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Zombie Figuration Isn’t a Thing: A Critical Autopsy with Antwaun Sargent

by Paddy Johnson and William Powhida on August 4, 2020
Jordan Casteel, "Within Reach", New Museum installation view, 2020. Photo: Dario Lasagni

Jordan Casteel, “Within Reach”, New Museum installation view, 2020. Photo: Dario Lasagni

In this episode of Explain Me, critic and curator Antwaun Sargent joins us to discuss the effects of the pandemic and Alex Greenberger’s Zombie Figuration, a confusing essay that appeared earlier this month in ARTnews. In the first half hour we discuss the disparate effects of the pandemic and general politics. Then we move on to art, zombies,  race,  and why art has limitsListen on Spotify, Stitcher, and Apple Podcasts.

BIOGRAPHY

Antwaun Sargent is an art critic and a writer who has contributed to The New York Times, The New Yorker, Vice and more, as well as essays to multiple museum publications. His first book, “The New Black Vanguard: Photography between Art and Fashion” (Aperture) is out now. In April he announced a new partnership with Gagosian that will include working on four exhibitions and contributing features to their magazine.  Follow him on Twitter and Instagram

LISTENER ADVISORY: In this episode, Paddy Johnson occasionally repeats Antwaun Sargent’s words when his audio cuts out. This leads to periodic moments when Johnson and Sargent speak at the same time. 

LINKS

EARLY WHITNEY BIENNIAL REVIEWS 

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From L.A. With Love: Thoughts on Online Viewing Rooms, Museum Layoffs, and More with Carolina Miranda and Michael Shaw

by Paddy Johnson and William Powhida on April 20, 2020
Steve Locke Student 338, 2016 Hydrocal, galvanized steel nails, procion dye, shellac approximately 12x4.5x5.5" $4,000

Steve Locke, Student 338, 2016, Hydrocal, galvanized steel nails, procion dye, shellac
approximately 12×4.5×5.5″, $4,000. Link to item.

This week on Explain Me, William Powhida and Paddy Johnson speak with artist Michael Shaw and L.A. staff writer Carolina Miranda how quarantining is affecting artists, galleries and journalists on the West Coast. Shaw talks about the prospect of losing his studio of nine years, The L.A. Tenants Union and landlords who are neither friendly nor flexible. Miranda speaks about cuts at the L.A. Times and the surrounding museums, as well as her latest story on how corona is impacting commercial galleries.

We take a virtual visit to the Dallas Art Fair together, and talk about the art we’ve enjoyed recently. All links below.

NEWS

Marciano Collection Announces it won’t reopen in wake of layoffs following union drive. — L.A. Times

MOCA lays off all 97 part time employees — L.A. Times

Uovo lays off pro union organizers while others are paid to stay at home —The Art Newspaper

How Arts Non-profits are responding to COVID – Hyperallergic

LACMA began demolition: But that hasn’t stopped a protest group for an alternate plan—L.A. Times

Painful closures lie ahead for L.A. galleries. How 35 are bracing for the worst. — L.A. Times

ART

The Dallas Art Fair 

Mark Amerika’s Grammatron

Wellnow.wtf

Scott Mendes—Darren Bader’s VR app (still not released)

El Greco Audio Tour—Art Institute of Chicago.

This is Chance—99% Invisible

Sheep video review — The New York Times

The Weirdly Enduring Appeal of Weird Al Yankovic — The New York Times

Magda Sawon’s Twitter

SUBSCRIBE

Explain Me Patreon 

The Conversation Patreon

The L.A. Times

Hyperallergic membership

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Explain Me with Jonathan Schwartz of Atelier4 and Magda Sawon of Postmasters

by Paddy Johnson and William Powhida on March 29, 2020
Serkan Özkaya's Proletarier Aller Länder (Workers of the World) 1999, Image via Postmaster's Gallery.

Serkan Özkaya’s Proletarier Aller Länder (Workers of the World) 1999, Image via Postmaster’s Gallery.

In this episode of Explain Me, hosts Paddy Johnson and William Powhida talk to Magda Sawon of Postmasters Gallery in New York, and Jonathan Schwartz, the CEO and founder of Atelier4, an arts logistics company based out of New York. The discussion includes stories and conversations you won’t find anywhere else.

Schwartz reports that at least one logistics company is currently breaking the law to ship art, and that Fedex trucks are in short supply because they’re being used to transport the dead.

Magda describes the challenges for galleries which range from financial burdens to the need to better consider the online art environment.

William and Paddy discuss the financial precarity of artists, writers, and educators.

As a group we talk about what needs to be done to respond to the crisis and what is being done. We also make the mini announcement that we will be launching a Patreon for Explain Me in the next week or two. More details on that soon!

We’re looking at a radical shift in opportunity, so this conversation includes a fair amount of debate. We’re also doing it over zoom, with William on the phone due to an internet connectivity issue. This isn’t the best recording quality we’ve ever produced, but it might be the most important episode. Please tune in.

COMING UP: Resources for freelancers and art organizations. What relief is available and how long it will take to get to the people who need it.

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Museum Board Members Fail Moral Challenges, Museum Exhibitions Exceed Expectations

by Paddy Johnson on December 4, 2018
Thumbnail image for Museum Board Members Fail Moral Challenges, Museum Exhibitions Exceed Expectations

Donna DeSalvo assembles some of Andy Warhol’s greatest work for his retrospective at the Whitney Museum, while revelations that Whitney Vice Chair Warren B. Kanders owns a company that sells tear gas used at the border shake museum staff. Soul of a Nation at the Brooklyn Museum looks at the history of political activism, while Jack Waters offers a mix of bag of awe inspiring abject art paired with groan inspiring sculptures and paintings. Jack Whitten at the Metropolitan Museum dazzles, Art and Conspiracy flops, and Amazon is going to drive Queens residents out of their homes.

Listen ——>

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