You begin with “Permutations.” You stare into the eyes of a woman; a black screen; a white screen. You strain to see strands of hair dance along the back of her head; a white screen; a black screen. You watch in anticipation as the woman stands before you, her eyes closed; a white screen. Eyes open. Eyes closed. Black screen. After 10 minutes of engaging with Theresa Hak Kyung Cha’s 1976 film, you turn around to gaze into “Visual Text: Finger Poem” (1968-1973), studying artist Valie Export’s hands as she silently communicates an interpretation of Heideggerian thought, leaving you searching her fingers for some ... More » »
News Clinton Darlington Swingle, the developer of the historic Fabric Workshop and Museum at 1214 Arch Street, passed away on January 27. He was responsible for modernizing and completely renovating the Museum into the modern galleries and studio spaces there today; additionally, he was involved with many of the Museum’s Artist-in-Residence installations. As a tribute to Swingle, on February 2 the Brooklyn-based, modern percussion ensemble So- Percussion performed their last piece, Clapping Music by Steve Reich at FWM. In lieu of flowers and notes, individuals may make a donation to The Fabric Workshop and Museum in memory of Clint Swingle to fund the building operations. Phil ... More » »
The Martin Luther King Day of Service at the Fabric Workshop and Museum featured a talk by uber-international hot-ticket-artist Theaster Gates (pronounced with “aster” at the end). Gates, whose work includes making utopian spaces in cities, where people can meet and work, also does performance, clay and so much more. He is a guy who is hoping his art can rebuild how the world works, one brick at a time. He is installing a workspace at the FWM that goes by the stop-you-in-your-tracks moniker Soul Manufacturing Corporation–To Make the Thing that Makes the Things. By time he was done speaking, ... More » »
Threaded Interface, a collaboration between two Detroit-based artists, comes alive in Grizzly Grizzly’s small space when viewers interact with it: Annica Cuppetelli and Cristobal Mendoza have made a glorious piece. Cuppetelli comes from a fiber background (weaving) and enjoys the interaction between garment and body coupled with a minimalist aesthetic. Mendoza’s interests lie at the intersection of craft and technology, influenced by the work of Jesus Soto. Threaded Interface, a site-specific installation, consists of physical elastic ropes installed in the space and illuminated by glowing virtual strings. The virtual strings are connected to two video cameras that generate an image of ... More » »
Projected outside the Fabric Workshop and Museum’s first floor gallery, “Fly to Mars” serves as an introduction to Jennifer Steinkamp’s interest in the digital sublime. In the computer-generated animation, a tree transitions through all four seasons as its branches undulate. The movement of the branches is unnatural, spreading and recoiling in a fashion that reveals the mechanical underpinnings of the artist’s process. The tree’s seeming other-worldliness is highlighted by the work’s title, “Fly to Mars.” The work does not try to mimic the movements of a wind-blown tree. Instead, its attempt to uproot and fly to Mars recognizes the promise ... More » »
NEWS The Nicola Midnight St. Claire (temporarily The New, New Masses) The gloriously quirky art publication The Nicola Midnight St. Claire held an auction in order to change the site’s name for a month. So if you go to the website looking for the St. Claire you will instead find The New, New Masses with a funny–but slippery–video message about the spirit of giving, consumerism, and internet freedom, plus some holiday “gifs” for everyone to enjoy. Macaulay Culkin, anyone?
Reclaiming American themes in art is a tall order, since Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness is locked in the popular imagination in a space both vast and nebulous. Nari Ward offers instead to reinvigorate the experience of that space.
Joan Jonas‘ “Reading Dante III” at the Fabric Workshop and Museum includes a 45-minute video of people reading excerpts of Dante’s Divine Comedy. The lengthy, dreamy, stream of consciousness video also shows the artist drawing circles within circles that suggest the poet’s description of Hell and Purgatory. Despite these literal moments, however, Jonas’ installation on the whole is not literal. Rather, it’s lyrical, and in places, beautiful.
This week’s Weekly has my review of New American Voices at the Fabric Workshop and Museum. Below is the copy with some pictures. The Fabric Workshop and Museum often collaborates with big-name artists like Cai Quo-Qiang, the fireworks and gunpowder ace whose show opens next month, but what the FWM does even better—as you can see in their current show, “New American Voices”—is work with lesser-known artists. Often, these collaborations produce the freshest and most unexpected results and help raise the profile of deserving, under-the-radar artists.
What a delicious First Friday–a layer cake of delights. I’m putting up a bunch of pictures, hoping they might entice you to take a taste.Next Page »