COLUMNS

  • Elaine Cameron-Weir

    In just the past year, Elaine Cameron-Weir’s diverse sculptural practice has adroitly conscripted materials including chemical lab equipment, World War II–era silk parachutes, frankincense, and labdanum, as seen in her works at the New Museum in New York and the Dortmunder Kunstverein in Dortmund, Germany, among other venues. Below, she discusses her site-specific installation A toothless grin. A STAR EXPANSION! GLOBE OF DEATH A graveyard orbit, 2018, which is currently on view at Storm King Art Center in New Windsor, New York, as part of the sculpture park’s “Outlooks” series of solo exhibitions,

    Read more
  • The Otolith Group

    The Otolith Group’s latest video, O Horizon, 2018, comes out of a long-standing research interest in Rabindranath Tagore and his founding of Visva-Bharati, a school in Santiniketan, West Bengal, India, which was meant to be a living laboratory and an experiment in art, life, and craft. Here, the founders of the group, Kodwo Eshun and Anjalika Sagar, discuss their motivations for shooting on location and the Tagorean ethics that animate the work. O Horizon made its debut at the Rubin Museum of Art in New York, where it is currently on view through September 17, 2018. The work will travel to the

    Read more
  • John Akomfrah

    The London-based artist and filmmaker John Akomfrah has three solo exhibitions on view in the United States this summer: “Signs of Empire,” his largest US survey to date, is at the New Museum in New York through September 2, 2018; “Sublime Seas” is on view at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art through September 16, 2018; and “Precarity” is at the Nasher Museum of Art in Durham, North Carolina, until September 2, 2018. Below, Akomfrah discusses his embrace of collage and the digital, and the timely thread of migration that runs throughout his work.

    THE STRANGE THING about having three shows

    Read more
  • Keith Sonnier

    This summer (and beyond), the East End of Long Island, New York, is a prime spot to experience the sculpture, installation, film, and drawing of Keith Sonnier. An extensive but not exhaustive survey, “Keith Sonnier: Until Today” at the Parrish Art Museum in Water Mill runs through January 27, 2019. Concurrently, the Dia Art Foundation’s Dan Flavin Art Institute in Bridgehampton has restaged, through May 29, 2019, Sonnier’s seminal environmental work Dis-Play II, 1970, which was first exhibited in the artist’s debut solo exhibition that year at the Leo Castelli Warehouse. Simultaneously, Tripoli

    Read more
  • Bracha L. Ettinger

    The most comprehensive museum exhibition in the United States so far of artist and theorist Bracha L. Ettinger’s work is on view at the UB Anderson Gallery in Buffalo, New York, until July 29, 2018, featuring four decades of paintings, notebooks, and drawings, as well as three video works. Additionally, “Bracha’s Notebooks,” a solo show curated by Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev at Castello di Rivoli in Turin, will be on view in 2019. Here, Ettinger discusses the eclipse of the female subject in historical abstraction, the relationship between abstraction and compassion, trauma, and the remedial

    Read more
  • Are.na

    Are.na is an online platform for creative thinking and collaborative research. Founded in 2011 by artists Charles Broskoski, Daniel Pianetti, and Chris Sherron, today Are.na is a flourishing web-based community. Artists use it to conduct research; teachers use it to share course materials and interact with their students; and museums and galleries use it to host blogs and interactive exhibitions. Here, the Are.na team discusses the platform and the ideas that underpin its structure and development.

    WE BUILT ARE.NA INITIALLY FOR OURSELVES. A few of us were making art online, and some of our peers

    Read more
  • Viva Ruiz

    Artist and activist Viva Ruiz’s ongoing project  Thank God For Abortion, 2015–, celebrates agency in the pro-choice movement. Ruiz’s provocative exclamation “Thank God for abortion,” which is paired with a peaceful dove design, provides a message of joy and gratitude about the spiritual connection of choice to charged conversations around abortion rights. Here, Ruiz parses the relationship between abortion access and queer rights, highlighting the project’s latest and largest sculptural and performative iteration: A Thank God For Abortion parade float that will be featured in the New York City

    Read more
  • 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

    Read more
  • Ishmael Houston-Jones

    From June 21 through 28, as part of its East Village Series, Performance Space New York is reviving Them, a work the choreographer and dancer Ishmael Houston-Jones made in collaboration with the musician Chris Cochrane and the writer Dennis Cooper in 1986. Below is a reprint of a 2010 interview with Houston-Jones on the occasion of the work’s twenty-fifth anniversary production at PS 122.

    THE FIRST TIME I heard about Chris Cochrane was also the first time I saw him play, at a club called 8BC in a destroyed building on Eighth Street between avenues B and C. They had liquor there, but it was more

    Read more
  • Aliza Shvarts

    Aliza Shvarts’s writings and artworks explore the possibilities and impossibilities of performance, race, gender, and class. Her solo exhibition “Off Scene” presents works from the past ten years and is on view at Artspace in New Haven, Connecticut, through June 30, 2018.

    THIS SHOW IS ABOUT TESTIMONY—how the capacity to speak and be heard is gendered, classed, and racialized. Whose words carry weight? Whose speech precipitates action? Whose bodies bear assurances of trustworthiness, and whose incite doubt?

    The title of the show is a metaphor for different kinds of marginalization: for the kind of

    Read more
  • Lynda Benglis

    Lynda Benglis was born in Lake Charles, Louisiana, in 1941 and arrived in New York shortly after graduating from Newcomb College in New Orleans. Then, as now, her visceral approach to viscous materials and mediums is singular and timeless. Here, Benglis shares key episodes from her life. An exhibition of her works dating from 1979 to 2017 is currently on view at Paula Cooper Gallery in New York until June 16, 2018.

    WHEN I MOVED TO NEW YORK IN 1964, there were race riots going on in Harlem. I attended the Brooklyn Museum Art School, and there I met a Scotsman named Gordon Hart. We both had arrived

    Read more
  • Heba Y. Amin

    The Egyptian artist Heba Y. Amin’s latest project, Operation Sunken Sea, 2018, is well suited for “We don’t need another hero,” the next iteration of the Berlin Biennale, which opens June 9, 2018. With a room-wide installation, Amin imagines herself as the mastermind of a bureaucratic plan to drain the Mediterranean Sea—a singular solution to the crises of terrorism and immigration in the Middle East and Africa. With an air of autocracy, her project exposes long-standing colonial convictions, as well as the inherent bias and violence of power.

    OPERATION SUNKEN SEA is an attempt to flip a historical

    Read more