Category Archives: EDUCATION/ACTIVISM

THEASTER GATES AT RICHARD GRAY

“The work is not about a social mission. It is about sculpture and how things I believe in manifest through the material world.” — Theaster Gates

Gates new gallery exhibition EVERY SQUARE NEEDS A CIRCLE explores the artist’s interest in “poetics and the history of objects”—including “architectural excerpts from Chicago”—and continues his engagement with the inspirational works and teachings of W.E.B. Du Bois.

THEASTER GATES—EVERY SQUARE NEEDS A CIRCLE

Through June 29.

Richard Gray Gallery, Gray Warehouse

2044 West Carroll Avenue, Chicago.

Theaster Gates, Every Square Needs a Circle, Richard Gray Gallery, 2019, from top: Installation view; Black Rainbow, 2019; installation view; Alls my life I have to fight, 2019; Progress Mill, 2018. Images courtesy of the artist and Richard Gray Gallery.

CONVERSION THERAPY — DIRTY LOOKS AT THE L.A. ART BOOK FAIR

Join Rick Castro, Mariah Garnett, Nguyen Tan Hoang, William E. Jones, and Brontez Purnell at the L.A. Art Book Fair for the Dirty Looks event CONVERSION THERAPY.

The panelists will discuss “the language of filmmaking and how it relates to underground publishing.”*

CONVERSION THERAPY*

Friday, April 12, at 6 pm.

Geffen Contemporary at MOCA

152 North Central Avenue, downtown Los Angeles.

From top: William E. Jones, The Fall of Communism as Seen in Gay Pornography, 1998, still, courtesy the artist and David Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles; Brontez Purnell, courtesy the artist; Nguyen Tan Hoang, courtesy the author; Mariah Garnett, Encounters I May or May Not Have Had with Peter Berlin, 2012, still, courtesy the artist; Tony Ward in Hustler White (1996), written and directed by Bruce LaBruce and Rick Castro, courtesy the artists.

BLACK MODELS AT ORSAY

“The French exhibition is a welcome change … but in bringing black people to the fore of such art we must be careful to frame the images correctly. Black people were present in this history and paintings, not as equals but as subjects. Renaming them and removing racist epithets does not change the subservient role many of the paintings portray. It is tempting to get carried away celebrating our presence, while forgetting why we were there and continue to be here. In the most part, we remain subjects oppressed to the margins of the canvas.” — Kehinde Andrews

BLACK MODELS—FROM GÉRICAULT TO MATISSE, an exhibition of paintings featuring black sitters—some of which have been retitled to honor their subjects—is on view in Paris through mid-summer.

BLACK MODELS—FROM GÉRICAULT TO MATISSE

Through July 21.

Musée d’Orsay

1 rue de la Légion d’Honneur, 7th, Paris.

From top: Mickalene Thomas, Din, a very beautiful black woman #1, 2012, © Mickalene Thomas, Artist Rights Society, New York; Marie-Guillemine Benoist, Portrait of a Black Woman, 1800, renamed Portrait of Madeleine; Eugène DelacroixPortrait of a Woman in a Blue Turban, circa 1827, Dallas Museum of Art; Jean-Léon Gérôme, Slave for Sale, 1873; Edouard Manet, Olympia, 1863, renamed Laure, Musée de Louvre; Charles AlstonGirl in a Red Dress, 1934, collection Harmon and Harriet Kelley Foundation for the Arts, San Antonio; Henri MatisseDame à la robe blanche, 1946, Des Moines Art Center Permanent Collections, © 2018 Succession H. Matisse, ARS, New York, photograph by Rich Sanders. Images courtesy Musée d’Orsay.

CIRCUS OF BOOKS AT FIERMAN

“Growing up, I always assumed every store had an over-18 section. It was only when I got older that I realized my parents were in the business of hardcore gay porn. This was a completely strange thing for me, because this was not the world I knew to be of my parents: straight-laced, boring, and in my mom’s case, religious. The world of sexual deviants, gender nonconforming transgressives and weirdos, that was my world, not theirs…

“And yet, it took me leaving Los Angeles for over a decade to fully comprehend what a massive role their two Circus of Books stores served for the community. It took making a documentary film to realize that they had nurtured a second family to the family they had at home. They had carved out their own special place as trusted shop owners who never judged anyone who showed up in their surreptitious aisles, even as the rest of the world cast down condemnation, to say nothing of other parents at our school. As the store was closing last week, a Vietnam veteran walked through the doors and stood, unmoving in front of the register. My mom had protested against Vietnam, and she proceeded to tell him how terrible the Vietnam War was, and he looked at her and said, ‘Thank you. This store is part of my history, and some of the best years of my life happened here.’ ” — Rachel Mason, producer and director, Circus of Books*

The original Circus of Books—called “Book Circus”—opened in West Hollywood in 1967, followed by the Silver Lake location at Sunset Junction. An exhibition celebrating the communal culture and backrooms of Karen and Barry Mason‘s adults-only emporiums—fifty years of getting off—is now on view in Manhattan.

