Posts Tagged “institutional critique”

The Gay Bar versus the Academy

06.09.2009  |  By
Filed under: Field Notes

Despite recently receiving my masters in Visual and Critical Studies I have always had a love/hate relationship with critical theory.  Within my graduate program there is a running joke that critical theory is “like a stain you can’t get out.” My biggest frustration is the disconnect I feel between what is discussed and generated within the sterile walls of the academy and the communities that exist beyond those walls who are often the subjects of the theories produced and studied.  Over the past two years, as I was buried in theory and thesis writing, I found myself often questioning the relevance of philosophical texts for those who exist within activist circles, public services, and that which is often described as “on the ground.”

My frustration with the inaccessibility of critical theory hit home after reading a portion of the text, Bodies That Matter: On the Discursive Limits of Sex by philosopher, Judith Butler in a course entitled Critical Race Ar... More

100% Authentic: Interview with Imin Yeh

05.26.2009  |  By
Filed under: Conversations

Imin Yeh is a printmaker and recent graduate of the MFA Department at the California College of the Arts.  Her practice deflates cultural stereotypes and addresses issues of labor and consumerism through a critical and humorous lens.  Yeh’s piece “Everybody Loves a Skinny, White Boyfriend” was included in the exhibition For Lovers and Fighters that I curated at The Spare Room Project in February 2009. We sat down at a coffee-shop together last Friday and talked about her recent projects, her relationship to local art institutions, and the politics and negotiation inherent in making work that is deeply rooted in one’s own experience and identity. Yeh was a recipient of the 2009 Barclay Simpson award.  Her piece “Good Imports” is featured in the Chinese Cultural Center’s Present Tense Biennial 2009 and in a satellite installation in nearby storefront at 710 Kearny Street until August 23rd.  Her work will also be included in Intersection for t... More

The Institution

04.18.2009  |  By
Filed under: Field Notes

Daddy always said that if one just stayed put in San Francisco, eventually everyone who mattered would show up here, and then he himself came as if to prove himself correct. I remember him tottering off the plane as though an earthquake was actually happening. And then he came back two other times, never entirely relaxing, but affable enough, like a mint julep. I thought of him tonight when John Giorno came to San Francisco and gave a jubilant reading for the Poetry Center at San Francisco State.

Even if you know nothing about poetry you will remember Giorno as the actor in one of Andy Warhol’s most notorious films, Sleep–Warhol’s first film, made when the artist was 35 years old and looking to try something new. Giorno was 27 and, it is said, Warhol’s boyfriend at the time. The film consists, as many know, of Giorno sound asleep for nearly five and a half hours-there’s a version in which some of the shot footage is repeated to make it last eight hour... More