OKWUI ENWEZOR

“We knew it was coming but the finality of his passing makes it even more devastating. Okwui was this enormously prophetic figure, wise beyond his years, whose insights—vision, if you will—literally shaped the universe many of us now inhabit. He was like an enormous tree in the glare, whose shadow provided refuge, hospitality, generosity, and love for so many.” — John Akomfrah

Okwui Enwezor—the great historian, curator, writer, editor, and former artistic director of Haus der Kunst—has died in Munich following four years of cancer treatment.

Enwezor, who was 55 at the time of his death, is celebrated for his paradigm-shifting directorship of Documenta 11 in 2002, and the 56th Venice BiennaleAll the World’s Futures—in 2015.

A writer and editor in demand, Enwezor’s contributions will live on in the work of the artists he championed.

From top: Contemporary African Art Since 1980 (2009), by Okwui Enwezor and Chika Okeke-Agulu, image courtesy Damiani; John Akomfrah: Signs of Empire (2018), contributing text by Enwezor, image courtesy the New Museum; Candice Breitz: The Scripted Life (2010), contributing text by Enwezor, image courtesy Kunsthaus Bregenz; Recent Histories: Contemporary African Photography and Video Art from the Walther Collection (2017), contributing text by Enwezor, image courtesy Steidl and the Walther Collection; Gary Simmons: Paradise (2012), conversation with Enwezor, image courtesy Damiani; Kerry James Marshall: Painting and Other Stuff (2014), contributing text by Enwezor, image courtesy Ludion; Lyle Ashton Harris: Excessive Exposure (2010), text by Enwezor, image courtesy Gregory R. Miller & Co.; Home Lands–Land Marks: Contemporary Art from South Africa (2009), contributing text by Enwezor, image courtesy Haunch of Venison.

MUSCLE MEMORY

This weekend, the troupe BalletBoyz will dance a work in celebration of Anna Liber LewisMUSCLE MEMORY paintings.

There will be three performances on Saturday afternoon, with 30-minute intervals between shows.

BALLETBOYZ FOR MUSCLE MEMORY

Saturday, March 16, between 3 pm and 6 pm.

Elephant West

62 Wood Lane, Shepherd’s Bush, London.

Top and bottom: BalletBoyz, courtesy the company. Above: Anna Liber Lewis, from the series Muscle Memory, 2018 (2), courtesy the artist.

OHAD NAHARIN / BATSHEVA — VENEZUELA

In VENEZUELAOhad Naharin’s long-gestating double take on perception and the “dialog between movement and the content it represents”—Batsheva Dance Company mixes the intensely physical articulation of its familiar Gaga technique with a détournement of ballroom and tango forms, set to music by—among others—The Notorious B.I.G., Rage Against the Machine, and a selection of Gregorian Chants.*

This weekend, CAP UCLA will present two performances of VENEZUELA at Royce.

OHAD NAHARIN / BATSHEVA DANCE COMPANY—VENEZUELA*

Friday and Saturday, March 15 and 16.

Shows at 8 pm.

Royce Hall, UCLA

10745 Dickson Court, Los Angeles.

Ohad Naharin / Batsheva Dance Company, Venezuela. Photography credit Ascaf, courtesy the artists and CAP UCLA.

JACK PIERSON AND KUNLE MARTINS

PEE PARTY—a new show by the artists and partners Jack Pierson and Kunle Martins, curated by Blair Hansen—is on view now at Jeffrey Stark.

JACK PIERSON and KUNLE MARTINS—PEE PARTY

Through April 21.

Jeffrey Stark

88 East Broadway, #B11, New York City.

Jack Pierson and Kunle Martins, Pee Party, 2019, Jeffrey Stark. Images courtesy the artists and Jeffrey Stark.

COMME DES GARÇONS — WINTER 2020

One could question the location Rei Kawakubo chose this season to present her Comme des Garçons Fall/Winter 2019/2020 collection. She picked the hall of a neoclassical building on rue Cambon—though not the famous number 29! As always, Kawakubo intervenes with the space. Here she created a stage from the marble flooring, overlaid with strips of red-passé carpet. This small arena is enclosed by a few rows of benches and six long, lighted perches—the same machines that will later follow each model in an idiosyncratic ballet, giving the set a futuristic twist. As usual, the assembly is small, but one should know Kawakubo is not here to convince a large audience, but rather one that focuses.

Silence. The show is about to start. The lights turn off, the room is dark, and the ambiance feels quite enigmatic. Rei Kawakubo holds her crowd in a meditative state for one minute of silence. Strangely, this minute feels like eternity—long enough to understand the roles that gravity and magnitude play in this collection. Finally the show starts, with a discontinuous soundtrack from the back. One by one each model comes out to follow the patch of a square—making sure to pass by every corner—and meet at the center. Yet we feel a sense of disorder on stage, and in the air. 


The ambiance is austere: each silhouette is uniquely worked with fastidious details and crafted in a range of solid black materials that echo throughout the space like shadows of knights stepping out of the nightfall. This season, Kawakubo envelops her women in a voluminous armor, dark and rigid. The collection recalls medieval and ecclesiastical themes reinterpreted in a raw couture spirit. One purple garment questions signs of royalty. As always, Kawakubo dazzles with radical strength and bold engagement.