins is more of a behind-the-scenes kind of President. Partly due to her crammed schedule, she isn’t able to spend as much time with the students or faculty as she would like to. She stressed though, that this doesn’t mean that she doesn’t care. “What I’d love for students to know is that I’m in constant contact with all the people that you have [is] more exposure to: Gina [Golba], Bambi [Burgard], Larry [Dickerson], Mark [Salmon] — with all of the administrators who have a more direct impact on your lives. What I need to find time to do is more of what you’re talking about [directly speaking with the students], because it would just be an extension of what I do all the time anyway, it’s just that I’m doing it here with those people and not out there with students.”

sculpture. Fiber due to a preoccupation with costume design, and sculpture because she views photography as a sculptural activity. “Because of the way I work, because I did a lot of work with a view camera, I think that I have a sensibility towards three-dimensionality, and being in sculpture would extend that in a way that I’ve never really done, but I’d be really curious to try.”

traditional side comes out, I believe in students having a really solid foundation, knowing how to actually do something, or make something. [...] I’m talking about skills. So I think it’s a tricky business to figure out how broad based a program can become, because it really pushes your thinking about the boundaries, and hopefully in that you don’t end up not really knowing enough about one thing to be successful at it.”

But our interview wasn’t just about her life. Collins spent a large amount of time discussing how she thinks art education will evolve in the future. “My experience is that artists are risk-takers. I think it’s really interesting how that gets forgotten to some degree when things become institutionalized.” What I thought was most interesting was her admission of the possible pitfalls of becoming “too safe.” A recurring theme in our time together, Collins kept referring to this idea of meaningful change, and being open to constantly examining and challenging established paradigms. We talked about an increasing problem in art education: how do we educate artists and designers for a world that has become so eclectic, so broad and collaborative? How does the educational model adapt to an increasing sense of unity and synthesis of the arts? However, she was quick to express the problems in becoming too broad. “This is where my

As for the future of the Art Institute, Collins has a unique and interesting vision. She sees the relationship of the arts to broader and seemingly unrelated fields like the sciences as being important. Interested in how research can inform curriculum and make tangible discoveries, Collins discussed her fascination with a more multidisciplinary approach to art education, and an interest in incorporating the margins. “How does a private art college that is not working in the midst of scientists, mathematicians, anthropologists, sociologists, all of that; how do we function differently so that we really are tied to these different disciplines that would lead to new kinds of research? I would like to see the college become increasingly engaged in research so that we could honestly say that we are helping to make discoveries, that we’re helping to break down barriers, that we’re helping to make new relationships between art and other fields.”

13

The purpose of asking her about this subject was not to underscore any short-comings, only to provide a counterargument to common feelings among the student body. Perhaps what most students don’t realize is how, despite the fact that she doesn’t parade around the campus like a marching band director, she is incessantly here, behind the curtains, working extremely hard to make this school a better place. However, she doesn’t regularly receive the gratitude she deserves for her rigorous social work. “I know this may sound corny, but my job is to make sure we’re providing the best education possible for our students. My job has to do with making sure we’re using our resources wisely. My job is to work hard bringing new resources in. My job is to give general oversight to the academic program. I’ll say often in meetings, if it weren’t for the students, there’s no reason for me to be here.” One of my last questions for Collins was about the legacy she would leave behind at KCAI. Modestly, Collins was hesitant to answer the question – but had an understanding of what she’d already accomplished during her presidency. “ I know that if I left today that I would be leaving the college in a better place than what I inherited.” She discussed the limitations of her ability to make rampant change due to the more practical issues she faced at the start of her time in office. “So I don’t have any great delusions of grandeur [...] I really believe that everyone in a position like mine serves a certain purpose in a particular time, and there will be yet another president who will come in who I’m sure will be very different than who I am, who will also inherit a college that will financially be in a better place, and will be stronger in terms of the facilities. That feels great.”


AMPERSAND

MUSIC

DAVE OZINGA | CONTRIBUTOR

14

VOLUME 1: WINTER 2008


AMPERSAND

WHOOP-DEE -DOO

VOLUME 1: WINTER 2008

A LOOK INTO THE MADNESS OF:

Whoop Dee Doo! ANNE VIEUX | CONTRIBUTOR EMILY HENSON | PHOTO EDITOR

From its name, one may not know what to expect. But Whoop-Dee-Doo is really the only way to explain it. This bizarre, circus-sideshow-like amalgamation of talents leaves the viewer awestruck, through its sheer eclecticism, and ability to conjure up a sense of child-like playfulness. Whoop Dee Doo in essence, is a skit and dance show. However, in a true testament to Postmodernism, it is an almost ADHD assembly of local talent, from a solo R&B singer, to a traditional Indian dance squad, each performance is completely idiosyncratic. The hosts themselves exhibit this sense of the bizarre: Art Institute graduate Jaimie Warren (‘02 Printmaking) was robed in a dress made of junk food, and sipped on a jumbo cup of soda throughout the show. Co-founder Matt Roche was dressed as a werewolf, but throughout his act introductions maintained a monotonous, Ben Stein-like mannerism. The sheer contrast between the two illustrates this almost non-sensical idea of contrast within the show. The set itself is a testament to the child-like wonder of the atmosphere surrounding Whoop Dee Doo. Feeling like a massive fort, the stage and surrounding enclosure is constructed out of what looks like bedsheets and random pieces of fabric. The floor on the inside is padded, additional bleacher-like seating is available. Perhaps the coolest thing about Whoop Dee Doo is its inclsion of all ages, from children to adults. Kids were attracted by the bizarre, almost playhouse nature of it, while adults were drawn in for various reasons. “It feels like a sleep over

