Announcing 2021 Artist2Artist Fellows
Art Matters Foundation is pleased to announce the pilot year of a new regranting program titled Artist2Artist, where our grant recipients — artists — act as grant-makers. Last year, Art Matters expanded its definition of artist by recognizing a broader category of culture workers, granting support to people organizing mutual aid, community engagement, and alternative support structures for artists. Building on this shift, Artist2Artist represents a new approach to giving by entrusting artists to activate Art Matters’ mission of assisting artists breaking ground aesthetically and socially. This evolving horizontal model of granting is created to affirm artists’ specialized knowledge of their communities.
Congratulations to our 2020 Grantees!
Art Matters is pleased to announce the recipients of its 2020 grants. The Foundation awarded 37 fellowships of 5,000 USD each to individual artists and collective teams working in contemporary art and performance.In this year of pandemics and protests, Art Matters engaged an internal process that eschewed application labor for artists and supported both past grantees as well as new artists whose ongoing work continues to inspire and resonates with our mission. We celebrate these artists' expression of values as Queer/Trans/Black/Indigenous/People of Color (QTBIPOC), incarcerated populations, undocumented folks, immunocompromised and/or disabled people, healers, activists, and ancestors. We want to amplify their voices and visions for radical possibilities.
2020 Mutual Aid Support
In May 2020, in response to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on artists and their communities...
We at Art Matters stand in solidarity with our grantees, with protesters on the streets and all people mobilizing in their communities to defend Black life.
Announcing New Board Members
Art Matters is pleased to announce the election of four new members to its board of directors...
New additions to our library!
Check out our updated Relevant Links page featuring a selection of essays, articles, books, video and audio links...
Art Matters grantees discuss aspects of research, process and experience related to their practices.
"Having been born and raised in El Paso it was important for me to confront and reorient the current broadcast, drawing upon local signs and histories from the past to confront this present." (Excerpt)
"Shimoda's legacy not only challenges traditional narratives of wartime history that emphasize heroism, masculinity, conformity, and assimilation– but also opens up space for exploring gender and sexual subversion." (Excerpt)
"These questions lead me to focus on the people and moments in Black American history which had also become invisible and which I aimed to explore in a series of short films, American Rhapsody, some driven by narrative and others told more abstractly."(Excerpt)
"What are we doing when we sing together? Some initial ideas: We are casting spells (hexing shit, invoking shit, turning some shit into some other shit, alchemy), making speech acts, doing something somatic, physical, embodied. (Excerpt)
"The goal was to create a monument of futility that mocks the concept of borders, particularly, their fortification, militarization and marginalization of peoples and cultures." (Excerpt)
Nina Katchadourian with Laurel Braitmen
"There were many thoughtful stories, some tears, and an impromptu skit of whale mating role play performed by a mother and son in our group."
"If painting is not just a gesture but is a language -and is a language that I believe is not medium- specific - then in truth, the materiality of what I refer to as ‘ooze’ can be an inherently conceptual feature /directive/ charge in time, or space and place." (Excerpt)
A continually expanding selection of essays, articles, books, and video and audio links that cover an array of subjects relevant to the works and ideas of Art Matters grantees.
Intimate Inter-actions: Returning to the Body in One to One Performance
"One body to an-other. Spanning time, sharing space, marking place, blending breath, sensing touch. An emerging inter-face addresses both parties in this mise-en-scene of togetherness. The function and development of the encounter is reliant upon shared economies of exchange, identification and understanding."
*Recommended by grantee Sandra Haydee Alonso
Good riddance to California's 'mission project'
Last September, the State of California suspended the mandate that all Californian fourth-graders work on a "Mission project." And even though this decision is a move in the right direction considering that the project was focused on having students build replicas of the various Missions, the mainstream media (the LA Times in this example) used mild language in their reporting: "... the impending death of the fourth-grade "mission project," the assignment given to thousands of California schoolchildren over the years to construct models of the historic pre-statehood religious structures that were, in real life, built by Spanish missionaries using forced Native American sweat labor." NOTE: Sweat labor has a completely different connotation than slavery. Onward.
*Recommended by grantee Judith Walgren
Castro Street, 1966
"Castro Street (1966) is a visual nonstory documentary film which uses the sounds and sights of a city street -- in this case, Castro Street near the Standard Oil Refinery in Richmond, California -- to convey the street's own mood and feel. There is no dialogue in this non-narrative experimental film."
