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Entries Tagged as 'contemporary art'

A Persian Garden in Manhattan—with Bahar Behbahani

June 23rd, 2021 · Comments

This Persian Garden Project will be providing visitors with a private, yet public environment in which to engage important social and cultural issues by gathering and gardening through conversations, screenings, readings, and communal performances. I’m imagining it as a hub for activism and healing—a home for all marginalized, mediated, untold, and less celebrated stories.

Bahar Behbahani, 2021

The art of Brooklyn-based artist Bahar Behbahani responds to the history and character of the complex landscapes that surround her—reflecting on her cultural origins and immigrant experience. Conversations with the artist across time reveal how she has immersed herself in the form, poetry, and politics of the Persian garden. Now, her vision extends to designing and programming a public environment for activism and healing where she aims to engender a communal sense of hospitality, resistance, and resilience. When Behbahani reaches her goal, a new Persian garden will flourish in Manhattan—cultivated by the hands and minds of artists and historians, thinkers and doers from cultures around the world that call New York City home.

Sound Design: Anamnesis Audio | Special Audio: Bahar Behbahani, Suspended (2007) and All Water Has a Perfect Memory (2019), courtesy the artist

Related Episodes: The Awakening, Bahar Behbahani on Politics and Persian Gardens

 

Related Links: Bahar Behbahani, Ispahan Flowers Only Once (2019-ongoing), All Water Has a Perfect Memory/Wave Hill Public Garden, 9/11 Memorial

Tags: contemporary art · sculpture · public art · activism · environment · community · architecture

The State of Blackness—with Andrea Fatona

June 9th, 2021 · Comments

“In a way, I've always been working on the edge of both a larger dominant society engagement and a deep engagement with my communities. My focus is really digging deep into blackness.”

Andrea Fatona, 2021

 

Toronto-based curator and scholar Andrea Fatona has been addressing institutionalized racism on her own terms since the 1990s. Our conversations across time reveal the depth of her commitment to making visible the full spectrum of Black culture in Canada. Engaging with Black communities to build an online repository while addressing algorithmic injustice, she and her collaborators are illuminating the work of Black Canadian cultural producers on the global stage.

 

Sound Design: Anamnesis Audio 

Special Audio: Hogan’s Alley (1994), courtesy Vivo Media Arts, Andrea Fatona and Cornelia Wyngaarden and Whitewash (2016), Nadine Valcin, courtesy the artist

 

Related Episodes: The Awakening, New Point of View at the Venice Art Biennale

 

Related Links: The State of Blackness, Andrea Fatona/OCADU, Vivo Media Arts, Okui Enwezor, All the World’s Futures/56th Venice Art Biennale, Cornelia Wyngaarden

What is The State of Blackness?

The State of Blackness website shares digital documentation of a 2014 conference that took place in Toronto, Canada. The State of Blackness: From Production to Presentation was a two-day, interdisciplinary event held at the Ontario College of Art and Design University and Harbourfront Centre for the Arts. Artists, curators, academics, students, and public participants gathered to engage in a dialogue that problematized the histories, current situation, and future state of Black diasporic artistic practice and representation in Canada. The site is now expanding to serve as a repository for information about ongoing research geared toward making visible the creative practice and dissemination of works by Black Canadian cultural producers from 1987 to present. 

 

What is Algorithmic Injustice?

Algorithms come into play when you do a search on the internet, taking keywords as input, searching related databases and returning results. Bias can enter into algorithmic systems as a result of pre-existing cultural, social, or institutional expectations; because of technical limitations of their design; or by being used in unanticipated contexts or by audiences who are not considered in the software's initial design.

Tags: contemporary art · activism · curator · black culture · black art · collection · community · education · technology

I Wish to Say—with Sheryl Oring

May 5th, 2021 · Comments

Today’s story takes place at the intersection of art and the First Amendment. This vital element of the United States Constitution protects our right to freedom of expression, by prohibiting lawmakers from restricting the press or the rights of individuals to speak freely. 

