Tausif Noor

  • film September 27, 2018

    Sound Off

    “GLOBALIZATION TAKES PLACE ONLY IN CAPITAL AND DATA,” wrote Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak in her 2012 book An Aesthetic Education in the Era of Globalization. “Everything else is damage control.” Networks of information exchange have garbled political messaging; if political art could ever accurately reflect ideology, that mirror is now increasingly clouded. The challenge, argues Spivak, is to relearn how to learn, and an aesthetic education is the only way to deliver global justice.

    Enter Matangi “Maya” Arulpragasam, the rapper-singer-provocateur better known by her stage name, M.I.A. The logical

  • interviews June 19, 2018

    Gauri Gill

    Over the past three years, the photographer Gauri Gill has worked with a group of thirty-three artists, including mask-makers and volunteer actors, from a community of adivasis—or indigenous people—in India’s Jawhar district. The resultant and ongoing series of staged color photographs, “Acts of Appearance,” 2015–, debuted at Documenta 14 in 2017. Here, Gill talks about the work, which is on view at MoMA PS1 in New York until September 3, 2018.

    WHERE IS THE SPACE for artists outside of our city bubbles to be free to innovate and experiment? Perhaps this project has provided room to converse across

  • picks May 25, 2018

    Monica Majoli and Ruth Novaczek

    Absence, as many a Frenchman has theorized, is fundamentally linked to desire: It is the idée fixe of “all amorous sentiment” (Roland Barthes) as well as the force that propels desire forward (Jacques Lacan, per Freud). The legacy of this psychoanalytic sentimental education serves as a kind of mental background for Ruth Novaczek and Monica Majoli’s recent exhibition here, which ties together several conceptual strands in their respective bodies of work: love, loss, memory, and artifice. At the exhibition’s fluttering, fickle heart is a disquieting question: To what extent is desire rooted in

  • picks March 02, 2018

    Zach Blas

    “Get off the internet!” intones Le Tigre in the soundtrack to Zach Blas’s video of a performative lecture, Inversion Practice #1: Constituting an Outside (Utopian Plagiarism), 2015. It’s a proposition that has become a mantra among self-helpers and the digital-weary. But as the artist suggests in his exhibition here, it’s easier to envision the end of the world than the end of the internet. This idea is a perversion of Fredric Jameson who, along with writer Paul Preciado, the economic-geographer duo known as J. K. Gibson-Graham, and Karl Marx, is cited, edited, remixed, and read aloud via a

  • picks November 10, 2017

    Jacqueline Humphries

    In the 1960s, US-government bureaucrats and corporate tinkerers developed ASCII, a symbolic code that uses the Roman alphabet to represent images. In the 1980s, its early adoption on the Usenet gave rise to ideograms for graphics—foreshadowing our current preoccupation with memes. Adapting this early-internet nostalgia with a nod to those who have apocalyptic visions of painting’s demise, Jacqueline Humphries’s recent abstract canvases hum with a frenetic energy, buoyed by their scale and thickly textured surfaces.

    For these most recent paintings, Humphries has reinterpreted—or “cannibalized,”

  • picks September 29, 2017

    Jordan Casteel

    In 2015, while in residence at the Studio Museum in Harlem, Jordan Casteel took to the streets with her camera and iPhone, photographing men she encountered. Adopting this process for the exhibition of paintings here, the artist presents herself as a flaneuse, capturing the vibrant life of the neighborhood, at night, without categorizing it for easy consumption. In these portraits, men appear alone or in groups of two or three, sitting in subway cars, on stoops, and standing in front of store windows. (Women are absent, save for images on a braiding salon’s awning.) Nonetheless, Casteel’s subjects

  • picks August 25, 2017

    Wesley Martin Berg and Warlimpirrnga Tjapaltjarri

    The sad-clown painting functions as a sort of postmodern joke: an ironic gesture that dives into bad taste while subtly nodding to art history—the clown’s origins can be traced back to the stock character Pierrot of the commedia dell’arte, after all. Wesley Martin Berg’s paintings of clowns are informed by this tradition, but he also imbues his subjects with a solemn grace. Rendered in thick gray, white, and black impasto, these singular paintings, charged by a sly gallows humor, invoke a nostalgia for a grittier America that, once upon a time, overflowed with all manner of strange entertainments

  • picks July 14, 2017

    “Dream Machines”

    In this group exhibition, dreams are a vehicle into the psychological and corporeal recesses of the self. Take Jon Rafman’s Poor Magic, 2017, in which viewers sit inside a dysmorphic egg-shaped seat to watch a video that is an exercise in body horror: CGI figures hurl themselves at a wall repeatedly before we are taken on an endoscopic journey into various orifices. As the video progresses along the surfaces of slick pink innards, a voice whispers bleak phrases on the distinction between dreaming and waking life: “If you can’t sleep at night it means you’re in someone else’s dream. . . . It

  • picks May 10, 2017

    Mat Collishaw

    It is an uncanny ability of British men to wax cerebral about matters of sex. In his early seventies, the writer Kingsley Amis expressed gratitude for losing his libido because it had felt like being shackled to a moron for half a century. And David Attenborough’s popularity seems to lie in his clipped, dry descriptions of the mating rituals and sexual habits of birds. In his latest exhibition here, Mat Collishaw considers how sexual desire is rooted largely in subterfuge. Drawing on the evolutionary psychologist Geoffrey Miller’s theory that consumerism is an extension of the need to attract