Lauren O’Neill-Butler

  • Constance DeJong

    This past May, Contstance DeJong delivered twelve performances of SpeakChamber, 2013, a nearly hour-long narrative recited from memory. The gallery’s intimate space was swathed in dark gray soundproofing foam, with a spotlight illuminating a chair where DeJong sat adjacent to a table supporting an iMac and a few books. Five simple wooden benches could accommodate a maximum of eighteen people per show. Unsurprisingly, all spots were claimed quickly by RSVP—DeJong, a beacon of video and new-media art, known for her collaborations (notably with Philip Glass for the 1979 opera Satyagraha), had

  • interviews August 27, 2013

    Jason Dodge

    Jason Dodge’s first permanent installation is located in the tower of a former MaxMara electrical factory, adjacent to the Collezione Maramotti in Reggio Emilia, Italy. A permanently open window consists of a window that is perpetually ajar, two cedar doors, and a sculpture titled Alphabet. Dodge is known for works that poetically defy everyday perception, and here he discusses the specificities of transforming this window into a “beacon.”

    FUNDAMENTALLY, I’m interested in abstraction, and presence. I was thinking about how I wanted to make an abstract body that is not obviously detectable but

  • picks August 26, 2013

    Tomoko Yoneda

    Tomoko Yoneda’s somber miniretrospective traces a taut chronology in a selection of sixty-seven photographs culled from eight clinically cool series, mostly made in Asia over the past decade. Near the entrance, a wall text trumpets that the exhibition aims to introduce her work “in the present progressive tense,” a tactic that gathers momentum room by room as the Japanese photographer continuously examines collective memory and the interstitial zones where cultures intersect and overlap.

    Yoneda’s focus on materials and texture in the first few galleries is impressive: The colors in a fading

  • diary August 23, 2013

    General Electric

    A SHINKANSEN FROM TOKYO TO NAGOYA, the fourth-largest city in Japan and the capital of the Aichi Prefecture, speeds along at 200 mph for nearly ninety minutes southwest, briskly passing houses, factories, and fields. As your eyes lose focus, the view transforms into broad basics: horizons, striations, and soft earth. Landscape, abstraction, landscape, abstraction.

    The Friday before last, Nagoya was hosting the opening of the Second Aichi Triennale, a sprawling, multisite festival spread over traditional exhibition spaces as well as a former bowling alley, a train station, a dusty department store,

  • interviews August 21, 2013

    Sakiko Sugawa

    Social Kitchen is a small but industrious social and cultural center in Kyoto. Founded in September 2010, the center has initiated a variety of participatory projects, often involving local communities—from supporting emerging artists to selling rice, and from engaging citizens to participate in a mayoral election and raising awareness about nuclear energy to reading books on relational art. Here Social Kitchen cofounder Sakiko Sugawa talks about the origins of the project and some of its work.

    SOCIAL KITCHEN BEGAN after five successful years of working on the project Kissahanare, a weekly

  • interviews August 06, 2013

    Hong-Kai Wang

    Hong-Kai Wang is a Taiwanese artist primarily working with sound. Two of her projects are concurrently on view in New York this August. For “Soundings: A Contemporary Score,” MoMA’s first major exhibition of sound art, which is curated by Barbara London, Wang is presenting Music While We Work, 2011, a two-channel video and multichannel audio installation that will be on view from August 10 to November 3, 2013. For “The String and the Mirror,” a group show organized by Justin Luke and Lawrence Kumpf at Lisa Cooley, Wang is contributing the performance The Musical Condition of Reasonable Conspiracy

  • interviews July 17, 2013

    Lucy Dodd

    Lucy Dodd is an artist based in New York. Her latest exhibition, “Foss,” opens at Blum & Poe in Los Angeles on July 20 and remains on view until August 31, 2013. Here Dodd discusses the origins of the eight new paintings on view in the show, as well as a tale she cowrote in 2004—a chief source of inspiration for this project.

