I don’t subscribe to transcendental notions, generally. I like for things to be firmly rooted in reality and then negotiate from there. I’m not evading, trying to avoid, or trying to distance myself from anything. Let’s get in it. As most of us recognize...no matter how dire circumstances seem to be for human beings, we always find a way to preserve the capacity for joy and the capacity for pleasure at the same time that we’re negotiating disturbing and troubling c... [more]
Five thousand women are murdered annually by their fathers, sons, brothers, or husbands in so-called honor killings. Or at least that’s the most widely cited number, derived from a UN estimate in 2000, the last time an official study was done. The real number, according to experts like Jordanian journalist Rana Husseini, who has covered the subject for over 20 years, is likely much larger. Honor killings are often considered an internal family issue; they’re a highly sensitive topic, a... [more]
Nathan Mabry’s exhibition gripgrabstacksqueeze, at Cherry and Martin, opens with a black, partially abstract, figurative sculpture suggestive of indigenous art placed on an oil drum. The upper half of this totemic form seems to have emerged from the drum, its dark and glutinous texture reminiscent of tar. With this opening work, Mabry succinctly kicks off the show with a meditation on the fetishism of early peoples and their artifacts, as well as the loss of these cultures as a result of m... [more]
In Funeral Doom Spiritual, a multimedia installation that recently opened at ONE Gay and Lesbian National Archives at the USC Libraries, artist and composer M. Lamar confronts themes of Black masculinity, collective trauma, and the white gaze through his singular “Negrogothic” vision.
Combining Lamar’s operatic sounds, sadomasochistic visuals, and lots of smoke, the exhibition’s multichannel black-and-white videos are beautifully Gothic, yet also haunted by symbols of racial violence, slavery,... [more]
Walking down the nonlinear streets in Downtown’s Arts District, Traction Avenue looks about the same today as it did two weeks ago, but it’s changed a lot from how it looked last summer, when I first reported on the gentrification and development of the area.
Storefronts and tenants continue to shuffle—the retail space 12345 once occupied has sat empty with a “For Lease” sign in its window since August; District Gallery is gone; Traction Avenue Gallery closed down a fe... [more]
It took a crisis to spark off the next revolution in technology. In 2009, a year after Lehman Brothers’ disastrous crash and its subsequent domino effect on the rest of the financial sector, the Bitcoin was launched. The concept of cryptocurrency, cashless and operating in a peer-to-peer network, had been around for some ten years but until the dawn of the New Great Depression no one had felt the need to explore it in depth. Its stability—the conversion rate has been hovering around... [more]
Last Thursday evening, with the sun setting and the air slightly chilled, I stood on the corner of 22nd Street and 8th Ave with a group of people all waiting to tour the two residential Chelsea blocks that had been turned into an outdoor exhibition by curator Lal Bahcecioglu. With her show entitled Sneak a Peek, Bahcecioglu turns four residential buildings and one commercial storefront into exhibition spaces by installing video monitors in the street-facing windows. The result takes the viewer out of the... [more]
“Will women always die? Let some men die too. I killed him for my honor,” uttered Çilem Doğan, defending herself with a heartfelt statement. Arrested for murdering her abusive husband, who beat her—even while she was pregnant—and forced her into prostitution, Doğan resisted the long-term abuse one day and shot her husband with bullets originally aimed at her.
Doğan’s story isn’t unique within Turkey’s long history of violence—domestic and o... [more]
A consistent theme across Omer Fast’s work are the many facets of trauma, particularly those which arise from the conflicts being played out across the western world today. But it is how he uses narrative tropes to explore these contemporary tensions that make Fast one of the most talented video artists working at the moment. A major presentation of the artist's videos, currently at BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, is a testament to his layered and moving practice.
5,000 Feet is the Be... [more]
Interesting. The word says a lot and nothing at all. We often leverage it to describe people, projects, and ideas that we don’t quite know what to make of yet—or notions too complicated to be quickly defined. Used and abused, the word teeters on the brink of vacuity. Defining something as interesting insists on a radical subjectivity, the spark of a personal constellation of references and affinities. Yet it equally connotes the superficial bundle of affects often tendered in digital exc... [more]
According to her CV, Sara Ludy “currently lives and works everywhere.” Her art reflects this notion through its eerily universal aesthetics that are somehow simultaneously alien and familiar. Ludy’s work has always stood out from her contemporaries in the new media scene through her explorations of virtual places and objects that exist in the spaces between architecture, dreams, and the digital universe. For the past three years Ludy has been developing an expansive 3D archite... [more]
Annette Weisser is interested in the remnants of history on the human psyche. The Berlin-based artist came of age in rural Germany in the 1980s, grappling with the specter of National Socialism and her own political socialization in West Germany. As part of the Kriegsenkel generation (the “grandchildren of the war”), Weisser and her contemporaries are caught in a moral crisis, horrified by the fascism of the past and unsettled by their nation’s ethos of repentance since the 1960s. H... [more]
How and why an artist comes to be represented by a gallery is a seemingly mysterious process, one of many parts of the industry that exist behind a veil of secrecy. Yet for an artist who has committed to making a living from their art, it is naturally a topic of some interest, one we wanted to look into a bit further. While our exploration hardly threw the entire process open—if anything it highlighted what an individual and idiosyncratic process establishing gallery representation is—we did... [more]
I’m not a gambling man by nature, never quite understood the allure of the blackjack table or roulette wheel. But when Aukje Dekker invited me to a game of Stick or Twist I couldn’t resist.
The game starts at 150 euro. Dekker’s ante is an empty canvas. When she adds something to the painting my deposit increases by 50 euro. At every stage she asks me whether I’ll “stick”—in other words, buy the work as is—or “twist,” and go for another round. I... [more]
Art collectors strike a delicate balance between patron and artist. Though emerging creatives view collectors as a golden ticket to success, stardom, or just their next meal, mid-career artists view their relationship more as a shared dialogue constantly shifting the scope and focus of their endeavors. A shroud of mystery often pervades collectors, radiating with the air of inherited privilege and market control.
Susan Hancock, the owner of the former Royal/T Gallery in LA’s Culver City... [more]
Lee Godie, pronounced “go-DAY.” She was a French Impressionist; her portraits and still-lifes were “better than Cezanne.” Or so went the sales pitch from her habitual perch—and erstwhile studio—on the steps of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Living on the streets, sleeping in the park, sprawling out on the floors of local libraries to draw, using a supermarket as an informal bank, Ms. Godie has become one of the most recognized Chicago artists, perhaps because for a while she... [more]