Latest articles

Like Piss in Motion: Race, Gender, and Filtration Systems in the work of Candice Lin

In Paris and in the Middle Ages sewage—human and non-human waste—was routinely dumped onto unpaved streets before working its way to the River Seine, from which people drank directly. Throughout the nineteenth century, sanitation extended far beyond Parisian urban development, into colonial governance, and serves today as a tool for imperial control. Pleating health, sanitation,…

Peter James Hudson: On Banking Diasporas, Colonial Methods & Aesthetic Inquiry

We want to begin by thanking you for your work in the Boston Review and for your art writing, particularly on Mark Bradford, and for your pivotal book, Bankers and Empire: How Wall Street Colonized the Caribbean. We have been learning so much from your tweets, your website, your words. We were incredibly struck by…

On the Burden of Proof: Racialized Violence and the Limits of Public Mourning

She was more than just a snapshot you have seen on television, more than just a victim of a terrible crime, more than just a woman in a hijab who apparently inspired anger in a man she hardly knew. She loved and was loved; she cared for others and was cared for by them; she…

The Rage: Some Closing Comments on “Open Casket”

  Emmett Till is dead. I don’t know why he can’t just stay dead. – Roy Bryant   This is what our dying looks like. – Jericho Brown   What can one say, in response to Dana Schutz’s Open Casket? To say even this, out loud, would sound, without further inquiry, like a reference to…

Rod Ferguson & Grace Hong: A Conversation on Strange Affinities and the Arts

Grace Hong: One thing that I wanted to talk to you about is, you and I have known each other for a really long time, and there was a distinct moment in our mutual acquaintance when you started becoming this total art collector. And almost at the same time, you also started writing about art.…

Mari Matsuda: Founding Critical Race Theorist, Activist and Artist

contemptorary: We are so grateful for your existence and presence in the world. We have been avid readers of your critical race and legal scholarship — and we were so excited to learn that you also have an art practice. We were curious what the field or the practice has offered you. So we wanted…

Dear Ancestors*

1. Currently you are beloved, apoliticized, or, capitalized. We think of one of your names headlining Hirschorn’s gentrification project, your name invoked as a shield against his. No mention in the headlines of your anti-fascist activism, your writing against the artist bourgeois, vulnerable education systems. It is as if you existed solely, in your own…

Dear Colleagues: Dead or Alive*

1. Despite my disdain for predictability and repetitiveness, I have found myself starting all correspondences with friends and loved ones with the same greeting: I hope you are surrounded with lots of love and support amidst fascism! Although I am aware that no amount of love or support may protect one from fascism, I find…

Surveill, Aestheticize, Rationalize, Ignore: The Light & The Formula

Under the neoliberal police state, U.S. acts of protest often proceed like a performance: a permit from the city officials required for large groups to march the street, the mapped out and agreed upon distance, the weight of returning home to continue with other daily chores. While a group of established artists and writers have…

WILDING Continued: a Conversation with Aria Dean

Too often radical debates become reduced, or settled with representational politics. Without dismissing the severity and damage that the lack of representation means to communities under siege (as we are intimately invested in the stakes of representation here), we’ve increasingly become interested in expanding the horizon beyond representation, canon-interruption, and inclusion.   In The Reorder…

Self Care Motto: Give self the room and opportunity to go after enemies. All angles. All dreams

This year has been a year of obfuscation, of debates that aimlessly feint, of the personal political transferring into the politicized brand. It has been the year of exhaustion, it seems. This year I wrote a lot of cover letters and quit most of social media. I dedicated my time to writing longer articles, investigation…