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See It Before It’s Gone: Embodied Absence

In a playful sequence from Cecilia Vicuña’s 1980 film Sol y Dar y Dad, una palabra bailada, a danced word, the viewer’s attention is directed towards a female character, presumably the artist. Her back is leaned against the door of…

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Art for Breakfast: Liao Fei’s Perspective

Liao Fei’s exhibition at Yve Yang gallery at first glance seems to be a work in progress: perhaps even a transition between shows. Remarking on surveillance culture, Fei’s quiet exhibition not only gives visitors the uneasy feeling of being watched,…

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Participating in the Spectacle

On September 30th, I, along with a small group of skeptical but cooperative volunteer-participants, an eager and unassuming college marching band, and one very enthusiastic curator with a megaphone, gathered at the entrance of the historic Boston Common. Together we…

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Inside/Out: The Long Night, After & Then

Inside/Out is Big Red & Shiny’s artist-in-residence series, offering a space for artists to write about their ideas, research, and challenges, and publish their inspirations, obsessions, creative experiences, and insights. Unlike an ‘Open Studio’ format, which is often predicated on potential sales, BR&S…

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Inside/Out: It’s Nice to Talk

I recently had the opportunity to engage in a wonderful conversation with Betty Jarvis, a recent Master’s graduate from the Art History program at Rutgers University.  I find that conversations outside of the studio are just as important as your…

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Real Work: An essay on ableism and art

“I make these when I’m not making my ‘real’ work.” I heard this statement fall out of my mouth and stopped myself, horrified. I was at the opening of the BLAA Summer 2016 exhibit You Think It’s ____, But It’s…

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Art in Service #4: Documentation

The question of documentation is rooted in the history of the avant-garde. Think of Dadaist or Surrealists recording their work via sound or the nascent technology of film. Think of Hans Namuth filming Jackson Pollock as he dripped his paintings…

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Art Criticism: Risk Response

“The best art speaks for itself,” someone stated at a recent public discussion about Boston Creates. My immediate internal response was yes, but art also prompts, at times even goads, us to speak or write. I concede that art is,…

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Art in Service: Quality

Since 2013 I’ve been focused—educatively, academically, artistically—on ‘socially-engaged art’ and the idea of learning in public.(1) Over the course of the last ten years, I’ve grown to understand the the site of my own work (as a curator, educator, artist…

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Chord: Antony Gormley at MIT

Known for his work that confronts the fragile limits of perception and physicality, British sculptor Antony Gormley has confronted the human body throughout his career. In Chord (2015), a new public work permanently on view at MIT, Gormley challenges the…

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Art in Service #2: Who Is It For?

Each day that you and I choose to venture outside of our dwellings, we navigate streets, sidewalks, and other public infrastructure made not by us, but for us by other people who, assumedly, had our best interest in mind when…

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