From Lagos to LA, a young painter’s images resonate with meaning, both personal and political.
The celebrated choreographer of Bronx Gothic explores the embodiment of psychic space, the nature of memory, and who gets to write history.
“Dub was my sound because of postcolonial movements. I grew up in it. I bathed in it. I breathed it. So why shouldn’t it be mine?”
Simone Leigh makes historical loops that are felt through material, her ceramic forms sometimes alluding to, for instance, cowrie shells—that worthless currency with which many Africans traded other Africans into transatlantic slavery.
The primary challenge of any William Kentridge monograph might seem to be getting images on the page to represent the South African artist’s oeuvre, which spans performance by puppets and opera singers, immersive film installations, stereoscopic and anamorphic drawings, crank-activated kinetic sculptures that play music (recently on view at Marian Goodman in New York), and virtuosic charcoal-on-paper animations.
Kenyan writer Binyavanga Wainaina is inexhaustible, a public intellectual very much engaged with the literary and political worlds. His memoir, One Day I Will Write About This Place, published this July by Graywolf Press, chronicles the multiplicity of his middle-class African childhood: home squared, we call it, your clan, your home, the nation of your origin.
The stories of Tiphanie Yanique’s debut collection How To Escape From A Leper Colony hold no fear. Centered on life in the US Virgin Islands, they seem ready for the generic lexicon of lazy reviewers. BOMBlog’s intrepid Jack Palmer spoke with Yanique about the fallacy of that vocabulary and the lessons available in literature.
If Marvel Comics had gotten around to it, Oscar Wao would have been a hero. As it is, Junot Díaz stepped in and made him one first.
“The first level of risk is very private; most of the time I feel I’m writing against a silence, against a taboo, against what has not been written; and if it has been written, there’s no reason for me to write it.”
“I was writing 16-hour days. The real difficulty was writing the fractured language. My tendency is to make everything beautiful.”
Invisible Maps: a history of doing—puzzling and promising (to what territories would an invisible map orient us, anyway?), unassuming and all-encompassing (a whole history of the very act of doing? in lowercase?)—is a working title worthy of Jesal Kapadia’s fairly epic video-in-progress, two years in the making and poised to put the Mumbai-born, New York-based artist herself squarely, and visibly, on the map.
The Practice + Theory series is sponsored in part by the Frances Dittmer Family Foundation.
Sure, the painter Shahzia Sikander, born and raised in Pakistan, manages to flip the script on the whole history of Indian miniatures, but to position her as an artist throwing off the oppressive yoke of male patriarchy, Islamic censorship, or the pervasive Western fantasy of South Asian culture as simply some kind of prohibitive version of Footloose does a disservice to her work.
Edward Said talks with writer Phillip Lopate about his book, Out of Place, a memoir of his childhood and formation into the itinerate conscience of the intelligentsia and figurehead of postcolonial politics that we know him as today.
Director Tran Anh Hung on creating a Vietnamese cinematic legacy from nothing, and the creative perspective of expatriation.