    IN 2004, Jason Rhoades, Paul Theriault, and I began a project in LA called the Foss. It’s hard to explain how the project started or what it was because none of us knew at the time. Foss was the word to describe this dilemma and in the beginning it was also the acronym for

  • picks July 12, 2013

    Erika Vogt

    A black, plaster-cast anchor dangles precariously from the ceiling near the entrance to Erika Vogt’s debut solo museum exhibition. It is a harbinger of exchange, and of the invisible and enigmatic transactions at play throughout the show, particularly in the eleven additional suspended objects—some found, some fabricated—that visitors navigate in the space. The anchor extends from a rope connected to a pulley above, and it hovers in the air because the same rope is secured to a counterweight on the floor, to a cast of a less recognizable object. The effect favors tension and illusion, but there

  • interviews June 18, 2013

    B. Wurtz

    B. Wurtz’s first solo exhibition in London is on view at Kate MacGarry from June 7 to July 13, 2013. The show will include a range of his work, most of it made with found objects and raw materials—such as wood, metal, and marble—from the 1970s to the present. Here, Wurtz reflects on his long career and his recent exhibitions.

    WHEN I WAS VERY YOUNG I had the Eames Giant House of Cards, which unfortunately I destroyed because I played with it so much. Those cards and the images on them were some of my earliest tools (and inspirations!) for making sculptures. I would often make tall towers out of

  • interviews June 11, 2013

    Rhonda Lieberman

    CATS AND ART TOGETHER AT LAST AT WHITE COLUMNS proclaims the press release for “The Cat Show,” an exhibition curated by writer and artist Rhonda Lieberman and developed in partnership with New York’s Social Tees Animal Rescue. Here Lieberman discusses the origins of the project and the “Cats-in-Residence Program,” where cats will be offered for adoption in the gallery on June 14 and 15, and July 19 and 20. The show is on view at White Columns from June 14 to July 27, 2013.

    BACK IN THE MID-’90S, I lived in a loft in Long Island City and started tending an outdoor cat colony in an empty lot on my

  • Birgit Jürgenssen

    Austrian-born feminist artist Birgit Jürgenssen produced a wide variety of work—paintings, photographs, performances, sculptures, collages, drawings, and clothing, among other forms and media—before her untimely death in 2003 at age fifty-four. Inspired by the writings of Sigmund Freud, her oeuvre features classically Surrealistic juxtapositions that allude to the associative operations of the unconscious, and often seems abuzz with psychosexual energy. Her work marries this interest in Freudian psychoanalysis to a political optimism—“between ‘waking and dreaming’ we can learn ‘

  • Dana Hoey

    The title and content of Dana Hoey’s latest series of photographs riffs on classic works of French feminist theory—Simone de Beauvoir’s The Second Sex (1949) and Luce Irigaray’s This Sex Which Is Not One (1977)—while ushering in a contemporary take on representations of women’s rights and “femininity.” Named “The Phantom Sex,” 2010–13, the series portrays the female form in traces, all phantasmagoric: a “death mask” of actress Sean Young; a concrete cast of the artist’s face that resembles an antique statue; and a silicone cast of a friend’s torso, white and opaque like a (bizarre)

  • interviews April 29, 2013

    Richard Foreman

    Theater pathfinder and MacArthur “genius” Richard Foreman has played many roles over the past five decades, diligently writing, directing, and designing his numerous plays, operas, films, and videos. This year his Ontological-Hysteric Theater, a touchstone for several generations of artists, celebrates its forty-fifth anniversary.

