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Posted inArt

An Arts Collective Grows in Greenpoint

In organizing Greenpoint Open Studios, I was introduced to some 160 amazing artists producing a variety of works in their studios. Painters, photographers, sculptors, video artists and performers are all sprinkled around the neighborhood, but one collective whose studios I was most charmed by is Fowler Arts Collective. The 20-artist collective is housed inside the infamous Greenpoint Terminal House, once the largest rope mill in the world, a recent victim to a suspicious raging fire, and now host to film shoots, a wooden furniture shop and of course, artist and studio space not unlike that found at art school.

Posted inArt

WTF is… Relational Aesthetics?

The standard cliché summary of modern (and contemporary) art is that now, anything is art. Jackson Pollock threw paint around. Duchamp strung up a shovel, upended a bike wheel into a stool, put a urinal on a pedestal and called the resulting three “sculptures” art of the highest order. After so long, we’ve started to run out of things to suddenly deem “art.” But relational aesthetics, or the posing of an artist-constructed social experiences as art making, is the latest step in this process of turning everything into art.

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With Founder Gone, What’s the Future of Merce Cunningham’s Studio?

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.

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Angry Art Letters on the Lower East Side

Ridykeulous, founded by artists Nicole Eisenman and A.L. Steiner in 2005, describes itself as an effort to “subvert, sabotage, and overturn the language commonly used to define feminist and lesbian art,” primarily through exhibitions, performances, and zines. Attacking the marginalization of queer and feminist art as “alternative” cultures, they insist upon participating in mainstream dialogues about art and culture; in adopting the role of curators and organizing exhibitions, Steiner and Eisenman forcefully insert themselves and their collaborators into the spaces, both literally and figuratively, of the art establishment. Though not all of the artists in Readykeulous are female, nor do all identify as queer, they share an interest in disrupting the status quo.

Posted inArt

Saying Goodbye to Egypt

Amman, Jordan — The decision to leave Egypt wasn’t easy on me, but I was out of options. Feeling alone, broke, beaten up, and lonely in a country I can’t predict anymore made me feel uncertain about the future. This revolution has been a life-altering event to each one of the people witnessing it, and I’m no exception.

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5 Ways Google’s Art Project Bests Other Virtual Art Viewers

In another giant leap for art online, Google has released Art Project, a collaboration with a group of 17 international art museums, including New York’s own Metropolitan and Museum of Modern Art, to put their collections online. But this isn’t just a rehash of some online slideshow. Museums participating in Art Project can be digitally toured in two ways: as a Google Street View-style walking trip through the physical museum itself, as well as an artwork-by-artwork tour, with masterpieces of museum collections viewable in a slick image window. Here’s what Art Project does better than any other digital art viewer out there.

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In Photos: Walking in Cairo During a Revolution

Cairo — I won’t lie to you. I was scared yesterday. I got in a fight with a group of passersby in one of the poorest neighborhood in Cairo. The people thought I was reporting for Al-Jazeera, the Qatari-based news channel that has been the target of major government propaganda over the last few days. People were pulling me from my clothes, hitting me on my back and dragging me to the floor until I was saved by a reasonable police officer who pretended to arrest me and my friends to calm the crowds.

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The Hills Are Alive With the Sound of Art

Despite Wednesday night’s snow storm, tough cookies crowded the Austrian Cultural Forum to near capacity for Alpine Desire’s opening reception. The wine was gone by 7pm but people stayed. Examining mountain imagery in contemporary art, as well as a few earlier modernist and romanticist paintings, the show wins over its audience not only by exhibiting picturesque (and relatively safe) postcard-like views but also evocations on our darker and quirkier interactions with mountains.

Posted inArt

Art and Revolution During the Egyptian Protests [UPDATED]

Cairo — As I write this story, I am in my room overlooking the main square of Cairo, ironically called Tahrir Square, which means Liberty in Arabic. The square is buzzing with what news agencies estimate is as much as half a million protesters, chanting together. People want to overthrow the president.

Egyptian people took to the streets demanding the ouster of Hosni Mubarak, their president for the last 30 years. The demonstrations, which started five days ago, are becoming life-altering events to those witnessing it from the ground.