 

Artist Sheryl Oring took up this cause célèbre in 2004. In conversations across time, we trace her synthesis of art and free speech in a public performance project that quite naturally, has no end in sight. As long as there is democracy in the United States, there will be opportunities to voice opinions about the U.S. presidency, about social justice, the economy, public health, globalization, climate change, education, and more. 

 

What would YOU wish to say to the U.S. President?

Let us know on Instagram: @freshartintl #iwishtosay

 

Sound Editor: Anamnesis Audio | Special Audio: Sheryl Oring on ABC World News Tonight, 2004; Sheryl Oring at Washington and Lee University, 2018; I Wish to Say with University of Michigan and Wayne State University students, 2020; Lisa Bielawa, Voters’ Broadcast, 2020

 

Related Episodes: Where Art Meets Activism, Topical Playlist: Art and Politics, Charles Gaines on Philosophy and Politics in Conceptual Art, Bahar Behbahani on Politics and Persian Gardens

 

Related Links: Sheryl Oring, I Wish to Say, Activating Democracy (the book), The First Amendment Project, Oakland, CA, Creative Capital Foundation, W&L Quick Hit: Sheryl Oring Performs I Wish to Say, Sheryl Oring on ABC World News Tonight, I Wish to Say Archive, University of Michigan, Democracy & Debate Theme Semester, Stamps Gallery, Lisa Bielawa, Voters’ Broadcast, Mauer Broadcast with Lisa Bielawa, The Berlin Wall

Tags: contemporary art · public art · activism · performance art · performance · community · education · political art

Aesthetics of Excess—with Jillian Hernandez

April 14th, 2021 · Comments

Jillian Hernandez gives voice to girls and women of color in her 2020 book Aesthetics of Excess: The Art and Politics of Black and Latina Embodiment. In this episode, you’ll hear how she has been delving into the “aesthetic hierarchies” of femme culture for more than a decade. Research, critical writing, and personal experience come together to enrich this vividly illustrated book. Hernandez shares a few stories of her own fraught adolescence, along with those of Women on the Rise!, a community of teenage girls for whom she and local artists created opportunities to collide with art, through the Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami. 

 

Sound Editor: Anamnesis Audio | Special Audio: Chonga Girls, “Chongalicious,” Crystal Pearl Molinary, “Off the Chain”

 

Related Episodes: Puerto Rico Rising—Resisting Paradise, The Awakening, Topical Playlist—Art and Feminism

 

Related Links, Jillian Hernandez, University of Florida, Duke University Press, Women on the Rise!, Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami

 

Jillian Hernandez, a Miami native, is currently Assistant Professor in the Center for Gender, Sexualities, and Women’s Studies Research at the University of Florida. She is a transdisciplinary scholar interested in the stakes of embodiment, aesthetics, and performance for Black and Latinx women and girls, gender-nonconformists, and queers. In 2020, Hernandez completed her first book, Aesthetics of Excess: The Art and Politics of Black and Latina Embodiment, through Duke University Press. She is developing other book-length projects on the radical politics of femme of color art and performance and Latinx creative erotics, ontologies, and relationalities. Hernandez received her Ph.D. in Women’s and Gender Studies at Rutgers University and teaches courses on racialized girlhoods, Latinx sexualities, theories of the body, social justice praxis, and cultural studies. Her scholarship is based on and inspired by over a decade of community arts work with Black and Latinx girls in Miami, Florida, through the Women on the Rise! program she established at the Museum of Contemporary Art in North Miami, in addition to her practice as an artist and curator. via University of Florida

 

