Nikki Columbus

  • Anna Boghiguian

    From the salt mines of Turkey to the Cuban town where Columbus made landfall, Anna Boghiguian travels the world to research the entwined subjects of her work: colonialism and slavery—the original sins of modernity—and their contemporary manifestations, such as mass migration and criminalization. The result is electric, combining the breadth of history painting, the urgency of frontline reporting, and the intimacy of a diary, punctuated by generous daubs of fluorescent

  • Performa 13

    In her groundbreaking book Performance Art: From Futurism to the Present, first published in 1979, RoseLee Goldberg traced the history of her subject within the context of the art world. This world turned out to be broadly defined, allowing the author to discuss many events that others might label dance, music, or theater. Performa, which Goldberg launched in New York in 2005 as the first biennial dedicated to “visual art performance,” is similarly catholic in its offerings. While featuring numerous artists’ virgin efforts in live performance, Performa has frequently presented choreographers,

  • diary July 24, 2012

    Tanks for Everything

    THE OLYMPICS DON’T KICK OFF in London for another few days, but they’re already inescapable: The Flintstones-meets-street-art logo is visible everywhere, stamped on lamppost banners and smothering tube signs. While many Londoners are dreading the crowds, those with tickets can’t wait for the games to begin. “I’m going to women’s weight lifting,” bragged a publisher friend. “They have three moves: the pull, the jerk, and the snatch.”

    For the London art world, however, the summer’s main event took place last week, when Tate Modern opened the Tanks, a new underground extension with a 225,000-square-foot

  • film February 20, 2012

    Stage and Screen

    NEW YORK’S WOOSTER GROUP is renowned for the incorporation of film and video in its theatrical productions. In To You, the Birdie! (Phèdre) (2002), for example, video mediates live action, as monitors placed in front of the actors’ lower halves show their movements both delayed and sped up. In the 2003 version of Brace Up!, on the other hand, one character appears entirely on video: translator Paul Schmidt, who had died since his appearance in the original production in 1991. The company’s 2007 Hamlet set its actors the task of re-creating a 1964 filmed staging, directed by John Gielgud and

  • diary December 29, 2011

    Rated X-mas

    NEW YORK FAMILIES mark the holidays in different ways. For some, this might mean piling the kids off to see the Rockettes, sitting down to watch “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” or joining the crowds to skate in circles in Central Park. Downtown, however, the performance crowd has its own repertoire of campy seasonal attractions: beglittered and bewigged, ambisexual and scantily dressed. I decided to find out more.

    First up was “Mx. Bond’s Austerity Holiday Measures: A Snow Job for the Masses” at Abrons Arts Center. Justin Bond, of course, used to be the first half of Kiki and Herb—a duo with Kenny

  • diary November 28, 2011

    Theater Districts

    PERFORMA CONCLUDED A WEEK AGO, much to the relief of those of us who averaged a performance a day—or close to that: Over the biennial’s three weeks, I attended eighteen Performa-related events. Yet performance in New York doesn’t begin and end with Performa; it’s a year-round sport. Performa claims a lot of territory, but what remains outside its borders is often as interesting as that which gets stamped with its logo, if not more so.

    I took a break from the Performa schedule to catch Richard Move at New York Live Arts. Move has been performing as choreographer-dancer Martha Graham since 1996,

  • diary June 01, 2010

    Double Play

    New York

    IN APRIL, the Kitchen presented The Juvenal Players by Pablo Helguera, which theatricalized a panel discussion between a curator, a collector, a critic, an artist, and an arts administrator. Helguera, an artist and the Museum of Modern Art’s director of adult and academic programs, has written extensively on performance, pedagogy, and art-world etiquette (see The Pablo Helguera Manual of Contemporary Art Style), even once complaining: “In my role as programmer, I have frequently been frustrated by the low or nonexistent public-speaking skills of those who lecture and participate in academic

  • Anna Boghiguian

    In her forty-year career as a widely respected artist, Anna Boghiguian has frequently depicted Cairo, where she was born and lives. Her 2003 book Anna’s Egypt offered a personal tour via text and artwork through the neighborhoods of that city, with briefer forays into Alexandria, home of the Greek poet Constantine Cavafy (a longtime inspiration) and other parts of the country. Boghiguian’s recent show once again focused on her homeland, along with another favorite locale, India—more specifically, on the rivers that run through them, the Nile and the Ganges.

