ArchiveVisual Arts Articles
Edward Hopper Painting Hosts Writers’ Residency
When asked to take up “residency” in Edward Hopper’s 1940 painting Office at Night, Kate Bernheimer agreed, then asked the Walker if period costumes would be provided. It turns out the resulting novella she and Laird Hunt wrote didn’t need such accoutrements: “We didn’t find ourselves assigning roles by gender. We traveled as desire took us from body to body, object to object, in the painting instead.”
Edward Hopper, Village Person
Edward Hopper (1882–1967) was “a poet of the abyss, a chronicler of discontinuity and disruption, who seemed to need a static environment from which he could take inventory of what was emotionally solid and measure the distance to the nearest patch of null,” writes Julie Lasky. She visits that environment, the minimally furnished Greenwich Village apartment he lived and worked in for a half century.
Choreographing Experiences in Space: Olga Viso Interviews Jim Hodges
“I love spatial relationships and dimensionality,” says Jim Hodges. “I’m interested in theatrical moments and choreographing experiences in space. I think as a drawer and make as a sculptor.” In conversations spanning three years, the artist and the Walker’s Olga Viso delved into Hodges’ art practice, life, and influences, touching on themes from love and loss to politics, spirituality, and mortality.
“We have so little in common but we have deep love for each other,” says Sufjan Stevens of collaborators Son Lux and Serengeti. “And we’re pushing that stone together.” Formerly S/S/S, the trio Sisyphus is set to release a new self-titled LP. Commissioned by the Walker and SPCO’s Liquid Music, it takes inspiration—and its name—from the art of Jim Hodges, whose shining boulders are on the Walker hillside.
Blue North: Justin Newhall on Exploitation, Pornography, and Time
For his Northern Studies series, Justin Newhall took the train to northern Manitoba, where—inspired by a Glenn Gould radio documentary—he sought to capture the idea of “the North.” He found it in an unlikely package: a duct tape-covered stash of glossy pornographic photos that had deteriorated over time, leaving ghosts of the originals—and of the tragic story of the Dene Village where he found them.
Sage Cowles: A Dance Activist’s Life
Sage Cowles had a “real social vision,” says choreographer Bill T. Jones. “Sage and [husband] John were interested in Change with a capital C, which earned her high marks in my way of thinking.” A philanthropist, mother, political activist, and—perhaps most importantly—a dancer, Cowles passed away November 21, 2013, at age 88. Camille LeFevre recounts a life dedicated to dance, family, and community.
A Cinematic Family Album for Morocco
For Yto Barrada, Morocco’s defunct Cinéma Rif offered an opportunity to “bring a certain kind of magic back to the city” through an artistic intervention. The result—now nearly a decade old—is Cinémathèque de Tanger, an artist-run cinema, archive, and educational center in Tangier. It’s also, as she discusses with Bouchra Khalili, a vibrant community hub and repository of cultural memories.
Steve McQueen: “I Want to Be Useful”
“I don’t think slavery has been taboo at all,” Steve McQueen says, having just noted that his film 12 Years a Slave is one of less than two dozen to address this painful part of US history. “[Racism has] actually been very visible and obvious—the elephant in the room.” In a Q&A with Rob Nelson, McQueen discusses slavery, art, and how he sees Solomon Northup’s 1853 book as “the Anne Frank diary of America.”