Hand in Glove

LIKE WRITING, fisting is both a replicable skill and a rarefied art form. Performance improves with practice; preparation is necessary; and the deeper you go, the closer you get to the heart of the

Original source: https://www.artforum.com/books/tausif-noor-on-william-e-jones-s-i-m-open-to-anything-79338

Alicia Henry

Alicia Henry’s powerful exhibition “Witnessing” challenges the Western conception of portraiture as an image that reflects both the subject’s body and psyche. Occupying the cavernous clerestory and

Original source: https://www.artforum.com/picks/alicia-henry-79315

The Oil Paintings (and ‘Self-Portraits’) of Baldur Helgason

Baldur Helgason’s animation-inspired oil paintings actually function as a “self-portrait,” as the artist has created an avatar of himself that he places in situations that have notes of art history and contemporary living. Through the more exaggerated and duplicated aspects of this character, he’s able to explore cerebral and personal themes.

Original source: http://hifructose.com/2019/04/13/the-oil-paintings-and-self-portraits-of-baldur-helgason/

David Ambarzumjan’s Paintings Traverse Time

David Ambarzumjan’s large strokes across scenes reveal either what once existed or what will come to pass in landscapes through time. The 20-year-old painter, based in Munich, uses oils to craft these scenes, but has also experimented in watercolors, acrylics, pastels, and other materials. The particular series above and below, titled “Brushstrokes in Time,” take on differing eras of history.

Original source: http://hifructose.com/2019/04/13/david-ambarzumjans-paintings-traverse-time/

A New Trend Among Superhero Movies: The Villains Are Right

Ocean Master in Aquaman wants to save the world’s oceans from pollution (screenshot by the author for Hyperallergic)

When was the first time you found yourself nodding in agreement with the alleged villain of a film? Bad guys who actually make some good points aren’t anything new; it’s an easy way to add some moral shading to an action movie’s mostly black-and-white conflict. The current emphasis on verisimilitude in big-budget filmmaking means that creators seek a real-world grounding not just for character development and interaction but also for conflicts.

As a result, we get characters like Vulture from Spider-Man: Homecoming speaking out about class inequality, Black Panther’s Killmonger decrying the worldwide oppression of black people, or Infinity War’s Thanos being driven by fears of universal overpopulation. These villains pose a threat to the status quo, and their motivations for doing so are understandable or even inarguable. But superheroes traditionally exist to protect the status quo. And when such fictional battles drag in real-world problems where the status quo absolutely needs upending, it makes for an odd dissonance.

This trend hit a new critical mass among superhero movies in 2018. The first (Infinity War), second (Black Panther), and fifth (Aquaman) highest-grossing films worldwide all featured villains who viewers sided with over the heroes. #TeamKillmonger became a popular Twitter hashtag. Thanos got a huge subreddit literally called “/r/thanosdidnothingwrong.” Even Patrick Wilson, who played Aquaman antagonist Ocean Master, acknowledged that “His fight is perfectly understandable.”

These stories — and audience reactions to them — aren’t happening in a vacuum. Information about the existential threat posed by climate change grows more dire every day, and news about governments either not doing enough or going backward on the subject inundates us as well. The same goes for class and racial inequality. In this light, radical action becomes an increasingly valid-looking prospect. But Hollywood productions can’t actually endorse radicalism. So anxieties around racism and global warming are ultimately marginalized, or even dismissed.

Infinity War’s Thanos (screenshot by the author for Hyperallergic)

Thanos is the easiest supervillain to counter, since he is (appropriately) only half-correct in his worldview. He’s right to worry about the exhaustion of resources, but wrong to blame overpopulation, rather than overconsumption, as the culprit. Yet no one within the film argues against him on these grounds. When he claims that his genocidal treatment of Gamora’s home planet turned it into a paradise, she doesn’t dispute this, but merely scolds him for his methods. The only rebuttal the movie gives to Thanos’s assertion that overpopulation will kill the Universe is Gamora screaming, “You don’t know that!” Hardly a considered argument. Examining overconsumption implicates citizens of the first world in the issue, and doing that would make far too many audience members uncomfortable. And without that framework — if the only premise available is the one Thanos presents — then his position is indeed rational, even necessary, despite being brutal and tied to real-world eugenics.

