COLUMNS

  • Music

    20,000 GECS FOLLOWERS CAN'T BE WRONG

    GURGLE-Y THUDS, chiptune squeals, breakcore beats, sirens, gleeful rapping, and enthusiastic screaming—no, a Gen Z ne’er-do-well isn’t having a party at your house; someone’s probably just turned on 100 gecs and now has some explaining to do. Formed in 2015 by Laura Les and Dylan Brady, 100 gecs make music by sending digital files back and forth to each other from their respective headquarters in Chicago and Los Angeles. So far they’ve released one EP (2016’s 100 gecs) and an album (summer 2019’s 1000 gecs) along with a handful of remixes. You can find the EP on YouTube and the LP on platforms

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  • Top Ten

    JOEY LA NEVE DEFRANCESCO

    Joey La Neve DeFrancesco is a musician, historian, and organizer based in Providence, Rhode Island, whose performances combine dance, punk, and drag. She will tour North America and Europe with her latest record, The Vital Cord (self-released, 2020), throughout the year.

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  • Slant

    Alchemy Forever

    1.

    I had an experience of a country

    Which is a place on planet Earth

    Of wild beauty to which no word in the English language

    Can accurately be appended. It was a romance

    That I was taken into, which made me wild and humbled me beyond all speech

    A legend that grew into facts, ravages of ravages

    I doubt I ever will be able to speak to

    I knelt in love, I crawled for love, I too had had dreams of revolution

    But I would not pretend to powers

    That lord and lady I lacked

    There are histories of magic speech

    That should not be written down

     

    2.

     

    Look: I was a woman with a problem

    I did not come all this way to deceive

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  • Slant

    Feliz Año

    2019 ARRIVED LIKE A NEW YEAR. In the final days of 2018, Santiago Villanueva, an artist and art historian from Azul, Argentina, announced on his Instagram that he would open an exhibition space with fellow artists Rosario Zorraquín and Fernanda Laguna in Buenos Aires’s Villa Crespo neighborhood. The post looked like an informal invitation to a New Year’s Eve party: “Ya viene 2019 Spacio de Arte” (2019 Spacio de Arte is coming) outlined in bubble letters over an airbrushed blue and violet orb of lo-res glitter.

    For 2019, the three artists (who are also curators, writers, poets, and organizers)

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  • Film

    Soul Sisters

    GRETA GERWIG’S GREAT SUBJECT is the twilight of girlhood. She has become something like the patron saint of girls on the precipice, or, as Britney Spears put it twenty years ago, not-girls-not-yet-women. Her heroines, sharp and tender, find themselves caught between their past and future selves; they are consumed by the task of reconciling youthful hope with present realities, slouching toward some kind of self-actualization and away from adolescence, real or protracted.

    In Frances Ha (2012) and Mistress America (2015), both cowritten by Gerwig, she plays an adrift twentysomething struggling to

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  • Music

    Power Players

    FROM ITS FOUNDATION IN 1969, the Art Ensemble of Chicago was always more than “jazz,” more than a quintet, and more than the sum of its parts. Like the slogan of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) from which it emerged, the group has been “a power stronger than itself.” Its flexible approaches to ensemble-building and to ways of thinking collectively have taken its musicians from early days, scraping it together in post–May ’68 Paris, to sold-out gigs in concert halls around the world. While predecessors such as Eric Dolphy and John Coltrane had played on an array

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  • Passages

    Carla Herrera-Prats (1973–2019)

    VIVACIOUS is a wrenching word to use about someone no longer alive, but Carla had immense energy. She was someone you wanted to spend more time with—you’d go to a party and end up talking only to her. She had a disarming magnetism that came from a rare mix of honesty and kindness, and she never pretended; talking with her was like being enveloped in an emotional warmth scarce in New York.

    Kids, husbands, jobs. You start to see less of people in your thirties and forties. Carla was away from New York most summers leading SOMA’s Summer Program in Mexico City, and her teaching jobs at Cooper Union,

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  • Interviews

    Phill Niblock

    Experimental music doyen Phill Niblock has been making photographs since his 1958 arrival to New York, where he cut his teeth documenting the performances of jazz greats like Duke Ellington. A decade later, Niblock began the work for which he is best (if still under-) known: multiscreen audiovisual installations scored by drones, built around microtones generated by instruments from cello to bagpipe to saxophone. “Working Photos,” a solo exhibition at New York’s Fridman Gallery on view through Janury 5, 2020, draws on over a half-century of artmaking triangulated between photography, cinema,

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  • Film

    Over Exposure

    BENEDETTA BARZINI IS STANDING OVER THE SINK of her cluttered Milan apartment, gulping down a couple of pills. Now in her mid-seventies, she is the subject—no, the hero, the raison d’être—of The Disappearance of My Mother, a remarkably enthralling documentary by Beniamino Barrese, the youngest of her four children. The pill-taking occurs not quite midway through the film, and it is heart-dropping. Not because I identified with Barrese, though, whose obsession with keeping his mother with him forever inspired this intimate depiction of a mother-son dyad, along with Barzini’s crucially reluctant

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  • Passages

    Ed Clark (1926–2019)

    HISTORICAL AMNESIA will have us forget that, as a painter, Ed Clark was always on the inside. Touted as one of the few black painters known to be adjacent to the Abstract Expressionist movement, Clark advanced gestural painting into the arena of the sublime.

    After pocketing the GI Bill money from his World War II service in Guam, the artist sailed across the Atlantic in 1952, making his entrée as a painter in Paris at a moment when New York had deposed his new city as the epicenter of the global art world. He experienced James Baldwin’s Paris with Beauford Delaney and returned to paint in New

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  • Diary

    Scene and Held

    PRICED OUT OF THE LES, Ludlow 38 will shutter indefinitely. By now, this is too familiar a story to really be anything beyond a bummer, so last Thursday, on the night of the crushing UK elections, some friends of the gallery gathered to toast it goodbye at Nublu Classic, the Alphabet City bar. Guests of the “Too Faust Too Furious” party were variously scrounging for drink tickets and fretting about getting canceled in Texte Zur Kunst; Marie Karlberg was valiantly fighting a hangover from her opening at Tramps the night prior, which featured a sizable chunk of art-world players playing (basically)

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  • Interviews

    Garrett Bradley

    Screened on four intersecting, transparent white flags affixed to copper poles, Garrett Bradley’s America is a 360-degree, twenty-seven-minute odyssey through the United States’s elided cinematic histories. Informed by communities working at Hollywood’s edge in the silent-era as well as those in present-day New Orleans, the film interleaves archival and original footage to offer a more encompassing history of the country. Below, Bradley discusses the film, one of three works in the artist’s first solo exhibition, “Garrett Bradley: American Rhapsody,” which opens December 19, 2019, at the

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