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In Vienna in 1964, the Merce Cunningham Dance Company performed the first of its Events—a collage of excerpts from existing dances that could be performed without special décor or lighting and didn’t depend on conventional stage exits and entrances. Here, art historian Hiroko Ikegami recounts the first Event to ever be videotaped: #32, performed in 1972 inside the Walker lobby and galleries. More
“Hers was a dance practice that sought to reveal itself; her simple never lacked.” With a 1973 letter between dancemaker Trisha Brown and curator Suzanne Weil as her guide, Gwyneth Shanks reflects on the legacy and passing of a choreographer with deep Walker ties. While rigorous, Brown’s work—from Accumulation (1971) to her performance drawings of 2008—“was always marked by a directness of address.” More
How do we create art that challenges capitalism? How do we shed light on those overlooked by society? Why do we make art in a culture that can be antagonistic towards it? In the forward to Sharon Louden’s new book, The Artist as Culture Producer, Hyperallergic co-founder Hrag Vartanian addresses “the renaissance taking place in the art world around the evolving relationship of artists to society.” More
Sharon Louden will be joined by Hrag Vartanian, artists Tia-Simone Gardner and Graci Horne, and Mn Artists editor Susannah Schouweiler at a March 22, 2017 discussion/book launch for The Artist as Culture Producer: Living and Sustaining a Creative Life.
“We understand how to make live dance, but what are these other bodies [the cameras and their operators] in the space going to be doing, and how are they going to render the choreography?” Charles Atlas, Rashaun Mitchell, and Silas Riener’s Tesseract merges live dance with 3-D video, the corporeal with the digital. Here they discuss the relationship between cameras and the movement they capture. More
Tesseract, by Rashaun Mitchell, Silas Riener, and Charles Atlas, will be performed March 16–18, 2017.
Why does the term “native” lose meaning south of the border? And why are some white people calling themselves “nativists”? The indigenous art collective Postcommodity (Raven Chacon, Cristóbal Martínez, and Kade L. Twist) melds poetry and prose in a powerful reflection on native self-determination, ethnic and national identity, and the year 2043—when whites are expected to become a minority in the US. More
In times when the values of a creative and inclusive society are being decidedly challenged, it is evermore important for arts organizations to affirm their values and promises to the communities they serve. On Arts Advocacy Day, director Olga Viso asserts the Walker’s mission to support an open and inclusive culture grounded in the principles of free expression and concern for the common good. More
Tom Burr’s Zog (a series of setbacks) takes its name and inspiration from a feature of Minneapolis’s Philip Johnson–designed IDS Center, the building’s zigzagging glass profile. Burr’s aim: to examine dualities of inside and outside, playing the architect’s hard-edged corporate facades against his softer domestic architecture and personal story—“a mid-century homosexual who lived in a glass house.” More
Tom Burr’s sculpture Zog (a series of setbacks) is on view through May 21, 2017, in the exhibition Question the Wall Itself.
Visitors taking in the new mural by Frank Big Bear in the Target Project Space in December were greeted by some of the art world’s newest educators—members of the Little Earth Arts Collective, a cohort of Native youth who participated in a 10-week program aimed at helping them see the arts as a viable career path and teaching valuable job skills such as organization and public speaking. More
Frank Big Bear’s The Walker Collage, Multiverse #10 is on view for one year in the Target Project Space, adjacent Esker Grove restaurant.
“Presuming that calls for censorship and destruction constitute a legitimate response to perceived injustice leads us down a very dark path.” Coco Fusco provides in-depth analysis of the protest sparked by Dana Schutz’s controversial painting of Emmett Till.
20th-century saloniste Florine Stettheimer was an “eccentric and extravagant” artist whose sensual, gender-fluid depictions were a “radical fusion of avant-garde influences.” See the work of this feminist forerunner in Walker exhibition Question the Wall Itself.
James Sewell Ballet’s new work inspired by Frederick Wiseman’s disturbing 1967 documentary Titicut Follies is an “exercise in using classical ballet to examine mental health, crime and punishment.” The March 30 premiere is prefaced by a discussion at the Walker.
“I am incensed by the ignorant assumption that working-class people, laborers, and single mothers don’t deserve, admire, or aspire to create art.” Storyteller Bil Lepp reprimands the White House for stereotyping WV coal miners as a “homogenous group of art haters.”
“I’m for cutting waste and killing worthless programs. I’m not for cutting and killing the hope and help that come from creativity.” Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee voices support for the NEA, urging his “president and friend” to reconsider fatal budget cuts.
“I cannot rightly protect a painting at the expense of human beings.” A letter signed by “Dana Schutz” urging the curators of the Whitney Biennial to remove her controversial painting of Emmett Till’s corpse from the show is a hoax, Ben Sutton reports.
In the exhibition Merce Cunningham: Common Time, artistic disciplines effortlessly traverse conventional boundaries, in much the same ways the influential choreographer did with his many collaborative partners. More
Tom Burr’s sculpture Zog (a series of setbacks), on view in the exhibition Question the Wall Itself, takes its name and inspiration from a feature of Minneapolis’s… More
Visiting a casino in the early 1980s, Ericka Beckman was struck by the “use of human value” on display: white gamblers in elevated seats placing bets on a jai-alai game played by Mexicans in a pit below. In a new interview Beckman… More
“I think that when you feel connected and you are not distracted, there is a greater possibility that you will feel joy.” As we present Thank You For Coming: Play, the second part of choreographer/director Faye Driscoll’s trilogy of… More
In 2015, the art collective Postcommodity installed 26 ten-foot balloons—giant replicas of the commercial “scare-eye” bird deterrents used by farmers and gardeners—at the US/Mexico border. Extending away from the border fence for… More
Choreographer Merce Cunningham took chances. Over a seven decade career, his explorations reshaped dance into a new kind of art form, deeply influencing visual art, film, and music along the way. Through experimental collaborations… More
A series of commissioned opinion pieces featuring provocative reactions to the headlines by artists Ron Athey, Ana Tijoux, Dread Scott, and others.
Five artists have been commissioned to create a new work that will premiere online. These works respond to the inspirations, inquiry, and influence of key artists in the Walker’s Ruben/Bentson Moving Image Collection: Derek Jarman, Bruce Conner, and Marcel Broodthaers.
In celebration of the Walker’s 75th anniversary, Martin Friedman—Walker director from 1961 to 1990—shares his reflections on encountering artists from Duchamp to Cage.
An editorial supplement to Superscript: Arts Journalism and Criticism in a Digital Age, an international conference held at the Walker Art Center May 28–30, 2015.
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In commemoration of Trisha Brown’s passing on March 18, 2017, we look to art historian Susan Rosenberg’s 2014 reflection of the unique appeal of Brown’s thinking and dance to visual artists. More
In conjunction with the exhibition Merce Cunningham: Common Time (Feb. 8–Jul. 30, 2017), we revisit this 1981 Walker interview between Cunningham and frequent collaborator, John Cage, on their approaches to chance operations. More
In celebration of Jack Whitten being honored with a National Medal of Arts on September 22, 2016, we revisit the painter’s 2015 Artist Op-Ed, a powerful personal essay on the potential for art in times of violence and injustice. More