The Walker Curates the News: 07.06.15

Amanda and her Cousin Amy": Mary Ellen Mark photographed Amanda Marie Ellison, 9 (right), and Amy Minton Velasquez, 8, in Valdese, N.C., in 1990. Courtesy of Mary Ellen Mark Studio and Library

Mary Ellen Mark, Amanda and her Cousin Amy, 1990.
Courtesy of Mary Ellen Mark Studio and Library

In one of her most iconic photos, Mary Ellen Mark—who passed away May 25 at age 75—captured the image of nine-year-old Amanda Ellison wearing makeup and smoking a cigarette in a kiddie pool. Twenty-five years later, Ellison is by her own admission still “surrounded by crazy people and drugs,” but she says that if she met “that photographer lady” again, Mark would be “overwhelmed with joy that I have made it this far.

  • After attending Susan Sontag’s funeral, Marina Abramović says she went home to make “an entire script” for her own burial ceremony. In good health at 67, she now reveals that she plans to have three bodies—her own plus two fakes—“buried in the three cities which I’ve lived [in] the longest.”
  • As the EU’s referendum on Greece was underway this weekend, artist Oliver Bienkowski projected the message “Außer Betrieb” (“out of order”) on the European Central Bank headquarters in Frankfurt. “We want to leave it open to interpretation,” he said of the act’s meaning.
  • “I photographed people who were held back,” says Robert Frank, whose series “The Americans” remains one of the most influential bodies of photography. “My sympathies were with people who struggled. There was also my mistrust of people who made the rules.” The New York Times Magazine profiles Frank at 90.
  • French director Claire Denis (Beau Travail, Chocolat) is heading into new territory: for her first English-language feature she’s teaming up with writer Zadie Smith (White Teeth), artist Olafur Eliasson, and others for a sci-fi film that’ll “take place beyond the solar system in a ‘future that seems like the present.'” Denis and Eliasson collaborated on a short film, Contact, last year, “which now appears to be a sketch for the upcoming project.”
  • The art world is jubilant about the US Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage ruling. But most agree, there’s work left to be done. “There’s still homophobia out there, just as there is racism,” says photographer Catherine Opie. “There will still be art made in connection with those struggles.”
  • Excruciating, graphic, and exhausting.” Screening now at Artpace in San Antonio—16 years after white supremacists dragged James Byrd, Jr., a 49-year-old black man, to his death behind a pickup truck in Jasper, Texas—Christian Marclay’s video response Guitar Drag “feels well-timed,” writes Glasstire‘s Christina Rees.

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