ArchiveVisual Arts Articles
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.
Beyond Repair: Art, Community, and an Expanded Notion of Publication
Tucked between a taco stand, an Indian fusion restaurant, and a microbrewery in south Minneapolis’s Midtown Global Market is a booth that at first glance appears to be a print shop and bookstore. And it is: books, zines, and posters are for sale. But at Beyond Repair—an artistic and community-building project of Red76 cofounder Sam Gould—the exchange of inked paper is secondary to the exchange of ideas.
There Are Many Ways to Destroy a Piano
Burning, sawing, toppling: “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 Monteverdi—at once complicating the presumption of men as artistic iconoclasts and destroying a traditional symbol of bourgeois education for women.
Statistical Salvos: Feminism, WARM, and the Guerrilla Girls
When black-and-white posters boldly announcing statistics about inequality in the art world started appearing in 1985, Patricia Olson took note. A decade before the Guerrilla Girls began using New York walls as a canvas, she helped found WARM—the Women’s Art Registry of Minnesota, a 40-member feminist collective and gallery that likewise used the power of data to fight for gender parity in the arts.
Image Ubiquity and the Ordinary Picture
Not your ordinary photography show, Ordinary Pictures surveys the work of some 40 artists—from Steve McQueen and Sturtevant to Amanda Ross-Ho and Elad Lassry—who question, critique, and exploit the materials and methods of commercial image production. From appropriation to collage to experimental film, their practices complicate the ever-expanding global image economy and the role of art within it.