Walker Art Center

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The Hood Internet Remixes Dessa’s “Fighting Fish”

September 9, 2014

For a woman in the male-dominated world of hip hop, Dessa says it was “brain-scrambling” yet gratifying to hear herself as a man—or, rather, to hear her voice slowed to sound like that of a male rapper. That’s what The Hood Internet—one of eight producers asked to remix vocals from her album Parts of Speech—did with “Fighting Fish.” Here she gives the Walker an exclusive first look at the track’s new video. More


Memories of Mickey

By Olga Viso September 5, 2014

“Mickey Friedman thought with her eyes,” writes Cooper-Hewitt design curator Ellen Lupton. She is among a growing list of friends, peers, and admirers of the former Design Quarterly editor and Walker design director—from Olga Viso to designer Abbott Miller, New York Review of Books critic Martin Filler to architect James Dayton—who are sharing their memories of Friedman following news of her passing. More


Remembering Mildred “Mickey” Friedman

By Andrew Blauvelt September 4, 2014

For Mildred “Mickey” Friedman, curating design was less about acquiring objects than letting such artifacts tell stories within the galleries, “not for veneration but explication,” writes curator Andrew Blauvelt of Friedman, who passed away Sept. 3. As Design Quarterly editor and design curator for nearly 23 years, she consistently “drew upon the power of design itself to create a compelling experience.” More


Valerie Cassel Oliver: Curating What’s in Plain Sight

August 27, 2014

“I’m engaged in presenting what’s in plain sight,” says Valerie Cassel Oliver of Radical Presence, a survey of three generations of Black artists exploring the “elasticity of disciplines.” “Even in the new millennium we’re still omitting certain people from those conversations.” In curating the show, she sought to include a “trajectory” of artists, from younger makers back to those who influenced them. More

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


Dread Scott on the Killing of Michael Brown

By Dread Scott August 21, 2014

“If you’re the head of an empire and see that an unarmed youth is gunned down by the police and your advice is for people to be calm,” writes Dread Scott in his essay on Michael Brown’s death, “your rule is illegitimate.” Taking his name from the slave who unsuccessfully sued the government in a St. Louis court, Scott salutes protesters in Ferguson while decrying those who aim to control them through force. More

Dread Scott, whose work is featured in Radical Presence: Black Performance in Contemporary Art, shares his perspective as part of Artist Op-Eds, an ongoing series of essays appearing online and in print-on-demand pamphlets.


The Art of Response-ability

By Paul Schmelzer August 1, 2014

“We’re interested in this idea of taking something that is permanent, that seems incontestable, and rendering it fragile, ephemeral, open to questioning,” said Jennifer Allora, half of the art-making team Allora & Calzadilla. Ten years after the duo’s Walker residency, we republish a 2004 conversation on their early projects, including Chalk (1998), a now-iconic work just acquired for the Walker collection. More


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.

Art News from Elsewhere More


Via artnet.com

“Stand With Survivors” (External)

Artist Emma Sulkowicz’s Carry That Weight project has grown into a full-fledged movement at Columbia. Some uncomfortable encounters with reporters notwithstanding, she’s inspired hundreds of students to stage a protest over university sexual assault policies.


Via newrepublic.com

Women in Clothes (External)

“A lot of times the clothes actually determine [the personality of] the character,” says Cindy Sherman in a style discussion with Molly Ringwald, whose character in Office Killer (1997) was dressed by the artist.


Via animalnewyork.com

Post-Speculation (External)

The Yams collective has illuminated a New York gallery space with various Ferguson-related media to address police brutality and threats to personhood. The group now intends to launch thewayblackmachine.net to “archive activism around the Internet.”


Via wsj.com

Fault Lines (External)

In their new show, Allora & Calzadilla look at the unlikely juxtaposition of geology and emotions: Boys from select choir schools are instructed to climb atop rocks scattered in the gallery and angelically sing literary-sourced insults to composed music.

Via theguardian.com

Transcendent (External)

Painting and sculpting are transcendent processes; compelled by vague forces, one finishes a work and experiences a rebirth, says Anselm Kiefer, who intends his survey at the Royal Academy to be a “concentration” of his sprawling studio compound in France.


Via youtube.com

Find Your Band (External)

“A rose in a cornfield is a weed,” says experimental musician Mark Stewart of Bang on a Can, urging a reconsideration of the difference between noise and music. BOAC’s art assignment: find everyday sounds—a dryer’s whir, the hum of a light—and make music with it.

Minnesota Art News

Via mnartists.org

A Secular Sanctuary for Play

The installation Balancing Ground in downtown Minneapolis takes its cues from barn-raisings, playgrounds, and chapels to create a site for both play and quiet contemplation. Is it trying to do too much?  More

Via mnartists.org

The Warp and Weft of History

Handmade Finnish ryijy rugs offer an alternative to the tech-driven fantasy, showcasing the fertile vein of aesthetic possibilities that are, coincidentally, rooted in the myth and artistic traditions of the deep past.  More



Valerie Cassel Oliver Discusses Radical Presence

Exhibition curator Valerie Cassel Oliver of the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston discusses the development of Radical Presence: Black Performance in Contemporary ArtMore



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



Claes Oldenburg’s Geometric Mouse

Claes Oldenburg demonstrates multiple configurations of Geometric Mouse, part of the exhibition Claes Oldenburg: The Sixties at the Walker Art Center. More

Walker Channel

Dialogue / Interview

Panel Discussion: Performance in Practice

Exhibition curator Valerie Cassel Oliver, senior curator at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston (CAMH), is joined by contributing artists Adam Pendleton, Jacolby Satterwhite, and Xaviera Simmons for a lively conversation about the… More



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


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