Glimpses of my research and projects in progress can be seen here: what I'm reading, who I'm learning from, where I'm viewing art...
My next project is co-curating the Winter 2013-2014 exhibition at the Studio Museum in Harlem. My co-curator Naima Keith and I have had the pleasure of collaborating with graphic designer Kimberly Varella of Content-Object
HOT TYPE! My book selected by Vogue as one "30 best new books"
Autumn's here & I'm back!
Autumn's now upon us and the flurry of Summer activity translated to silence on these pages. I'm pleased to announce that The Graphic World of Paul Peter Piech is now in print!
Talks in June
June has been a busy month of lecturing and speaking engagements. On 14 June I presented an ABC of 20th century design at Olympia Art Fair.
On 15 June, I had the pleasure of co-organising a panel discussion at Tate Modern. Afrofuturism's Others started with Ellen Gallagher's sublime exhibition AxME and the works it contains to discuss aesthetics and politics in contemporary art, music, film and literature. I understand a podcast will soon be posted on the Tate website. A review of the session can be read here.
More essays to read about theory and practice
Today's Google search (May 3rd) uncovered Art and Contemporary Critical Practice published under Creative Commons by MayFly Books. I've gladly paid the suggested £1 donation.
Lynette Yiadom Boakye
"It was [sugar-beet farmer] Cornelis de Jong who drew my attention to the fact that many important museums, such as the Mauritshuis in The Hague or the Tate Gallery in London, were originally endowed by the sugar dynasties or were in some other way connected with the sugar trade. The capital amassed in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries through various forms of slave economy is still in circulation, said de Jong, still bearing interest, increasing many times over and continually burgeoning anew. One of the most tried and tested ways of legitimizing this kind of money has always been patronage of the arts, the purchase and exhibiting of paintings and sculptures, a practice which today, said de Jong, was leading to a relentless escalation of prices paid at major auctions. Within a few years, the hundred million mark for half a square yard of painted canvas will have been passed. At times it seems to me, said de Jong, as if all works of art were coated with a sugar glaze or indeed made completely of sugar, like the model of the battle of Esztergom created by a confectioner to the Viennese court, which Empress Maria Theresia, so it is said, devoured in one of her recurrent bouts of melancholy."
W.G. Sebald. The Rings of Saturn . Vintage: 2002. p. 194.
On institutional critique...
“It’s not a question of being against the institution: We are the institution. It’s a question of what kind of institution we are, what kind of values we institutionalize, what forms of practice we reward, and what kinds of rewards we aspire to. Because the institution of art is internalized, embodied, and performed by individuals, these are the questions that institutional critique demands we ask, above all, of ourselves.”
Andrea Fraser, “From the Critique of Institutions to an Institution of Critique,” Artforum, Sept. 2005.
Roll on Summer...
Collectives and coincidences...
On Sunday 3 March 2013, I attended Ingrid Mwangi Robert Hutter's performance at Art13 art fair. I'm fascinated by their "retrospective formation of a collective." I was transfixed by the performance but it was unintentionally heightened by Roelof Louw's 'Soul City (Pyramid of Oranges)', 1967 - which you can just see behind Ingrid Mwangi in my otherwise terrible photo - because the smell of oranges added to the sensory experience, particularly when Mwangi offered each of us in the audience a pomegranate seed to eat.
The New Yorker recreated its own version of Art Kane's A Great Day in Harlem with 18 of the artists featured in the exhibition The Shadows Took Shape, which I co-curated with Naima Keith (we're the two ladies in red in the lower left corner). Here's an outtake taken with my iPhone: