March / April 2017 Issue
“Balance”

Columns

Thank You For Coming: Talking with transdisciplinary performance artist NIC Kay about balance, Blackness, and hope


NIC Kay and I met just after I moved to Chicago from Los Angeles in the fall of 2014. I was coming from the world of sunshine and contemporary dance, and was thirsty for brick buildings and East Coast aesthetics. NIC was a Chi-by-way-of-the-Bronx theater kid, deep in their vogue femme practice...

In the swim of things: a conversation on the poetics and politics in He Xiangu’s debut film


He Xiangyu, an artist known for his grand Coca-Cola Project and paintings of lemons, premiered his first film The Swim (2017) at the Guggenheim Museum in conjunction with...

Artist Introspectives

The Practice of Walking: Somewhere Near Zabar’s


I’m sick as a dog at noon on a Sunday. Though I haven’t ventured far from the bed, walking is still on my mind. Earlier this month, on Friday, April 14th—otherwise known as Good Friday—I walked the length of Manhattan from...

How to Collaborate with Nonprofits: A Playbook for Participants


The key to any good collaboration is being available and receptive. That was how I approached collaborating with the News Literacy Project (NLP), a nonprofit focused on...

Artist Introspectives

Touch/Don’t Touch


I’m on my knees, a plump, Black woman in black from head to toe, my blue-black lipstick almost kissing the microphone. My thick, black, curly, natural hair is bobby-pinned flat on both sides, leaving my hair Afro-fabulous in the front and back. I stick my hair in...

Thoughts I Had While Trying To Do Vrksasana (Tree Pose) In Yoga Class


Breathe in. Begin in tadasana, the mountain pose. Do not think about the misappropriation of yoga for suburban housewives. Breathe out. Maybe this is not the time to...

A Farewell to the Global Museum?


Museums in the United States are undergoing an identity crisis. With significant capital invested in a decade-long effort to create globally oriented identities and operations, many cultural institutions must reckon with the results of their sometimes-flawed decisions and...

“The artist has to be down on the ground”—An Interview with Monica Trinidad


Monica is a queer Latinx artist and organizer born and raised on Chicago’s southeast side. She is a co-founder of the For the People Artists Collective and Brown and...

On View Now

Tracing the Out-of-Sight: Cristina Camacho’s Symmetrical Tensions


While preparing for an exhibition, Cristina Camacho read Haruki Murakami’s novel, The Wind Up Bird Chronicle. She said: “I came across a sentence that caught my attention. It was about the very simple...

Art on the Border


The border between the United States and Mexico has been fraught with conflict since its line was created. It balances imagination and realism, being both mythically symbolic and irrefutably firm. Now that the border has been...

“Balance In B-Flat Minor”


Annah Anti-Palindrome wrote this poem after listening to Chopin's Sonata No.2, Op. 35 on repeat, following along with the sheet music, and pushing pause every 30 seconds in an attempt to...

The New Situationists

Implicit Politics: August Sander and the Fallacy of Objectivity


By definition, objectivity defies romanticism. Despite this, curators and art historians have referred to the German photographer August Sander as an "objective romantic." A selection of his portraits are...

Writer-in-Residence

Beverly Fishman: Color-Coding Big Pharma


From the pillbox, Beverly Fishman chooses colors with a calculating eye. A master colorist, Fishman explores the allure of intoxication: the fluorescent highs of addiction and sickly tones of withdrawal. With her vivid and...

The “Black Gash of Shame”—Revisiting the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Controversy


As memorials are objects of public commemoration, we demand a lot of them. They serve as testaments to lives lost, as repositories of grief, and to facilitate processes of mourning. We expect them to do the work of history writing, to draw single comprehensible narratives out of a...

Looking at Los Angeles

Kathleen Ryan: Weightless Again at Ghebaly Gallery


What appears to be two sets of eyelashes, heavily laden with mascara, rest on the floor of Kathleen Ryan’s current exhibition, "Weightless Again," at Ghebaly Gallery in Los Angeles. Cast in iron from two curling palm fronds, the pair...

The 1913 Armory Show: America’s First Art War


America has been an epicenter of avant-garde art for a long time, but this was not always the case. The reasons for the rise of the American art world are plural and complex. In part, this rise resulted from a mix of post-World War II affluence, which created collectors, and Cold War politics, which weaponized...

Letter from the Editor

What if balance was about process, rather than outcome?


Journalists often talk about balance, and it is usually in the context of a finished piece of writing: was it “fair and balanced”? Did it consider all sides of an issue? Did it appear to take a side?...