Andrea Alessi

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SPRING/BREAK Art Show 2018, more than 100 curators will feature artists and exhibitions that consider the theme: Stranger Comes to Town. It’s been said that all great literature boils down to one of two stories: a hero goes on a journey or a stranger comes to town. “Who and what is this Stranger?” ask SPRING/BREAK curators and founders, Ambre Kelly and Andrew Gori. “Is their travel into the unknown always an act of heroism to some, of colonialism or contamination and infiltration to... [more]
In October 2017, and the New Yorker published penetrating articles linking the Sackler family, known to most as patrons of the arts, with the growing opioid crisis in America. The unsympathetic accounts described a family whose empire was built on the aggressive marketing of painkillers, particularly OxyContin; a family that has for decades gone out of their way to keep their name separate from the drug company, Purdue Pharma, and associated activities from which they derived their... [more]
I read the press release three times back to back, looking for any hint of irony. Or even confirmation of sincerity. I parsed the website, hoping an “about” page or mission statement could set my bearings. What exactly is MAGA, the “non-profit arts organization” petitioning the U.S. Government to designate the eight border wall prototypes erected outside of San Diego a national monument? The eight prototypes, constructed by six firms and built using $3.3 million in federal funds, were... [more]
This summer Jill Lepore, writing for the , declared that we’re living in a “golden age for dystopian fiction.” She described a literature of “radical pessimism” and “submission” (in contrast, she wrote, to a literature of resistance). In an essay for Tin House author Allegra Hyde called for “literature that chases utopia” in the age of Trump. She urged her fellow writers: “Our trade is in rendering the unreal real. We are world builders, after all.” As ArtSlant’s resident pessimist, I’ll be... [more]
What does it mean for a woman to pick up a camera and point it at herself, or at another woman? Is there something unique to be found behind the lens, in the gaze of the female photographer? is an ambitious new book that sets out, if not to resolve this question, then to open it up, to unfold it through the exercise of prolonged looking. Over a year and a half, arts journalist Charlotte Jansen (who is, full disclosure, a former editor of this publication) interviewed 40 female artists from... [more]
SPRING/BREAK, more than 100 curators will feature artworks that explore the dance of identity the artist undergoes—between showing what’s unseen and hiding in plain sight—especially in the face of modern technology, political unrest, and glimmers from ghosts of Art History’s past. ArtSlant is exhibiting the ArtSlant Prize 2016 Winners at SPRING/BREAK. In partnership with this uniquely site-specific, curatorial fair, we’re featuring interviews with participating curators and artists, asking... [more]
  In some way, all things are congealed moments in a longer social trajectory. All things are brief deposits of this or that property, photographs that conceal the reality of the motion from which their objecthood is a momentary respite.   —Arjun Appadurai, “The Thing Itself” [1] To hear Brigitta Varadi talk about sheep is to hear her effuse about something bigger than wool, felt, or the declining carpet and farming industries in the remote corner of North West Ireland where she... [more]
SPRING/BREAK, more than 100 curators will feature artworks that explore the dance of identity the artist undergoes—between showing what’s unseen and hiding in plain sight—especially in the face of modern technology, political unrest, and glimmers from ghosts of Art History’s past. ArtSlant will be exhibiting the ArtSlant Prize 2016 Winners at SPRING/BREAK. In expectation of this uniquely site-specific, curatorial fair, we’re featuring interviews with participating curators and artists,... [more]
ArtSlant will be exhibiting the ArtSlant Prize 2016 Winners at SPRING/BREAK. In expectation of this uniquely site-specific, curatorial fair, we’re featuring four interviews with participating curators and artists, asking them what they see reflected in the black mirror.   In a previous life, Jack & Leigh Ruby worked as confidence artists, cleverly fabricating portfolios of fake evidence to perpetrate insurance fraud. Today, the sibling duo makes tangled artworks that capitalize... [more]
