Walker Art Center

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The Fuse Merged with the Firecracker

By Doug Benidt & Siri Engberg July 28, 2016

“It was the pen hitting the paper, the fuse merged with the firecracker.” Grant Hart recalls the August night 35 years ago when Hüsker Dü took to the tiny stage at Minneapolis’s 7th St. Entry to record Land Speed Record. Today, as Yusif Del Valle re-records his drum track as part of the exhibition Chris Larson: Land Speed Record, Hart shares the history of the making of this seminal punk album. More

In conjunction with the exhibition Chris Larson: Land Speed Record, Grant Hart launches Summer Music & Movies 2016 on August 1 with a free concert, followed by a screening of A Hard Day’s Night, in Loring Park.

Fatha Jazz Bordeaux: Ballroom is Not for Sale

By Alison Kozberg July 27, 2016

Many people first encountered voguing—or the ballroom scene it emerged from—through Madonna’s “Vogue” or Jennie Livingston’s Paris is Burning. But as Fatha Jazz, founder of the Twin Cities’s House of Bordeaux, says, the ball is only a fraction of what ballroom is—a vital support network for LGBT people of color: “It’s as much a response to our state of being as Black Lives Matter or the NAACP.” More

The Flaming Lips Perform “Race for the Prize”

By Paul Schmelzer July 18, 2016

Smoke guns and confetti cannons were out in full force during the final set of Rock the Garden 2016—and videographer Chuck Olsen of Visual was there to capture the experience in immersive, 360-degree video. Watch as Wayne Coyne (in a fur coat and duct-tape pants) and the Flaming Lips perform the single “Race for the Prize,” off the 1999 album The Soft BulletinMore

Rock the Garden 2016 was held June 18, 2016.

Colors Don’t Exist: A Poetic Response to “Skin Set”

By Erin Sharkey June 30, 2016

“How can color be trusted anyway? It changes depending on weather. It changes when another leans in close and kisses its ear.” Poet Erin Sharkey responds to William Pope.L’s “Skin Set Drawings.” Using common materials like markers and pens, Pope.L makes declarative statements about people of various colors (white, black, green, blue), offering sharp commentary on the absurdity of language about color and race. More

William Pope.L’s “Skin Set Drawings” are on view in Less Than One through December 31, 2016.

Mark Manders: Self-Portrait as a Building

By Misa Jeffereis June 15, 2016

Checking in on the progress of Mark Manders’s commission for the renovated Minneapolis Sculpture Garden—one of 16 new works to be unveiled in 2017 and the artist’s first major public artwork in the US—Misa Jeffereis visits the artist’s studio in Ronse, Belgium. There, she witnesses the process behind Manders’s uncanny bronzes and experiences first-hand the artist’s “self-portrait as a building.” More

For more on the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden’s renovation, visit walkerart.org/campus.

Chris Larson, Hüsker Dü, and Land Speed Record

By Siri Engberg June 8, 2016

On August 15, 1981, Hüsker Dü ran through a blistering set at downtown Minneapolis’s 7th St Entry, recording 17 songs in 26 minutes to create the punk trio’s debut album Land Speed Record. Thirty-five years later, artist Chris Larson channels that energy in an immersive installation that reflects on memory, loss, and the fire-damaged remains of Hüsker Dü drummer Grant Hart’s childhood home. More

Chris Larson: Land Speed Record is on view June 9, 2016–January 8, 2017.

A Lexicon for Ordinary Pictures in the Internet Age

By Eva Respini May 31, 2016

Digital technology enables us to create, duplicate, alter, disseminate, and appropriate images like never before. In this “somewhat arbitrary, and decidedly personal, lexicon of how we might navigate the unruly landscape of ordinary pictures in the age of the Internet,” Eva Respini introduces concepts and artists—from “JPEG” to “Post-Internet”—that help define our changing relationship to images. More

Ordinary Pictures is on view February 27–October 9, 2016.

Petrified Unrest: Paul Chan on Sade for Sade’s Sake

By Fionn Meade May 25, 2016

In Paul Chan’s installation Sade for Sade’s sake, jittering figures, silhouetted on a wall of pallets and toy guns, perform violent and sexual acts. Created in the wake of revelations of abuse at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo, it speaks to a state of paralyzed anxiety Chan calls “petrified unrest.” Here he discusses the work’s relationship to religion, philosophy, and today’s Trumpian rhetoric. More

Paul Chan’s Sade for Sade’s sake (2009) is on view in Less Than One through December 31, 2016.

Art News from Elsewhere More

Via kidsinterviewbands.com

Pip & Wayne (External)

“I could probably eat my weight in ice cream.” Talking with Kids Interview Bands, Wayne Coyne of Rock the Garden 2016 headliner the Flaming Lips discusses spirit animals, weird facial expressions, Yo Gabba Gabba’s DJ Lance, and more.

