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Installation detail, seen from Mexico, showing one of the balloons that comprise the Repellent Fence / Valla Repelente in relationship to the US border fence.  In this image the US Border Fence reflects the sunlight at dusk. Photo by Michael Lundgren. Courtesy of Postcommodity.

“Repellent Fence / Valla Repelente”

“Repellent Fence / Valla Repelente”

Continuing their exploration of contested spaces, Postcommodity recently presented Repellent Fence / Valla Repelente, the largest bi-national land art installation ever exhibited on the US/Mexico border. The temporary, two-mile-long fence …

Thomas Smillie. Untitled, 1890. Cyanotype. Source: Smithsonian Institution Archives.

Janitor for the Nation

Janitor for the Nation

“Imagine that this museum is a nation, and inside this nation is a museum.” That idea inspired this experimental text, in which each exhibition is envisioned as its own sovereign state.

Still from Continuity (2012)
Production still from the series ART21 Exclusive. © ART21, Inc. 2015. Artwork courtesy: Omer Fast, Arratia Beer, Dvir Gallery & gb Agency

Omer Fast Interrupts “Continuity”

Omer Fast Interrupts “Continuity”

“Those moments are magical in film—when we have a pure linear motion that approaches something and reveals it—but I’m interested in the stuff that gets in the way.” — Omer …

Guerrilla Girls, 2015.

How to use the F-word in 2016: The Guerrilla Girls Twin Cities Takeover

How to use the F-word in 2016: The Guerrilla Girls Twin Cities Takeover

Museum director Megan Johnston shares the inside scoop on organizing the Guerrilla Girls Twin Cities Takeover, a series of exhibitions and events throughout Minnesota from January to March 2016.

From left to right: Tammam Azzam's Syrian Museum: Gustav Klimt's The Kiss (Freedom Graffiti), archival print, 2013; Sara Shamma's Untitled, oil and acrylic on canvas, 2014; Kevork Mourad's The Last Prayer, acrylic on paper, 2014.

Confronting Crisis: An Interview with Syrian Artists Tammam Azzam, Sara Shamma & Kevork Mourad

Confronting Crisis: An Interview with Syrian Artists Tammam Azzam, Sara Shamma & Kevork Mourad

These three Syrian artists left their homes behind, and their bodies of work have been forever changed by the war that’s tearing their nation apart. In this extended interview we find answers to the question: What is life like as a refugee and artist?

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Introducing ART21 Educators: Year 6

Introducing ART21 Educators: Year 6

Today ART21 is opening applications to Year 6 of our year-long professional development initiative, ART21 Educators. The program is designed to support K-12 educators interested in bringing contemporary art, artists …

Calley Skalnik and Félix Paquet in Orpheus Becomes Eurydice. Photo by Don Lee. Courtesy of The Banff Centre.

Representing Gender for Ballet’s Next Generation

Representing Gender for Ballet’s Next Generation

Ballet is perhaps the most gendered of all art forms. Male and female dancers are trained differently from an early age and are expected to emerge in the profession with …

Nira Pereg, ISHMAEL, 2014-2015, (Still from Video). Four Channel HD Video Installation with Sound
10:44 min. Courtesy of Braverman Gallery and the artist.

Movement and Stillness in Nira Pereg’s “Ishmael”

Movement and Stillness in Nira Pereg’s “Ishmael”

Nira Pereg’s four-channel video installation Ishmael (2015), was filmed in the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron, the West Bank’s largest city. Holy for both Muslims and Jews, the Cave …

Nira Pereg, ISHMAEL, 2014-2015. Courtesy of Braverman Gallery and the artist.

Letter from the Editor

Letter from the Editor: Chen Tamir

Letter from the Editor

Letter from the Editor: Chen Tamir

“Aptitude for war is aptitude for movement,” said Napoleon, as quoted by Paul Virilio in his book, Speed and Politics.1 Virilio explains that “violence can be reduced to nothing but movement.”2 …

Omer Fast

Omer Fast Distills Broadcasted Anxiety

Omer Fast Distills Broadcasted Anxiety

“What have we done to deserve this? What could we have done to prevent it from happening? What can we learn?” — CNN Concatenated (2002) Today’s ART21 Exclusive features Omer Fast …

Allora & Calzadilla
"Hope Hippo," 2005
Mud, whistle, daily newspaper, and live person, approximately 16 x 6 x 5 feet. Installation view: 51st Venice Biennale. 
Courtesy the artists.

Booked

Still Reading by the Fire

Booked

Still Reading by the Fire

Most of this past year’s proposed radical agendas contain nothing that’s actually revolutionary or visionary. Politicians, theocrats, and profiteers campaign on platforms of retroactive change: ideological preservation, religious orthodoxy. ‘A …

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Jaimie Warren Is A Total Character

Jaimie Warren Is A Total Character

In a new “New York Close Up” film, artist Jaimie Warren as recreates a wild array of pop culture characters for her photographic and video work.

