From the category archives:

Obituary

Remembering John Berger, The Old Master of Seeing

by Paddy Johnson on January 4, 2017
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“The silence after a felled tree has fallen is like the silence immediately after a death,” wrote John Berger in his 1984 book And Our Faces, My Heart, Brief as Photos. “The same sense of culmination.” Of course, today, two days after the great art critic’s death that’s not exactly what he got. So far, it’s been a cacophony of Twitter alerts, Facebook notifications and hastily written obituaries. In the world of social media, the same tree can fall continually for months even years. Like most celebrities largely out of public view, we can expect Berger’s death to be rediscovered several times over the coming decade—his death tweeted a new, a tree felled once more.

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Fear and Loathing in Trump’s America

by Michael Anthony Farley on November 10, 2016
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I’ve been drinking pretty much non-stop from around 7 p.m. on election night to about 12 hours ago. That’s when the realization sunk in that the world hasn’t ended—yet—and I had to work today, sober.

I guess cultural commentators are supposed to provide some sort of eloquent, thoughtful observations in times like these. But there’s just not a lot I can muster beyond repeatedly screaming “FUUUUUUCK!”

All I can add to the echo chamber of despair is an honest account of how one white queer person on Medicaid and food stamps —who is scared shitless for my nieces, and my nephew with disabilities, and my chosen family that’s disproportionately comprised of trans*, immigrant, outspoken, poor, black, brown, and female bodies—has been trying to cope.

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The Tears That Donald Trump Brought

by Paddy Johnson on November 9, 2016
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When I did sleep last night, I dreamed I was stuck in a small hovel trying to hide from an evil demon. I told my friend there was a demon outside, but he let him in anyway and then left me to defend myself. Somehow, I knew I’d be doing it for a long time—this wasn’t the first time I had the nightmare.

The symbolism in my dreams—when it exists at all—has never been anything but obvious. I woke up to the light of my phone. It was 3 am, but there was so much activity in response to the election, that the battery was drained and the screen was on.  Donald Trump’s win of the election was already taking a toll. No one I knew slept for more than three hours.

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One Day Into the World Without Gawker

by Paddy Johnson on August 23, 2016
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For those of us who started and maintained blogs in the mid aughts, yesterday’s closure of Gawker wasn’t easy to watch. A year ago, I published a list of art blogs and magazines with Corinna Kirsch, full of headings modified with words like “active”, “not-active”, “defunct”, and “deleted”. It was already the end of an era then. Now, with the demise of the largest and arguably the most pioneering of blogs, I find myself wondering who amongst us will be left standing.

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One Year After Chris Burden’s Death, You Can Still See “Ghost Ship” Docked at the New Museum

by Michael Anthony Farley on May 10, 2016
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Today is the one year anniversary of Chris Burden’s death from melanoma at the age of 69. I’ve been thinking a lot about Burden lately; there have been few artists capable of producing work that retains such a visceral punch no matter how often it’s been seen. Watching decades-old documentation of, or even reading about, Burden’s limit-testing performances still elicits a sense of suspense. Burden desperately wanted to shock his audience into feeling something. He was a polarising figure, but there’s no doubt that he succeeded.
So today, head to the New Museum and look up at “Ghost Ship”. Chris Burden might have disembarked on his final journey, but a piece of his frontier-pushing spirits still floats over the Bowery, for the time being.

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Ellsworth Kelly Made Minimalism Move

by Paddy Johnson on December 28, 2015
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I always thought I would outgrow my affection for Ellsworth Kelly as I have with most twentieth century masters. I was wrong.

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RIP, American Royalties Too Act

by Whitney Kimball on January 13, 2015

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Another proposal for artist resale royalties died this week when the American Royalties Too (ART) Act was quietly omitted in Congress, reports the Art Law Report.

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Tributes to Harun Farocki

by Whitney Kimball on August 1, 2014
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“We can never tell where his influence stops.” Artists and curators offer their thoughts about Harun Farocki, a forebearer of the essay film, after he passed away on Wednesday.

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A Lifetime With On Kawara: Dead at 81

by Paddy Johnson on July 11, 2014
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Twenty-two hours ago On Kawara’s Twitter feed published a single message: I AM STILL ALIVE. The account publishes that same message every day, and has done so since 2009. The updates are probably automatic, and not authored by the artist himself. He died yesterday at the age of 81.

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