When movies can’t contradict their bad guys, they resort to dirtier play to ensure viewers root for who they’re supposed to. Black Panther undermines Killmonger’s anger at Wakanda for electing isolationism instead of helping black people around the world by having him frequently murder women. The movie also eventually reveals that Killmonger just wants to form his own empire, seeking black supremacy instead of equality — disturbingly becoming an avatar of what many racists claim civil rights activists really want. Killmonger’s political resentments are also sublimated into his jealousy of his cousin, T’Challa. Ultimately, we see that he doesn’t really care about saving the world’s black people. This happens even as the film halfway accepts his arguments, as T’Challa is moved to open up Wakanda by the end. But instead of taking any strong stance against structural inequality in other nations, he … builds some outreach centers.

Killmonger in Black Panther (screenshot by the author for Hyperallergic)

Aquaman, which matches a lot of Black Panther’s narrative beats, replaces racial concerns for environmental ones. Ocean Master wants to declare war on the surface world to save the undersea kingdoms from destruction at the hands of the surface dwellers’ unceasing pollution. Considering that saltwater fish currently face extinction by as soon as 2048, a hypothetical ocean-based nation would be fully in the right to take up arms to defend itself from us. But like in Black Panther, Ocean Master is eventually shown to care about this less than he is about proving himself the true king instead of his half-brother, his motivation reduced to sibling jealousy. And unlike Black Panther, it doesn’t even offer a half-measure alternative to its villain’s methods. None of the characters pose a nonviolent way to solve the brewing crisis. When Aquaman triumphs at the end and averts the war, the question of just what he will do to save his subjects is not just unanswered but unasked.

The trend of blockbusters with villains who make a little too much sense will likely only intensify along with various global crises in coming years. What will we see next? A “villain” fighting on behalf of refugees? One who advocates for the redistribution of wealth? One who targets police who kill innocent people? Movies will continue to incorporate real-world fears into their plots, but purposefully conflate any strong ideology of change with petty personal motivations, all to avoid appearing to advocate the kind of radical action we sorely need in real life. But that won’t stop audiences from seeing the truth in their words anyway. No matter what, eventually, affects some major paradigm shift, it may one day be odd for people to look back on these huge pieces of pop culture and see the ways they fought against necessary social upheavals.

The post A New Trend Among Superhero Movies: The Villains Are Right appeared first on Hyperallergic.

Original source: https://hyperallergic.com/492766/a-new-trend-among-superhero-movies-the-villains-are-right/

John Oliver’s Mike Pence Parody Among Top Banned Books of 2018

Screenshot of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver via Youtube

A parody children’s book released by the host of HBO’s Last Week Tonight, John Oliver, ranks second on the list of top banned or challenged books in schools and libraries, according to a new report.

A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo tells the story of Vice President Mike Pence’s pet rabbit Bundo, who discovers his gay identity and falls in love with another hare named Wesley. Pence is portrayed in the book as an oppressive, white-haired stink bug who tries to prevent the two rabbits from getting married. “When Marlon, Wesley, and their supportive animal community realize that they can choose who is in charge of their society, they vote out the Stink Bug and the couple is married surrounded by their friends,” the book description reads.

The book is a riff on a children’s book written by the Vice President’s daughter Charlotte Pence and illustrated by his wife Karen Pence. The book, which bears a similar title, narrates a day in the life of the vice president’s pet rabbit.

After its release in March 2018, Oliver’s version outsold the vice president’s book and replaced former FBI Director James Comey’s at Amazon’s No. 1 bestseller spot.

The American Library Association and the Office for Intellectual Freedom release an annual report on the 10 most challenged book titles in the country (this year, 11), based on censorship in schools and libraries. Alex Gino’s George tops the list. According to the report, the book was banned, challenged, and relocated because it was believed to encourage children to clear browser history and change their bodies using hormones, and for mentioning “dirty magazines,” describing male anatomy, “creating confusion,” and including a transgender character.

