All posts tagged: Exhibition review

Curatorial Fabulations: Difference, Subversion, and Exhibition-as-Form in ‘Outliers and American Vanguard Art’

Review of Outliers and American Vanguard Art written by Kendall DeBoer, University of Rochester Outliers and American Vanguard Art: National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C., January 28 – May 13, 2018 High Museum of Art, Atlanta, June 24–September 30, 2018 Los Angeles County Museum of Art, November 18, 2018–March 18, 2019 Seraphine Louis, “Feuilles,” (c. 1928), oil on canvas. Attempts to highlight non-canonical artworks and their makers tend to fall into common traps. Some fetishize the identities of the artists; others gloss over identity in favor of formalist readings. Many erase narratives of inequality that the artists had intended to address with their reparative work. Lynne Cooke’s exhibition Outliers and American Vanguard Art, remarkable for its breadth and depth, evades these pitfalls in its examination of difference. Cooke’s show presents an ambitious, complex web of works connected across aesthetic, temporal, geographic, cultural, and political lines. Through her curatorial choices informed by her practice of critical fabulations, Cooke proposes new areas of inquiry and inspires meaning-making in a field that has often felt foreclosed and inaccessible. …

How Heritage Feels: An Artist’s Sensuous Archaeology of Iraqi-American Relations

Exhibition review by Hilary Morgan Leathem, University of Chicago Figure 1 Michael Rakowitz, Backstroke of the West, Installation view, Reproduced with permission of Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. Michael Rakowitz: Backstroke of the West, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, September 16, 2017—March 4, 2018. “It bemoans its lost wisdom There’s nothing left Its heritage is lost And one question follows the other…” —Tarek Eltayeb, “A Hoopoe”1 While heritage has become a subject of sustained interest across disciplines in the last few decades, most studies focus on its economic dimensions, allowing the moral, symbolic, and affective power of heritage to fall to the wayside.2 A recent exhibition at Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art, Michael Rakowitz: Backstroke of the West, curated by Dr. Omar Kholeif, gives us a window into how to address this absence, exploring the moral economies of history and heritage, in part, by reconstituting missing, looted, or destroyed artifacts from Iraq. It also builds on the assertion that there still remains a palpable disconnect between the socially constructed “self” and “other,” “us” and “them,” …

If Only Radiation Had Color: The Era of Fukushima

Exhibition review by Line Ellegaard, associate lecturer at The University of Copenhagen.  “If Only Radiation Had Color: The Era of Fukushima.” X AND BEYOND, Copenhagen. April 1, 2017 – July 2, 2017. In March 2011 a 9.0 earthquake hit the near-off shore of Japan creating a tsunami that, caused tremendous damage on land, initiating a series of explosions, and the meltdown of three reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant owned by the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO). The ensuing release of radioactive material contaminated a large part of Fukushima and prompted the evacuation of another 154.000 citizens, in addition to the 470.000 already evacuated because of the earthquake and tsunami.1 During summer 2017 a three-part exhibition-series at X AND BEYOND surveyed work made by contemporary Japanese artists in the wake and aftermath of this nuclear disaster. “If Only Radiation Had Color: The Era of Fukushima”, co-curated by director of X AND BEYOND, Jacob Lillemose, the Tokyo based curator, Kenji Kubota, and independent critic and curator Jason Waite, looked at reconfigurations of the social in …

My East Is Your West

Review by Sophie Knezic, University of Melbourne. Shilpa Gupta and Rashid Rana, My East Is Your West. 56th Venice Biennale. May 5 – October 31, 2015. A satellite exhibition of the 56th Venice Biennale, My East is Your West was presented at the Palazzo Benzon, whose interior architecture of adjoining rooms, narrow corridors and cordoned-off, dimly-lit spaces suggested a mise en abyme of thresholds and crossings. Commissioned by the Gujral Foundation, conceived by its Director Feroze Gujral, and curated by Martina Mazzotta and Natasha Ginwala, the exhibition juxtaposed Pakistani artist Rashid Rana and Indian artist Shilpa Gupta’s respective explorations of geographical divides and subcontinental tensions. As nations locked in postcolonial conflict for much of the second half of the 20th century, neither India nor Pakistan has had the privilege of a permanent national pavilion at Venice, making this a particularly pointed curatorial pairing. Choosing to deploy a method of appropriation, Rana covered two walls with pixelated digital prints of two canonical works from Western art history: Caravaggio’s Judith Slaying Holofernes (1598-99) and Jacques Louis David’s Oath of the Horatii (1784), …