This week’s podcast features Brian and Matt Sussman talk with Monique Jenkinson, whose work draws from dance, theater, performance art and drag. Hot topics include: staging a guerilla fashion show in a museum, the subversive power of Disney princesses and how performers are like archives. Plus, more divas than the Daytime Emmys!
Blog life began this week with a post from Paul King about narrative techniques in video games â€” particularlyÂ Half-LifeÂ and Gone Home. King explores the wayÂ game players develop a relationship their gamesake protagonists as they negotiate the landscape defined by developers:
… as the player gains control and the ability to define the narrative through the interactivity of the medium, the developer appears to exert less control. And when the developer wields less control, they fade from the experience of the game, allowing it to stand on its own. While the relationship between the player and the developer is an interesting one (and well worth exploring at another time), they happen to be at direct odds with eitherâ€™s direct relationship to the game and the protagonist. In a sense, the developer must be able to release full control of their creation, their child, to the player, and allow them to determine the protagonistâ€™s existence and relation to the game as a whole.
After the Creative Time Summit, Abby Satinsky dives into a question posed by Project Row House’s Rick Lowe:
â€œIs Social Practice Gentrifying Community Arts?â€: This question posed by Rick Lowe of Project Row Houses in conversation with Nato Thompson at this yearsÂ Creative Time Summit, Art, Place & Dislocation in the 21st Century, was a crystallizing moment in a series of gatherings and convening Iâ€™ve been part of the last few months. Addressing â€œgentrification,â€ the thematic buzz word of this yearâ€™s Creative Time convening, Lowe said that to really talk through the issue of gentrification, we must also address our issues with race. As he put it, communities of color are talking about race all the time as part of inescapable component of everyday experience, whereas conversations with white people results in a sort of â€œshadowboxingâ€ in which one dances around the issue without addressing it head-on. To illustrate, he brought up the media coverage around the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman case in which Juror B37 said on Anderson Cooper that the case had nothing at all to do with race, a sentiment echoed by many commentators in our mainstream media outlets. This in stark contrast to the conversations he was having (as many were) where race wasÂ theÂ central issue in how that case was tried and decided and which had vast implications for communities of color.
Ever wonder how art gets from one place to another? From the basement to an exhibition hall? From one state to the next? Britton Bertrand wrote about his tumblr page, INSTALLATOR:
My own Tumblr,Â Installator, is a curated (for lack of a better term) blog of other peopleâ€™s content.Â Â Â Installator (wrapit-tapeit-walkit-placeit) is essentially a compendium of art in a state of movement â€“ being installed, de-installed, moved, crated, knocked down, hung, lifted, cleaned, screwed together, and on and on.Â Itâ€™s about art as an object, but decidedly not the object that most people understand it to be.Â Not precious, or in some casesÂ priceless, well-lit aesthetic nuggets that just seems to appear on walls, or pedestals, in fields, on buildings and above couches.Â These are images of artworks that are not static.
On November 9th the Queens Museum (formerly the Queens Art Museum) will reopen its doors. Juliana Driever discusses the work on display:
The inaugural season at the QM includes solo exhibitions by Bread and Puppet Theater Founder, Peter Schumann, Pedro Reyes and Jeff Chien-Hsing Liao, as well as the sixth installment of the Queens International. New installations of the permanent collection galleries impress â€“ including, of course the panorama of New York City, easily one of the museumâ€™s greatest assets.
Thea Liberty Nichols wrote about Chicago artist Judith Brotman, reflecting on the artist’s new body of work and how it emerged from past projects:
For the exhibition â€œNew Word,â€ Brotman used the Jewish Kabbalistic prompt of finding a word to follow for the rest of your life as an impetuous to generate 1000 new words, including some of the following examples:
Brotman relinquished some control over the pieceâ€™s manifestation by â€œnot touching the work,â€ tasking the organizer of the exhibition to fabricate the piece by inscribing the words on the wall for her. Although many of the words are humorous sounding, and the project on the whole involves a certain amount of playfulness, it forces a certain obligation and responsibility on the viewer as well.
Kevin Blake interviewed Josh Reames, about his approach to painting. discussing â€” among other things â€” the canon and abstraction. At one point Reames reflects:
Maybe Iâ€™m wrong, but it seems like the need for iconoclasm is outdated.Â I think the idea of superseding or escaping abstraction comes from some need for a linear narrative of â€œthis became that, then that became something elseâ€ which I think has been a legit way of understanding a progression of artists, at least for the past few hundred years. But now I think itâ€™s a little different; sampling, re-sampling, homage, and straight plagiarism are all viable forms of historical awareness in art. The drippy brushstroke has historically been an abstract tool, meant to express the presence of the artist â€“ a remnant of the physical self. But over time, that becomes a trope, a symbol separated from itâ€™s original context. I think this is liberating in a way. Itâ€™s sort of like Tarantino using the tropes of old kung-fu films like Zatoichi and Lady Snowblood; he takes an outdated thing and makes it fresh. In that sense, Robert Motherwell or Franz Kline didnâ€™t have the internet, so I have a fresh set of tools to play with.
Terri Griffith posted a review of Pussy Riot’s latest book, PUSSY RIOT!: A Punk Prayer for FreedomÂ :
Pussy Riot is just what we need right now. This little book from The Feminist Press is a compelling time capsule told exclusively from the perspective of the women themselves, and their artist supporters. Iâ€™m sure the future will provide us with an academic anthology retrospectively detailing the cultural, political, and activist implications of Pussy Riot. Thankfully, this is not that book.
& last, but not least: a list ofÂ Endless opportunities from yours truly.