Titus Kaphar. Sacrifice (Diptych), 2011. Oil on canvas, 73 x 52 x 2 1/2 inches.

Dismantling History: An Interview with Titus Kaphar

Dismantling History: An Interview with Titus Kaphar

A canvas curtain slips from its place of prestige, revealing another that’s hidden beneath. The folds of a Thomas Jefferson portrait gracefully fall, and behind it we see an African …

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Louise Despont According to the Universe

Louise Despont According to the Universe

In a new “New York Close Up” film, artist Louise Despont peruses a vast reference library of collected images in her Tribeca studio.

Graciela Iturbide Pedro Meyer

Politics and Dignity in Graciela Iturbide’s Photographs

Politics and Dignity in Graciela Iturbide’s Photographs

“Politics are already implied when I’m working in Mexico. I don’t have to say ‘Look, what injustice!’ because it would be sensationalized.” — Graciela Iturbide Artist Graciela Iturbide discusses her personal and …

Josiah McElheny painting in his Brooklyn, NY studio. 
Production still from the series ART21 Exclusive. © ART21, Inc. 2015. Cinematography: Jarred Alterman.

Josiah McElheny Sees Potential in Painting

Josiah McElheny Sees Potential in Painting

“Abstraction – in its potential hopefulness for imagining a different world or imagining a world that’s not absolutely apparent – can tie us together.” — Josiah McElheny Today’s ART21 Exclusive features …

Kate Cooper, "Rigged" (2014/2015). Digital prints, looped HD video with sound, 6:22 min. Image via K-Period.

How to be Happy: An Art Guide

How to be Happy: An Art Guide

Guess who’s happy all the time? Not many artists. While on the happiness scale artists may rank somewhere between a dog without a bone and an emo kid’s Livejournal, don’t …

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Pursuit of Distraction: Internet Cats as Anti-FOMO

Pursuit of Distraction: Internet Cats as Anti-FOMO

Cats comprise some of the most popular content on the Internet. This is a well-documented phenomenon, but its precise reason has remained elusive. Cat culture came into its own in …

Artist Lucas Blalock in his Greenpoint studio, Brooklyn, NY, 2015. Production still from the ART21 "New York Close Up" film "Lucas Blalock's Digital Toolkit". Graphics by Lucas Blalock & Rafael Salazar. © ART21, Inc. 2015.

Lucas Blalock’s Digital Toolkit

Lucas Blalock’s Digital Toolkit

Artist Lucas Blalock creates uncanny pictures using simple tools in Photoshop in the latest “New York Close Up” film.

Still from the video "TK

Godflesh

Godflesh

Tinder presupposes that one can find happiness in not having to commit to anything because one is willing to commit to everything. Becoming meat, from this perspective, is not degradation so much as liberation from some of the ordinary constraints of the real world, the “meatspace.”

Alicia Eler. Smiley, 2015. Photo taken in Eler’s parents’ house in Skokie, IL.

Letter from the Editor

Letter from the Editor: Alicia Eler

Letter from the Editor

Letter from the Editor: Alicia Eler

When I was twelve years old, I remember seeing it: my first smiley face. It was gigantic and bright yellow, hanging on the exterior brick wall of a car dealership, …

Eve Bathroom Selfie lol (2015)

The Happy Artist

The Happy Artist

If you’re constantly suffering, how can you make art that thoughtfully reflects on suffering? To make art that is personal, good, and potentially curative, you, my dear artist, need to …

Erin Wiersma. Selection from the Examen series, 2015; dispersed pigment on paper; 31 x 33 inches. Courtesy of the artist. © Erin Wiersma.

Still Points in Erin Wiersma’s Drawings

Still Points in Erin Wiersma’s Drawings

In June, I visited the studio of Erin Wiersma at the Two Coats of Paint Residency in the neighborhood of Downtown Brooklyn. Sharon Butler—artist, writer, and founder of the Two Coats …

Lars von Trier. Nymphomaniac: Volume I, 2013 (film still). © Lars von Trier.

Dogma (9 to 5)

Dogma (9 to 5)

Sincerity is almost always associated with goodness. A sincere person is understood to be earnest, honest, and straightforward. It is assumed he or she will not lie, cheat, or steal; …

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Sincerity’s Checkered Past

Sincerity’s Checkered Past

I’m thinking about sincerity and the fact that it has had such a checkered past in Western culture, going in and out of vogue. At times, sincerity has been lauded …

Artist Caroline Woolard speaking at the inaugural meeting of the New York City Real Estate Investment Cooperative (Middle Collegiate Church, East Village, 4.28.15). Production still from the series, ART21 New York Close Up. Cinematography by Rafael Salazar. © ART21, Inc. 2015.

