Magdalyn Asimakis is a New York and Toronto-based curator, art writer, and PhD candidate at Queen's University.
In Édouard Glissant’s book Poetics of Relation, first published in 1990, he considers the idea of opacity as something that can nurture relations between “all the threatened and delicious things.”
The intermittent curatorial interest in location and organizing works according to the places in which they are made, has been most recently explored in New York through exhibitions such as Hilton Als’s curation of Alice Neel at David Zwirner, and currently at the Uptown triennial at the Wallach Art Gallery at Columbia University. The use of location as an organizing strategy, in the case of the triennial, gestures to “uptown” as a contemporary situating that is both deliberate and circumstantial. This common spatial orientation points to the varied modes of access to, and experience of, the city.
The density and breadth of the work in Uptown poetically counters the view of the city looking towards midtown Manhattan.
Untitled (Havana, 2000), currently installed at the Museum of Modern Art, is a challenging antidote to our milieu’s visual practices. Bruguera’s work intervenes in the representation of conflict by implicating visitors into a material environment that articulates this tension spatially.
Water is in the background of each scene in Tau Lewis’ film cyphers, tissue, blizzards, exile that she made in collaboration with her mother, Patty Kelly, in 2017. The film is a series of clips from archival family videos shot in Jamaica on a smart phone. In these low-res, ghostlike fragments, water is depicted in the distance from the street, below the boats that carry them, and above and around the camera as it rains. Water is a context, a realm, and a life support—it is ancient and deep.