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EXHIBITION REVIEW
Sondra Perry: flesh out

Ashes for Three Monitor Workstation (2017) by Sondra Perry. Photo: Kevin Kline, Squeaky Wheel Film & Media Art Center

Sondra Perry’s flesh out is a look at blackness through black history, the black present, and an imagined black future. It serves as an intimate sequel to her 2016 exhibition Resident Evil, featured at the interdisciplinary art space The Kitchen in New York City. Blackness isn’t often represented within technological interfaces, as if the “norm” of cis-gendered, straight whiteness even extends to something without race, sexual orientation or gender. Perry seems to actively counter this idea while exploring the harm regularly done to black bodies. Read more>

EXHIBITION REVIEW
Zach Nader: stage blind

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The six photographic prints and three video works of stage blind comprise Brooklyn artist Zach Nader’s second solo exhibition hosted at Microscope Gallery, and act as a follow-up to his 2015 exhibition channel surf (January 9, 2015–February 16, 2016), which, in line with his current work, investigated advertising photography, software editing, and screen-based image consumption. Read more>

ESSAY
Black Soil: Chernozem and Tusit in Ukraine
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Black soil was packed into a plexiglass sarcophagus two feet wide and six feet high. We stood in the basement of the Center for Urban History of East Central Europe in the UNESCO World Heritage–designated, Western Ukrainian city of Lviv, variously called Lemberg, Lvovuv, or Lviv depending on which country claimed or occupied it. The soil defied iPhone photography. Black soil. Chernozem.

RaeJean Stokes, Assistant Cultural Affairs Officer from the United States Embassy in Kyiv, pointed her left hand to the structure. “That’s what Ukrainian black soil looks like,” she said…Read more>

 

REPORT
54th New York Film Festival’s “Projections”

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Focusing less on the avant-garde canonical tradition and more on the endless possibilities of the moving image, Projections, the avant-garde section of the New York Film Festival, has become a laboratory of visionaries where cinema invokes critical thinking on its own terms.

The focus of the festival-within-a-festival in a three-day span and the intimate space of the two screening rooms of the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center enabled an ongoing discussion in which each program had its own internal rhythm while still creating a space for self-reflection…Read more>

 

EXHIBITION REVIEW

The Light Inside: Wendy Snyder MacNeil, Photographs and Films
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Two figures pose against an old building; one sticks out its tongue, an aged hand reaching up to hold a devilish mask over its unseen face. This photograph, Williamsville, Vermont (1972), from the portfolio Unitarian Universalist Church, Williamsville VT (1967–72) by Wendy Snyder MacNeil, is a self-portrait with the artist’s grandmother. But at first glance, their diminutive presence against the abstracted geometry of the weatherboard reminded me of someone else: the careful composition and playful use of masking as a refusal to meet the gaze of her own camera brought to mind the childhood work of Francesca Woodman—one of Snyder MacNeil’s most famous students…Read more>

 

EXHIBITION REVIEW

Nicholas Nixon: About Forty Years

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Wandering into Fraenkel Gallery, I was unexpectedly struck by an image in this show of Nicholas Nixon’s large format, black-and-white photographs. The picture hung alongside two others that were also taken in the late 1980s during the height of the AIDS crisis in the United States. In the first photograph, George Gannett, Barrington, Rhode Island (1989), a man lies sleeping beside a window. With his gaunt head hanging backward and his mouth agape, he is visibly exhausted. Medical equipment fills the room as testimony to death’s banalities…Read more>

 

From the Issue

REPORT

3rd Kochi-Muziris Biennale  (From Vol. 44, no.5)

With exhibitions spanning twelve venues and showing work by over one hundred regional and international artists, the Kochi-Muziris Biennale is deservedly recognized as “the largest platform for visual arts engagement in Southeast Asia.” Artist Sudarshan Shetty curated the Biennale (his first curatorial project) and has sensitively and adroitly selected and positioned a compelling array of contemporary work across a wide variety of media, including painting, sculpture, video art, sound art, and performance art. According to Shetty, the Biennale—subtitled “Forming in the Pupil of an Eye—“is an assembly and layering of multiple realities” that offers the possibility for connections between the spaces of “immediate experience” and “multiple other consciousnesses.” This approach seems appropriate for the first and only biennial held in India, a country long associated with spiritual and meditative practices intended to facilitate such bridging of reality with higher consciousness. Read more>

