Art Blogs

26 May 2022

Art Blogs Art Blogs
  • Artists On Writers | Writers On Artists
    26 May 2022
    This episode of Artists On Writers | Writers On Artists reunites two old friends—novelist Elif Batuman, and artist Sibel Horada—who began their conversation years ago when they met in Istanbul. Here,
  • Who Won the Cover in the Artists Magazine Cover Competition (and Why!)
    26 May 2022

    The five winning works in our first-ever Artists Magazine Cover Competition are captivating compositions. But only one could take the coveted cover spot...

    The post Who Won the Cover in the Artists Magazine Cover Competition (and Why!) appeared first on Artists Network.

  • 3 Secrets to Improve Your Landscape Paintings
    26 May 2022

    Capturing the beauty of a panoramic landscape in a painting can be a challenge. Level up your work with these little-known tips from one of our most popular instructors.

    The post 3 Secrets to Improve Your Landscape Paintings appeared first on Artists Network.

  • Zinzi Minott: Black on Black
    26 May 2022

    Zinzi Minott: Black on Black
    Thu 9 Jun 18.30-19.30, Fri 10 Jun 18.30-19.30
    BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art
    Gateshead Quays
    South Shore Road
    Tyne and Wear
    NE8 3BA
    Admission: Tickets £5, concessions £3. Booking essential

    Ground-breaking dancer, filmmaker and activist Zinzi Minott performs Black on Black a solo dance performance that explores queerness, blackness and the body as an archive. The work has been commissioned by CONTINUOUS as part of the CONTINUOUS Network programme for 2021/22 and will come to Gateshead as part of an ambitious tour of four UK cities, coming to Glasgow, Nottingham and Liverpool in Spring 2023.

    Black on Black sees Zinzi Minott interrogate dance as a form of labour and the limits of the body through the exhausting processes of repetition and duration. The one hour solo performance has been created from movement phrases donated to Zinzi by an extended network of Black dancers and artists.

    Zinzi Minott ⒸKofi Paintsil

    Zinzi Minott explains “My work explores the connection between dance, bodies and politics and Black on Black looks at the ancestral narrative handed down and evoked across generations of Black and Queer lives, expressed through physical performance. I’m excited to take my solo show on the road and tour Black on Black with CONTINUOUS Network. If you could imagine a physical archive of dance, what nugget or phrase would you donate?”

    In Black on Black, both dance and blackness are archived physically, passed from body to body to form a physical archive of Black and Queer lineage. What if movement, handed on and shared, is the embodied language of Black lives across generations and geolocations? Perhaps the body itself, and a shared physical vocabulary, is the most tangible archive for remembering Black life and histories. Dance’s ephemerality is a tactic of resistance. As Minott performs her solo, her phrases are altered, eroded by exhaustion, mirroring the ever-changing and always vulnerable existence of the archive.

    The work makes plain the fallible nature of the body, of the archive, of performance and of blackness, all subject to forces of erasure. For those who can’t catch the live performance, there will be a video installation of Black On Black shown through the remainder of June. Minott will perform her solo amidst a multi-screen audio-visual installation consisting of archival footage and other accompanying material from her personal image collection, with a newly commissioned score composed by Gaika.

    ©2022 Zinzi Minott, Kofi Paintsil

  • Orlanda Broom: Shapeshifters
    26 May 2022

    Orlanda Broom: Shapeshifters
    16 June – 30 July 2022
    Grove Square Galleries
    156 New Cavendish Street
    W1W 6YW

    British contemporary artist Orlanda Broom announces the first solo show of her new abstract works at Grove Square Galleries opening on 16th June. ‘Shapeshifters’ will showcase a powerful collection of new works by the artist, known for her richly saturated, dreamlike landscape paintings.

