COLUMNS

  • Interviews

    TAKING CARE

    Huey Copeland and Allison Glenn on “Promise, Witness, Remembrance”

    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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  • Interviews

    Loie Hollowell

    Loie Hollowell on painting, pain, and her second birth

    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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  • Interviews

    Words Unspoken

    Grace M. Cho on anti-Asian violence, mental health, and the livingness of trauma

    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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  • Interviews

    Christopher K. Ho and Daisy Nam

    Christopher K. Ho and Daisy Nam discuss Best! Letters from Asian Americans in the arts

    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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  • Interviews

    Night Watch

    A conversation with Lynette Yiadom-Boakye

    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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  • Interviews

    Rindon Johnson

    Rindon Johnson on “The Law of Large Numbers” and the power of a name

    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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  • Interviews

    Invisible Ink

    James Hough talks to Nicole R. Fleetwood about drawing and desire in the carceral system

    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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  • Interviews

    Godzilla 10

    Godzilla 10 members on community, collaboration, and rupture

    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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  • Interviews

    Dawoud Bey

    Dawoud Bey on expanding the photographic moment

    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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  • Interviews

    Lucy Raven

    Lucy Raven on “concrete cinema” and reimagining the genre of the western

    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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  • Interviews

    Gary Panter

    Gary Panter talks about his life and art

    It’s hard to overstate the importance of Gary Panter to the art world and to popular culture; he has consistently forged art based on their imbrication and crossover. Oklahoma-born and Texas-raised, Panter helped pioneer punk culture through his band flyers and his comics and design for the fanzine Slash, which debuted his famous everyman character Jimbo. His visceral, so-called ratty line changed how people understood the role of the mark in comics. Panter won three Emmys for his set design on the television show Pee-wee’s Playhouse (whose charm was defined by Panter’s mashup aesthetic), all

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  • Interviews

    Cory Arcangel

    Cory Arcangel on bot performance, machine learning, and online junk space

    Cory Arcangel’s latest exhibition, “Century 21,” continues his interest in the structural aesthetics of games, exhaustive virtual navigation, and sometimes punishing durations. Its centerpiece is a custom-built machine-learning computer that plays the mobile role-playing game Kim Kardashian: Hollywood. This work is exhibited along with an array of live and recorded bot performances, prints, and paintings the artist refers to as “flatware”: high-resolution scans of pants that are printed on IKEA tabletops. Here, Arcangel discusses the four-year process of bringing this exhibition—on view online

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