From the category archives:

Reviews

Political Mas: Marlon Griffith’s “Ring of Fire” at the Art Gallery of York University

by Rea McNamara on August 13, 2015
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Last Sunday afternoon, in front of the historic Ontario Legislative Building in Toronto’s Queen’s Park, the different sections of a street procession had gathered, waiting. Even though the atmosphere thrummed with an excitable confusion among its just over two hundred masqueraders in anticipation of undertaking a two-and-a-half kilometer parade route along University Avenue to City Hall, it all threatened to wilt under the blaze of the hot sun. Volunteers scurried back and forth down the line, spraying with water bottles those wearing outsized circular masks and seemingly precarious, ten-foot high netted sculptural wings.

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Gestalt Theory and Space Operas in Neon: Esther Ruiz at Platform

by Michael Anthony Farley on August 12, 2015
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Brooklyn-based Esther Ruiz waxes philosophical on art history, sci-fi, and mythology in her neon-filled solo exhibition The Whole is Other than the Sum of its Parts, now on view at Baltimore’s Platform Gallery.

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Highlights from the Creative Capital Retreat: Part One

by Paddy Johnson on August 7, 2015
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The Creative Capital Retreat took place two weeks ago now, and I’m still thinking about it. Nearly every year the organization invites grantees from their latest grant cycles to give seven minute presentations on what they have or will do to a room full of professionals. This year, though, was more emotional than usual. Ruby Lerner, Creative Capital’s Founding President and Executive Director announced she would be retiring earlier in the year, and it’s her vision and guidance that has helped make Creative Capital so unique. With the help of the Warhol Foundation, a strong board and staff, and a robust philanthropic community, the granting agency has done more to help artists than almost any other I know. It’s not just that artists receive a $50,000 grant—though that’s certainly helpful—but that they get access to an incredible array of professional development programs. This retreat is their flagship event.

More after the jump.

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At NEW INC Demo Day 2015, a Cheery Future for Art and Tech

by Corinna Kirsch on July 22, 2015
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When art mingles with tech, there can be a rush to mass-market artsy/techy products; in the early days of new tech, those products can sound terribly goofy, and they often aim at self-improvement. Take, for example, from 1969, artist Thomas Tadlock’s “Archetron,” a color synthesizer that turned black-and-white signals on a TV into colorful psychedelic imagery. It ended up being sold as a “prophecy, meditation, and healing machine” at a new age center in New York. That product never really caught on; and we tend to remember Tadlock more for his art contribution than a commercial one.

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Postcolonial Cinema in Oil on Canvas, After Canvas: Meleko Mokgosi at the ICA Boston

by Michael Anthony Farley on July 10, 2015
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Meleko Mokgosi’s epic installation of paintings spans a gallery—and a nation’s history. The artist combines vignettes of life in postcolonial Botswana into luscious, cinematic storyboards.

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We Went to Regina Rex and 247365

by Michael Anthony Farley and Corinna Kirsch on July 9, 2015
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In which we both admit our love for Regina Rex.

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We Went to Soft Core at INVISIBLE-EXPORTS and Close to the Skin at Company Gallery

by Michael Anthony Farley and Corinna Kirsch on July 8, 2015
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It’s always a surprise to see a group show, think you “get it,” and then read the curator’s statement and realize you’re totally off. That was my experience of almost everything we saw. That’s rewarding in its own way, though. And it gives me optimism that there are artists and curators veering away from the obvious, overly referential, and aesthetically homogeneous.

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Stories Made With Love: Sondra Perry’s Lineage for a Multiple-Monitor Workstation

by Paddy Johnson on July 7, 2015
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It’s an overcast day in March when Sondra Perry shoots her family portrait. She gathers the roughly ten members to stand in front of what we assume is her grandmother’s house, and asks them to hold up the American flag. They are all African American and wearing neon-green ski masks. “1-2-3,” chants Perry. “Cheese!” says the family.

A finder window pops up. The cursor clicks around and starts the music. “Everybody Loves the Sunshine” rings out and the window begins to slowly rotate and float back into the neon-green desktop wallpaper.

It’s a hypnotizing and beautiful entry point into Perry’s 25-minute “Lineage for a Multiple-Monitor Workstation: Number One,” a video that uses multiple windows on dual computer screens to invite viewers and her family to reimagine black identity and social history. Perry casts her relatives as themselves, and asks them to recall and reconstruct personal and fabricated family traditions. The result is a film that presents identity as half-true, half-constructed, and entirely mutable in the digital age. It’s a brilliant video, and one of the most worthy of attention I’ve seen in a long time.

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Philippe Parreno at the Park Avenue Armory: Almost an Oasis

by Corinna Kirsch on June 30, 2015
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A weary traveler might find respite in H {N}Y P N{Y} OSIS, a sometimes soothing, musical reverie held in the dark, cool space within the Park Avenue Armory. But just when she thinks she has stumbled into a calming oasis, those damn flashing lights won’t stop blinking, those automated pianos won’t stop playing, and those precocious little girls won’t stop speaking in existential overtones.

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