• Joseph Keckler

    In constant motion between the art and opera worlds by way of popular culture, Joseph Keckler is best known for his vocal shape-shifting and his “faux arias,” which recount daily experiences with great verve. Earlier this year, he performed his Train With No Midnight at the Prototype Festival in New York. In October, he’ll offer a concert series at the Soho Theatre in London. He is also at work on a TV special to be aired at the end of this year. Here he speaks about his first ensemble piece, Let Me Die, which will premiere at FringeArts and Opera Philadelphia on September 21, 2019.


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  • Mona Hatoum

    Many of Mona Hatoum’s installations employ just one or two materials (barbed wire, cement and rebar, steel, hair) to transform recognizable symbols and forms (maps, globes, spheres, cubes) into portentous iterations. The results can be seen as succinct metaphors for the world as it is—or as models of the future. In an exhibition at White Cube in London titled “Remains to be Seen,” on view from September 11 to November 3, 2019, Hatoum is debuting several pieces that move further in the latter direction, bringing together images of the world lit up by fire, a shattered map of floating continents,

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  • JoAnne Akalaitis

    An Obie-award-winner many times over, director JoAnne Akalaitis is one of the most vital forces in American theater, her productions and performances fueled by her intellectual and political ferocity, as well as her boundless curiosity. A cofounder of the trailblazing company Mabou Mines—which she formed in 1970 with Lee Breuer, Philip Glass, Ruth Maleczech, Fred Neumann, and David Warrilow—she has previously dismissed the label “avant-garde” as it has been lobbed at her work, conceiving of herself instead as a cultural worker in the classical sense. That said, her daring visions once spurred

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  • Elias Sime

    Elias Sime is best known for creating scrupulous, large-scale abstractions out of motherboards, keyboards, and circuitry. He acquires much of his material at open-air markets in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where he is based and where he cofounded ZOMA Contemporary Art Center in 2002 and Zoma Museum earlier this year with Meskerem Assegued, who has curated many of his exhibitions. (Assegued acted as interpreter for this interview.) “Tightrope,” Sime’s first major museum survey, was organized by Hamilton College’s Wellin Museum of Art in Clinton, New York, and will run through December 8, 2019. It

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  • Xandra Ibarra

    Kill your darlings: This perennial piece of writerly advice—as dramatic and violent in its associative logic as it is lazy in its deployment by workaday writing instructors and superstar seminar leaders—points to the challenges of revision and, by implication, the supposed hazards of attachment. The idiom implies that you wouldn’t have to kill your darlings (a certain haughtiness creeps in here) if you hadn’t let them wheedle their way into your emotional core in the first place. So: Don’t get attached.

    The work of Xandra Ibarra (AKA La Chica Boom) suggests that our darlings and s/heroes might

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  • Terry Allen

    Although Terry Allen attended the Chouinard Art Institute during the heyday of left-coast Conceptualism, his fame arose from the 1975 song cycle Juarez, a landmark album of outlaw country. Allen’s latest record, Just Like Moby Dick, is due for release early next year, and a cassette tape of rarities, Cowboy and the Stranger, has been released on the occasion of his retrospective at L.A. Louver, on view through September 28. The show skirts classification, combining fifty years of drawings, paintings, audio works, and sculptures, all with interlocking themes. In the three-channel MemWars, 2016,

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  • Juliana Cerqueira Leite

    To make her sculptures, Juliana Cerqueira Leite often crawls inside large mounds of clay, casting the imprints of her body. By prioritizing touch and spatial orientation, her research has led her across different disciplines to explore gestures both physical and psychic. In her latest show, “Orogenesis,” Leite links space travel to the archaeological remains of Pompeii though anatomical postures of vulnerability in the face of vast environmental extremes. Installed in the National Archaeological Museum of Naples through September 23, the exhibition speaks to the endless possibilities for embodiment

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  • Matthew Angelo Harrison

    Matthew Angelo Harrison creates technically precise sculptures rich with art-historical allusion, mixing and interrogating touchstones as diverse as 1970s American Minimalism, Benin bronzes, and Adolf Loos. His work is currently on view as part of the Whitney Biennial at New York’s Whitney Museum of American Art through September 22 and “Colored People Time: Mundane Futures” at Philadelphia’s Institute of Contemporary Art through August 11. Below, Harrison discusses his sculpture Dark Povera: Manufactured Primitives, 2019, which is included in the Cranbrook Art Museum’s “Landlord Colors: On Art,

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  • Fiona Tan

    Fiona Tan often reinterprets archives in her work, which incorporates video, photography, and installation to present an intellectual aesthetic history with an acute awareness of its own methodological limitations. “I am constantly reminded that all my attempts at systematical order must be arbitrary, idiosyncratic, and—quite simply—doomed to fail,” she has said. When the Ludwig Museum in Cologne invited Tan to devise an exhibition premised on the museum’s holdings of some seventy thousand photographs, she decided to focus on the advertising images of Agfa, the German photo and camera company.

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  • Marwa Abdul-Rahman

    The six sculptures that comprise Marwa Abdul-Rahman’s “Eternal Return,” on view at Wilding Cran Gallery in Los Angeles through July 27, are at once grotesque and helpless. Bursting with resin, zippers, and buttons, they look like alien monsters suspended by rebar and twine. While she was trained as a painter, Abdul-Rahman’s work has become increasingly sculptural during the last half decade. Constructing these sculptures, she began to question the nature of boundaries, freedom, and form as they are known politically, existentially, and aesthetically. Her objects are allegories with inner lives.

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  • Mike Parr

    For five decades, Australian artist Mike Parr has wrestled with and displayed his own subjectivity through printmaking, sculpture, drawing, and, most notably, performance. Over the last four years, he has built a primed audience for his work at Dark Mofo in Hobart, Tasmania, a festival that grew out of David Walsh’s Museum of Old and New Art and celebrates reconceptualizing darkness, death, and other themes that surround the winter solstice. For his June 2018 performance Underneath the Bitumen, Parr buried himself without food in a converted shipping container beneath the well-trafficked street

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  • Thomas Lanigan-Schmidt

    I first met Thomas Lanigan-Schmidt in the mid-2000s, while I was working at SAGE (“Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders.” SAGE originally stood for “Senior Action in a Gay Environment,” which I preferred. Who doesn’t love the naughty ambiguity hanging around that word, Action?)

    At SAGE I worked with Gay Liberation Front cofounder Jerry Hoose on two panel discussions about the activism inspired by the Stonewall Riots. The apocrypha generated by people who claimed to be there drove Jerry crazy, and he told me that there was no realer deal than Tommy Lanigan-Schmidt. Jerry was so proud of Tommy’s

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