Life In The Fast Lane

"Figuring it out", Instagram photo.


Eileen Myles at Schoolhouse

by Brian Goslow

Eileen Myles is always busy.

Since last fall’s publication of “I Must Be Living Twice:New and Selected Poems 1975-2014” (Ecco), she’s been featured in The New York Times T Magazine (“The Poet Idolized by a New Generation of Feminists”); had the audio version of her 1994 breakthrough autobiographical novel “Chelsea Girls” released; flown to New Zealand, Australia and England for a series of readings and put out “Aloha/irish trees,” a record of new and old poems (Fonograf Editions).

Now she’s about to have her first art exhibition, featuring 20 photographs culled from the nearly 3,000 images she’s posted on Instagram.

The show is the idea of longtime friend and Schoolhouse Gallery director/owner Mike Carroll, who said Myles was an early adaptor to Twitter and Instagram at a time when many people were skeptical about social media. “She filled it up with language,” he said. “It felt immediate and intermediate. So I said to her, can we do a show based on your Instagram posts — that are just hanging out in space with this language?”

The images — of which Myles said, “I have a way of seeing” — are very much like reading her prose: intensely focused on details or moments you don’t always put great importance on at first, or don’t miss till they’re gone: the view from an airplane; graffiti left on a hydrant; a broken pair of glasses; things “stored” in car compartments; old trees still breathing life; scribblings and drawings; a wild kangaroo; and her copy of “War and Peace,” ripped in half so it would fit in her travel bag for her flight Down Under.

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