Transmediale: Festival for Art & Digital Culture<
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From Skype duets to an artist shaking hands with one thousand people and then tak­ing “Microbiome Selfies” of the germs on his hands, from a performance of a flying drone to a brief history of the air-raid siren, from angst about maker culture being co-opted to complaints about the creeping complicity of the sharing economy with neoliberalism, Transmediale is an annual five-day festival in Berlin that approaches digital art, technology, and culture from a mind-bogglingly diverse panoply of conceptual, theoretical, and disci­plinary starting points…Read more>

ESSAY
The Cowboy Prince (From Vol. 43, no.5)
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In fall of 2015, Richard Prince exhibited a sculpture titled Cowboy at Barbara Gladstone Gallery in Chelsea in New York City, which was both predictable and surprising. Prince’s long preoccupation with the cowboy image started with the work he produced in the 1980s while working in the tearsheets department of Time magazine. There he became attracted to the images used in Marlboro ads, which employed variations on the mythic, ruggedly handsome character to sell cigarettes. Prince rephotographed the ads with the skills of an amateur, cropping out the logo and ad copy and having them reprinted…Read more>

 

ESSAY
Scientific Creativity: The Notebooks of Rose Lowder (From Vol. 43, no. 1&2)
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I was first exposed to Rose Lowder’s films in 2003, while attending monthly screenings at Pittsburgh’s experimental film focused micro-cinema, Jefferson Presents. The audience for Jefferson Presents typically consisted of artists, musicians, filmmakers, and experimental film enthusiasts. Screenings were loud and lively, and it was uncommon for a film to go by without enthusiastic cheers and jeers from the audience. But when a Rose Lowder film was shown, the room was inevitably silent (as are most of her films), and the audience became fully immersed in an all-engrossing visual experience: red poppies danced in sunny fields traversed by sailboats gliding on shimmering blue oceans; bustling city streets in summer intertwined with empty urban plazas in autumn; peach trees trembled between morning light and evening shade…Read more>

 

ESSAY
Metaphor and Memento in Christine Shank’s Our First Year Together (From Vol. 43, no. 1&2)
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Christine Shank’s powerful and continually unfolding work, our first year together, is an ongoing series of photographs and edition of two artists’ books, begun in 2009 and exhibited at Visual Studies Workshop in fall 2014. The title suggests the story of a couple or a human relationship. This is reinforced by two images: one showing an anonymous male figure and the other an anonymous female figure. The woman is photographed from behind, with long hair obscuring her features, and the man’s eyes are closed in contemplation, so that the individuals’ identities and experiences remain ambiguous. Instead, photographs of domestic objects, still lifes, and landscapes evoke conflicting emotions, interpersonal dynamics, and various moments in the trajectory of a relationship…Read more>

 

FILM REVIEW
Arresting Power: Resisting Police Violence in Portland, Oregon (From Vol. 42, no. 6)
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In rare confluences of timing and artfulness, documentary films, at their best, can fill a breach, sound a clarion call, and coalesce communities to action. Arresting Power: Resisting Police Violence in Portland, Oregon premiered January 15, 2015, at the Northwest Film Center in Portland at a time when primetime media reports of racially motivated police use of deadly force aired with disturbing frequency across the nation. In the case of Arresting Power’s premiere, the packed art-house venue spoke strongly to the tenets of relational filmmaking that underscored its making…Read more>

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Angry Bird Builds a Bridge Text by Dee Axelrod, Photographs by Sarah van Gelder

ONLINE EXCLUSIVES


DOSSIER
Collaborative Documentary Practice: Histories, Theories, Practices


EXHIBITION REVIEW
Sondra Perry: flesh out


EXHIBITION REVIEW
Zach Nader: stage blind


EXHIBITION REVIEW
The Light Inside: Wendy Snyder MacNeil, Photographs and Films


PORTFOLIO
Woodward, by Christian Kasners

DOUBLE EXPOSURE

Of the Appalachian Diaspora Text by Stephen J. Quigley
Photographs by April L. O'Brien


Outside My Outdoor Shower There Is a Carnival Text by Lisa Annelouise Rentz
Photographs by Michelle Mueller
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