Simon Wu

  • Tehching Hsieh, One Year Performance 1981–1982. Performance view, New York.
    slant June 08, 2022

    Get Out

    ON A STOOP IN TRIBECA just south of Houston, Tehching Hsieh was drinking tea. It was February 1982. Six months had elapsed since the artist embarked on his third One Year Performance, for which he declared he would “stay outdoors for one year” and refuse to enter any “building, subway, train, car, airplane, ship, cave, tent.” A record-breakingly cold winter expelled even the memory of warmth from the city, and Hsieh had allowed his hair, normally kept at a military buzz, to grow into an untidy mane. Together with his sleeping bag and weathered backpack (where he stowed his camera), he must have

  • Keioui Keijaun Thomas, Come Hell or High Femmes: Act 2 | The Last Trans Femmes on Earth: Dripping Doll Energy, 2022. Performance view, Perrotin, New York, January 25, 2022. Photo: Guillaume Ziccarelli.
    performance February 02, 2022

    House of Leaves

    SMELLS LIKE CLUB. Or the emptiness before—air conditioning, fog machine, coat check. It’s been a while since I’ve been to anything, hiding from Ms. Omicron. At Perrotin, filing into Keioui Keijaun Thomas’s performance, my walk involuntarily saunters as the music transitions from soft nature murmurs to something more rhythmic. The club kids are here but we’re sitting, masked and muzzled. Enough Telfar bags to reskin a vegan cow. It’s 7 p.m. in New York. Definitely not club time, let alone dinnertime. We’re seated around a ring of paper bags, restaurant checks, dead leaves, and latex gloves. In

  • View of Argentina’s Cueva de las Manos, which dates back to 13,000 years ago. Photo: Pablo Gimenez/Wikipedia Commons.
    books January 13, 2022

    Breaking Dawn

    THE DAWN OF EVERYTHING, BY DAVID GRAEBER AND DAVID WENGROW. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2021. 704 pages.

    ONE OF THE MAIN PROPOSITIONS that David Graeber and David Wengrow put forth in The Dawn of Everything, their bracing rewrite of human history, is that the ancestors of our prehistory were not simple, unthinking clods, but rather self-conscious, idiosyncratic social organizers, living through a “carnival parade of political forms.” Today we might use words like “anarchist,” “communist,” “authoritarian,” or “egalitarian” to describe their activity, but that language fails to represent

  • Salman Toor, Bedroom Boy, 2019, oil on plywood, 12 x 16".
    picks December 28, 2020

    Salman Toor

    Gaga, Carly, Robyn, Britney, and Madonna: I can almost hear Salman Toor’s paintings before I see them. Through their acidic green patina, anthems of glamorous loneliness seemingly emanate from the artist’s depictions of young, queer, Brown men, be they intimately gathered on a dance floor or smoking outside of a bar. The show’s title, “How Will I Know,” draws from Whitney Houston’s 1985 ode to crushing, and it casts a palpable air of longing and elation over everything. In Four Friends, 2019, the first painting you see upon entering the exhibition, two boys dance together in a small living room