Beyond Beauty: Beatriz Santiago Muñoz On How to Truly Perceive a Place

by Ionit Behar
Chicago, March 2016: Beatriz Santiago Muñoz is interested in questions of place: what do people make of places? How can we represent that? In the San Juan-based artist’s work the sense of place—and the embodied experience of social, ecological, and political histories—asserts itself in powerful ways. Her films and videos have an attachment to a sensorial reality and materiality, as well the imagining of possible futures, elements intrinsic to perceiving places in a new and different way. This March Santiago Muñoz visited Chicago to screen and discuss her recen... [more]
Posted by Ionit Behar on 4/29/16

Angela Washko: Talking Feminism in the Spaces Most Hostile to It

by Christian Petersen
We have discussed the rapidly growing intersection between new media art and feminism with a number of artists in previous columns. This week we take a deeper look at that phenomenon in an interview with artist, writer and facilitator Angela Washko who is at the forefront of the movement. She famously interviewed the notorious pick-up-artist Roosh V for her project Banged which resulted in an overload of attention for her, both positive and horribly negative. Washko’s work consistently tackles vital feminist issues in highly creative and intelligent ways. Her latest project, All The Places You'll Go (Women As Place), is a wor... [more]
Posted by Christian Petersen on 4/20/16

The Ecology of Maya Lin: A Memorial for the Planet

by Philip Barash
Her mother taught Literature and Maya Lin often finds inspiration in poetry, the cadences of her childhood echoing throughout an enviable career that has spanned genres and generations. It seems only fitting, then, that a hefty Rizzoli retrospective of Lin’s work, out last October, unfolds less like a picture book and more like a literary text, with sketches, marginal notes, hand-written narratives, and critical essays coiling into a complex narrative. It is hard to overstate Lin’s cultural significance. Lin reached celebrity status in a field where most toil in near-anonymity. Hers i... [more]
Posted by Philip Barash on 4/4/16

Brenda Goodman Talks 50 Years of Fearless, Introspective Painting

by Bradley Rubenstein
Brenda Goodman’s work has seen a resurgence in the past two years, with shows at Brooklyn’s Life on Mars Gallery and a retrospective at Detroit’s Center for Creative Studies, her alma mater. Goodman was part of Detroit’s Cass Corridor movement in the 70s and I first encountered her work and influence while living in Detroit in the 80s. I have followed the morphing styles of her paintings ever since. Continuing an ongoing conversation, held over multiple lunches, I recently sat down with Goodman at her favorite New York restaurant to talk about her interests and work, and d... [more]
Posted by Bradley Rubenstein on 4/4/16

Unpacking the Gift: Armory Commissioned Artist Kapwani Kiwanga in Conversation

by Sharon Obuobi
Visitors to The Armory Show this week will notice the image of a bouquet of yellow flowers stacked and repeated on catalogue covers throughout the fair. The golden, tasselled bouquet is more than a decorative flourish: it’s the work of Kapwani Kiwanga, from her ongoing series Flowers for Africa, and it references the floral assemblages that played witness to the independence ceremonies of many African nations. Appointed as The Armory Show’s 2016 Commissioned Artist by Julia Grosse and Yvette Mutumba, curators of the Focus: African Perspectives sector, Kiwanga has developed the visual identit... [more]
Posted by Sharon Obuobi on 2/29/16

Bringing Self-Defense Performance Art into the Community: An Interview with Shaun Leonardo

by Joel Kuennen
Back in October of 2015, I wrote a review of Shaun Leonardo’s performance, I Can’t Breathe, at The Eighth Floor (video below). Leonardo conducted "a public-participatory workshop and performance that takes the form of a self-defense class" in the pristine gallery space, combining poetry and movement to deliver a stark message about the reality many people of color face when confronted with “Courtesy, Professionalism and Respect” (a euphemism for the NYPD). The performance stuck with me. I Can't Breathe, a Public-participatory Workshop and Performance from S&DRF ... [more]
Posted by Joel Kuennen on 2/23/16

Where Consumption Meets Belief: Pat Flynn Exploits Our Desire to Be Fooled

by Char Jansen
I recently spent some time visiting galleries in some of the UK’s northern cities: Liverpool, Manchester, and Newcastle. The UK is a reverse of most other countries, because the people are nicer in the north. It’s richer in the south, and by “south” I mean London, so people aren’t as friendly. There’s also not as much money for artists outside of London, creating a dire skewing of culture towards the capital. During this time, I made a point of visiting Pat Flynn’s solo exhibition at the Manchester Art Gallery, Half-life of a Miracle. It was proof tha... [more]
Posted by Char Jansen on 2/16/16

Digging into Architecture and Design, Kasper Akhøj Uncovers Filters for History

by Edo Dijksterhuis
Rotterdam, February 2016: They’ve popped up at different occasions, ranging from Wiels Contemporary Art Centre in Brussels to the Abstract Myths show at Nest in The Hague, and they are now on display at Ellen de Bruijne Projects in Amsterdam: Kasper Akhøj’s photographs of the villa Irish architect Eileen Gray built in Roquebrune Cap Martin in 1929. They appear timeless: elegant black and white photographs shot in medium format showing the interior of a modernist icon. We see the dining room in a dismal state, the result of decades of neglect and stalled restoration work. We s... [more]
Posted by Edo Dijksterhuis on 2/8/16

Jen Ray: “Beware of people who think women are goddesses. That's bullshit.”

by Josie Thaddeus-Johns
American artist Jen Ray’s work focuses on depictions of women in all their majesty: her intricately apocalyptic paintings portray landscapes filled with fierce, glamorous warrior commanders, motorcycle-helmeted bodyguards, and rock-climbing adventuresses in feathered neckpieces. Equally dramatic, fantastical, and fairytale, they show women in a variety of guises, from powerful commander to obedient foot soldier, from tenderly nursing the wounded to plotting Machiavellian destruction. Ray’s practice also favors performance. In her most recent show at Albertz Benda, New York, Deep Cuts,... [more]
Posted by Josie Thaddeus-Johns on 1/12/16

Zina Saro-Wiwa on Art and Authentic Storytelling in the Niger Delta

by Sharon Obuobi
Zina Saro-Wiwa is a British-Nigerian artist and filmmaker whose body of work includes video installations, experimental films, and documentaries, including the widely acclaimed This Is My Africa (2009). Prior to developing her artistic practice, she was known for her work as a BBC journalist and a presenter for BBC Two's flagship arts magazine program, The Culture Show. She is the founder of the alt-Nollywood movement—kicked off with her films Phyllis and The Deliverance of Comfort (both 2010)—which uses the creative conventions of the Nollywood film industry to communicate politically... [more]
Posted by Sharon Obuobi on 12/14/15