Walker Art Center

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On Roots and Reckoning

By Catherine Damman July 21, 2014

“How we tell our histories matters just as much as what we say,” writes art historian Catherine Damman in her reflection on Radical Presence: Black Performance in Contemporary Art. Noting that the exhibition’s artists—representing three generations—are in constant dialogue, she observes that the contributors all “share a fiercely devoted and yet deeply interrogative relation to history.” More

Radical Presence: Black Performance in Contemporary Art is on view July 24, 2014–January 4, 2015.

Surrogate Performances

July 14, 2014

“Performance documentation brought the world it described into being through its own declarations.” Philip Auslander links history with language in an investigation of the intentions behind the documentation of early performance art, noting that the resulting images become themselves singular assertions. More

This essay appears in On Performativity, volume one of The Living Collections Catalogue.


James Bridle: The Siege on Citizenship

By James Bridle July 7, 2014

“The cloud renders geography irrelevant,” writes James Bridle, “until you realize that everything that matters, everything that means you don’t die, is based not only on which passport you possess, but on a complex web of definitions of what constitutes that passport.” The case of Mohamed Sakr, a man deprived of his UK citizenship and later killed by a US drone, shows how such definitions are under attack. More

London-based artist James Bridle kicks off Artist Op-Eds, our new series featuring artists’ reactions to the news.


Rethinking Collections Publishing for the Digital Age

By Paul Schmelzer July 2, 2014

For many in the museum world, the term scholarly collections catalogue can conjure daunting impressions: a book about a museum’s holdings, it involves years of collecting, researching, photographing, and writing, plus a huge printing budget, all to create a tome that is likely out of date the moment it hits the shelf. Enter The Living Collections Catalogue, the Walker’s new serial online publication. More

On Performativity, the first volume of The Living Collections Catalogue is now online.


Two Days of Rock the Garden in Four Minutes

June 25, 2014

Lizzo offers the soundtrack to our Rock the Garden 2014 time-lapse with “Batches and Cookies” as we compress the sun-filled two-day festival—featuring Lizzo, Jeremy Messersmith, Best Coast, Matt and Kim, De La Soul, Valerie June, Kurt Vile, Dessa, Guided by Voices, and Spoon—into just shy of four minutes.  More


Making the “Best Cat Video on the Internet”

By Kristina Fong June 13, 2014

In the bottomless pit of cat videos that is the Internet, Henri 2: Paw de Deux was in 2012 named the very best of them all. Filmmaker Will Braden, the video’s creator and incoming curator of the 2014 Internet Cat Video Festival, discusses that distinction, the current landscape of viral cat videos, and how the ennui-prone Henri stands out in a growing crowd of “celebricats.” More

The 2014 Internet Cat Video Festival will be held be held August 14, 2014, as part of Open Field. Voting for the Golden Kitty is open now through July 18, 2014.


The Fine Art of Putt-Putt

By Emylisa Warrick May 30, 2014

This summer offers another chance to practice your swing at Walker on the Green: Artist-Designed Mini Golf. Part of the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden has transformed into an 18-hole course comprised of two 9-hole circuits. The 29 artists, architects, collaborative teams, and mini-golf mavens have created a fun and challenging tour full of constellations, friend-or-foe gameplay, and imaginative design. More

Walker on the Green: Artist-Designed Mini Golf is open daily through September 1, 2014.


Laugh at Death

By Paul Schmelzer April 18, 2014

As spring reminds us of the life/death/life cycle, a new work in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden stands as a marker of such transitions. The clapperless bell in Kris Martin’s For Whom… offers a silent meditation on time’s passage. Here the Belgian artist discusses the work; his use of humor, absence, and shock (or the lack thereof); and a favorite film, fittingly, Monty Python’s The Meaning of LifeMore

Kris Martin’s For Whom … is on view in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden.

Art News from Elsewhere More


Via vulture.com

Evading the Spotlight (External)

Boris Kachka narrates Harper Lee’s decline in Monroeville, Alabama, a town whose setting and residents brought To Kill a Mockingbird to life, but also became a place “whose only claim to fame was [Lee’s] fame—a fame she claimed to despise.”


