• Yael Bartana

    Yael Bartana on messianic myth, redemption, and the “Jewish question”

    Since the early 2000s, Yael Bartana has brought the remnants of the “Jewish question” into sharp relief. “Redemption Now,” a survey at Berlin’s Jewish Museum on through October 10, includes early videos that simultaneously detail and estrange the rituals of Israeli Orthodox Jewish and settler communities. In recent years, her work has grown more formally elaborate—and provocative—in its choreographies and “pre-enactments.” Her trilogy And Europe Will Be Stunned, 2007–11, staged the dramatic genesis of the Jewish Renaissance Movement in Poland, while the Philadelphia-set The Undertaker, 2019,

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  • Maya Lin

    Maya Lin on planting a ghost forest in Manhattan

    On Earth Day, Maya Lin and I stood in Manhattan’s Madison Square Park surrounded by dead trees. The artist and architect had just completed Ghost Forest, an installation of fifty lifeless cedars cleared from New Jersey’s Pine Barrens, where rising sea levels and salt-water infiltration now threaten the woodland ecosystem, slowly rotting trees from the inside. Tragic figures, the cedars remain standing as they perish. A soundscape composed by Lin and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology activates their stillness with the vocalizations. of cougars, wolves, beavers, and whales once native to Manhattan

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  • Time Regained

    María Belén Correa and Cecilia Estalles speak with Devan Díaz and Thora Siemsen about El Archivo de la Memoria Trans Argentina

    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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    Hanan Toukan and Adila Laïdi-Hanieh on the Palestinian Museum

    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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    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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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