Walker Art Center

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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.

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Alex Klein and Mark Owens on Designing Excursus

By Emmet Byrne August 5, 2014

With its two-year Excursus program, ICA Philadelphia offered “a radical proposition and a provocation to probe the boundaries of the museum,” opening up its archives, website, and mezzanine to four groups working at the intersection of design, publishing, and archiving. With a new catalogue out, the ICA’s Alex Klein and Mark Owens discuss the project’s design sensibility with the Walker’s Emmet Byrne. More

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Art News from Elsewhere More

VA

Via eff.org

EFF Honors Paglen (External)

Artist Trevor Paglen will receive an Electronic Frontier Foundation Pioneer Award, created to recognize those who help us “understand how technology and civil liberties are interwoven into our lives and … work to protect our freedom and fight abuses.”

PA

Via artnet.com

#CallUsByOurNames (External)

In front of Robert Indiana’s LOVE sculpture, Keith Wallace lay as if dead on the ground Saturday in a performance about the ways media and police “distort the reality of police violence against people of color”—a work ignored by some photo-seeking tourists.

Via artfcity.com

After Gramsci (External)

Last year, Thomas Hirschorn’s Gramsci Monument provided a creative outlet, work, and relative security in the Bronx. With the project’s funder, Dia, now having moved on, the monument’s absence brings focus to the complexities of philanthropical community-based art.


VA

Via artinamericamagazine.com

Artists Activate (External)

“I think all the visual propaganda is still coming,” says St. Louis painter Cbabi Bayoc, who reports that visual artists, poets, and musicians are activating around the protests in Ferguson, both in person on the streets and through their work.

VA

Via designboom.com

A Riverbed Within (External)

A stream of water courses through rocks and soil in a transformed gallery at Denmark’s Louisiana Museum of Modern Art. Olafur Eliasson’s Riverbed welcomes visitors to tread upon it, subverting traditional museum dynamics between viewer and artwork.

VA

Via artnews.com

Honoring Experimenters (External)

The Smithsonian American Art Museum has named nominees for its biennial James Dicke Contemporary Art Prize, created to encourage artistic experimentation. Among the 13 selected artists: Julie Mehretu, Paul Chan, Frances Stark, Theaster Gates, and Dave McKenzie.


Minnesota Art News

Via mnartists.org

Sex, Death and David Bowie

Tracy K. Smith’s poems serve as a confessional for humankind, resounding at once with the echoes of our worst deeds and our collective striving to forgive them, fueled by a hunger for faith and moral clarity.  More

Via mnartists.org

Is This the Future of Ballet?

Critic Lightsey Darst reviews new and repertory work by Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet, recently on stage at the 2014 American Dance Festival.  More

Artspeaks
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Commentary

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

FV

Commentary

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

VA

Commentary

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
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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

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Trailer

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

VA

Trailer

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

Quoted

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

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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

NM

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

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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