The Walker Curates the News: 06.29.15

Sonya Clark, Unravelling, 2015.

Sonya Clark, Unravelling, 2015.

A project that predates the June 17 killings of nine African Americans at Charleston’s historic Emanuel AME Church, Sonya Clark’s Unravelling—on view in Mixed Greens Gallery’s New Dominion show—is echoed by urgent calls for the removal of the Confederate flag from capitols, state symbols, and license plates throughout the South. Offering “a metaphor for hopes for racial progress via a performance,” the work involves the artist taking apart an actual Confederate flag, reducing it to red, white, and blue thread. Clark’s work finds resonance with an action by Bree Newsome: in one of the year’s most iconic news images, the musician, filmmaker, and activist climbed a flagpole on the South Carolina statehouse grounds Saturday and—temporarily, at least—removed the flag of the Confederacy.

  • In the aftermath of the Charleston massacre, it became “painfully evident” to Brandeis associate professor Chad Williams “that the vast majority of people lacked the necessary historical awareness to engage in serious dialogue about Charleston, much less subject themselves to critical introspection.” He and colleagues endeavored to begin a crowd-sourced list of “texts, novels, poems, films, songs, and primary source documents” that are “foundational to the study of the black experience and the meaning of race in modern history.” He writes: “As educators, when we teach about the history of racial violence […] we will have to teach about Charleston. How will we go about preparing for that enormous responsibility?  I hope that the #CharlestonSyllabus will help us in our work.”
  • For her first English-language film, French director Claire Denis has assembled an intriguing and unlikely team—not to mention an unexpected setting. British author Zadie Smith (White Teeth) is writing the script, while also on board are Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson, astrophysicist Aurélien Barrau, and Stuart Staples of indie band Tindersticks. Set to begin shooting late this year, the story will “take place beyond the solar system in a ‘future that seems like the present.’”
  • A Rotterdam court has ruled that artist Danh Vo must create a “large and impressive” installation for a Dutch collector in the next year to resolve a lawsuit. Bert Kreuk argued that the work Vo sent for an exhibition of Kreuk’s collection at the Hague’s Gemeentemuseum was not room-sized, as expected. Vo now has one year to produce the new work; he says he’ll appeal the ruling.
  • When Glasgow football club Partick Thistle hired Turner Prize–nominated artist David Shrigley to design its mascot, it might’ve hoped for a warmer reaction. “Kingsley” has been described as “terror mascot-ified” and the “demented sun god of Scotland.”

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