It’s hard sometimes, but I try to make it so that the [abstract] process-driven work is a kind of peaceful space because the other [political] work—with its research—is pretty grim. So, I use both to kind of balance out my brain as best I can, although I often feel a lot of anxiety. How to explain it? I need to do both in order to be a little more balanced. Because if you only do the political work, or the issue-related work, it’s pretty upsetting. — Howardena Pindell
On the occasion of Pindell’s exhibition ROPE / FIRE / WATER—comprised of a new video commissioned by The Shed, as well as new and classic works representing all facets of her art and activism—the artist will join curators Adeze Wilford and Ashley James in conversation.
One of the things that some of us said over and over again is that we’re doing this work. Don’t expect to receive public credit for it. It’s not to be acknowledged that we do this work. We do this work because we want to change the world. If we don’t do the work continuously and passionately, even as it appears as if no one is listening, if we don’t help to create the conditions of possibility for change, then a moment like this will arrive and we can do nothing about it. As Bobby Seale said, we will not be able to “seize the time.” This is a perfect example of our being able to seize this moment and turn it into something that’s radical and transformative. — Angela Davis
Join Angela Davis and Isaac Julien for an online discussion about the influence of FrederickDouglass on contemporary movements for racial justice.
The talk will be moderated bySarah Lewis—associate professor of history of art and architecture and African and African American studies at Harvard University—and coincides with Julien’s exhibition Lessons of the Hour at the McEvoy Foundation for the Arts in San Francisco.
[Celia Paul’s] story is striking. It is not, as has been assumed, the tale of a muse who later became a painter, but an account of a painter who, for ten years of her early life, found herself mistaken for a muse, by a man who did that a lot. [Self-Portrait] is about many things besides [Lucian] Freud: her mother, her childhood, her sisters, her paintings. But she neither rejects her past with Freud nor rewrites it, placing present ideas and feelings alongside diary entries and letters she wrote as a young woman, a generous, vulnerable strategy that avoids the usual triumphalism of memoir. For Paul, the self is continuous (“I have always been, and I remain at nearly sixty, the same person I was as a teenager…. This simple realisation seems to me to be complex and profoundly liberating”), andequal weight is given to “the vividness of the past and the measured detachment of the present.” — Zadie Smith, 2019
Landscapes and portraiture—self- and otherwise—are the focus of an exhibition of paintings by Celia Paul, who has just published an extensively illustrated memoir.