About Dina Seiden

Writer, artist, freak, haltitophobe .

Photographs by Erin Albrecht

Erin Albrecht took these photographs of me as part of a series she was working on with Billy Schultz on what I guess you could call composure and then overexertion cause I don’t know what they wound up calling it, ironically these are part of the composed shots. erin_3 Billy wound up training me later for the exertion part, he ran me around the neighborhood so I would schvitz and then gave me physical obstacles to overcome during the shoot to make me look spent, as in freshly fucked and nearly dead, both. He’s a performer and has been trained as a clown (in the sort avant-garde sense of clownhood, whatever the fuck that means these days) but he really could have moonlit as an Abu Ghraib torturer, I mean he had me destroying myself, performing twelve sets of kegels for a count of sixty, both navel and anal simultaneously! But seriously, Erin really is a just an exceptionally talented photographer. Check her pastiche of photos out at http://publicfruit.tumblr.com, which was featured on Vice a while ago, but I’m too lazy to find the link. erin_1 I would say more for the record because I am promising myself I’m gonna try to be as honest and unaffected as I can be on here cause what the fuck else is the point, but I’ve found that Erin has a hard time stomaching my version of honesty so I’ll leave the post at that. .


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I’m in Jew York…

the group show, that is, at Zach Feuer Gallery (other half of show is at UNTITLED Gallery. Other chosens include Eva Hesse, Joel Shapiro, Dan Graham, Michael Portnoy, Peter Halley, Diane Arbus, Lisa Oppenheim, Roy Lichtenstein, Hannah Wilke, Louise Nevelson, Leon Golub so I’m in great company, methinks. My video is on view from June 20 to July 26, 2013 at Zach Feuer, 548 West 22nd Street.


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Gertrude: An Introduction

So my better half accepted an edible arrangement delivery, a skinned melon and dingleberry [???!!!???] bouquet meant for my absent neighbor, Gertrude (95 and vicious). he just plopped it down on our Gilbert Rohde dresser and the aberrant nosegay leaked melon sweat and chocolate stool all over the paldao veneer top. when i got home to find this shit sitting there, i quickly refrigerated the top-heavy fucker, but it toppled over and broke three eggs, water everywhere, what a clean-up (first my dresser, then the refrigerator). i listened feverishly for hours until Gertrude tried her key in her lock and then i accosted her with her fucking pathetic mother’s day bushel of now sulking melon (i ate three dingles, which turned out to be chocolate-covered strawberries, pulling the plastic spears out of the spongy base so she wouldn’t notice the absence). she was exhausted from her volunteer work at Maimonides hospital (i once asked her what she did there and she said, “anything, as long as it doesn’t involve sick people. mostly i sell photos of newborns to exhausted mothers. i find it’s best if you hit them up before the epidural wears off and before they have inspected their episiotomy stitches”). she’s annoyed that her niece sent melons instead of yellow tulips, which everybody on earth knows are her favorite. i recommended we pull the melon off the spears and place the stigmatic wedges in a bowl since the arrangement is unwieldy. “good idea” she says before tangentially recommending that i make a practice of putting my hair up in braids and pinning up the remaining frizz. she finishes with “because you really shouldn’t be seen out this way.” there’s uncooperative plastic coating part of the vase and i ask her for scissors. she hands me a pair, and, holy shit, they are Spencer’s missing razor-sharp artist’s shears, the blue and green handles of which are initialized S.E.B. in thin sharpie. my head is spinning but i get it together, finish my task and try to make my way to the door with the scissors. she says, “thanks…wait, you’re walking out with my scissors.” i don’t know how to confront her so i give her the scissors. i race into our apartment to tell Spence and as we’re freaking out, the doorbell rings, it’s Gertrude with the bowl of melon. “you must take some.” “oh no, Gertrude, i’m not a big sweaty melon fan.” “PLEASE!!!” she’s not gonna take no for an answer so i pick up a wedge and stick it in my mouth. weirdly, the cantaloupe tastes like detergent and ketchup and it’s very crunchy. though i expected something awful, i wasn’t expecting the taste profile to ring poisonous, and i had to spit the remains out into my hand. Gertrude laughs. “oh god, Gertrude, you can’t possibly eat that!” “i know!” “you tasted this melon before offering it. is this WHY you offered me the melon?” Gertrude nods her head and we both start cackling. don’t you see, i couldn’t help laughing with her, she’s just such a fearless, shameless amazing bitch! bravo, Gertrude, you fuckin thief!

