The Universal Latin American Theater of Mariano Pensotti
Mariano Pensotti’s genre-bending Cineastas is a play that exists outside of the contemporary expectations of Latin American theater. Instead of “Amazonian sensuality” and magical realism, Pensotti presents us with “a hybrid moment that moves between the theatrical event, performance installation, and literary narration”—a moment that takes equal influence from Roberto Bolaño and Wim Wenders.
The Political Provocations of Keith Haring
John R. Killacky
Keith Haring’s activism, delivered in his trademark effervescent candy-colored pop aesthetic, is alive and well in works featured in Keith Haring: The Political Line, now on view in San Francisco. Reviewing the exhibition catalogue, former Walker performing arts curator John Killacky examines Haring’s provocations, from guerrilla postings of agitprop collages to works commenting on AIDS, crack, and racism.
The Unadorned Archetype: Discussing The Evening with Richard Maxwell
“I’ve always felt there’s an urgency when people step out on stage,” Richard Maxwell tells Soho Rep’s Sarah Benson. “That’s part of why I feel cautious about making things dramatic. It’s already a dramatic situation!” Their chat ranges from archetypes in Maxwell’s new play The Evening—from “the hooker with a heart of gold” to the aging prizefighter—and the difference between a person and a character.
ONCE, Not Again
“It wasn’t that I hadn’t seen daredevil events before,” recalls former Walker director Martin Friedman of a lone 1965 performance by the ONCE Group in the Walker lobby, “but this was the first time I was responsible for them, all in the name of art.” The collective of composers, poets, and dancers “took scary chances,” he remembers: “My heart was in my mouth from beginning to end.”
Indeterminate Adventures with Cage
During his four-decade relationship with the Walker, composer John Cage visited Minneapolis numerous times. As Walker director emeritus Martin Friedman recalls, these visits often veered toward the unexpected—fitting for an artist closely associated with the musical concept of Indeterminacy—from a late-night reading of James Joyce with Tony Smith to Sunday-morning mushroom hunting in a church yard.
The Ruins of the Culture Wars
“How has the national culture changed over the past half-century that we could elect a black president? Just as important,” writes Jeff Chang in his new book Who We Be: The Colorization of America, “how has it not changed?” Chronicling the rise and fall of multiculturalism through the lens of visual culture, Chang looks at political and aesthetic struggles for racial equity, inside the art world and out.
The Internet Is More Powerful than China
“You can never know what is and what is not powerful, but you can always find out what the powerful people are scared of,” says Ai Weiwei. “A state like China looks so powerful, but they are so scared of the Internet, so the Internet is more powerful than them.” Journalist Ben Valentine visits with Ai in his Beijing studio to discuss art and the enduring potency of online activism.
“It’s Art If I Say So”
“And what exactly is it that you do, Mr. Duchamp?” That question was posed to the Walker’s guest one fall evening 49 years ago during a dinner in honor of Duchamp and his wife, Teeny. “Well,” the 78-year-old exemplar of Dada coolly responded, “I play chess.” Former Walker director Martin Friedman recalls Duchamp’s 1965 visit to Minneapolis and their conversations about readymades, Precisionism, and Pop.
Tales of Home, Life, and Death: Panaibra Gabriel Canda and Faustin Linyekula
In intimate dance works, Panaibra Gabriel Canda (Mozambique) and Faustin Linyekula (Democratic Republic of Congo) have telescoped their immensely complex histories to the scale of the person. The artists seem to say: “Come, look through my lens. You’ll recognize what was previously unseen, unnamed, or unknown to you. Think of me as an alter ego. It is a matter of the life or death of our shared humanity.”