Arts writer/curatorial assistant. Swarthmore/Fulbright Austria alumna. I love museums/galleries/curating/pop culture/fan studies/tv/movies/transmedia/writing. email@example.com.
“Welcome to Camp America” is Debi Cornwall’s masterful photo series of former detainees, all depicted from behind, alongside images of the camp itself. As if in a rebuke to the kind of thinking that turned Ahmed Rabbani into the number 1461, as he writes for the Los Angeles Times, Cornwall tells us the first names of the detainees in her pictures.
James Smythe's I Still Dream includes plenty of hallmarks of the futuristic sci-tech genre, including too-powerful technology and its devastating consequences, the dangers of human-less algorithmic development, recognizably human hubris and greed, and cataclysmic social consequences on an epic geopolitical scale. Yet at its core, I Still Dream is ultimately and notably not technophobic, and only mildly alarmist.
Both an artist opportunity and a canny homage to the original 1863 Salon de Refusés, “Best of the Worst” is a much more sly challenge to its neighboring galleries than it purports to be. Like the 1863 Salon, Practice is suggesting that the works on its walls — over 40 pieces — are perhaps better, and more avant-garde, than what’s on the walls at the juried shows; with a wink and a nudge, Practice stakes its claim for posterity through association.
No mere romantic world-traveling venture, #FollowMeTo visually embodies many characteristics of colonialist art-historical movements and styles, such as 19th-century Orientalist painting and contemporary fashion photography. Likewise, #FollowMeTo has developed from a simple travel diary into a morally complicated touristic enterprise.
The three artists on display in Fusco Gallery—Danny Lyon, Burton Silverman, and Harvey Dinnerstein—are all known for their visual documentation of the civil rights movement: Danny Lyon through photographs of Freedom Summer, and Silverman and Dinnerstein through sketches of the Montgomery Bus Boycott. They also have something else in common. All three of these artists are Jewish.
Offerman is strong in his role, and Kiersey Clemons is a star in the making, if not already. Their chemistry together is palpable and believable. My only gripe is that filmmaker Brett Haley (I’ll See You in My Dreams) clearly identifies more with Frank than with Sam, and thus what we see is skewed in favor of more screentime, and subjectivity, for Frank and his arrested development. Even though Clemons is luminous and affecting, Offerman’s Frank simply feels like a more developed character.
Another work that caught my eye was Adam Chau’s Txt Series, which is only the second work of art I’ve ever seen to incorporate the smudges left by our fingers on smartphone screens as an integral aspect of its composition. Chau goes small, creating ceramic facsimiles of iPhones in the middle of texting conversations; the metaphorical residue of the words in the display is indicated by blue smudges over the “keyboard,” where the text message is rendered in epistolary cursive.
When you get on the phone with David Sedaris, naturally you need to have a good icebreaker. Of course, naturally, he manages to disarm you, throwing you off by taking note of how you answer the phone, and how formal and polite your tone is. It's a daunting conversation when you're talking to someone you've read for over a decade; you end up talking about everything you've ever wanted to know, from the big-picture details of how he sees his audience, to whether the painter he refers to as "Broderson" in Calypso was actually called "Bradlington" in When You Are Engulfed in Flames. (It is.)
The sharpness and exaggerated pettiness of his earliest books are all but gone, replaced with a gentler sort of wryness that, one assumes, comes with the wisdom of middle age and experience. When a David Sedaris story made you feel wistful, it used to be the exception; in Calypso, it's the rule.
In a two-person show like this one there’s a tendency, at least on my end, to compare and contrast: to see how each artist uses their own works, mingled amongst each-other, to create a coherent narrative or satisfying rhythm. With regards to Two Spiders, then, I found that each artist brought something totally different to the table: while Harrod’s sculptures and drawings were cheeky and raunchy in glorious technicolor, Bogia’s large-scale sculpture and three small, deceptively-simple drawings cohesively “queer” the forms depicted in them.
"At once both episodic and strongly narrative-driven in nature, 'My Art,' ultimately, is about the art of performance, and of the possibility of self-(re)invention."
While the wall text of "Landscapes After Ruskin" nods to the idea of our living in the Anthropocene era, in which the world around us is now largely shaped by human events and actions, the idea of the depiction of a landscape to be seen by others is in and of itself a bit Anthropocene. Even in a photograph, even in the most faithful painting or drawing recreation of anything in the field of vision, there’s always going to be the human impact of the artist’s intent that shapes not only what we see, but the mere fact of how we see it in the first place.
Ironically enough, despite our hearing plenty about (and from) Aviva Grossman, the woman at the center of it all, she remains defined, both in the novel and in our eyes, by that affair: she's just not as fleshed out as the other women in "Young Jane Young."
As someone who was raised in an upper-middle-class Ashkenazi Jewish family, "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" is not only speaking my language, but also showing me a cinematic version of my own Jewish New Yorker ancestors.
Custody works most effectively in the scenes where Antoine’s mask of gentle resignation falls away. As he pulls up in front of Miriam’s parents’ home for the first time to pick up Julien, Miriam and Julien hopelessly try to beg off, claiming that Julien is sick. Julien shrinks away from his father’s hug, is largely non-responsive toward his paternal grandparents, who are housing Antoine, but it’s not until Antoine confronts Julien over his notebook that we see that it’s not a matter of miscommunication or misunderstanding, but that Antoine is a real threat to the safety of his wife and son.