*Recommended by grantee Tina Takemoto
This Mortal Coil: the Human Body in History and Culture
This Mortal Coil: the Human Body in History and Culture by Fay Bound Alberti; 2016 examines the cultural history of how we understand our bodies.
*Recommended by grantee Dario Robleto
Queens of the Night
Queens of the Night, Xina Xurner featuring San Cha, Sarah Gail, & White Boy Scream, 2018.
Xina Xurner is a LA-based band that combines DIY and power electronics, mutated vocals, and bad drag performance. Their music combines a variety of genres (including happy hardcore, industrial, noise, disco), to create diva-dance anthems that evoke a sense of death, decay, and transformation.
*Recommended by grantee Young Joon Kwak
Abject Performances: Aesthetic Strategies in Latino Cultural Production
In Abject Performances Leticia Alvarado draws out the irreverent, disruptive aesthetic strategies used by Latino artists and cultural producers who shun standards of respectability that are typically used to conjure concrete minority identities. In place of works imbued with pride, redemption, or celebration, artists such as Ana Mendieta, Nao Bustamante, and the Chicano art collective known as Asco employ negative affects—shame, disgust, and unbelonging—to capture experiences that lie at the edge of the mainstream, inspirational Latino-centered social justice struggles. Drawing from a diverse expressive archive that ranges from performance art to performative testimonies of personal faith-based subjection, Alvarado illuminates modes of community formation and social critique defined by a refusal of identitarian coherence that nonetheless coalesce into Latino affiliation and possibility.
*Recommended by grantee Xandra Ibarra
Venus in Two Acts
"Venus in Two Acts" by Saidiya Hartmann was published in 2008 and examines the ubiquitous presence of Venus in the archive of Atlantic slavery and wrestles with the impossibility of discovering anything about her that hasn’t already been stated. As an emblematic figure of the enslaved woman in the Atlantic world, Venus makes plain the convergence of terror and pleasure in the libidinal economy of slavery and, as well, the intimacy of history with the scandal and excess of literature. In writing at the limit of the unspeakable and the unknown, the essay mimes the violence of the archive and attempts to redress it by describing as fully as possible the conditions that determine the appearance of Venus and that dictate her silence.
*Recommended by grantee Michelle Dizon
An online archive of work made by women of color using art and technology. BSC member Anna Luisa Petrisko is featured here. Curated and designed by Lauren Valley, 2018.
*Recommended by grantee Black Salt Collective
The Spook Who Sat by the Door (trailer), 1973
Based on the novel of the same name, the film takes place in the 1970s. It follows the protagonist Dan Freeman, the first black CIA agent, who leaves the force to train black "Freedom Fighters" in Chicago.
*Recommended by grantee EJ Hill
Critical Eye: Doxing the Modern
Writer and art historian Mostafa Heddaya examines the challenges of linguistic translation in the field of modern and contemporary art.
*Recommended by grantee Gelare Khoshgozaran
Adrienne Maree Brown, 2005-present (blog)
Personal blog of writer, social justice facilitator, pleasure activist, healer, and doula Adrienne Maree Brown
*Recommended by grantee Tunde Olaniran
Is Prison Necessary? Ruth Wilson Gilmore Might Change Your Mind
The article speaks to prison abolition, the importance in understanding how systemic oppression functions, and how critical it is to imagine a more humane present and future through a world without prisons.
*Recommended by grantee Maria Gaspar
Which side are you on? #Asians4BlackLives confronts anti-black prejudice in Asian communities
A group of San Francisco-based Asian-American activists ask theircommunities to join #BlackLivesMatter in solidarity.
*Recommended by grantee Betty Yu
Seeing Power: Socially Engaged Art in the Age of Cultural Production
Creative Time chief curator Nato Thomson interrogates the implications of social networking and the overabundance of image production on the socially-engaged art community.
What Is Common to All of Us? Redefining Black Male Identity
Drawing from his transmedia project “Question Bridge: Black Males,” the artist Hank Willis Thomas examines the racial context of the 2012 killing of Jordan Davis as the man who shot the 17-year-old Florida resident, Michael Dunn, is retried for murder.
Shades of Red: Enterprise Culture and Social Practice Art, a Love Story?
