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EVENTS

CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 9/25/2014

Luck, Laughs, Lust & Love: Chloé Griffin on Cookie Mueller

Featured images and excerpt below are reproduced from Chloé Griffin's love letter to underground Baltimore/Provincetown/New York figure Cookie Mueller, "quite possibly the best history of New York's much reprised 'last avant-garde' of the 1980s" according to Chris Kraus. "Edgewise reinvents the inspired amateurism of Mueller's work, and also creates unforgettable portraits of John Waters' Baltimore and Provincetown in the 1970s, 'when the water was still clean."

Luck, Laughs, Lust & Love: Chloé Griffin on Cookie Mueller
ABOVE: "Cookie" 1970, still from Multiple Maniacs, copyright Dreamland Productions.

"Cookie Mueller as Concetta in Female Trouble. Face caked in white makeup covering bad skin, three-foot-tall beehive, spit curls, liquid black eyeliner, luridly pale lips. She snaps, 'I got a knife here in my pocket and I'm gonna cut you up after class.' I see a girlfriend I wish I had known through the doldrums of high-school detention."

Luck, Laughs, Lust & Love: Chloé Griffin on Cookie Mueller
ABOVE: "Cookie & Provincetown gang," ca. 1973, photographer unknown. Courtesy Susan Lowe.

"My first viewing of John Waters's films at 18 years old seared my imagination. The delinquent humor and the explosion of misfit glamour were obsessing. Their sensibility broke all the parameters of provocation I recognized, conformed to no familiar kind of rebellion. Finally these were the freaks I could relate to, models for unavoidable lunacy."

Luck, Laughs, Lust & Love: Chloé Griffin on Cookie Mueller
ABOVE: "Cookie & John Heys," 1981, photograph by Allen Frame. Courtesy of Gitterman Gallery.

"Eight years later, on a make-shift film set in a derelict storefront in Berlin, a friend hands me a book of short stories called Walking Through Clear Water in a Pool Painted Black, by Cookie Mueller."

Luck, Laughs, Lust & Love: Chloé Griffin on Cookie Mueller
ABOVE: "Pink Flamingos," 2014, illustration by Gwenaël Rattke and Chloé Griffin.

"I don't know what part of us falls in love with the voice in another person's stories, or why I felt something hinge in a mute, broken off part of myself when I read Cookie's words. But Cookie's voice opened up my imagination to new ideas, experiences, possibilities. I felt in her writing a fast desire to live bravely, hilariously and without compromise."

Luck, Laughs, Lust & Love: Chloé Griffin on Cookie Mueller
ABOVE: "The B.B. Steele Review," ca. 1975, photographer unknown. Courtesy of Susan Lowe.

"Through her absurdist observations, her shards of street wisdom and sharp-eyed images of her sometimes heart-breaking life, Cookie drew me in. I wanted to see for myself the characters Cookie wrote about: Shaggy, aka Sharon, dressed like a "cross between a blond Japanese Sumo wrestler and a gypsy fortune teller," and Sue Lowe with her "buck knife the size of her mini skirt." I wanted to find Cookie's "hillbilly beau monde." So I set out—without plan or practice—to look for traces, to pay some kind of homage to Cookie's life."

Luck, Laughs, Lust & Love: Chloé Griffin on Cookie Mueller
ABOVE: "Provincetown Premiere of Female Trouble," 1974, photograph by George Fitzgerald.


Luck, Laughs, Lust & Love: Chloé Griffin on Cookie Mueller
ABOVE: "Cookie & John Waters, NYC," 1977, photograph © Bobby Grossman.
Luck, Laughs, Lust & Love: Chloé Griffin on Cookie Mueller

Edgewise: A Picture of Cookie Mueller

Edgewise: A Picture of Cookie Mueller

BBOOKS VERLAG
Pbk, 6 x 9 in. / 336 pgs / 230 b&w.

$24.95  free shipping




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