Tag Archives: A.L. Steiner


As a native Texan, I have witnessed firsthand the discrimination that immigrants face in the United States. I have heard from friends who visited detention centers, and from lawyers representing those detained. I have heard the stories of those who are separated from their families, and read transcripts from underfunded courtrooms operating far beyond capacity. It is devastating. That all of this occurs in the name of “security” and “safety” is the greatest farce of all. Molly Gochman

DO YOU KNOW WHERE THE CHILDREN ARE (DYKWTCA) is a call to action and exhibition of over 100 unique works of art by 100+ leading visual artists that is organized by the artists and activists Mary Ellen Carroll and Lucas Michael. Each work incorporates, or represents an actual account (in whole or in part) from a child who was separated from their family and detained by the U.S. government. This text may be in the native language of the child or a translation into English. The accounts are taken from the interviews that were conducted by the Flores investigators that included legal, medical and mental health experts who visited the detention facilities six months ago in June of 2019. Upon witnessing the deplorable, inhumane, and illegal conditions they found the children in, they decided it was necessary to act upon their findings. They went public.*

The exhibition—WHEN WE FIRST ARRIVED…,curated by Ruth Noack—will open this weekend in Washington, D.C., and proceeds from artwork sales will benefit and support the Safe Passage Project, Terra Firma, Team Brownsville, and the Innovation Law Lab.


Through March 29.

Opening night: Saturday, January 25, from 6 pm to 8 pm.

The Corner at Whitman-Walker

1701 14th St. NW, Washington, D.C.

When We First Arrived…, artwork, from top: Spencer Ostrander, Ricci Albenda, Mary Lum, Molly Gochman, Rob Pruitt, Terence Gower, Jesse Presley Jones, When We First Arrived invitation card, Amy Sillman, Beto De Volder and Leon Villagran, Kay Rosen, and Carlos Motta. Artwork courtesy and © the artists, the photographers, DYKWTCA, Mary Ellen Carroll, and Lucas Michael.


As part of the Horizontal Vertigo program at the Julia Stoschek Collection in Düsseldorf, A.K. Burns will restage the first two episodes of Negative SpaceA SMEARY SPOT (2015) and LIVING ROOM (2017)—and premiere the third: LEAVE NO TRACE (2019).

Negative Space is a cycle of four interrelated multi-media installations. Conjuring and deconstructing science fiction tropes, Negative Space builds each episode around a physical system: the sun (power), the void/land, water, and body. The worlds within each video germinate from site-specific phenomena, building allegorical structures for each installation. This cycle of works raises questions about how value is allocated, with respect to resources, environmental fragility, marginalized bodies, and their relationship to place…

As a formal term in art, “negative space” denotes the unseen matter between and around the subject. The subject is the focus of our attention, a definable entity. Thereby negative space is considered subordinate to the primacy of the subject. What is compelling about negative space is that it is unfixed, malleable and ultimately an open set of possibilities. I use this concept of negative space as a proposal for re-orientation and an analogy for generating agency within a subjugated position. The premise of the Negative Space tetralogy is to envision a radical cosmology wherein hierarchical relations permute. A.K. Burns*

In mid-November, Burns will give an artist talk at JSCwith curator Lisa Long, and there will be multiple screenings of Community Action Center, the 2010 video by Burns and A.L. Steiner.


Through December 15.


Friday through Sunday, November 15, 16, and 17.

Screenings at 12:30 pm, 2 pm, 3:30 pm, and 5 pm.


Saturday, November 16, at 3 pm.

JSC Düsseldorf

Schanzenstrasse 54, Düsseldorf.

A.K. Burns, Negative Space, from top: A Smeary Spot, stills (6); A Smeary Spot installation view; Living Room, stills (2); Leave No Trace soundtrack, 2016, unlabeled vinyl record, black nitrile gloves, clear zip-lock bag, silkscreen in white ink with poem printed on reverse, 31:08 minutes, images courtesy and © the artist. A.K. Burns and A.L. Steiner, Community Action Center, stills (2) and, below, poster; images courtesy and © the artists.


“Every time I enter a new room I scan for other queers. Maybe it’s a hunt for fleeting solidarity, maybe safety—not that the two are opposed. I didn’t know I did this until I didn’t have to, when I arrived in a place—[Fire Island]—where queer and its variants was the baseline. It is a profound experience, one I will never take for granted, even as I know the exclusions it enacts.

