COLUMNS

  • 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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  • On the Ground: Istanbul

    NOT LONG AFTER FIGHTER JETS BEGAN DROPPING SONIC BOMBS, I decided to go to bed. It wasn’t my apartment.

    On July 15, 2016 the night of Turkey’s attempted coup d’état, I was at a friend’s house party in Galata. From the building’s terrace, which commands otherwise delightful views of the historic peninsula, everyone was trying to glean a hint of what was happening. When that did not work out, Twitter feeds and live TV had face-offs on multiple cell phones, only to be interrupted by worried relatives’ calls and streams of tears. On one screen, I saw President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on FaceTime with

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  • Mourning After: Marlene McCarty & Donald Moffett

    ON THE EDGE of a new world, pilgrims engage in outrage porn.

    Marlene McCarty and Donald Moffett are artists who live and work in New York.

    For more, read the December issue of Artforum: “The Year in Shock”—critics reflect on the upheaval of political and perceptual experience as we know it.

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  • Mourning After: Badlands Unlimited

    WE KEEP GETTING CALLS AND EMAILS AT THE OFFICE, TELLING US “IT’S COMPLICATED.” They say we don’t “understand them.” Be “reasonable” they say. The more ambitious ones go on to explain that while there were definitely voters who acted on racist, misogynist, and xenophobic instincts, most voted simply out of the sense that their economic hardships were being ignored.

    This is when we hang up. Or turn on the vacation responder. (Paul told us to.) If we could engage, we’d tell them that they’re right, and that’s why they’re wrong. They’re right that many voted for Trump because they believe he spoke

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  • Mourning After: Shannon Ebner

    USA IS AN IMAGE I made in in 2003. It was part of the series “Dead Democracy Letters,” 2002–2006. When artforum.com suggested running something from the series it was hard to know which one to choose. Should it be Landscape Incarceration, RAW WAR, The Folding Up, The Doom—so many terrible options to choose from. When I made this image, it was prompted by an article I had read about detainees at Guantanamo Bay, particularly the children that were detained and how they were requesting books about the sea, given that they were on an island in Cuba surrounded by water, a different “scenery” from

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  • Mourning After: Wu Tsang

    In the wake of the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States, artists and activists have begun to respond—and prepare for future interventions.

    TWO DAYS BEFORE THE ELECTION I wrote and performed the following text, as a response to Zoe Leonard’s I want a president project on the High Line in New York City. My feelings haven’t changed much since then, although they are perhaps more palpable in daily interactions. As I’m traveling outside the US right now, a lot of people ask about Trump. Rather than respond to that question, I’d rather continue to talk about the things that mattered

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  • Mourning After: Martha Wilson

    In the wake of the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States, artists and activists have begun to respond—and prepare for future interventions.

    BEFORE ELECTION DAY I performed as Donald Trump in the hope that I could retire this persona after November 9. No such luck!

    Martha Wilson is an artist who lives and works in New York.

    For our special focus on art and politics in the November 2016 issue of Artforum, subscribe or read online at artforum.com.

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  • Living in Obscenity

    THERE’S A PILE of dirty laundry on my floor, not really. Inside me grievances mount, grief, anger fulminates, ugliness. Feel palpable anxiety for the most vulnerable people, they’re without, without, without resources. Despair for terrors his bullying campaign brought, his election, causing black and Hispanic kids, and gay kids, not to be able to sleep, to fear being killed. Desperate refugees, immigrants. Girls who will get their first period, naive, vulnerable, no protection for them. Gorge rises at the bigots, cleared to come out from their half-shut closets. In this long, dark night, vampires

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  • Mourning After: Mel Chin

    In the wake of the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States, artists and activists have begun to respond—and prepare for future interventions.

    THERE IS NO CONCESSION, but a renewed search to find means to embolden the process of struggle, resistance, and critique, active before this election.

    Our empire was already weakened by our policies, decades of endless war and injustice, against the most unfortunate, buried in our laws that shackled emancipation.

    We must now heed the will of those unaware they have been suffocating on the spittle of their anger.

    We must be ready soon to

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