COLUMNS

  • Fire Walk with Me

    IN 1970, the Japanese photographer Takuma Nakahira was asked by a publication to respond to the topic of “urban rebellion.” He took the assignment literally, relaying the successive images that took shape in his mind:

    Urban and rebellion, somehow these words stir up an image within me that must be at night, where a fire burns bright red, as if to make the night exist all the darker. In addition, it must be filled with terror and disquiet. Described in this manner, my image of urban rebellion is very commonplace, something that can all too easily be related to any of the spectacles like that of

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  • Unpresidented Times: Suzanne Lacy and Andrea Bowers

    WE ENTERED THIS PROJECT TOGETHER to explore the aesthetic and political implications of our personal relationship. The work frames the transfer of knowledge between women as an act of resistance. Two women, two generations: Our lives and work are shaped by an unwavering commitment to justice, which encompasses not only women, but all those oppressed by the powerful. The mythologies underlying misogyny were in full evidence in the months and days leading up to the historic election on November 8, 2016, and in the subsequent results. This project embodies some ideas of performance art as developed

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  • Unpresidented Times: Kay Rosen

    Kay Rosen is an artist who lives in Gary, Indiana, and New York. A solo exhibition of her work, “Kay Rosen: H is for House,” will be on view at the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Ridgefield, Connecticut, from March 5 to September 4, 2017.

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  • Unpresidented Times: Chitra Ganesh

    REHEARSAL FOR A REVOLUTION

    A MASS DEMONSTRATION on September 28, 2014 against India’s current prime minster, Narendra Modi. He represents a right-wing Hindu extremism that emboldens and perpetrates caste-based, xenophobic, sexual, and anti-Muslim violence. There are no shortages of parallels to be made between Trump, Modi, and a growing list of world leaders and policies that seem to be emanating from the same right-wing populist, reactionary sources.

    “The truth is that mass demonstrations are rehearsals for revolution: not strategic or even tactical ones, but rehearsals of revolutionary awareness.

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  • Unpresidented Times: Amy Sillman

    The following is something I jotted out the day after the election. I happened to be making a zine for a show at the Drawing Center in NYC, and purely by coincidence the printing deadline for the zine was that week. I was shocked by the election results, and had no idea how to process the news or how to make art for a show that would open in January or how to return to a studio at all. But a zine is a fast and furious public/private form of address, so I just knew that I should write something, a kind of letter, about how to approach this new time.

    A FEW YEARS AGO we were knocked out by the first

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  • the GALA Committee

    IN A SWIFT, BRUTAL DEVELOPMENT, America has suddenly become the greatest reality show on earth, its inhabitants in peril of being thumped as if they were nothing more than a prop conference table on the Apprentice set. There is something both comforting and invigorating about revisiting an earlier era when television was television and real life was real life, and when in the space between the two—at least in one singular case—art blossomed.

    In 1995, the curators Julie Lazar and Tom Finkelpearl asked the artist Mel Chin to take part in “Uncommon Sense,” a group show at the Museum of

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  • Shock Waves: A Syllabus for the End Times

    A SYLLABUS FOR THE END TIMES

    or, A Few Thoughts About Thinking at What Might Turn Out to Be the Beginning of the End of the World

    Take a deep breath.

    I mean it.

    Take a deep breath.

    Now exhale.

    OK.

    I’D LIKE TO START WITH A SIMPLE BUT EXPANSIVE ASSERTION: The fundamental epistemological problem of recent intellectual history has been the privileging of contradiction over contrariety.

    To put it simply, contradiction is an opposition between “this” and “not-this.” Only one of the two can obtain at once; only one half of a contradiction can be true at once. A contrariety, on the other hand, is an opposition

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  • On the Ground: New York

    THERE WERE SIGNS.

    History doesn’t graciously step aside for the new to waltz into the future. Remember how the 2016 calendar year began prematurely? Well, the untimely is the very rhythm of suicide—Chantal Akerman departed the October before last, and more heroes dropped off the further we hurtled along the narrowing line. The slow-burn view of her films, how the world looked when veiled in her stark patience, the picture never ending even after the movie was through, like a dire infection. Isn’t that how despair moves, spreading and multiplying across bodies, through the blood of trauma’s

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  • Shock Waves: Martha Rosler

    The stunning rise of nationalism, populism, and fundamentalism—and the Trump presidency—has roiled the world. How did we get here? What can art do? In concert with the December issue’s feature on THE YEAR IN SHOCK—which features pieces by Helen Molesworth, Tariq Ali, and Wendy Brown on the upheaval of political and perceptual experience as we know it—artforum.com presents short reflections on post-election America and the aftershocks to come.

    Martha Rosler is an artist who lives and works in Brooklyn.

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  • Untimely Feedback

    IN MID-NOVEMBER I am asked to skype with a writing class in New York. How nice to see again, after some months of Midwest fashion drab, the eager young of NYU in their particularized plumages. Arrayed against windowless cinderblock walls, they are diffident at first, then warm up. They have read my book on 1990s punk feminism and want to talk about its relevance for today. Does it suggest any actions for the present.

    Friends have been texting me from New York. The city is in shock, they say, or mourning. We are all stunned and teary; the public is teary. It’s like after 9/11, one says, and I

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  • Mourning After: Dear Ivanka

    DEAR IVANKA, 

    Much like you, we are professional women and mothers. We are, in the parlance of your lifestyle-branding Gesamtkunstwerk, #womenwhowork. We also share a set of regional values—remember the ones that Lyin’ Ted unsuccessfully mocked? The vilified bubble of New York privilege and cultural elitism that the rust-belt electoral college so passionately rebuked? Is it too pithy to say that we might have enough in common that the four of us could maybe be friends? That there might be just enough conversational fodder to at least get us through one of those tedious dinner parties?

    Maybe… if

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