Michele Wallace

  • Thornton Dial Sr.

    Thornton Dial was one of the first contemporary outsider artists to gain an international reputation. Born in 1928 in rural Alabama, Dial spent about forty years as a carpenter, welder, and bricklayer, all the while burying his paintings in the yard so no one could see them. Since his retirement in 1983, he has devoted his time and skills to artmaking. The seventy-three paintings in this show are encrusted with barbed wire, carpeting, paper, and steel; the twenty-two large sculptures are made from steel piping and found objects. The exhibition,

  • Doing the Right Thing

    Am I advocating violence? No, but goddamn, the days of twenty-five million Blacks being silent while our fellow brothers and sisters are exploited, oppressed, and murdered, have to come to an end. Racial persecution, nat only in the United States, but all over the world, is not gonna go away; it seems it’s getting worse (four years of Bush won’t help). And if Crazy Eddie Koch gets reelected for a fourth term as mayor of New York, what you see in Do the Right Thing will be light stuff. Yep, we have a choice, Malcolm or King. I know who I’m down with.

    —Spike Lee (with Lisa Jones), Do the Right

  • The Cave

    COLUMNS|Remote Control|9

    #page 9#

    For all its repetitive valorization of the campy '50s and the glorious '60s in film and TV, Hollywood has yet to have

    its own Civil Rights Movement. Thislegacy means that viewers are inevitably unable to locate any substantive treatment

    of black agency even in those films and TV shows that ostensibly focus on black topics. Instead, what you'll find

    latelywhich is, I suppose, much better than nothing-is black music.

    During the '50s in Harlem, Charlie Parker`s trickster alto sax provided the catalyst for bebop and for the counter-

    cultural scene that developed around it. By the time cultural

  • Silvia Kolbowski on Knowledge and Power

    COLUMNS|Expertease|15

    #page 15#

    The Bronx zoo has five entrances. When I made an arrangement to meet friends at the sea lion pool, it did not occur to

    me that I would mistakenly enter the zoo through the Asia entrance, the one furthest from the pool. To make a long story

    short, in order to reach the pool in time to keep my appointment, I had to walk quickly across the length of the zoo,

    catching only glimpses of the Wild Asia Plaza, Camel Rides, Jungle world, World of Darkness, skyfari, the Himalayan

    Highlands Habitat, Holarctica, and the Elephant and Monkey houses.

    Like museums, zoos are long stories made short, purported

  • Glenn O'Brien on Advertising

    COLUMNS|LIKE ART|17

    #page 17#

    “Ah, the smell of it!”

    I opened up the February issue of Elle magazine and there they were: the most beautiful breasts in the world. Well, the

    most beautiful photo-breasts, anyway. Crowning a headless torso, they are the focus, the face of the picture.

    Beautifully lit breasts. Artfully illuminated breasts. Symmetrical. Proud erect nipples, cool and prominent. Slight

    goosebumps texture the breast's surface, around the aureole, as if registering a chill or a thrill. These breasts top a

    torso of perfect proportions. There is the slightest shadow suggesting a navel. Arms are raised, the right

  • Alice Yearer Kaplan on Nuclear Fear

    COLUMNS|Books|19

    #page 19#

    Nuclear Fear: A History of Images, by Spencer R. Weart, Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 533pp., $29.50 Nuclear fear

    is bomb shelters In middle-class neighborhoods. It's a year's supply of canned food and hunting rifles to keep the

    neighbors out - if it should come to that. Nuclear fear is staged in Doom Town, a row of mannequin-filled houses set up

    near a test site, After the nuclear blast, the living rooms are photographed to show twisted plastic bodies covered with

    glass. Nuclear fear structures our social space. Even suburbia can be understood as a response to the 1950s notion that