    Foreman was born in 1937 in New York City. He received a BA from Brown University and an MFA in playwriting from the Yale School of Drama. In 1993, Brown presented him with an honorary doctorate. Foreman’s latest work, the chamber play Old Fashioned Prostitutes (A True

  • interviews April 22, 2013

    Lucy McKenzie

    Lucy McKenzie is a Brussels-based Scottish artist. In 2008, with designers Beca Lipscombe and Bernie Reid, she launched Atelier E.B., a company that works on fashion and design projects with a particular emphasis on applied arts and artisan techniques. McKenzie’s first exhibition in Amsterdam is currently on view at the Stedelijk Museum until September 22, 2013. Along with the show, Atelier E.B. will have a temporary showroom at Magazijn in Amsterdam from May 15 to 18.

    THE STEDELIJK SHOW BEGAN with my impressions of visiting three different sites at the end of 2012: the Alhambra Palace in Granada,

  • diary April 11, 2013

    The Rijkstuff

    NACHTEN WACHTEN. Until the Rijksmuseum’s official public opening/celebration this coming weekend, Amsterdammers settle for its mostly untouched neo-gothic exterior and a massive Maarten Baas–designed digital clock on it, counting down the “nights waiting.” Some ten years have passed, and several delays on the museum’s construction and planning too. Nearby, on the sprawling space known as the Museumplein, is a perhaps less catchy but more insistent promotional slogan, which will probably remain on view for longer. I amsterdam—the massive letters are fun for tourists to climb on, take pictures

  • Shannon Ebner

    To some extent, Shannon Ebner’s work has always played with thresholds of legibility. A case in point, the large-scale print Instrumentals (all works cited, 2013) was hung in the back room of her recent exhibition at Wallspace, where it spellbound the viewer into bewilderment. This flattened depiction of seemingly unusual (but in fact quite common) objects appeared to carry some indexical trace, although the connection to a source was left ambiguous. Taken in an auto-body shop in Los Angeles, the photograph is a to-scale representation of a stark white wall, onto which silhouettes of tools have

  • interviews March 19, 2013

    Primary Information

    Primary Information was formed by James Hoff and Miriam Katzeff in 2006 and has since published a range of artists’ books and writings by artists, in addition to reissuing seminal magazines such as Avalanche and REAL LIFE. Hoff and Katzeff recently curated the final entry of the Excursus series, organized by Alex Klein, at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia. The show runs March 20—June 16, 2013, and leads into the fiftieth anniversary of the ICA this fall.

    THE ICA ASKED US to go through their archive and let the process determine the show, and we began by searching for artists and

  • picks March 13, 2013

    Jay DeFeo

    Four years ago, the Whitney presented an exhibition by a renowned artist whose work, for some, wavered on the brink of kitsch. Georgia O’Keeffe, so celebrated for her petunias and lilies, seemed like another person: The bold and graphic abstractions on view proved overwhelming. Even Alfred Stieglitz’s racy photographs of O’Keeffe posing nude with her paintings looked fresh. Now, the museum is taking on another difficult and sometimes discounted artist—Jay DeFeo, best known for a flower of her own (The Rose, 1958–66)—by mounting an elegant and revelatory retrospective. Comparisons

  • Nick Relph

    In Nick Relph’s recent exhibition, two rhyming rooms recalled a garage, while a pair of framed portraits—showing dealer Gavin Brown by parked cars—hinted at one of the building’s past functions. In the first gallery, twelve upright car wheels stood in two orderly rows, placed in the positions they would occupy on actual automobiles: three vehicles sans bodies. Another set of eight wheels had been sited in the neighboring open office area, with two of them put conspicuously beneath desks. Passing through these demarcated spaces—between and within the groupings—I sensed a subtle

  • Xavier Cha

    “Room tone,” or “presence,” in filmic parlance, is shorthand for ambient “silence,” the specific quality of background noise at an actor’s position, recorded to convincingly render his or her voice. A sound inspired by room tone—and amplified to an intense, dissonant whine—is the foundation of Xavier Cha’s Untitled, 2012, a four-channel video work installed on large flat screens that recently filled the constricted space of 47 Canal.

    Moving across the screens, eighteen slightly larger-than-life-size portraits (showing the front and then the back of each individual’s head) linger for