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collecting, researching, photographing, and writing, plus a huge printing budget, all to create a tome that is likely out of date the moment it hits the shelf.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 theatlantic.com

Literary Water Cooler (External)

“We have a natural sense of wanting to be connected, but there are so many things that push us apart,” states Tod Bol, the founder of Little Free Library. “I think Little Free Libraries open the door to conversations we want to have with each other.”


Via artfcity.com

No One’s Looking (External)

In 1987, the words “This is not America” appeared inside an outline of the US on a Times Square billboard every six minutes. Alfredo Jaar’s A Logo for America returns August 1, but will new conditions—it screens from 11:57 pm and 12:00 am—render it futile?


Via telegraph.co.uk

Disobedient Objects (External)

From shiny inflatable “cobblestones” used during May Day protests in Berlin to radio power resistors pinned to Poles’ lapels in the Soviet Union, the V&A’s Disobedient Objects exhibition illuminates the history of protest design.


Via hyperallergic.com

Project Dispute (External)

Lauren Chief Elk, cofounder of the Save Wiyabi Project, a project that tracks disappearances and murders of indigenous women through an online database and mapping tool, is accusing a group of students at the California College of the Arts of plagiarism.


Via thenewinquiry.com

Vernacular Criticism (External)

Citing Jürgen Habermas, who wrote that the early art critic “retained something of the amateur,” Brian Droitcour looks at the potential of Yelp—for which he’s written 100 reviews of galleries and museums—to “help reset the terms of art criticism.”


Via youtube.com

Declare It (External)

“There’s no diploma in the world that declares you as an artist—it’s not like becoming a doctor,” says Kara Walker in a new Art21 video in which she gives advice to young artists. “You can declare yourself an artist and then figure out how to be an artist.”

Minnesota Art News

Via mnartists.org

Walking in Dyani White Hawk’s Moccasins

White Hawk’s “moccasin” paintings and prints offer sure-footed entry into the tangle of Native and European histories and traditions that still mark the Midwest.  More

Via mnartists.org

All Dance is Local Somewhere

Plenty of elements distinguish a thriving dance scene from one in which the occasional dance gets made, from funding to good schools, but a local language, a conversation to join—that might be the most important.  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