Eileen Myles and Flavin Judd on David Zwirner’s Dialogues Podcast

On Donald Judd, the desert town of Marfa and poetry.

A new episode of David Zwirner’s Dialogues podcast has premiered earlier this week, and this episode’s guests were the poet Eileen Myles and Flavin Judd, the son of famous minimalist artist Donald Judd. The two spoke of their love for Marfa, Texas, the television series Succession and Eileen’s new literary goal, a 1000 page book—among other things.

The episode is now available to listen to via Apple Podcasts.

Here are our major takeaways:

The desert town of Marfa, Texas is, indeed, a ‘schizophrenic town’.
Flavin Judd: “Underneath you have the old Marfa and its ranching community, and people have been there for generations. Then there’s a layer on top which is kind of like the Hamptons, and there are 20 different kinds of coffee but you still can’t buy batteries when you need them, and stuff like that.”

Though Judd’s work isn’t necessarily attributed to circumstances, his creations did change the artist once Marfa became a big part of his life.
Flavin Judd: “Don started working on the large-scale plywood pieces at around the time that we started going to Marfa. There might be a connection and there might not, but certainly, they came out at the same time.”

Judd’s work is all about erasing the distance between the art object and its observer.
Flavin Judd: “Don always said to see the work, you have to really live with it. Going into a museum and seeing it for three seconds doesn’t count. In essence, Marfa is Don saying, “Okay, here’s the work. Here’s a chair. Just live with it for a while and come back. Go away, come back, go away, come back.” It’s against the commodification of art. It’s against the museumification of art.”

In addition to creating experiential art installations, Judd also experimented with writing.
Eileen Myles: “It’s a weird combination of totemic and playful, and it’s really careful. I mean it reminds me of a few things, like Warhol’s interviews, which I think are so vernacular and I think that’s there, and then Charles Olson, who is so like pronouncing, and Stein, who was like, “This is it.”

Thanks to technology and social media, poetry is making a comeback.
Eileen Myles: People are texting and people are tweeting, and those are like poems. I think when novels become more like accumulations of smaller things, it’s like stylistically we just have to think of different ways to construct.

From left: Eileen Myles and Flavin Judd, 2019. Photo by Alex Casto. Courtesy David Zwirner
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