The show—curated by David Fierman with Rachel Mason—features artwork by Wilder Alison, Ron Athey, Adam Baran, Bengala, Erik Bergrin, Michael Bilsborough, Raynes Birkbeck, Seth Bogart, Chris Bogia, Kathe Burkhart, Deric Carner, Chivas Clem, Scott Covert, Vaginal Davis, Anne Doran, Thomas Dozol, Zackary Drucker, Ruben Esparza, Tom of Finland, Karen Finley, Benjamin Fredrickson, ektor garcia, Mariah Garnett, Mark Golamco, Jeff Grant, Michelle Handelman, Charles Hovland, Scott Hug, David Hurles, Stephen Irwin, William E. Jones, Wayne Koestenbaum, Mike Kuchar, Bruce LaBruce, Dawn Mellor, Lucas Michael, Billy Miller, Bob Mizer, David Mramor, Narcissister, Dominic Nurre, Mel Ottenberg, Jack Pierson, Breyer P-Orridge, Pre-Echo Press, Fay Ray, Mariah Robertson, Dean Sameshima, Stuart Sandford, Paul Mpagi Sepuya, Margie Schnibbe, Michael Stipe, Chris E. Vargas, Mark Verabioff, Jan Wandrag, Karlheinz Weinberger, Jimmy Wright, and Dorian Wood.

CIRCUS OF BOOKS*

Through May 6.

Fierman

127 Henry Street, New York City.

From top: Vaginal Davis, Ascyltos of the Satyricon, 2016, ink on paper; Dominic Nurre, Vale of Cashmere Head, 2017–19, coconut shell, coconut oil, salt lick, and acrylic; David Mramor, Pink Star, 2019, oil, acrylic, and inkjet on canvas; Wayne Koestenbaum, David at Leisure, 2019, oil and graphite on canvas paper; Lucas Michael, G5CR, 2017, neon; Dawn Mellor, Southend Beach, 2013, oil, Tipp-ex, and marker pen on linen; Jimmy Wright, Griffith Park, LA, 1973, graphite and charcoal on graph paper; Seth Bogart, Faggots, 2019, ceramic; Mike Kuchar, Liquid Dreams, circa 1980s–1990s, pencil, pens, felt pens, and ink on paper; Scott Hug, Untitled (STH_PW_003), 2018, collage; Jeff Grant, Snow and Holes, 2018, archival inkjet print, staples, and clearlay; Karen Finley, dickless, 2018, ink on paper. Images courtesy the artists and Fierman gallery. Special thanks to David Fierman and Rachel Mason.

ANDREA DWORKIN LAUNCH AT SKYLIGHT

Andrea Dworkin—second wave feminism’s most controversial figure—was embraced and disowned across the political spectrum.

“Reading her now, beyond the anti-porn intransigence she’s both reviled and revered for, one feels a prescient apocalyptic urgency, one perfectly calibrated, it seems, to the high stakes of our time. In the #MeToo era, women’s unsparing public testimony—in granular detail and dizzying quantity—is at the heart of a mainstream cultural reckoning with sexual violence and harassment. ” — Johanna Fateman, on Dworkin

A new collection of Dworkin’s writing—Last Days at Hot Slit, edited by Fateman and Amy Scholder, and published by Semiotext(e)—will launch this weekend at Skylight with readings by Ryka Aoki, Christina Catherine Martinez, Jibz Cameron (aka Dynasty Handbag), Anna Joy Springer, and Nao Bustamante.

JOHANNA FATEMEN and AMY SCHOLDER—LAST DAYS AT HOT SLIT launch

Sunday, April 7, at 5 pm.

Skylight Books

1818 North Vermont, Los Feliz, Los Angeles.

From top: Andrea Dworkin; book jacket image courtesy Semiotext(e); police mugshot from Dworkin’s arrest at an anti-war protest, New York City, 1965