on folklore and fellowships.
I am happy and honored to report that, for the past month, I’ve served as Recess’ Critical Writing Fellow. Recess is a fantastic organization that selects artists to use their Soho and Red Hook spaces as a hybrid exhibition and work space. Recess invites Critical Writing Fellows to work alongside these artists, producing a piece of writing that tackles an underlying issue or theory...
how can artists learn from their public?
In 1999, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota invited Ligon to lead a family workshop during a residency at the museum. The artist, whose work often explores his identity and the larger politics around being black and gay, brought copies of coloring books for African American children from the 1960s and 1970s. A black girl in a graduation gown, singer-songwriter Isaac Hayes,...
last pictures? more like last words
Over at the Brooklyn Rail, I wrote about how Trevor Paglen’s Last Pictures project, in which the artist launched over 200 images into orbit via satellite as an artifact for whatever beings may find it billions of years from now, is a lot more about words than it is about pictures. Paglen is the first to admit that The Last Pictures is an absurd gesture, one that questions the...
not really, but sort of, in defense of "panties"
As a linguist, feminist, and a rabid media consumer, I like it when people point out the misogyny entrenched in language, and I’m all about correcting linguistic usage when it is derogatory and hurtful. But panties is not the bellwether of the oppression of women everywhere, and pretending so (“’panties’ forces us to call our underwear something sexy, when really we decide for ourselves...
comparative imagery: player pianos and prepared...
Sanford Biggers, Blossom, 2007 (source) Lucy Raven, What Manchester Does Today, the Rest of the World Does Tomorrow, 2012 (source) Erica Baum, “The Melody Indicator,” Triple Canopy, May 17, 2012 (source) “Going to Pieces—Player Piano Nervous Breakdown” Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla, Stop, Repair, Prepare: Variations on “Ode to...
downton abbey and museums.
Since the first season, we’ve witnessed social unrest brewing among the lower classes. Meanwhile, the aristocratic protagonists try to protect their riches and traditions, all, supposedly, in the name of social responsibility. As Lord Grantham once explained to his eldest daughter, Mary: “I am a custodian, my dear, not an owner.” That’s a fascinating word, custodian. It’s one I heard just the...
comparative imagery: dominoes.
Duron Jackson’s Rumination installation, part of the Raw/Cooked series at the Brooklyn Museum, on view through February 1. Chair made of pine and dominoes. Men playing dominoes in Brooklyn.
comparative imagery: knots.
Celtic knot (source) Sherrie Levine, Lead Knot: 7, 1988 (source) Etsy necklace (source) Eva Hesse, No title, 1970 (source) Wade Guyton, Untitled (Edition for Parkett 83), 2008 (source)
grassroots art history, or, what can katy perry...
I published my first piece on Hyperallergic.com. A bit o’ feminism, a bit o’ museum ed.
comparative imagery: art that leans on walls.
John McCracken, The Absolutely Naked Fragrance, 1967 (source) Wade Guyton, Untitled (Edition for Parkett 83), 2008 (source)
comparative imagery: kupka & francis.
František Kupka, Mme Kupka among Verticals, 1910-1911 Sam Francis, Big Red, 1953 (Both from moma.org)
the language of the language of art.
A few weeks ago, A Blade of Grass published my second post in a blog series on the intersection of contemporary art, education, and social justice. This time I wrote about how the language we use to talk about art—an often convoluted, unnecessarily pretentious variety that has been called at times artspeak—is problematic in that it perpetuates the inequalities already at play in the...
comparative imagery: swings.
Ann Hamilton’s the event of a thread, on view until January 6, 2012, at the Park Avenue Armory. “The fires of a hundred thousand ovens were twinkling in the distance,” illustrated by Chris Van Allsburg. From A City in Winter by Mark Helprin.
mickalene thomas: origins of the universe.
In her work, Thomas excavates the history of Western portraiture—with a dollop of irreverence and a generous serving of African-American culture. The lounging subjects are now replaced by black women, sometimes nude and other times adorned in couture redolent of a disco-era sensibility (after all, Thomas grew up in the ’70s). I wrote about Mickalene Thomas: Origins of the Universe, on view...
i've never been prouder.
First time a U.S. state votes for same-sex marriage via referendum, and in my home state no less. Never been prouder of Maryland. Or this country.
comparative imagery: machines at MoMA.
Andy Warhol, Orange Car Crash Fourteen Times, 1963 Sam Lucente, Diagram of Logic Chip, 1986 Vija Celmins, Flying Fortress, 1966 (source)
trade school, the public school, and the...
Last week A Blade of Grass published my very first piece for their blog, which covers all things socially-engaged art. In my post, I discuss two models of non-hierarchical learning, Trade School and The Public School New York, exploring their relationship to art and the art world. Trade School’s Drawing for Pleasure and Relaxation class. Photo by Alex Mallis and TradeSchool.coop Since...
interview with Las Hermanas Iglesias.
