Category Archives: Artists

Social in Practice – Superflex

Superflex’s Hospital Equipment Goes to Gaza
—artnet News

“Casualties of recent fighting in the Gaza Strip may well find themselves undergoing surgery atop an operating table that is also an artwork. In what the three-man Danish collective Superflex calls a “readymade upside-down,” the artists organized for a museum exhibition of top-of-the-line medical equipment which then went to a setting defined less by well-heeled visitors than by life-threatening injuries.

 As a result, Al-Shifa Hospital is the beneficiary of some $90,000 worth of goods,..” read more

Faith Ringgold Looks Back on Her Life in Art, Activism, and Education

Faith Ringgold photographed in New Jersey on Nov 23, 2015. KATHERINE MCMAHON

“[I realized] I can’t tell your story, I can only tell mine. I can’t be you, I can only be me,”

An important and inspiring read with need to know history > The Storyteller: At 85, Her Star Still Rising, Faith Ringgold Looks Back on Her Life in Art, Activism, and Education

Faith Ringgold, The American People Series #20: Die, 1967.

Ringgold’s original plan had been to study art. But when she showed up at City College’s School of Liberal Arts, she was informed that it did not admit women. “They’re sitting there trying to make me understand that I cannot get a liberal arts degree there,” she said, “and I am refusing to understand. And out of it, one woman says”—Ringgold dropped her voice to a whisper—“ ‘She can do it. Let me tell you how. She can [enroll in the School of Education] and major in art.’ ”

Faith Ringgold, Tar Beach, 1988.

www.faithringgold.com

Source: The Storyteller: At 85, Her Star Still Rising, Faith Ringgold Looks Back on Her Life in Art, Activism, and Education | ARTnews

 

 

MOVING TARGETS: THE WORK OF LAURA POITRAS

Great piece from ArtForum on the Laura Poitras exhibition at the Whitney. Includes excerpts from her diaries.

MOVING TARGETS: THE WORK OF LAURA POITRAS by Stephen Squibb – artforum.com

excerpt from diaries:

By asking people to lie down in Bed Down Location, I want them to enter an empathetic space and imagine drone warfare—not simply to understand it from news articles but to ponder the sky and imagine that there is a machine flying above you that could end your life at any moment. What does that feel like? Many people in the world are living under skies where that is a reality. [read article]

Holland Cotter in the NY Times also has a good, informative review

Images from Laura Poitras’s “Anarchist” series, which are drawn from documents leaked by Edward J. Snowden.

[The title, Astro Noise, refers to the faint background disturbance of thermal radiation left over from the Big Bang and is the name Edward Snowden gave to an encrypted file containing evidence of mass surveillance by the National Security Agency that he shared with Poitras in 2013. ]

 

IS THERE LIFE ON MARS? GOODBYE TO DAVID BOWIE

Many posts on the great David Bowie and his impact on popular culture and the arts. He was fearless and one of my personal heroes “for [more than] one day.” His retrospective David Bowie is that I saw in Berlin was one of the most memorable exhibitions I have seen in recent years. He was fearless is his art, seemingly not afraid to fail by trying something new —  an inspiration.

IS THERE LIFE ON MARS? GOODBYE TO BOWIE BY JACK HALBERSTAM | Bully Bloggers
(One of best pieces I have read)

“…For me, as for so many, David Bowie represented a glittering, odd, unearthly reminder that life is about change, risk, madness and mayhem, and that while our domestic structures work hard to keep the madness at bay, we must be ready at all times to “turn and face the strange.”… “

And Bully Bloggers is a great blog to follow: “The Bully Bloggers are a queer word art group.  We write about everything queer, so, pretty much everything.  Politics, culture, etiquette, vampires, cartoons, the news, philosophy, utopia and revolution.  This blog is our Bully Pulpit; we preach to the converted, the unconverted and the indifferent.  We are very serious, but in a silly sort of way. ”

and here is a great slideshow of the many David Bowies.

And his goodbye..

W.A.G.E. ::: wo/manifesto

wo/manifesto

W.A.G.E. (WORKING ARTISTS AND THE GREATER ECONOMY) WORKS TO DRAW ATTENTION TO ECONOMIC INEQUALITIES THAT EXIST IN THE ARTS, AND TO RESOLVE THEM.

W.A.G.E. HAS BEEN FORMED BECAUSE WE, AS VISUAL + PERFORMANCE ARTISTS AND INDEPENDENT CURATORS, PROVIDE A WORK FORCE.

