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Audre Lorde once declared “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” In 2020, the million dollar question has become how can we care for ourselves amid multiple crises? Many artists answer this question of self-care with warm creamy imagery, but such work often overheats and curdles. Ronald Vill keeps it cooler and subtler — embellishing Havana pandemic scenes with blossoms.
In Japan, it is a contemplative art to cherish cherry blossoms before they wilt. As Murasaki Shikibu observed in Tales of the Genji (c. 1021), “blossoms of spring are all the more precious because they bloom so briefly.” Ronald Vill invites us to perceive 2020 through this mentality, superimposing sakura blossoms over otherwise banal moments like cooking in “In the Afternoon” (2020).
Is joy a crime in 2020? Or might self-care reenergize us to keep on fighting as Audre Lorde intimated?
Living in Cuba, striking a faustian bargain with Castroism, Vill might have something to teach us about defiant jubilance. For example, cherishing a good book during the pandemic can become radical self preservation and “The Secret Weapon.” (2020)
As Vill explained to Hyperallergic, “I am not sure if I can find joy in 2020, but I try to. I am trying to find joy in my reality.” Each drawing’s vignette evokes that search.
Ronald Vill’s exhibition, El Zorro Y La Flor (The Fox and the Flower) continues through November 15 at Thomas Nickles Project (47 Orchard Street, Lower East Side, Manhattan) and online, until a vaccine is found.
New works by one of Bangladesh’s most prominent photojournalists, writers, and activists are on view at the Chicago art space through November 27.
Council often uses humor as a political tool to expose systems of power and inequality in a society in which even death carries a high price tag.
An exhibition at the San Francisco Opera House pairs the work of incarcerated artists with Beethoven’s story of unjust imprisonment.
Many works take disruption and repetition as their themes, and many artists resurface in different sections, creating multiple affinities.
Hear from Holly Jean Buck, Carolina Caycedo and David de Rozas, Simon Denny, Elizabeth Hoover, Renee Kemp-Rotan, Joseph Kunkel, and more at this free public event.
In Cooking with Paris, Hilton capitalizes on her portrayal of being a competent woman, while highlighting its anachronism through her absurd performance. Rosler manipulates the camera in the same way.
EFA Open Studios offers a portal into the creative habitats of over 65 artists working in Manhattan’s longest-running studio program, including Dannielle Tegeder, Wafaa Bilal, Cui Fei, and Anina Major.
A man says Blue Bayou took details of his life without his permission. Several women who appear in the documentary Sabaya say they did not consent to be filmed. How can filmmakers avoid these ethical pitfalls?
Ursula Biemann, Nicolas Bourriaud, and others said they will no longer participate in the event.
There is an official ban against the public mourning of Tiananmen Square victims in Hong Kong and mainland China.