Walker Art Center

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Beyoncé the Readymade

By Okwui Okpokwasili September 23, 2014

“A machine, a high-powered Porsche, hip-hop technology. She consumes everything around her.” In Ralph Lemon’s Scaffold Room, this is how Beyoncé is discussed—as an overwhelming force of capital that takes over our senses. With Lemon’s work as a jumping-off point, performer Okwui Okpokwasili recently met with scholar Saidiya Hartman to discuss the iconography and cultural consumption of black women’s bodies. More

The Walker hosts the world premiere of Scaffold Room September 25–28, 2014. For more, read Bartholomew Ryan’s interview with Lemon, Okpokwasili, and April Matthis.

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Intersubjectivity in Tino Sehgal’s Art

September 16, 2014

Creating not objects but experiences, Tino Sehgal postulates that it’s possible to create art in a way that will not negatively impact the environment, produced through nothing more than the expenditure of human energy and exchanged sustainably in a free market system. His argument: that our current moment is not “an age of production of things,” but rather one of the “production of subjectivity.” More

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

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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

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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

In addition to curator Andrew Blauvelt’s reflection on Mickey Friedman, we’ve invited those who knew her best—including designer Abbott Miller, curator Ellen Lupton, and critic Martin Filler—to share their memories. Read them here.

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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.

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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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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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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.

Art News from Elsewhere More

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Via nytimes.com

Found Footage (External)

A historic find in MoMA’s archive: seven lost reels, holding the oldest extant footage for a feature with an all-black cast, present “a rare visual depiction of middle-class black characters from an era when lynchings and stereotyped black images were commonplace.”

VA

Via hyperallergic.com

China’s Mega-Museum (External)

Architect Jean Nouvel has released his plans for the forthcoming redesign of the National Art Museum of China. Twice the size of the Louvre, the facility will include an indoor garden and a design that embodies “a sense of mastery and voluntary incompleteness.”

NM

Via bbc.com

Minecraft Museum (External)

The British Museum is planning to re-create itself—exhibitions and all—in the video game Minecraft. The crowdsourced project is part of its Museum of the Future initiative, geared toward appealing to new audiences.


PA

Via observer.com

“Unsilent” Cage (External)

Paying homage to John Cage’s 4'33" MoMA and MoMA PS1 have enlisted artists Kevin Beasley, Lizzi Bougatsos, Sabisha Friedberg, and Yasunao Tone to record an album. There Will Never Be Silence will be launched at the New York Art Book Fair on September 27.

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Via nytimes.com

Super Powers (External)

“It’s time for a new superhero to fight hate crimes,” says Vishavjit Singh. Having faced racism for his religion, the Sikh artist is fighting bigotry with speeches, cartoons, and turban-tying workshops for Alfred University’s “Drawn to Diversity” program.

VA

Via hyperallergic.com

Art of Urgency (External)

Among the 310,000 attendees of Sunday’s People’s Climate March, held in advance of Tuesday’s UN Climate Summit were artists and collectives including Swoon, Papel Machete, and John Bonafede, who dragged a trashcan lid filled with dry ice for four hours.


Minnesota Art News

Via mnartists.org

Going Solo

The solo animates a dancer in obsessive, sometimes hyperbolic, always personal ways. Linda Shapiro looks into the form and talks with recent McKnight fellows about the program’s uniquely dancer-driven process of creating new work.  More

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

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

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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

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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

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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

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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