Aesthetics of Excess: Heavy makeup, gaudy jewelry, dramatic hairstyles, and clothes that are considered cheap, fake, too short, too tight, or too masculine: working-class Black and Latina girls and women are often framed as embodying "excessive" styles that are presumed to indicate sexual deviance. In Aesthetics of Excess Jillian Hernandez examines how middle-class discourses of aesthetic value racialize the bodies of women and girls of color. At the same time, their style can be a source of cultural capital when appropriated by the contemporary art scene. Drawing on her community arts work with Black and Latina girls in Miami, Hernandez analyzes the art and self-image of these girls alongside works produced by contemporary artists and pop musicians such as Wangechi Mutu, Kara Walker, and Nicki Minaj. Through these relational readings, Hernandez shows how notions of high and low culture are complicated when women and girls of color engage in cultural production and how they challenge the policing of their bodies and sexualities through artistic authorship. via Duke University Press

Tags: contemporary art · activism · performance art · black culture · black art · museum · community · education · feminist art

Art in Miami, Then and Now—with FeCuOp

April 7th, 2021 · Comments

In 2019, we recorded the first part of this story about the history of Miami's contemporary art scene inside Locust Projects, the longest running alternative art space in the city. Locust Projects director Lorie Mertes and artists from a collaborative known as FeCuOp—Jason Ferguson, Christian Curiel, Brandon Opalka, and Victor Villafañe, remember the raw energy of the 1990s. When we meet, the collective is in the midst of building out an immersive environment for Antenna, their first major project in Miami since 2003. The performative and interactive installation aimed to create a social experiment around communication.

In early 2021, we reach out to FeCuOp to talk about how much has changed since they collaborated on the highly interactive, live, and in-person experience at Locust Projects. Only months after they realized Antenna, the global coronavirus pandemic shut down the world for most of a year, profoundly altering how we encounter art.

Sound Editor: Anamnesis Audio | Special Sound featured with permission of FeCuOp 

Related Episodes: Where Art Meets Sand and Social Behavior, The BLCK Family of Miami on Collective Creativity

Related Links: Locust Projects, FeCuOp, Christian Curiel, Jason Ferguson, Brandon Opalka, Victor Villafañe, Miami Light Project

FeCuOp is a contemporary art collaborative established in Miami in 1997, by Jason Ferguson, born in Trinidad and Tobago, lives in South Carolina; Christian Curiel, born in Puerto Rico to Cuban parents, lives in New Haven, CT; Brandon Opalka, born in Virginia, lives in Colorado. The name constitutes an amalgam of the three founding artist’s names. FeCuOp along with new Miami-based member Victor Villafañe, are like the periodic table of elements; each member’s unique characteristics bring a unique variable property to every collaboration.

 

Locust Projects is an alternative art space founded by artists for artists in 1998. The arts incubator produces, presents, and nurtures ambitious and experimental new art and the exchange of ideas through commissioned exhibitions and projects, artist residencies, summer art intensives for teens, and public programs on contemporary art and curatorial practice.

Tags: contemporary art · sound art · curator · performance · community · exhibition · technology · art tech

Diaspora Art from the Creole City—with Rosie Gordon-Wallace

March 31st, 2021 · Comments

Now, more than ever, culture transcends geographic boundaries. In this episode, we explore the impact of that global phenomenon on the visibility of contemporary diaspora art.

From Jamaica, Rosie Gordon-Wallace is a globally recognized curator, arts advocate, and community leader based in Miami, Florida, since the 1970s. In 1996, Gordon-Wallace launched a transformative enterprise, now known as Diaspora Vibe Culture Arts Incubator.

DVCAI is a creative laboratory—promoting, nurturing, and cultivating the vision and diverse talents of artists from the Caribbean Diaspora, artists of color, and immigrant artists through public programs, residencies, exhibitions and more. In 2021, the organization will be 25 years old. We sit down with Gordon-Wallace to contemplate the significance of this moment. 

