• Hustle & Ho

    IN SPITE OF HAVING WRITTEN much about sex work itself, I’ve never figured out how to describe the people who perform the labor. “Hoes are the best,” declared the resplendent Ceyenne Doroshow, host of the Sex Workers’ Festival of Resistance on March 4 at MoMA PS1, and that’s one way to do it. The crowd, which, obviously, primarily consisted of self-identified hoes, eagerly agreed, not only because of the sentiment, but because Doroshow’s commanding yet candid demeanor makes her every word sound like God’s straight truth. “You can’t really do this work without being a phenomenal motherfucker,”

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  • Sans Cowl

    “HERE IN FRONT OF THIS ARCHITECTURAL BLUNDER.” That was the text Marcus Kuiland-Nazario sent me about thirty minutes before our panel was set to begin at this year’s College Art Association Conference. He was referring, of course, to James Ingo Freed’s glass-and-steel entrance portal to the Los Angeles Convention Center, which, frankly, looks like an overscaled Apollo space capsule. Like most convention centers, the interior of the LACC is a sequence of immense volumes that are traversed in minutes, rather than seconds. The escalators go up and the escalators go down, but does anyone truly get

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  • Warm Leatherette

    ON FEBRUARY 22 AT PARTICIPANT INC., an entire neighborhood Scruff grid, power lesbians, and Lower East Side art drunks feted Silvia Prada’s Tom, her new book of drawings made in collaboration with the Tom of Finland Foundation and produced by Capricious Publishing. The event unfolded in the gallery’s superb Jayne County painting exhibition (up until March 11). One poncey ayahuasca enthusiast said County’s art looked exactly like his psychedelic ritual visions. Oh, Mary—no.

    With perfectly mid-parted hair, Prada paraded around in an all-white denim ensemble, absorbing compliments about her delicate

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  • Fair and Unfair

    MEXICO CITY’S ZONA MACO has been resting on its laurels for quite a while. The fifteenth edition, which ran from February 7 to February 11, has become, like many art fairs, lethargic—a state that can easily lead to death. Because of this, I’m eager to pinpoint the subtler but more engaging attractions from inside and, of course, outside the fair.

    A satisfyingly loaded point within the supersaturated image carnival that is Zona Maco was its “Sur” section, curated by Brazilian Kiki Mazzucchelli. In this area was Galerie Jerome Poggi’s presentation of Babi Badalov. The artist created banners made

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  • Beyond Homodome

    I HAVE BEEN TO PHILADELPHIA ONLY three times in my life. In high school, I went to nationals for speech and debate during that painful period when I was very clearly gay but had not yet come out (I did a performance of Ani DiFranco poems, for those interested to know). I went again in 2008 for a Manowar concert. And, more recently, I ended up on an accidental triple date that concluded with our car breaking down in the Holland Tunnel. So, when I was asked to write a Diary on the three coterminous exhibitions opening at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia––“Cary Leibowitz: Museum

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  • The Zayhive

    IN SOME WAYS, a church is the perfect setting for a discussion of Zadie Smith’s new essay collection, Feel Free. Hosted by Books Are Magic and held at St. Ann’s in Brooklyn on February 7, the event reflected the high esteem Smith is held in. In fact, she is close to being known as “Saint Zadie” among some readers. Her work is regularly described as “generous” and “universal.” A benevolence shines through her writing, allowing nearly all readers to find something in her thoughts to identify with, as novelist and Books Are Magic owner Emma Straub expressed in her introduction. “Although you might

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  • Site Pacific

    FOUNDED BY ARTIST Keith Rocka Knittel, the Other Places Art Fair is, according to the press release for its inaugural edition, “a one-day showcase of alternative, hard to define, and experimental contemporary art venues, project spaces, and organizations.” I read this as an attempt to facilitate some cash flow for the myriad exhibition projects popping up in studios, backyards, automobiles, and living rooms across the city; DIY enterprises that receive gushing coverage in the kind of glossies that cheerily spotlight the idiosyncrasies of a vibrant and blossoming art scene over the precarity and

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  • A Star Is Born

    SINGAPORE ART WEEK, or SAW, began in 2013 as an attempt to create hype around a young art fair. State organs—the National Arts Council, the Economic Development Board, and the Singapore Tourism Board—rallied local arts organizations by providing funding and marketing to ensure the visibility of even the smallest exhibitions. (The intention was to build that frantic, adrenaline-induced excitement worthy of an arts metropolis.) Now in its fifth year, alongside a shrinking Art Stage Singapore (“the flagship art fair of Southeast Asia,” according to its website), the supporting act has eclipsed the

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  • Treasures of Truth

    ALWAYS A HIGHLIGHT of the art-world calendar, and just as often an epiphany, the Outsider Art Fair, now in its twenty-sixth edition at the Metropolitan Pavilion in Chelsea, is an ever-vital reminder of all that art can be and all that can be art. I have been an attendee since it first launched in the Puck Building, named for the satirical late nineteenth-century publication that lambasted political corruption and is now home to the Trump-Kushner clan (their walls are adorned by work from artists mortified to witness that the art market is oblivious to meaning in the face of money). But the fair’s

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  • Shining Armory

    THE PARK AVENUE ARMORY has two consistent modes: The first is to overwhelm; the second is to inspire a quiet conviction that you’re missing something amazing in another part of the building.

    Both struck with full force recently during the Shape of Things, a massive convening to mark the end of Carrie Mae Weems’s yearlong residency. Weems invited dozens of participants “to join her in a critique of our tumultuous political and social climate,” filling the gilded, schizo-baroque rooms and halls with a dazzling mix of artists, thinkers, and impresarios. The word “critique” is perhaps misleading;

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  • Choice Words

    “TRUMP APPEARS TO BE OBSESSED with people who embody choice,” said Masha Gessen in her New York Public Library talk on the night of December 18, pointing to his administration’s preoccupation with immigrants and transgender people, among others. Even their representation in words can seem threatening: Why else would his administration ban the Centers for Disease Control from mentioning fetuses, diversity, and the transgender community?

    Gessen embraces choices, seeing them as “adventures.” Her Robert B. Silvers lecture, “The Stories of a Life,” recounted the ways in which decisions, both those

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  • Divine Comedy

    ARRIVING IN NAPLES for the late-November opening of “Pompei@Madre: Materia Archeologica,” curated by Massimo Osanna, director of the Pompeii Archaeological Park, and Andrea Viliani, director of the Museo d’Arte Contemporanea Donnaregina (Museo MADRE), I hit the ground running and did not stop before hopping the northbound train for Rome a few days later.

    The official opening was attended by a number of politicians, including Dario Franceschini, the minister of culture, who declared it the best show of the year. Juxtaposing pieces from the permanent collection and artworks by Betty Woodman, Mark

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