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Joseph Pierce on Why Academics Must Decolonize Queerness

Joseph Pierce wants you to question everything, but especially queerness. The Cherokee citizen and Stony Brook University assistant professor believes the moment has come for queer academia to seriously question the roots of their discipline, and ask how the field can expand to include more voices outside the Euro-American canon of Judith Butlers and Jack Halberstams. "When we think about queerness," Pierce explains, "it's seen as a universal theory that can be applied everywhere. But...


The Largely Unknown History of Blackface in Canada

There's a curious collection of 18th-century porcelain figurines displayed on the second floor of the Gardiner Museum. Set amidst an impressive display of European ceramic table wear and figurines, this small assortment of Harlequin sculptures don dark masks that stand out for contemporary audiences. One of the colorful sculptures is by Wenzel Neu and hails from the Kloster-Veilsdorf Porcelain Factory in Germany, c. 1764–65, and beside it is a sign that asks, "Is Harlequin in...


Shary Boyle's Exploration of the Fantastic and Political Lives of Clay

Canadian artist Shary Boyle is known for her incredible ability to transform clay and ceramic into feats of delicate wonder, using the human body and the history of the material to delve into the undercurrents and meanings often overlooked by contemporary viewers. In the second in a four-part podcast series produced by Hyperallergic in conjunction with the Gardiner Museum's Community Arts Space: What we long for initiative, she reminds us: "Let us not let the art world homogenize us when we...


Kent Monkman’s Mission to Decenter the Colonial Museum

Most of our earliest experiences of art are forged at museums. In this episode artist Kent Monkman recounts his own youth visiting institutions that didn’t reflect the lived reality around him and his Cree community in Winnipeg. Since those formative years, Monkman has become an important voice in contemporary art who challenges the histories told inside the hallowed halls of museums, pushing them to reflect the complexity of the world around them. He is an artist who teaches us to imagine...


The Unapologetic Queerness of Nayland Blake

During this special Pride Month, I knew we'd all need the wisdom of artist Nayland Blake, who is a leader in the field of queer representation and art, but that is one of his many talents as an artist, activist, educator, and innovator. This episode, I talk to Blake to learn about their experiences growing up biracial and queer in New York, going to school in Southern California, their formative years in San Francisco, and their return to New York. They also school me on kink. A special...


Talking Digital Colonialism with Morehshin Allahyari

Morehshin Allahyari has been capturing the imagination of art lovers the world over since her Material Speculation: ISIS series from 2015-16 propelled her into the spotlight. For that project, she recreated objects destroyed by the ISIS terrorist organization in Iraq. For that ambitious endeavor, she used the few images she could collect of the artifacts themselves and then 3D printed them in a beautiful translucent material that revealed a USB — filled with the related data — buried deep...


Decolonizing the Color of Queerness

What is June, really? It's a time for the LGBTQ community to come together and reflect on the ongoing fight for equality, even as we honor the hard-won achievements by queer activists past and present. It's also an opportunity to reflect on the rich creativity and diversity of our friends and chosen families. That's why Hyperallergic is putting a special spotlight on the queer arts community this month. Writers, philosophers, activists, illustrators, painters, sculptors, poets, filmmakers,...


Discussing the Future of Design and Tech with Paola Antonelli, Senior Curator at MoMA

Paola Antonelli is the Museum of Modern Art’s Senior Curator in the Department of Architecture & Design, as well as the institution’s Director of R&D. She’s also — like me — a fan of the beloved arts organization Eyebeam. This month, Eyebeam celebrates its 20th anniversary, and Antonelli will be the keynote speaker at the celebration. I sat down with this leading curator to discuss the world of design, tech, and what organizations like Eyebeam are doing to change the landscape. A special...


The Los Angeles Art Landscape, Through the Lens of Our Writers

Last year, editor Elisa Wouk Almino relocated from Hyperallergic’s New York-based office to Los Angeles to help expand coverage along the West Coast. In this podcast, she chats with Editor-in-Chief Hrag Vartanian about her initial impressions of the city, where artists have been increasingly flocking to. We then speak with Catherine G. Wagley, a veteran Los Angeles art critic and reporter who has contributed nuanced op-eds and reported stories to the site. She shares her thoughts on why Los...


Michael Rakowitz Discusses Withdrawing from the 2019 Whitney Biennial, and His Leonard Cohen Problem

When news that Michael Rakowitz withdrew from the 2019 Whitney Biennial was published by the New York Times on February 25, people wondered why the Iraqi-American artist decided to sit out the biannual art event. Later, in April, when the Leonard Cohen: A Crack in Everything opened at the Jewish Museum, many people noticed that Rakowitz's work about the renowned Canadian crooner’s relationship with Zionism and Israel — which appeared in the original exhibition at the Musée d’art...


