Tag Archives: Malik Gaines


The subjects in [my] early portraits were friends or acquaintances I was just getting to know, some of whom would become good friends, some with whom I would eventually lose touch. Some I have reconnected with. It was important in deciding to make portraits that they be of people with whom I desired friendship, platonic or romantic relationships. It was also a conscious decision that, regardless of the nature of our connection, the photographs would depict them as if they were, could be, or had been a lover. I wanted that kind of desire to be the foundation, to go all the way and then negotiate back.Paul Mpagi Sepuya*

PAUL MPAGI SEPUYA—the artist’s first institutional monograph—is out now. Co-published by the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis and Aperture, the book surveys Sepuya’s various photographic series over the last ten years, and features essays by Malik Gaines, Lucy Gallun, Ariel Goldberg, Lisa Melandri, Evan Moffitt, and Grace Wales Bonner, with an artist interview by curator Wassan Al-Khudhairi.

For a discussion presented by Printed Matter in anticipation of its forthcoming virtual book fair, Sepuya will join Al-Khudhairi in conversation. See link below to register for this online event.


Printed Matter

Monday, December 14.

5 pm on the West Coast; 8 pm East Coast.

*“Interview with Paul Mpagi Sepuya by Wassan Al-Khudhairi,” in PAUL MPAGI SEPUYA (St. Louis: Contemporary Art Museum; New York: Aperture, 2020).

Published on the occasion of the exhibition Paul Mpagi Sepuya, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, May 17, 2019–August 18, 2019; Blaffer Art Museum, University of Houston, October 19, 2019–March 14, 2020. Organized by Wassan Al-Khudhaiti, chief curator, with Misa Jeffereis, assistant curator.

Paul Mpagi Sepuya, from top: Darkroom Mirror (_2070386), 2017; Self Portrait Holding Joshua’s Hand, 2006; A Portrait (0X5A6109), 2017; Mirror Study (4R2A0857), 2016; Studio Wall (_1000021), 2018; A Portrait (File0085), 2015 [Evan Moffitt]; Paul Mpagi Sepuya exhibition catalog cover courtesy and © Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis and Aperture, image—Darkroom Mirror (_2060999), 2017 (detail)—© the artist; Paul Mpagi Sepuya, The Conditions, Team Gallery, New York, installation view—Sepuya’s Model Study (0X5A3973), 2017 at left—photograph by Jason Mandella, image courtesy the artist and Team Gallery; A Portrait (0X5A8325), 2018; Orifice (0X5A6982), 2018; Aperture (_2140020), 2018. Images © Paul Mpagi Sepuya, courtesy of the artist.


This weekend, Participant Inc and Human Resources present Context-Con, the online book launch of Alexandro Segade’s graphic novel THE CONTEXT.

Interpreting THE CONTEXT’s superheroes, special guests at the launch include Ei Arakawa, Jennifer Doyle, Jonah Groeneboer, Mary Kelly, Jennifer Moon, Tavia Nyong’o, and David Velasco.

The event will close with a conversation with Segade and andré carrington and live drawing with graphic novelist Luciano Vecchio. See link below to register.


Sunday, August 2.

4 pm on the West Coast; 7 pm East Coast.

See Alexandro Segade, “A Maricón Beauty,” Artforum, October 2018.

From top: Alexandro Segade in San Francisco in 2010, courtesy of SFMOMA; Segade, The Context (2020), courtesy the artist and Primary Information; Context-Con graphic; Malik Gaines (left) and Segade, photograph by Paul Mpagi Sepuya. Images courtesy and © the artists, photographers, and publishers.


Douglas Crimp—art historian, essayist, educator, author (Before Pictures), editor (October, throughout the 1980s), curator (Pictures)—died this morning in New York City.

“[In Before Pictures] I was interested in putting together two aspects of my life that were fairly difficult to negotiate in my first decade in New York—my art-world self and my gay-world self—at a time when both those worlds were highly experimental. I experienced innovation, experimentation, and transformation in the queer world and the art world simultaneously but mostly separately. I had to figure out how to make my two worlds, if not cohere, at least not be absolutely in conflict. My hope for Before Pictures is that it will provide a ‘queer history’ of both these worlds by putting them in conversation. I expect it might change how we think of 1970s gay culture, which we know mostly from the work of historians who write about the flourishing of gay politics. It might also change how we think about the art world of the ’70s.

“I had several different motivations for writing the book. One is that, in my ACT UP days, I made a whole bunch of younger friends, people mostly twenty years younger than me. I experienced the extraordinary explosion of gay culture during the 1970s, but they didn’t. I talked about it, they asked me about it, and on a couple occasions people said, you should really write about the gay ’70s in New York. That is not only because of their interest in what I was saying but because we were all horrified by the new narrative that was being put in place by gay conservatives. This narrative held that the ’70s represented our immaturity, an immaturity that led inevitably to AIDS, which in turn made us grow up and mature, become good citizens who wanted to get married and settle down and behave ourselves. I opposed that narrative in all of my AIDS writing.” — Douglas Crimp, interview by Jarrett Earnest*

“It has always seemed to me, given what little I understand or have experienced of seeking sexual partners over the internet, that people not only advertise who they want to appear as, but also believe they truly know who they are and what they want. What I took from the gay liberation ethos was that we didn’t know who we were and we didn’t necessarily know what we wanted. Instead, we felt we should be open to everything, even things we thought we didn’t want, which might open you to partners of different races, to differently abled partners, and certainly to people with different sexual proclivities. I tried many things that frankly I was quite repelled by, but I was just being a good liberationist, thinking, ‘OK, I can’t say, No, I don’t do that, or That’s not who I am.’ I didn’t necessarily seek such things out a second time, but I often surprised myself. I guess that would be my question to you: How much do you surprise yourself?

