Walker Art Center

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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.

Lee Kit and the Fleetingness of Feelings

By Victoria Sung May 22, 2016

“People don’t often talk about emotions, particularly in art,” says Lee Kit. “They talk about concepts and ideas, but emotions are also very important.” A meditation on the fleeting nature of feelings, Lee’s first US solo show invites viewers into an intimate space suffused with the melody of Elvis’s “Can’t Help Falling in Love,” encouraging us to hold our breaths, dance slowly, and indulge in a feeling. More

Hold your breath, dance slowly is on view through October 9, 2016.

7 Genders, 7 Typographies

By Riley Hooker May 19, 2016

Positioning “gender hackers” as radical innovators in the ongoing design of the human, Façadomy editor Riley Hooker invited boundary-pushing graphic designers to reflect on gender through typographic metaphor. Here Hooker, Lobregat Balaguer, Ely Kim, Nontsikelelo Mutiti, Mylinh Trieu Nguyen, Ksenya Samaskaya, and Andrew Sloat respond to the seven genders defined by sexologist Esben Esther P. Benestad. More

Meredith Monk: Getting Down to the Bones

By Deborah Jowitt May 18, 2016

What thread runs through Meredith Monk’s works in film, music-theater, and dance over the past half century? “A sense of multidimensionality,” she tells Deborah Jowitt. “And an attempt to get down to the bones of the form.” Revisited in commemoration of her 50th anniversary as an artist, this 1998 conversation goes deep into the inspirations, processes, and experimentation that have defined Monk’s iconic career. More

Meredith Monk’s 16 Millimeter Earrings (1966/1998) is on view through December 31 in the exhibition Less Than One.

Remembering Martin Friedman (1925–2016)

By Joan Rothfuss May 9, 2016

Martin Friedman, Walker Art Center director from 1961 to 1990, has passed away at age 90. In commemoration of his pivotal role in shaping the Walker’s values, vision, and future, curator Joan Rothfuss shares her perspective on Friedman’s life and legacy—from his keen curation to his transformation of the Walker into a “laboratory for artists” to the vision that brought us the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. More

A Definitive History of Rock the Garden

By Paul Schmelzer & Emily Sortor May 6, 2016

Launched in 1998, Rock the Garden has gone through plenty of changes—from an intermittent, on-the-street jam to a 10,000-fan party on the Walker’s hillside, a two-day festival to, in 2016, a one-day, two-stage affair at Boom Island Park. Here’s an authoritative look back at the varied and vibrant history of what’s traditionally been considered the launch of the Twin Cities’ summer concert season. More

Rock the Garden 2016 takes place Saturday, June 18 at Boom Island Park.

The Peripheral, the Edges, the Off-Screen

By Victoria Sung May 2, 2016

“I view the frame of the image not as a window into something but more like a surface across which sensations pass.” In conversation with Victoria Sung, James Richards discusses the space-creating capabilities of sound, the sensuality of different ways of looking, and his film Rosebud (2013), which explores these ideas through documentation of “obscene” art obscured by censors with sandpaper. More

James Richards’s Radio at Night (2015) can be viewed online on the Walker Channel through May 31. It is also on view, along with Rosebud (2013), in the exhibition Less Than One.

The Post-Revolutionary Future of Born in Flames

By Alison Kozberg April 27, 2016

Imagining political activism ten years after a “social-democratic war of liberation,” Lizzie Borden’s futurist, sci-fi film Born in Flames (1983) was shot using guerrilla documentary techniques, found news footage, and music by Red Krayola and the lesbian rock group The Bloods. Three decades later, Borden discusses art, political filmmaking, and the still-unresolved issues of race and gender at the film’s core. More

Lizzie Borden’s Born in Flames screens April 30, 2016, as part of the series Downtown New York: 1970s and 1980s Art and Film.

Art News from Elsewhere More

Via placesjournal.org

Multilevel Metropolis (External)

Skyways, “grade-separated pedestrian systems” in global cities from Mumbai to Minneapolis, have “radically altered the form and spatial logic of cities around the world,” write Jennifer Yoos and Vincent James in the forthcoming Walker-published book Parallel Cities.

Via theartnewspaper.com

Ring: One with Nature (External)

Three days before the Rio Olympics begin, Mariko Mori will permanently install a ring above a nearby 200 ft waterfall. The second in a six-part series of eco-themed works, it’ll catch the sun, symbolizing “our interconnectedness with nature and with one another.”

Via davidbyrne.com

Arc of History (External)

David Byrne’s Joan of Arc musical—premiering at the Public Theater next year—speaks to “the power of the individual to make a difference and (for me) the hubris and sometimes oversteps that often go along with that. In other words—it’s completely relevant.”

Via hyperallergic.com

New Territory (External)

In her Wednesday commencement address at SVA, Carrie Mae Weems addressed art-world inequality, America’s shift to a minority-majority country (and its relationship to Donald Trump’s rise), and the role of artists in “mapping new territory” amid this shift.

Via rhizome.org

Visual Salamis (External)

An unusual analogy to describe our ubiquitous image culture: “Sausage-like elongation describes the way that images accumulate, but this redundancy of content is not merely piled up, but follows an extruded trajectory that creates threads of dispersed versions.”

Via madisonsquarepark.org

Big Bling (External)

Standing 40 feet tall, Bling Bling (2016)—officially unveiled Monday in NYC’s Madison Square Park—is Martin Puryear’s largest temporary outdoor work yet. Reminiscent of a Trojan Horse, the work is constructed from plywood, chain-link fencing, and a gold shackle.

Minnesota Art News

Via mnartists.org

What We Leave Behind

Sean Connaughty on the tales left behind in our garbage, stories about human choice and ignorance, as seen through the lens of his recently released Anthropocenic Midden Survey and a new documentary on nuclear waste, ContainmentMore

Via mnartists.org

Anti Anti

Jazz columnist Jeremy Walker on the push and pull of artisanal and corporate cultures, politics-as-usual and rebellion, and the increasing sway of the individual, in both civic life and the arts. 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


Sol LeWitt Time-lapse

Watch the installation of Sol LeWitt’s Arcs from four corners, with alternating bands of white and brown stone. The floor is bordered and divided horizontally and vertically by a black stone band. (1988/2016) More


Lee Kit: Hold your breath, dance slowly

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… More

Dialogue / Interview

Comments Section: Curating the Internet

In the midst of Yelp reviews, Pinterest boards, and personalized algorithms, who are the cultural authorities for selection, decision-making, and connoisseurship? Artists and field professionals discuss the liberal and democratizing… 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