Other books on the list include the Captain Underpants series by Dav Pilkey. The series was challenged because it encourages “disruptive behavior.” One of the books in the series, Captain Underpants and the Sensational Saga of Sir Stinks-A-Lot was challenged for including a same-sex couple. Three other books on the list have been challenged for including LGBTQIA+ content — two of which were burned (This Day in June by Gayle E. Pitman and Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan). The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas was banned for “anti-cop” behavior, profanity and sexual references, while Jay Asher’s Thirteen Reasons Why was banned for addressing teen suicide.

A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo is written by Last Week Tonight’s staff writer Jill Twiss and illustrated by EG Keller. All proceeds from the book go to LBGTQ non-profits The Trevor Project and AIDS United.

Read the full 2018 “Top 11 Most Challenged Books” list below:

  1. George by Alex Gino
  2. A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo by Jill Twiss, illustrated by EG Keller
  3. Captain Underpants series written and illustrated by Dav Pilkey
  4. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
  5. Drama written and illustrated by Raina Telgemeier
  6. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
  7. This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki, illustrated by Jillian Tamaki
  8. Skippyjon Jones series written and illustrated by Judy Schachner
  9. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
  10. This Day in June by Gayle E. Pitman, illustrated by Kristyna Litten
  11. Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan

The post John Oliver’s Mike Pence Parody Among Top Banned Books of 2018 appeared first on Hyperallergic.

Original source: https://hyperallergic.com/494215/john-olivers-mike-pence-parody-among-top-banned-books-of-2018/

A House Becomes a Potent Site to Process the Grief and Pain of Miscarriage

The exterior of Monikahouse by Monika Stockton Maddux (image courtesy Monika Maddux)

WICHITA, Kansas — In 1972, Judy Chicago, Miriam Schapiro, and their students in the CalArts Feminist Art Program created a group of temporary, site-specific installations inside a dilapidated Los Angeles mansion. In the intervening decades, their creation, Womanhouse, has become the stuff of legend. Filled with both poignant and bathetic reflections on the artists’ experiences of womanhood and domesticity, the work offered critiques of social expectations of women that today seem like a litany of familiar — if still entirely relevant — grievances.

What might a contemporary response to this touchstone project look like? One answer can be found in a large, shabby Queen Anne house owned by the BISON Foundation in the Riverside neighborhood of Wichita. Here, Monika Stockton Maddux has created Monikahouse, her MFA thesis project at Wichita State University that painstakingly processes the psychic forces of desire, loss, and grief of a woman who dreamt of having a daughter, but got instead a string of miscarriages — those sorrowful facts of human reproduction generally passed over by complete silence in our culture’s stories of where babies come from.

Maddux does not want to stay silent. At the same time, she exposes her story indirectly and allusively — it took me two trips through Monikahouse and a long personal conversation with the artist to arrive at the brief summary of biographical facts given above. It is not just Maddux’s ability to narrate her own painful story that gives the work its strength. What makes Monikahouse a place that many, particularly women, might find deeply resonant, is that it gives permission and creates room — indeed, many rooms! — for visitors to reflect on the mental space and emotional energy that questions of reproduction take up in women’s lives. Inserted into the fabric of everyday life in a residential neighborhood and thus made more accessible than it might be in a rarefied gallery space, the installation also highlights the urgency of doing such discussions in public.

Monikahouse is described by its creator as “Monika’s Life Size Dollhouse,” a conceit announced in the front parlor by a dollhouse that captures in miniature the strange sights that one is about to encounter.

A dollhouse in Monikahouse (all photos by the author for Hyperallergic unless otherwise noted)

Dollhouses serve a potent psychic function. Increasingly widely available since the eighteenth century, they encourage visions of a particular kind of idealized traditional family life, making the Queen Anne architecture of Monika’s dollhouse the perfect container for its contents. Dollhouses allow children — typically girls — to be in control of a scaled-down domestic space as the mistress of the house, to immerse themselves in fantasies about a future home life. It is those fantasies blown up, unnervingly, to adult scale that the visitor encounters in the first three rooms of Monikahouse. Their pink interiors are filled to the brim with dolls, stuffed toys, girls’ clothing, a frilly canopy bed, and girly tchotchkes.

