COLUMNS

  • Time Regained

    Founded by activist archivist María Belén Correa in 2013, El Archivo de la Memoria Trans Argentina is a historical-memory project devoted to lost friends and forebears. This growing collection of more than ten thousand documents—photos, videos, and mementos––gives flesh to trans lives in Argentina. The archive originated as a private Facebook group, a forum for research and discussion sustained by the dedication of its members. With the help of Carolina Figueredo, Luciano Goldin, Car Ibarra, Luis Juárez, Magalí Muñiz, and Cecilia Saurí, the community has retrieved treasures that have survived

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  • TELL THE WORLD

    The Palestinian Museum sits nestled among the fertile hills of the West Bank in the university town of Birzeit, several miles north of Ramallah. Its $24 million, LEED-certified campus—designed by Dublin-based architecture firm Heneghan Peng—was inaugurated on May 18, 2016, days after the sixty-eighth anniversary of the Nakba, the events that led to the forced displacement of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians. Five years on, the museum has a robust programming schedule and a string of successful exhibitions under its belt. To further explore the role museums can play in reclaiming narratives

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  • TAKING CARE

    Over the past year, American museums have been forced to consider how they might address anti-Black violence and center marginalized voices, especially when their collecting, exhibitionary, and outreach practices have historically abetted rather than challenged the social reproduction of white supremacy. While any number of institutions have made statements or proposed changes, the exhibition “Promise, Witness, Remembrance” at the Speed Art Museum in Louisville, Kentucky—organized in honor of Breonna Taylor, whose murder at the hands of Louisville police on March 13, 2020 eventually spurred

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  • Loie Hollowell

    Loie Hollowell delivered her second child a year ago—and her new paintings at König Galerie’s nave of St. Agnes, an imposing former Catholic church in West Berlin, reflect on the experience of her three-hour home birth. Built in 1967 by architect and painter Werner Düttmann, St. Agnes was named after the patron saint of virginity and is arrayed in Brutalism’s austere, rectilinear geometry. Hollowell’s so-called Split orbs, by contrast, are carnal, wet, and radiant. Suggestive of vaginal openings and cosmological symbols, the nine large canvases on view in “Sacred Contract” visually abstract the

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  • Words Unspoken

    Grace M. Cho is the author of Haunting the Korean Diaspora: Shame, Secrecy, and the Forgotten War (University of Minnesota Press, 2008). Inscribed within its history of Korean women’s sexual labor for US servicemen during the Korean War are cracks between social, personal, and political memory that shed light on how the repeated disavowal of unprocessed material leaves traumatic residues. Published this month with Feminist Press, Cho’s second book, Tastes Like War, recounts the breakdown of her mother’s mental health and its roots in war, immigration, and racial, gendered abuse. Below, we discuss

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  • Christopher K. Ho and Daisy Nam

    In January 2020, shortly before they went into lockdown, artist Christopher K. Ho and curator Daisy Nam realized that they were both independently pursuing projects related to letters: Ho a letter of apology to his former RISD students, whom he felt he had failed as an Asian American mentor, and Nam a program of live readings of existing letters of redress, including ones penned by Sylvia Wynter, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, and Angela Davis. The pair had met through a leadership group at Asia Art Archive in America focused on the model-minority myth and ways of dismantling it and were now turning to

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  • Night Watch

    A BELATED BREAKTHROUGH, Lynette Yiadom-Boakye’s mid-career survey “Fly in League with the Night” is the first solo exhibition devoted to a Black British woman artist in the Tate’s history. It’s an appropriate backdrop for the painter’s body of work, whose entrancing portraits of imagined characters, painted from memory, meditate deeply on how history is made and unmade. Below, Yiadom-Boakye discusses her path as an artist and writer, the need to build new places of belonging, and the divine powers of watchfulness.

    — Rianna Jade Parker

    Rianna Jade Parker: I’ve told everybody that visiting your

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  • Rindon Johnson

    Visitors to Rindon Johnson’s “The Law of Large Numbers: Our Bodies” at New York’s SculptureCenter (March 25–August 2, 2021) pass first under the drawn whole hide of a cow. On damp days, the skin droops; in the rain, it holds water; the sun bakes it solid. It also gathers more than moisture. Before being hung, the rawhide spent six months in the museum courtyard, cooking and flexing, adding marks to those accumulated during the cow’s life. The piece is a harbinger—for the stained-glass courtyard door depicting New York City’s watershed; for the continuous rendering of an edgeless Atlantic Ocean;

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  • Invisible Ink

    AT THE AGE OF SEVENTEEN, James “Yaya” Hough was sentenced to life without parole in Pennsylvania, a state responsible for sentencing more Black youth to life than almost any other. Told that he would never be released from prison, he turned that death sentence into a rigorous reading and art practice, spending hours a day with his sketchbooks drawing, painting watercolors, and working on communal murals inside the facility. He describes his daily routine as taking on a spiritual character, a “discipline,” but not in any punitive sense. He was known and admired inside prison for his pen drawings

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  • Godzilla 10

    In 1990, Godzilla: Asian American Art Network formed to stimulate visibility and critical discourse for Asian American artists, curators, and writers who were negotiating a historically exclusionary art world and society. Founded by Ken Chu, Bing Lee, and Margo Machida, Godzilla produced exhibitions, publications, and community collaborations that sought social change through art and advocacy. Expanding into a nationwide network, the group confronted institutional racism, Western imperialism, anti-Asian violence, the AIDS crisis, and Asian sexuality and gender representation, among other issues.

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  • Dawoud Bey

    Over the past forty-five years, Dawoud Bey has critically reimagined photography’s social and political potential, whether through his collaborative portraits of under- and misrepresented communities or through his more recent explorations of the landscapes of northern Ohio, a terminus of the Underground Railroad. April offers three occasions to see Bey’s work: a new book, Street Portraits (Mack), which gathers portraits of African Americans made between 1988 and 1991; the Okwui Enwezor–conceived “Grief and Grievance: Art and Mourning in America” at the New Museum in New York, which includes

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  • Lucy Raven

    Lucy Raven has dedicated much of her work to the revisualization of the American West, both in its literal, topographic emplacement and within a historical imaginary. Between film, light sculptures, installation, and stereoscopic animation, her examinations of terrestrial surveying and digital visualities, as well as the spectacular constructions and everyday mundanities of the built landscape, offer a fascinating peek into a postindustrial frontier and its extractive economies. Raven’s newest exhibition continues her work with light installation and includes the forty-five-minute film Ready

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