    Shapeshifters 140×140 cm

    The title of the exhibition evokes the idea of transience and the chimeric nature of what it means to be human, animal or even an inanimate object. Mystery surrounds this change and transition. In Shapeshifters, the artist becomes the ‘shape shifter’ in quite literal, non-mythological terms and is the creator of this metamorphosis, capturing the movement and warping of the resin on her canvas. Broom’s canvases burst with explosive movement, fluid shapes, and a playful colour palette in a celebration of colour, form and technique.

    Coral Peeper 120cm

    The exhibition is designed as a form of escapism as the paintings transport the viewer through their play with light, translucency and solid, vivid colour. The organic forms that emerge encourage an engagement and freedom of interpretation from the viewer.

    Broom is part of a new generation of artists reimagining the genre of abstraction. For them, labels aren’t important. They’re more interested in the science behind the medium, harnessing its application to develop expressive, beguiling, and transcendent compositions. They are devoted to their exploration of pushing the boundaries of colour, medium and light and a desire to communicate the power of movement and fluidity.

    Coronal Loop

    In her techniques, Broom is inspired by the action paintings, or gestural abstraction, of abstract expressionists including Jackson Pollock and Arshile Gorky. The specific processes involved in making these paintings is instrumental in their creation. “Working in this way gives me the freedom to work quickly, and dynamically, at one with the movement of the resin and also at the whim of the material. I have an understanding of how the medium will flow, but I’m only in control to a certain extent as the flow of the resin and merging colours have so many variables.”

    Warp 100 cm

    The artist’s approach to abstract art is quite different to the meticulous layering process behind her revered landscapes. “I surrender to the fluidity of the composition while organic forms appear with immediacy,” she says. As the resin starts to set, shapeshifting from a fluid to a solid state, Broom is enraptured and present. “It’s quite intense and pressured,” she says. “Decisions must be made instantly because I am working with varying factors including temperature, surface and fluidity, so there’s an element of risk.”

    The colour and the form of the work continue to evolve and change as the resin spreads, and for Broom, “to see this transition from one state to another is exciting.” The resin sets quickly and the metamorphosis is complete. Abstract, expressive works often invite their own interpretation and Broom’s work is no exception. In fact, the artist relishes the reinterpretation of her shapeshifting works, saying: “I’m interested in the interpretation of abstract works. I enjoy that people respond and read the paintings in their own way. I like making space for the personal, subjective response of the viewer.”

    Tummy Rubber 150cm

    “I have a strong desire to allow the viewer their own flow of thought,” says Broom. The shapeshifting nature of the resin is just the beginning of the way her nebulous forms continue to change in the mind’s eye.” Each work is intended to be ambiguous, almost like Rorschach test, reflecting feelings, attitudes, floral, fauna and movements.”

    Each of these abstract paintings defines a poetic journey, shapeshifting in Brooms’ viewers’ consciousness long after she considers them set and complete, immortalising seemingly fluid form, memories and emotions in hardened resin.

    ©2022 Orlanda Broom, Grove Square Galleries

  • Creative Insomnia Update - Perspectives from The Artist's Road
    26 May 2022
    <img src="//" border="0" alt="Summer Night, 1890, Winslow Homer" width="100" height="75" style="float: left; border: 1px solid black; margin: 5px;" />
  • Original Contemporary Abstract Mixed Media, Alcohol Ink Painting "Bubbly" by Contemporary New Orleans Artist Lou Jordan
    25 May 2022

    This is from a group of small (6"x 4") ink paintings that I adhered to w/c paper, matted with thick white mat and framed in 11x14 narrow black metal frame. Wonderful to create a group of these. There are 14 in all. This is #6. 

    14"x11"x1/2" Alcohol ink on Glossy Paper, Matted and Framed

    Click HERE for more info.

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  • 10 Films to Get to Know Ukraine
    25 May 2022
    From Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors (1964), dir. Serghiy Paradzhanov (image courtesy Dovzhenko Centre)

    The ongoing full-scale invasion by Russia began with the pretext from Russian president Vladimir Putin that Ukraine is an artificial nation and therefore an artificial country, created by Vladimir Lenin. The denial of Ukraine’s independence and the right to build its own future is a repetitive pattern in the Ukrainian-Russian relationship. For instance, policies that ban the Ukrainian language date back to the early 17th century.

