Allese Thomson Baker

  • View of “Soft Machines,” 2011. From left: Holton Rower, 6ac6g, 2011; Kate Gilmore, Through the Claw, 2011; Stuart Brisley, The Collection of Ordure, 2002; Anthony Keith Giannini, Gather then Mourn, 2011; Tim Hawkinson, Balloon Self-Portrait #4, 1996.
    picks August 09, 2011

    “Soft Machines”

    Evoking William S. Burroughs’s 1961 novel The Soft Machine—which imagined the fate of a world controlled by forces like sex, violence, drugs, and fierce cultural hegemony—the sixteen works in “Soft Machines” illustrate the way these same forces insidiously direct day-to-day experience and can subsequently control an individual’s fate. Through the Claw, 2011, a performance by Kate Gilmore, debuted during the opening with five women dressed in pink 1950s-style housedresses and heels. For two hours, they tore apart a 7500-pound block of clay and hurled it against the walls. The reactive quality of

  • Sophie Fiennes, Over Your Cities Grass Will Grow, 2010, still from a color film in 35 mm, 105 minutes.
    interviews August 09, 2011

    Sophie Fiennes

    Sophie Fiennes’s latest film, Over Your Cities Grass Will Grow, documents Anselm Kiefer working in La Ribaute, a dilapidated silk factory in Barjac, France, which Kiefer bought in 1993 and transformed into a massive artistic center. Fiennes’s films include The Late Michael Clark (2000), Hoover Street Revival (2002), and The Pervert’s Guide to Cinema (2006). She is currently working on a second film with Slavoj Zizek as well as a film about Grace Jones. Over Your Cities Grass Will Grow runs August 9–23 at Film Forum in New York.

    WHEN I FIRST SHOWED SOME FOOTAGE TO ANSELM, he said, “the framing is

  • View of “Blind Date: New York,” 2011.
    picks June 22, 2011

    Jadranka Kosorcic

    One month before her US solo debut, Croatian artist Jadranka Kosorcic sent an e-mail announcement looking for individuals to pose for a portrait. “Artist is looking for people m/f willing to pose for a portrait. Time spent 1-3 hours,” it read. It did not mention that her chief objective was to have a conversation with each sitter as she drew them; nor did it reveal that any conversations would be recorded. And the ad certainly did not imply that Kosorcic’s portrait would be less a reflection of the individual than of the dialogue that would occur between artist and sitter.

    The twenty-three images

  • Left: Poster for Liz Magic Laser’s Flight performances in Times Square. Right: Elizabeth Hodur and Michael Wiener rehearsing. (Photo: Mia Tramz).
    interviews May 02, 2011

    Liz Magic Laser

    Liz Magic Laser will present a new iteration of her ongoing work Flight in Times Square’s Duffy Square on May 3, 6, and 7. Flight adapts chase scenes from films such as American Psycho and Vertigo with a cast of six actors, and was sponsored by the Times Square Alliance and the Franklin Furnace Fund for Performance Art.

    WE PSYCHOLOGICALLY REHEARSE FOR TRAUMATIC EVENTS BY WATCHING MOVIES; by enacting panic we anticipate its cause. But these scenes of violence and terror place us in a passive role. When they are transplanted to a crowded public space, atomized spectatorship is replaced by interactivity

  • Charline von Heyl, Untitled (Wall at WAM), 2010, acrylic and latex paint, 17 x 67'.
    interviews April 09, 2011

    Charline von Heyl

    Charline von Heyl is known for her abstract paintings and works on paper. In November 2010, she created a seventy-foot-long mural for the Worcester Art Museum, as the ninth artist’s project for the museum’s “Wall at WAM” series. She will speak about her work at the museum on May 19.

    AFTER I WAS ASKED TO DO THE MURAL, I completely put it out of my mind. I went to Marfa and made a very strange body of work––a series of drawings of animals. They were weird and funny but also clearly representational: stark, black wax crayon outlines filled in with radiant simple colors. I loved them but didn’t want

  • Cory Arcangel, Various Self Playing Bowling Games (aka Beat The Champ), 2011, fourteen video game consoles and fourteen video projections, dimensions variable. Installation view.
    interviews March 05, 2011

    Cory Arcangel

    Cory Arcangel’s latest work, Various Self Playing Bowling Games (aka Beat The Champ), 2011, is a video installation featuring fourteen bowling video games made between the 1970s and the 2000s. Each game is rigged to roll only gutter balls and plays in scoreless loops. The video installation is a co-commission between the Barbican Art Gallery in London and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. Here, the artist discusses his thoughts on video games, social media, and his latest Web-based projects. The Barbican exhibition is on view until May 22; the Whitney show opens on May 26.

    WHEN I

  • Steven Siegel, Biography, 2008–10, mixed media, dimensions variable. Installation view.
    picks February 22, 2011

    Steven Siegel

    Steven Siegel’s latest mixed-media installation, Biography, 2008–10, is an epic seventy-five-foot-long mishmash of color and material that spans two massive walls. Shaggy carpet, fuzzy fabrics, and hundreds of tightly wound bundles of newspapers are harnessed on wooden planks and interwoven with a mess of gadgets, gizmos, and colorful craft supplies. From afar, Biography looks like a vast topographical map: Cables and hard drives and twinkly lights mime cities; thick black piping and power cords seem like strips of highways; the spines of newspapers resemble the color and texture of beach and