Chitra Ganesh; Matthew Thurber; Frank Santoro: The Eulogy of Drawing
The exhibition ‘Beyond Transnationalism: The Legacy of Post Independent Art from South Asia’ undertaken at the cusp of India’s 70 years of independence seeks to understand the many positions of artists of South Asian descent living in the United States. The artists in this show assert new and complex aesthetic and geopolitical propositions that question, complicate and travel far beyond conventional notions of home, nations, and belonging. This exhibition seeks to question the relevance of the terms diaspora and transnationalism and their attendant significations. The term diaspora – derived from a Greek word meaning ‘to disperse’ or ‘to scatter’ its geography, or its complex geopolitics – has been a default frame used to understand and signify the mass migrations, and exoduses.
Although the postcolonial debate has changed, Ganesh is among the few artists to retain its original strategies to embody brown, feminist politics and critique systems of power. Her earliest, and still one of her boldest, innovations was her appropriation of the immensely popular Indian comic book series Amar Chitra Katha (which literally translates to Immortal Picture Stories). Initiated in 1967 by Anant Pai, the series was intended as a pedagogical tool to educate children on their cultural heritage through the retelling of stories from Indian epics, mythology, history, folklore and fables.
Not surprisingly, the stories reflect the racial, religious, socio-economic and gender prejudices of India’s predominantly patriarchal and religious orthodoxy, which privileges fair-skinned, upper-caste Hindu males (caste is a toxic, hereditary class system particular to the Hindu religion). The comic books were visual and narrative minefields for Ganesh’s subjective interpretations.
The 218th meeting of the NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium will be held on Tuesday, May 8, 2018 at 7pm at Parsons School of Design, Kellen Auditorium (Room N101, off the lobby), Sheila C. Johnson Design Center. 66 Fifth Avenue. Free and open to the public.
Matthew Thurber will speak about his forthcoming book from Drawn and Quarterly, Art Comic. This graphic novel is a paranoiac-critical examination of the art world seen through the eyes of four graduates of The Cooper Union. As each student attempts to reconcile their ideals with the realities of capitalism, love, alien invasion, anarchist pigs, and sex robots, they find themselves careening toward madness, extremism, death, or becoming Matthew Barney’s stunt double.
Matthew Thurber’s unpredictable practice has included: Mining the Moon, full length musical play; A novel posing as an interactive handwriting analysis project; A week of movies made in one day each; an olfactory performance, dressed as a giant nose; a mosaic labyrinth installed in an elementary school; Terpinwoe, choreographed noise dance about a carrot-based economy; innumerable illustrations and drawings; a longstanding engagement with the narrative scroll, as well as other pre-cinematic devices. In collaboration with Brian Belott he has performed at the Serpentine Gallery in London, Abrons Art Center, and in an eyeglass store. He co-founded Tomato House, an art gallery in operation from 2012-2015, with Rebecca Bird. Finally he is the author of 1-800-MICE, INFOMANIACS, and Art Comic.
“Pompei” di Frank Santoro: l’elogio del disegno
The Italian edition of Frank Santoro’s Pompei is reviewed by Daniele Barbieri at Fumettologica. It’s in Italian, but, you know, it can be translated:
There is a famous historical case in the history of art. Look at the statues of Antonio Canova: their extraordinary elegance and expressiveness is offset by a classicist rigidity, which is the price that Canova pays to the trends of his time – when it was important to build a visual art that opposed the frivolities of the rococo. It is true that the immobility of his figures is compensated by a dynamic tension that often makes them extraordinary; but they are not less immobile for this, they are not less icily, neoclassically statuesque, monumental.
Now look at the Canova sketches. Small objects with very rough modeling, definitely at the antipodes of marble statues. They are made of clay or chalk; let us see the tracing of the hand or instrument that shaped the matter; we understand the afterthoughts. They are certainly private objects, tests carried out on the wave of inspiration – which then gave life only occasionally to a definitive work that may appear very different from its sketch.
Vision Box – 5-8-2018 – by Cameron Arthur
Joanie and Jordie – 5-8-2018 – by Caleb Orecchio