    Nevertheless, the Ukrainian intelligentsia has never stopped fighting back. Through different art forms, they have been establishing Ukrainian culture and identity. Cinema has played an important role in this fight, both in Soviet times and in independent Ukraine. The Ukrainian online cinema has collected ten films to showcase Ukrainian culture in its different aspects and genres, from music and architecture to comedy to horror. All films are available worldwide with English subtitles.

    Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors

    Drama, director Serghiy Paradzhanov, 1964

    In the 1960s, a period that was later known as the “Khrushchev Thaw,” Soviet policies towards the national cultures of the republics began to ease. Ukrainian artists felt this light breeze of freedom and began to step away from the strict principles of socialist realism. In film, this movement was consolidated in Ukrainian poetic cinema. Unlike any other USSR films, poetic cinema was full of symbolism and national Ukrainian motifs, which manifested in the choice of colors, costumes, songs, and plots.

    The first, and perhaps the most famous illustrative of this trend was the film Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors. It is the love story of a Hutsul Romeo and Juliet, Ivanka and Marichka, who meet as children during a fight between their warring families. The two grow up together, exploring the Carpathian Mountains, and their friendship grows into a love that finds its climax in unforeseeable tragedy.

    The Lost Letter

    Comedy road movie, director Borys Ivchenko, 1972

    From The Lost Letter (1972), dir. Borys Ivchenko (image courtesy Dovzhenko Centre)

    The Lost Letter is representative of Ukrainian poetic cinema, but it is also one of the last films of the movement. The film depicts an adventure of the Cossack Vasyl, who was entrusted with the crucial task of delivering a letter from the hetman (military commander of the Cossacks) to the Russian tsaritsa (female monarch) as soon as possible. Within the format of a road movie, with comedic and often absurd sketches, unfolds Vasyl’s journey to the tsaritsa. On his way, he meets a chort (a servant of the devil), witches, and even a “talking stone.”

    This film serves as an ethnographic study of Ukrainian culture. Traditional characters of folklore, Ukrainian cuisine, and costumes are included in the film. However, in the early 1970s, national culture was again severely censored and as the film did not “ideologically” meet the demands of the censorship, it only had the chance to reach audiences ten years after its making.

    Hunt for the Cossack Gold

    Comedy, director Vadym Kastelli, 1993

    From Hunt for the Cossack Gold (1993), dir. Vadym Kastelli (image courtesy Dovzhenko Film Studios)

    Legend has it that in 1723, hetman Pavlo Polubotok left an enormous amount of gold in an English bank on the condition that it would only be released upon the independence of Ukraine. The film’s creators based its plot around this tale. But in the film, the year is 1993, shortly after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, and a suspected descendant of the hetman is phlegmatic and dimwitted Ivan. Nevertheless, the KGB (Committee for State Security in Russia) and other foreign spies have no doubt that Ivan is the one who knows the secret code to the gold.

    Hunt for the Cossack Gold is a satirical comedy that aims to reinvent the patriotic adventure genre in Ukrainian cinema with cossacks in the center of the plot. However, cossacks — or one of their descendants — are unusually interpreted not as symbols of independence, but as comedic elements. Overall, the film reflects on the Ukrainian past in the Soviet Union and weaves it into the narration of Ukrainian identity.

    The Living Fire

    Documentary, director Ostap Kostyuk, 2016

    From The Living Fire (2016), dir. Ostap Kostyuk (image courtesy 86PROKAT)

    In the Carpathian Mountains, the profession of shepherding has long existed. But for the Hutsul people of the region, it is more than just a job — it’s a calling that is strongly linked to their way of life and culture. Every summer, shepherds go to the mountains for months to graze their sheep. There is an ancient tradition of lighting a “living fire,” which is believed to protect the shepherds and animals from evil.