What Should Artists Do With Their Work After They Die?

The business of artists's estates is becoming a big business, but the realities facing artists today aren't always as glamorous as some might think. For every multi-millionaire dollar Robert Rauschenberg estate, there are thousands of lesser-known talents whose families have to confront the tough decisions about what to do with hundreds of artworks and archives. To sort out the realities facing artists and their loved ones, I invited two experts in the field who deal extensively with artist...


Tapping into the Art World's Potential to Making Us Feel Empowered

A business and financial literacy conference, the Art World Conference is gathering together 50 speakers for panel discussions, conversations, and in-depth workshops addressing many of the challenges faced by visual artists and arts professionals who work closely with artists. The multi-day event is the brainchild of Dexter Wimberly and Heather Bhandari, two veterans of the art field who bring decades of expertise to the table. I invited Dexter and Heather to the studio to talk about the...


An Artist Works to Break Down the Walls Between a College and Its Community

What if artists were invited into institutions of higher learning to lead conversations about safety, community, and change? Artist Shaun Leonardo was invited to be the visiting fellow at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, and he's been organizing a series of events that are trying to break down the barriers between various aspects of the Pratt community. I invited him, along with Jane South, who is the chair of the Fine Arts Department within the School of Art at Pratt Institute, to discuss...


A Museum Hires a Full-time Therapist

In Canada, an incredible new program allows doctors to prescribe museum visits to their patients. Hyperallergic's Zachary Small visited the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts to talk with Stephen Legari, the first full-time art therapist on staff at a North American museum (he sees 1,200 patients a year), about his work in the city's encyclopedic museum and what role art can plan in healing. It's a fascinating story that might also point to new possibilities for art museums eager to play...


Discussing Modern and Contemporary Art of the Middle East with Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi

He launched into the screens of the internet savvy almost a decade ago, as a lively and unconventional Twitter commentator about the Arab Spring, but Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi is now known as one of the most passionate champions of Middle Eastern art. Founder of the Barjeel Art Foundation, Al Qassemi joins us to talk about the state of Middle Eastern art and discusses some of his favorite artists from a region that still isn't well represented in the world's modern art museums. One thing you...


Traveling Through the Uyghur Homeland with Lisa Ross

In 2002, artist Lisa Ross found herself in China. She decided to venture to the far western regions of the country, which she heard were home to a predominantly Uyghur population. She would return numerous times after that to document many aspect of a community that was about to change forever. Her photos are haunting, since they represent a world that is no longer there, as the Chinese authorities are imposing strict assimilationist policies on the local populations. It is believed that...


Hyperallergic Editors Reflect on Warhol’s Superbowl Commercial, MoMA Expansion, and More

It was a snowy week in Brooklyn, so some of us decided to gather in the podcast studio to talk about the world of art, giving you a small window into the conversations that happen in our office every day. Hyperallergic editor and critic Seph Rodney and news editor Jasmine Weber join me to talk about what they’re excited about right now: Burger King’s Warhol commercial for the Superbowl, Venice’s new tourism tax, the new Museum of Modern Art expansion, the Museum of the Bible CEO’s...


Discussing the Sculptures of Richard Serra with Hal Foster

There are many illuminating moment’s in Hal Foster’s Conversations about Sculpture (Yale University Press, 2018) with Richard Serra, including the discussion of the infamous “Tilted Arc” sculpture, Serra's formative years as he battled with Minimalism and Conceptual Art, his idea’s around site-specific art, and the role of text and image in his oeuvre. This podcast begins with Serra’s own voice from a SFMOMA clip that asks the question, “Why Make Art?” and continues with a little adventure...


The Political Life of Memes with An Xiao Mina

Memes are the street art of the social web, and they are becoming more central to the political and cultural conversations we have. In her new book, Memes to Movements: How the World's Most Viral Media Is Changing Social Protest and Power, An Xiao Mina helps us understand how memes influenced the Umbrella Movement in Hong Kong, Black Lives Matter in the United States, and Women’s Marches around the world. She explores how memes can help people express public dissent in environments where...


Lowery Stokes Sims and Chloë Bass Talk Empathy, Art, and Education

Last year, we invited artist, writer, and Queens College professor Chloë Bassto talk with curator, art historian, and museum veteran Lowery Stokes Sims to have a conversation of their choosing. It took me a year to publish this podcast, but I’m happy to say their words are more relevant today than ever, as the two art world figures discuss the imagined publics of contemporary art, public and private education, and the challenges of empathy and identity in art. Bass is no stranger to...