Trajal Harrell and the Art of Conscientious Hosting
Trajal Harrell practices the art of conscientious hosting, writes dance scholar Debra Levine. He creates opportunities for others to step in and out of his position, while inserting himself into a lineage of artistic impresarios who precede him—including, in his Walker-commissioned new work, Butoh founder Tatsumi Hijikaa, Nouvelle Danse leader Dominique Bagouet, and La Mama ETC founder Ellen Stewart.
He Gave Me Blues, I Gave Him Back Soul
In collaboration with Triple Canopy
A year to the day after Scaffold Room concluded its world premiere at the Walker, its creator, Ralph Lemon, returns for a “memory refraction” related to the work. A performance installation in the galleries, Scaffold Room fueled this conversation on curating performance between Lemon, Walker curator Philip Bither, and Sarah Michelson, whose work tournamento premiered Sept. 24 on the Walker stage.
Sarah Michelson: “The Question Takes me Forward”
“The question in all my old pieces is what’s a dance, what could it be? Is making art a self-congratulatory, redundant practice, or if there’s a real pursuit of the nature of the beast to ground level, knowing there is no ground?” Back at the Walker 10 years after performing Daylight (For Minneapolis), Sarah Michelson discusses her return to the theater after years of creating works for museums.
A Culture Wars Chronicle
As identity politics made their way into galleries and museums in the ’80s and ’90s, social conservatives took note, lashing out at artists like Robert Mapplethorpe, Karen Finley, and Ron Athey for work that addressed sexuality, multiculturalism, and LGBT rights. Featuring many of these artists, the Walker found itself at the center of the conversation—and the controversies—that marked the Culture Wars.
Tales of Home, Life, and Death: Panaibra Gabriel Canda and Faustin Linyekula
In intimate dance works, Panaibra Gabriel Canda (Mozambique) and Faustin Linyekula (Democratic Republic of Congo) have telescoped their immensely complex histories to the scale of the person. The artists seem to say: “Come, look through my lens. You’ll recognize what was previously unseen, unnamed, or unknown to you. Think of me as an alter ego. It is a matter of the life or death of our shared humanity.”
Beyoncé the Readymade
“A machine, a high-powered Porsche, hip-hop technology. She consumes everything around her.” In Ralph Lemon’s Scaffold Room, this is how Beyoncé is discussed—as an overwhelming force of capital that takes over our senses. With Lemon’s work as a jumping-off point, performer Okwui Okpokwasili recently met with scholar Saidiya Hartman to discuss the iconography and cultural consumption of black women’s bodies.
Rethinking Collections Publishing for the Digital Age
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.
Shifting Terrains: Fionn Meade on the Cross-Disciplinary
As the hard edges between disciplines continue to dissolve, the Walker is intensifying its investigations into what artistic boundary-crossing means and how curators must adapt to the needs of artists and audiences in this new reality. Fionn Meade discusses his role as senior curator of cross-disciplinary platforms and how art’s terrain is shifting in the gallery, theater, cinema, and online.