    For four years, the film director Ostap Kostyuk and his team researched this vocation and the people who chose the path of old traditions in a modern world. The Living Fire tells the stories of the lives of three men of different generations: 82-year-old Ivan who is already preparing for his funeral, 39-year-old Vasily who is trying to keep his animal farm in business, and ten-year-old Ivanko who has just begun to learn about life. The film examines the challenge of the preservation of old crafts in the modern world and gives the opportunity to admire the landscapes of the Carpathians to the tune of beautiful flute music.


    Mystical Drama, Horror, director Volodymyr Tykhyy, 2017

    From Gateway (2017), dir. Volodymyr Tykhyy (image courtesy Multi Media Distribution)

    In the center of the plot of the mystical drama Gateway is grandma Prisja, who lives in the Chornobyl Exclusion Zone. She shares a house with her daughter Slava, who was abandoned by her husband, and her adult grandson Vovtshyk, who has a mental disability. Grandma Prisja believes that she has extrasensory abilities and can talk to mermaids, who have told her that something horrible is about to happen, which must be prevented at all costs.

    At first glance, Gateway is a family drama with elements of mysticism, horror, and conspiracy theories. However, the film explores how the Chornobyl disaster affected the lives of many families who were forced to flee their homes and could not adapt to their new location because they were forced to live with the Chornobyl label. It is also the story of the few who, despite the threat to their lives, decided to stay and become cut off from the world.

    Heat Singers

    Documentary, director Nadia Parfan, 2019

    From Heat Singers (2019), dir. Nadia Parfan (image courtesy 86PROKAT)

    One of the most successful documentaries at the Ukrainian box office, Heat Singers is a lyrical film about the daily life of the TeploKomunEnergo, a municipal heating company in Western Ukraine. The film documents the beginning of the heating season, the struggle of workers with worn-out Soviet heat systems, and the search for a common language with irritated and cranky people who are waiting for warm batteries.

    The main character is Ivan Vasyliovych, who heads the trade union of the TeploKomunEnergo. He adores the trade union choir “Chornobryvtsi,” which represents the Soviet tradition of art groups within different companies, which was mandatory in Soviet times. However, all members of the choir are so sincere and dedicated to their work that it is impossible not to admire them. Heat Singers is a feel-good story about heat, in all its manifestations.

    My Thoughts Are Silent

    Tragicomedy, director Antonio Lukich, 2019

    From My Thoughts Are Silent (2019), dir. Antonio Lukich (image courtesy Arthouse Тraffic)

    Vadym Rott works as a freelance sound engineer and receives a work task that may change his life and help him emigrate to Canada. As he himself says: “This is my new dream.” To succeed, he only needs to record the sounds of Ukrainian animals and birds, including the singing of the semi-mythical wild mallard duck. On his hunt for these sounds, Vadym has unexpected company — his mother, who wants to persuade her son to stay in Ukraine.

    The film is a tragicomedy about a mother-son relationship full of unconditional love, misunderstandings, and clashes between different generations and worldviews. Two close people, who in their efforts to talk honestly with each other, constantly get into comic situations. My Thoughts Are Silent examines modern Ukrainian young adults, their lives, and their search for themselves in the world.

    Train: Kyiv-War

    Documentary, director Korniy Grytsiuk, 2020

    From Train: Kyiv-War (2020), dir. Korniy Grytsiuk (image courtesy EasyLiving Films)

    The war in Ukraine has been ongoing since 2014 and during this time many films have been created based on this topic, examining aspects such as the lives of families in the grey zone, as well as the daily life of the military and their rehabilitation after returning from the front. Train: Kyiv-War is unique in that it depicts the attitude to the war of a large social group of Ukrainians: the passengers of the train that runs from Kyiv to the city of Kostiantynivka the eastern province of Donetsk Oblast.