Child’s bedroom in Monikahouse 

Dainty decorative plates hang on the walls to narrate the house’s changing moods. In the front of the house, they intimate that a little girl has conjured up this psychic pink cocoon of safety for herself and her imagined future babies. As the mother of a toddler daughter, I was reminded how large babies can loom in the minds of the surprisingly young. At three, my own pink-loving girl has named all her dolls after herself and moves seamlessly in pretend play between dollie Mayas being her avatars, sisters, and babies all at once.

As one rounds the corner in Monikahouse, the little girl grows up. The realities of adulthood intervene. Things turn quickly (and literally) dark. The visitor encounters the locked door to the basement — the home of subterranean (read: subconscious) desires of the now physically mature woman.

The basement of Monikahouse 

Something goes wrong. In the kitchen, a stylized blood stain lays alarmingly on the floor. The little girl’s fantasy develops an outsized life of its own (even as the creation of a real, actual life tragically failed to materialize). The large dining room table is occupied by a giant pink fetus. The room, we are told, is for “Dining on the wreckage, without remorse.”

A series of evocative abstract objects — nails driven into what looks like soft flesh — hang in the foyer as one proceeds upstairs. It was here, on the second floor, that I was particularly struck by the emotional potency of the installation’s ambiguities. Thus, harkening to Womanhouse’s “Menstruation Bathroom,” in Monikahouse, we find the pregnancy test bathroom, whose mood is summed up as “The realization that the result would never change.”

The dining room table with the fetus in Monikahouse 
The bathroom of Monikahouse 

How many women, I wondered, have sat in a bathroom flabbergasted or crushed by the results of a home pregnancy test — some because it was negative; others because it was positive. The next room of the house similarly speaks to the power that procreation holds over our lives — our sense of self, aspirations, time — regardless of whether one chooses to have or not have children, do it sooner or later, sacrifice other life goals or wonder what parenthood might have been like. The far corner room of the house is the room of dreams and possibilities shunted aside and piled onto each other, covered with delicate lace that makes the dusty mess a little prettier.

The storage room of Monikahouse 

The second floor holds more revelations. The bloodstain from the downstairs kitchen turns upstairs into a fountain — of ceaseless sorrow? Memory? Recrimination in a country where several states have criminalized miscarriages? All of the above?

Full-on obsession takes over the life of the fictionalized Monika. Her grief becomes her persona, presented in Monikahouse through video and sound installations and sculptural objects. She wears pink every day for 18 months to tell the world about it on social media; she records herself folding every item of clothing installed downstairs; she recites a thousand names that the baby girl she yearned for could have had; she embroiders dozens of pink squares with those names.

The upstairs kitchen

The very last room on the tour of Monikahouse confirmed for me the connections between Monika Maddux’s labor of love and my toddler’s pretend play, in which every object and person can morph instantaneously to fulfill whatever psychic need or conundrum she is working out. The last room is the place, according to the plate, where it hurts.

It is painted an extra lurid shade of pink and covered in dozens of photographs of little girls with Monika Maddux’s face pasted into all of them, a testament to the fact that grief and pain make people remarkably self-centered. As a culture, we tolerate this fact in children, allowing them the tools of play to work out the unbearable. But what of the repressed needs of adults? There is a deep — and disturbing, uncomfortable, raw, but, above all, culturally necessary — honesty in grown women continuing to explore the good that Gestalt-y games can do for grown-ups.

The last room

Monikahouse is located at 1121 N. Bitting Ave., Wichita, Kansas. It is open by appointment through April 12, 2019. The installation will be open to the public from 7 to 9pm on Friday, April 12, 2019.

The post A House Becomes a Potent Site to Process the Grief and Pain of Miscarriage appeared first on Hyperallergic.

Original source: https://hyperallergic.com/494173/monikahouse-monika-stockton-maddux/

Art Movements

William T. Williams (b.1942), Harlem Hearts (111 1/2 Series), 1999, acrylic on canvas, 57″ x 36″, signed; © William T. Williams; Courtesy of Michael Rosenfeld Gallery LLC, New York, NY

Art Movements is a weekly index of developments centering the people of the arts and culture sphere. Listen to our weekly podcast of the same name on iTunes.

