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  • With Hand in Glove 2015 just past, I’m reflecting on the conversations catalyzed by the recent convening’s intensive and impassioned panels, trying to pick up the strings that connect the concepts put forth, hoping to find some semblance of a tack to inform my own process and collaborations moving forward.  I keep circling back to the lingering and loaded question, "What is at stake?" What is at stake as organizers forge ahead with artist-driven, social practices? In order to keep this ques…
  • The idea behind Jérôme Bel and Pichet Klunchun’s Pichet Klunchun and myself is simple: two dancer-choreographers of very different backgrounds—one a French avant-gardist, one from the classical Thai tradition—talk to each other about the dance they make. What do we learn from their conversation? First, as Bel interviews Klunchun, we learn a few tidbits about Thai classical dance. The style is called Khon; traditional performance is masked and recounts the stories of the Ramakien (Thailand’…
  • Look Again at India NO SWAMIS OR STREET URCHINS HERE. Minneapolis filmmaker Simone Ahuja wants to introduce you to stories of contemporary India that transcend stereotypes. Through Ahuja’s lens you’ll see past Varanasi’s famous ghats by the Ganges and into the lives of Bollywood stars turned professional rugby players or inside the entrepreneurial world of the fast-paced lunch-runners in Bombay. What you’ll take away from her TV and film work is a sense of the unmistakable vibrancy and surpr…
  • Artists have sought to represent the natural world for almost as long as people have been awed into reverential silence by nature’s sublime attractions. Historically, the convergence of nature and art has been, if not tumultuous, still subject to the occasional controversy. Think, for example, of Damien Hirst’s carcasses floating in formaldehyde or about the insects in Huang Yong Ping’s work. The paintings, drawings, and photographs assembled in Naked Wonder do not invite such debate. Instea…
  • THE FESTIVAL OF APPROPRIATION HAS ALWAYS BEEN FOCUSED, quite simply, on artists who use bits and pieces of previously existing images, objects, and sounds to create new and compelling works of art. It’s the visual counterpart to my sample-based music and audio art show, Some Assembly Required. Collage is a fairly simple concept, really. You take an existing cultural artifact, like a movie or a postcard, and take it apart—strip its soundtrack or isolate an image from the card. Then, re-use the …
  • Louis Jenkins is a sixty-four year old wastrel and sometimes substitute assistant security guard at the Tweed Museum of Art with ambitions of becoming a cloud. Also, a poet, called one of the finest of his generation by Robert Bly, something of an ordained arbiter of taste. One must be careful not to mythologize, or flatter with inaccuracies or downright lies, but Mr. Jenkins’ reputation is hard to ignore. He’s been dubbed a "great wit of the North" by Garrison Keillor, and has won a Minnesota…
  • Susan Deborah King’s third collection of poetry centers around her experiences as a breast cancer survivor. In her preface to the book, she explains its division into three sections, Nigredo, Albedo, and Rubedo, terms Jung borrowed from the ancient pseudo-science of alchemy to describe the transformative nature of psychoanalysis. The journey of the psychoanalyst’s client (King herself has worked as a psychotherapist) is like the journey of the woman diagnosed with breast cancer: from fear and …
  • Creation Story  my mother puts the needle to the blue flame on my grandmother’s stove     threads the eye with a vein , a crimson pulse years ago, she begins when your body was still of earth, I planted a song in your throat she touches my undeveloped chest with her fingernails, tracing a shape over the space where my heart should beat                     the song was pipe-like and placed beneath a nose and mouth I had not yet completed I found it in the desert underne…
  • On a sunny morning in the fall of 1969, 16-year-old Ta-coumba, who wound up in Minneapolis accidentally, went for a walk in the neighborhood of the Leamington Hotel where he anxiously spent the previous night. He was comforted by the serenity of the park with the large beautiful oak trees and artfully placed benches. The columns and large steps of the museum across from Fair Oaks Park mesmerized him. Ta-Coumba spent the remainder of the day walking around the neighborhood. He was pleasantly surp…
  • YOU MUST HAVE NOTICED THE ABUNDANCE OF CRAFT FAIRS WE HAVE AROUND HERE. You’ve got art crawls in the fall, street fairs all summer long, and that’s saying nothing of the many craft shows in the offing throughout the year running the gamut from high-end artisan specialty exhibitions—like the fine crafts wares of the Minnesota Craft Council’s annual show—to the new proliferation of small, independent fairs with a distinctly DIY flair. Whether you’re inclined toward the traditional work…