Alex Fialho

  • interviews March 20, 2018

    Reina Gossett and Sasha Wortzel

    Reina Gossett and Sasha Wortzel’s short film Happy Birthday, Marsha! (2018) is a moving celebration and evocation of trans activist and artist Marsha “Pay It No Mind” Johnson, set on the eve of the Stonewall riots in 1969. Gossett and Wortzel bring archival intimacies and a deep sense of care to the project of representing Johnson’s life and legacy, resulting in a remarkable fifteen-minute film that ranges in feeling from soaring uplift to deep loss. Created through extensive community collaboration, the film features lush cinematography by Arthur Jafa, an expressive score by Geo Wyeth, and star

  • interviews February 19, 2018

    Jayne County

    Considered the first openly transgender rock performer, Jayne County is revered for the in-your-face punk acts she performed at CBGB and Max’s Kansas City in the 1970s and at SqueezeBox! in the ’90s. Archival photographs from her historic five-decade-long career are being displayed at Participant Inc. in New York as part of “Paranoia Paradise,” the first retrospective of her visual art. This revelatory display of over seventy of County’s ravishing paintings from the ’80s to the present expands her artistry well beyond the performance histories for which she is widely known as a living legend.

  • interviews June 23, 2017

    FISCHERSPOONER

    FISCHERSPOONER is the dynamic duo Warren Fischer and Casey Spooner, who have been joined by many collaborators during their nearly two decades of creativity. Their latest output includes an upcoming album from Ultra Records, cowritten and coproduced by Michael Stipe with additional production by BOOTS on the lead single “Have Fun Tonight,” and released in time for New York City Pride; an exhibition at the Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien (MUMOK) in Vienna, on view from June 30 through October 29, 2017; and an artist’s book designed by Nicolas Santos—all titled SIR. Here, they discuss

  • diary June 15, 2017

    Five and Dime

    THE ART WORLD IS A TRIP. With the Whitney Biennial, the Venice Biennale, Documenta in Athens and Kassel, and Skulptur Projekte Münster all coinciding in one “süperkunstyear,” it’s hard for even the most veteran art traveler to keep up.

    Over the weekend, the venerable Skulptur Projekte Münster began to draw crowds from Documenta or those en route to Zurich and Basel for its fifth edition since its inception in 1977. Skulptur Projekte’s unique model—new sculptural commissions installed mostly in public spaces every ten years—makes for a provocative scavenger hunt of public art. The show is deeply

  • interviews May 22, 2017

    Martine Syms

    Martine Syms is a self-described “conceptual entrepreneur” based in Los Angeles. Her artistic practice spans publishing, performance, sculpture, photography, film, and more. Here Syms discusses the politics of migration, surveillance, and presentation as they appear in “Projects 106: Martine Syms,” her first solo museum exhibition in the US, which is organized by Jocelyn Miller and on view at the Museum of Modern Art in New York from May 27 through July 16, 2017.

    THE CENTERPIECE OF THIS SHOW is my first feature-length film, Incense Sweaters & Ice. The title refers to goods that were originally

  • interviews May 09, 2017

    Juliana Huxtable

    New York–based artist, writer, and performer Juliana Huxtable brings her trenchant voice and #shockvalue flair to two new publications out this year: Mucus in My Pineal Gland, a book of her musings copublished by Wonder and Capricious, and Life, an apocalyptic sci-fi narrative cowritten with Hannah Black and published by Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König. Here, Huxtable discusses her writing style as well as her debut solo exhibition, “A Split During Laughter at the Rally,” which is on view at Reena Spaulings Fine Art in New York through June 4, 2017.