Via hammer.ucla.edu

Candy-Coded (External)

Guthrie Lonergan’s intervention on the Hammer Museum’s website—a pop-up in which M&M characters are randomly paired with text from online artist statements—is sparking mixed reactions. The artist (who’s part of our Ordinary Pictures show) discusses the project.

Via pollenmidwest.org

Remembering Philando (External)

Twenty-five Twin Cities artists—including Leslie Barlow, DA Bullock, Jayanthi Kyle, Junauda Petrus, Dameun Strange, and Sarah White—offer up “a community portrait of grief, protest, power, and love” following the July 6 killing of Philando Castile by police.

Via squarepusher.net

MIDI sans Frontières (External)

Defying “the bigotry threatening the fragile connections that exist between us all,” Squarepusher has launched an “internationalist collaboration”: he’s giving away the track, sheet music, and stems for his new anti-Brexit work for use by musicians everywhere.

Via latimes.com

LA Gardens (External)

“As a work of wry activism, it is quite charming—even subversive.” For the biennial Current: LA Water, Mel Chin is giving away blueprints so Angelenos can create a work of land art—water-conserving gardens of native plants—on their properties.

Via wnyc.org

All Together Now (External)

“I wish I could be in some place where people knew how to sing together,” says Bill T. Jones in a discussion on art and civic unrest with poet Claudia Rankine. “As Fannie Lou Hamer said, it’s harder for people to kill you when you’re singing together.”

Minnesota Art News

Via mnartists.org

Arranging More Than Flowers

Pao Houa Her’s photos of young Hmong women and silk flower arrangements subtly comment on desire and beauty through images that are alluring and, at the same time, rife with imperfection. More

Via mnartists.org

Into the Heart of Darkness

Black steers all varieties of brightness into the shade, deepening lighter hues. Likewise, we can begin to see the random and formless as virtues. It is from this dark formlessness that Caroline Kent’s paintings emerge. More



Amanda Ross-Ho on OMEGA and Her Creative Origins

For her contribution to Ordinary Pictures, Amanda Ross-Ho worked with movie industry prop fabricators to create a large-scale, hand-made replica of the photo enlarger she remembers her parents, both artists, using when she was a… More


Andrea Büttner’s Piano Destructions

“There are many ways to destroy a piano,” says Andrea Büttner of Piano Destructions (2014), a video installation that presents interventions by (largely male) artists alongside footage of women pianists performing Chopin, Schumann, and… More


On Curation, Care, and Andrea Büttner’s Moss Garden

“Caretaking is where the word ‘curating’ comes from. Curare means to take care—to care for something outside one’s self.” German artist Andrea Büttner, Walker Artistic Director Fionn Meade, and Walker… More

Walker Channel


Lee Kit Documentary

The first US solo museum exhibition of artist Lee Kit (b. 1978) features work from the past five years, including an ambitious 13-channel video installation acquired by the Walker—I can’t help falling in love (2012)—alongside a newly commissioned site-specific… More


Performing Arts 2016-2017 Season Trailer

Inspired by the spirit of openness and experimentation of Merce Cunningham and John Cage—and anchored by the multidisciplinary exhibition Merce Cunningham: Common Time—the 2016/2017 performing arts season brings global… More

Dialogue / Interview

Opening-Day Artist Talk: Chris Larson and Grant Hart

Join artist Chris Larson, Hüsker Dü drummer and co-songwriter Grant Hart, and exhibition curators Siri Engberg and Doug Benidt for a discussion about Larson’s work and the development of Land… More


Ongoing Series

Superscript Reader

Five artists have each been commissioned to create a new work that will premiere online. These works respond to the inspirations, inquiry, and influence of three key artists in the Walker’s Ruben/Bentson Moving Image Collection: Derek Jarman, Bruce Conner, and Marcel Broodthaers.

Superscript Reader

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.

Artist Op-Eds

A series of commissioned opinion pieces featuring provocative reactions to the headlines by artists Ron Athey, Ana Tijoux, Dread Scott, and others.

Art (re)Collecting

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.

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

Growing the Garden

As we break ground on an expansion to the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, we revisit a 1988 Design Quarterly account of the birth of this iconic art park by former director Martin Friedman, who passed away May 9, 2016.  More

By Liz Glass

The Moment of Enlightenment Is a Sound

In commemoration of the life and legacy of filmmaker, visual artist, musician, and inventor Tony Conrad, who passed away in April 2016, a look at the artist’s quest for a “new musical culture.” More

Charlotte Cotton

Pop and the Traveling Image

With the Walker’s International Pop now on view at the Philadelphia Museum of Art we revisit this discussion on the role of the traveling mass-produced image during the 20th century. More