Art, on its own, is powerless to change political realities.
Earlier this week, the video artist and Artforum darling Hannah Black penned an open letter protesting the inclusion of a 2016 Dana Schutz painting in the 2017 Whitney Biennial. Titled “Open Casket,” it depicts the dead body of Emmett Till, a teenager who was tortured and lynched after being falsely accused of flirting with a white woman in 1955 Mississippi. (His mother, Mamie Till, held an open casket funeral for him, so the whole world could come face to face with the horrors of American racism, hence the title of the work.) A dark episode in the nation’s history, it is a reminder, seven decades on, just how little things have changed.
So long, 2014. Here's a list of things I read this year that you should too (in no particular order and biased toward the second half because who remembers what they were doing eight months ago).
What can Hova teach us about art? More than you think.
Wednesday before last, you may have heard, Jay-Z gave an impromptu performance of his new single “Picasso Baby” in a hush-hush event at the Pace Gallery in Chelsea. The audience, if you could call it that, was studded with art stars, socialites and people who knew someone that could get them in. Jim Jarmusch. Glenn O’Brien. Bill Powers. Laurie Simmons. Judd Apatow. Naturally, George Condo, Kanyes’ sloppy seconds, was there. So was the recklessly fêted Marina Abramović. For six hours Jay performed the song over and over, individually, to every person in attendance—a feast of discomfort masquerading as a feat of stamina.