An incisive look at the ‘cultural turbulence’ of what hasbeen termed, political art, activist art, interventionist art, collectivizedart, socially engaged/ relational/participatory/dialogical art.
Positively Protest Aesthetics Revisited
The curator and critic Sheikh discusses the relationshipbetween picturing and politicking and asks “how to makerepresentations political without being caught up in the politics ofrepresentation?”
Critical Identity Politics
XTRA: Contemporary Art Quarterly 11:1
A seminal history of identity politics in the arts focusing on the legacies of Felix Gonzales Torres, Adrian Piper and Kori Newkirk
Learning How to Die in the Anthropocene
The article chronicles the language andphilosophical positions of global warming and how we arrived at the term ‘Anthropocene’.
*Recommended by grantee Janet Biggs
Assuming a Body: Transgender and Rhetorics of Materiality
Salamon considers questions oftransgendered embodiment via phenomenology psychoanalysis, and queer theory.
A collectionof essays that examines complexrelationships inside art, culture, political economy, immaterial production,and the public realm today
We Who Feel Differently
A project by 2007 grantee Carlos Motta that includes anonline journal, a database of interviews, a book, and other resources on themesrelating to queer culture, from critical perspectives on marriage equality toHIV/AIDS now.
Lee considers the ‘three phases’ of queer sexuality in thearts since the Aids Crisis and how might representation be currently at stake.
Seeing differently : a history and theory identification and the visual arts
Jones offers a rebuttal to the claim that we are beyondidentity politics and chides the art world for making facileproclamations about post-feminism, post-queer, and post-black identities inexhibitions that are designed to cater to phobia about the deleterious effectsof political correctness.
From Jamaica to Minnesota to Myself
One of the most successful writers from Jamaica comes out inthe New York Times.
*Recommended by grantee Simone Leigh
The 3 Ecologies
This is one of the final works published by Guattari thatdeals with three interconnected networks inspired by the ideas of GregoryBateson: the mind, society and the environment.
*Recommended by grantee Yoshua Okon
Subject to Display: Reframing Race in Contemporary Installation Art
The Art of Political Murder
A non-fiction, absurdist thriller written by a novelist andtakes place in 1980s cold-war Guatemala.
*Recommended by grantee Yoshua Okon
Artists Chitra Ganesh and granteeartist Mariam Ghani of the experimental archive Index of the Disappeared,present audio recordings from the “Radical Archives” conference, which theyorganized at New York University in April as part of the Index’s 2013–14residency at NYU’s Asian/Pacific/American Institute.
A Defense of Marriage Act: Notes on the Social Performance of Queer Ambivalence
Grantee Malik Gaines of My Barbarian, discusses the subjectof ‘positionality’ and ambiguity in his own performative work.
Don’t You Know Who I Am? Art After Identity Politics
London-based writer and curator Nav Haq reflects on thecurrent status of art after identity politics.
On the Iconoclasm of ISIS
This article from writer and translator, Elliott Colla explores the iconoclasm of ISIS and "object veneration" which relates closely to the role of encyclopedic museums in contemporary culture.
*Recommended by grantee Kamrooz Aram
Gender on Ice: American Ideologies of Polar Expeditions
Bloom’s book focuses on the conquest ofthe North Pole and how visual media defined and shaped American nationalideologies from the early twentieth century to the present.
*Recommendedby grantee Janet Biggs.
As We Were Saying: Art and Identity in the Age of “Post"
Writer and curator, Claire Barliant reflects on the use of‘post’ in identity politics.
Hold It Against Me: Difficulty and Emotion in Contemporary Art
Art Matters: How the Culture Wars Changed America
Edited by Brian Wallis, Marianne Weems, and Philip Yenawine
In 1997, with help of the Lannan Foundation, Art Matters produced Art Matters: How the Culture Wars Changed America, an edited volume of essays and projects addressing visual art in the 1980s and 1990s and related debates on social identity, public morality, communal values, and freedom of expression.
The book includes contributions by: Julie Ault, Douglas Crimp, David Deitcher, Richard Elovich, Andrea Fraser, Coco Fusco, Holly Hughes, Lewis Hyde, Lucy Lippard, Kobena Mercer, Martha Rosler, Kathleen M. Sullivan, Carol S. Vance, Michele Wallace, David Wojnarowicz, Philip Yenawine, and George Yudice.