The Walker Curates the News: 11.16.2015

Maya Lin, Folding the Chesapeake, 2015

Maya Lin, Folding the Chesapeake, 2015

For her contribution to Wonder, the inaugural exhibition of the Smithsonian’s newly renovated Renwick Gallery, Maya Lin has created a likeness of the Chesapeake Bay based on NASA satellite imagery and inspired by the waterway’s beauty and ecological importance—using 168,000 clear marbles. “This piece,” she says, “allows me to give people an idea of the totality. You see it as a single organism, as a living system.”

  • As she prepares to again undergo the transformation into Dr. Zira, the chimpanzee psychologist in The Planet of the Apes (this time at Monmouth University on November 18), Coco Fusco discusses what it took—physically and intellectually—to get into character.
  • “I am currently black.” A statement which Rashid Johnson originally used to respond to his work being called “post-black” gains a new significance in light of his current show, Anxious Men at The Drawing Center. He says his first drawing show—which features portraits drawn with black wax soap on white tile and the soundtrack to the 1977 film Watermelon Man—is an “attempt to grapple with ‘negrosis,’” a term he uses to describe the relationship between blackness and anxiety.
  • Thirty-seven artists—including Frank Big Bear, Dawoud Bey, Mickalene Thomas, and Teju Cole—were named United States Artists Fellows last week, an honor that comes with a $50,000 prize.
  • For its first online exhibition, the Guggenheim has created a futuristic stock market as its . Visitors to the Azone Futures Market  site can make “investments” with a currency they are given. Combined with a parallel installation, the exhibit works like a “war room or a Bloomberg Terminal,” in that it is an “immersive environment to provide situational awareness of the market.” “For museums to fulfill their mandate [of making sense of history] they need to experiment with new types of exhibitions to address contemporary issues that will shape our future,” says Troy Conrad Therrien, curator of architecture and digital initiatives, on the significance of this exhibition.
  • The art world responds to the November 13 attacks in Paris. Several of the city’s museums and cultural institutions were closed for three days of national mourning beginning on Saturday, and the photographic art fair Paris Photo—which was expecting tens of thousands of visitors this weekend—shut down early to ensure the safety of its guests. The show will return to Paris next year: “We will face the barbarians. It’s a question of civilization and culture.” On social media, artists share their initial responses to the tragedy as expressions of grief and symbols of solidarity, including French artist and graphic designer Jean Jullien’s sketch of a modified peace-symbol motif that went viral overnight.

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