“My experience of diversity and of racial discourses was all in my queer life, not in my art world life. The latter was a very white world, no question. There only began to be a consciousness about the paucity of women artists and numbers of black artists in the Whitney Biennials around that time. We’ve moved some from there. It was also the time when the Museo del Barrio was founded as a response to the lack of diversity in the mainstream art world. But I would have had to go pretty far afield from my own activities and experience to bring that stuff in. So it really came in terms of my other life, essentially. I experienced that as just one of the really big differences between the kind of people I knew in the art world and the kind of people I knew in the queer world…

“The interdisciplinary or hybrid quality of the memoir flows from that juxtaposition that started with the first chapter, in which I discuss what I call ‘my two first jobs,’ haute couture with Charles James and conceptual art with Daniel Buren at the Guggenheim; two seemingly incommensurate things, I use that sort of incommensurability throughout as a means through which to interrogate both sides. I do this in the chapter about [George] Balanchine and  [Jacques] Derrida, for example. The idea was that juxtaposing the gay world and the art world would unsettle the standard narratives of each and then come up with a different kind of history of both. I’m hoping that is what the book accomplishes. It’s a history of New York in the 70s, it’s a very personal history, but I think it is also a broader history.” — Douglas Crimp, interview by Malik Gaines**

See Crimp on Trisha Brown.

See David Velasco on Crimp.

*”Douglas Crimp with Jarrett Earnest,” Brooklyn Rail, 2016; reprinted in Jarrett Earnest, What it Means to Write About Art (New York: David Zwirner Books, 2018), 102–118.

**”Conversations: Douglas Crimp and Malik Gaines,” Document 9 (Fall-Winter 2016): 130–133.

From top: Douglas Crimp in the 1970s; book covers, MIT Press (2); Crimp in his loft on Chambers Street, downtown Manhattan, circa 1975; book covers, MIT Press (2); Crimp (right) and Daniel S. Palmer in New York City, 2016, photograph by Katherine McMahon; book cover University of Chicago Press and Dancing Foxes Press; Pictures exhibition catalog, Artists Space, 1977. Images courtesy and © the author’s estate, the photographers, and the publishers.


Malik Gaines and Alexandro Segade —founding members of the performance collective My Barbarian—”work at the intersection of theater, visual arts, critical practice, and performance to play with social difficulties, theatricalize historic problems, and imagine ways of being together. Realized as drawings, texts, masks, videos, music, installations, and audience interactions, their projects employ fantasy, humor, and clashing aesthetic sensibilities to cleverly critique artistic, political, and social situations.”*

Gaines and Segade present STAR CHOIR, a new work developed while serving as Park Avenue Armory artists-in-residence. The 45-minute musical performance “tracks a group of humans who attempt to colonize a hostile planet after the Earth’s decline. Following some wonder and violence, a hybrid species is formed.” STAR CHOIR is performed by six singers and six musicians—Hai-Ting Chinn, Tomas Cruz, Tomas Fujiwara, Ariadne Greif, La Toya Lewis, Anthony McGlaun, Ethan Philbrick, Riza Printup, RaShonda Reeves, Kyra Sims, Luke Stewart, and Jorell Williams.*


Thursday, May 23, at 7 pm and 9 pm.

Park Avenue Armory

643 Park Avenue (at 66th Street), New York City.

See “Questions of Representation: Malik Gaines in conversation with Barlo Perry, PARIS LA 16 (2018), 178–181.

Malik Gaines and Alexandro Segade, Star Choir in performance at the Levitt Pavilion on the opening night of Radio Imagination: Artists in the Archive of Octavia E. Butler at the Armory Center for the Arts, Pasadena, with video and sheet music from the exhibition. Images courtesy and the artists.


In one of the last programs in the Judson exhibition, the symposium JUDSON DANCE THEATER—A COLLECTIVE SPECULATION brings together artists, scholars, and critics for presentations, discussions, and sound improvisations.

Organized by MOMA, participants include Malik GainesAndré LepeckiFred Moten; K.J. Holmes and Ramsey AmeenMarina Rosenfeld with Eli Keszler and Greg FoxClare CroftBarbara ClausenGus Solomons Jr.; and Philip Corner with Daniel Goode, David Demnitz, Leyna Marika PapachPhoebe Neville, and Iris Brooks.


Sunday, January 27, from 2 pm to 6 pm.


22–25 Jackson Avenue, Long Island City, Queens.

From top: Harold Edgerton, Gus Solomons, Dancer, 1960; Philip Corner and Phoebe Neville, photograph by Dawid LaskowskiSteve Paxton and Trisha Brown at Bennington College, 1980, photograph by Tylere Resch.