Year in Review
As I reflect on the past year, the final words of the Walker’s mission statement resonate profoundly in my mind: “Walker programs examine the questions that shape and inspire us as individuals, cultures, and communities.” The fiscal year ending June 30, 2013, saw an art center animated by exactly this aim—an active engagement with the world around us, from organizing exhibitions, screenings, and…
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.
Beyond the Feel-Good of Urban Farming
While Minneapolis is a national leader in support for urban agriculture, advocates for farmers here are urging public policy-makers to push past the feel-good rhetoric and embrace a more comprehensive vision of what a 21st-century American city can be—one that fully taps urban farming’s potentials for environmental, social, and economic betterment.
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.
Further into Where You Are
Behavioral artist Marcus Young likens conceptual choreographer Jérôme Bel’s work to guided meditation. “Everything that is unnecessary is pared away. You are never swept away by outward virtuosity or passion. Instead, you must provide the unswerving gaze, calm mind, and open heart. You should go willingly, and if you do you are transported, not away, but further into where you are, your own humanity.”
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.”