The Walker Curates the News: 09.28.15

Laurie Anderson with Mohammed el Guarani

Laurie Anderson with Mohammed el Gharani

“I think meditators are the people who will understand this best,” says Laurie Anderson of her new work. For Habeas Corpus, she’ll project live video of Mohammed el Gharani, who was held seven years at Guantanamo without charge, onto a sculptural form shaped in his likeness for three days. With el Gharani unable to travel to the US for the work, the piece was conceived as “a work of silent witness, deriving its power from live streaming, technology, and stillness—a work of equally balanced presence and absence,” writes Anderson. But then the former captive found he wanted to speak. So when Habeas Corpus is performed October 2–4 at Park Avenue Armory, the statue of el Gharani will become animated once an hour as his video image begins to tell his stories of captivity. “Gradually, the truth about Guantánamo has come out.”

  • The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation has issued an open call for its two-year fellowship program: artists can get up to $100,ooo for “projects addressing racial justice through the lens of mass incarceration,” as the US incarceration rate—especially of black males—continues to climb.
  • There are few guidelines for paying artists who perform in museum settings. “I’ve talked to colleagues who are surprised when they mount live art in galleries that you have to pay people at all,” says Philip Bither, senior curator of performing arts at the Walker Art Center.
  • Speaking of pay: In a report released last week, the UK-based campaign Paying Artists shared surprising stats on pay equity in the UK, including this: more than 70% of contemporary visual artists who took part in publicly funded exhibitions in the last three years received no fee.
  • “I’m going to say something that my dissident friends won’t like,” artist Tania Bruguera told PRI on the eve of Pope Francis’ visit to Cuba. “We’re living a new era in Cuba now, and it’s the era of the people, not the era of the dissidents or the government. It’s the era of the normal, everyday Cuban people. And this is what I personally would like to fight for.”


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