COLUMNS

  • Eleanor Antin

    For nearly four decades, San Diego–based artist Eleanor Antin has provocatively engaged histories real and imagined through photographs, performances, films, videos, writings, and drawings. Since 2001, she has completed three series of allegorical photographs based on Roman life: “The Last Days of Pompeii,” “Roman Allegories,” and “Helen’s Odyssey.” A survey that focuses on these works, titled “Historical Takes,” is on view through November 2 at the San Diego Museum of Art.

    ALL MY LIFE I have had a passion for ancient Greece, since reading Bulfinch’s Mythology as a kid. At the time I first read

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  • Robert Pogue Harrison

    Robert Pogue Harrison, chair of the Department of French and Italian at Stanford University, is a literary scholar and translator whose interests include the Italian lyric, Dante, Renaissance humanism, and phenomenology. The University of Chicago Press has just published Gardens: An Essay on the Human Condition. Here he discusses that book.

    SEVERAL YEARS AGO, when I was invited to write a catalogue essay for an exhibition of photographs of gardens by contemporary artists, I had no intention to embark on a book on the garden. After writing a twenty- or twenty-five-page essay, though, I realized

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  • Laurie Anderson

    Many people came to know Laurie Anderson through her 1980 song “O Superman,” which rose to number two on the British pop charts. Anderson has had an eclectic and wide-ranging career as an artist, developing music and multimedia performance works for numerous venues and films. In 2002, she became NASA’s first artist-in-residence, and in 2007, she was the recipient of the Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize. She will perform her latest work, Homeland, a “concert poem,” as part of the Lincoln Center Festival, July 22–26.

    HOMELAND HAS TAKEN all sorts of guises. Most things you write in the studio, and

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  • Anya Gallaccio

    Anya Gallaccio often works with and transforms organic materials, and in her new exhibition at London’s Camden Arts Centre, titled “that open space within,” the artist presents the reconstructed fragments of a large chestnut tree. Here she discusses the undertaking.

    WHEN I WAS INVITED to exhibit at Camden, I knew almost immediately I wanted to bring some aspect of the garden inside, to develop a relationship between the gallery’s interior and exterior. Eventually, I settled on the idea of finding a tree roughly the height of the building and bringing the middle section into the gallery. I contacted

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  • Malcolm McLaren

    The artist, musician, designer, and impresario Malcolm McLaren is perhaps best known for his role as the manager of the Sex Pistols and Bow Wow Wow and for the mercurial clothing store on Kings Road that he founded in 1971 with Vivienne Westwood. From now through mid-August, Creative Time is presenting McLaren’s multimedia project “Shallow,” a series of “musical paintings,” on MTV’s HD screen in Times Square. McLaren is currently at work on a Broadway musical about the rise of Christian Dior’s fashion house and the emergence of pop culture after World War II.

    LAST FALL, some contemporary artists

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  • Gillian Wearing

    Gillian Wearing came to international prominence as the winner of the Turner Prize in 1997, and also as one of the artists selected for Charles Saatchi’s exhibition “Sensation” that same year at the Royal Academy. Wearing works in a wide range of media, always provocatively plumbing the most ordinary human dramas for their extraordinary, often ironic, content. Her latest exhibition, “Pin-Ups,” is on view at Regen Projects in Los Angeles from July 12 to August 23, 2008.

    THE INSPIRATION FOR my latest project came from a statistic released in the UK last year that said that two-thirds of young

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  • Matali Crasset

    Before launching her own studio in 1998, French designer Matali Crasset spent five years working for Philippe Starck, first in his studio and later as head of design at Thomson Multimedia. Last September, Crasset collaborated with the artist Peter Halley for an exhibition at Thaddaeus Ropac in Paris; she has plans to collaborate with Halley again next year at Cais Gallery in Seoul. Some of her recent major projects include design for the Hi-Hôtel in Nice, as well as for the temporary site of the Stedelijk Museum's–Hertogenbosch. Here she discusses some of her ideas on design and logics of living.

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  • Victoria Morton

    The painter Victoria Morton, who lives and works in Glasgow and in Fossombrone, Italy, opens her third solo exhibition at Sadie Coles HQ in London on July 2. Here she discusses dividing her time between Scotland and Italy and the work included in the show.

    I SPEND ABOUT a third of my year in Italy and have done so for about four years. In Italy, obviously, I have access to a vast amount of historical painting: For example, I work in the area in which Piero della Francesca painted, and it’s fascinating to drive through the landscape that appears in the background of his works. Working here is very

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  • Mary Ping

    At a moment when many artists are collaborating with fashion houses, it seems worthwhile to speak with a fashion designer with a fine-art background and conceptually oriented projects. Designer Mary Ping is known for both the classic pieces of her signature line and the anthropological investigations of her side project, Slow and Steady Wins the Race.

    I BEGAN MY PROJECT Slow and Steady Wins the Race a year after I first produced my signature line. The September 11 attacks had just occurred, right on the cusp of Fashion Week, and like others I began to question the meaning of fashion: Why do we

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  • Joan Jonas

    As part of the 2008 Biennale of Sydney, organized by Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev and titled “Revolutions—Forms that Turn,” artist Joan Jonas will present Reading Dante, 2008. A performance will take place at 11 AM and 6 PM on June 22 at the National Art School’s Cell Block Theatre. Here she discusses the work.

    I'VE KNOWN ABOUT Dante’s Divine Comedy for what seems like all my life, but I never read it before last summer. A few years ago, an artist described to me Dante’s own life, and it made me think about how fascinating it might be to work with his magnificent text. I began with the Inferno last

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  • William Cordova

    Earlier this year, William Cordova, whose artwork frequently references human rights struggles, organized two exhibitions for Ingalls & Associates in Miami. One, titled “Casa de Carton,” features an intergenerational range of contemporary artists, and the other, “Up Against the Wall,” the photographs of journalist Ilka Hartmann. Both exhibitions will open at Branch Gallery in Durham, North Carolina, on Friday, June 20. Here Cordova discusses Hartmann’s work.

    TWO YEARS AGO, while doing research into commonalities across various radical groups of the late 1960s and early ’70s, I gradually realized

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  • Neil Greenberg

    Neil Greenberg danced for Merce Cunningham from 1979 to 1986, when he left the company to pursue his own choreography. Greenberg has been known for his use of projected text in dance, as well as for making dances using material culled from videotaped sessions of himself improvising. His most recent work, Really Queer Dance with Harps, which features three harpists on stage concurrently with the dancers, is having its premiere at Dance Theater Workshop in New York, June 11–21. Here, Greenberg traces the trajectory of some of his ideas.

    THE FIRST PIECE I created that I really owned, in 1987, wasn’t

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