Social Practice

Radical Presence: Black Performance in Contemporary Art at NYU’s Grey Art Gallery

Jean-Ulrick Désert. Negerhosen2000 / The Travel Albums, 2003. From a series of forty digitally printed images, pigmented inks, and pencil on archival paper with mixed media collage. 11 3/4 x 8 1/4 in. Courtesy the artist.

How is Blackness performed?  Most African American contemporary artists will admit in confidence that they are often expected to perform their Blackness for the power players of the art mainstream, regardless of their choice of artistic medium. Artists working in two dimensions such as Kerry James Marshall, Kara Walker, and Wangechi Mutu have gained currency by creating work that makes the construction of black identity[.....]

Andrés Jaque/Office for Political Innovation: Different Kinds of Water Pouring Into a Swimming Pool at REDCAT

Andrés Jaque / Office for Political Innovation, Different Kinds of Water Pouring Into a Swimming Pool, 2013, Courtesy of REDCAT. Photo: Scott Groller.

The story of Los Angeles is the story of water. Since the creation of the Los Angeles Aqueduct by William Mulholland 100 years ago this month (fictionalized in Roman Polanski’s film Chinatown), water has been intimately tied to power, status, and politics in Southern California. Here, more than in any other major U.S. city, water is an essential part of the urban landscape. Who has access[.....]

If the World Changed: Singapore Biennale 2013

Teamlab. Peace Can Be Realized Even Without Order, 2012; interactive digital installation; dimensions variable. Courtesy of the Artist and Singapore Art Museum.

Premised on the obliquely hypothetical question “What if the world changed?”, the Singapore Biennale 2013 (SB2013) is presented as a deconstructed entity centered on allusive keywords—or “tags” in internetspeak—such as “histories,” “intervention,” and “materiality” in order to highlight the transmutative and the transformative qualities of the art produced in the region. With a collaborative team of 27 curators instead of an artistic director helming the show,[.....]

Work in Progress: Approaching Utopia at the Contemporary Jewish Museum

Elisheva Biernoff, The Tools Are in Your Hands, 2013. Steel, acrylic latex, magnets, pprox. 15 ft. 8 in. x 24 ft. Courtesy of the artist and Eli Ridgway. Photo: Johnna Arnold.

From our friends at KQED, today we bring you a review of Work in Progress: Approaching Utopia at the Contemporary Jewish Museum. Author Sarah Hotchkiss notes, “…the exhibition makes an irrefutable argument for the importance of art as a tool of social change. The artists’ models, socially engaged artwork, and narrative experiments approach utopia, question it, and allow viewers to process the larger issues behind collective[.....]

The Fun of the Fair: Sydney Contemporary

Kim Joon, Bird Land - Chrysler, 2008, digital print, 47 x 83 inches, Sundaram Tagore Gallery, Hong Kong, New York, Singapore

Depending on who you ask, anywhere between eight thousand and thirteen thousand people attended the vernissage of the world’s newest art fair, Sydney Contemporary. By the end of three and a half days, the fair had attracted almost twenty-nine thousand visitors eager to see the offerings from eighty-three Australian and international galleries, presenting the work of more than three hundred artists. The physical scale was[.....]

Pattern Recognition at MoCADA

Pattern Recognition, currently on view at Brooklyn’s Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts, focuses primarily on the paradox of explaining abstract painting. Though designed as a straightforward, contemporary group show featuring new work from established artists, Pattern Recognition must be viewed within the context of a museum whose focus is on community dialogue and education. The hand of Dexter Wimberly, the independent curator behind the[.....]

Lick ’Em by Smiling: Jeremy Deller and Shary Boyle at the Venice Biennale

If the Venice Biennale is the United Nations of contemporary art, then the Giardini is its Security Council. The park’s stately pavilions belong to the (mostly European) nations that were best situated to claim them in the early- to mid-twentieth century. National pavilions are organized by state entities and can be counted on to present a government-sanctioned view of art, which tends toward the conceptually[.....]