COLUMNS

  • Interviews

    Jesse Stecklow

    Jesse Stecklow entwines biography and biometrics in “Terminal”

    Jesse Stecklow says he began planning “Terminal” at Mumok in Vienna in 2018. You could also say he started making it in 2014, the year he first installed an air sampling tube in an aluminum filter casing and called it a sculpture. This first Air Sampler work returns at Mumok, as do several subsequent versions, their passive analysis of the art-space atmosphere housed in clocks and freestanding vents. Stecklow was part of The Jogging (2009–2014), an influential post-net collective founded on the associative logic of the endless scroll—no surprise, then, that his most complete survey to date, on

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  • Interviews

    Sabra Moore

    Sabra Moore on heritage and heresy

    Sabra Moore is known for her mixed-media paintings and artists’ books that use quiltmaking techniques of sewing and collage to incorporate photographs, fabrics, beads, and other found materials into work that explores family history and women’s stories. Her work during the women’s movement of the 1970s and ’80s as a member of collectives like NY Women’s Caucus for Art (WAC) and Heresies, and as a counselor for the Clergy Consultation Service on Abortion, is well documented in Openings: A Memoir from the Women’s Art Movement, New York City 1970–1992, (New Village Press, 1992). Below, the New

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  • Diary

    Politics by Other Means

    On the front lines of Ukraine’s art world

    A FEW DAYS before his battlefield death, the French poet and World War I soldier Charles Péguy wrote that “Homer is new this morning, and perhaps nothing is as old as today’s newspaper.” Hidden within his immortal sentiment is a question I was confronted with over and over while attending the opening of two exhibitions, one nested inside the other, in an embattled Kyiv: How do representations of war in journalism and art compete as means to draw attention to conflict and the plight of citizens?

    “Russian War Crimes” and “When Faith Moves Mountains” opened in mid-July at the PinchukArtCentre, a

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  • Film

    City Lights

    Amy Taubin on “New York, 1962–1964: Underground and Experimental Cinema”

    AN UTTERLY AMAZING and necessary series, “New York, 1962–1964: Underground and Experimental Cinema,” curated by Thomas Beard and Dan Sullivan at New York’s Film at Lincoln Center, comprises twelve programs of movies—short ones, long ones, and ones in between—all made by filmmakers living and working in New York in those years, all of them programmed at the time by the late Jonas Mekas at the peripatetic Filmmakers Cinematheque, all of them at least mentioned by Mekas in his Village Voice “Movie Journal” column, and almost all of them at one time or another distributed by the Filmmakers Cooperative.

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  • Slant

    Beyond Repair

    Regarding torture at the Berlin Biennale

    IN THE TWELFTH BERLIN BIENNALE, images of Iraqi torture and sexual abuse victims have been blown up and arranged into a maze of crude entrapment. The walls of this maze reproduce the photos taken by American soldiers at Abu Ghraib prison and leaked in 2004, one year after the US-led invasion of Iraq. This edition of the Biennale is said to be centered on decolonial engagement, to offer “repair . . . as a form of agency” and “a starting point . . . for critical conversation, in order to find ways together to care for the now.” Yet the Biennale made the decision to commodify photos of unlawfully

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  • Film

    Ashes of Time

    Chan Tze-woon’s past and future Hong Kong

    IN A DUSTY INTERROGATION ROOM in Hong Kong, a young activist is brought in for questioning. The year is 1967. He has been arrested for participating in pro-Communist riots against the British colonial regime. Across the table, his captor asks: “You grow up in our colony. You study in our schools. So then why are you fighting against us?” Minutes later, a voice yells “Cut,” revealing this to be a film set in 2020. The camera doesn’t cut though. Instead, it holds steady on the face of the young actor, an actual student protester in present-day Hong Kong, in an unbroken shot that elides any

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  • Slant

    Shark Tale

    Resurfacing Winslow Homer’s most elusive painting

    WINSLOW HOMER loved a good repoussoir: Locking the foreground and background into a taut tug-of-war charged his small paintings with titanic vigor. Rocks, waves, boats, and leaping fish bound toward the viewer, while some kind of natural force draws the eye back into the painting. That push-and-pull is emotional as well as compositional: We do not know whether to sympathize with or ridicule his subjects.

    What, then, are we to make of the repoussoir in Winslow Homer’s The Gulf Stream, 1899: a dark, red-flecked wave swelling in the foreground and teeming with criss-crossing sharks? Based on sketches

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  • Slant

    26 Planned Parenthoods

    A quiet chronicle of Ohio’s human rights battleground

    IN 2015, there were twenty-six Planned Parenthoods in Ohio, and Jared Thorne photographed each one. Over dozens of weekends, the artist drove to every corner of the state, setting up a large-format camera and using 4x5 chromogenic film to create his spare, desaturated images. Many were made on Sunday mornings, the only time that anti-choice protesters would leave the site, presumably to attend church services.

    Without context, it’s difficult to know what one is seeing, which is the point: Planned Parenthood buildings are not designed to stand out, to make themselves a target. You’ve surely walked

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  • Architecture

    Timber Land

    A neglected building method comes out of the woodwork

    ONE OF MODERNISM’S most ambitious goals was to house the masses through efficient, affordable, and mass-produced architecture. While the success of this project differs wildly from locale to locale, it is almost universally associated in the West with steel, reinforced concrete, and plate glass. Ironically, one of the systems that perhaps best fulfilled these dreams in the United States is an entirely different material, and one underpinning 90 percent of single-family homes in the United States: softwood framed construction. Despite its ubiquity, traditional architectural discourse has rarely

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  • Interviews

    Erlea Maneros Zabala

    A feminist reimagining of Spain’s fascist past

    BORN AND RAISED IN THE BASQUE COUNTRY, Erlea Maneros Zabala relocated to Los Angeles in 2000. I met her briefly in 2007 through Raymond Pettibon. Though we instantly clicked, our paths didn’t cross again until 2019, when we found ourselves at the same Christmas Eve party. In May, I visited Erlea in her house in the high desert, two hours outside of Los Angeles, where she walked me through a slide presentation of “The Voice of the Valley,” her solo exhibition currently on view at Artium Museoa, Museum of Contemporary Art of the Basque Country through September 18, 2022. The show comprises four

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  • Interviews

    Emma Talbot

    Emma Talbot reimagines the Twelve Labors of Hercules

    As the winner of the Max Mara Art Prize for Women, Emma Talbot completed a six-month residency in Reggio Emilia, collaborated with the historic Modateca Deanna archive to learn Intarsia knitting, studied permaculture at a farm on the Sicilian slopes of Mount Etna, and in Rome, researched Herculean myths and Etruscan pottery. The starting point for her project was Gustav Klimt’s 1905 painting Three Ages of Woman, which hangs in Rome’s Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna. Her resulting exhibitions at London’s Whitechapel Gallery (June 30–September 4, 2022) and Collezione Maramotti (October 23,

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  • Passages

    Tang Song (1960–2022)

    Mathieu Borysevicz remembers Tang Song

    MY FIRST GLIMPSE of Tang Song was through the windshield of a car. He was perched on a rooftop high above the bamboo-covered mountains as I drove up to his lair. With his newly-shaved brown head shining in the sun and his pointed ears cutting the sky behind him, he looked like Lucifer, the fallen angel, peering down over his subjects as they finished their long journey. First impressions go a long way and Tang’s. . .well, his keeps on going. The scene seemed straight out of a James Bond film: a secret, remote headquarters where a mad villain paced the rooftop conspiring to decimate the world.

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