Slant

  • We Belong

    PRIDE MONTH 2017 was momentous, and contentious, for reasons big and small. June’s Facebook pages were littered with rainbow “pride” emoticons, and I used mine for everything. At the same time, a debate about the rainbow flag’s ability to represent its varied constituencies swept through comments, asking if Gilbert Baker’s 1978 creation had become co-opted as a corporate logo, needful of additional black and brown stripes to better address those banded together under the LGBTQIA banner. Often unspoken but nevertheless felt was the shared posttraumatic stress of knowing that a year before, the

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  • Yours, Truly

    Two years ago, artist Moyra Davey and writer Maggie Nelson were asked to commence a wide-ranging conversation over email for a book project that never came to light. This summer, I invited them to revisit their conversation. What follows is the first of a two-part feature. —Lauren O’Neill-Butler

    MAGGIE NELSON: This conversation is something of a time capsule, which is just now seeing the light of day. In 2014, Moyra Davey and I were asked if we’d like to be in conversation for a publication about photography called Entanglements, edited by Arthur Ou and Shannon Ebner. I was excited about the

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  • Travel Logged

    I WAS IN Gloucester, Massachusetts in June, finishing a book in the house where T.S. Eliot spent his childhood summers. I hadn’t been particularly in the mood to worship the dean of modernism, but rereading Four Quartets, especially after eating one or two psilocybin mushrooms, was arresting. You should try it.

    I was researching the Yezidi religion for the penultimate section of my book. I kept circling around the 2014 massacre and mass enslavement of women by ISIS that took place on and around Mount Sinjar, because that was the time peacocks started showing up in my life, and because I’d met a

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  • Documenta 14: Artists’ Artists

    Tomorrow, the fourteenth edition of Documenta opens its iteration in Kassel, Germany. On the ground, we asked artists in the exhibition, curated by Adam Szymczyk along with a team of nearly twenty curators and advisors, to choose another artist or artists who, in the early moments of the show, immediately stood out in their minds. Documenta 14 in Kassel is open to the public from June 10 through September 17, 2017; the exhibition in Athens opened April 8 and runs through July 16, 2017.

    ZAFOS XAGORARIS

    VIVIAN SUTER

    NAEEM MOHAIEMEN

    SERGIO ZEVALLOS

    ROSALIND NASHASHIBI

    ANNIE SPRINKLE & BETH STEPHENS

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  • the NEA

    IN SEPTEMBER 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed legislation that would establish the National Endowment for the Arts, the largest arts funder in the United States. In March of this year, President Trump proposed its elimination. While any immediate action has been forestalled, the threat to thousands of community organizations, museums, artists, and projects that benefit from NEA grants still looms. In light of this, Artforum asked five distinguished artists and critics to reflect on the NEA’s vital impact.

    JOHNIE SCOTT

    IN THE MONTHS immediately following the Watts riots in Los Angeles in

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  • Venice Biennale: Artists’ Artists Part II

    In the prelude to the opening of the 57th Venice Biennale, we asked artists exhibiting and being celebrated around the city to choose something to highlight on artforum.com. Here are some of their selections. The biennial is open to the public from May 13 through November 26, 2017.

    DINEO SESHEE BOPAPE

    JEREMY SHAW

    KATJA NOVITSKOVA

    IVÁN ARGOTE

    JASMINA CIBIC

    VAJIKO CHACHKHIANI

    CAROLEE SCHNEEMANN

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  • Venice Biennale: Artists’ Artists

    Today, the 57th edition of the Venice Biennale opened for early viewings. On the ground, we asked artists showing in “Viva Arte Viva,” curated by Christine Macel, to choose another artist who, in the early moments of the exhibitions, immediately stood out in their minds. The biennial is open to the public from May 13 through November 26, 2017.

    McARTHUR BINION

    RACHEL ROSE

    DAWN KASPER

    TAUS MAKHACHEVA

    SENGA NENGUDI

    LEE MINGWEI

    MICHELLE STAURT

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  • Marcel Broodthaers

    IT IS INCREASINGLY DIFFICULT, in a political landscape where deliberate confusion—alternative facts and fake news—holds sway, to determine precisely where the boundary between the artificial and the actual is to be drawn. Yet this seemingly contemporary condition was foreseen almost half a century ago by Marcel Broodthaers, who made this dialectic into the very substance of his practice: “When a work of art finds its condition in lies or deception, is it then still a work of art? I do not have the answer.” In a sense, this fundamental uncertainty is intrinsic to the endless staging

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  • Frank Heath

    IT IS ONE OF THE GREAT PARADOXES of our current era of mediated interconnectivity: We adopt the very same technologies used by intelligence agencies and corporations to covertly track our behavior as our primary means to communicate, to consume, and even to preserve our most intimate memories. This uneasy affinity between surveillant and surveilled provided the central theme of Frank Heath’s recent show at the Swiss Institute in New York. The duality was in fact already signaled in the show’s title, “Blue Room,” which refers to two quite different spaces: areas in prisons reserved for projecting

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  • the politics of Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s Running Fence

    ONE SMALL ASPECT of daily life that Donald Trump’s election has altered, perhaps irrevocably, is e-mail etiquette. Professional contacts sign off on all manner of correspondence with “In solidarity.” Announcements and invitations include the poignant yet perfunctory phrase “now more than ever.” Friends forward (and reforward) online petitions, solicitations for donations, and pleas to call Congress. Among all these missives, the most memorable I have received was a post to Change.org by the artist Luis Camnitzer: “Dear President Donald Trump: Please use this golden opportunity to commission US

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  • New World Disorder: Claudia Rankine

    The New York–based Racial Imaginary Institute examines the idea that race is a construct for all of us. Spearheaded by the poet, essayist, playwright, and 2016 MacArthur fellow Claudia Rankine, the institute plans to host exhibitions, performances, lectures, and talks. It is an antidote but not a rejoinder to the new administration in Washington, DC, because, as Rankine notes below, “Trump is not the beginning of this; he’s just a blatant manifestation of it. It was in the air for a long time.”

    Here, she discusses her plans with artforum.com managing editor Lauren O’Neill-Butler.

    LAUREN O’NEILL-BUTLER:

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  • New World Disorder: Hannah Black

    FOR MANY PEOPLE, 2016 was the year that a fantasy of progress contorted into exasperation: “I can’t believe it’s 2016 and people are still racist!” This feeling of belatedness is always beginning to give way to the evident fact that the passage of time alone, in either personal or collective historical life, is not enough to fix catastrophes. For a wound to heal, its cause has to stop. Thus transatlantic slavery, to give an important example, keeps insisting on its unhealed historical reality. An optimistic astonishment that a Black president was just as capable of presiding over drone bombings

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