Accolades

Meriem Bennani was awarded the Eye Art & Film Prize by Amsterdam’s Eye Filmmuseum. [Artdaily]

Emmet Cohen was awarded the 2019 Cole Porter Fellowship by the American Pianists Association. [NYT]

Jimmie Durham will be awarded the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the 2019 Venice Biennale. [ANSA]

Charles Gaines will be awarded the 60th Edward MacDowell Medal from the MacDowell Colony. [via email announcement]

Julie Henson was named the 2019 National Artist in Residence of the Neon Museum. [via email announcement]

The NYC Department of Cultural Affairs has announced Taja Lindley, Laura Nova, Julia Weist, and Janet Zweig as its new Public Artists in Residence. [via email announcement]

Roberta Smith was bestowed the inaugural lifetime achievement award by the Dorothea and Leo Rabkin Foundation. [ARTnews]

UrbanGlass has awarded its visual artist fellowships to Dean Erdmann, Carly Mandel, and Tiffany Jaeyeon Shin. Azusa Murakami and Alexander Groves will receive visiting designer fellowships. [Artforum]

Olga Viso, Stephen Pitti, Cathy Davidson have been named fellows in residence of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. [ARTnews]

William T. Williams was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 30th Annual James A. Porter Colloquium. [via email announcement]

Lily Zhang was awarded the 2018-19 James Harrison Steedman Memorial Fellowship in Architecture by the College of Architecture and Graduate School of Architecture & Urban Design in the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis.

The first group of artists participating in the 2020 Biennale of Sydney have been announced. [Broadsheet]

Opportunities

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

OK Go is inviting student artists to submit proposals for art proposals to ship into space. [OK Go]

Transitions

AWHRHWAR, a Los Angeles gallery, will close this weekend. [via email announcement]

Polina Berlin was appointed director of Ortuzar Projects in Tribeca, Manhattan. [ARTnews]

Jacqueline de Jong is now represented by Pippy Houldsworth Gallery. [Pippy Houldsworth]

Maurin Dietrich was appointed director of the Kunstverein München. [Artforum]

Gagosian is opening a new space in Los Angeles in collaboration with Chef Evan Funke. [Eater]

Hauser & Wirth will open a new global headquarters and bookstore in Zürich this June. [ARTnews]

Johan Holten will be director of the Kunsthalle Mannheim. [Monopol]

Deborah Horowitz has left her position overseeing the curatorial team of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. [Variety]

Glenn Ligon is now represented by Hauser & Wirth. [via email announcement]

Courtney J. Martin was named director of the Yale Center for British Art. [via email announcement]

Lari Pittman is now represented by Lehmann Maupin. [ARTnews]

Nathaniel Mary Quinn is now represented by Gagosian. [ARTnews]

Gabriela Rangel was appointed artistic director of the Malba Collection. [Buenos Aires Times]

Kirra Steel has been promoted to the position of chief development officer of the International Center of Photography. [via email announcement]

Graeme Thompson was appointed worldwide head of jewelry at Phillips. [Phillips]

Carlos Urroz has been named director of TBA21 (Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary). [via email announcement]

Various Small Fires gallery opened a second location in the Hannam-dong area of Seoul, South Korea. [Artforum]

Obituaries

Antonio Asis (1932–2019), Op artist known for his geometric compositions [ARTnews]

Jonathan Baumbach (1933–2019), experimental novelist [NYT]

Bill Culbert (1935–2019), artist known as the “Master of Light,” working with painting, photography, and sculpture [RNZ]

Kim English (1970–2019), musician who blended gospel and dance music [NYT]

Claude Lalanne (1924–2019), sculpture with a surrealist touch [TAN]

Vonda N. McIntyre (1948–2019), science-fiction author [Guardian] 

Dan Robbins (1925–2019), originator of the paint-by-numbers phenomenon [Smithsonian]

Sydel Silverman (1933–2019), anthropologist, scholar, teacher, historian, and preservationist [NYT]

Bob Slade (1948–2019), veteran radio host who discussed social issues affecting the Black Community on the weekly show Open Line [The Source]

Lyle Tuttle (1931–2019), tattoo artist and historian [SF Chronicle]

Matthew Underwood (1983–2019), electronic musician and one of the founding editors of Headmaster Magazine [Boy Culture]

Ed Westcott (1922–2019), government photographer who documented life in Oak Ridge, a secret city in Tennessee where uranium was enriched to develop the atom bomb during World War II [NYT]

The post Art Movements appeared first on Hyperallergic.

