Tuesday, January 17th: Chrissie Iles in conversation with Dora Budor

Inline image 3

Chrissie Iles is the Anne and Joel Ehrenkranz curator at the Whitney Museum of American Art. Her exhibitions include co-curating the 2004 and 2006 Whitney Biennials, and curating major survey exhibitions of Marina Abramovic, Louise Bourgeois, Dan Graham, Donald Judd, Sol LeWitt and Yoko Ono. She also curated several group exhibitions including “Into the Light: The Projected Image in American Art 1964-1977″; “Scream and Scream Again: Film in Art”; and “Signs of the Times: Film, Video and Slide Installation and Britain in the 1980s.”  Chrissie’s most recent curatorial projects Dreamlands: Immersive Cinema and Art, 1905–2016, is currently on view at the Whitney.  Dreamlands focuses on the ways in which artists have dismantled and reassembled the conventions of cinema—screen, projection, darkness—to create new experiences of the moving image.


Dora Budor, born in 1984, is an artist originally from Croatia who currently lives & works in New York.  Budor’s work “focuses on Hollywood production methods and special effects” and “considers the representation of emotional and physical experience within the ideological subtexts of mainstream cinema” (Swiss Institute, 2015). She has participated in several solo exhibitions, including a self-titled show at Ramiken Crucible (2016);Spring at the Swiss Institute (2015); and Action Paintings at 247365 (2014).  Her work is included in the Dreamlands: Immersive Cinema and Art, 1905–2016 exhibition at the Whitney, curated by Chrissie Isles.

Posted in Spring 2017 | Comments Off on Tuesday, January 17th: Chrissie Iles in conversation with Dora Budor

Tuesday, December 6th: Kameelah Janan Rasheed

1873425062747e05-1-smackmellon LowerthePitch

Kameelah Janan Rasheed is artist-archivist based in Brooklyn, NY. Originally from East Palo Alto, CA with brief stints in Johannesburg, South Africa, Kameelah’s interdisciplinary and research intensive practice considers ideas of selective legibility and opaqueness as a political strategy; the tension between narrative contingencies and narrative resolutions; as well as black traditions of covert literacies and self-publishing.

She has exhibited her work at Studio Museum in Harlem, Bronx Museum, Queens Museum, BRIC Art Gallery, Weeksville Heritage Museum, Smack Mellon Gallery, Vox Populi Gallery, TOPAZ Arts, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, The Leroy Neiman Gallery, etc.

Selected residencies, fellowships and honors include: Keyholder Residency at Lower East Side Print Studio (2015), Commissioned Artist, Triple Canopy Commissions at New York Public Library Labs (2015), Artadia: The Fund for Art and Dialogue Grant (2015), A.I.R. Gallery Fellowship, Queens Museum Jerome Emerging Artist Fellowship (2015), Process Space Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Residency (2015), Artist in the Marketplace – Bronx Museum Participant (2015), Art Matters Grantee (2014), Rema Hort Mann Foundation Grantee (2014), New Museum R&D: Choreography Seminar Participant (2014), Vermont Studio Center Residency (2014), Working Classroom Teaching Artist (2014), The Center for Book Arts Residency (2013), The Laundromat Project Fellow (2013), Visual Artist Network Exhibition Residency (2013), Visual Artist Network Community Fund Expansion Grantee (2013), Center for Photography at Woodstock Residency Juror (2013), STEP UP Emerging Artist Awardee (2012) and Center for Photography at Woodstock Residency (2012).

Her work has been reviewed and written about in The New York Times, Art 21, Wall Street Journal, ArtSlant, and Hyperallergic.

Rasheed has spoken on panels and symposiums at universities including School of Visual Arts, Parsons, The New School, New York University, Columbia University, and the University of Illinois; arts institutions such as the Brooklyn Museum, Queens Museum, The Museum of the City of New York, Christie’s, Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Art, the Center for Book Arts, Residency Unlimited and Creative Time; and archival institutions including the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, the Weeksville Heritage Center, and Interference Archive.

Her long form interviews and essays have been published in The New Inquiry, Gawker, The Guardian, Creative Time Reports and featured on the Creative Time Funk, God, Jazz, and Medicine: Black Radical Brooklyn’s radio station, Otabenga Jones & Associates (OJAK Radio).

Currently, she is the Arts Editor for SPOOK Magazine and a contributing editor at The New Inquiry.

