ArchiveVisual Arts Articles
Forward Ever, Backward Never
Gary Simmons created Everforward—a pair of gleaming white boxing gloves embroidered with the words “Everforward” and “Neverback”—in response to troubled times: the killing of Yusef Hawkins, recession, the AIDS epidemic, the Crown Heights riots. Commemorating Inauguration Day, he reconsiders the work nearly 25 years later—its echoes today and its optimistic call for artists and others to fight back.
Critical Administration: On Artstrike and Institutions
João Enxuto & Erica Love
What will the relationship between art museums and their publics look like following recent global events like Brexit and the US elections? Weaving together the January 20 Artstrike and Liberate Tate, Donald Trump’s election and the Walker’s Avant Museology symposium, artists João Enxuto and Erica Love offer an examination of social change and protest, both within and targeted at art institutions.
The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Campaign
Naeem Mohaiemen (Text) & Hans Haacke (Images)
“Flood a gallery, embalm an animal, smash an object—critics hail these gestures as having the power to ‘shape worlds.’ But when artists sit down with museum administrators and read a list of demands for labor rights, this work suddenly becomes illegible to the same museum.” Naeem Mohaiemen reflects on the Gulf Labor Coalition’s fight for fair conditions for workers constructing western museums in Abu Dhabi.
North Carolina’s discriminatory transgender bathroom bill, the mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, police killings of African Americans across the United States, and the soaring murder rate among transgender women of color: artist Gordon Hall responds to the trauma of recent events with a meditation on the potential for self-transformation through our relationships with objects.
The Fuse Merged with the Firecracker
Doug Benidt & Siri Engberg
“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.
Igniting Change: Northern Spark Targets Climate Chaos
Northern Spark, the nation’s premier dusk-to-dawn experimental art festival, returns June 11–12 with a new theme, Climate Chaos/Climate Rising, and plenty of questions about the human effects on nature’s systems. For a festival known for infusing wonder and transformation into mundane city spaces through art, it’s a vital next step: pushing attendees to imagine that another world is, indeed, possible.
Live Then, Live Now
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.
“Why Can’t Women Time Travel?”
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.
Petrified Unrest: Paul Chan on Trump, Violence, and Sade for Sade’s Sake
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.