    Kostiantynivka is a small industrial town near the front line. In the film residents of Donbas, volunteers, the military, and a film crew travel daily by train from Kyiv. People share observations, discussions, arguments, and dreams of a peaceful future. Within the carriages of the Ukrainian railway, completely different experiences collide, and the director empathetically gives everyone the space to be heard.

    Enter Through the Balcony

    Documentary, director Roman Blazhan, 2020

    From Enter Through the Balcony (2020), dir. Roman Blazhan (image courtesy Minimal Movie)

    What is a balcony? Each of the heroes of the short documentary Enter Through the Balcony will answer this in their own way: It is a place to be alone with your thoughts, to hang out with friends, or keep things dear to your heart. The authors of the film visited eight Ukrainian cities including Kyiv, Lviv, Odesa, and Kharkiv to study the phenomenon of Ukrainian balconies, which goes far beyond architecture.

    In post-Soviet Ukraine, the phenomenon of balconies, which shapes the face of the cities, has a social, economic, and anthropological character. All these layers, along with personal stories and reflections on the struggle between private and public space, arise in the film. As the film’s director notes: “Our film is an ode to love for Ukraine and its people. And balconies can tell much more about us and our time than we can. ”

    Moustache Funk

    Documentary, director Oleksandr Kovsh, 2021

    From Moustache Funk (2021), dir. Oleksandr Kovsh (image courtesy Т.Т.М.)

    Until 1991, Ukraine was part of the USSR and therefore its culture was then subject to censorship. Certain cultural trends, such as Ukrainian poetic cinema, are widely known but music has always remained in a secondary role. Moustache Funk raises the iron curtain on the Ukrainian stage of the 1970s, both acquainting the viewer with it and showcasing its successes and actualizing and fitting it into the narrative of modern Ukrainian culture.

    It was extremely difficult for Ukrainian music in the 1970s to feature in the global spotlight. However, according to the film’s authors, foreign hits from Beatles songs to James Brown still found creative listeners in the USSR, who went above and beyond to listen to foreign music. And then VIAs began to appear (vocal and instrumental ensembles, because the word “band” was banned). VIA’s music, with its ragged Carpathian rhythms, could be put on a par with African funk, Turkish psychedelic rock, and German kraut.

  • Who Discovered Eva Hesse?
    25 May 2022
    Photograph of Eva Hesse, ca. 1969. Allen Memorial Art Museum, gift of Helen Hesse Charash, 1977 (all images courtesy AMAM, unless otherwise noted)

    OBERLIN, Ohio — “We like to think that we discovered Eva Hesse,” reads a line from a 1954 profile of the then-18-year-old artist in Seventeen magazine, before acknowledging that Hesse came on her own to intern at the magazine as a recent dropout from Pratt. But the sentiment feels relatable; I suspect that at one point or another, nearly everyone would like to think that they discovered Eva Hesse. She is one of those artists who feel like a well-kept secret, which is perhaps another way of saying that she made her mark as an artist during a time when few women succeeded in the field, and even fewer were championed. Thus, the first encounter with Hesse likely feels like a revelation — but as the article in Seventeen demonstrates, that seems to have always been the case, even before she carved out a niche for herself within the Abstract Expressionist dick-swinging of her time.

    Another reason seeing Hesse’s work feels like a clandestine encounter is, of course, because there is ultimately so little of it. The artist died in 1970 at age 34, having just come into her own as a sculptor, and much speculation connects the aggressive brain tumor that ended her life to her trailblazing experimentation with resin compounds in her art. When someone who becomes so influential meets such an untimely demise, everything that person leaves behind feels precious.