Original source: https://hyperallergic.com/494043/art-movements-300/

A B-Movie that Inspired Generations of Filmmakers, Including the French New Wave

Installation view, What Price Hollywood at The Museum of Modern Art, New York (March 30–June 15, 2019) (photo by Denis Doorly © 2019, courtesy The Museum of Modern Art, New York)

“Until Gun Crazy I’d played pretty blonde types, so I loved the idea of this character,” Welsh born Irish actress Peggy Cummins was quoted saying in The Guardian, in 2017 (the year of her death), about her role in the American B-film by Joseph H. Lewis. Gun Crazy (1950) was one of those small pictures that Hollywood Studios churned out on the side while producing splashier movies, often within the same studio complex. But then Lewis wasn’t just an ordinary B-movie director. Gun Crazy went on to inspire young French filmmakers of La Nouvelle Vague (The New Wave), and later served as an inspiration for Arthur Penn’s Bonnie and Clyde (1967).

The film’s appeal is mostly thanks to its breathtaking relentlessness: A story of a wide-eyed yet unsettled young man, Bart Tare (John Dall), whose greatest passion, from tender age, are guns. Today the title sends shivers down one’s spine — we are, after all, a gun-crazy nation, and gun-related crimes often occupy newspaper front pages. Yet Lewis’s tale is also tender: When we first meet him, Bart is still a schoolboy; he breaks a window of a local shop and steals a gun. He simply must have it, he tells the judge in a juvenile court. His classmates relate how Bart could never hurt a living thing — he had gone hunting with them, and had refused to kill a mountain lion. This passionate insistence on goodness, on decency, against poverty and fatherlessness, fuels the film’s main drama.

Bart may have never committed a crime had he not come across Annie Laurie Starr (Peggy Cummins). Annie is a roadshow star, a gun girl with a perfect aim. One night she loses to Bart, who outshoots her, and the two immediately fall in love. Their eloping is at first liberation. Bart has behind him reform school, and he’s restless, without a future, unmoored. Annie is clever and tough as nails and, as it turns out, has a clear idea what she wants: Money, since she was always dirt-poor. It’s but a quick leap to robbing banks, against Bart’s fear of hurting anyone. The two are tied — to each other, and to their fate as notorious bank robbers, whose audacity, but also forlorn regrets and fear, grow as they move state to state.

The film may have been a quaint display of American decency and small-town folksiness — with his ingénue bright face, John Dall as Bart fits this idea to a T — were it not for the electrifying and darker, more complex presence of Cummins. Her Annie is capable of deepest love, and it’s clear that she yearns for the wholesomeness that Bart represents, yet her temperament is gritty, pessimistic, yes, perhaps even greedy. Lewis quickly shows us why confident Annie is so madly driven: When the two run after their last (and fatal) stint, they briefly visit the farm where Annie grew up. Her parents are strung-up, and the family home is not just impoverished in the material sense, but emotional, existential as well. Annie simply will not have it. If she can’t be someone, she’d rather be dead. In this she is unlike most heroines portrayed on the American screen in the 1940s and ‘50s. On the contrary, B-movies often showed women as mere appendices to men: starlets, tragic sentimental heroines, love interests, sidekicks, exotic, weak, you name it. Annie doesn’t fit into any of these rubrics, because like Bart, but with more intentionality and daring, she simply must have things. No doubt, in her desire to get what she wants she can be manipulative. And yet, she is more articulate than Bart — in fact, more articulate, direct, and demanding than most women who sprung up in the French New Wave cinema that followed her (at least in films directed by men).

This points to a clear limitation that women actors faced in cinema.  Cummins is a case in point, as The Guardian article summed up, “A career that had promised so much for Cummins was reduced to small parts in big films and big parts in small pictures.” Gun Crazy is such a small picture, yet it’s intensely watchable, both for its quick-paced, vivid cinematography, and its melodramatic yet gritty writing, with dark flashes of humor. It’s a film whose posterior fame and delight only intensify as it ages.