Sisters and artists Lisa and Janelle Iglesias collaborate under the moniker Las Hermanas Iglesias, mining their family history and shared experiences to create multimedia and often performance-based works. Their art considers issues such as cultural heritage, the body, and competition, often with a hint of absurdity folded in. Riot of Perfume sat down with the siblings to discuss their work. ...
comparative imagery: fragmentation.
Mickalene Thomas, Interior: Two Chairs and Fireplace, 2011 (source) Pablo Picasso, Woman with Pears, 1909 (source) Robert Smithson, Map of Broken Glass (Atlantis), 1969 (source)
on the curatorial/educational complex, 1937.
Artemas C. Packard in 1937, on the Museum of Modern Art (which happens to be my new place of employ): “What we are really confronted with is the need for two quite consciously and deliberately different kinds of enterprise; on the one hand, the search for what is best in Art according to the highest standards of critical discrimination, and, on the other, the provision of facilities for popular...
comparative imagery: boetti, charlesworth...
Alighiero Boetti, Dodici forme dal 10 giugno 1967 (Twelve forms from July 10, 1967). 1971 (source) Sarah Charlesworth, Arc of Total Eclipe, February 26, 1979, 1979 (both detail and installation views, source)
google search list.
rubens painting old masters street methadone drug addictiveness vs effects chart what is the worst drug injecting vs snorting heroin middlesex what kind of intersex mexico wolf family wolf girl bearded ladies types of intersex trisomy xo chromosome xxy chromosome sex determination humans hermaphrodite \ billy crystal shiloh jolie pitt transgender taylor ann hasselhoff celebrity...
Charles Long, Bill Berkson, and the impossible...
For the September 2012 issue of the Brooklyn Rail, guest editor Bill Berkson asked art writers to take up one of two challenges: write about an exhibition or a work of art based on interpretation with no mention of the physical object, or exclusively write about the physical without a whiff of interpretation. I chose the latter path, and what resulted was this review of Charles Long’s...
comparative imagery: zealous crop.
Stock photo (source) Gimp manual (source)
comparative imagery: rules, chance.
Adam Parrish’s @everyword Twitter project (source) Jean Arp, Untitled (Collage with Squares Arranged According to the Laws of Chance), 1916-17 (source) Robert Morris, Untitled, 1969 (source)
slow numbers at show room.
I reviewed Slow Numbers, a group show at Show Room gallery in the Lower East Side, for Riot of Perfume. Slow Numbers, on view through July 22 at Show Room in the Lower East Side, is about abstraction. Not the abstraction of Mondrian or color field painting, which eschews any sort of referent. Instead, five artists—Erica Baum, E.J. Bellocq, Bobbie Oliver, Alyce Santoro, and Jo-ey Tang—work...
Rachel Kneebone at the Brooklyn Rail
In an April 1910 interview, Auguste Rodin griped: “Recently I have taken to isolating limbs, the torso. Why am I blamed for it? Why is the head allowed and not portions of the body? Every part of the human figure is expressive.” One hundred and thirty-three years his junior, Rachel Kneebone shares this sentiment. Just shy of 40 years old, Kneebone is a contemporary British sculptor who uses...
comparative imagery: Carlos Cruz-Diez's...
Suprasensorial: Experiments in Light, Color, and Space on view at the Hirshhorn until August 12 Carlos Cruz-Diez, Chromosaturation, 1965, refabricated 2010 Inside: gradients Cruz-Diez (source) Tauba Auerbach. RGB Colorspace Atlas. 2011 (source) Cory Arcangel, Photoshop CS: 110 by 72 inches, 300 DPI, RGB, square pixels, default gradient “Yellow, Violet, Red, Teal”, mousedown y=16450...
comparative imagery: art that tells you what to...
Jeppe Hein, Please, 2008 (found on Art Stack) George Segal, Walk, Don’t Walk, 1976 (source) Martí Guixé, H!Bye Pills and Instruction Card Prototypes, 2000. (source) Hennessey Youngman, ART THOUGHTZ: How to Make an Art, 2011 Marlene Dumas, How to Kill Your Mother, 1989 (source) John Baldessari, I Will Not Make Any More Boring Art, 1971 (source)
how you should be procrastinating.
I’ve started this awful/awesome (awsomeful) habit over the last year in which I’ll watch TV in the mornings before work. Like, while I’m getting ready on a Friday morning, I can get through last night’s episodes of Community and Parks and Rec, no problem. I don’t even have cable. The internet makes it too easy! Now that all major network shows have aired all their...
jennie c. jones’ objects at the studio museum:...
Shhh is the title of one of Jennie C. Jones’ series, but it may very well be a directive: Shhh. Look. And listen. Objects, Jones’ autonomous installation within Shift at the Studio Museum in Harlem, consists of two series and a site-specific work that reveal themselves slowly. Upon first glance, the objects are unassuming, simple forms made of metal and black line. However, a few minutes of...
this week in museum education.