W.A.G.E. RECOGNIZES THE ORGANIZED IRRESPONSIBILITY OF THE ART MARKET AND ITS SUPPORTING INSTITUTIONS, AND DEMANDS AN END OF THE REFUSAL TO PAY FEES FOR THE WORK WE’RE ASKED TO PROVIDE: PREPARATION, INSTALLATION, PRESENTATION, CONSULTATION, EXHIBITION AND REPRODUCTION.

W.A.G.E. REFUTES THE POSITIONING OF THE ARTIST AS A SPECULATOR AND CALLS FOR THE REMUNERATION OF CULTURAL VALUE IN CAPITAL VALUE.

W.A.G.E. BELIEVES THAT THE PROMISE OF EXPOSURE IS A LIABILITY IN A SYSTEM THAT DENIES THE VALUE OF OUR LABOR.

AS AN UNPAID LABOR FORCE WITHIN A ROBUST ART MARKET FROM WHICH OTHERS PROFIT GREATLY, W.A.G.E. RECOGNIZES AN INHERENT EXPLOITATION AND DEMANDS COMPENSATION.

W.A.G.E. CALLS FOR AN ADDRESS OF THE ECONOMIC INEQUALITIES THAT ARE PREVALENT, AND PROACTIVELY PREVENTING THE ART WORKER’S ABILITY TO SURVIVE WITHIN THE GREATER ECONOMY.

W.A.G.E. ADVOCATES FOR DEVELOPING AN ENVIRONMENT OF MUTUAL RESPECT BETWEEN ARTIST AND INSTITUTION.

W.A.G.E. DEMANDS PAYMENT FOR MAKING THE WORLD MORE INTERESTING.

Founded in 2008, Working Artists and the Greater Economy (W.A.G.E.) is a New York-based activist organization focused on regulating the payment of artist fees by nonprofit art institutions and establishing a sustainable labor relation between artists and the institutions that contract their labor.

Chantal Akerman:

Chantal Ackerman died October 5, 2015. This post honors her.

 

Chantal Akerman: a primer | Sight & Sound | BFI

It’s a well-known fact, often rehearsed in interviews, that at the age of 15, Chantal Akerman saw Jean-Luc Godard’s Pierrot le fou (1965) and decided that her vocation was to be a filmmaker. Today, looking back over the career of this Belgian-born, mainly France-based director, we can happily conclude – and this cannot be said of everyone who makes such statements – that her own work has been worthy of the film that inspired her cinephilia. [read more]


At the age of 25, Ackerman made the film Jeanne Dielman,
23 quai du Commerce,
1080 Bruxelles (1975),
3 hours and 21 minutes,

Considered her “masterpiece,” it is a hugely innovative statement that made no concession to mainstream convention.

 


 

She also created many video installations.
Below: Chantal Ackerman, installation at the Venice Bienniale, 2015

More Links

Walid Raad

Unreliable Informants: A Walid Raad Primer [Hyperallergic]

A survey exhibition dedicated the work of Walid Raad, at the Museum of Modern Art, Oct 12, 2015-Jan 16 2016

Walid Raad was born in Lebanon in 1967, eight years before that country was rent by civil war. In a precursor to the ongoing bloodshed in Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan, the conflict dragged on for fifteen years, claiming more than 100,000 lives and creating a million refugees.

… Raad has taken up the tradition of artist-as-trickster — a role carried into modern art though the Dadaist antics of Marcel Duchamp’s transgender alter-ego, Rrose Sélavy — while reaching even farther back to the artist-as-historian-cum-fabulist. Some works trip you up and others leave you out in the cold. [ read more ]

 

Trevor Paglen

 Can an Artist Take on the Government (and Win)? A Q&A With Trevor Paglen
  Artspace

The artist and “Citizenfour” collaborator’s new show at Chelsea’s Metro Pictures is both an homage to Edward Snowden and an example of what he calls “institutional improvement.”

Trevor Paglen has tracked secret spy satellites, photographed so-called “black sites” like Area 51, cataloged hundreds of classified codes for military operations and their associated (and often bizarre) patches, and blasted images into space for the benefit of future civilizations or a visiting alien species. … Paglen approaches art with a steadfastly interdisciplinary and collaborative mindset, combining his academic training with an eye for aesthetics and a healthy dose of post-9/11 paranoia. [read interview]