Category Archives: Essay

A Politics of Appearance

By Saikeerthi Rachavelpula Originally published in the 2019 print edition. Disquieted by the bulging eyes and gaping mouths of Swaihwe masks, Lévi-Strauss saw mythological representations not as isolated objects, but as aesthetic planes for the axes of life and death,

A Politics of Appearance

By Saikeerthi Rachavelpula Originally published in the 2019 print edition. Disquieted by the bulging eyes and gaping mouths of Swaihwe masks, Lévi-Strauss saw mythological representations not as isolated objects, but as aesthetic planes for the axes of life and death,

Friedel, Can You Hear Me?

By Blakey Bessire, Barnard College.   This is an image from page seven in David Wojnarowicz’s diary. It is page seven from his diary, labeled Human Head II, 1977, currently housed in the Fales Library collection at New York University.1

Friedel, Can You Hear Me?

By Blakey Bessire, Barnard College.   This is an image from page seven in David Wojnarowicz’s diary. It is page seven from his diary, labeled Human Head II, 1977, currently housed in the Fales Library collection at New York University.1

Relational Possibilities Beyond the Horizon Line

By Gianna Samms, Vassar College. — “[The horizon line] defined the limits of communication and understanding. Beyond the horizon, there was only muteness and silence. Within it, things could be made visible. But it could also be used for determining

Relational Possibilities Beyond the Horizon Line

By Gianna Samms, Vassar College. — “[The horizon line] defined the limits of communication and understanding. Beyond the horizon, there was only muteness and silence. Within it, things could be made visible. But it could also be used for determining

On the Chimeric Subject

By Aaron Su, Columbia University Originally published in the 2018 print edition. The question of selfhood has occupied a central problematic in nearly all the work of multidisciplinary queer artist and punk icon Vaginal Davis. Most notably, Davis is “the key

On the Chimeric Subject

By Aaron Su, Columbia University Originally published in the 2018 print edition. The question of selfhood has occupied a central problematic in nearly all the work of multidisciplinary queer artist and punk icon Vaginal Davis. Most notably, Davis is “the key

Fibrous Depths: John Paul Morabito’s Woven “Frottage”

By Anastatia Spicer, Hampshire College Originally published in the 2018 print edition. Surfaces are typically envisioned to be sites of differentiation, where self/other, object/subject are defined. The structure of weaving and supple qualities of cloth are a unique alternative to understanding surfaces

Fibrous Depths: John Paul Morabito’s Woven “Frottage”

By Anastatia Spicer, Hampshire College Originally published in the 2018 print edition. Surfaces are typically envisioned to be sites of differentiation, where self/other, object/subject are defined. The structure of weaving and supple qualities of cloth are a unique alternative to understanding surfaces

Bodies Dissolving Boundaries

By Tina Shan, Barnard College Originally published in the 2018 print edition. What is it about the surface of the body that excites us and disturbs us? When Ren Hang’s camera captures nude figures against stark and abstract backgrounds, the photographer

Bodies Dissolving Boundaries

By Tina Shan, Barnard College Originally published in the 2018 print edition. What is it about the surface of the body that excites us and disturbs us? When Ren Hang’s camera captures nude figures against stark and abstract backgrounds, the photographer

Nolli’s Orders: Form Unlimited

By Natalie Edwards, Washington University in St. Louis Originally published in the 2018 print edition. In the 18th century, Giovanni Battista Piranesi found the abandoned forums and crumbling temples of ancient Rome to be so suggestive that he described them as

Nolli’s Orders: Form Unlimited

By Natalie Edwards, Washington University in St. Louis Originally published in the 2018 print edition. In the 18th century, Giovanni Battista Piranesi found the abandoned forums and crumbling temples of ancient Rome to be so suggestive that he described them as

Sally Mann: A Thousand Crossings

By Jonah Goldman-Kay, Columbia University Sally Mann occupies an odd place in the realm of contemporary photography. While she has major gallery representation and is by no means obscure, she has had only a handful of major surveys or retrospectives

Sally Mann: A Thousand Crossings

By Jonah Goldman-Kay, Columbia University Sally Mann occupies an odd place in the realm of contemporary photography. While she has major gallery representation and is by no means obscure, she has had only a handful of major surveys or retrospectives

Figuring Afro-Fantasy: Black Bodies Beyond the Barriers of Postcolonial Narratives in Toyin Ojih Odutola’s Portraiture

by Mary Ma, Barnard College
Entering into Toyin Ojih Odutola’s solo exhibition at the Whitney Museum, To Wander Determined, is like entering into a simultaneous reality from a parallel universe. Framed

Figuring Afro-Fantasy: Black Bodies Beyond the Barriers of Postcolonial Narratives in Toyin Ojih Odutola’s Portraiture

by Mary Ma, Barnard College
Entering into Toyin Ojih Odutola’s solo exhibition at the Whitney Museum, To Wander Determined, is like entering into a simultaneous reality from a parallel universe. Framed

Activation as Freedom in Cosmococas

by Lydia Mullins, University of Chicago Originally published in the 2017 edition.   I arrived as if it were the limit of everything: the need to develop more and more something that would be extra-exhibition, extra-work, more than a participating

Activation as Freedom in Cosmococas

by Lydia Mullins, University of Chicago Originally published in the 2017 edition.   I arrived as if it were the limit of everything: the need to develop more and more something that would be extra-exhibition, extra-work, more than a participating