“Literally the day the election results were announced I started working on the exhibit,” says artist and curator Indira Cesarine. Next week, her Tribeca gallery, The Untitled Space, opens the exhibition , featuring work by 80 women-identifying artists addressing the social and political climate in America today. Cesarine wasn’t the only one sparked into immediate action. “Hello female artists/curators! Lets organize a NASTY WOMEN group show!!! Who's interested???” artist Roxanne Jackson... [more]
A couple weeks ago I asked Christian Petersen, who writes the fortnightly “Wednesday Web Artist of the Week” column, to pick his favorite artist interviews of 2016. For his edification, I emailed over a list of the year’s best-read pieces, which, I keenly observed, comprised all women artists. Oh, “it’s gonna be ALLL ladies for sure,” he shot back. I asked if he had any reflections on what he learned interviewing 25 new media artists and curators this year. “What I’ve really taken away from... [more]
There’s been a lot of hand-wringing of late about whether artists and the creative class can do more to combat the growing threats to democracy, the environment, and even our physical bodies. The work is never over, but I found a welcome moment of encouragement while reviewing the artist interviews ArtSlant published in 2016. Clicking through the archive I was motivated by the diverse cross-section of artists grappling with some of the most pressing issues of our time. In 2016, artists... [more]
When documenta 14 opens next spring in Kassel, Germany, with the theme “Learning from Athens,” one of the biggest callbacks to the ancient Greek city will be a to-scale replica of the Parthenon installed right in the middle of the Friedrichsplatz—built out of some 100,000 books. Flash back 34 years. In 1983 the Argentinian artist Marta Minujín built (The Parthenon of Books) in Buenos Aires after the collapse of the country’s military dictatorship. Erected along a central boulevard, the... [more]
—for those preoccupied by a tumultuous election season, the title has a timely ring. But Meleko Mokgosi’s expansive project, now halfway through its eight planned chapters, has little to do with the drama that is U.S. presidential politics. The artist, who painstakingly researches and storyboards his enormous paintings, had mapped out his newest works long before anyone had ever imagined a Trump/Hillary showdown in the cards. Lerato and Comrades II, the latest instalments in Democratic... [more]
Playing for Justice: contesting/contexting SPORT   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Pascal Anson, Aquahomo, Imtiaz Ashraf, Queerfitness Berlin, Zeljko Blace, Berlin Bruisers, Cassils, Pirate Cinema, Zsuzsi Flohr/The Jewish Renaissance Boxing Club, MAnuElA cOvInI, David Crespo, Les Dégommeuses, Tristan Deschamps, Estelle Fenech, Caitlin D. Fisher, Discover Football, Open Games, Antoni Hervas Cortes & Panteres Grogues, Barbara Gruhl, Jason Hall, Tabea Huth, Justin Jorgensen, Brian Kenny, Lola Lasurt, Julia Lazarus, Albert Markert, Marthe’Oh, Tara Mateik, Marisa Maza, Dayna McLeod, Stuart Meyers, David Miguel, Frank J. Miles, Maximilian Moll, Marc Ohrem-Leclef, Tanja Ostojic´, Max Pelgrims, Llobet & Pons, Guerreiras Project, Boxing Queers, Kathrin Rabenort, Rafucko, Gabriele Fulterer & Christine Scherrer, Saul Selles, Marc Serra, Coral Short, Grrrls* Can Skate, Julia Smit, Spielaufbau, Katja Stuke, Ilaa Tietz, Alexa Vachon, Tools for Action/Artúr von Balen & QueerSport/ Z¹eljko Blac´e, Verena Melgarejo Weinandt, Tom Weller, QueerSportSplit & Zagreb at Neue Gesellschaft für Bildende Kunst (NGBK) July 9th, 2016 - August 28th, 2016
Posted 7/28/16
I lost sleep when Portugal beat France to win its first-ever European Cup football championship this month. Not from nerves—despite living in Portugal, I had no skin in the game—but from the unremitting cacophony of car horns and vuvuzelas invading my apartment. Up for celebrating, I joined the impromptu party of waving flags, sticky splashes of Super Bock, and staccato football chants. I fell asleep to sounds of revelry, comforted by the fact that even in troubling times, such overpowering joy... [more]
