COLUMNS

  • Faith Holland

    In Faith Holland’s work, one is always attuned to the erotics of technology and virtual space: the sensation of stroking a trackpad, tapping a keyboard, or cradling a cell phone are revealed as genuinely intimate acts. Her exhibition Soft/Hard, now online and installed in the physical space of Los Angeles’s TRANSFER Gallery, has two parts: “The Most Beautiful Dicks Pics of All Time,” a series of GIFs hosted on Pornhub.com, and “Soft Computing,” a collection of plush sculptures featured in collaborative performances and a vanitas livestream. Here, Holland—who also recently cocurated an ongoing

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  • João Enxuto and Erica Love

    João Enxuto and Erica Love are shrewd diagnosticians of the asymmetrical distribution of power within art institutions. Through their work, they consider the potential ramifications of the incursion of platforms, big data, and AI into contemporary art, noting how they amplify and naturalize existing structural inequalities within the arts and threaten the already greatly-diminished agency of artists. Crucially, however, through works like the Institute for Southern Contemporary Art (ISCA), 2016, Enxuto and Love imagine the emancipatory potential of such technologies, if they were to be pried

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  • Alicja Kwade

    Guided by scientific principles, Alicja Kwade breaks complex structures into comprehensible segments while shrouding her art in a mystery both cosmic and human. Last spring, she installed two large-scale sculptures modeling the solar system on top of New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art for its Roof Garden Commission series. Comprised of heavy, delicately suspended stones from around the world, the abstract orrery encouraged viewers to reflect on their own position within a massive yet fragile universe. Working under partial lockdown in Berlin, the artist discusses the nature of time under

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  • Dread Scott

    For over three decades, Dread Scott has made art that confronts state-sanctioned brutality and racial injustice while imagining revolution. His 2015 flag, A Man Was Lynched by Police Yesterday—a declaration of memorial immensity and stark prolepsis—remains an emblem of the United States’ foundational and ongoing violence against Black people: violence now being challenged as millions take to the streets nationwide in a staggering response to George Floyd’s killing. Below, Scott discusses his past and recent work, art institutions’ response to the current uprisings, and the radical possibility

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  • Bernadette Mayer

    “I should have become a thief,” Bernadette Mayer tells me. “I would’ve made more money, maybe.” For Mayer, thievery and poetry are not so different, property itself being theft, which is also true of poetry, because who do words belong to? It’s this periphrastic logic that runs through Memory, the durational experiment Mayer performed in July 1971, shooting one roll of 35-mm slide film a day and keeping a rigorous diary. First presented as an installation of 1,116 photographs accompanied by handwritten notes and a six-hour audio recording of the entire text at Holly Solomon’s 98 Greene Street

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  • Wang Tuo

    Wang Tuo’s art is often likened to a maze, and rightly so. His multimedia works map the paths of lives both real and hallucinatory, branching into absurdist dramas that, through their sinuous timelinese and deeply felt politics, end up at new places to begin. The five videos viewable in Wang Tuo’s current online exhibition at White Space, Beijing, thrust a cast of characters into specific historical situations while placing history itself into an unorthodox narrative structure. Here, Wang Tuo outlines his recent work and upcoming plans. “Standing at the Crossroads” opened online on April 30 and

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  • Patrisse Cullors

    Best-known as one of the three women who founded Black Lives Matter, and the powerhouse behind the grassroots movement that’s now transforming the Los Angeles County prison system, Patrisse Cullors is also a formidable artist. Fresh on the heels of major victories in both arenas—her Reform LA Jail’s initiative, Measure R, passed by a landslide 71 percent in the February election, and recent performances at LTD, Frieze LA, and The Broad have won her the attention of the Los Angeles art scene—Cullors talks here about the intersection of activism and creative expression.

    THE THROUGH LINE between my

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  • Hwayeon Nam

    Over the past eight years, the Korean artist Hwayeon Nam has explored social and historical choreography and temporal reroutings of archives through the figure of Seunghee Choi (1911–1969). A pioneer of modern Korean dance and a national icon whose life and career were marked by colonial occupations, clashing ideologies, and peninsular war, Choi was born the year after Japan annexed Korea. She studied dance in Tokyo at age fourteen and later toured internationally, counting among her audience and admirers figures such as Charlie Chaplin, Jean Cocteau, Yukio Mishima, and Pablo Picasso. Choi’s

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  • Petra Cortright

    Petra Cortright is known for her webcam videos, paintings, and other screen-based works, which—simultaneously cool, playful, and errantly feminist—often toy with the vocabulary of online imagery and self-presentation. Her first webcam video, VVEBCAM, 2007, shows Cortright distractedly cycling through preset video effects and is included in Rhizome’s Net Art Anthology. An exhibition of new digital paintings, “borderline aurora borealis,” opened at Team Gallery in New York City on March 5 before closing early due to the coronavirus pandemic. Below, the artist discusses webcam cinematography, the

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  • Leslie Thornton

    “There are no other people in the world. Something has happened to them, but Peggy and Fred are unconcerned . . . They are adrift in the detritus of prior cultures, cast loose in a world of post-apocalyptic splendor. And they also watch television . . . This constitutes their idea of the Social.” This is how Leslie Thornton describes her epic cinematic series “Peggy and Fred in Hell,” which she has repeatedly edited and reassembled from 1983 to 2016. Thornton’s five-decade output is similarly elliptical and self-theorizing, drawing from shot and found footage, text, and archival material to

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  • Mamie Tinkler

    Mamie Tinkler has painted intimately scaled, meticulously observed watercolor still lifes for over fifteen years. The Memphis-born, New York–based artist’s tenaciously analog study of everyday objects—dishware, drapery, decorative keepsakes—evokes a Morandian quest disenthralled from traditionally gendered and abstemious formalist hierarchies. At a juncture that is challenging us to unlearn the desire for the remote and spectacular, Tinkler’s work stretches our capacity for perceiving what’s at hand. Her solo New York debut, at Ulterior Gallery, was shuttered at the outset of COVID-19 stay-at-home

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  • Olia Lialina

    Pioneering Net artist Olia Lialina was one of the first to make work for networked browsers and she’s one of the few from that first wave to persist. She not only offers metacommentary on the evolving conditions of the World Wide Web, but also consistently speaks and writes about its vernacular iconography and the social conditions created by its content, protocols, and devices. Lialina maintains her own archive of Geocities pages, can recount the art history of sparkly star gifs, and is herself a noted “animated gif model.” Her current show, “Best Effort Network,” is up at arebyte Gallery,

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