COLUMNS

  • THE MOTHER OF ALL SEASONS

    I’LL WRITE THE HYPOSTASIS OF BECKY AND KAREN, I thought, but then a stalker showed up at my house, and I was overworked, but I had to deal with that, and think on things I never think on, for example my own safety, for example my own protection. Zoom swelled like a buboe and popped. The stalker had driven from Michigan to deliver a mug to me, he said, to thank me for having written my last book, showed up on my back porch and wouldn’t leave. 

    I can’t write about the fact that the partner of a new student of mine was shot by white supremacists four days ago. I thought I might manage to write about

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  • Anniversary

    MONDAY, JUNE 15, is the anniversary of the death of writer Kevin Killian, who was my husband for thirty-three years. The thought of spending it alone during San Francisco’s shelter-in-place both terrifies and numbs me. I have discovered that I have an enormous capacity for numbness, which continues to surprise me. Before Kevin’s death, I couldn’t bear to think about the horrors of widowhood. Joan Didion’s The Year of Magical Thinking seemed like the most dangerous book in the world; I wouldn’t touch it. After he died, I read it compulsively.

    For all other anniversaries this past year, I went to

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  • Teach-Out

    THIS PAST APRIL, during a fractious Zoom meeting between the faculty and trustees of the San Francisco Art Institute (SFAI), the phrase “the house is on fire” was uttered multiple times. SFAI has faced existential threats more than once in its 149-year history: In the fires that ravaged San Francisco following the 1906 earthquake, the school literally burned to the ground. Although no act of God, the slow-moving crisis that has left the college too precarious to weather the current pandemic is no less intractable. At an institution where tuition and student fees reportedly account for 85 percent

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  • The Wheels of Joey

    AS I WAS BIKING TO MY FRIEND REL’S to retrieve a needle and some fresh material to read during quarantine, I saw an ominous calling card casually hanging from a door on Onderdonk Street. It read ROMAN EMPIRE LOGISTICS LLC, conjuring in my mind the image of flimsy gladiator breastplates being fed to lions. I presumed it was a realtor’s moniker, but later discovered it was a “fleet logistics company” contracted by Amazon to deliver packages during the pandemic. I even learned that this small enterprise was ahead of the socially responsible curve, requiring employees to wear face masks as early as

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  • An Interview with Jabari Brisport

    This interview was conducted before the insurgency in New York City that began on May 28; in a brief update on June 4, Jabari added: “This is the city of Amadou Diallo, the city of Sean Bell, the city of Eric Garner. We’ve been pushing to defund the NYPD by $1 billion over four years, out of their total budget of $6 billion, but the situation is now moving so fast that it feels like maybe we should go further than that. I saw the proposal to dismantle the police department in Minneapolis; why not in New York?”



    ABOUT A THOUSAND YEARS AGO in experiential time, Bernie Sanders ended his bid for

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  • Daily Drawings: Week Seven

    As people around the world stay indoors to curb the spread of Covid-19, Artforum has invited artists to share a drawing—however they would like to define the word—made in self-isolation. Check back each day this week for a new work by a different artist.

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  • Reading Revolution

    ARTFORUM SUPPORTS the nationwide protests against police brutality and the killing of George Floyd and countless other Black people and denounces the escalation of violence by police and those who profit from the carceral state. Racial capitalism and settler colonialism are foundational to the United States. Below is an incomplete and developing list of intellectual resources for organizers and participants in the ongoing work of prison abolition and a future without police, incarceration, or deportation.

    We encourage feedback in the work ahead and wish safety for all the protestors in the streets.

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  • Daily Drawings: Week Six

    As people around the world stay indoors to curb the spread of Covid-19, Artforum has invited artists to share a drawing—however they would like to define the word—made in self-isolation. Check back each day this week for a new work by a different artist.

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  • School Spirit

    for Timea Szell

    “Jabès and Semprún both said that language was their only homeland [....] Why is it so difficult to be alive to what happens?” - Paul B. Preciado, An Apartment on Uranus

    //

    The first time I heard a mourning dove

    I thought it was an owl

    The first bunny I ever saw

    Was hidden in a bed

    I think it was a bed of “Impatiens

    A word shaped like my grandmother’s hands

    But is there such a thing as a bed of “Impatiens

    Or else it was it a bed of pansies

    The sound of the owl had a smell, I thought

    I mean I thought that what I smelled

    When the mourning dove moaned

    Which I thought was an owl

    Was the scent of

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  • Daily Drawings: Week Five

    As people around the world stay indoors to curb the spread of Covid-19, Artforum has invited artists to share a drawing—however they would like to define the word—made in self-isolation. Check back each day this week for a new work by a different artist.

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  • Daily Drawings: Week Four

    As people around the world stay indoors to curb the spread of Covid-19, Artforum has invited artists to share a drawing—however they would like to define the word—made in self-isolation. Check back each day this week for a new work by a different artist.

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  • Letter from Paris

    THE LOUVRE was the first to go. On March 1, the world’s most-attended art museum (averaging 15,000 visitors per day) went dark after some three hundred staff members walked out over concerns about the transmission of Covid-19. Although this initial closure lasted only three days, by March 14, the museum had announced it was shuttering again—this time indefinitely, in accordance with the government-ordered nationwide shutdown of all nonessential businesses in France.

    After more than eight weeks of lockdown, France is poised to begin loosening its strict stay-at-home orders. Starting Monday May

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