    I AM FASCINATED with Emory Douglas, who

  • diary April 28, 2017

    Practice Makes Perfect

    WHAT IS YOUR REVOLUTION? The icebreaker question, raised by Field Foundation president Angelique Power during last week’s Practicing Utopia over Breakfast program, gets at the aim of this year’s art and social practice Open Engagement conference: critically examining and supporting social-justice-oriented artmaking and administration. The forward-thinking morning event took place at Tricia Van Eck’s 6018North, a dilapidated mansion brimming with art installations in Chicago’s Edgewater neighborhood, just one of the more than twenty locations throughout Chicago—“our beautiful, scarred, complicated

  • diary March 01, 2017

    Resistance Is Fertile

    “I’VE READ MORE BOOKS THAN TRUMP,” claimed a silk screen at Karl LaRocca’s Kayrock Screenprinting booth at the Los Angeles Art Book Fair this weekend. “Not hard!” asserted an Angelino in a crop top amid the bustling throngs of bibliophiles. Tallies, texts, and the possibilities and pitfalls of democracy were clearly legible throughout the fifth annual LA iteration of Printed Matter’s Art Book Fair, exemplified by Mike Mills and Experimental Jetset’s mural-size poster towering over the crowd, reading “2,864,974”: an amplification of the margin of Hillary’s popular vote lead as of January 2017.

  • interviews February 07, 2017

    Raúl de Nieves and Colin Self

    Scored for a chorus and string ensemble, Raúl de Nieves and Colin Self’s chamber opera The Fool rises up with an ethos that feels equally majestic and DIY. After a 2014 premiere at ISSUE Project Room, The Fool returns with an elevated production at the Kitchen from February 9 through 11, 2017. Here, de Nieves and Self discuss the piece’s catharsis and community.

    IN EARLY IMAGININGS FOR THE FOOL, we both started identifying with the trickster archetype, a cultural figure that often uses magic or some kind of transformation to reveal or teach something. The trickster or jester is a character that

  • interviews December 27, 2016

    Nick Mauss

    Nick Mauss frequently stages and animates historical material in his works, which revel in unexpected juxtapositions and recontextualizations. It is fitting that he has envisioned the exhibition layout for “Design Dreams, A Celebration of Léon Bakst” at the Nouveau Musée National de Monaco—one of several shows worldwide this year celebrating the 150th birthday of Bakst, the consummate set and costume designer of the Ballets Russes, among other creative roles. Here, Mauss describes the itinerary through the exhibition as well as Baskt’s enduring impact. The show is on view through January 15,

  • diary November 01, 2016

    Yet Again

    UNCERTAINTY IS IN THE AIR IN COLOMBIA. In early October, the Colombian people voted in a nationwide poll against a referendum that would have ended the country’s fifty-two-year civil war. Given this context, two of the leading events in the Colombian cultural calendar, ArtBO in Bogotá and the traveling triennial Salón Nacional de Artistas, this year located in Pereira, could have felt out of touch. What place do art-fair booths and free champagne have at such a crucial crossroads in a nation’s path toward peace? For the most part, ArtBO did feel like business as usual, with standard mantelpiece

  • interviews October 25, 2016

    Pipilotti Rist

    For three decades, Pipilotti Rist’s videos and immersive installations have stretched both the technical means of their creation and the organic realm from which her forms emerge. Rist’s art imaginatively upends our relationship to spectatorship and the natural world in playful, witty, and wry ways. From October 26, 2016 to January 15, 2017, Rist’s retrospective “Pixel Forest” will envelop three floors and more of the New Museum. Here, she discusses her philosophy around exhibition installation and video projection.

    WITH MY INSTALLATIONS, every room has different tasks, a special challenge. It’s

  • picks June 07, 2016

    Isaac Julien

    Isaac Julien’s films and immersive video installations have been stunning audiences for decades. It comes as no surprise, then, that the artist’s sumptuous large-scale photographs envelop you cinematically. Mounted on aluminum, the four enormous prints that anchor the exhibition glow with the sheen of the silver screen. Julien uses his distinct vision—supple, imaginative, alluring, expansive—to meditate on the black body, sexuality, and history.

