Reviews

ArtsEverywhere features reviews of exhibitions, books, conferences, and projects that add to the discourse of the arts in relation to the world around us.

Fictioning Names

Ashon Crawley, Charlottesville, VA 

Berry Berry. Sometimes fictions function to produce memory. And the genius and beauty of Barry Jenkins’s 2016 film Moonlight is not in its being presumably a universal story to which we all can relate. It is in this: that attention to the depth of emotion in the film can prompt in viewers our own search for such histories, such emotions, such...

We Have a Past and a Future

Theodore Kerr, New York City 

A review of  Dazzle Camouflage: Spectacular Theatrical Strategies for Resistance and Resilience by Ezra Berkeley Nepon. 2014. ISBN-13: 9780692595350. E. Nepon. 154 pages. Buy the book.  Dazzle Camouflage: Spectacular Theatrical Strategies for Resistance and Resilience is the type of book you want to buy multiple copies of and give to your friends so you all can talk about it. It’s funny, accessible,...

In the Shadow of an Epidemic

Mike Young, Toronto 

A review of Sarah Schulman’s The Gentrification of the Mind: Witness to a Lost Generation I came out to my friends as an impulsive, drain-chain-wearing sixteen-year-old. I knew little about the Gay Liberation movement or the queer community. Instead, I met a cute punk on a Toronto streetcar and felt a familiar stab of desire in my gut. When he casually...

Experience vs. Magic: Improvisation and Civic Action

Ruslana Lichtzier, Chicago  

A review of  The Fierce Urgency of Now: Improvisation, Rights, and the Ethics of Co-creation (Improvisation, Community, and Social Practice) by Daniel Fischlin, Ajay Heble, and George Lipsitz. 2014. ISBN: 0822354780. Duke University Press Books. 328 pages. Buy the book.  The Fierce Urgency of Now has a unique structure: a long prelude followed by an introduction, six chapters, and a coda....

Knowing vs. Doing: Propelling Design with Ecology

Anne Trumble, Los Angeles 

A review of Projective Ecologies, edited by Chris Reed and Nina-Marie Lister. 2014. ISBN: 1940291127. ACTAR, Harvard Graduate School of Design. 314 pages. Buy the book. Several months ago, I reviewed Landscape Imagination, a collection of essays by James Corner, a professor at University of Pennsylvania and the landscape architect who designed New York City’s celebrated High Line. Composed over twenty...

Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner: The Rising Contemporary African Art Brand and the Burden of Africanness

Ugochukwu-Smooth C. Nzewi, Hanover, New Hampshire 

Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner? borrows its title from Sidney Poitier’s 1967’s epic comedy-drama, a fitting metaphor, in reference to the astute observation of art historian Chika Okeke-Agulu that African artists have indeed mastered the realpolitiks of contemporary art and can now be counted as legitimate stakeholders. They have invited themselves to the dinner table of the international mainstream on their own terms. The...

How laws evolve according to Lee Smolin, Time Reborn

Joy Roberts, Guelph 

A review of Time Reborn by Lee Smolin (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013) Years ago my now deceased sister and I would exchange letters, keeping each other abreast of daily life events–and debating the 2nd law of thermodynamics. Since neither of us had any training in physics beyond high school, I’m not sure how  much progress we made on the latter topic....

Artists, Vagabonds, and an Accidental Nature Reserve in San Francisco Bay

Patrick Lydon, San Jose & Seoul 

A review of Refuge in Refuse: Homesteading Art and Culture, an exhibition curated by Robin Lasser, Danielle Siembieda, and Barbara Boissevain at SOMArts, San Francisco, USA.  For such a far-reaching social and ecological exposition, Refuge in Refuse: Homesteading Art and Culture centers on a surprisingly small piece of man-made land known as the Albany Bulb. A decommissioned construction landfill, the “Bulb”, as it is...

Abandoned and Auctioned, an Old House Finds a Future in Flowers

Rebecca Salminen Witt, Detroit 

A review of Flower House Detroit, which ran October 16-18, 2015 at 11751 Dequindre St, Hamtramck, Michigan. Once again, something amazing and ephemeral has appeared in Detroit. Flower House Detroit (which was actually located in the city of Hamtramck, 2 square miles enveloped by the city of Detroit) was, at its simplest, a gorgeous three-day floral installation in a two-story abandoned house. In...

Glittering Images: A Journey Through Art from Egypt to Star Wars

Joy Roberts, Guelph 

Review of Camille Puglia’s Glittering Images (Vintage, 2013) Paglia’s Sexual Personae burst upon the scene at the beginning of the 90s and a storm of controversy followed.  Academics, art critics, and thinkers of various kinds weighed in. Television appearances and articles in the popular press have extended her reach to a broader public who remain enflamed—some against her, others in...

video still of James Baldwin

More Precisely

cheyanne turions, Toronto 

Born in Harlem, James Baldwin was 63 years old when he died in 1987, his life bearing witness to significant social upheavals including the African-American civil rights movement of the 1960s, the Second World War, the Vietnam War, and the Cold War, the gay liberation movement, and the emergence of AIDS. Just eight months before his death, British television host...

Exhibition Anatomy

cheyanne turions, Toronto 

CAROLEE SCHNEEMANN Since the late 1950s, the life of Carolee Schneemann (1939–) has been expressed through her artistic practice, first with the medium of paint and then through the medium of her often nude body, though she has utilized objects, printed matter, moving images and the often nude bodies of others as well. Wikipedia suggests that Schneemann is a “first-generation...

Keeping the Eyes Open

cheyanne turions, Toronto 

There is no shortage of ways to be in relation, but subject as we are to instinct and instruction, patterns emerge. Over his 30 year career as a musician, Dong-Won Kim has observed tendencies in the practice of improvisation: some performers are great communicators, playing with their eyes open; other performers are lone wolves, playing with their eyes closed. There...