Via knightarts.org

Equality Dance (External)

Behavioral artist Marcus Young calls it “dancing your inner life in public.” On Aug. 1, the artists of his Grace Minnesota project will dance in Minneapolis’ Peavey Plaza to celebrate the first anniversary of the legalization of same-sex marriage.


Via artfcity.com

Touching the Art (External)

“I always thought art was about truth and beauty, was I just being a dumb idiot?” In its inaugural episode, the parody webseries Touching the Art discusses “Franco-ian Art,” sexism, and art’s definition with guests Bettina Korek, Jorie Finkel, and Catherine Opie.


Via npr.org

Conflicts of Color (External)

“What happens when the workshop pits a person of color’s lived experience against a white perspective of how that experience should read on the page?” writes Matthew Salesses. “For a writer of color, the defense of one’s work can become a defense of the self.”


Via nytimes.com

Latent Legacy (External)

Legendary choreographer Merce Cunningham’s legacy lives on with performances by European dance companies. But the US, and New York in particular, is lagging behind, writes Alistair Macaulay, due to “unadventurous programming.”


Via latimes.com

Happenings Archive (External)

The Getty Research Institute has acquired Robert McElroy’s full archive of photos of “Happenings” in New York in the ’50s and ’60s. The more than 700 prints and 10,000 negatives include documentation of artists such as Allan Kaprow, Jim Dine, and Claes Oldenburg.

Minnesota Art News

Via mnartists.org

What’s So Funny?

This month’s What’s So Funny? comedy podcast features Brave New Workshop veteran Lauren Anderson talking shop about writing sketch comedy and improv.  More

Via mnartists.org

Takeaways from Dance/USA 2014

With audiences in decline, it’s clear the dance world needs to continually make a case for social and cultural relevance. But how?  More



Obliterating the Frame: Steve McQueen on Art and Film

“I never tried to do anything to make my films friendly.” From his start in Britain’s video art scene in the 1990s to his first feature film in 2008 to the Oscar-nominated 12 Years a Slave, Steve… More



Geoff McFetridge’s Site Fence Mural

Geoff McFetridge’s art has graced nearly every kind of surface—from Nike sneakers to toast (for a music video by OK Go). Now it appears on the Walker’s construction fencing, through a commission as part of our Insights Design… More



Job Wouters’ HOME Mural

Captured in time-lapse, here’s Amsterdam-based artist/designer Job Wouters—better known as Letman—creating his hand-painted Home mural in the Walker lobby. More

Walker Channel


Radical Presence: Black Performance in Contemporary Art

This groundbreaking exhibition is the first comprehensive survey of performance art by black artists working from the perspective of the visual arts from the 1960s to the present. More



Art Expanded, 1958–1978

Drawn from the Walker’s extensive collection of artworks, films, archival materials, and ephemera, this exhibition explores the many facets of the so-called “expanded arts” scene of the 1960s and ’70s, charting a transformational phase in the history of 20th-century… More



Performing Arts 2014-2015 Season Trailer

In 2014 and 2015, we celebrate the Walker Art Center’s 75th anniversary as a public art center by looking both forward and back. The performing arts season features multiple commissions, residencies, and world premieres from… More


Ongoing Series

Artist Op-Eds

A series of commissioned opinion pieces featuring provocative reactions to the headlines by artists James Bridle, Liz Deschenes, Liam Gillick, Metahaven, and others.

9 Artists

In 10 chapters, curator Bartholomew Ryan presents his keystone essay “If You Are Willing: The Army of the Individuals” from the 9 Artists catalogue.

Lowercase P

An election-year series on personal politics and the way artists contribute to the conversation on making a better society.

From the Archives


Via walkerart.org

Sturtevant in Conversation with Peter Eleey

In a rare 2009 conversation, Sturtevant—who passed away in May 2014—discusses her repetitions of works by Warhol, Beuys, and others, as well as the discourse on “dangerous potent power” of our cybernetic world.  More


Please Change Beliefs

For her first art foray online, Jenny Holzer brought her iconic text-based work to the web in 1995, presenting five series of works (truisms, living, survival, inflammatory essays, laments). More


Philip Bither

Trisha Brown: From Falling and Its Opposite, and All the In-Betweens

Philip Bither highlights some of Trisha Brown’s less-recognized but tremendously influential dance innovations, from aerial movement inventions to equipment-based performance. More