15

party with your best friends, or halloween gone Pee-Wee’s Playhouse,” Kansas Citian John Reed said. While the show may be child-like, it has real ambitions for the future in terms of production. In the past, it’s been available on YouTube, but its founders hope to have a dedicated website to broadcast the show in the future. Each part of the bizarre variety show was just as worthwhile as the last. Highlights include the Mt. Rushmore staring contest, The Chordtime Quartet, The Pendergast Machine, and the Esoke West African Dance & Drum Ensemble. No show would be complete, however, with a performance from the SSION. Because of the variety, Whoop-Dee-Doo should be applauded for its glorification of local talent. It provides an avenue for amateurs and masters alike to share their talents with a willing and captivated audience. Just being in the crowd is enough to inspire viewers to recognize the talent around them and participate. Whoop Dee Doo was filmed last at La Esquina gallery in the Crossroads Arts District of Kansas City, Missouri. You can come be a part of this show at La Esquina on January 17th, so come out in a costume and bring kids along to dance and have a good time.

la esquina 1000 West 25th Street Kansas City, MO www.myspace.com/whoopdeedookansascity


AMPERSAND

Grandma Eunice Knows Dear Grandma Eunice, I was raised in a wholesome Baptist home where I was taught that homosexuality is nothing short of a kick in God’s crotch and a straight-up abomination. However, since I was a little girl I have never been attracted to the male form; its just seems so untidy, untucked and all. I have recently found myself surfing online chatrooms for sexually curious Christians, and have met a nice woman named, “Janice, ” who claims to be a self-corrected lesbian. She says she is very interested in meeting me to help me cure my sinful desires through a one-on-one therapy session. Should I go? Do you think her intentions are pure? How can I know for sure if I am a lesbian? Jesus Liked Women. Me too. Dear Me Too, First of all, the issue of your sexuality must be addressed. Although the Bible does say that homosexuality is wrong, many people often experience homosexual urges. Despite my typically pious advice, I say go for it. You only live once, and Lord knows that only a woman truly knows how to pleasure another woman. Honey, if you are a lesbian, there are ways of avoiding getting caught by your fellow churchgoers: keep your hair longer than five inches, wear make-up, and avoid Doc Martins. Also, bring cutely-decorated frosted desserts to church functions, and, most importantly, you must find a “lesbro.” A lesbro is a completely platonic male friend that a lesbian keeps. Generally, a lesbro is kept just as a friend, but in your case you could keep one as a disguise. Dress him up and put him in a suit and the choir women will see him as your potential boyfriend material. Don’t be scared to explore your sexual urgings. As far as Janice goes, questionable intent aside, give her a shot. Perhaps she’ll correct you in new and more exciting ways than you could have imagined. -Grandma Eunice Need some advice? Looking for an answer? Send questions to grandmaeunice@yahoo.com. Questions are edited for length. (Grandma Eunice is not a professional. Advice from Grandma Eunice should not be taken seriously. All actions taken on the inquirers part are subject to no responsibility of Ampersand’s).

VOLUME 1: WINTER 2008

FOR FUN

DO IT YOUR SELF

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

HOW TO FLOAT AWAY FOR FREE OR NEARLY NOTHING † (1) Fold a rectangular shaped piece of paper* ** “hamburger” style.

press to create crease. Flip form over. (5) Fold the other flap up, and crease to make flat.

(2) Fold the top left edge down towards the center of the paper.

(6) Pull in, and touch outter edges of flaps, creating a new diamond shape. Press to make flat. Tuck one of the outer edges under another, to prevent wrinkling.

(3) Fold the top right edge down toward the center, bumping up symmetrically with the previous fold made.

(7) Fold the bottom half up, and crease to make flat, exposing the interior.

(4) Fold the remaining paper flap, below the two previous folds, up and

18

(8) Fold the other bottom half up, and crease to make flat, creating a new triangular shape.

*An ideal paper size would yield a boat capable of seating two, comfortably.

** For “nearly nothing” or to

(9) Grab the right and left and bring togeher.

minimize constuction costs, individual Ampersand pages (of 20 or more issues) can be adhered

(10) By opening the form, touch edges and crease to make flat. (11) Pull the outer layer of paper folds down on either side, and manipulate until edges are formed and form sits flat.

together to create a reasonablyclose-to-ideal rectangular size. † Ampersand is not responsible for any constructions created by these directions, or the damages that may occur from their existence.


illustrated by matt urlaub

urlaubratory@gmail.com

19


visit HAPPY GILLIS Happy Gillis is an inviting, homey cafe situated in the River Market District. 549 Gillis Street, Kansas City, MO 816-471-3663 photography by morgan allen cover design by laura berglund


Ampersand