Tausif Noor

  • View of “Revisiting 5+1,” 2022–23. Photo: Dario Lasagni.

    “Revisiting 5+1”

    In recent years, curatorial efforts to recuperate the stories and careers of Black artists who practiced during the 1960s and ’70s have indicated an undeniable expansion of the American art canon—a development that recognizes the as-yet-untapped legacies of Black expression that have, consciously or not, evaded these same historicizing modes. Consider the 2021 restaging of the “Sapphire Show,” among the earliest West Coast exhibitions dedicated to Black American women artists, at New York’s Ortuzar Projects, or the recent “Just Above Midtown” presentation at the Museum of Modern Art, honoring

  • Rasheed Araeen, Izmetullah (blue 1), 2022, acrylic on canvas, 63 x 99".
    interviews October 27, 2022

    Rasheed Araeen

    Throughout his nearly six-decade career as an artist, curator, writer, and publisher, the Karachi-born, London-based Rasheed Araeen has shaped the trajectory of modern art from the margins. Curating pathbreaking exhibitions such as “The Other Story: Afro-Asian Artists in Postwar Britain” (1989) and establishing the critical journals<em> Black Phoenix (1978–79) and Third Text (1987–), Araeen helped build the groundwork for a more robust, global vision of art history. More recently, he has examined the contributions of Islamic philosophy on the development of modernism. On occasion of his new

  • Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme, Collapse, 2009, digital video, black-and-white, sound, 8 minutes 20 seconds.


    OVER THE PAST DECADE, the Palestinian artists Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme have rifled through the fractured histories of Palestine and the larger Arab world, working across sound, video installation, publishing, performance, and, most recently, Web-based projects in a practice that engages dialectically with historical and present experiences of dispossession and resistance. Mobilizing their archival impulse to forge connections across time and space to activate imaginations held captive by colonialism, the artists fix their attention on quotidian forms of rebellion in the face of perpetual

  • Rami George, Untitled (with my father), 2020, HD video, color, sound, 20 minutes 30 seconds.

    Rami George

    In the early 1990s, Nelli George began receiving pamphlets in the mail from a place called the Samaritan Foundation. Nelli was a ceramist and homemaker who lived in Somerville, Massachusetts, with her husband, Jonathan, and their two young children, Leila Malini and Rami. The foundation, led by a woman named Linda Greene, was a new-age religious sect that practiced, among other things, pendulum dowsing—an occult technique that can be used for divination or even clearing out evil energies from everyday objects. (Greene also believed that Hillary Clinton was a “three-virtue type zombie” and that

  • View of &#8220;Tina Girouard,&#8221; 2020.

    Tina Girouard

    On a visit to her native southwestern Louisiana around 1970, Tina Girouard inherited eight lengths of patterned 1940s silk from her mother-in-law, who had been given the material by a relative named Solomon Matlock. Rather than sew the material into wearable garments, Girouard decided to integrate the fabrics into her practice in New York City, where she had moved two years prior. Measuring three feet by twelve feet each, the Solomon’s Lot fabrics, as they came to be known, are saturated in pastel tones and festooned with variegated floral and botanical patterns. When juxtaposed, as Girouard

  • Karyn Olivier, The Battle is Joined, 2017. Monument Lab Philadelphia. Photo: Mike Reali/Mural Arts Philadelphia.
    interviews June 23, 2020

    Monument Lab

    Over the last few weeks, public statues and monuments representing the violent histories of slavery, colonization, and racism have been defaced, toppled, and disassembled through the direct actions of global protestors. Since 2012, the Philadelphia-based art and history studio Monument Lab, founded by curator and historian Paul Farber and artist Ken Lum, has worked with individual practitioners, museums, and municipal governments in cities across the US and Europe to reconsider the role of monuments in public space. Here, Farber and Lum discuss Monument Lab’s research-driven process and the

  • View of Bharti Kher&#8217;s Intermediaries, 2019&#8211;2020. Photo: Randhir Singh.
    diary February 21, 2020

    Continental Drift

    A CLOUD OF SMOKE rippled around Dhaka’s Shilpakala Academy late in the afternoon. Through it, we could see the occasional flame. Everyone continued chatting, unsure of what we were looking at, until a group in silver hazmat suits ascended a mound of dirt. We watched as the moonmen tended to the fires, part of a smelting performance by Swiss artist Raphael Hefti. Originally commissioned for a volcano in Milan, the heavy-metal presentation was meant to convey “part of the epic story of human civilization,” per the exhibition notes. Unluckily for me, it only prompted platitudes and non sequiturs

  • Kareem Risan, Al Mutanabbi Street, 2007, mixed media on paper mounted on board; closed: 16 1&#8260;2 × 16 1&#8260;2 × 3 1&#8260;2".


