Arts writer/curatorial assistant. Swarthmore/Fulbright Austria alumna. I love museums/galleries/curating/pop culture/fan studies/tv/movies/transmedia/writing. email@example.com.
If Good Omens is an artifact of 1990's apocalypse hullabaloo notable for its wry wit, petty divine figures, and surrealistic flourishes, then The World Is a Narrow Bridge plays a similar role in our angst-ridden, oversaturated media landscape/world of 2016 and beyond.
I know I’m in for a treat when a Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts show is in the Richard C. von Hess Foundation Works on Paper Gallery. It’s an intimate three-room space with low ceilings and warm, gentle light, making it perfect for taking in prints, drawings, or, as in the case of Zanele Muholi and The Women's Mobile Museum, photography.
“Little Ladies: Victorian Fashion Dolls and the Feminine Ideal” Needs More Than Just Beautiful Objects
Because I’m rarely satisfied with museum shows as simple collections of beautiful objects, regardless of how beautiful the objects are, I found Little Ladies lacking when it came to a more rigorous level of analysis of why these objects were so vital for viewers to consider in the 21st century.
During the opening credits of John Ignatius Green’s 2018 documentary Social Animals, a delicious, ironic mood is set by a montage of the most popular and over-used categories of Instagram posts. We see the classic Plane Wing Photo, the Girl’s Legs in the Bathtub Photo, the Girlfriend Pulling Her Boyfriend Along on Vacation Photo, all nearly identically staged regardless of who is posting them.
The bulk of “Standing of the verge of…” is taken up with uniformly bald humanoid figures, who veer from relatively cleanly delineated to semi-abstract and almost ghoulish. Exaggerated, cartoonish, they press and wrap and twist around one another, dripping into a range of yoga-inspired poses, blending into the background. Occasional shadows cast by these writhing bodies are drawn outwards, expanding into flat black vaguely-human silhouettes—haunting specters that mingle amongst the cacophonous mass, sometimes shifting from negative to positive space.
The kind of writing Turton does at his day job has clearly prepared him to write mystery fiction in the vein of Agatha Christie, where he must juggle over a dozen characters whose motives are increasingly murky and intertwined as the story goes on. Ineed, The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle mixes some of the best elements of long-form journalism and thriller storytelling, opening with a mysterious protagonist who is robbed of his memory, thrust into a location he doesn't know much about, and forced to literally inhabit the roles of people he doesn't know, then trying to understand them.
Negotiating History: Sally Mann’s "A Thousand Crossings" Exhibition and the Question of Photographic Privilege
The sense of mystery and wonder she conjures in images of Civil War battlefields – and the swampy river beds where enslaved people found refuge and escape – is challenged by the inherent nature of these locations as sites and reminders of the horrific system of American chattel slavery.
Speculative collages of Saba Taj at Twelve Gates Arts re-imagine the future through a queer, brown perspective
Working in mixed-media collage on paper and canvas, Taj has not only created hypothetical portraits of potential inhabitants of Earth’s future habitats, but has structured the exhibition around several different themes, including the new natural world and the future of gender roles.
Jessica Barden gives one of the most intriguing performances of the year in The New Romantic, deftly managing her character’s conflicting layers of emotional naiveté and naked ambition.
Fresh off the heels of RBG, the smart, revealing documentary directed by Julie Cohen and Betsy West that had a crew nearly entirely composed of women, we now have On the Basis of Sex, a more clumsily-titled (and ultimately, less elegantly-wrought) biographical effort directed by Mimi Leder.
The Waldheim Waltz shows in precise, devastating detail just what can—and will—happen if countries cannot confront and acknowledge painful historical truths, providing a grim lesson for every nation that’s fallen prey to fascism and bigotry.
There is no fictional cautionary tale you can devise about the horrors of social media that is both as insightful and depressing as The American Meme.
I think LA is much more ruled by film/Hollywood than the art world, so to have it excised from Buzzsaw felt kind of weird to me, like it’s a fantasy LA where Art is king, rather than Hollywood. Kind of like it was consciously not mentioning any traces of celebrities and actors buying things, Hollywood people showing up to openings, or the things I’ve observed first/second hand. It feels like a conscious choice, but it makes the LA-ness feel less real.