The Walker Curates the News: 11.23.15

Ralph Lemon observes Okwui Okpokwasili in Scaffold Room, 2014. Photo: Gene Pittman, Walker Art Cneter

Ralph Lemon observes Okwui Okpokwasili in Scaffold Room, 2014. Photo: Gene Pittman, Walker Art Center

A year after its debut at the WalkerRalph Lemon’s Scaffold Room sees a short run at the Kitchen this week. New elements have been added since then, but the project is still focused on “race, sexuality, gender, pop culture, and the very American histories that have shaped them.” In an art scene trending towards “dissolving authorship,” Lemon isn’t worried about a the theft of ideas. In discussing history and pop culture, his project is inexorably linked to previous authors. So, Lemon concertedly embraces inherited ideas from artists and writers who preceded him. Scaffold Room continues at the Kitchen through December 5.

  • “A keen social commentator who has shown an enduring commitment to her practice of provoking conversation on the issues that affect us all,” Martha Rosler has been named winner of the inaugural 100K Prize. The biennial honor was set up by the New Foundation Seattle with a mission of “supporting artists, empowering women, and catalyzing social change.”
  • LaToya Ruby Frazier’s photographs are a “bird’s eye portrait” of Braddock, Pennsylvania, the once thriving steel town that was home to her family for four generations. For the past twelve years, Frazier has captured the changes in the town with a series of aerial photographs as industry swallowed up countless lots and entire blocks of black-owed homes and businesses.
  • Artists are droning on… but not in a bad way. The film industry has started to embrace drones as a way to increase the capacities of the medium. From low tracking shots to sweeping ariel views, drones can capture previously inaccessible shots. However, when considering drones’ role in war, the incorporation of drone technology into filmmaking is not without consequence. The Economist raises questions. Do artists have a responsibility to address the role of UAVs in war? Are filmmakers using drones cleverly in their medium, or just leaning on shock value? Whatever the answers, it’s safe to say that “good drone art is necessary.”
  • YouTube becomes an unexpected preservation method for the work of dancer/choreographer Merce Cunningham. Like a hyper-accessible online archive, the Merce Cunningham Trust page includes everything from videos of his dance company’s classes to a mini-documentary series, “Mondays with Merce.” Nancy Dalva, the trust’s resident scholar, explains the goal of this project: “I want people to be able to see the work as Merce made it and the dancers rehearsed it.”
  • William Pope.L uses spaces in between visual distinctions, printed letters of type, and even galleries to reflect on “interstitial spaces and notions of blackness.” Pope.L’s new multimedia show takes place in a pair of LA galleries, and in the viewer’s trip between them.

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