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15 Hyperallergic Posts From 2011 That Deserve Another Look

by Hrag Vartanian on December 27, 2011

While the popular posts on Hyperallergic get all the attention, links, comments and shares, that doesn’t mean we don’t appreciate the illuminating posts that sometimes fall under the radar of most readers for whatever reason.

As a result, I thought it would be a good idea to point out some of those articles that deserve a second look for readers who may have missed them.

Here are my picks. Of course, there were so many good reads that I couldn’t pick only 10 so I expanded our regular Top 10 format to include 5 more.

For obvious reasons, I’ve excluded any post written by me.

#1 The Venice Biennale by Peter Dobey

Artist/writer Peter Dobey published a series of photo essays (123) about this year’s Venice Biennale at the beginning of June. He also published a long-form essay (published in three parts: Part IPart II and Part III) that explores the work at the Biennale.

His perspective was far reaching and he delved into some of the issues behind the world’s oldest biennial. Hell, he even found the first-ever pavilion of Transnistria, which is an unrecognized, breakaway pseudo-country locked between Moldova and the Ukraine.

All in all, it was an insightful read.

#2 “Patrick Cariou Versus Richard Prince: Pick Your Side” by Cat Weaver

“The art world is apparently supposed to line up behind Richard Prince. If you’re radical right now, you view intellectual property (IP) as a vestige of an archaic market strategy. You think of IP enforcement as a form of hoarding, and you think that anyone who objects, just ‘doesn’t get it.’ And any artist who wishes to build a brand or even to get paid for serial prints (mind you, this includes some of the very radicals mentioned above!) — well, they are supposed to line up behind Patrick Cariou. If you’ve got a vested interest in a body of work, you think of appropriation artists as vermin, lazy, energy-sapping parasites. And you think that anyone who objects is an egomaniac with a crazed sense of entitlement.”

(link)

#3 William Powhida’s Dispatches from Sheboygan

During his summer residency in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, artist William Powhida published a series of the posts (Part I, Part II and Part III) exploring his project and what it means to work in a place so far from the centers of power in the art world.

At the same time as we were publishing these posts, Powhida was having a solo show at the Marlborough Gallery in Chelsea, which was a … well, we’re not sure what it was … and the reality in the online posts sharply contrasted with the exhibition you saw in Manhattan. In some ways, these posts were the other half of the Marlborough show that gallery goers never saw.

#4 “Don’t Forget Fashion 时装 Moda МОДА” by Emily Colucci

“Almost completely left out of the Jeffrey Deitch-organized Art in The Streets at LA’s Museum of Contemporary Art and minimally referenced in its exhibition catalogue and other recently published surveys of the history of graffiti and street art, the historical importance of Fashion Moda (aka Fashion 时装 Moda МОДА) has been lost to a generation of artists and graffiti-lovers. It’s time for that to change.”

(link)

#5 “Implied Critique of a Sound Bite Society” by Harry Swartz-Turfle

“Rackstraw Downes doesn’t seem like a radical. He is an understated Englishman who paints understated American landscapes. But when you think about how much of modern and contemporary art relies on juxtaposition or exaggeration for effects, Downes’s approach begins to seem downright revolutionary.

‘My idea is to paint the real nature of the world, which is always a complex mixture of things,’ he told a packed auditorium at the Weatherspoon Art Museum in Greensboro, North Carolina, during a talk last month.”

(link)

#6 “Cory Arcangel’s (Al)ready-mades” by Kyle Chayka

“Remember Oakley M-Frame sunglasses? They’re supposed to look like the future, with gradient lenses in a variety of neon colors and knotted frames that bear a resemblance to tensed muscle and ligaments. What they actually look like is a future imagined from the 1980s, in which some mixture of cyberpunk fashion, steroidal athlete aesthetic and Gatorade-style visual punch is totally au courant.”

(link)

#7 “A Populist Attack on the Art World Pulls Punches” by Rachel Wetzler

“According to Eric Doeringer, the artist-curator of I Like the Art World and the Art World Likes Me at the Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts Project Space, the exhibition’s title — a nod to Joseph Beuys’s 1974 performance ‘I Like America and America Likes Me’ — is meant to convey the ‘fraught relationship between emerging artists and the art-world establishment,’ one marked by a simultaneous desire to criticize the art world’s excesses and to be recognized by it. Art about the institutions of art, both physical and discursive, is hardly a new phenomenon, but unlike Marcel Broodthaers and Hans Haacke, cited by Doeringer as predecessors for the work included in this exhibition, what emerges most clearly here is not ‘institutional critique’ but a sense of anxiety or anger about the artists’ own marginalization and lack of mainstream success.”

(link)

#8 Interview with Karen Finlay by Alexander Cavaluzzo

Alexander Cavaluzzo: How do you think reality is created?

