Issues

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.

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.

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New Kids on the Block

Gina Siepel’s Listening Trips

New Kids on the Block

Gina Siepel’s Listening Trips

In July 2011, the artist Gina Siepel paddled down the Bronx River with four strangers. This series of excursions in the northernmost borough of New York City, along with four …

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?

Sheldon Scott. Self Portrait as John Henry (Hammer), 2014. C-print on archival paper, 38 x 26 inches, ed: 10. Courtesy of the artist and Connersmith Gallery.

Are We There Yet? A brief history of art and Black Lives Matter

Are We There Yet? A brief history of art and Black Lives Matter

Artist Sheldon Scott surveys the historical longevity of the Black Lives Matter movement in art, long before the hashtag made the issue trending.

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 …

Eadweard Muybridge. Horse galloping (Plate 626), Animal Locomotion, 1887. Collotype photograph. Courtesy of National Gallery of Art. Open access image in public domain: (PD-1923).

Picturing Motion in Photography: When Time Stands Still

Picturing Motion in Photography: When Time Stands Still

UC Berkeley professor Arthur Shimamura shares the history behind the work of early photographers Eadweard Muybridge, Harold Edgerton and Henri Cartier-Bresson, and how each used the camera to capture movement.

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 …

Laylah Ali. Untitled, 2004
Gouache on paper, 28 3/16 x 20 1/6 inches. Courtesy 303 Gallery, New York.

Inquiring Minds

Classroom Catalysts: Enabling Personal Revolutions Through Art

Inquiring Minds

Classroom Catalysts: Enabling Personal Revolutions Through Art

“What is art but a way of seeing?” —Thomas Berger Sometimes the most significant revolutions make no noise at all, happening completely within someone’s frame of mind. These individual transformations might …

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 …

Anne Sherwood Pundyk Mattituck Studio. Photo credit: Andrew Berman Architect. © Andrew Berman Architect 2015.

“The Revolution Will Be Painted” Revisited

“The Revolution Will Be Painted” Revisited

Last year, as part of ART21 Magazine’s “Revolution” issue, feminist new genre painter Anne Sherwood Pundyk rewrote the lyrics to Gil Scott-Heron’s “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” to create …

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 …

Detail of "Hands," Glenn Ligon, 1996. Production still from ART21 Exclusive film, Glenn Ligon: Layers of Meaning
© Art21, Inc. 2014

Letter from the Editor

Letter from the Editor: Unending Revolution

Letter from the Editor

Letter from the Editor: Unending Revolution

“All art is in revolution of tyranny.” —Atticus Our recent revolutionary movements feel… deflated. We tell ourselves “things aren’t that bad right?” and the fight we need to make change …

Production still from the ART21 "Art in the Twenty-First Century" Season 4 episode, "Protest," 2007. © ART21, Inc. 2007.

Flashback

Ten (More) Artists on Radicalism and Resistance

Flashback

Ten (More) Artists on Radicalism and Resistance

In last year’s November/December issue we investigated ideas of unrest and revolution, and the ways art can and has innovated in the name of change. The months that followed saw huge …

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 …

Girard Wing, Museum of International Folk Art. Photo: Erik Benjamins.

Pupsie Cola and One Hundred Thousand Glowing Beacons

Pupsie Cola and One Hundred Thousand Glowing Beacons

  The Girard Wing at the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe is louder than a New Mexican Rodeo. Two months ago, I was drawn into this place …

Saya Woolfalk. ChimaTEK Life Products, 2015; installation view, Disguise: Masks and Global African Art, 2015, Seattle Art Museum. © Seattle Art Museum. Photo: Nathaniel Willson.

Saya Woolfalk’s Happy People

Saya Woolfalk’s Happy People

In July 2015, when I encountered the installation by the New York–based artist Saya Woolfalk in the Disguise: Masks and Global African Art exhibition at the Seattle Art Museum, I felt like …

The Hypocrites. All Our Tragic, 2014 (performance still); written by Sean Graney; performed August 2–October 5, 2014, and June 20–August 16, 2015. Courtesy of The Hypocrites.

Long Live Catharsis

Long Live Catharsis

I haven’t cried since the summer before I went to college and broke up with my high-school girlfriend. And by cried, I mean like when your face starts uncontrollably heaving …

Elena Ferrante book covers, image via Amazon

Elena Ferrante’s Bad Feelings

Elena Ferrante’s Bad Feelings

Recently, I was Tinder messaging with a manarchist type (white, bespectacled, etc.) whose profile read: “Looking for the wisdom of Alice Munro in the body of Joan Didion.” A reference …

Cybertwee, "shared memory emotional infiltration" screenshot of performance. 2015. Courtesy of the artists.

Taking Care

Taking Care

During a particularly unpleasant heat wave this past summer, I had a fever dream in the middle of the day. A conversation was unfolding over my text messages with someone …

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 …

hall-of-fame

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 …

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 …

May Waver, Instagram Video Glitch, 2015, Digital Image, Courtesy of the artist

May Waver and the Sound of Sincerity

May Waver and the Sound of Sincerity

I first discovered May Waver’s work on Twitter, which makes sense. She’s an online persona, IRL online avatar, and interdisciplinary artist. Her work earnestly explores the consumption and practice of …

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 …

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 …