Sound Editor: Anamnesis Audio | Special Sound from The Philosopher's Stone, with permission of artist Asser Saint-Val

Related Episodes: Diaspora Vibe: Art with Caribbean Roots, Mapping Caribbean Cultural Ecologies, New Caribbean Cinema, Miami's Caribbean Arts Remix

Related Links: Diaspora Vibe Cultural Arts Incubator, Inter|Sectionality: Diaspora Art from the Creole City, Donette Francis, Rosa Naday Garmendia, Evelyn Politzer, Chantal James, Asser Saint-Val, Michael Elliott, The Windrush Generation, Corcoran School of the Arts and Design, Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts+Culture, Miami Design District

A traveling exhibition that celebrates DVCAI’s 25th year, Inter | Sectionality: Diaspora Art from the Creole City is a multidisciplinary curatorial collaboration and exploration of the emergence of the “Creole City” as a local, regional and global phenomenon. Internationally recognized curators Sanjit Sethi, President, Minneapolis College of Art and Design and former director of the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design, and Rosie Gordon-Wallace, founder and curator of Diaspora Vibe Cultural Arts Incubator (DVCAI), designed this collaboration to provide a lens through which communities and community leaders internationally can begin to better understand themselves, their diversity and their unlimited possibilities.

In 2019, Inter | Sectionality: Diaspora Art from the Creole City was presented in our nation’s capital at a time when diaspora artists and voices were challenging social justice, celebrating identities—reactivating and bridging communities through contemporary art and scholarship. The complexities and diversities represented in this exhibition are emergent and, in many cases, ascendant across the world.

In 2020, the exhibition travelled to the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts+Culture in Charlotte, North Carolina. In 2021, Inter | Sectionality came home to the Design District, in Miami, Florida.

Tags: contemporary art · activism · curator · black culture · black art · community · political art · exhibition

Puerto Rico Rising—Resisting Paradise

February 24th, 2021 · Comments

In the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico, the struggle to survive is real. Natural disasters, a failing economy, corrupt leadership, and the legacy of colonialism in the Caribbean are among forces that challenge sustainability and sovereignty. Outside investments in tourism have had the effect of disenfranchising locals and fragmenting the island’s creative community. San Juan born and based, curator Marina Reyes Franco has a lot to say on this subject. Her research, writing, and curating illuminate the powerful impact of the burgeoning visitor economy.

 

In 2019, three years after Hurricane Maria, we venture to Puerto Rico for the opening of Resisting Paradise, an exhibition Reyes Franco organized with the support of Apex Art, New York. Jamaica born artists Leasho Johnson and Deborah Anzinger, and artist Joiri Minaya, from the Dominican Republic, show work engaging at the intersection of tourism, sexuality, gender, music and the internet. We record this episode inside Espacio Pública, a newly established culture space, in San Juan’s Santurce district. 

 

This segment of our Puerto Rico Rising series revolves around creative resistance to foreign fantasies of ‘paradise.’ The conversation exposes a few of the complex histories and current conditions that inform contemporary art in Puerto Rico and the greater Caribbean. 

 

Voices in the episode: Naima Rodriguez, Marina Reyes Franco, Leasho Johnson, and Joiri Minaya

 

Sound Editor: Anamnesis Audio

 

Related Episodes: Puerto Rico Rising—Radical LeadersPuerto Rico Rising—Resilient Artists, The Awakening, Juan Botta Makes One-Minute Movies in Puerto Rico, Edra Soto on the Architecture of Connecting Communities, Mapping Caribbean Cultural Ecologies

 

Related Links: Resisting Paradise exhibition, Espacio Pública, Deborah Anzinger, Leasho Johnson, Joiri Minaya, apex art, Marina Reyes Franco, ATLAS SAN JUAN: TROPICAL DEPRESSION, Art in America, Oct 1, 2018.

Tags: contemporary art · activism · painting · curator · community · portraiture · political art · exhibition

Puerto Rico Rising—Resilient Artists

February 17th, 2021 · Comments

In 2018, two years after Hurricane Maria devastated the Caribbean islands of Puerto Rico, Dominica and St. Croix, Art in America published an exposé by San Juan born and based curator Marina Reyes Franco. Journalists were “comparing Puerto Rico to Greece, Detroit, and New York of the 1970s,” she wrote, “prompting myriad articles about its economic woes and the population’s resilience.” Central to many of these stories were inspiring narratives about artists and entrepreneurs responding to the crisis. In 2019, we journey to the island to record voices from the cultural scene. 