    In lieu of the densely filled drawings

  • the Home Works forum in Beirut

    IN THE PAST FEW YEARS, group shows of Middle Eastern artists have become increasingly frequent in the West: This spring, “Les Inquiets” (The Anxious) took place at the Centre Pompidou in Paris; last year saw “In Focus,” three interrelated shows in London; and “Without Boundary” was staged at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 2006. If the motivation behind many of these shows has in large part been a long-overdue reexamination of Western assumptions about the region since 2001, the results have been mixed. Some, like “Les Inquiets,” were in danger of reducing artists to mere chroniclers of

  • Jan De Cock

    For Denkmal 11, the artist takes the museum as muse, presenting—alongside his plywood constructions—photographs of the Modern's galleries, conservation labs, movie theaters, and other spaces, digitally combined with images from the histories of art, architecture, and film.

    Belgian artist Jan De Cock is best known for large-scale, site-specific structures made of fiberboard in shades like pea green and burnt sienna. But many of these projects—all titled Denkmal, the German word for “monument” or “memorial”—also have afterimages: light-box photographs of works displayed later at the same location and massive books illustrative the artist's process. So it might not come as a total surprise that De Cock's first US museum exhibition is organized by a photography curator, Roxana Marcoci. For Denkmal 11, the artist takes the museum as muse,

  • picks October 05, 2007

    Oliver Payne & Nick Relph

    At the back of Oliver Payne and Nick Relph’s 2004 catalogue is an interview with a botanist who helped identify the York groundsel, a new plant species discovered growing between a railway station and a parking lot in York, England. No doubt the story attracted the artists as a metaphor for creative development, urban topography transformed into art. While their interests in city life and youth culture remain apparent in this show—for example, mirrored walls whose stenciled pattern reconfigures the Aphex Twin logo—a primary focus here is the evolutionary cycle of art and design. A version of

  • picks October 03, 2007

    “Like Leaves”

    “Like Leaves” is a quiet show. The simile comes from Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot, and Dublin-based curator Caomhín Mac Giolia Léith has assembled an appropriately theatrical, mournful exhibition—albeit minus the playwright’s bleak humor. Works by ten European artists fill the three rooms of the gallery’s upstairs space, including two photographs by another Irishman, Gerard Byrne, from his series “A country road. A tree. Evening,” 2006–. Illustrating Godot’s setting, the artist has turned the world into a stage, lighting the landscape itself with colored gels. A stage set of ruins is

  • picks July 25, 2007

    “Good Morning, Midnight”

    Taking its title from Jean Rhys’s 1939 novel, which in turn borrowed the first line of a poem by Emily Dickinson, “Good Morning, Midnight” brings together numerous artists whom Los Angeles–based critic Bruce Hainley has championed over the years. The title suggests the chain of allusions, inversions, and transformations that runs through the show, marking both individual works and their engagement with one another. Hanging at the entrance, Roger Hiorns’s steroids-in-glass sculpture provides a witty reflection on Jeff Burton’s photograph of mirrored male bodies; Sturtevant’s porn for plushies

  • Josephine Meckseper

    It’s hardly surprising that the term radical chic appears in virtually every description of Josephine Meckseper’s work: The German-born artist sleekly packages protest as pose and revolution as lifestyle, putting both on display next to perfume bottles and Hugo Boss underwear. This summer, a year after her work appeared in the Whitney Biennial in New York and in the group show “USA Today” at the Royal Academy in London, Meckseper receives her first museum survey. The show will feature approximately 150 works, from the self-published art tabloid FAT (1994–2000) to the