Posted in VALS Fall 2016 | Comments Off on Tuesday, December 6th: Kameelah Janan Rasheed

Tuesday, November 22nd: Phong Bui

phong's portrait by nicola delorme

Phong Bui is an artist, writer, independent curator and former curatorial advisor at MoMA PS1, 2007 to 2010. He is also the Co-Founder, Publisher/Editor-in-Chief of the monthly journal the Brooklyn Rail and the publishing press Rail Editions, as well as the Host/Producer of “Off the Rail” on Art International Radio. He is a board member of the Third Rail of the Twin Cities, the Miami Rail, the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation, the Sharpe-Walentas Studio Program, and the International Association of Art Critics United States Section (AICA USA).

In 2013, he founded the Rail Curatorial Projects which aims to curate exhibits that respond specifically to location, cultural moment, and economic conditions. Recent exhibits include Bloodflames Revisited at Paul Kasmin Gallery, Spaced Out: Migration to the Interior at Red Bull Studios (2014), Intimacy in Discourse: Reasonable and Unreasonable Sized Paintings at Mana Contemporary and SVA Chelsea Gallery (2015), and Hallway Hijack at 66 Rockwell Pl., Brooklyn (2016). Forthcoming projects include An Anthology of The Brooklyn Rail Interviews, Volume I to be published by David Zwirner Books in Spring 2017, and Occupy Rail, a two part endeavor to both encourage and support motivated individuals to create their own Rail publications in their local communities, and to stage the Rail’s production cycle of one issue on site at a selected art gallery for one month, turning the Rail into a “social environment,” a consequential step since Joseph Beuys’ “social sculpture” and Nicolas Bourriaud’s “relational aesthetics.”

Posted in VALS Fall 2016 | Comments Off on Tuesday, November 22nd: Phong Bui


Photo: Hideto Maezawa

Horizon Scanners

Performance by Ho Rui An

Investigating the rise of speculative aesthetics as a practice of futurecraft in a post-securitization crisis era, Horizon Scanners examines various futures and “horizon scanning” programmes devised by the Singapore government to anticipate “black swans” or rare, hard-to-predict events of great consequence. Accordingly, this displacement of positivist models of probability and prediction by the “metaphor” as an uncertain epistemological ground produces a narrative economy of “weak signals” struggling to emerge from the noise. The lecture approaches this predicament by considering how in a time of horizon scanning, what matters are the conditions of legibility that allow us to affirm some narratives while extinguishing others.

Shapiro Theatre from 6-8pm,  Schapiro Hall, 605 W. 115th Street

Posted in VALS Fall 2016 | Comments Off on Friday, November 18th: SPECIAL PERFORMANCE BY HO RUI AN

Tuesday, November 15th: Lizzie Borden


Filmmaker Lizzie Borden is best known for her groundbreaking anarcha-feminist classic, BORN IN FLAMES (1983), which B. Ruby Rich calls, “A precursor to New Queer Cinema in its genre hybridization (radical-lesbian-feminist-sci-fi vérité) and political fury.”

In New York in the late 70’s, Borden aspired to be a painter and was invited to write for Artforum Magazine by critic Robert Pincus-Witten. While covering performance artists such as Joan Jonas, Yvonne Rainer and Vito Acconci – who experimented with various forms of film, Super-8 and video – Borden saw a retrospective of Godard films and realized film could combine essay and story. She made her first feature, REGROUPING (1976), a semi-experimental film about a women’s consciousness-raising group, which she put away for many years, and, troubled by the homogeneity of race and class in the group, embarked on what became the iconic BORN IN FLAMES.

BORN IN FLAMES is a “political science fiction” set in a near-future New York ten years, a conceit, after a peaceful socialist democratic revolution. In the film, women come together across racial, cultural, and socioeconomic divides to form the women’s army, combatting the sexism and racism that still run rampant post-revolution. As Borden says, “the science fiction in the film is to posit this thought: what if the very ordinary oppression that women have been experiencing for generations finally became something that would force a group of women to become armed and take over the media in order to redirect meaning, reclaim the language.” Shot over a five-year period with many non-actors and without a script, the film incorporates a dynamic use of strategies ranging from documentary, verité cinema, fictional news coverage and media takeovers, and improvisation, with a feverish soundtrack made in collaboration with Red Krayola and several of the performers in the film. Thirty years later, BORN IN FLAMES feels as relevant, potent, radical, and energetic as ever in the context of the Black Lives Matter movement and increased divisiveness across the political spectrum.

Borden’s 1986 fiction film WORKING GIRLS follows a day in the life of women working in a middle-class brothel in Manhattan. Today WORKING GIRLS is still one of the most radical, honest, unromanticized portrayals of women’s work in the sex industry. The film won the Special Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival that year.

In recent years, Borden has written pilots for Fox and Skype; a play about Nina Simone, “The Queen of Shebang;” “Rialto”, a film about abortion; and is developing various film and TV projects, including a limited series about the art world in the 80’s.

