New Yorkers are fortunate to have living among us the wildly inventive and far-ranging Australian-born public intellectual and theorist McKenzie Wark. This spring he added two new books to his robust list of titles produced since 1994: the dauntingly original Molecular Red: Theory for the Anthropocene (Verso, 2015), and the deeply personal I’m Very Into You (Semiotexte, 2015), made up of email correspondence between him and Kathy Acker during a brief but intense affair in the mid-’90s.
Josiah McElheny is known for his conceptually layered and impeccably constructed artworks made of many materials, but these works almost always involve some use of glassas a material reality, a symbolic substance, or political device. McElheny’s assemblages and installations emerge from his research into earlier moments of art or design history, finding strange figures and obscure artifacts to hold up to contemporary light, looking for the glimmer of other possible futures.
The Venice Biennale of 1990 was the first of manyevery Biennale since, to be precisethat I’ve written about, and I was prompted to look back after returning from the 2015 edition.
Trevor Paglen shines a light on the shadowy confluence of technological innovation and state misconduct. Whether by photographing secret military installations from afar, or by parsing official documents to identify telling omissions, the aim is to see that which has been purposefully obscured in hopes that visualization leads to consideration.
My friend Anne sent me a lightning bolt. She also sent me three flexed biceps and a dripping faucet. Also a rainbow, a volcano, and a crying-with-joy face. No smiling pile of poop yet, and no frowning devil or smirking cat. She has nothing against those. The right occasions just haven’t arisen
The Pérez Art Museum in Miami’s (PAMM) current exhibition, Poetics of Relation, is ambitiously conceived. “Inspired by the writings of author and philosopher Édouard Glissant, [it] responds to Miami as a site defined culturally by its diasporic communities and it looks to place these local dynamics in dialogue with more distant contexts that share similar histories.”1
One morning this August, Rail publisher Phong Bui paid a visit to Arlene Shechet’s large survey of two decades of work, All at Once, curated by Jenelle Porter at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston (June 10 September 7, 2015). The two met in her TriBeCa studio the following week to discuss Shechet’s life, work, and more.
A little boy lies face down on the beach, as if sleeping. He is dressed in a red shirt, blue pants, and sneakers, and his hair is neatly combed. He looks peaceful. Someone should wake him, before the sun burns his skin and the cold waves reach him.
Landon Metz has become known for his elegant stained-canvas works featuring an increasingly spare vocabulary of biomorphic forms splayed across the picture plane. Recently these paintings have progressed to a new place that stunningly extends and redefines his already significant achievement. In his latest series Metz isolated forms from earlier works, which he blows up to an epic scale and executes as large-scale monochromes, having irregular stretchers specially fabricated and thinking to an unprecedented degree about their display in relation to the architecture of the exhibition space