    Photography has always been a central aspect of Julien’s practice. The images here are culled from shoots for three of his early films: Looking for

  • diary April 22, 2016

    Big Game

    ANSWERS TO MY QUESTION “What’s the biggest thing at the Dallas Art Fair?” ranged widely: “Socialite updos.” “Plastic surgery bills.” “Howard Rachofsky’s impressive art collection.” “Howard Rachofsky’s checkbook.” “Paola Pivi’s airplane sculpture.” “The Dallas Arts District.” “Stefan Simchowitz’s ego.” “Dan Colen’s paintings.” “Dan Colen’s…” well, let’s just say feet. All, save the last, were on exorbitant display during the eighth Dallas Art Fair last weekend. Everything really is bigger in Texas.

    Early talk around the fair dilated on outfits for Thursday night’s preview gala. “I just came from

  • interviews April 05, 2016

    Rodney McMillian

    Rodney McMillian is having a moment. The artist currently has three solo exhibitions on view at East Coast museums: “Views of Main Street” at the Studio Museum in Harlem, through June 26, 2016; “The Black Show” at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia, through August 14, 2016; and “Landscape Paintings” at MoMA PS1, through August 29, 2016. McMillian’s artworks—made from “postconsumer objects” like junked chairs, sofas, and wall-to-wall carpeting—reflect the myriad lived experiences of class and capital. And McMillian’s performance-based videos often recast significant events—from Nat

  • interviews January 26, 2016

    Gregory Crewdson

    The photographs in Gregory Crewdson’s first solo exhibition in New York City in six years are an extension of his hallmark depictions of eerie encounters in American homes and neighborhoods, yet the new works are set in more rural forest environs than before. Their soft glow results from his large-scale, cinematic-style productions and extensive postproduction. Here, Crewdson speaks about working on “Cathedral of the Pines,” which will be on view at Gagosian Gallery in New York from January 28 through March 5, 2016.

    THIS BODY OF WORK is titled after a trail in the wilderness of Becket, Massachusetts.

  • picks January 22, 2016

    Tauba Auerbach

    Tauba Auerbach’s art, cerebrally and seductively, marries system theory and aesthetic acuity. The paintings, sculptures, and publishing projects within this exhibition engage the ideas and writings of architect and theosophist Claude Bragdon, whose 1915 treatise Projective Ornament expounds architecture’s transcendent possibilities. For the show, Auerbach has gorgeously republished Bragdon’s century-old text through Diagonal Press, her imprint, and given us objects that revel in the elemental dynamism and beauty of geometry and nature.

    Four of Auerbach’s woven canvases reveal her interests in

  • picks October 09, 2015

    Barton Lidicé Beneš

    Barton Lidicé Beneš’s artistic practice was among the most incisive to address HIV/AIDS at the end of the twentieth century. On display here are five works from his “Lethal Weapons” series, 1992–97, refashioned objects behind wired safety glass containing Beneš’s HIV-positive blood. Blood was and continues to be a central source of the stigma surrounding the transmission of HIV. The sculptures present Beneš’s own, in vessels such as a perfume bottle (Lethal Weapons: Essence, 1994), a children’s airplane with a syringe as its cockpit (Lethal Weapons: Flying Missile, 1996), and a water gun with

  • picks September 11, 2015

    Senga Nengudi

    Senga Nengudi trained as both an artist and a dancer in the 1960s and continues to work across a variety of mediums: sculpture, performance, photography, and more. As is evident in her current presentation, her practice abstracts and dematerializes bodily form while referencing its kinetic energy and elastic potential. Nengudi’s most moving group of works is her nylon mesh sculptures fashioned out of used pantyhose, three examples of which are included here. Untitled, 2011, features four of the leggings stretched tightly to the floor and weighted gracefully with sand. The ready-made garments

  • diary July 16, 2015

    Cheers Queers

    “TOO MANY QUEERS, too many screenings, too little time,” joked a Dirty Looks audience member last week. This month, to celebrate its biannual On Location series, there’s a screening every day (thirty-one in all), as the itinerant initiative shows rarely seen queer moving-image work in some of New York’s gay-cruising/art-viewing landmarks. Creative director Bradford Nordeen’s Dirty Looks provides a platform for more than innuendo; over the past five years the organization has proved one of the best forums for experimental queer cinema in New York City and beyond.

    “The films are fantastic, but it’s