Elspeth Walker

From this Author

Antoine Catala: New Feelings at 47 Canal

The 2004 hit show Battlestar Galactica chronicles a future in which artificially intelligent robots called Cylons seek to destroy the human race as they advance and meld with technology in an almost mystical way. Constructed out of biological material, a bisected Cylon fighter plane actually bleeds—sinews, guts, and all. Other Cylons evolve to look exactly like human copies, and are so intelligent that they experience the complexities[.....]

Randal Barnett: JEF+KEV//SIM at United Solo Theatre Festival

Randal Barnett. JEF+KEV//SIM, 2014 (still); performance; TRT 40:00, Courtesy of the Artist. Photo: Joelle Ballam-Schwan.

On September 21, Randal Barnett’s JEF+KEV//SIM infiltrated the ranks of this year’s United Solo Theatre Festival and inoculated its lineup of “straight” theater with the virus of queer performance art. Solo performance and performance art share a symbiotic genesis, solo performance being fundamentally based in storytelling that often features the absence of a “fourth wall” and performance art seeking to eradicate this distinction entirely, its[.....]

Wojciech Kosma and Sjoerd Dijk at INTERSTATE

Wojciech Kosma and Sjoerd Dijk. Liberty is everything when it necessitates love for a human; promotional image. Courtesy of the artists and INTERSTATE projects. Image: Hayley Silverman.

As Wojciech Kosma burst into a spontaneous fit of tears on the concrete floor of INTERSTATE, his performance partner, Sjoerd Dijk, stroked the artist’s hair and waited for their performance to end. Where did these tears come from? And why didn’t I believe them? The–family, of which Kosma and Dijk are a part, is a performance collective that stages highly physical, improvised conversations that attempt[.....]

The St. Petersburg Paradox at Swiss Institute

The St. Petersburg Paradox, installation view, Swiss Institute. (from left to right) Sarah Ortmeyer. SANKT PETERSBURG PARADOX, 2014: marble chessboards, copper, iron, brass and aluminum chess tables, natural (ostrich, rhea, goose, chicken, mallard, quail, emu, and duck) eggs, artificial (marble obsidian, alabaster, and onyx) eggs; dimensions variable. Courtesy of the artist and Dvir Gallery, Tel Aviv. Tabor Robak. A*, 2014; 14-channel HD video; 9:46 min. Courtesy of the artist and team (gallery, inc.). John Miller. Labyrinth I, 1999; acrylic on canvas with sound component; 54 x 70 in. Courtesy of the artist and Metro Pictures, New York. Kaspar Müller. Tropic of Cancer, 2014; laser prints on A3 paper; each 12 x 15 ½ in. Courtesy Galerie Francesca Pia, Zürich, The Green Gallery, Milwaukee, and Federico Vavassori, Milan. Cayetano Ferrer. Remnant Recomposition, 2014; carpet remnants, seam tape; 18 x 60 ft. Courtesy of the artist.

The St. Petersburg Paradox, currently on view at Swiss Institute, is a group show of refreshing intellectual rigor. The exhibition’s curatorial design is so tightly wound that it forms a kind of singular entity in which each featured artwork compels the viewer to consider the philosophy of its larger scheme: namely, the metaphysics of gambling. The title refers to a paradox of human psychology: When[.....]

Take Ecstasy With Me at The Whitney Biennial

Jacolby Satterwhite, Reifying Desire 5, 2014 (performance still); duration varied. Courtesy of the artist and The Whitney Museum, New York. Photo: Filip Wolak.

“It would deeply heal me,” artist Jorge Cortiñas urged, “if we all sang this song together.” The ensuing karaoke-like moment was the climax of Cortiñas’ performance, Back Room, which re-told the contentious story of meeting a future lover during an orgy in the dark rear of a now-extinct East Village bar—a story that none of Cortiñas’ straight friends ever wanted to hear. Such tongue-in-cheek emotional self-indulgence invigorated[.....]

Borna Sammak: All Dogs Are Pets at JTT

Borna Sammak. All Dogs Are Pets, 2014; installation view, JTT, New York. Courtesy of the artist and JTT.

All Dogs Are Pets, Borna Sammak’s current solo exhibition at JTT, presents sculpture, painting, and video full of glowing references to 1990s American suburbia. Trafficking in the humorous young boys’ fare of canceled Nickelodeon cartoons, Sammak’s pieces are composed of sometimes repurposed, sometimes refabricated objects you might find at a Wal-Mart or strip-mall store. His work draws from the cultural garbage can, creating an aesthetic[.....]

Trevor Shimizu: Again at 47 Canal and Rachel Mason: Starseeds at envoy enterprises

Rachel Mason. Yayoi Kusama, 2014; mixed media, dimensions varied. Courtesy of the artist and envoy enterprises.

Again, now at 47 Canal, presents a new set of paintings by Trevor Shimizu featuring more of the artist’s characteristically banal domestic caricatures. Of these, Shimizu’s sex paintings are his best. Featuring sketches of video monitors displaying stick figures engaged in BDSM porn, a vaginal close-up nestled next to a box of tissues, or a pop-up ad for penis enhancement, the paintings read as swiftly[.....]