It’s been a good week for museum education! On May 14 at the NYCMER annual conference I learned how to write an effective art label and discovered I can transcribe historical restaurant menus. I also dined on the terrace of the New York Public Library with the technology peer group, in which we discussed our enthusiasm for and hesitations about digital media in museums. At the office,...
comparative imagery: shannon ebner.
Shannon Ebner. An image of jigs. From her web project Language Is Wild in collaboration with the Dia Art Foundation French curve (source) Hebrew script (source)
Some thoughts on HBO's Girls and race: a gchat.
Seems everybody’s talkin’ these days about Girls, the new show from HBO about 20-somethings in New York. Well, my friend Chris and I have been talking too. This chat below is an exchange of our thoughts on Girls and race, an issue that’s been getting a lot of press. Our thoughts aren’t terribly eloquent, and they need some development, but they’re a good start. ...
comparative imagery: jennie c. jones and eva...
Jennie C. Jones, Shh #2, 2010 Eva Hesse, No title, 1970
Interview with 1:1 →
I interviewed Jarrett Earnest, Leigha Mason, Alex Sloane, and Whitney Vangrin, founders of new Lower East Side project space 1:1, for Riot of Perfume.
comparative imagery: damn fine cup of coffee.
Twin Peaks Mad Men (hint: under Joan’s left hand)
Tonight, the Kitchen hosted Emergency INDEX, a new yearly journal that publishes artists’ writings on their performative work. As Yelena Gluzman put it, the book is compiled “democratically, without curation,”* or in other words, anyone can submit. The first half hour was an open house of sorts in which viewers could mingle, watch video documentations of performances, or...
jesse hulcher at interstate projects
Jesse Hulcher installation at Interstate Projects in Bushwick. A solitary silver mesh wastebasket sits on a low, white pedestal in a small room. Eric Clapton’s If I Saw You in Heaven serves as the soundtrack. Little boy: It’s just a trashcan! This is so boring! Dad: Nothing is boring. Look at the shadows! Okay, the shadows are kinda cool.
the maps we wandered into as kids. →
I think the Awl must be following my blog posts or something, because this is uncanny.
The Whitney Biennial opened today. We’ve developed some sweet-ass pages on For Kids with in-depth content on Biennial art and artists. Check. It. Out. In related news, my colleague Dina Helal and I presented on For Kids yesterday at the NAEA Pre-conference on digital learning and museums. And it was great! Loved sharing all of our work and ideas with other museum professionals. Also, all...
excuses excuses. and a bit of traveling.
I just received an email from a friend that made me turn red with shame. Subject: So Many Weeks! As in, so many weeks since I had last posted. While I cannot fully excuse my behavior, I can try to make up for it. I’ve been traveling a bit this month, and I’d like to share some favorite artworks I’ve stumbled upon. ICA Philadelphia Alexandra Navratil, Sample Frames, 2011 ...
comparative imagery: fountains.
Len Lye, Fountain III, 1976 (source) Moroccan fountain Sherrie Levine, Fountain (After Duchamp), 1991 (source) Bruce Nauman, Fountain, 1966-7 (source) Trevi fountain (source) Marcel Duchamp, Fountain, 1917 (source)
choreography for blackboards.
I arrived at the Invisible Dog Art Center after a two-drink happy hour, sans dinner, and a bit concerned that my toasty self would find it difficult to sit quietly through the entirety of Choreography for Blackboards. It turned out that I was in the perfect state for such a performance. As I entered the door, a woman greeted me with a proclamation of the rules, or lack thereof: I was welcome to...
Maurizio Cattelan and Sherrie Levine too.
A lot had already been said about the spectacle that is All, the Maurizio Cattelan retrospective on view at the Guggenheim through January 22. In defiance of traditional exhibitions, the notorious art world prankster left the spiraling galleries empty and instead hung up his sculptural works like fresh laundry from the central atrium. Viewers wind up the gallery ramps to view suicidal squirrels,...
first day of spanglish class....
…on the first day of the year. I started a new Twitter. It’s called @SpanglishClass. Y’all probably know that I love linguistics, and moreover I love sociolinguistics, bilingualism, and language variation. My fervor undoubtedly stems from my own upbringing: born in Puerto Rico to an 100% boricua family, but grew up in the great state of Maryland. This...
Y’all might know that I spend an irrational amount of time during the winter months making these lacy snowflakes. Here’s the secret, though: they’re just regular old paper flakes like the kind you made back in elementary school. Today I’m going to first show you how to make snowflakes, and then I’ll share some tips for making them all nice and lacy like mine. You can trick your friends...
comparative imagery: paul klee.
Paul Klee, Town Castle KR, 1932 (source) Aerial view of fields (source) Where’s Waldo - crusades Tangrams