The Trauma Question
Writer and cultural strategist Lisa Marie Brimmer responds to the May 2019 event Mn Artists Presents: Anat Shinar and Amal Rogers as “surreal immersion theater", untangling the complex relationships between artists, institutions, and audiences, and calling for new stories to be made possible.
Untitled installation by Maggie Thompson, 2019. Photo by Galen Fletcher, courtesy Walker Art Center.…
Comedy Is Like a Fuckboy
Comedian and improviser Monika Hetzler recounts how comedy—while it is still often inaccessible—allowed her to shift her relationship to the “confused mixed kid” narrative, discover her own agency, and embrace the awkward.
Alex D. Araiza, The Cheerful Crowd, 2017.…
How Comedy Unmasked My Inner Queen
Community organizer May Esperanza Losloso details the lead-up to her comedy debut, considering how everyday humor and a space without censorship brought her to remove some of her masks and claim her place as a Filipinx Humorist/Miss Universe Impersonator.
May Esperanza Losloso. Photo: Tori Hong.I wear many masks throughout my day, depending on the space.…
Experience Is Expertise
Artist, poet, and scholar Simi Kang reframes the notion of expertise, examining which stories we are allowed to retain from our ancestors, what qualifies as a “valid” story, how institutions tell stories for us, and how we tell stories about and for ourselves.
When Saymoukda asked me to write for this incredible series, I struggled to find a center for the piece. While I make visual art and poetry, my primary art these days is writing in service to my Ph.D.…
The Ethics of Writing About Throwaway Women
Writer and performance artist May Lee-Yang speaks back to the critics — advocating for greater specificity in telling Hmong women's stories, proposing a fresh take on the responsibilities of the audience, and considering the role of the artist as bad girl.
Slut.Bitch.Gangster.Bad girl.Bad woman.Itchy cunt.Horny cunt.Woman who ran away.Old vegetables.Leftover human.Dead snake on the side of the road. …
Xee Reiter, Faces. Image courtesy of the artist.
Even "The Smallest Cell Remembers": Notes on Research
Mn Artists guest editor Chaun Webster considers the precariousness of research, evidence and memory in black geographies.
I am a researcher. I work outside the university, have no degree affirming my qualifications to interpret or produce knowledge. Insurgent. I am nobody (see June Jordan, see Alexis Pauline Gumbs). My work involves a kind of listening—echo—in order to recover abbreviated lives.…
Photo courtesy of Chaun Webster.
Are We Black Yet?: On Blackness as Art
Drummer, composer, writer and professor of African American literature and culture Davu Seru explores a body of ideas belonging to a kind of "un-finishing school" from Coltrane and their excavated recording, Both Directions at Once, to the seminal sermon in Invisible Man and perhaps black literature which asserts "black is...an' black ain't", asking us along the way: "Are we black yet?"
“If we had not survived and triumphed,there would not be a Black American alive.” —James Baldwin "Black people have…
Ad Reinhardt, Painting, 1960. Collection Walker Art Center, Minneapolis.