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Linda Ravenswood

May 30, 2012

Linda Ravenswood

Art should have a sense of urgency. Los Angeles interdisciplinary artist Linda Ravenswood works through a program of dissent and protestation, carefully choreographing a radical response to the events and ideas she witnesses in the world. Her work ranges from poetry to performance, installation to ethnographic reportage, and all speak to new modes of being and representation, while simultaneously reflecting on the older modes that are constantly being lost and replaced.

Linda holds a BFA from CalArts, an MA from Mount Saint Mary’s College and is a PhD candidate at the Pacifica Graduate Institute.  Her performance, literary and visual art work can be seen in numerous venues online, in films, and in print.  Her field work includes ethnographic reportage includes cultural ethnographies and witness accounts from Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, Poland, Israel, Palestine, Germany, Greece, England, Armenia, Bulgaria, Norway, South Africa and Russia.

Linda’s new book, Hymnal is available now from Mouthfeel Press.

1. What is your hometown?

Los Angeles, California

2. With what fictional character do you most identify?

Johnny Depp’s character in “The Ninth Gate

3. In the movie of your life, cast an actor to play you.

I would play myself. 

4. What work of art speaks to your soul?

Preisner’s “Lacrimosa

5. What books are you currently reading or recommending?

I am in a PhD program so I am supposed to be reading fifty books or more every semester.  In spite of this, I still love books.  But books nowadays, they’re like styrofoam, like fast food boxes, they don’t even smell like books.  I love a used bookstore.  I recommend going to a used bookstore.  Talk to the guy there.  Sometimes they’re flat liners, but sometimes you can find a mensch.  Start in poetry, skip through the automotive, the crafts, the cooking sections, Zsa Zsa Gabor … and stay on in comics for a while, then treat yourself to the vinyl collection, if this a good shop, they’ll have a turntable and headphones, so you can listen, then finish out the spell with a book on Japanese gardens, or maybe Travel.  Send me your reveries and recommendations.

6. What song or album is currently in heavy rotation on your iPod?

Tom Waits “Frank’s Wild Years”

7. What’s the last movie that made you cry?

“Warren Beatty’s Reds

8.  Cat person or dog person?

Dog person…..  I am currently trying to dogify the house .. we are thinking of going full throttle and inviting a Russian Wolfhound to join us.  Love those people !  In my twenties we had Corgis. 

9. What is more important, truth or kindness?

Kindness ….  Truth is mutable… but kindness is real

10.    How do you define sin?

I’ll go with Blake Edwards’ line from “Victor / Victoria”  “ …….an unhappy emotion invented by pietists in order to exploit the human race.”   But you have to say it like Robert Preston. 

11.    How do you define virtue?

Yes, virtue, all day long, I love this …. Virtue is ….. trying to be excellent.  Sweeping the stairs.  Saying hi to trees.  Being nice to short people when you really just want to be with taller people.  Wait.  What ? 

12.   Design your headstone: What does it say? What does it look like?

Don’t you guys know that I’m immortal ? 

Lay your head where my heart used to be
Hold the earth above me
Lay down in the green grass
Remember when you loved me

Come closer don’t be shy
Stand beneath a rainy sky
The moon is over the rise
Think of me as a train goes by

Clear the thistles and brambles
Whistle ‘Didn’t He Ramble’
Now there’s a bubble of me
And it’s floating in thee

Stand in the shade of me
Things are now made of me
The weather vane will say…
It smells like rain today

G-d took the stars and he tossed ’em
Can’t tell the birds from the blossoms
You’ll never be free of me
He’ll make a tree from me

Don’t say good bye to me
Describe the sky to me
And if the sky falls, mark my words
We’ll catch mocking birds

Lay your head where my heart used to be
Hold the earth above me
Lay down in the green grass
Remember when you loved me

Green Grass, by Waits

Bonus Question: Who would you like to see answer these questions?

Charles Linder


Linda Ravenswood


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