Table of Contents: The Matter of Molecular Practice: Sean Raspet | Joel Kuennen Ferran Adrià Unpacks the Tools of Creativity | Edo Dijksterhuis Taste With the Body and Without | Zachary Cahill Squeezing Social Commentary into a Luxury Beverage | Nadja Sayej   “Made hickory smoked salmon with rose and squid ink rice tonight... :)” This is an email sign off I received from my fellow editor, Joel Kuennen, the other day. Touching base about what we’ve been making and eating is not... [more]
The Exhibition Speaking Out Against Honor Killings in Kuwait   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Maha Al-Asaker, Zahra (Zouz The Bird) Al-Mahdi, Musa Al-Shadeedi, Zuhair Alsaeed, Amani Althuwaini, Tagreed Al Bagshi, Mehdi Darvishi, Thuraya Lynn Al Jasem, Deena (Machina) Qabazard, Farah Salem, Tarek Sultan at JAMM Art Gallery April 28th, 2016 - May 8th, 2016
Posted 4/28/16
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, and few... [more]
Artists' Desks   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Posted 3/15/16
The artist’s desk: enchanted playground or torturous wrestling mat? The home of inspiration—or perspiration?  The ubiquitous marker of the workspace holds different meaning for each artist. What they bring to the table tells us something about their process, and perhaps even their artwork. Beyond voyeuristic satisfaction, we think there’s something to learn from getting a glimpse of the artist’s desk, and in this ongoing series we ask artists to share their space with us and tell us a little... [more]
Artists' Desks   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Posted 3/2/16
What can be learned from looking at an artist’s desk? Does the workspace contain the material markers of process? Does it hint at the final outcome of the artwork? Naturally. But as we’ve gleaned from our ongoing exercise in hearing from artists about their desks, what takes place in the studio and on the desktop is not all wrestling with concepts and materials. It’s where the prosaic business of being an artist meets with its more esteemed sidekicks, inspiration and process. In this special... [more]
Table of Contents: The Problem of Art's Morality | Joel Kuennen Body as Material in the Surveillance State | Tara Plath Queering Film Production | Lauren McQuade Bringing Self-Defense Performance into the Community | Joel Kuennen   If resistance hasn’t been on your mind lately, you haven’t been paying attention. In an explosive presidential primary season, the loudest voices on both sides of the aisle flaunt their outsider statuses, reacting against the mainstream. While appeals to the... [more]
Artists' Desks   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Posted 2/8/16
Whether they’re doing residencies or research, teaching or travel, or whether they’re simply responding to the contingencies of affordable and available studio space, artists today are in constant motion. What’s the marker of the artist’s studio in this peripatetic climate? Is the artist’s “desk” a piece of furniture, an anchored object? Or is it something they can pick up and carry away—a laptop or notebook that travels with them wherever they go? Is place paramount, or is it what the... [more]
On March 2, 2016, the Supreme Court will hear the most important reproductive rights case in nearly a quarter century. The justices will weigh the legality of an underhanded and medically unnecessary 2013 Texas law that would shut down 75 percent of the state’s abortion clinics, leaving just 10, or fewer, women’s health clinics providing abortion services. The requirements of the law, known as HB2, are partially in effect today, and only 19 of the 42 clinics open in 2013 are currently in... [more]
In New Artwork, Wafaa Bilal Enlists the Public to Rebuild a Destroyed Baghdad Library   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Wafaa Bilal at Art Gallery of Windsor January 30th, 2016 - April 10th, 2016
Posted 1/12/16
During the invasion of Iraq in 2003, the College of Fine Arts at the University of Baghdad lost its entire library collection—some 70,000 books—when it was burned by looters. Today, 13 years later, faculty and students are still affected by this loss. The devastation of this and other libraries in 2003 recalls the destruction of another library: the Bayt al-Hikma, or House of Wisdom, a Baghdad institution that, at the height of the Islamic Golden Age, contained the largest collection of... [more]
