All posts tagged: Before Pictures

Reading Douglas

by Xiao (Amanda) Ju I think of reading as one way to be in dialogue with Douglas, and, for me, he is such an important interlocutor. Reading Douglas has always been a bit difficult for me—part of it has to do with the fact that there is a whole set of English words that I have never said out loud­––his writings include a whole lot of them! More affecting, however, is that Douglas was the teacher who held us accountable for “not knowing things.” He would get very frustrated with our lack of knowledge: what we excused as generational or cultural gaps, he took, I think, as all-too-precocious rigidities in cultural and historical interests. So when I stumble to read, a feeling of embarrassment always pricks me. There is what feels like a lack of ethics in these gaps of knowledge. I had read the chapter “Hotel Des Artistes” before, but of course had never read it out loud. This recording, embarrassing as it is, captures something personal about my relationship with the English language, …

After Douglas Crimp Questionnaire Response: Tara Najd Ahmadi

An Art Historian’s Recipe is a short film homage to art historian Douglas Crimp (1944-2019). In the 1970s, Crimp and his boyfriend attempted to publish a Moroccan cookbook in New York City, but their project failed and the book was never published. The film’s narration consists of excerpts from Crimp’s memoir, Before Pictures. The footage is a collage of 16mm films shot between 2017 and 2021. Central to the footage are scenes of Crimp preparing a tagine dish (from his unpublished cookbook) with his students at the University of Rochester. Directed by: Tara Najd Ahmadi Voices: Lauren DiGiulio Amanda Graham Jurij Meden Tara Najd Ahmadi Edit: Per the artist’s request, this film was available for one year after the publication of this issue. For more info on her work, see the artist’s website: Tara Najd Ahmadi is an artist and scholar, based in Vienna. Click here to return to the other questionnaire responses.