Interviews

Summer Reading – In Conversation: Peter Schjeldahl

Phong Bui. Portrait of Peter Schjeldahl, n.d.; Pencil on paper.

Today from our friends at the Brooklyn Rail, we bring you Jarrett Earnest’s conversation with famed art critic Peter Schjeldahl. This interview is perfect for our Summer Reading series because it digs deep into what it means to contemplate and respond to contemporary art; Schjeldahl says, “Looking at art is like, ‘Here are the answers. What were the questions?’” This article was originally published on July 13, 2015. In[…..]

Street Fighting Man

Nikoo Tarkhani.

Today from our friends at REORIENT, we bring you an excerpt from Joobin Bekhrad‘s interview with artist and curator Ali Ettehad, who says, “I strongly believe that at a time—especially in the Middle East—when art is, for the most part, commercially-driven, performance art is powerful in its ability to help artists retain their independence and integrity.” This article was originally published on June 2, 2015. Joobin[…..]

Interview with Erica Prince

Some Sense of Comfort With Some Sense of Confusio​​n​, 2014​, (performance still). Courtesy of AUX Performance Space, Philadelphia​.​

Canadian artist Erica Prince would not appreciate the Mattel playhouse I had as a kid, filled with floral furniture, plastic appliances, and female dolls to ensure that the household was running smoothly. Prince’s version, recently on view in Philadelphia, is my playhouse’s conceptual opposite—and that’s a wonderful thing. Prince is more inspired by science fiction than by domesticity. Her sculptures, installations, and drawings have a[…..]

Interview with Ian McMahon

Cascade, 2014; Freestanding cast plaster, used pallets; 40’ x 6’ x 21’ (each side).

Artist Ian McMahon is a material purist who makes monumental sculptures from raw clay and industrial plaster. The resulting works are contradictory in impression—domineering but fragile, familiar while avoiding redundancy. In his most recent exhibitions he has introduced an element of controversy for anyone who has ever engaged with the tedium of delicate materials—the work is made to be broken. Ashley Stull Meyers: Let’s talk[…..]

Interview with Shanti Grumbine

Shanti Grumbine. Persephone, April 2, 2013, A1, 2015; basswood dowels, anodized die, pigment print, mirrors, wood panel, 22 x 29 in.

Art in time of conflict is not for the faint of conviction. For its makers, it can be leveraged for communication, catharsis, or an attempt at clarity; Brooklyn-based artist Shanti Grumbine engages with all three. She cuts found text and images in reconsideration of the boundaries between absence and presence—between profane and sacred content. Her drawings, prints, and collages make hay of what remains from[…..]

By Women, For Women: An Interview with Filmmaker Lili White

Lili White. Still from FOOL’S GOLD: CALIFORNIA ROADTRIP IN AN ELECTION YEAR. Color; sound; TRT: 78 minutes (2014). Courtesy the artist.

Today from our friends at Big Red & Shiny in Boston, we bring you author William J. Simmons‘ article showcasing the work and thoughts of filmmaker Lili White.  Of her work with the Another Experiment by Women Film Festival, White’s says, “[W]hen I see something that really turns me on, it feeds me; I want to show it to somebody else, and make sure others see it. […] We[…..]

Anarchy, Tea, and After-Dinner Calligraphy: Interview with the Yangjiang Group

Yangjiang Group. Final Days, 2015; installation view, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, wax and modified clothing installation,
dimensions variable. Commissioned by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art. Courtesy the artists and Vitamin Creative Space, Guangzhou. Photo: Zan Wimberley

For contemporary Chinese artists Zheng Guogu, Chen Zaiyan, and Sun Qinglin—known as the Yangjiang Group—art is about social action and everyday life, including the practice of calligraphy, shopping, football, gambling, drinking, and eating. They believe art and life are entirely connected, resisting the commercialism of the art market and the over-intellectualization of art. Their latest project, Actions for Tomorrow, includes a live event, Tea Office, as a[…..]