The Walker Curates the News: 11.17.14

Photographs by Jas Sansi

The Jones family, subjects of Gillian Wearing’s A Real Birmingham Family. Photo: Jas Sansi

Changing realities of the modern family have increased the need for a serious dialogue, as evidenced by the reactions to Gillian Wearing’s A Real Birmingham Family. Commissioned by Ikon Gallery, the new sculpture of two single-mother sisters and their sons has drawn criticism for lacking a male figure. The work was attacked as “a totem for extreme feminists” and was subject to a one-man protest, in which a New Fathers for Justice activist stood in front of one of the sisters’ statue. Ikon’s director, who spoke with the protester, responded that it’s about “process and debate,” stressing the importance of free speech.

  • The filmmaker of stylistically innovative works like Wings of Desire and Paris, Texas, Wim Wenders shares his advice to young artists, emphasizing individuality and inventiveness: Find “the thing that you can do better than anyone else.”
  •  “I take my role as an educator,” says Santiago-based rapper Ana Tijoux. Fittingly, her recent projects range from an op-ed for the Walker to a new hip-hop music video Todo Lo Sólido Se Desvanece En El Aire (All That is Solid Melts into Air). Drawn by Chilean political cartoonist Malaimagen, Tijoux’s new video poignantly tackles global austerity measures and social and economic inequality in a capitalistic world, asking “What would the world be like if there was no capital, if humans had no masters?”
  • At the Istanbul Design Biennial Dutch designer Christian Boer presented Dyslexie, a typeface created with dyslexic people in mind: though they look like traditional typeface, “the letters are designed with heavier bottom portions to prevent the reader’s mind from turning them upside down.”
  • As demonstrated by the varied legal decisions made on persons of interest at transit zones, border zones are no longer defined by set rules that protect civil liberties, but by legal regimes that manipulate the codes with political intent. In an essay for  Creative Time Reports, artist James Bridle questions the new technologies, the “faceless” systems, used to aid in border enforcement at the risk of violating basic human rights: “Technology itself is never neutral. Software reproduces the biases of those who create it.”

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