Karen Finley: Who creates it? And I am thinking about that, which is taking reality and, as an artist, looking at reality as creative nonfiction. I think that’s what I’m asking: who creates the reality or what is the reality underneath the reality? So that’s what I think I’m interested in; I don’t have the answer to that question.”

(link)

#9 “Social Media Street Art Responds to Chinese Train Disaster” by An Xiao

But I started noticing something as early as July 24. The Wenzhou train-related posts on Sina Weibo didn’t just continue. They grew. Netizen anger kept the collision at the top of Weibo’s trending topics for up to a week after the event, with some 10 million comments on the incident. The response was so strong that even the official news organ, China Central television, started putting pressure on the Ministry of Railways.

This is what street art would look like on social media.”

(link)

#10 “Looking at London Revolting” by Janelle Grace

“But the remaining collection of photos is interesting even without the motive of identifying looters — it acts as a document not only of the riots, but of riot photography itself. There is a sense of movement to these photos, many of which are presumably taken clandestinely. The angles and framing showcase a negotiation of distance, of being close to the action but not wanting to be too close. People want to know who the looters are as individuals and as groups, but these photos also raise the question of who the photographers are. Who are these people who are amongst the crowds but deny being of it, by virtue of their cameras? Are taking these photos acts of bravery? Are these photographers colluding with the rioters by adding to the numbers of people on the street?”

(link)

#11 “Weaving the Book of Revelations from the Koran” by Daniel Larkin

“Meg Hitchcock spent 135 hours gluing letters on the wall, floor, and ceiling of the Famous Accountants gallery in Bushwick. She adhered them one-by one and side-by-side. These letters form a long string that circles around the gallery numerous times. As this cord twists around and eventually intertwines, it weaves itself into a thick rope of words. This rope lassos viewers, tugs at them to read along, and tests their endurance like a good game of tug of war — seeing just how long they can endure this seemingly endless string of letters.”

(link)

#12 “Demystifying #OccupyWallStreet’s Arts and Culture Meetings” by Liza Eliano

“Last night, I sat in on an Arts and Culture meeting at Occupy Wall Street to check in on what the group has been up to. After keeping track of and participating in their Google group for the past couple of weeks (I currently have over 400 Arts and Culture threads crowding my inbox) it was good to finally put faces to certain names. The meetings take place every night at 6pm at 60 Wall Street in the building’s pristine atrium complete with palm trees and tweeting birds. The building, which serves as the American headquarters of Deutsche Bank, is taken over by several of Occupy Wall Street’s working groups by night where they meet to hash out ideas and discuss administrative tactics. Wall Street employees and other non-Occupiers also hang in the atrium after office hours, but they are far outnumbered by the protesters.”

(link)

#13 “Something Queer About Jamaican Art” by Claire Breukel

“In Kingston, Jamaica, making artwork that explores LGBT-related issues is becoming increasingly more accepted, however it still has the potential to be life threatening.

Harry is an artist born in Jamaica who creates photographs that explore male sexuality. His work is not directly LGBT however his images depict men in various states of undress, whether standing, lying and posing on the edge of the beach surf. The men do not touch but are placed adjacent and diagonally to one another and the picture plane. These images are not overtly sexual, in fact they are more poetic than provocative. However showing them in the Jamaican capital may be tricky. The history of violent attacks on gay men and women attests to an entrenched cultural homophobia that makes exhibiting work outside the confines of a gallery difficult.”

(link)

#14 “Alexander McQueen’s Sartorial Savagery” by Alexander Cavaluzzo

“What makes a legend a legend? How are those cultural superstars chosen, the ones whose very names invoke awe, wonder, or at least a gasp?

Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty, the comprehensive retrospective of the late designer Alexander McQueen’s ravishing raiment now on view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art certainly provides a clue. With an hour and a half wait to enter (on a good day), a de facto Metropolitan gala in his honor and almost unanimous praise from critics, the McQueen legend continues to thrive in the eerie, operatic halls of the museum’s Costume Institute exhibition space. McQueen may have a spectacular artistic output, and he may have defined an era of rising fashion stars, but the question remains how his deification came to be; how the artist came to define 21st century fashion with his short, tragically romantic career.”

(link)

#15 “With Founder Gone, What’s the Future of Merce Cunningham’s Studio?” by Merel van Beeren

“A small group of dance students recently gathered on the floor of the Cunningham Studio to try to save their dance program from an early death. “There’s no way the studio won’t make it,” Suzanne Thomas, a French student, said. She is passionate about preserving it for a reason: “Pure Cunningham doesn’t really exist anywhere else.”

The community revolving around choreographer Merce Cunningham, a giant of modern dance, has been in a state of flux since his passing in 2009. Although the choreographer himself and the Cunningham Trust meticulously outlined a plan for both the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, which would come to an end after a final farewell tour, and the Cunningham Foundation for after Cunningham was gone, the fate of the Cunningham Studio’s educational program was not so clear cut.”

(link)

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