Jens Hoffmann and Adriano Pedrosa, co-curators of the upcoming Istanbul Biennial, have refused to give a descriptive title to their exhibition, opting instead for "Untitled (12th
Istanbul Biennial)." The show is structured as five group shows inspired by five works by Cuban-American artist Felix Gonzalez Torres: "Untitled" (Abstraction)
; "Untitled" (Death by Gun)
; "Untitled" (History)
; "Untitled" (Passport)
; and "Untitled" (Ross)
In addition, fifty solo presentations will be arranged in the gallery spaces surrounding the group exhibitions. Read More
Taking equal inspiration from critical studies and Twitter, Fia Backström's work engages methods of display to raise large questions about form, politics and rhetorics. Living and working between Stockholm and New York, the artist's work spans media, including but not limited to: arrangements of images and texts, objects, environments, printed matter, performances, and discursive content such as essays and interviews with other artists published in various art journals. Through short, cryptic poems printed on aluminum, Backström's current exhibition at Murray Guy uses various rhetorical modes familiar from contemporary media. Art in America
met the artist in Chelsea, initiating a dialog that would unfold over email. The following offers a condensed version of the conversation.
BERIN GOLONU: Your current show at Murray Guy in New York is titled "Social Ambien® Support—five ways of authenticating address.
" You've hung aluminum plaques on the walls inscribed with verse in a repeated system. My favorite one reads: Read More
Emory Douglas and Rigo 23 are two artists of two successive generations who uncompromisingly advocate social and political change through their work. They both live in the San Francisco Bay Area and have known each other for years. They came together in conversation here to discuss their concurrent solo exhibitions at the New Museum. "Emory Douglas: Black Panther," a retrospective of the artist's work made during his thirteen years as Minister of Culture for the Black Panther Party, includes the artist's illustrations and graphic designs reproduced primarily in ephemera. From 1967 until 1980, Douglas illustrated The Black Panther newspaper, whose weekly design and production he also oversaw. Rigo 23 is equally committed to situating his work in the public sphere. For a while, his name would change from year to year, so one mural may have been signed Rigo 85; a later one may have borne the signature Rigo 99. In 2003, however, he settled on permanent name, dropped the zeroes, and has been Rigo 23 ever since. His installation titled "The Deeper They Bury Me, The Louder My Voice Becomes," is a meditation on prisoners' rights, specifically calling attention to the incarceration of political prisoners the Angola 3, who've been in solitary confinement for thirty-six years.
BG: How did the two of you meet?
RIGO 23: I first heard about Emory's work through human rights activist Geronimo ji Jaga. I've come to Emory for guidance many times in doing politically motivated artwork. Emory fills me in on the history of the Black Panther Party.
EMORY DOUGLAS: Currently we're working together with the family of Little Bobby Hutton, one of the first members of the Black Panther Party, on a public monument in his name. Hutton was killed by police at the age of sixteen. The monument will be placed at De Fremery Park in Oakland, a site where many Black Panther Party meetings were held. Read More
No matter how frantically you try to make it through the Venice Biennale, the list always proves too long, and your time in Venice too short. For the benefit of Biennial visitors who have yet to draft their travel itineraries, I'll mention a few highlights from the countless works I did get a chance to view during the dizzying preview. Read More
For this year's Venice Biennale, the renovation of the Arsenale buildings has been extended to an area just across the little manmade pond called the Darsene Grande to include the spacious warehouses referred to as the Novissimo Arsenale. These new exhibition halls are host to numerous smaller shows (or, in Biennale-speak, "collateral events"), and I've found that the most pleasant way to approach the Novissimo Arsenale is to take the vaporetto to the Bacini stop where you disembark onto a beautifully manicured sculpture garden before winding your way through the greenery into the halls. The ride itself yields several spectacles perched on the edge of nearby Isola Certo, the most notable of which is a magnificent view of artist Swoon's "Swimming Cities" project docked on the pier. Read More