    THIS PAST OCTOBER, Mohammed Okab stood before a tribunal at Twelve Gates Arts in Philadelphia and presented a painting he had made of an arched entryway at the National Museum of Iraq in Baghdad. Through a translator, he explained that he didn’t consider himself an artist—he just liked to paint. He had been employed as a bookseller in Baghdad when American troops invaded the city in April 2003, launching a rocket through the museum where, days later, looting would begin.

    Okab’s painting and speech functioned as evidence of the Iraq War’s lasting consequences and were presented as part of the

  • Allyson Mitchell and Deirdre Logue, Lesbian Rule. Icebox Projects, Philadelphia, 2019. Photo: John Carlano.
    performance November 04, 2019

    Beyond These Kastle Walls

    “LET THE LIGHT FROM YOUR CUNT AND ASSHOLE lead you to the promised land!” shrieked a zombified Valerie Solanas last Thursday night at Icebox Project Space as she shepherded me and a group of undergraduates toward the dulcet tones of singer Gretchen Phillips, who offered a “didactic stroll down the beautiful repertoire of lesbian folk songs,” immediately breaking out in a rendition of Britney Spears’s “Hit Me Baby One More Time.” The undead Solanas was one of several characters who occupied North Philadelphia’s Icebox Project Space for three weeks in October as part of Killjoy’s Kastle, a roving

  • Sacha Ingber, Firmly for charred foot (Brannock Device), 2019, urethane, hydrocal, epoxy clay, suede, ceramic shards, wood, acrylic paint, watercolor, hardware, shoelaces, foot-measuring device, 27 x 32 x 1 1/2".
    picks August 16, 2019

    Raque Ford and Sacha Ingber

    In this two-person exhibition by Raque Ford and Sacha Ingber, holes—laser cut, molded, and carved—abound, denoting both absence and unity in the spirited installations and sculptures on display. Ingber’s glazed ceramic sculptures are soaked in a come-hither sense of humor: B-E-L-O-W-A-B-O-V-E, 2019, and Vista with dry air, 2018, feature intricately woven clay bikini tops, while Firmly for charred foot (Brannock Device), 2019, warps the idea of a foot fetish into a kind of fetish object, to be tastefully hung over the mantle, as it is here.

    Hung in the gallery’s windows are Ford’s L selfish always

  • View of &#8220;Frederick Weston: Happening,&#8221; 2019.
    picks May 17, 2019

    Frederick Weston

    Frederick Weston used New York City as his public gallery. For the series “Blue Bathroom Blues,” 1994–, he has plastered homoerotic collages in the titular hue onto the plywood walls of construction sites. One day he was caught by a security guard: “Oh, you’re the artist!,” he said. Rather than apprehending Weston, however, he let him finish the job and sign the work. For the artist, this was an affirmation of his talents.

    “Happening,” Weston’s first solo exhibition in New York, gathers a selection of collage works from the past two decades that reference his identity as a black, queer artist

  • William E. Jones, Film Montages (for Peter Roehr), 2006, video, color, sound, 11 minutes.
    books April 12, 2019

    Hand in Glove

    LIKE WRITING, fisting is both a replicable skill and a rarefied art form. Performance improves with practice; preparation is necessary; and the deeper you go, the closer you get to the heart of the matter. “The movements of manipulating a pen were not so different from what I did to manipulate a man’s innards. One activity made the other possible,” says the nimble, perspicacious narrator of I’m Open to Anything, the first novel by the artist, filmmaker, and writer William E. Jones. The protagonist comes to this realization near the end of the book, finally learning something useful about himself