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Taste as a Political Matter: Coco Fusco on the Guerrilla Girls
Exploring NYC’s “nocturnal underworld” at age 24, Coco Fusco stumbled upon her “first encounter with a full-on feminist art intervention”: a show at the Palladium curated by the Guerrilla Girls. “This was an activist approach that I could connect with, as it spoke truth to power playfully, with wit and style,” she writes in honor of the Girls’ 30th anniversary—and one that influenced how she makes art today.
Daniel Fish’s Cold-Fusion
Daniel Fish’s aesthetic depends primarily upon “the ‘cold-fusion’ of elements (formal, stylistic/tonal, historical, thematic) that would generally be considered incompatible.” Here, in an interview with playwright Jerry Lieblich, Fish discusses how his work brings together recordings of David Foster Wallace, references to tennis star Tracy Austin, and his own background in Shakespearean theater.
Elvis, Roosevelt, and Living Life Through Someone Else
“In Vegas we saw this impersonator named ‘Big Elvis’ who was extraordinary: a 500–600-pound guy with a beautiful voice, he just sat in a chair and sang Elvis songs,” says the TEAM’s Rachel Chavkin on the genesis of RoosevElvis. But the multilayered “dramedy” transcends Elvis gags: featuring women as the King and Teddy Roosevelt, it offers a madcap exploration of gender, masculinity, class, and hero worship.
Allegories: The Memorial Paintings of Jack Whitten
“Through memory we reconstruct our past,” says Jack Whitten. “We honor the dead through memory.” Motivated by this idea, Whitten created a series of paintings honoring key people and events in his life and in American culture, from Lena Horne to MLK, the 9/11 attacks to the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School that occurred three years ago today. Here, a look at 13 of Whitten’s memorial paintings.
From the Black Panthers to Black Lives Matter
Black Lives Matter is the most significant broad-based human rights coalition for black Americans since the Civil Rights and Black Power movements. But the struggle today could not be fought in its current iterations without the contributions of Black Panthers artist Emory Douglas and others who illuminated hidden ugly racial truths in compelling and beautifully executed images.
A Circle of Blood
San Bernardino. Paris. Beirut. Charleston. What is art’s role in the face of unspeakable violence? In a personal meditation on the generalities and particularities of violence, Jack Whitten links his experiences growing up as “a product of American apartheid” to the deaths of so many, including Eric Garner, Aylan Kurdi, and Darren Goforth. “My art,” he writes, “is an antidote used to counteract this poison.”
2015: A Walker Year in Review
2015 marked a major milestone in the Walker’s history: for 75 years it has served as a public center dedicated to contemporary art and culture. To celebrate, we invited artists and our community to come together for a series of exhibitions, programs, and events—all centered around an examination of the questions that have motivated our work since 1940. Here, a look back at this special year.
Letter from the Executive Director
The year 2015 marked a major milestone in the Walker Art Center’s history: for 75 years it has served as a public center dedicated to contemporary art and culture. To celebrate, we invited artists and our community to come together and join us in a series of WALKER@75 exhibitions, programs, and events that launched in the fall of 2014 and culminated with the public announcement of a major campus…
Down with Romance!
Claudia La Rocco & Chris Sharp
Commissioned to share two distinct perspectives on New Circuits: Curating Contemporary Performance, critic/poet Claudia La Rocco and writer/curator Chris Sharp decided instead to share their viewpoints as a series of email correspondences penned in the days following the Walker’s recent curatorial convening. Hello Chris. I hope you’re well, on your way to recovering from those 48 hours of words…