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After a brief hiatus, Required Reading is back.

Above is a 1977 video interview with Great North artist Doris McCarthy, who shows us her wardrobe painting en plein air in the arctic.

Greg Allen exams the text in a painting by Jasper Johns. I often find this level of dissection boring but it does involve orgies … so here you are.

Toronto art critic Leah Sandals does a Q&A with artist Sharon Hayes, and she asks (among other things), “Why did you start staging protests as art?” Here is a part of her answer:

There’s two reasons. One had to do with my feeling, at the beginning of the second Bush administration, that street protest had lost its power to move politicians and publics. The other reason had to do with intersections between history, politics and speech.

A handwritten transcript by Diego Rivera of his interpretation of the famed Detroit Industry Murals is up for auction. It was originally written in French as the artist was not as comfortable in English.

On Art:21’s YouTube channel, artist Cao Fei discusses her multimedia theatrical work “PRD Anti-Heroes” (2005), which is:

… a play performed by non-professional actors. Investigating the “anonymous and unsung heroes” of the Pearl River Delta or “the factory of the world,” Cao’s production incorporates elements of traditional Chinese legends, Hong Kong soap operas, and Cantonese farces.

Teri Tynes takes a tour of the United Nations and snaps some photos of notable design and art details of the modernist structure on the East River. The visitor’s information desk is my favorite.

And finally, even if this isn’t art related, this is a fascinating essay in the New York Times Magazine from back in January about a “problem known in Japan as hikikomori, which translates as “withdrawal” and refers to a person sequestered in his room for six months or longer with no social life beyond his home.”

Required Reading is published every Sunday morning at 7am-ish EST, and it is comprised of a short list of art-related links (10 or less) to long-form articles, videos, blog posts or photo essays worth a second look.

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Hrag Vartanian

Hrag Vartanian is editor-in-chief and co-founder of Hyperallergic. You can follow him at @hragv.