COLUMNS

  • Slant

    School Spirit

    for Timea Szell

    “Jabès and Semprún both said that language was their only homeland [....] Why is it so difficult to be alive to what happens?” - Paul B. Preciado, An Apartment on Uranus

    //

    The first time I heard a mourning dove

    I thought it was an owl

    The first bunny I ever saw

    Was hidden in a bed

    I think it was a bed of “Impatiens

    A word shaped like my grandmother’s hands

    But is there such a thing as a bed of “Impatiens

    Or else it was it a bed of pansies

    The sound of the owl had a smell, I thought

    I mean I thought that what I smelled

    When the mourning dove moaned

    Which I thought was an owl

    Was the scent of

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  • Slant

    Daily Drawings: Week Five

    As people around the world stay indoors to curb the spread of Covid-19, Artforum has invited artists to share a drawing—however they would like to define the word—made in self-isolation. Check back each day this week for a new work by a different artist.

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  • Interviews

    Wang Tuo

    Wang Tuo’s art is often likened to a maze, and rightly so. His multimedia works map the paths of lives both real and hallucinatory, branching into absurdist dramas that, through their sinuous timelinese and deeply felt politics, end up at new places to begin. The five videos viewable in Wang Tuo’s current online exhibition at White Space, Beijing, thrust a cast of characters into specific historical situations while placing history itself into an unorthodox narrative structure. Here, Wang Tuo outlines his recent work and upcoming plans. “Standing at the Crossroads” opened online on April 30 and

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  • Film

    À La Modal

    THE EDDY, a sensational eight-episode Netflix miniseries, is named for a jazz club in Paris’s thirteenth arrondissement, home to a polyglot sextet led by American ex-pat Elliot Udo (André Holland). On good nights, the music induces euphoria in the club’s devoted audience, and perhaps you as well. (Wear good headphones and turn up the sound.) There are also nights when nothing lands, and even worse, when the dive’s owners, Elliot and his best friend Farid (Tahar Rahim), are terrorized by henchmen for a Serbian mob boss. The Eddy is a jazz musical with a thriller edge, and it’s also a dense

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  • Slant

    Daily Drawings: Week Four

    As people around the world stay indoors to curb the spread of Covid-19, Artforum has invited artists to share a drawing—however they would like to define the word—made in self-isolation. Check back each day this week for a new work by a different artist.

    Read more
  • Passages

    Nancy Stark Smith (1952–2020)

    NANCY STARK SMITH: You have gone. I didn’t think it would end like this.

    But this isn’t about you—it’s about me. I’m all I have left of you. For forty-eight years I depended on you for my supply of Nancyness, accepting your various Nancy elements perhaps too casually; perhaps I didn’t realize how unique, how precious the supply of Nancyness was. Yes, just a personnel flavor in my world, some more Nancyness comes my way, and now, too late, I think, “But for you, where would I get any?”

    The world is large, and statistically there are people more or less like you. Some more, some less. But realistically,

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  • Film

    Isolation Tank

    IN CONFINEMENT, the captive mind cycles like a broken karaoke machine. Little Caesar’s last words bleed out over vintage Doors: “Mother of mercy, is this the End?” Is this perilous moment the inevitable fulfillment of our dystopian fantasies, nihilist reveries, catastrophist theories, jaundiced forecasts, and intellectual doomsday-prepping? Oh, mama, has the Groundhog Day of reckoning come round at last—only with charnel nursing homes and fatal equipment shortages in place of SFX hordes and burning cities?

    But let’s not get ahead of our civilizational demise. Instead of doubling down on rote

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  • Slant

    Letter from Paris

    THE LOUVRE was the first to go. On March 1, the world’s most-attended art museum (averaging 15,000 visitors per day) went dark after some three hundred staff members walked out over concerns about the transmission of Covid-19. Although this initial closure lasted only three days, by March 14, the museum had announced it was shuttering again—this time indefinitely, in accordance with the government-ordered nationwide shutdown of all nonessential businesses in France.

    After more than eight weeks of lockdown, France is poised to begin loosening its strict stay-at-home orders. Starting Monday May

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  • Interviews

    Patrisse Cullors

    Best-known as one of the three women who founded Black Lives Matter, and the powerhouse behind the grassroots movement that’s now transforming the Los Angeles County prison system, Patrisse Cullors is also a formidable artist. Fresh on the heels of major victories in both arenas—her Reform LA Jail’s initiative, Measure R, passed by a landslide 71 percent in the February election, and recent performances at LTD, Frieze LA, and The Broad have won her the attention of the Los Angeles art scene—Cullors talks here about the intersection of activism and creative expression.

    THE THROUGH LINE between my

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  • Slant

    Pirate Care

    IN LATE 2019, we organized a writing retreat at the Croatian cultural center Drugo More, in Rijeka, to create an online syllabus with activists who practice what we call “pirate care.” These practices represent an emergent form of militancy and civil disobedience—helping migrants survive at sea and on land, providing pregnancy terminations where they are illegal, offering health support where institutions fail, and liberating knowledge where access is denied. 

    Despite the recent “care” emoji launched by Facebook, pirate care dismisses the idea that caring is simply an emotion. Caring is not

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  • Film

    Good Measure

    PLEASE BELIEVE THESE DAYS WILL PASS. Amid a massive collective reckoning with sickness and death, these words are emblazoned on billboards across ten UK cities, oblivious to anger and grief. Carolyn Lazard’s work offers a markedly different perspective on temporality, putting store in indeterminacy. How will disparate feelings around what could have been, and what is now, affect what happens in the future? The Philadelphia-based artist’s first UK solo show, “Safe Space,” originally scheduled to open on April 2 at Cell Project Space in London, is indefinitely postponed. An April screening of

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  • Slant

    Daily Drawings: Week Three

    As people around the world stay indoors to curb the spread of Covid-19, Artforum has invited artists to share a drawing—however they would like to define the word—made in self-isolation. Check back each day this week for a new work by a different artist.

    Read more