Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev

  • Richard Kennedy, Fubu Fukú, 2020. Performance view, Trauma Bar und Kino, Berlin, July 16, 2020. Richard Kennedy. Photo: Dareos Khalili.

    Where we’re at: Berlin, Rotterdam, Istanbul, Madrid, Turin


    TFW in the middle of the odd Corona Summer, when the club has been closed for months, an artist explodes five centuries of history into an operatic “queer Black retelling of the colonial project from sugarcane to ketamine.” Made possible by Trauma Bar und Kino, which navigated virus guidelines to safely open its subterranean space for two nights, and hosted by New Models (which, full disclosure, I co-run), Richard Kennedy’s Fubu Fukú put five stunning bodies onstage—namely, those of Miss Hollywood, Fernando Casablancas, PK Gyaba, Peter Fonda, and the artist—all fitted with

  • Jannis Kounellis

    ARTE POVERA ARTIST Jannis Kounellis was concerned, like most of his generation, with the point where art and life intersect. He was a true realist—not because he endeavored to represent reality faithfully through figuration, but on account of his deep and lasting commitment to the meaningfulness of embodied social and material experience. In its lowliness and radical authenticity, his art was uniquely capable of expressing the tragedy of European history and the laceration of Enlightenment ideals in the twentieth century.

    Born in Greece, Kounellis moved to Rome in 1956, where he stayed for

  • Adrián Villar Rojas, Today We Reboot the Planet, 2013, unfired clay, mixed media. Installation view, Serpentine Sackler Gallery, London. Photo: Jörg Baumann.

    Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev

    ADRIÁN VILLAR ROJAS’S ANTIMONUMENTS seem always to exist in the aftermath of catastrophe, conjuring a sense of dark ecology and yet also of lively, vibrant matter. They evince a cosmic expansiveness of vision, such that distinctions between institutions and places cease to seem germane. Perhaps this is why I find it impossible to discuss one of Villar Rojas’s exhibitions—his recent show in London at the Serpentine Sackler Gallery—without first discussing another.

    At MoMA PS1 in New York this past summer, as part of “Expo 1: New York” (a multivenue project loosely organized around

  • Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev


    1 Allora & Calzadilla, Stop, Repair, Prepare: Variations on “Ode to Joy” for a Prepared Piano (Haus der Kunst, Munich, and Gladstone Gallery, New York) The “Ode to Joy” from the fourth movement of Beethoven’s Ninth is associated as much with romantic nationalisms and Nazism as with contemporary politics. (It is the European Union’s anthem.) For Allora & Calzadilla’s Stop, Repair, Prepare, six pianists traded shifts playing the theme over and over—while standing in a hole carved in the middle of the instrument, so they faced the keys backward. The piano was fitted

  • Stuart Ringholt

    WHEN I WAS INVITED to attend a “curatorial clinic” last year in Melbourne, Australia, I anticipated that the event, organized by curator Juliana Engberg, would satirically treat the primary psychological illness among curators overwhelmed by the excess of information in the art world: superficiality. In fact, this daylong therapy session featured a number of artists making earnest PowerPoint presentations about the state of contemporary art, seeking to help their curator colleagues gain deeper self-understanding. Standing apart, however, was a young artist from Perth, Australia, named Stuart

  • Michael Rakowitz

    I like the poetics of Michael Rakowitz—the pragmatics of his aesthetics and the “making” (poiein) of his projects. Toying with the various boundaries between architecture, engineering, industrial design, and art, Rakowitz devises his works in a concise but richly metaphoric language that almost belies the practical and politial issues he addresses in his highly charged installations and public projects.

    Born in New York in 1973 of Iraqi Jewish descent, Rakowitz is a nomad, always translating, transforming, shifting, renovating, and experimenting, continually asking what might happen if you put