Boom: The Art of Resistance at Random Parts

Amara T. Smith, Ellen Sebastian Chang & collaborators. House/Full of Black Women
Multiple sites, Oakland, CA
“Now You See Me” video documentation by Ginika Oruche
Original lantern used in performance with replica veil material

Impeccably curated by artist–organizer Leslie Dreyer at Random Parts gallery, Boom: The Art of Resistance is an exhibition that does not advertise its impact, and it could be mistaken for “scrappy” if one ignored the precision of the show and the assumptions jammed into that word. Installed in the small storefront/apartment space in Oakland, a few of the show’s works are in the well-used kitchen,[…..]

Joan Jonas: From Away at DHC ART

Installation view, Joan Jonas: From Away, 2016, DHC/ART. Joan Jonas, They Come to us Without a Word (Wind), 2015. Multimedia Installation (site-specific adaptation). Originally commissioned for the U.S. Pavilion of the 56th Venice Biennale by the MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge, Massachusetts. Courtesy of The Kramlich Collection, San Francisco. © DHC/ART Foundation for Contemporary Art. Photo: Richard-Max Tremblay.

As psycho-historian, I try to diagnose the schizophrenia of Western civilization from its images, in an autobiographical reflex. (Joan Jonas, The Shape, the Scent, the Feel of Things) Joan Jonas’ retrospective exhibition From Away occupies two buildings at DHC/ART in Montreal. Arriving at the basement’s miniature cinema felt like entering a cauldron of the Jonasian universe, and moving up and down in the tightly vertical first building[…..]

Summer Session – On Kawara: Pure Consciousness at 19 Kindergartens

Pure Consciousness booklet image of kindergarteners in Bethlehem, Palestine, with seven Kawara date paintings from the Today series in background, laid over other booklets. Image courtesy of Walter and McBean Galleries, San Francisco Art Institute.

This month, our Back to School session addresses topics ranging from self-directed learning to formal pedagogy to the intersections of art and academics. Today from our sister publication Art Practical we bring you a review by Jessica Brier of On Kawara’s project Pure Consciousness. Brier draws connections between the malleability of Kawara’s conceptualist exploration of time and how the placing of his works within kindergartens across the globe challenges the[…..]

Summer Session – Pissarro’s People

Apple Harvest, 1888; oil on canvas; 24 x 29.13 in. Courtesy of the Artist and the Dallas Museum of Art.

For this Summer Session we’re thinking about going Back to School, musing on art education, pedagogy, and learning. From our sister publication Art Practical we bring you John Zarobell’s review of the San Francisco Legion of Honor’s 2011 Camille Pissarro exhibition. Zarobell finds that the show reveals a radical politic of Impressionism that is often overlooked in the works of some of the more famous artists. The author demonstrates[…..]

Summer Session – @Large: Ai Weiwei at Alcatraz

Ai Wei Wei. With Wind, 2014; installation detail, New Industries Building, Alcatraz. Courtesy of FOR-SITE Foundation. Photo: Jan Stürmann.

Our current Summer Session topic is celebrity, and today from our sister publication Art Practical we bring you a review by Heidi Rabben of artist Ai Wei Wei’s controversial show @Large. Rabben takes Ai’s position as an artist–activist–provocateur to task, suggesting that the show relies too heavily on his reputation without delivering the content to match. This review was originally published on November 24, 2014. This text is likely neither the first[…..]

Summer Session – Exposed: Voyeurism, Surveillance, and the Camera Since 1870

Alison Jackson. The Queen plays with her Corgies, from the series Confidential, 2007; chromogenic print; 16 x 12 in. Courtesy the Artist and M+B Gallery, Los Angeles. © Alison Jackson.

For today’s Summer Session topic of celebrity, we bring you Genevieve Quick’s review from our sister publication Art Practical of the 2010 SFMOMA exhibition Exposed, a show on the history of photography and the camera. Our contemporary fascination with celebrities is heavily shaped by the photographic medium, and Exposed explored some of the earliest iterations of the iconic paparazzi shot that is a quintessential celebrity experience. This review was originally published[…..]

Summer Session – Jobs Suck and Art Rules: Today I Made Nothing at Elizabeth Dee


Continuing our labor-themed Summer Session, today we bring you Michael Tomeo’s review of Today I Made Nothing at Elizabeth Dee Gallery in New York City. This article was originally published on August 23, 2010.  I’m so over jobs right now. Sure, we need them, we’re thankful for the paycheck and it’s fun to hang out with coworkers (sometimes), but let’s face it, jobs blow.  While the total[…..]