Jérôme Bel’s oft-controversial repertoire found a new tone, precious and heartwarming, in his new Performa 15 commission, Ballet (New York). As the audience poured in, sunlight filled the Martha Graham Studio Theatre with long blocks of gold. At 3:30, an ensemble filed in, a line-up whose attire was as varied as their bodies, which comprised all ages, abilities, and races. The group also had performances at Marian Goodman Gallery, and the finale will be at El Museo del Barrio (on N... [more]
We live in a digitally manipulated world where Photoshop and Instagram filters are essential everyday tools in public image making. In movies, CGI tricks the audience into believing the impossible by making it visually plausible. In art, we're used to seeing similar qualities: digital tools and graphic design resources have leaked into other creative mediums, achieving through aesthetics what the naked eye fails to see. Yet there are artists who embrace the digital realm, paradoxically, by avoid... [more]
I feel a little sorry for the Sunday Art Fair. As the fair for emerging art it should really be the offshoot of Frieze that shows the cutting-edge work, the small galleries, the artist run spaces, and so on.
Instead it can unfortunately feel like forgotten backwater of the whole event, stuck as it is just a little bit too far location-wise, just a bit too hidden in the basement of Westminster University, and not as big and buzzing as it could be. Which isn’t to say that you can’t see good w... [more]
“I’ll persevere, I am not precious, over-daintyIn wifehood I will use mine instrumentAs freely as my Maker hath it sent.”
—The Wife of Bath by Geoffrey Chaucer
In Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, the Wife of Bath argues against the primacy of virginity within the Church; someone is procreating to birth the virgin and therefore what is chaste is also ephemeral. She sees this as a flaw in God’s plan, and consequently, will reject purity and instead assume sexua... [more]
Something tells me you’ll want to sit for this. You may even want to lie down, as your brain pulsates and heartbeat shifts. Your thoughts are sucked into a vortex of sound; your sense of self absorbed into vibrating air molecules. The more you focus on perception, the more unmoored your mind becomes. And that’s just the first ten minutes.
La Monte Young and Marian Zazeela’s Dream House intends to reorient you: mind, body, and spirit. Currently at Dia:Chelsea, this sonic and visual... [more]
A week from my deadline, I was regretting the assignment I’d asked for: an article about street art in Bushwick. The source of my slowly developing dread about the piece, apart from the challenge of avoiding the issue of gentrification as a central consideration, was my sense of inadequacy as a journalist. I tend to get distracted and lose sight of the angle, and I hate conducting ad hoc interviews. So instead of scheduling meetings and striking up convos with local residents, and with pl... [more]
“Icon” and its derivatives are some of the most overused words in arts writing today. We’re all guilty of bumping an artist up to “iconic” status with a little rhetorical flourish. Sure, some artists really embody the word—Warhol comes to mind—but we typically deploy “iconic” as a hyperbolic substitute for “famous,” “memorable,” “influential,” or—at worst—shorthand for “What do you mean you a... [more]
Tree of Codes is the collaborative production of three artists practicing at the forefront of the performing and visual arts today: choreographer Wayne McGregor, artist Olafur Eliasson, and producer/DJ Jamie xx. The full-length ballet, which completed its US premiere run at the Park Avenue Armory this week, was inspired by Jonathan Safran Foer’s conceptual novel of the same name.
The label “writer” attributed to Foer for this work is somewhat imperfect. At once a sculptural object and work of l... [more]
Political "photograffeur" artist JR has revealed the movie poster for his forthcoming short film, The Ghosts of Ellis Island, to his 661k Instagram followers. The artist’s third feature film–written by Oscar-winning writer Eric Roth—is to star Hollywood veteran actor Robert De Niro.
The story centers on New York’s Ellis Island, a crucial entryway to the U.S. for immigrants seeking refuge between 1892 and 1954. In the film, JR will uncover a new layer of the New York monumen... [more]
As fresh and lively as ever, Mexico City’s art scene is heating up in time for Gallery Weekend with long-awaited exhibitions: from Mark Powell’s real estate slash photography project to acclaimed Brazilian artist Lucas Arruda’s first presentation in Mexico, the flavor of exhibitions presented shows a pointed social conscience, with both Mexican and international artists on show. Here's the best among them opening this weekend.
Ceiling, 2015, Mark Powell, Courtesy the Artist
Rubble and rock crushed under foot. Dead twigs, rebar, and shoots pocked the boulder field like tiny flag poles, stripped of their sigils. Chirps from the ceiling revealed a nestled group of parakeets dropping white ordnance on a hill of grey concrete. The smell of dirt and dissolution hung in the stale air. Down some stairs, into a darkened basement, the first thing that greets is the smell of a bog, that slow but sweet smell of rot. Leaves float on three or four inches of murky water lit by a si... [more]
The International Center of Photography (ICP) announced yesterday that the founder of Documentary Arts, Alan Govenar, has donated an archive of more than 100,000 works including photographs, films, audio recordings, and new media, with 60,000 works of African American vernacular photography from the Texas African American Photography Archive (TAAP).
The photographs in the TAAP Archive are images of African American life in both urban and rural 20th century Texas. Candid and formal portraits de... [more]
“I don’t know what truth is. Truth is something unattainable. We can’t think we’re creating truth with a camera. But what we can do, is reveal something to the viewer that allows them to discover their own truth.” —Marcel Brault
It’s a pretty grand quote with which to start an article, I know. Its relevance will become clear.
In Issue 2 of Unseen magazine (the magazine that accompanies the upcoming Unseen Photo Fair in Amsterdam, September 18–2... [more]
Michael Heizer once wittily described the Fall art season as the art world equivalent to duck hunting season, with collectors and viewers returning from their summer homes hungry for new art experiences. While it might seem a bit of a stretch, and maybe a little deprecating to the artist ducklings, there is some truth to that feeling of anticipation we have of wanting to see what is going on after the dog days of August.
Albert Oehlen, Untitled, 2008, Oil and paper on canvas, 78 3/4 x 94 1/2... [more]
Painter Joe Fig's new book, Inside the Artist's Studio, comes out tomorrow. Fig is well-known for his portraits of artists' studios. In this follow-up to his Inside the Painter's Studio, he asks 24 painters, video and mixed-media artists, sculptors, and photographers the personal questions that matter most to artists looking for guidance and commiseration in their search to exist as an artist.
In Inside, we are given a glimpse into the everyday studio practices of some of the most engaging contempo... [more]