From the category archives:

Reviews

The Making of “Hamilton Fish”: Rachel Mason’s Eight-Year Saga

by Whitney Kimball on January 29, 2015
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“I do believe that there is cosmic synchronicity that we don’t understand,” Rachel Mason told me on a chilly night in her Long Island City studio. Eight years ago, she began researching an eighty-year-old newspaper story for her new opera “The Lives of Hamilton Fish”– the making of which, alone, is a long story.

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The Nostalgic Pop of Grear Patterson’s Manhattan Beach

by Corinna Kirsch on January 27, 2015
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There are, and have been a ton of contemporary artists whose work falls into this territory of nostalgic pop. It’s hard to say why we need more of them.

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Grateful for Muses: Miguel Gutierrez’s Age & Beauty, Part 2

by Corinna Kirsch on January 21, 2015
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Why continue to make art if you’re a 43-year-old with no savings and no time for relationships? Choreographer Miguel Gutierrez wrestles with those personal doubts in Age & Beauty Part 2: Asian Beauty @ the Warq Meeting or The Choreographer & Her Muse or &:@&.

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At American Realness, the Nervous Wreckage of Jeremy Wade and Jibz Cameron

by Whitney Kimball on January 20, 2015
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Is there any anxiety worse than that of the liberal empowered self-aware non co-depending politically correct BFA’ed? Based on Jeremy Wade and Jibz Cameron at the American Realness Festival, no.

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Ivo Dimchev’s Fest: An Artist’s Descent Into Hell

by Paddy Johnson on January 19, 2015
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Social capital is the fuel of the art world. Attending art openings, dance performances, and biennials is seen as glamorous and sexy. Studio visits feel like exclusive behind-the-scenes access to the artist. Actually financing the lifestyle, though, requires a lot of soul-killing administration: constant emailing, negotiation, and usually a bit of flattery.

Most of us hate it. A lot of us try to avoid it. And then there’s Ivo Dimchev, who uses his distaste for administration as inspiration for his disturbing three-person performance, Fest, at the Abrons Arts Center. The piece tells the story of Ivo Dimchev’s negotiations with a festival director and staff in Copenhagen, all of which devolve into power plays driven by sexual desire. It is an absurd and abject comedy that sits somewhere between total chronophobia and complete brilliance.

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At Abrons, Avant-Garde With Bear Costumes

by Paddy Johnson on January 16, 2015
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By the end of this weekend, the AFC staff will have seen a total of 15 out of 21 performances at the “American Realness” festival at the Abrons Art Center– which, so far, has been defined by a mix of blow jobs, spray blood, DIY aesthetics, and self-referential institutional critique. On the messier fringes of these performances is Keith Hennessy’s “Bear Skin”.

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The Ten Best Exhibitions of 2014

by Paddy Johnson on December 31, 2014
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With this job, you don’t always have a chance to write up all the exhibitions you saw and loved, so for me, the 2014 year-end review is a Godsend. It gives me a chance to give a shout out to everything I saw and loved. And this year, there was an awful lot of it. May 2015 be this bountiful and more.

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The 2014 Internet Mood: Disappointed

by Corinna Kirsch on December 30, 2014
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Just a few odds and ends about 2014 before it comes to a close. Not to be a total downer, but this was a year filled with disappointment.

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No Remedies: Coco Fusco on the Ills of Art School

by Corinna Kirsch on December 18, 2014
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“When I hear people like W.A.G.E. group wanting [artists] to get paid, I’m like, ‘Oh, that’s nice. But what planet do you live on?’”

Those were some of the contentious words artist and MLK visiting professor at MIT Coco Fusco chose to introduce her hour-long talk at Momenta Art earlier this month. The talk, “Creative Extraction: Why are Art Schools at the Vanguard of Unreasonable Debt Burdens?”, was part of a program offered by Occupy Museums that relates to their exhibition and upcoming conference on The Artist as Debtor. It centered around the idea that higher education is a debt trap. Rather than trying to fix the current labor situation, like W.A.G.E., Fusco believes in addressing the root of the problem: art schools and high MFA costs.

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A New Generation of Art for a New Generation of HIV

by Whitney Kimball on December 18, 2014
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“Every day is International AIDS Day,” AA Bronson tweeted during a recent week of AIDS-related memorial and art events. Depending on the reader, the tweet could be interpreted as a show of solidarity, or a dig at the nature of tragedy memorials. Typically these things do less to “remind” us of the event, than they do bend into a shape prescribed by an organization.

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