Featured Artist: Ariel Goldberg

by Guy Forget on February 1, 2011 In Our Masthead

Ariel Goldberg, spread from "Picture Cameras", 2010, NoNo Press.

Editors note: This month's featured artist is Ariel Goldberg. In the masthead is a spread from her recent Picture Cameras (2010, NoNo Press).

Ariel Goldberg is an artist and writer based in San Francisco, CA. Her multifaceted, project-based works intertwine performance, photography/video and language-based elements. For The Photographer (started in 2010), Goldberg uses the recognizable forms of press conferences, captions, slideshows and open letters to address the current state photography. Recent chapbooks include Picture Cameras from NoNo Press, The Photographer without a Camera from Trafficker Press and a performance-essay titled The State of Queer Arts, forthcoming from Ragtag press in 2011. She is the co-host, with Charity Coleman, of the talk show WriteThisDownTV.com.

Ariel Goldberg, "Dear Nicholas Walsh", 2007

My introduction to Goldberg's work began with Letters to the Names of the Dead (from 2006-2008). I was lucky enough to get to read a selection from the letters, some of which were also available online at the time. Over the course of a year, she wrote a letter “to every person in The United States Military who had been announced as a casualty of The War in Iraq.” These letters were also performed, culminating in a series of frustrated attempts at mailing 100 of them, their “un-mailing,” as she calls it. Although the project as a whole is irreducible, the conceptual sophistication of Letters originates in the letters themselves. Varying between elucidations of banalities, personal confessions, didactic recommendations, obscurities, poetry–their content was always grounded by the subject matter, an unsettling combination of serious and absurd.

Ariel Goldberg narrating a slideshow for "The Wedding Photographer". Performed at the Studio One Reading Series on September 3, 2010.

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