Kaelen Wilson-Goldie

  • Oraib Toukan

    Oraib Toukan’s first solo exhibition, at the Jordanian arts foundation Darat al-Funun, delved into a dialectic between memory and amnesia that has become almost overbearing in contemporary art practice from the Arab world. But Toukan’s depiction of memory as process, and her tethering of memory to the body, marked a promising change from the now ubiquitous strategies involving imaginary archives and historical documents.

    In the split-screen, single-channel video Remind Me to Remember to Forget, 2006, the tip of a makeshift pen is seen on the left side spitting out and sucking in a seemingly

  • Sharjah Biennial 8: Still Life

    The organizers of the eighth edition of the Sharjah Biennial set themselves a formidable task by using an exhibition of contemporary art to address environmental degradation in the United Arab Emirates. One of seven small emirates constituting the UAE, Sharjah is a Persian Gulf rentier state whose export of fossil fuels has made it the world’s fourth-wealthiest nation. To mitigate the foreseeable exhaustion of oil and gas reserves, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and to a lesser extent Sharjah have engineered a massive construction boom to create additional sources of income through tourism, financial services,

  • picks August 06, 2007

    “Past Over”

    By writing off summer group shows as low-season rummage sales for leftover stock, one risks missing out on adventurous curating and the testing of new talent. “Past Over” at Steve Turner Contemporary features six artists (and one collective) who range from relatively unknown to firmly established. The gallery’s inaugural outing, the exhibition is thematically tight and full of discovery. The works are daring and diverse, but they all divulge dirty secrets that have been sanitized by dominant historical discourses.

    Following the lead of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa, Mary

  • picks July 08, 2007

    “Identity Theft: Eleanor Antin, Lynn Hershman, Suzy Lake 1972–1978”

    A blond wig and a polka-dot dress. A driver’s license, a residential address, and a bank account. Romantic interludes, physical insecurities, and an impending emotional breakdown. These were elements in the “Roberta Breitmore” project in the mid-1970s, in which artist Lynn Hershman went far beyond creating an image; she constructed a full-blown identity. At around the same time, Suzy Lake adopted the personae of her friends and colleagues, documented through painstaking photographic progressions, while Eleanor Antin became a monarch, a ballerina, and a nurse, oscillating between sexpot and saint.

  • Youssef Nabil

    One of the largest and most mysterious of Youssef Nabil’s hand-painted photographs is a portrait of the artist tucked into the woods of Vincennes, an English garden in the eastern part of Paris. Foliage crowds the corners of the composition, a lily pond catches the reflection of surrounding trees, and there, set back and centered, the artist’s arm slips out from beneath a blanket of leaves to expose the curve of his back and the nape of his neck.

    Self-Portrait, Vincennes, 2003, was one of forty-five photographs included in Nabil’s solo show “Portraits Self-Portraits.” One of his most substantial

  • picks October 31, 2006

    “Nafas Beirut”

    What do you do when your city comes under siege? If you’re an artist in Beirut, most likely you document the moment—not in its grand narratives but rather in its intimate details. The war in Lebanon this summer caused crushing damage, but it also provoked a rush of artistic responses, and “Nafas Beirut” attempts to collect and collate them all. Curators Sandra Dagher and Zena al-Khalil have dubbed their exhibition “a platform for artists bearing witness.” This, plus the high number of participating artists (forty-five), would seem to suggest an all-inclusive affair and the varying quality