Visualizing Absence: Doris Salcedo’s Representations of Disappearances

Written by Danielle Shmuel, Edited by Chloe Ducluzeau. Sculptures and installations produced by contemporary Colombian artist Doris Salcedo alter time and atmosphere to create space for grief and visibility. Despite experimenting with multiple aesthetic strategies throughout her career, Salcedo’s sculptural works share a common affect — that of collective mourning. Pritzker Director of the Museum Of Contemporary Art Chicago…

Black Bodies in the Water: After the Deluge of Hurricane Katrina and the Middle Passage

Written by Emily Levine, Edited by Gabby Marcuzzi Herie. In the year following Hurricane Katrina, contemporary African American artist Kara Walker curated an exhibition titled After the Deluge(2006) for the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Reacting to the controversial media coverage of the disaster, Walker was struck by the images of hurricane victims reduced to bodies and nothing more.[1] The exhibition, in addition to the accompanying print book, is a self-described “rumination” on Hurricane Katrina structured in the form of what Walker refers to as a “visual essay.”[2]…

Eroticism in Repulsion: An Affective Reading of Carolee Schneemann’s “Meat Joy”

Written by Margaux Shraiman, Edited by Gabby Marcuzzi Herie. Abject art is a category used to describe artworks which explore transgressive themes and threaten our sense of cleanliness and propriety––specifically works that reference the body and bodily functions. The abject has strong ties to feminist theory, in that “female bodily functions in particular are ‘abjected’ by a patriarchal social order.”[i] Carolee Schneemann’s 1964 performance ​”Meat Joy”…

An Ambiguous Instant: “Oiran,” or Takahashi Yuichi’s Portrayal of a Plural Japan

Written by Lily-Cannelle Mathieu, Edited by Miray Eroglu. Takahashi Yuichi (1828-1894), a Japanese artist active in the early Meiji period (1868-1912), is known for having pioneered oil painting in Japan [1]. Born to a low-ranking samurai family [2], he abandoned his military functions to attend the governmentally-sponsored Institute for Western Studies, where he studied ‘Western art’ before being tutored by Charles Wirgman…

Transcending Common Understandings of Conceptual Art: An Analysis of Adrian Piper’s “What Will Become of Me” (1985, ongoing)

Written by Nicholas Raffoul, edited by Catriona Reid. Adrian Piper’s (b. 1948) works from the 1980s are often unevenly discussed in the literature of conceptual art, especially in comparison to her earlier and more recognizable works from the 1960s and 1970s. As a conceptual artist, Piper interrogates the power of institutions and her own place in the world…

The Affective Weight of Representing Sex Workers in the Context of Modernity: Toulouse Lautrec, Humor, Shock, and La Rue Moulins

Written by Brianne Chapelle, Edited by Miray Eroglu
Beheld retrospectively by the modern viewer, Lautrec’s representations of the can-can dancers, cabaret singers, and sex workers of Montmartre have been lifted into the “high art” realm. While his works now enjoy this elevated status in world class museum collections, they did not necessarily achieve this status in Lautrec’s lifetime, nor were they perhaps intended to do so.