Exhibition reviews and artist interviews have long been central to our editorial focus, but this year—in part as a reflection of how we see arts writing shifting in the digital age—we expanded the scope of ArtSlant's editorial project, exploring and introducing a much greater variety of content. In 2015 our Paris artists-in-residence blogged more than ever and we learned about art and audience in the ArtSlant podcast; we ran a popular series on non-profit art spaces and highlighted artists’... [more]
Interviews are some of our favorite content—and, we think, some of our most enduring. The ArtSlant “Rackroom” is an expanding public archive, filing away unfiltered insight straight from artists themselves. Over the years we’ve invited over 400 (and counting!) artists—emerging and established, some emerging who have since become established—into the Rackroom. These conversations touch upon urgent contemporary issues as well as the personal preoccupations of our interviewees, and they provide a... [more]
Table of Contents: Closing the Loop: Does Art Require an Audience? | Gillian Dykeman Maintaining a Clean and Healthy Image for 120 Years | Guy Parker OOO: Three Loops to Unite Them All! | Jamie Keesling The Circular Logic of Terrorism | Joel Kuennen Closed Circuits and Bodies Electric | Janet Oh   Rafia Santana, , 2015   What does a loop look like? It’s not really a shape, is it? More than a steady form, a loop implies gesture, movement, directionality. It’s a... [more]
What Do Artists Eat? Studio Cooking Serves Up Performance, Art, and Your Next Meal   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Meghan Gordon, Arden Ellis Surdam at Armory Center for the Arts November 10th, 2015 - November 15th, 2015
Posted 11/9/15
In 1990, Rirkrit Tiravanija dished out Pad Thai to visitors at the opening of his exhibition at Paula Allen Gallery in New York. It was a meal, and it was art—dematerialized and suspended in a web of social interactions. Today that ephemeral meal-artwork has achieved almost mythical status, living on as the standard bearer of what came to be known as Relational Aesthetics.  More than 20 years later, food, and the acts of making and consuming it, continues to be a site of meaning and... [more]
ICONS: An Introduction   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Posted 9/30/15
“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 aren’t familiar with the oeuvre of this unsung regional hero? I’m so much cleverer than you.” The idea... [more]
Shifting Utopias: A 500-Year-Old Book Inspires a Moving Image Biennial   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Andrea Büttner, Jan Fabre, Michael Fliri, Chiara Fumai, Johan Grimonprez, Fabrice Hyber, Rabih Mroué, Ana Prvacki, Michael Rakowitz, Gilad Ratman, A Dog Republic, Albert Serra, Nedko Solakov, Slavs and Tatars, Javier Téllez, Grazia Toderi, Sander Breure & Witte van Hulzen, Angel Vergara, Gilberto Zorio at Contour vzw - Mechelen August 29th, 2015 - November 8th, 2015
Posted 9/25/15
In 1515 the English statesman and humanist Thomas More visited the cities of Mechelen and Antwerp—now in present-day Flanders—where he wrote his best-known work, , a fictional account detailing the social, religious, and political structures of a made-up island in the New World.  Five hundred years later, can a Renaissance philosopher’s musings on the political and social foundations of a hypothetical society resonate? Nicola Setari, curator of Contour 7, Mechelen’s Moving Image Biennial,... [more]
I’m a proud escapist and year-round fiction reader, but summer’s a particularly good time to catch up on my to-read list. If you’re anything like me, right now you’re thinking you’ve got a couple more weeks to squeeze in another book—or two, or four—before gallery openings and art fairs start vying for your autumn attentions. Heading for a final lounge on the beach or loaf in the park, I’ll be loading up my Kindle and packing in those paperbacks. And maybe even throwing some art into the... [more]
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