Writing and Lecture

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Art 50 2018: Chicago’s Artists’ Artists

Newcity Art – August 30, 2018

Lin Hixson and Matthew Goulish collaborate in both life and art, presenting time-based works across the United States and abroad since 2008 as their performance group “Every house has a door.” Before forming “Every House,” Hixson and Goulish premiered with their cohort the ninth and final work as part of “Goat Island,” a performance group that for twenty years “slowly, carefully, perhaps somewhat imperceptibly, chang[ed] the world—one word-gesture-breath, one performance, at a time.” In the last year, they performed on resonances between 1917 and 2017 in concert with the Art Institute of Chicago’s exhibition “Revoliutsiia! Demonstratsiia! Soviet Art Put to the Test,” and in November they will present a new work, “Scarecrow,” at Steppenwolf. Rumor has it that a “Goat Island” revolution, revival or retrospective is in store for 2019.

 
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Post-Truth and Proud Of It: A Review of “Truth Claim” at Carrie Secrist Gallery

Newcity Art – July 30, 2018

“Photographs, especially instantaneous photographs, are very instructive because we know that they are in certain respects exactly like the objects they represent,” writes C.S. Peirce in “Logic as Semiotic: The Theory of Signs” (1897). Curators Britton Bertran and Kelly Long pick up the perennial conversation around the indexicality of a photograph and the verisimilitude of an image which has been captured and reproduced by a machine: the camera which has no feeling or emotion, no motivations or goals.

 
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On Sondra Perry

SAIC and Gene Siskel Film Center’s Conversations at the Edge – November 16, 2017

Sondra Perry’s Lineage for a Multiple-Monitor Workstation: Number One (2015) begins in the midst of a time-honored tradition: staging a family photograph. The viewer is positioned so that we are across the street looking back at a family in matching black sweats and chroma key green ski masks arranged in front of a home. They look cozy and warm on what would otherwise be a miserable cold and grey day. “You don’t have to do it if you don’t want to,” is shouted from the camera, from Perry. Directions to aunts and uncles are given and repeated. “CCCHHHHHHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSEEEE.  CCCHHHHHHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSEEEE.
CCCHHHHHHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSEEEE.”

 
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Alternative Views: Photography, Self-Representation and Fact in Contemporary American Art and Culture

American Studies Association annual meeting, with Tatiana Reinoza, Delphine Sims, and Natalie Zelt, Chicago IL – November 9, 2017

Photography has long been used as a way to define the American family and to exhibit the structure of a relationship through the combination of genetic likeness and affective posing. Life’s milestones are documented and arranged in albums as evidence of a bond. As an artist, I am interested in questioning that evidence by stressing the difficulty of its replication. In this presentation I will survey three recent bodies, that each look to the intersecting and contingent visual aspects of the clichéd American nuclear family structure, and how photography and video can be used to resist that structure’s legitimacy as opposed to uphold it.

 
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Cindy Sherman at the Dallas Museum of Art

I Love Texas Photo – April 25, 2013

I’ve been looking forward to seeing the Cindy Sherman exhibit since hearing the Switcheroo episode (#468) on This American Life. In the intro section at the beginning of the episode Ira describes a recent visit to the exhibit at MoMA wherein a woman approaches them saying she is Cindy Sherman. It happens at a moment when Ira’s companion is just realizing that all the photos are of Cindy, playing the different roles, when this woman approaches the two of them and says she visits the exhibition every day to see how viewers react to the work.