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Monday, September 25, 2017

Wendy’s Subway returns

Wendy’s Subway returns to BAM for the second year with a newly envisioned Reading Room.

The space, as part of Next Wave Art, is located in the BAM Fisher Sharp Lobby and houses a collection of over 300 books, including titles selected by Next Wave Festival artists for their relevance to their shows on the BAM Fisher stage and their artworks on view throughout BAM’s campus this fall. Readers will also find a small collection of titles suggested for further reading on other Next Wave Festival performances happening this season.

This year, Wendy’s Subway has also invited 25 international, independent, and artist-run libraries and organizations to recommend titles from their own collections, broadly related to the field of performance. These titles expansively reflect the specific collections of each participating library or organization, and it is our hope that their involvement fosters a platform for sharing resources, references, and forms of knowledge across many publics, within a convivial and intimate reading context.

Below, peruse annotated reading lists from Next Wave Festival artists Maira Kalman and John Heginbotham, whose The Principles of Uncertainty comes to the BAM Fisher this Wednesday, September 25.

Maira Kalman

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking Glass
by Lewis Carroll
New York: Bantam Books, 1984
(first published in 1865 and 1971)
The grandmaster.
Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert, trans. Geoffrey Wall
New York: Penguin Classics, 2002
(first published in French in 1856)
The perfectly tragic story painted in perfect colors.

Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
London: Puffin, 2008 (first published in 1908)
Ratty and toad and mole. Onion sauce!
Onion sauce!

Winnie the Pooh by Alan Alexander Milne and Ernest H. Shepard
New York: Dutton Books for Young Readers, 1988
(first published in 1926)
Heroic deeds in small ways.
Philosophical, funny, and cozy.

Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
New York: Vintage, 1997 (first published in 1955)
How could you not know what this is about? Writing perfection.

Vertigo by W.G. Sebald, trans. Michael Hulse
New York: New Directions, 2016
(first published in German in 1990)
The story of many walks by different people. History and longing. All the important things of life are revealed in a walk.

John Heginbotham

Thirteen by Remy Charlip and Jerry Joyner
New York: Aladdin Books, 1994 (first published in 1975)
This is a book I encountered as a child.
It is by Remy Charlip, a dancer and hero.
It is a reminder to me that there are many wonderful ways.

Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert, trans. Geoffrey Wall
New York: Penguin Classics, 2002
(first published in French in 1856)
I haven’t read it yet. Sorry.
It’s in the dance piece. The colors.
I promise I’ll read it by opening night.

My Favorite Things by Maira Kalman
New York: Harper Design, 2014
This is a catalogue of an exhibit Maira curated for the Cooper-Hewitt Museum of Design. For me, it is an appreciation of things. According to this book, things can be records of heartbreak and descriptions of absurdity. Things stick around.

The Principles of Uncertainty by Maira Kalman
New York: Penguin Books, 2009
This book showed itself to be the way in. 
Maira and I discussed a number of approaches to creating a work for performance, but this book gave us history, the present, humor, sadness, non-sequitur, heart, and the weather.

The Walk by Robert Walser, trans. Christopher Middleton and Susan Bernofsky
New York: New Directions, 2012
(first published in German in 1917)
I asked Maira if she would make a dance piece with me. She agreed and asked what would happen in the piece. I had no idea–I just wanted to work with her. She suggested that we take a walk, and that I read a book called The Walk.

For more information on all Wendy's Subway Reading Room-related programming, please visit 

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