Anuradha Vikram (left) and Bean Gilsdorf (right) (photos by Brica Wilcox and Anthony Discenza, respectively)

Over the past few years, issues of race, gender, representation, and power dynamics have come to the fore in the art world. This is not to say that they were not being discussed previously, but recent debates and protests signal the emergence of a new culture war, or at least a serious reconsideration of the role of the artist and the institution.

Cover of Anuradha Vikram’s Decolonizing Culture (courtesy Sming Sming Books)

From 2013 to 2017, writer, curator, and 18th Street Arts Center Artistic Director Anuradha Vikram explored these issues in a column for Daily Serving called Hashtags, which focused on “the intersection of art, social issues, and global politics.” Published by Art Practical and Sming Sming Books, Decolonizing Culture collects 17 of her essays chronicling contemporary attempts — and ill-advised setbacks — at diversity and inclusion in the arts. Topics covered include Kara Walker’s sugar sphinx at the Domino Sugar Factory, Dana Schutz at the 2017 Whitney Biennial, Sam Durant at the Walker Art Center, Google buses, gentrification, rhetorics of colonial power in the museum, as well as essays on contemporary artists Simone Leigh, Charles Gaines, Rina Bannerjee, Mail Order Brides, and others. Next Wednesday at 18th Street, Vikram will be joined by former Daily Serving Editor in Chief Bean Gilsdorf for a conversation, book-signing, and reception.

When: Wednesday, March 28, 6:30–8pm
Where: 18th Street Arts Center (1639 18th Street, Santa Monica, California)

More info at 18th Street Arts Center.

Matt Stromberg is a freelance visual arts writer based in Los Angeles. In addition to Hyperallergic, he has contributed to the Los Angeles Times, CARLA, Apollo, ARTNews, and other publications.