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Art & Colonialism: Renzo Martens Part 1

“Clearing out the way” is a labor that I am committed to. As the emergent requires new geographies, new movements, and unimaginable possibilities. I’ve decided that every few months, I will take the time to deconstruct a piece of “art” I interact with, where the only response I have is: WHY. I will consider this…

The Emotional Is Theoretical

The question of aesthetics is a question of decisions: what makes a maker choose one thing over the other, one topic, material, medium, angle of approach, display, etc. over the many other possibilities. Whether these decisions are structural or “unconscious”, or an attempt to do away with those structures, aesthetic decisions are deeply and inherently…

Title TBD [Part I]

There’s this ancient, trite and ongoing notion that art/poetry is for the good. The good of the people, the good of the country, the good of progress (who the people are, for which countries, what good: these are side conversations brought forth by pessimists and unbelievers). For this reason, Artists and Writers do good by…

Title TBD [Part II]

Part 2 When we think about Cauleen Smith and our Los Angeles-San Diego-Chicago connecting Skype call, we remember that we would have probably all been sitting somewhere having coffee and chatting, had things “turned out” a different way. We remember that we could have had Cauleen in Southern California as an artist and as a…

Contemplating Contemporaneity with #BlackLivesMatter

Attending a few of the previous talks from the “What Is Contemporary?” series at MOCA Los Angeles, I was particularly interested in the last iteration: What is Contemporary? Black Lives Matter: Patrisse Cullors and Tanya Lucia Bernard in Conversation on Thursday, July 7. Given the last week’s police shootings and killings of Alton Sterling and…

Susan Cahan’s Mounting Frustration: The Art Museum in the Age of Black Power

Susan Cahan’s Mounting Frustration: The Art Museum in the Age of Black Power presents a straightforward argument: US Museums (specifically in her book, NYC museums) were and remain segregated. Museums have been “resistant to racial integration” and hostile to the Black power and civil rights movements. Cahan argues that the resistance against social movements in the museum space was active, as the museum boards were and are made of the very politicians that sat and sit in on policy changes regarding race, oversaw the passing of desegregation laws, and witness(ed) the impact of these new policies. She traces their pathways:…