All posts filed under: Issue 22

Contributors / Issue 22: Opacity

Guillermina De Ferrari (PhD Columbia University) is professor of Spanish and Director of the Center for Visual Cultures at University of Wisconsin-Madison. She specializes on Caribbean literature and visual culture. Her book Vulnerable States: Bodies of Memory in Contemporary Caribbean Fiction (2007) studies the trope of the vulnerable body in contemporary Caribbean literature. Her book Community and Culture in […]

Opacity and Sensation in Reynier Leyva Novo’s Historical Installations

Written By Guillermina De Ferrari In revolutionary Cuba, history is never about the past. In the early days of the Revolution, state-sponsored cultural production paid much attention to the nineteenth century with one objective: to suggest that the struggle for Independence from Spain in the 1890s hadn’t been fully accomplished until the 1959 Revolution. The most […]

The Problem of Nonhuman Phenomenology: or, What is it Like to Be a Kinect?

Written By Anne Pasek New materialism presents an ambitious revision of key philosophical and political concepts, most notably that of the divide between human and nonhuman agents. In order to move critical inquiry outside of the labyrinths of language so that it might also attend to the material effects and actions of the nonhuman world, threads […]

Afterthoughts on Queer Opacity

Written By Nicholas de Villiers What can a celebrity body be if not opaque? And yet what if the whole point of celebrity is the spectacle of people forced to tell transparent lies in public? We have already mentioned what we take to be a central chord in our culture of “knowingness”—the reserve force of information, […]

Knit for Defense, Purl to Control

Written By Jacqueline Witkowski “Sometimes the war news seems so abstract and it’s hard to imagine what it’s like for soldiers—knitting helped make it real to me.” 1 Left in the visitor’s notebook, this statement commented on Sabrina Gschwandtner’s Wartime Knitting Circle (2007), an interactive installation that invited the audience to sit down with the artist […]

The Color of Silence

Artwork By Shalom Gorewitz Artist’s statement: Hidden Revelations  “Vision begins with a fault in this world’s smooth facade.” -Howard Nemerov I’m staring at a blank wall.  There is a window in between.  I am inside looking out. I’m staring at a television set.  There is a screen in between.  I am outside looking in. I’m moving […]

Seeing / Being Seen

Artwork By Justin Nolan Seeing / Being Seen is a reflection on tourism, spectacle, and surveillance. The ubiquity of cameras at cultural sites like Times Square has shifted the memorializing function of the camera. The camera as a tool for experiencing place is nothing new but it becomes much more pervasive when digital cameras allow for […]

Internal Frontier

Artwork By Kasia Ozga Artist’s Statement: Non-EU immigrants to France seeking long-term residency permits are required to obtain x-rays in order to be cleared for processing. Every day, the government asserts its right to peer into and catalogue the innermost parts of our bodies, in order to determine who gets to stay within its borders and […]

Pay for Your Pleasures

Reviewed by Kirin Wachter-Grene Cary Levine. Pay For Your Pleasures: Mike Kelley, Paul McCarthy, Raymond Pettibon. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 2013. Hardcover. 211 pp. Cary Levine’s first book, Pay For Your Pleasures: Mike Kelley, Paul McCarthy, Raymond Pettibon, uses three of America’s most transgressive artists to reconsider the concept of “transgressive” art. The first book […]

Building Zion

Reviewed by Dai Newman Thomas Carter. Building Zion: The Material World of Mormon Settlement. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2015. 408pp. The standard narrative of the settling of the Great Basin by members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints asserts that the Mormons moved west to craft a radically different society. Polygamy, […]

Radio Benjamin

Radio Benjamin

Reviewed By Anna-Verena Nosthoff Walter Benjamin. Radio Benjamin. Edited by Lecia Rosenthal. Translated by Jonathan Lutes with Lisa Harries Schumann and Diana K. Reese. London and New York: Verso Books, 2014, 424 pp. In view of the overwhelming popularity of Benjamin’s theoretical writings on the artwork, technology, and cultural-political change, it is curious that so little […]