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In Matt Keegan’s 45-minute video Generation – the centerpiece of his solo exhibition at the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts – he takes a deceptively simple approach to tackle the knotty intersections of family and identity with funny, thought-provoking results. Keegan interviews his mother, father, siblings, nephews, and nieces. He asks each to define common words fraught with emotional, social, and political meaning – like mother, father, feminine, masculine, love, sex, race, and immigrant – as well as more lighthearted terms, such as clouds, ghost, and magic. What unfolds are revealing…

It is now almost ten years after the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and sixteen since China joined the World Trade Organization. Three decades have elapsed since the Tiananmen Square protests, and half a century since the beginning of the Cultural Revolution. For contemporary Chinese artists, art is a valuable tool for processing both the rapid changes and lingering trauma of the last five decades. This art deserves the attention it is currently receiving from institutions in the United States, despite many works being difficult for Americans to understand, or even accept. The Guggenheim’s…

“A book, or a work of art [culture] cannot by itself change the world, but by asking the questions that matter, it might attempt to be an act of articulation against violence, both the brutal and casual kinds. It might aspire to starting a conversation, through which together we might find common meaning and words that free.” – Jeff Chang For this digital artist residency with Big Red & Shiny I will produce a series of essays that explore different emotions I’ve been processing and trying to articulate visually in America’s Post-Obama…

“May you live in interesting times.” – Chinese curse With the fate of the planet hanging precariously in the balance, there’s at least one thing about which we can all be certain: we are living in interesting times. While it’s not the sort of interesting any of us would have asked for, nevertheless here we are, and every academic discipline, and anyone who does anything in the way of cultural work in any field, is left with a nagging choice. It’s a choice of conscience, really, but also one of meaning. For…

Drive-By Project’s Who Am I? The Sequel successfully deals with the anxiety of Trump’s America. On view through November 11, a year after the 2016 election, the thematic group exhibition provided a response to our volatile political climate. Like the previous Who Am I exhibition (presented in September 2010), the “Sequel” revolves around questions of identity and identity politics. However, the implicit question in the show’s title is more urgent and confrontational in the current social context. From varying ethnic, racial, and cultural backgrounds, each artist here sets forth a different angle…

Anchoring the SoWa district of Boston on Harrison Ave is Samson, a veteran gallery venerated for showing contemporary and meaningful exhibitions over the last 14 years. Their current (and final)  show, “Immigrancy” focuses on the concepts of mobility and movement as well as showcasing intimate perspectives into the experiences of artists across cultures. Curatorial decisions, in both the selection of artists and method of display, contribute to a rich, topical exhibition. The exhibition space is is demarcated into several intersecting partitions of unfinished plywood sheets, either connected to the wall via hinges,…

Slip the straps of the eight-pound backpack over your shoulders, buckle it around your waist, and try not to tense up as an attendant tightens your virtual-reality headset. In a moment, the large, mostly empty room at the MIT Museum is gone. You’ve entered The Enemy, an immersive, interactive exhibition developed by photojournalist Karim Ben Khelifa in collaboration with MIT professor of digital media D. Fox Harrell. Take a tentative step into the first of its three white-walled galleries, each dedicated to a different combat zone: the Democratic Republic of the Congo,…

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