Questions With Artists

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Reflections from an Artist-in-Residence Program Alumnus

Paul Mpagi Sepuya

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  • Paul Mpagi Sepuya
    Studio, 2014
    Courtesy the artist

  • Paul Mpagi Sepuya
    Darren, 2011
    Courtesy the artist

  • Paul Mpagi Sepuya
    Looking at Alex, 2014
    Courtesy the artist

As an intern in the Curatorial department at The Studio Museum in Harlem, I have the opportunity to explore how the Museum functions behind the scenes. At work, it is exciting to observe how our curators harness the power that exhibitions and their surrounding discourse possess in order to activate art as a social and political tool. Selecting artists and framing their work in relation to broader thematic concerns is one of a curator’s primary responsibilities, and I am especially interested in the long-term relationships between our curators and the artists. The Artist-in-Residence program at the Studio Museum, founded in 1968, provides an excellent example of the close working relationships between curators and creators. One of my projects at the Museum is to manage a database of information concerning AIR alumni.

Questions with Artists

Tiffany Barber talks to Manuel Mathieu

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  • Manuel Mathieu

    Spooky in Marketplace (performance view), 2013

    Courtesy the artist

    Photo: Josué Azor

  • Manuel Mathieu

    Another one, 2014

    Neon mounted on Plexiglas

    18 × 24 in.

    Courtesy the artist

  • Manuel Mathieu

    Mattress, 2013

    Mixed media

    54 × 42 in.

    Courtesy the artist

  • Manuel Mathieu

    Dans le Bain/In the bath, 2014

    Mixed media

    7 × 7 ft.

    Courtesy the artist

    Photo: Guy L’heureux

  • Manuel Mathieu

    Home (performance view), 2013

    Courtesy the artist

    Photo: Josué Azor

  • Manuel Mathieu

    Spooky North (performance view), 2013

    Courtesy the artist

    Photo: Josué Azor

  • Manuel Mathieu

    Camille (film still), 2015

    Courtesy the artist

  • Manuel Mathieu

    Camille (film still), 2015

    Courtesy the artist

“Repetition” and “recirculation” are words typically associated with mid-twentieth century representational practices. From silkscreen prints to text-based neon works, artists such as Andy Warhol, Richard Hamilton, Bruce Nauman, Tracey Emin and Glenn Ligon have contested the rise of consumerism in popular media and culture. Now, the sites in which images are made and circulated have multiplied, as well as the means by which we invest images with values to correspond to our identities. What are the stakes of representation and artmaking in this ‘new media’ landscape?

Breath and Body

Questions for performance artist Dave McKenzie

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  • Dave McKenzie
    Dave, 2010
    Image courtesy the artist and Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects

  • Dave McKenzie
    Dave, 2010
    Image courtesy the artist and Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects

  • Thomas Lax, Studio Museum Assistant Curator and organizer of Darker than the Moon, Smaller than the Sun, diagrams highlights of McKenzie's history as a performance artist

  • Dave McKenzie
    We Shall Overcome (video still), 2004
    Courtesy the artist

On February 20 and 21, 2014, Dave McKenzie performs his retrospective Darker than the Moon, Smaller than the Sun. The performance is part of the live programs series organized on the occasion of Radical Presence: Black Performance in Contemporary Art, currently on view through March 9, 2014 at the Studio Museum.

Jennie C. Jones on Soundcheck

Joyce Alexander Wein Prize winner in conversation with John Schaefer

  • Jennie C. Jones
    Soft Gray Tone with Reverberation, 2013
    Acoustic sound absorbing panel and acrylic on canvas, 48 x 36 inches
    Courtesy the artist

Throwback Interviews

Kehinde Wiley

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  • Kehinde Wiley
    LL Cool J, 2005
    Oil on canvas, 96 x 72 in
    LL Cool J
    Image courtesy of Kehinde Wiley

  • Kehinde Wiley
    Place Soweto (National Assembly), 2008
    Oil on canvas, 8 x 6 ft.
    Courtesy the artist and Deitch Projects, NY

  • Kehinde Wiley
    Big Daddy Kane, 2005
    Oil on canvas, 96 x 72 in
    John Morrissey, courtesy of Roberts & Tilton, Los Angeles, California
    Image courtesy of Kehinde Wiley

  • Cover of The World Stage: Africa Lagos ~ Dakar, 2008, Rizzoli NY.
    Pictured: Kehinde Wiley
    On Top of the World, 2008
    Oil on canvas, 6 x 5 ft.
    Courtesy the artist and Deitch Projects, NY

The public response to the Kehinde Wiley show at the Jewish Museum, The World Stage: Israel has sparked interest in his earlier body of works, which is fantastic! We are always excited to see interviews and footage resurface so we can reflect on an artist's work.

Dance Q&A: Trajal Harrell Brings Voguing Downtown

Ariel Scott interviews dancer Trajal Harrell

  • Trajal Harrell
    Twenty Looks (Performance Still), 2009
    Photo: Miana Jun

Ariel Osterweis Scott, Ph.D. candidate in Performance Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, speaks with noted choreographer Trajal Harrell. Harrell’s works have been seen at institutions including The New Museum, ICA Boston, The Kitchen, and numerous international venues. Here, Harrell discusses his latest work.

This interview is an extended version of the interview that appeared in Studio magazine.

A=Ariel
T=Trajal

A- How did your piece Twenty Looks or Paris is Burning at The Judson Church (S) come about?

3Qs

Noah Davis

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  • Noah Davis (b. 1983)
    The Gardener, 2009
    Oil on canvas, 48 1/2 x 48 1/2 in.
    The Studio Museum in Harlem; Museum purchase with funds provided by the Acquisition Committee  09.10.1

  • Noah Davis
    Courtesy the artist

Studio Museum Assistant Curator Lauren Haynes and artist Noah Davis in conversation:

Tell us about The Gardener (2009). Is it based on a real person?
The Gardener is Osiris, who ruled Egypt in a time of great cultural and agricultural prosperity. After being hoaxed by his brother Seth and seventy-two conspirators, he was made to enter a chest. The chest was then sealed shut and tossed into the Nile, where it became his coffin. It later washes up in Byblos and drifts ashore into the roots of a sapling. Strengthened by Osiris, the sapling grows in a single night into a tall and graceful tree. Osiris became the Egyptian God of the afterlife.