 

The artists we meet in San Juan convey the promise and pathos of this Caribbean island. In this segment of our Puerto Rico Rising series, four Puerto Rican creatives offer insight into how art can join forces with the strength of community to contemplate beauty and the paradoxes of everyday life. 

 

Voices in the episode: Sofía Gallisá Muriente, Michael Linares, Chemi Rosado-Seijo, Llaima Sanfiorenzo

 

Sound Editor: Anamnesis Audio | Special Audio in Order of Appearance: Fabián Wilkins Vélez, Listening Session, 2019; Sofía Gallisá Muriente, Celaje (2020); Florian Dombois, Triple Instrument, 2019; Llaima Sanfiorenzo, Let the Beast Breathe, 2020 and 1 sq foot of freedom, 2007

Related Episodes: Puerto Rico Rising—Resisting Paradise, Puerto Rico Rising—Radical Leaders, The Awakening, Juan Botta Makes One-Minute Movies in Puerto Rico, Edra Soto on the Architecture of Connecting Communities, Mapping Caribbean Cultural Ecologies

Related Links: Beta-Local, Sofía Gallisá Muriente, Michael Linares, Chemi Rosado-Seijo, Llaima Sanfiorenzo/Self Portrait Factory, Museum of Contemporary Art of Puerto Rico, Marina Reyes Franco, ATLAS SAN JUAN: TROPICAL DEPRESSION, Art in America, Oct 1, 2018.

Tags: contemporary art · film · public art · activism · performance · community · political art · festival

Puerto Rico Rising—Radical Leaders

February 10th, 2021 · Comments

Puerto Rico is an island steeped in contradictions—the idyllic tourist mecca is where unpredictable forces of nature, a stagnant economy, and a corrupt government complicate everyday life for locals.

 

After Hurricane Maria devastated Dominica, St. Croix and Puerto Rico in 2016, journalists compared Puerto Rico to Greece, Detroit, and New York of the 1970s, prompting myriad articles about its economic woes and the population’s resilience. The art scene became more visible as Puerto Rican artists stepped into the frey with their creative projects. Some institutions stepped up, too. Notably, El Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Puerto Rico (MAC).

 

Sitting in the heart of the Santurce district of San Juan, the Museum of Contemporary Art became a beacon of hope for the surrounding community in the wake of the storm, serving as an educational resource and offering space for the performing arts, and channeling life-sustaining resources to residents.

 

In 2019, when we venture to Puerto Rico, we head to the Museum to meet Director Marianne Ramirez Aponte. She led MAC’s pro-active role following the hurricane. Early in 2021, the Museum’s contemporary art curator Marina Reyes Franco shares an update—revealing MAC’s sustained commitment to generate cultural opportunities for local artists and residents of all ages.

 

In this segment of our Puerto Rico Rising series, two community leaders share a few of the creative projects they generate to enable others to rise—both emotionally and physically—above the challenging everyday circumstances that limit opportunities for Puerto Ricans to survive and thrive.

 

Sound Editor: Anamnesis Audio | Special Sound:  Live Performance at the Museum of Contemporary Art, September 27, 2019

Related Episodes: Puerto Rico Rising—Radical LeadersPuerto Rico Rising—Resilient Artists, The Awakening, Juan Botta Makes One-Minute Movies in Puerto Rico, Edra Soto on the Architecture of Connecting Communities, Mapping Caribbean Cultural Ecologies

Related Links: El Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Puerto Rico (MAC), Marina Reyes Franco, ATLAS SAN JUAN: TROPICAL DEPRESSION, Art in America, Oct 1, 2018.

Tags: contemporary art · activism · curator · museum · community · education

The Awakening

January 27th, 2021 · Comments

Today is January 27, 2021. One week ago, we inaugurated new leaders in the United States. Many hope that President Joseph. Biden and Vice-President Kamala Harris will cultivate an era of unity, democracy, and truth in this country. 