Posted in VALS Fall 2016 | Comments Off on Tuesday, November 15th: Lizzie Borden

Thursday, November 10th: Ho Tzu Nyen and Ho Rui An


Ho Tzu Nyen makes films, videos and theatrical performances that often draw upon historical and philosophical texts and artefacts. He appropriates the structures of epic myths, invoking their grandeur while revealing them to be not merely stories, but discursive tools. His work deconstructs the idea of modernization via Western influence or beneficence, by presenting viewers with a paradox. In it, Eastern and Western forms appear at once disjointed and seamless, coexisting in a fluid aesthetic interpretation that allows for the complexities of influence and adaptation to drift through each other.

Ho Tzu Nyen was born in Singapore in 1976. He earned a BA in Creative Arts from Victorian College of the Arts, University of Melbourne (2001), and an MA in Southeast Asian Studies from the National University of Singapore (2007). His work has been presented at the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao (Bilbao, 2015); DAAD Gallery (Berlin, 2015); Guggenheim Museum (New York, 2013); Mori Art Museum (Tokyo, 2012); the 54th Venice Biennale (Venice, 2011); Artspace, (Sydney, 2011); Tate Modern (London, 2010); the 6th Asia-Pacific Triennial (Brisbane, 2009); the 1st Singapore Biennale (2006) and the 26th Sao Paulo Biennale (2004). His films have premiered at Cannes Film Festival (2009) and the 66th Venice International Film Festival (2009).



HO RUI AN is an artist and writer working in the intersections of contemporary art, cinema, performance and theory. He writes, talks and thinks around images, with an interest in investigating their emergence, transmission and disappearance within contexts of globalism and governance. Working primarily across the mediums of lecture, essay and film, his recent research considers questions surrounding liberal hospitality, participatory democracy and speculative futures.

He has presented projects at the 2nd Kochi-Muziris Biennale, TPAM Performing Arts Meeting in Yokohama, Serpentine Galleries (London), Hessel Museum of Art and CCS Bard Galleries (Annandale-on-Hudson), NUS Museum (Singapore), QUT Art Museum (Brisbane), LUMA/Westbau (Zürich), Para Site (Hong Kong) and Witte de With (Rotterdam). He is the Singapore desk editor for ArtAsiaPacific and has contributed to numerous publications. He lives and works in Singapore.

Posted in VALS Fall 2016 | Comments Off on Thursday, November 10th: Ho Tzu Nyen and Ho Rui An

Tuesday, November 1st: Ragnar Kjartansson

Image credit: Elisabet Davids

Ragnar Kjartansson engages multiple artistic mediums throughout his performative practice. The artist’s video installations, performances, drawings, and paintings incorporate the history of film, music, visual culture, and literature. His works are connected through their pathos and humor, with each deeply influenced by the comedy and tragedy of classical theater. Kjartansson’s use of durational, repetitive performance to harness collective emotion is a hallmark of his practice and recurs throughout his work.

Kjartansson (b. 1976) lives and works in Reykjavík. The artist will soon have a mid-career retrospective at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Park, Washington DC, where it traveled from the Barbican Centre, London. Kjartansson has had major solo exhibitions at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, the Palais de Tokyo, Paris, the New Museum, New York, the Migros Museum fur Gegenwartskunst in Zurich, the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo in Turin, the Frankfurter Kunstverein, and the BAWAG Contemporary in Vienna. Song, his first American solo museum show, was organized by the Carnegie Museum of Art in 2011, and traveled to the Museum of Contemporary Art in North Miami and the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston. Kjartansson participated in The Encyclopedic Palace at the Venice Biennale in 2013, Manifesta 10 in St. Petersburg, Russia in 2014, and he represented Iceland at the 2009 Venice Biennale. The artist is the recipient of the 2015  Artes Mundi’s Derek Williams Trust Purchase Award, and Performa’s 2011 Malcolm McLaren Award.

Image credit: Elisabet Davids

Posted in VALS Fall 2016 | Comments Off on Tuesday, November 1st: Ragnar Kjartansson

Thursday, October 27th: Kerry James Marshall


Kerry James Marshall uses painting, sculptural installations, collage, video, and photography to comment on the history of black identity both in the United States and in Western art. He is well known for paintings that focus on black subjects historically excluded from the artistic canon, and has explored issues of race and history through imagery ranging from abstraction to comics.

Marshall has work in numerous public collections including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Birmingham Museum of Art; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Art Institute of Chicago; Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. He is the recipient of several awards, grants and fellowships including the MacArthur genius grant in 1997. Kerry James Marshall was selected to exhibit in this year’s 2015 Venice Biennale: All the World’s Futures, May 9 – November 22, 2015.