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The Straighteners

My flat iron is made by nazis, and i’m not kidding…and all that paraben-laden product. Chi, the most popular hair straightening tool and product manufacturer. Chi, the abbreviation of Christ. my heat protectant lotion is Jesus Juice. Christ to the rescue! Christ will save my heathen hair situation. it will set me straight, as in Christian. but also Chi as in Qi, as in life energy. straightening is akin to fueling or giving someone breath, the implication being that people with frazzled hair like me are the walking dead, or at least unbalanced (ya think?). i’m always aware that when i purchase my flat iron heat protectant or a smoothing gel, i’m contributing to some eugenicist’s kid’s college fund.

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On Crosby Street

I see a cab pull into a spot in front of a hydrant. I see the passenger door swing open, I see two bony brown hands poke out the bottom of the opening, both fisting upheld liter-sized Poland spring bottles brimming with foggy yellow liquid, I see wrists twist to pour the liquid into the gutter, I smell french fries dipped in a bright if caustic fish sauce, the infection has surely traveled to the kidney, I want to tell him, but he’s shut the door and is pulling out, his reek is now just mine to withstand. He’s passed on his present. I think I should have been a pathologist, I think there should be public toilets, there should be driver’s seats that double as commodes, the urethra is primitive, insufficient. Mine is so narrow, I’d be dead without soap or antibiotics. He’ll be dead in a few days without the big boys: bactrim, preferably an I.V. I run behind the cab, waving violently. He stops, where do I want to go? Oh, you probably wouldn’t take me because it’s ass-out in brooklyn, even though by law you should, mother fucker, anyway I have a car parked down the block but you, sir, you should have that urine analyzed, powerful stuff, too much going on in there, I’ve been there, not judging, just sayin. Fuck you, bitch and he’s off.

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Show at Dixon Place

Dina Seiden at Dixon Place

Pet Your Pathologies in D-Minor

Monday, June 18, 7:30pm, 161A Chrystie St., between Delancey and Rivington

Tickets: https://web.ovationtix.com/trs/pe/9678255

$12 in advance, $15 at door, $10 students/seniors.

A comedo-tragic, one-woman infomercial with free samples of her most show-stopping pathologies, and a lifetime, money-back guarantee, pledged insincerely.

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Shoot Kombucha, Kill Light

I lost seven pounds in two weeks from going off my steroid nasal spray. I’ve made no other changes. But now my spring allergies dither relentlessly in my nasal cavity and pharynx. And the spray taunts me from its stoop in the bathroom while I sit on the toilet. Every breath I take, every move[ment] I make. “Just one teeny weeny spritz!” it whispers, its nozzle glistening with old snot. “Just slip it in!”

I’m like a recovering junkie with a dealer relentlessly texting me: “I’ve gotta freebie with your name written on it!” Not that I know what the fuck it feels like to be a recovering junkie. I fear the comparison is inapplicable and insensitive to people facing real challenges, some of whom are my friends, the very peeps who lend me cred by association, whom I exploit regularly through recounting their stories before strangers at dinner parties. [Tip: Always personalize your stories, make them your own, by adding “and Johnny was supposed to see me that night…” before gassing on about how Johnny lost an arm or woke up naked, covered in vaseline, in a broom closet at the Whitestone Motor Inn].

But back to my nasal spray temptation… To find an applicable comparison from my own experience that will deliver the same impact, this is the task… hmmm… We’ll have to settle for “I’m like what I felt for three minutes during a scene on Breaking Bad, when an actor performed the role of a recovering junkie who starts fucking a drug dealer and is tempted to take dope again. I paused the scene to get some cranberry-infused kombucha and soy-roasted almonds from the kitchen but when I returned for the second minute and a half, the gravity of the scene weighed heavily on me, so heavily in fact, that I actually said to my husband, ‘wow, that was really well-written.'”

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