Ralph Lemon

  • Ralph Lemon, Rant #3, 2020. Performance view, the Kitchen, New York, February 29, 2020. Ralph Lemon. Photo: Ralph Lemon.

    NOTES ON NONPROFIT

    WHEN ARTFORUM generously invited me to contribute to the present issue considering the state of museums today, I suggested, as an alternative, a series of notes written from my perspective as director of the Kitchen, New York, a smaller nonprofit organization. While all arts institutions provide useful windows onto society more broadly—figured as they are within the latter’s contradictions, both economic and cultural—smaller institutions often embody such qualities in living proximity. Certainly, many prescient questions about how institutions may be oriented differently, and with an eye toward

  • Ralph Lemon

    In early 2018, I read three books at the same time, all of them propositions for freedom, all contemplating its seeming impossibility and the inspired labor of working toward the impossible—of believing.

    From J. Krishnamurti’s On Freedom (1991): “Freedom is not from something. It is an ending [of knowledge]. Do you follow?” No, not quite. But since I was eighteen I’ve trusted, without submitting to, most of what Krishnamurti has written. (I fashion that I am an innocent.) Angela Y. Davis’s Freedom Is a Constant Struggle: Ferguson, Palestine, and the Foundations of a Movement (2016) is

  • Kevin Beasley

    I met Kevin Beasley in 2011; he was a graduate student at Yale University and I was a visiting critic. In his studio I remember amorphous objects and pieces of clothing subsumed in foam and resin, scattered about the floor and mounted to the walls. Tucked into one corner on a cluttered plywood table were two Technics SL-1200 turntables. I asked about them. He played a file called “I Want My Spot Back”—a haunting composition sampling a cappella recordings from late hip-hop artists such as Biggie Smalls, Tupac, Ol’ Dirty Bastard, Big L, and Guru.

  • the best of 2016

    TO TAKE STOCK OF THE PAST YEAR, ARTFORUM ASKED AN INTERNATIONAL GROUP OF ARTISTS TO SELECT A SINGLE IMAGE, EXHIBITION, OR EVENT THAT MOST MEMORABLY CAPTURED THEIR EYE IN 2016.

    ALEX HUBBARD

    Rodin’s The Thinker, 1880–81, after a bomb planted by the Weather Underground exploded on March 24, 1970, at the Cleveland Museum of Art. Photo: C. D. Moore.

    ANNE COLLIER

    Portrait of Hilton Als by Catherine Opie, wrapped in bubble plastic, as it appeared in “James Baldwin/Jim Brown and the Children,” curated by Als for the Artist’s Institute, New York, June 14.

    SLAVS AND TATARS

    A disposable, self-administering