Multiple flashpoints complicated the year 2020. The relentless coronavirus pandemic, accelerating discrimination against people of color, heightened climate emergencies, and the imploding global economy had a intense polarizing effect on the electorate.

Kamala Harris, the first African-American and Asian American to become Vice President, is also the first woman to be given this tremendous opportunity. As she steps into a crucial role of responsibility, Harris inspires this episode. 

What part can creativity play in such turbulent times? 

We speak to six women artists and curators responding to the challenges of the past year with renewed resolve. Strengthening their engagement with vital issues and ideas, each one positions herself in service to social justice. Future episodes will reveal more about their individual awakenings.

Sound Editor: Anamnesis Audio | Special Audio: When We Gather, courtesy Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons and collaborators; Whitewash, courtesy artist Nadine Valcin; Celaje, courtesy artist Sofía Gallisá Muriente; All water has a perfect memory, courtesy artist Bahar Behbahani; Drip in water tunnel, New York City, courtesy artist Mary Mattingly; "This Earth,” by Susan Griffin, courtesy Andrea Bowers and performance participants 

Related Episodes: International Curators Champion Creative Resilience, Mapping Caribbean Cultural Ecologies, Where Art Meets Activism, Creative Time Summit Miami 2018, Bahar Behbahani on Politics and Persian Gardens, New Point of View at Venice Art Biennale, Mary Mattingly on the Art of Human Relationships, Andrea Bowers on Art and Activism

Related Links: Bahar Behbahani, Andrea Bowers, This Earth, Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons, When We Gather, Mary Mattingly, Public Water, Andrea Fatona, The State of Blackness, Marina Reyes Franco, Museum of Contemporary Art of Puerto Rico, Sofía Gallisá Muriente

Featured Voices in Order of Appearance

 

Born in Cuba and based in Nashville, Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons teaches at Vanderbilt University. A dream led her to invite collaborators to celebrate all that Kamala Harris represents. Performance and poetry in the new art film When We Gather embody their collective hope and imagination.

 

Dr. Andrea Fatona is a Toronto-based curator and scholar who teaches in the graduate program at Ontario College of Art and Design University. For decades, she has sought to remedy the absence of Black visual art from critical writing, art archives and other avenues of representation. Whitewash, Nadine Valcin’s performance video about the history of slavery in Canada, is featured on Fatona's website: The State of Blackness.

 

Born and based in San Juan, Marina Reyes Franco is curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art. She talks about the Museum’s powerful new partner and introduces the metaphoric exhibition she will present this spring. In 2020, Reyes Franco took the time to support artist friend Sofía Gallisá Muriente in her creation of a new film. Sited on the southwest coast of Puerto Rico, Celaje is an elegy to the death of the Puerto Rican colonial project and the sedimentation of disasters on the island.

 

Water channels, fountains, roses and pools are elemental to the legendary Persian garden. Iranian-American artist Bahar Behbahani has been investigating the garden’s histories for years. In 2019, she created her first garden-inspired public art project at Wave Hill in the Bronx. In 2021, the artist aims to break ground on a purposeful Persian garden in Manhattan.

 

New York-based artist Mary Mattingly has always been concerned with sustainability, creating lyric environments that meet the basic needs of water, food, and shelter. Her latest project concerns the invisible infrastructure of public water in the city she calls home. Mattingly is diving deep—her urban case study exposes inequities that limit access to clean drinking water everywhere. 

 

Early 2020 found Los Angeles based artist Andrea Bowers joining other women to read and record the poem “This Earth,” by Susan Griffin. Studying the spiritual origins of eco-feminism was among her solitary pursuits last year. When the pandemic slowed her activist projects, Bowers turned to re-examine how and why she makes art. 

Tags: contemporary art · public art · activism · curator · black culture · black art · environment · feminism · museum · community · political art · feminist art

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