Summers of Rock
Paul Schmelzer & Emily Sortor
Launched in 1998, Rock the Garden has gone through plenty of changes—from an intermittent, on-the-street jam to a 10,000-fan party on the Walker’s hillside, a two-day festival to, in 2016, a one-day, two-stage affair at Boom Island Park. Here’s an authoritative look back at the varied and vibrant history of what’s traditionally been considered the launch of the Twin Cities’ summer concert season.
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.
Letter from the Executive Director
When shovels hit soil in early August 2015 to launch the first phase of a renovation that will unify the 19 acres that comprise the Walker Art Center/Minneapolis Sculpture Garden campus, it was groundbreaking in both literal and figurative senses: the project is the physical manifestation of a reorientation toward our community that’s also happening behind the scenes. As we move our front door…
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.