Posted in VALS Fall 2016 | Comments Off on Thursday, October 27th: Kerry James Marshall

Tuesday, October 25th: Jeffrey Gibson


Jeffrey Gibson grew up in major urban centers in the United States, Germany, Korea, England and elsewhere. He is also a member of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians and half Cherokee. This unique combination of global cultural influences converge in his multi-disciplinary practice of more than a decade since the completion of his Master of Arts degree in painting at The Royal College of Art, London in 1998 and his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in painting from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1995.

Gibson’s artwork intermingles elements of traditional Native American art with contemporary artistic references. Thus powwow regalia, 19th century parfleche containers, and drums are seamlessly merged with elements of Modernist geometric abstraction, Minimalism, and Pattern and Decoration. Here there is an echo of Frank Stella, Josef Albers, and Lucio Fontana – canonized in our current dialogue which has little or no inclusion of Native American art which Gibson provides comparable weight and equivalence.

Gibson’s artworks are in the permanent collections of many major art museums, including the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Smithsonian, the National Gallery of Canada, the Nasher, the Nerman, Crystal Bridges, and the Denver Art Museum. Recent solo exhibitions include SCAD Museum of Art (Savannah and Atlanta), the National Academy Museum in New York, The Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, and the Cornell Museum of Fine Art. The Denver Art Museum will mount a traveling mid-career survey in the Spring of 2018, to be followed by a smaller solo exhibition at the Ruth and Elmer Wellin Museum of Art in the fall of 2018. He has participated in Greater New York, Prospect New Orleans, the Everson Biennale, and Site Santa Fe. Gibson is a member of the faculty at Bard College and a past TED Foundation Fellow and Joan Mitchell Grant recipient. He is represented by MARC STRAUS (NYC).

Posted in VALS Fall 2016 | Comments Off on Tuesday, October 25th: Jeffrey Gibson

Tuesday, October 18th: Leeza Meksin in conversation with Wayne Koestenbaum


Leeza Meksin is an interdisciplinary artist, who makes paintings, installations, public art and multiples. Born in the former Soviet Union, she immigrated to the United States with her family in 1989. Meksin received a MFA from The Yale School of Art, a BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a joint BA/MA in Comparative Literature from The University of Chicago. She has exhibited her work at Regina Rex Gallery (2011, 2014), Airplane Gallery (2014), Primetime (2013), Adds Donna (2011) and Thomas Erben Gallery (2009). Meksin has created site-specific installations at The Utah Museum of Contemporary Art, UMOCA (2016), The Kitchen, NYC (2015), BRIC Media Arts, Brooklyn (2015), Brandeis University, Waltham (2014), the former Donnell branch of the New York Public Library, NYC (2011), and in a National Endowment for the Arts funded project in New Haven, CT (2012). Her work has been featured in BOMB magazine, TimeOut Chicago, Chicago Tribune and many other publications.  She is the recipient of the Rema Hort Mann Foundation Emerging Artist grant (2015) and the co-founder of Ortega y Gasset Projects, a gallery and artist collective in Brooklyn, NY. Her website can be found here.


Photo by Katherine McMahon

Wayne Koestenbaum has published eighteen books of poetry, criticism, and fiction,including Notes on Glaze, The Pink Trance Notebooks, My 1980s & Other Essays, Hotel Theory, Best-Selling Jewish Porn Films, Andy Warhol, Humiliation, Jackie Under My Skin, and The Queen’s Throat (a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist). Koestenbaum has had solo exhibitions of his paintings at White Columns (New York), 356 Mission (Los Angeles), and the University of Kentucky Art Museum. He has given musical performances at The Kitchen, REDCAT Gallery, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the Whitney Museum of American Art; this fall he will perform at the Centre Pompidou and the Walker Art Center. His first solo record, Lounge Act, will be issued by Ugly Duckling Presse Records in Fall 2016. He has also written the libretti for two operas, Michael Daugherty’s Jackie O and Mohammed Fairouz’s Pierrot. Koestenbaum’s essays and poetry have appeared in The Best American Essays, The Best American Poetry, The New York Times, The New Yorker, London Review of Books, Artforum, The Paris Review, Harper’s, The Believer, Süddeutsche Zeitung, Cabinet, and many other periodicals and anthologies. Winner of a Whiting Award, he has taught at Yale (in the English department as well as in the School of Art’s painting department), and is a Distinguished Professor of English, Comparative Literature, and French at the CUNY Graduate Center in New York City.

Posted in VALS Fall 2016 | Comments Off on Tuesday, October 18th: Leeza Meksin in conversation with Wayne Koestenbaum