Walker Art Center

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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.

Alternate Senses of Tone and Pulse

By Marvin Lin April 22, 2016

“My music isn’t in opposition to conventional melody and rhythm so much as it tries to achieve alternate senses of tone and pulse. These alternate senses are perhaps niche popularly, but they can be just as fulfilling and sensual and meaningful as it is for some people to hear an Aerosmithian jam.” C. Spencer Yeh on music, art, and terms like “avant-garde,” “experimental,” and—his own coinage—“drone disco.” More

Concluding Sound Horizon 2016, C. Spencer Yeh performs three free sets on April 28, 2016.

Becoming American: On Less Than One

By Fionn Meade April 19, 2016

In a 1986 essay, Joseph Brodsky suggested that a person—defined in political and aesthetic terms—can never be a discrete whole at any moment in time, as we are each inextricably tied to our past and future selves. Here Fionn Meade considers American iconoclasm, the thinking of this Russian-born US poet laureate, and Less Than One, the new Walker exhibition that shares a title with Brodsky’s essay. More

The exhibition Less Than One is on view April 7–December 31, 2016.

Meredith Monk and the Walker: A Chronology

By Molly Hanse April 14, 2016

For more than 50 years, interdisciplinary artist Meredith Monk has pushed boundaries within her practice, but her explorations of sound, time, and space, in whatever form they’ve taken, all bear her unmistakable signature. In commemoration of more than four decades of partnership with the Walker, we look back at her many commissions, performances, residencies, and gallery appearances. More

Meredith Monk and Vocal Ensemble perform at The O’Shaughnessy on April 15, 2016. Her installation 16 Millimeter Earrings (1966/1998) is on view through December 31 in the exhibition Less Than One.

Shahryar Nashat: A Narrative for the Body

By Isla Leaver-Yap April 13, 2016

“Mainstream cultural representation of the human body privileges a homogeneous and wholesome body,” says artist Shahryar Nashat. “I have always searched to represent bodies that sit outside those traditional ideals.” Here he joins the Walker’s Isla Leaver-Yap and Portikus curator Fabian Schöneich for a discussion on the politics of the body, its digital and physical augmentations, and its obsolescence. More

Shahryar Nashat’s Present Sore (2016) can be viewed, along with four other Moving Image Commissions, on the Walker Channel through May 31, 2106.

Amanda Ross-Ho on Her Creative Origins

April 11, 2016

For OMEGA, Amanda Ross-Ho worked with film industry prop fabricators to create a giant replica of the photo enlarger her parents, both artists, used when she was a child. It represents the origins of her creativity: “From a very young age I had access to the idea of manipulating something—not just taking a photograph, but scaling it, manipulating it, dodging and burning, and really producing a picture.” More

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

Technologies of Annihilation and Description

By Isla Leaver-Yap April 8, 2016

How does documentation affect our comprehension of violence? Created in response to Bruce Conner’s CROSSROADS (1976), Leslie Thornton’s video They Were Just People (2016) investigates how technology not only bears witness to violent events—like the 1945 bombing of Hiroshima—but how, for better or worse, its “capacity for cultural distortions bears the shock of comprehension,” so we don’t have to. More

A Walker Moving Image Commission, Leslie Thornton’s They Were Just People (2016) premieres on the Walker Channel April 8–May 31, 2016.

The Official 2016 Rock the Garden Lineup

By Ross Koeberl April 5, 2016

The Flaming Lips. Chance The Rapper. Poliça. M. Ward. GRRRL PRTY. Hippo Campus. As Rock the Garden temporarily moves to Northeast Minneapolis’s picturesque Boom Island Park, these and other bands will hit two performance stages for an unforgettable outdoor concert experience in the heart of the city. Click through to learn more about each band, plus information on tickets.  More

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

Art News from Elsewhere More

Via tillmans.co.uk

Anti-Brexit Art (External)

A vote for “Brexit”—a plan for Britain to leave the European Union—“could effectively spell the end of the EU,” fears Wolfgang Tillmans. Finding the official Remain campaign “lame,” he came up with a series of posters, made available for free download on his site.

Via theartnewspaper.com

All In on Iran (External)

Belgian artist Wim Delvoye plans to move his entire art-making operation to Iran. He’s currently restoring five mansions in the historic city of Kashan, and says he aims to open a gallery in which he’ll show his own work alongside that of Iranian artists.

Via artnews.com

Making Publics (External)

“I think of publishing as making things public,” says artist and Dominica Publishing founder Martine Syms. “As we do that we can make ideas public, and in doing that, you make publics around the ideas. Each form has its own constituency, in a way.”

Via dezeen.com

Visionary Golf (External)

The London Design Festival is raising funds to create an artist-designed mini golf course in Trafalgar Square. To run during the September festival, Visionary Crazy Golf will feature holes by Mark Wallinger, Atelier Bow-Wow, the late Zaha Hadid, and others.

Via nytimes.com

For Freedoms (External)

A new artist-run “super PAC,” co-founded by artists Hank Willis Thomas and Eric Gottesman, aims to raise funds to run national ads—only these ads, featuring art by Alec Soth, Carrie Mae Weems, and others, aims to promote dialogue not candidates.

Via vulture.com

First-Person Art (External)

Few art movements have been named in the past 25 years, save for one, “one that is biographical, autobiographical, personal—the art of the first person.” Jerry Saltz introduces Rachel Corbett’s oral history of identity politics in art, 1980s to today.

Minnesota Art News

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

Via mnartists.org

Why Does Minnesota Still Go Crazy for Prince?

In light of Prince’s passing, we revisit Ira Brooker’s 2013 essay on his 2 am pilgrimage to Paisley Park, which got him to wondering about the Purple One’s enduring (maybe irrational) appeal for the hometown crowd.  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

Dialogue / Interview

Artist Talk: Aging Magician

Director/designer Julian Crouch, composer/vocalist Rinde Eckert, and composer Paola Prestini talk about their Walker-commissioned music-theater work Aging Magician with Philip Bither, McGuire Director and Senior Curator of… More

Films by Artists

Leslie Thornton’s They Were Just People

Leslie Thornton’s They Were Just People is a chilling exploration of the purpose and repurposing of memory during wartime. The work combines the artist’s manipulated footage of the La Brea Tar Pits in California with an oral… More

Artist Talk

Insights: Susan Sellers (Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2x4), New York

Part of Insights 2016 Design Lecture Series: Celebrating 30 Years From her early career working with Dutch studios Total Design and UNA to cofounding a preeminent global design agency to teaching… 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

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

Andrew Blauvelt

A Timeline of Design History

For nearly fifty years, Design Quarterly chronicled the changing terrains of architecture, urban planning, and design. Here’s a selection of our favorite issues, featuring the likes of Muriel Cooper, Martin Filler, and Armin Hofmann. More