Xaviera Simmons’s project junctures (transmissions to) kicked off the Studio Museum and Goethe-Institut New York’s yearlong partnership, OFF/SITE, last Friday. Artists, staff and friends of the Studio Museum gathered in the East Village at the Goethe-Institut Wyoming Building to enjoy the unveiling of the installation, chat with the artist and admire the finches that inspired much of Xaviera’s thinking around the project. Many guests explored the interior of otherwise-closed Xaviera’s “studio” structure, which they were free to peruse for the evening. If you were unable to make it to our opening reception, flip through the photo gallery above to get a peek into the spirit of the evening.
The Making of OFF/SITE: It's for the Birds
Hello! Studio Museum Program Assistant Abbe Schriber, here. I will be blogging weekly about the exhibition Xaviera Simmons: junctures (transmissions to), opening this Friday, September 24 at the Goethe-Institut Wyoming Building. This project launches OFF/SITE, our yearlong collaboration with the Goethe-Institut New York that brings together two culturally specific institutions to explore self-reflexive notions of place, subjective experience and physical presence (or absence). My posts will investigate some of the conceptual themes underlying Xaviera’s project. Additionally, readers will receive a dispatch from inside the physical gallery space and a behind-the-scenes look at how a rather unconventional exhibition is put together.
Day by Day
For this season's issue of Studio magazine, writer and scholar Amanda Alexander contributes a wonderful essay reflecting on Zwelethu Mthethwa's photographic portraiture, and the South African political backdrop.
South Africa’s first decade of democracy brimmed with the language of betrayal. Progressive commentators and representatives of new social movements denounced the administrations of Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki for their broken promises—and for good reason. By 1999, the African National Congress (ANC) had made little headway in rectifying the material outcomes of colonialism, segregation, and apartheid; instead their own neoliberal economic policies were deepening racialized and gendered inequality.1 For these reasons, commentators have constantly reflected back on the early 1990s, obsessed with a lost moment, with what this democracy could have been and what the revolution might have brought. Social movements have continuously reminded the government that this is not the democracy they struggled for and have argued that it is up to the poorest South Africans to salvage the revolution, to make good on the insurrectionary promises made between comrades in trenches and jail cells.
Trenton Doyle Hancock (recipient of the 2007Joyce Alexander Wein Prize) continues his practice of documenting the epic, ongoing battle between good and evil with this site-specific instillation at the Olympic Sculpture Park. Best known for his brilliant portrayal of two fictitious, warring groups—the peace-loving Mounds and the evil, colorless Vegans—Hancock's works transform traditional modes of storytelling. This installation includes an interactive component where viewers are encouraged to bring colored, plastic bottle caps to feed into a sculpted hand suspended from the ceiling, an encouragement from Hancock for viewers to literally give color to his work.
Trenton Doyle Hancock
Seattle Art Museum, Olympic Sculpture Park, PACCAR Pavilion, Seattle, WA
August 28, 2010–March 4, 2010
Marvin and Martha Weinar
Member Spotlight is a feature in Studio magazine and on the web that takes a look at the lives and livelihoods of some of our diverse and spirited members.
Names: Marvin and Martha Weinar
Occupations: Family Physician, Marvin; Cancer Genetics Nurse, Martha
Location: Moorestown, NJ
Catching Up with a Young Designer
The two-hour trip from Harlem to St. Albans, Queens, is a trek and a pilgrimage that takes you from the brownstone bustle to quaint tree-lined streets. St. Albans is fabled for the black luminaries who called it home—from W.E.B. DuBois to Lena Horne to LL Cool J. Budding fashion designer and autodidact LaQuan Smith intends to add his name to this list.
The Getty Museum’s newest educational initiative Open Studio: A Collection of Artmaking Ideas by Artists launched this summer and is shaking up traditional approaches to museum education. Developed by artist Mark Bradford, Open Studio shifts authorship, which traditionally resides with professional educators, to a dynamic group of contemporary artists, many of whom are featured in Studio Museum’s collection. Among the ranks are artists Carrie Mae Weems, Kara Walker and Kerry James Marshall.
Lunch at the Atrium Cafe
We have many exciting and challenging discussions at the Studio Museum. Many of them are sparked by deeply intellectual and challenging questions, which is part of what makes this a wonderful place to work. But then there is the one question we ask day after day, year after year, generally beginning at about 10:45am.
“What are we doing for lunch?”