COLUMNS

  • Slant

    Get Out

    Tehching Hsieh’s art of survival in America

    ON A STOOP IN TRIBECA just south of Houston, Tehching Hsieh was drinking tea. It was February 1982. Six months had elapsed since the artist embarked on his third One Year Performance, for which he declared he would “stay outdoors for one year” and refuse to enter any “building, subway, train, car, airplane, ship, cave, tent.” A record-breakingly cold winter expelled even the memory of warmth from the city, and Hsieh had allowed his hair, normally kept at a military buzz, to grow into an untidy mane. Together with his sleeping bag and weathered backpack (where he stowed his camera), he must have

    Read more
  • Diary

    Italian Job

    Laura McLean-Ferris at the reopening of the Pinacoteca Agnelli

    I WATCHED as a battered gray car sailed off the Umberto I Bridge and into the hot spring air before landing with a terrific crash in the Po river below. Last Saturday in Turin, a large American and Italian crew had closed off part of the city to film Fast X, the tenth and finale installment in the Fast and Furious series, featuring a suite of muscular A-listers including Vin Diesel, Ludacris, Charlize Theron, Cardi B, Brie Larson, and Jason Momoa, among others. These are, for readers unfamiliar, lucrative and patently idiotic movies which celebrate fuel, family, and franchise with technically

    Read more
  • Interviews

    Eiko Ishibashi

    Finding music in the remains of the remains

    Composer and multi-instrumentalist Eiko Ishibashi began her career in the ’90s, playing in bands like Panicsmile, but it was her 2008 record Drifting Devil that brought her to wider critical attention. Since then, she’s been releasing recordings that map a broad but connected series of practices: song albums like Carapace (2011) and The Dream My Bones Dream (2018), and movie scores, most recently for the Oscar-winning Drive My Car. Using a variety of instruments, field recordings and electronic generations and interventions, she creates aural spaces that feel physically real, both haunted and

    Read more
  • Slant

    Viral Content

    The unnerving resonance of Diego Rivera’s Vaccination

    OVER THE COURSE of the past couple of years, I’ve kept coming back to the image of Diego Rivera’s Vaccination. I can’t get it out of my head. The primary reason should be fairly obvious: This is arguably the most iconic and widely recognized artistic treatment of a subject that many of us have been reading, talking, and thinking about incessantly during the pandemic. But there’s more to it than that. If conventional accounts would lead us to expect mural art to be direct, didactic, and declarative, Rivera’s image is anything but. Its effect is subtly disquieting; it gets under your skin. Measured

    Read more
  • Film

    Tristes Tropiques

    Jordan Cronk on the 75th Cannes Film Festival

    FOR ITS DIAMOND JUBILEE, the Cannes Film Festival marked the occasion the same way it does every year: by celebrating itself. Indeed, only at Cannes could an opening night video introduction by Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy, quoting at one point from Charlie Chaplin’s The Great Dictator, double as a tribute to a medium—and, by extension, a festival—finally returning to relative normality after two years of pandemic-related setbacks. (“We are Cannes,” festival director Thierry Frémaux reportedly said when asked how he managed to arrange Zelenskyy’s cameo.) With none of the health

    Read more
  • Slant

    FOOD FOR THOUGHT

    Colby Chamberlain on Alison Knowles

    FEW TITLES ENCAPSULATE an exhibition’s argument as succinctly as “by Alison Knowles: A Retrospective (1960–2022).” Curator Karen Moss borrows that “by” from a slim volume of the same name, a collection of the artist’s compositions issued through the “Great Bear” pamphlet series of Something Else Press in 1965. The preposition’s pliability is the point. Most obviously, “by” denotes authorship, as in a corpus of texts written by Alison Knowles, yet it also suggests facilitation, a process brought about by means of Alison Knowles, or proximity, i.e., close by Alison Knowles. In a work by Alison

    Read more
  • Music

    PUBLIC RECORD

    Travis Jeppesen on Osheyack’s Intimate Publics

    BEST KNOWN in the art world for his otherworldly soundtracks to the neofabulist videos of Shuang Li, American-born artist and musician Eli Osheyack is more recognized in his adopted hometown of Shanghai for his live sets at ALL Club, where, under his last name, he churned out an intergenre fusion of gabber, synthwave, drone, ambient, techno, and trap that helped place the city on the map for experimental electronic dance music. His latest album, Intimate Publics (SVBKVLT, 2022), can be seen as both a reflection on the quintessential Shanghai sound he has cultivated over the past decade alongside

    Read more
  • Performance

    Live Wire

    Marco Fusinato goes solo at the Australian pavilion

    CUTTING THROUGH THE CENTER of the Australian pavilion is an enormous video screen, almost as big as the walls. Beside it sits a giant stack of amps, like a punctuation mark to a particularly emphatic billboard. Six in all, they are arranged in a grid-like ziggurat, the kind that might inspire a roadie’s ultimate (now archaic) words of praise: “sick stack.”Draped and coiled cables link them to an oversized computer hidden out of sight beneath the stage, where the number-crunching for the synchronization of images and sound takes place. On screen, the pictures appear in grayscale. The austerity

    Read more
  • Books

    Present Danger

    North Korea’s monumental gifts to Africa

    INTERNATIONAL FRIENDSHIP: THE GIFTS FROM AFRICA. BY CHE ONEJOON. Kehrer, 2021. 192 pages.

    ON OCTOBER 13, 2010, Senegalese president Abdoulaye Wade stood at Collines des Mamelles—twin hills that overlook the Atlantic Ocean and an important point of departure to the Americas from the entrepôt of the Cape Verde Peninsula during the transatlantic slave trade—and welcomed 163 Haitian university students who would be receiving free education after the catastrophic earthquake that January. The president was an impassioned rhetorical advocate for Haiti following the disaster. Days after the earthquake,

    Read more
  • Interviews

    Jasmina Cibic

    The hard lessons of Europe’s soft power

    Through her films, images, installations, and objects, Jasmina Cibic pulls back the curtain on hegemonic powers, exposing the formulations and ideologies that create and maintain political authority. Cibic’s latest exhibition, “Most Favoured Nation,” on view from March 5 until June 12 at the Museum der Moderne Salzburg, features, among other recent work, a major new installation for which the artist surveys the crumbling state of Europe.

    IN 1920, in the wake of the First World War, the city of Salzburg resolved to return humanity to a Europe that had been completely desecrated: socially,

    Read more
  • Film

    Under the Pink

    Angelyne’s prescient art of self-promotion

    NOW THAT THE TRUE IDENTITY of the eccentric Los Angeles personality Angelyne has been exposed, one crucial question still remains: Is she a celebrity, or is she a performance artist? Best known for appearing on a series of eye-popping billboards across LA, beginning in 1984 and peaking in the ’90s with two hundred simultaneous ads, she is a self-made, heavily augmented pin-up who became famous for being famous when Kim Kardashian was still in preschool. Barbie-like, almost comically pneumatic, she was never advertising anything on those billboards other than her own existence, making the whole

    Read more
  • Music

    Child of Light

    The musical otherworlds of Claude Vivier

    LITTLE ELSE COMPARES to the music of Québécois composer Claude Vivier. His work offers, in the words of composer-conductor Matthias Pintscher, “great brilliance, great severity, great archaism, great emotions”: glimpses of other worlds firmly rooted in our own. Though he was admired by leading composers such as György Ligeti, Gérard Grisey, and Louis Andriessen, Vivier, who was murdered in 1983 at the age of thirty-four, remains regrettably obscure. A three-day Vivier festival at London’s Southbank Centre earlier this month offered a welcome opportunity to redress the balance.

    For the opening

    Read more