Nari Ward Loves Objects

Nari Ward loves objects. Many people love objects — shoes, books, chairs, mugs with their children’s faces on them, etc. — but Ward thinks about things a little differently. For him, the object is not an artifact of life but life itself: it is something to be held, treated with care, respected. His work, which spans the realms of sculpture, installation, video, and drawing, insists on this care as much as it wrestles with another, separate desire: to burn it all down. These impulses are not entirely different; rather, they represent a deep and enmeshed relationship to the general bric-a-brac and cacophony of stuff that populates our lives. Each and every room, whether real or imagined, is filled to the brim with items that signify empires crumbled and pasts abandoned. For Ward, these items speak, dance, engage in secret affairs of their own. Even the mugs with the faces.

Eun-Me Ahn with Phoebe Roberts

Eun-Me Ahn’s distinct choreographic worlds are explosions of technicolor fantasies made real. Born in Korea in 1963, she studied contemporary dance at Ehwa Womans University before founding her own troupe, Ahn Eun-Me Company, in 1988. In 1991, Ahn moved to New York to study at the Tisch School of the Arts, remaining in the city for ten years. A decade later, she returned to Korea and set forth establishing her own unique choreographic and performance practice. An outpouring of works followed, th

Lydia Abarca and Karen Valby with Phoebe Roberts

Lydia Abarca was born in New York in 1951. She studied ballet at the Juilliard School and the Harkness School before attending Fordham University, where she was discovered by Arthur Mitchell and was invited to join his Dance Theatre of Harlem as one of its founding members. By nineteen, she was dancing principal roles in the company—her signature part was the central pas de deux in George Balanchine’s Agon—and serving as its unofficial spokeswoman. Her beauty, determination, and outstanding clas

'Sacredness Is' at Fondazione Merz

The film has inspired many artists since its release nearly sixty years ago, and is currently serving as the basis for a new group exhibition, Sacro è, at the Fondazione Merz in Turin. Curated by Giulia Turconi and featuring work by artists Tiphaine Calmettes, Matilde Cassani, Giuseppe Di Liberto, Lena Kuzmich, Quỳnh Lâm, Tommy Malekoff, Lorenzo Montinaro, and GianMarco Porru, the show investigates the concept of sacredness as found in everyday things. Like Stamp’s character, the exhibiting artists seek to expose the potential for transformation and spiritual reinvention within the quotidian, and achieve this through works spanning performance, installation, sculpture, painting, and video.

Questions that Remain

To begin her creative process, the legendary German choreographer Pina Bausch often asked her dancers questions. These questions—and further, the thoughts and deeper rumblings they provoked in the dancers—then formed the basis for many of her pieces. Bausch was typically concerned with the emotional and psychological charge of the bodies she choreographed on, and no piece showcases this more than her 1982 masterwork “Nelken.” Premiered eight years before the reunification of Germany, and haunted by other atrocities of that country’s not-so-distant past, “Nelken” does not escape shades of brutality; still, its primary concern seems to lie in the various ways our closest relationships can provide comfort. How, Bausch seems to ask, can we care for each other despite the horrors?

“God Is My Curator”: On the Ukrainian Artist and Curator Anastasiia Pasichnyk —

Another exhibit, “Kolyska,” was held this past June—July at the Kurt Muhlenhaupt Museum in Kreuzberg. Curated by UCC member Sofia Golubeva and featuring the work of Anastasiia and other young Ukrainian artists, it played upon the multiple definitions of the Ukrainian word “Колиска” (“Kolyska”). Meaning a swing, a baby’s crib, or “motherland,” the word served as a metaphor for the artists’ current state of mind. Anastasiia explains her “swinging feeling” and the extremes her life has alternated b

50 Questions With Lily McMenamy

Lily McMenamy is a triple threat: model, actress, and artist. From dancing with Ralph Fiennes as nouveau riche seductress Sylvie in Luca Guadagnino’s A Bigger Splash (2015) to starring in campaigns for everyone from Versace to Chopova Lowena, Lily is no stranger to the spotlight (her mum, 90s supermodel Kristen McMenamy, allegedly carried her down a Chanel runway when she was just an infant). Still, in recent years, the seasoned model has come to attention in yet another role (or two): that of s

In a Lonely Place: On Gaito Gazdanov’s “An Evening with Claire”

ALONG THE STORIED HALLS of Russian literature, the call of the name Gaito Gazdanov had, for many decades, elicited little more than a faintly alliterated echo. With the publication of Gazdanov’s 1930 debut novel, An Evening with Claire, Pushkin Press and translator Bryan Karetnyk beckon us closer to that resonant echo, the voice of a haunting and haunted author often compared to Nabokov and Proust but really dwelling in a room entirely his own. Who is this Gazdanov?He answers in spades: bargeman