Archive for July, 2009

Out this summer

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009

These days, with much moving to and from cities, I’ve had little to no time at my desk. Thankfully, I devoted much of the spring to writing and editing, and some of that is being published this summer. This makes me feel a bit less anxious. The current issue of Afterall has an essay of mine about a social art project by artist Michael Rakowitz. After reflecting upon his artistic practice, I developed an argument on the necessity of storytelling in his work, and the importance of anecdote in contemporary art.

Personal experience as an objective approach was also somewhat of a motivation for working on “The Aesthetics and Politics of Intimacy,” the inaugural issue of the online journal Where We Are Now. I worked on launching this journal and co-edited its first issue with artist Marisa Jahn. This is an excerpt from the issue’s editorial statement:

Intimacy is often thought of in terms of a feeling of rawness, confluence, and proximity. The space of intimacy often feels atemporal, privileging the safety of disclosure and heightened physiological, sexual, or affective response. But how does a geopolitical and micropolitical understanding of the conditions that frame intimacy questions notion of the body and self? The contributors examine these questions from the perspectives of art, architecture, film, and law.

The Aesthetics and Politics of Intimacy” includes contributions by an interesting group of people: Claire Barliant, Svetlana Boym, Rene Gabri, Andrea Geyer, Joseph Grima, Jill Magid, Dave Rankin & Marisa Jahn, and Mary Anne Staniszewski. The online journal Where We Are Now is programmed as a blog, and your comments to the articles on this issue are welcomed. The website also has a listings feature, and you can freely post event-listings of interesting programs and happenings.

Where We Are Now was launched at the Vera List Center at the New School in New York City on June 25th, and it included brief presentations by contributors to “The Aesthetics and Politics of Intimacy,” as well as a performance by Jill Magid and Eddie Vas. Images of the event are on Flickr.

Some like to wait, others just have to

Saturday, July 18th, 2009

A couple of weeks ago, the X-initiative in New York City organized “No Soul for Sale: A Festival of Independents,” bringing to its galleries —in the former Dia building on 22nd Street in Chelsea— dozens of international independent art spaces and American nonprofit organizations devoted to contemporary art. Kadist Art Foundation from Paris was one of the participants. Having done a curatorial residency there last year, they enlisted me to organize their presentation at X’s week-long and event-filled exhibition. I’ve posted some photographs of the installation in Flickr.

At Kadist’s designated space at X was a single artwork, Awaiting Enacted by Roman Ondák, a 16-page newspaper composed of various articles in different languages fully illustrated with images of people queuing. This is one of several artworks by Ondák in Kadist’s collection, not unrelated to his performance, Good Feelings in Good Times, where people, simply, queue. Read an article by Max Andrews about this work at Tate, etc.

“No Soul for Sale: A Festival of Independents” is closed, but if you’re in New York you can experience another of Ondák’s works. As part of their performance series, The Museum of Modern Art is currently showing his Measuring the Universe, whereby participating visitors names and height are penciled on the gallery walls. Considering the hundreds of visitors MoMA has daily, the etchings promise a quite diverse yet minimal portrait of its public.

Above, installation view of Roman Ondák’s work at Kadist Art Foundation’s space at X-initiatve. Special thanks to Jose García.