    Eva Hesse, “Untitled” (1962), collage, charcoal, crayon, and graphite on paper. Allen Memorial Art Museum, gift of Helen Hesse Charash, 1983

    This sentiment drives Forms Larger and Bolder: Eva Hesse and the Practice of Drawing at Oberlin College’s Allen Memorial Art Museum. Hesse came to Oberlin as a visiting artist in January of 1968. Though it was only a two-day trip, it was a significant meeting for both artist and institution. AMAM would go on to be the first museum to purchase a sculpture by Hesse — her milestone work “Laocoön” (1966) — the acquisition of which took place shortly after her death. Due to the purchase, and the artist’s lingering regard for her short time in Oberlin, AMAM also became the recipient of 1,500 items related to Hesse, including 300 artworks on paper, given in tribute by her sister, Helen Hesse Charash. Though “Laocoön” forms a natural centerpiece to the exhibition, its real focus are these works on paper, and the way they demonstrate the role of drawing in the famed sculptor’s process.

    The works on display follow the artist through her first efforts in art school, first at Pratt, then Cooper Union, and eventually Yale. They include conventional watercolor still lifes and figure studies that show an aesthetic in the making, but little hint of the significance Hesse’s postminimalist works would go on to achieve. Yet even as early as 1954-55, sketchbook entries show meditations on industrial settings in graphite and ink, establishing the foundations of her work in the mid-1960s. During this time, Hesse returned to Germany, the native homeland her parents were forced to flee when she was two years old, due to the rise of Nazism. Hesse and her then-husband, sculptor Tom Doyle, were invited by the German industrialist Arnhard Scheidt for a protracted residency on the grounds of his disused textile factory in the small town of Kettwig. The post-industrial setting left a deep impression on Hesse, who began to create works she termed “wild space” collages in an expressionist mode, as well as so-called “machine drawings.” Perhaps most illuminating are a selection of working sketches and diagrams from 1967 to 1970, some of which directly connect to realized sculptures; others never evolved past the diagrammatic stage, either intentionally abandoned or thwarted by fate.

    Eva Hesse, “Untitled” (1964), collage, gouache, ink, and graphite on paper. Allen Memorial Art Museum, gift of Helen Hesse CharashEva Hesse, “Untitled” (1963), watercolor and ink on paper. Allen Memorial Art Museum, gift of Helen Hesse Charash, 1998

    Hesse is an artist’s artist, cited as influential by many, and embraced in her own time as a valued interlocutor with the likes of Josef Albers, Sol LeWitt, and Tom Doyle, to whom she was married from 1961 to 1966. The exhibition, co-curated by Andrea Gyorody and Barry Rosen, puts microcosmic focus on the details of Hesse’s work, making Forms Larger and Bolder catnip for art viewers who love to sink into these details of line, pattern, and color.

    Because of the curators’ penchant for minutia, some aspects of the show feel overly precious, occasionally lavishing expensive matting and framing on scraps of paper that appear to be ripped from a telephone jot-pad, or containing little besides scribbled dimensions for speculative works. But for this same reason, it adapts beautifully to catalogue form, and the generous dimensions and production details of the 428-page Eva Hesse: Oberlin Drawings (2019, Hauser & Wirth Publishers) offer the opportunity to see even more of the collection, and examine the works at length and in aggregate. In fact, having seen the catalogue first, the show seemed smaller than expected, given the abundance of material — though it’s a testament to the curatorial abilities of Gyorody and Rosen that they were able to edit everything into an exhibition that can be absorbed in a single visit. This is especially important because Hesse’s work invites slow looking.

    Eva Hesse, “Laocoön,” detail (photo Sarah Rose Sharp/Hyperallergic)

    Hesse fans unable to travel to Oberlin will still find much to embrace in the catalogue, including the opportunity to revisit the work over time — though the bound-and-printed experience does lack the anchor of seeing “Laocoön” in person. The ladder-like construction, iced with dripping gray latex, stands alone as a strange, stately monument and witness not only to Hesse’s incredible aptitude for material and formal exploration, but to the results when the surrounding forms and figures step off the paper and into three-dimensional reality.

    Forms Larger and Bolder: Eva Hesse Drawings continues at Allen Memorial Art Museum at Oberlin College through June 4. The exhibition was curated by Andrea Gyorody and Barry Rosen.

