Too good a show to miss, really. Ai Weiwei’s photographs taken in the 1980s are being shown for the first time outside of China. I just wrote something to commemorate the occasion.
London’s National Portrait Gallery is displaying a set of twelve self-portraits by the ever lovely Sarah Lucas from the ’90s. She was kind enough to answer six questions about these portraits and what she’s working on now. Enjoy the interview.
“Every word is an unnecessary stain on silence and nothingness”— Samuel Beckett
Nakadate is exactly my age but with much better abs. We’re both year of the rabbit. A little something on her first major museum show, at PS1.
note to self: read this Tara Donovan interview.
Some thoughts on the film The Woodmans , about Francesca Woodman’s family and upbringing.
Finally went to see the Hide/Seek show and had so many thoughts, especially about digital reproductions of fine art works.
Isn’t it to define beauty by gender to truly repress it? What is this “norm” people are so happy about? If we were all happy with the “norm”, cosmetic companies would not be so profitable. Is this norm not merely socio-acceptable “performances” on a stage, its accompanying libretto the romantic paternalism of Judeo Christian capitalism, and misogeny? Reducing society to limiting states of either/or has been the past, but how are we as conscious image makers shaping a progressive future?
I read an article on the UK Telegraph about new modeling trends. Is Andrej Pejic androgynous? Perhaps; in certain clothes, in specific lighting, emotions, etc. But overall, I’d say the Pejic beauty is effeminate.
Effeminate men have always been far more socially acceptable than masculine women. Kisha Batista, for example. So is it really about the negotiated fragilities of androgyny or a cultural discomfort with female strength?
Fortunately, I was able to attend a recent ICP Panel dedicated to the recent controversy over David Wojnarowicz’s Fire In My Belly. Although I found the discussion illuminating—I learned so much about the back story surrounding this media event—I did walk away feeling a most uneasy of sorrows. Perhaps it was seeing footage of the Mexican Day of the Dead. It’s part of the video, but seeing that with a full room of people who most likely know at least one person who is HIV positive or has passed away from AIDS…seeing that footage in public, with others around was a totally different experience than seeing it on my computer, outraged at this whole thing. I realized that although censorship has robbed a museum audience of that public but touching ability to connect on this piece, its experience has been made all the more intense. That is one good thing to come out of all this: more people are seeing it, thinking, debating, learning. And hopefully, progressing.
Anyway, I wrote a little something about it, David Wojnarowicz: Convenient Misinterpretations.
Thank you Scott, Jaime, Adam for a truly wonderful evening.
Wanda Ewing is an artist from Omaha who I met this past summer, at a lecture about her work. This month, I interviewed Wanda. We talked about race, body image, feminism, art history, and end with an inquiry into the fundamentalist politics of gender: the conservative outrage behind David Wojnarowicz’s Fire in My Belly being pulled from a museum show, would it be the same if it were a video of the Virgin Mary’s body covered in ants?
If you have been reading my blog for a while, you know I like interpretations of this painting.
Particularly memorable: A stunning large drawing had just been returned to Michael’s studio from a gallery—a drawing so big it had to be done in parts. A drawing so big it could only fit on the floor. To enter into Michael’s studio, he had to lay out some heavy cardboard (over the drawing) for us to step on. But we managed nicely!
Read my interview with the co-curators of Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture, which is currently on view at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery in Washington D.C.
Blood and Fire: on the importance of Ana Mendieta and her legacy.
Coiffed in an hommage to Susan Sontag’s iconic white streak and covered in $20,000 worth of crystal, Kristina Salinovic opened Marc Jacob’s 2011 Spring collection for Louis Vuitton. Printed on the program notes on every seat, the following quote:
“The relation between boredom and camp taste cannot be overestimated. Camp taste is by its nature possible only in affluent societies, in societies or circles capable of experiencing the psychopathology of affluence.” —Susan Sontag
And that’s how Marc Jacobs blends fashion (blunt consumerism); urban dance culture (Paris is Burning); and that haughty flair inherent to the city of natural and most unnatural lights (“…our favourite colour is shiny”).
“Taste is an awful word, no one should ever really use it.” —Marc Jacobs
Dispelling prevailing agist perceptions of beauty, 90s icon Kristen McMenamy—who at 46 is as fit and stunning as ever—closed the show. Chess maven Carmen Kass (32) and activist Alek Wek (33) both walked the runway, glowing veterans of an industry that sees age as a numbered wrinkle, rather than an expression of life. Because Jacobs can pretty much do whatever he wants, I don’t think peppering his runway with models older than contemporary ‘It’ girls was a risk—no, it’s a clear statement.