Andy Campbell

  • View of “Yan Xing: Standard Exhibition,” 2014.
    interviews February 24, 2014

    Yan Xing

    The Beijing- and Los Angeles–based artist Yan Xing is known for creating intricately staged installations, photographs, videos, and performances that play on registers of high camp, melodrama, and sincerity. For his recent solo exhibition at Galerie Urs Meile in Beijing, he presented new works including The Collectress, 2013, which is based on the novels and paintings of Duan Jianyu. “Yan Xing: Standard Exhibition,” his first solo show in Switzerland, runs from February 14 to April 12, 2014 at Galerie Urs Meile in Lucerne.

    THE PHYSICAL FRAMING of my work—the way it is presented to a public—is

  • View of “What We Want, What We Believe: Towards a Higher Fidelity,” 2014.
    picks February 14, 2014

    Juan Capistran

    I AM HOPING TO SEE THE DAY reads the text spelled out in fist-size, chalk-white rocks on the floor of Juan Capistran’s two-part exhibition “What We Want, What We Believe: Towards a Higher Fidelity” at the Visual Arts Center. Nearby, a tidy stack of offset prints of a craggily textured surface is available for viewers to take and crumple, forming an ad hoc rock. This replica, which intimates revolution but materially lacks the heft, is an apt summa of the thin line that Capistran walks with aplomb. How to suggest revolutionary potential without controlling the conversation? How to find a model

  • Left: Cover of Lauren Berlant and Lee Edelman’s Sex, or The Unbearable (2013). Right: View of William Pope.L’s Forlesen, 2013.
    interviews January 30, 2014

    Lauren Berlant

    Duke University Press recently published Sex, or The Unbearable, a long-form critical dialogue between theorists Lauren Berlant and Lee Edelman. Through a series of close readings addressing the work of Larry Johnson, Miranda July, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, and the short story “Break It Down” by Lydia Davis, the book examines the often unbearable pressures and cleavages sex can produce—for good and for ill. Berlant and Edelman variously mitigate and amplify the theoretical, structural, and vernacular ambivalencies of intimacy, collaboration, and collective life. Berlant states in the book’s

  • Alice Aycock, Masonry Enclosure: Project for a Doorway—Section, 1976, graphite on tracing paper, 34 1/4 x 24".
    picks July 03, 2013

    Alice Aycock

    Two monumental schematic drawings of hundreds of doorways, stitched together in neat adjoining rows, dominate Alice Aycock’s retrospective of drawings. In The New China Drawing: The World Above, the World Below, 1984, Aycock’s craggy forms evoke a map of Canton, China drawn by seventeenth-century Dutch explorer Johan Nieuhof following his fifteen-thousand-mile trek through China’s provinces. This journey was notably reproduced in social historian and curator Bernard Rudofsky’s seminal treatise on vernacular form, Architecture Without Architects(1964), Aycock, for her part, transforms this source

  • David Robbins, Talent, 1986, eighteen gelatin silver prints, each 10 x 8".
    picks May 28, 2012

    “25 Years of Talent”

    “25 Years of Talent” attempts to show where the artists represented in David Robbins’s Talent, a sardonic 1986 grouping of hip-list artist head shots, are today in their varied art practices. Curated by artist Michelle Grabner, who was a graduate student in art history when Robbins debuted Talent, this exhibition takes a simple curatorial organizational scheme (one just as tied to popular notions of celebrity as Robbins’s initial head shots): “Where are they now?” The question presents a restrictive protocol, a kind of readymade mode of exhibition making—with each artist represented by at least

  • Donald Moffett, Untitled (The Public), 2002, video projection, oil and enamel on linen, 45 x 60".
    picks November 20, 2011

    Donald Moffett

    What Barbara Jordan wore was pink, a glorious fuschia, when she intoned her famous words at Richard Nixon’s impeachment hearing in 1972: “My faith in the constitution is whole, it is complete, it is total.” A lawyer, congresswoman, and black woman from Texas, Barbara Jordan’s pink suit, and indeed her entire countenance, remains an important contra to the pale male club of politics. Video of her speech, asynchronously looped, is thrown onto three golden-hued paintings in What Barbara Jordan Wore, 2002, one of two works regarding impeachment that anchor and bookend Donald Moffett’s current

  • Left: Cover of Judith Halberstam’s  The Queer Art of Failure (2011). Right: Monica Majoli, Black Mirror (Jarrett 2), 2009, colored pencil on paper, 9 x 13”. From the series “Black Mirror,” 2009.
    interviews October 17, 2011

    Judith Halberstam

    Judith Halberstam’s latest book, The Queer Art of Failure, is published this month by Duke University Press. She is a professor of English, American studies and ethnicity, and gender studies at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. Here Halberstam discusses her methodological interest in the “silly archive,” a phrase borrowed from literary theorist Lauren Berlant, which Halberstam uses to denote the importance of seeking knowledge in all the wrong places: cartoons for children, horror films, Spongebob Squarepants, offbeat manifestos, and other low-cultural sites.

    MOST OF MY WRITING

  • View of “The Architect’s Garden,” 2011. (Photo: Sandy Carson)
    interviews September 28, 2011

    Mika Tajima

    Mika Tajima is a New York–based artist whose latest project, The Architect’s Garden, is on view until December 17 at the Visual Arts Center at the University of Texas at Austin. Tajima’s site-specific installation is accompanied by a program of events, including a conversation she had with Richard Linklater, director of the 1991 film Slacker. Her latest body of work continues to excavate the social implications of contemporary built environments, and the concomitant development of particular kinds of human performers, such as the flaneur, the slacker, and the good worker.

    I DON’T GO TO HOME DEPOT

  • Catherine Opie, Untitled #2 (Tea Party Rally), 2010, color photograph, 16 x 24”.
    picks July 21, 2011

    Catherine Opie

    Pro-immigration marches, Tea Party rallies, Barack Obama’s inauguration, the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival, and the Boy Scouts of America Jamboree: These seem to be subjects better suited to an “off-the-hip” photographer than the immaculate imagemaker Catherine Opie. Yet this exhibition, which serves up the artist’s recent output, makes a strong case for Opie as a documentarian of our politically divisive times. Two bodies of work are on display here: the profusion of rallies, festivals, and political events, and “Twelve Miles to the Horizon,” 2009, a series of nearly two dozen photographs