“This is a very personal show, in the sense that it has no pretensions of thoroughness or coherence. A series of friendships and encounters organized around a shared experience of finding one’s place. Just some people inhabiting a tiny speck of the world and—to borrow a phrase by Douglas Crimp, another friend from the island—misfitting together.” — Ryan McNamara*

McNamara brings Fire Island to Manhattan with a new exhibition of work by Travis BoyerJack BruscaTM DavyRaúl de NievesNicole EisenmanK8 HardyKia LabeijaMatthew LeifheitHanna LidenTiffany MalakootiSamuel RoeckPaul Mpagi SepuyaDevan ShimoyamaA.L. SteinerWolfgang TillmansCajsa von Zeipel, and himself.


Through April 14.

Baby Company

73 Allen Street, New York City.

*”Misfitting together” is a quote from Popism: The Warhol Sixties, by Andy Warhol and Pat Hackett (1980), referenced by Douglas Crimp in his book “Our Kind of Movie”: The Films of Andy Warhol (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2012), 157, note 29:

“I [Warhol] was reflecting that most people thought the Factory was a place where everybody had the same attitudes about everything; the truth was, we were all odds-and-ends misfits, somehow misfitting together.”

From top: Ryan McNamara, Cemical Compound (6/8/2018), 2019, wood, plaster, paint, psilocybin, amyl nitrate, gamma-hydroxybutyrate, Truvada; Wolfgang Tillmans, Far away inside (Echo Beach), 2017, inkjet print; Matthew Leifheit; Meat Rack Gathering, 2018, dye sublimation print on aluminum; Nicole Eisenman and Tiffany Malakooti, Remarkable Lesbian Chess Set, 2016, clay, wood, and paint; A.L. Steiner, Untitled (Rachel on bay, Pines), 2016–2019; Fire installation view with K8 Hardy‘s jockstrap collection—Look Pines, 2016, fiberglass mannequin, metal base, cloth, enamel paint, synthetic wig—in foreground; Devan Shimoyama, Untitled, 2015–2018, dye-sublimation print on aluminum (2); Cajsa von Zeipel, Boy’s Tears, 2019, styrofoam, fiberglass, aqua resin, plaster; Travis Boyer, Le Fountain, 2019, embellished and dyed wool blanket on beeswax, wood, and steel frame; Jack Brusca, Pines Pavilion Logo, 1980, acrylic on canvas; Kia LaBeija, New Legend Lucky 007 on Fire Island, 2018, digital inkjet print.


UNBECOMING—YALE MFA PHOTO 2018 is on view in Los Angeles, featuring work by Dannielle Bowman, Jennifer Calivas, Penn Chan, Jillian Freyer, Kathryn Harrison, Lacey Lennon, Luke Libera Moore, Evelyn Pustka, and Dan Swindel, and an essay, “Unbecoming,” by A.L. Steiner.


UNBECOMING—YALE MFA PHOTO 2018, through September 15.

LTD LOS ANGELES, 1119 South La Brea Avenue, Los Angeles.


A.L. Steiner, “Unbecoming”:


Installation view, Unbecoming—Yale MFA Photo 2018.



Curated by Nayland Blake and Kate KraczonTAG—PROPOSALS ON QUEER PLAY AND THE WAY FORWARD showcases more than a dozen video, sculpture, painting, installation, photography, and performance works, including Living Room, by A. K. Burns.

“I’m interested in genres because they give me something to push against—I don’t care about staying true to a genre, rather I’m interested in finding its edges, exploring what it is through what it isn’t…

“[The video installation] Living Room is very dark and dystopic, bodies are constantly under duress of some sort, until the last scene in the basement when there is a liberating dance sequence. In this scene, the dancers are all wearing t-shirts with language extracted from recent campaign slogans. So the shirts say ‘Or Bust,’ ‘Her,’ and ‘Again.’ Those bodies are moving, dancing in and out of sync, recirculating and reinscribing this language with a new form of agency. The video works are all set in a speculative present, where the now and fantasy can interact.” — A. K. Burns*


Through August 12.

Institute of Contemporary Art

University of Pennsylvania

118 South 36th Street, Philadelphia.

A.K. Burns
Video stills from Living Room, 2017.
2-Channel HD color, sound, 36min.
Images courtesy of the artist, Callicoon Fine Arts, NY and Michel Rein Gallery, Paris.
(Keyon Gaskin and A.L. Steiner below.)