Gun Crazy plays at the Museum of Modern Art (11 West 53 Street, Midtown, Manhattan) during What Price Hollywood film series on April 14 and April 19.

The post A B-Movie that Inspired Generations of Filmmakers, Including the French New Wave appeared first on Hyperallergic.

Original source: https://hyperallergic.com/494132/a-b-movie-that-inspired-generations-of-filmmakers-including-the-french-new-wave/

Decolonize This Place Holds a Pizza Party in the Whitney Museum

Dozens of activists showed up at the Whitney this Friday for a potluck (all photos by Jasmine Weber)

For their fourth week of protest at the Whitney Museum, activist group Decolonize This Place (DTP) and its coalition of grassroots organizations staged a potluck party at the museum’s entrance lobby.

The activists offered pizza and veggie dumplings to protestors and members of the museum’s staff in an action far less boisterous than in previous weeks. In return, they were greeted with a milder security team and a relatively indifferent response from the Friday free pass museum visitors. The reason for this week toned-down action, the protesters say, is a desire not to overburden the museum’s staff, some of whom expressed their support of the protest privately.

A teach-in on the political uprising in Sudan

In a “teach-in” conducted by two Sudanese New York University students, attendants learned about the unfolding protests in the African country. “I’m so proud to be Sudanese today,” said one of the students after describing the majority women-led uprising that brought to the ousting of Sudan’s three-decade ruler Omar Hassan al-Bashir.

Alicia Boyd from The Movement to Protect the People
Alicia Boyd from The Movement to Protect the People

Alicia Boyd from The Movement to Protect the People followed with an impassioned speech on the gentrification of black neighborhoods in Brooklyn. Boyd specifically addressed a new development project near the Brooklyn Botanic Garden which will endanger the garden’s collection of flora, and which markets itself as “affordable housing” despite targeting high-income residents.

“When we pick up this struggle, we pick it up not for ourselves — we pick it up for our children, for our grandchildren,” an impassioned Boyd told the crowd, while her grandson stood by her side.

At the base of Nine Weeks of Art and Action, the protestors demand the removal of Warren B. Kanders, CEO and owner of the defense manufacturer Safariland Group, from the museum’s board of trustees. “Whose museum is this to begin with?” asks Husain. “As a first demand, he [Kanders] has to go; and within that, we’ll have a decolonization conversation with this museum.” Their primary call remains unheeded as the museum prepares for the opening of its 2019 biennial on May 17.

A public letter signed by more than 120 prominent scholars and critics before last week’s action amplified the activists’s demands. The letter called on the Whitney draws “lines of unacceptability” for trustee participation as the first step in a deeper structural reform in institutional governance.

“Places like the Whitney put on good shows, but they don’t share power, they are on stolen land, they are not talking about reparation, they are not paying their staff right … while rich people buy the art and use it to art wash blood money. That’s what Warren Kanders is doing,” Husain said.

A number of museumgoers listened to DTP’s speeches after purchasing their tickets

Another member of Decolonize This Place, Marz Saffore, addressed the crowd, saying: “We’re all impacted in this. Whether you have a body that is subject to state violence […] or whether it’s your tax dollars […] or you find yourself going to see an Andy Warhol show that was funded by Warren Kanders.”

Last week, Hyperallergic reported that riot control munition produced by Kanders’s Safariland Group was used by the Israeli military against Palestinian protestors at the Gaza-Israel border last Friday. Forensic Architecture, a research group participating in the upcoming biennial, announced that it will probe Safariland’s practices through its contribution. The Palestinian Occupied Territories, the activists announced, will be the focus of next week’s action.

A protester held up signs, while another disseminated DTP materials to museumgoers entering the Whitney
Prior to the protest, activists drew with chalk on the street leading to the Whitney
Chalk drawings leading to the Whitney

The post Decolonize This Place Holds a Pizza Party in the Whitney Museum appeared first on Hyperallergic.

Original source: https://hyperallergic.com/494951/decolonize-this-place-holds-a-pizza-party-in-the-whitney-museum/