Caroline Woolard Flips the Real Estate Script

Caroline Woolard Flips the Real Estate Script

An introduction to the latest “New York Close Up” film from series co-creator/co-producer Nick Ravich and artist Caroline Woolard .

1.	Constance Hockaday. From All These Darlings and Now Us, 2014. Selection from project documentation; dimensions variable. Courtesy Southern Exposure, San Francisco. © Constance Hockaday.

By Invitation Only

By Invitation Only

In 2009, Theaster Gates purchased the first of several vacant properties that would become the site for Dorchester Projects, on the South Side of Chicago. It was both an act …

Summer Wheat, "A Lady's Dinner." Oil paint and gorilla glue, on a dinner plate. 11" diameter. Copyright Summer Wheat.

Passing Through

Passing Through

In my early twenties, I took Greyhound buses across the country, outfitted with my cassette tapes and philosophy books, in search of meaning.  Traveling through North Dakota, I sat next …

Damali Abrams, 2015. A sticker seen on 125th Street, on the way to an artist talk at the Studio Museum in Harlem, representing the Very Black Project, a contemporary Black pride movement spearheaded by André D. Singleton and Justin Lee Fulton, which spreads a message of empowerment through social media, stickers, and T-shirts. Courtesy Damali Abrams. © Damali Abrams

The Sincerest Form of #BlackJoy May Be Art, but Who Can Say for Sure?

The Sincerest Form of #BlackJoy May Be Art, but Who Can Say for Sure?

The artist talk is a peculiar form of presentation, a sincere attempt to communicate something beyond the work of art. For most artists, the artwork itself is the language. Artists …

Nicole Eisenman. The Triumph of Poverty, 2009. Oil on canvas, 65 x 82 inches. Courtesy the artist, Anton Kern Gallery, New York, and Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects. © Nicole Eisenman.

Irony, Sincerity…Is There a Third Pill?

Irony, Sincerity…Is There a Third Pill?

I will begin with a quote from Eric Fischl: “There’s nothing insincere about irony.” I couldn’t agree more. And I can’t bear the presumed opposition any longer. Can’t sincerity and …

Swarovski Crystal, New Hampshire, 2015. Photograph: Jacquelyn Gleisner.

Letter from the Editor

Letter from the Editor, Jacquelyn Gleisner

Letter from the Editor

Letter from the Editor, Jacquelyn Gleisner

I want to tell you about the most sincere guy I’ve ever known. In 2004, when I was an art student at Boston University, I responded to a part-time job …

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Makeup and Birdcalls

Makeup and Birdcalls

Makeup Back in the 1950s—though it could have happened yesterday—the artist Marisol was invited to be on a panel with four older and more-established male artists. The first brilliant thing …

Artist Jamian Juliano-Villani in her Bedford-Stuyvesant studio, Brooklyn, NY, 2015. Production still from the ART21 "New York Close Up" film "Jamian Juliano-Villani's Painting Compulsion". © ART21, Inc. 2015.

Jamian Juliano-Villani’s Painting Compulsion

Jamian Juliano-Villani’s Painting Compulsion

Filmed in her Bedford-Stuyvesant studio, artist Jamian Juliano-Villani uses a digital projector to create surreal paintings and discusses the graphic source material that inspires her.

Arlene Shechet arranging plaster sculptures in her New York City studio. Production still from the series ART21 "Exclusive". © ART21, Inc. 2015. Cinematography: Rafael Salazar.

Arlene Shechet Sculpts Time

Arlene Shechet Sculpts Time

Arlene Shechet discusses a series of plaster sculptures that she created over the course of six years in the mid-1990s, following the death of a close friend.

A wet paper sheet being cast over rubber molds at Dieu Donné in New York City.
Production still from the series ART21 Exclusive. © ART21, Inc. 2015.  Cinematography: Ian Forster.

Arlene Shechet Reveals the Unseen

Arlene Shechet Reveals the Unseen

“The thing that’s unseen is sometimes way more interesting than what people want you to see.” —Arlene Shechet In the first of two new ART21 Exclusive episodes featuring Arlene Shechet, …

A model posing for a painting by Aliza Nisenbaum.
Production still from the series ART21 Exclusive. © ART21, Inc. 2015.  Courtesy the artist.

Tania Bruguera and the Art of Empowerment

Tania Bruguera and the Art of Empowerment

“The idea of sitting face to face, it’s a very intimate experience. Having a model and painting them always makes people open up.” —Aliza Nisenbaum Today’s ART21 Exclusive features Immigrant Movement …