Repeater: Painting like music like handwriting

In the essay accompanying this exhibition, curator Kelsey Halliday Johnson quotes Ian MacKaye, founder of the DIY label Dischord Records: “Playing music is like handwriting; if you play a song over and over, it starts to evolve.” “Repeater,” named after a 1990 album by Fugazi, includes drawing, sculpture, and video by three artists who translate […]

Jennifer Levonian’s animation provokes self-reflection

Jennifer Levonian’s short, surreal cut-paper animation Xylophone, 2015, muses on the everyday clichés and complexities of gender, gentrification, and creative living in transitional urban spaces. Wryly referencing Philadelphia’s rapidly changing neighborhoods and rendered in swift, fluid watercolor marks, Levonian’s leafy farmers’ markets, tastefully rehabbed row homes, and yoga-studio lofts adorned with “Breathe in love, breathe […]

Catherine Pancake’s complicity in Bloodland

Midway through Catherine Pancake’s video on citizen surveillance of the natural-gas fracking industry, Bloodland (all works cited, 2015), a female voice-over quotes Hito Steyerl’s 2009 essay “In Defense of the Poor Image,” on the cultural implications of highly circulated, low-resolution digital artifacts online: “The imperfect cinema is one that strives to overcome the divisions of […]

Becky Suss’s domestic melancholia

In her 2011 memoir, Why Be Happy When You Can Be Normal?, Jeanette Winterson observed of the genre: “Part fact part fiction is what life is. And it is always a cover story.” The act of covering, then, in Winterson’s book and in Becky Suss’s first solo museum exhibition, refers not only to concealment but […]

Gabriel Martinez’s elegy for Fire Island

Gabriel Martinez’s elegiac exhibition “Bayside Revisited” invokes the historic potency of Fire Island, New York, as a gay fantasy space and safe haven. By integrating archival materials related to the community into new prints and an installation, Martinez augments the current historical canonization of queer culture and the AIDS crisis recently seen in Keith Haring […]

MW_Bush 1991 web event

Martha Wilson: Staging the Self

ARCADIA UNIVERSITY GALLERY August 24–November 4 “THE ARTIST OPERATES OUT OF THE VACUUM LEFT WHEN ALL OTHER VALUES ARE REJECTED,” notes Martha Wilson in her early photo-text composition A Portfolio of Models, 1974. Referring to her negotiation and subsequent refusal of cookie-cutter female identities—from “housewife” to “lesbian”—the statement also works as a concise thesis for […]