  • Queering the Archive, Tracing One’s History
    25 May 2022
    Installation view of Satrang at 25: Queer South Asian Diaspora(s) in Context at ONE Archives at USC Libraries, 2022 (photo by Alexis Bard Johnson)

    LOS ANGELES — Tucked into a small gallery in USC Library’s ONE Archives — self-described as the largest repository of LGBTQ materials in the world — is the second half of a multipart exhibition: Archival Intimacies: Queering South/East Asian Diasporas, a two-venue project curated by Aziz Sohail and Alexis Bard Johnson. While Stranger Intimacies I recently closed at the USC Pacific Asian Museum, Stranger Intimacies II remains on view at ONE Archives. Upstairs, viewers can also find the exhibition: Satrang at 25: Queer South Asian Diaspora(s) in Context, which features archives relating to Satrang, the principal queer South Asian community organization in Southern California. Both exhibitions at ONE are explorations in “queering” the archive, through propositions by contemporary artists and a display of queer archival material.

    Installation view of Stranger Intimacy I at USC Pacific Asia Museum, 2022 (photo by Alexis Bard Johnson)

    The first floor gallery focuses on a series of hanging works by Vinhay Keo and a video installation by Prima Jalichandra-Sakuntabhai. Both artists are themselves members of the queer South Asian diaspora, and their work investigates the residue of their families’ fraught history of immigration from Cambodia and Thailand, respectively: Keo’s family hails from Cambodia, emigrating to the United States as a result of the Khmer Rouge genocide in the 1970s, and Jalichandra-Sakuntabhai’s great-granduncle fled Thailand in 1949, forced into exile, first in China, then France, after attempts at forming a democracy in monarchic Thailand.

    Installation view of Stranger Intimacy II at ONE Archives at USC Libraries (photo by Prima Jalichandra-Sakuntabhai, image courtesy the artist)

    Unfortunately, information regarding these migratory histories — a critical framework for understanding both artists’ work, which investigates their families’ narratives of displacement instigated by the necessity of escape from violent regimes and inflected by the trauma of Western colonization — is not immediately accessible to viewers upon entering the exhibition. While a press release is available online, the gallery itself is adorned only with a short, elliptical wall text that doesn’t provide the kind of specific historical references necessary as an entry point into the rich, layered nature of the artists’ projects. Perhaps this obfuscation is intentional, a queering by way of illegibility, but the viewer is given no pointers to help guide them through the particular South Asian political, material, and familial histories referenced in the artists’ work, and is left instead to grapple in the dark for context.

    Installation view of Stranger Intimacy II at ONE Archives at USC Libraries (photo by Vinhay Keo, image courtesy the artist)

    For example, Vinhay Keo’s three embroidery works feature long, rectangular sampot fabric, a Cambodian garment and symbol of Khmer identity. The artist’s inclusion of the diverse materials of the sampot, ranging from silk to cotton to cork, traces its material and colonial history as a once unisex garment that became feminized under French colonial rule. “9” x 9” x 4”” (2021) is a cotton sampot in the form of a donut box, a replica of and reference to the pink donut boxes of Southern California, whose donut retail industry is largely dominated by members of the Cambodian diaspora — many of whom arrived here in the ‘70s to escape the Cambodian genocide under the Khmer Rouge regime. As Keo shared with me in an email exchange, “the donut industry became a model for economic upward mobility for Cambodian refugees and the latter generations. It’s also fraught with the fallacy of the American Dream narrative, the immigrant narrative of rags-to-riches.”

    Vinhay Keo, “9” x 9″ x 4″” (2021), sampot, cotton, 9 x 9 x 4 inches (photo by Vinhay Keo, image courtesy the artist)

    Similarly unraveling a string of references is Prima Jalichandra-Sakuntabhai’s poetic cartography of their great-grand uncle’s multiple exiles from his home country of Thailand. Jalichandra-Sakuntabhai’s video installation, “Ocean Network Express”(2021), centers on the video “Appendix A: Ocean Gazing” (2021), which narrates their great-granduncle’s migratory patterns by boat while in exile. These movements are placed in dialogue with the Southern California littoral, particularly the San Pedro Harbor, with its cargo ships sailing in and out — the remnants of military paraphernalia of World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War littering the coastline, imposing defunct canons and concrete structures that a voiceover reminds us were designed to be a barrage contre le Pacifique, in reference to the Marguerite Duras novel of the same name. The stoic voice, the artist’s own, continues in a matter-of-fact monotone: “the Pacific Ocean is the ultimate barrier between the East and the West. These defenses are no longer needed: the enemy has been defeated. The Yellow Peril has been neutralized. We are safe now.”

    Prima Jalichandra-Sakuntabhai, video still of “Appendix A: Ocean Gazing” (2021), video, TRT: 15:46 minutes (image courtesy the artist)

    Yet in a time marked by the fanning of Asian hate fueled by dangerous rhetoric that continues to brand and persecute Asians as carriers of disease, it would seem that this barrage is still at work. History, we are told, repeats itself. The artists showcased in Archival Intimacies remind us that the violence of our colonial histories are still with us, haunting the ancestors of those who first made the perilous trip to this country, only to be faced with the fallacy of the American Dream and cast as crude stereotypes. To acknowledge these histories, to queer this archive by way of artistic representation, is to point to the lasting repercussions of colonial trauma on Asian-American bodies — and to begin to overcome it.

    Prima Jalichandra-Sakuntabhai, video still of “Appendix A: Ocean Gazing” (2021), video, TRT: 15:46 minutes (image courtesy the artist)

    Stranger Intimacies II, part of Archival Intimacies: Queering South/East Asian Diasporas continues at ONE Archives at USC (909 West Adams Boulevard, University Park, Los Angeles) through May 27. The exhibition was curated by Aziz Sohail and Alexis Bard Johnson.

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  • Create A Profile

    Sign Up to create your profile. 

    Once you have filled out the sign up form, you will be directed to the profile page. To add entries to your profile (eg. your social network links, your online work etc,), you will need to 'edit' your profile by selecting the 'Edit' button.

    Join Us

  • Public Messaging

    Once your profile is created, you may be contacted by email direct from your profile by public (whilst your email address remains hidden).

    This feature enables long lost friends and family to contact you, even if they have misplaced your contact will always be found.

  • Create An Article

    Create and article to sell a household item, or to inform the public of some important news or information

Don't Lose Your Online Works

You May Have Published Blogs And Informative Forum Entries All Over The Web. Over Time, Web Search Engines Can Make It Difficult To Find Your Work. Link Your Work To Your Profile, And Keep It All Easily Accessible, And Easy For Viewers To Identify Articles And Blogs etc As Yours.

Don't Be Confused With Someone Else

It Can Be Frustrating When One Is Easily Confused With Someone Else Online. Prospect Employers Have Been Known To Search For Information On Prospective Employees. If Your Name Is A Common One, Or Even If Not, It Is Still Easy For You T Be Mistaken For Another, Especially If the Person Searching For Your Online Presence Has No Visual. Create A Profile Here, Link Your Social Media Profiles, Give Out Your Username(Id)--Then Be Found.

  • Create A Blog

    Registered users may create blog entries which feature in relevant Category Pages.

    To create a blog, go to your profile page, and select the button "New Blog".

    Once your blog is created, you will be able to manage any comments made on your blog.

    The RSS ability of your blog, enables your readers to subscribe to your blog post, and follow any further additions as you make them.

  • Own QR Code

    At the bottom of your profle, and each page created by you (eg. blogs, articles etc), a unique QR code is available for your use.

    You may save a copy of the image, and paste it on to hard or soft copy items, in order to direct people to your profile, blog or article.

  • Image Gallery

    Add some images, and make photo galleries to show the public, friends and family.

    Suitable for family photos, photographer galleries, artist images or images of your business.

Author Page