Twenty Years Later, Returning to a Pioneering Black Lesbian Film / Hyperallergic

It’s the 1990s when a young, ambitious filmmaker goes on the hunt for “the Watermelon Woman,” a black actress who played mostly mammy roles in 1930s and ’40s Hollywood films. So goes the plotline for The Watermelon Woman, a movie by Cheryl Dunye, a black, lesbian filmmaker who seems to have named and modeled her main character after herself. Shot […]

Supercharged Sex and Corporate Control in a Queer Erotic Novel / Hyperallergic

In Lex Brown’s book My Wet Hot Drone Summer, #4 in the Badlands Unlimited New Lovers series (Hyperallergic previously reviewed #1), the artist/writer looks at a world not unlike our own, where sex, surveillance, and loss of privacy are intertwined in a commodified world of power dynamics ruled by a fictional corporation by the name of […]

A Filmmaker Probes the Magic and Madness of Female Adolescence / Hyperallergic

LOS ANGELES — As a woman who was once a teenage girl, I have a certain fondness for any filmic or visual art that harkens back to that time of intense, unbridled feelings, awkward physical changes, and sexual desires running wild ’n free. Now that I am far from my adolescent days, I have more emotional tools […]

Inhabiting Other People’s Recorded Memories / Hyperallergic

“I turned the computer on and began to write — all the details of our story, everything that still remained in my memory,” writes the author dubbed Elena Ferrante in her book My Brilliant Friend. This is how the narrator begins her four-part story about a lifelong friendship: with the fascinating concept of dumping out all […]

Breathing Life into a High-Tech, Glowing Sphere / Hyperallergic

Back in the late ’90s, I considered going to raves. There were kids at my high school wearing jelly bracelets, wide-legged JNCO skater jeans, and last night’s eyeliner and mascara, smeared and stained. In our 9am homeroom class I could see the multi-colored, ever-flashing lights of last night’s rave bouncing off my classmates’ whites, the power transcendent and […]

From Cum Shots to Orgasmic GIFs, a Playful Take on Virtual Sex / Hyperallergic

Faith Holland’s show TECHNOPHILIA at Transfer Gallery left me wanting more, kind of like I imagine a good dick pic would. Of course, like any sexualized image sent between two consenting parties, it’s not about the image — it’s about the energy activated between sender and receiver, two participants in a virtual fantasy space. The […]

California Artists Address Coast-to-Coast Political Struggles // Hyperallergic

What goes West must always return East because New York is still the center of the American art market. California has gone on a cross-country road trip to New York City with the exhibition Left Coast: California Political Art. On view through May 30 at the City University of New York (CUNY) Grad Center’s James Gallery, a space across from the […]

Performance Artists Use Stand-Up Tropes, but Not For Laughs / Hyperallergic

LOS ANGELES — There’s nothing funny about art. Writing art criticism is a serious endeavor. But at some point, the performance of professionalism in the art world just started to feel like one big joke, and I began noticing a crossover between the art and comedy worlds. Artists, like stand-up comics, were poking fun at their audiences […]

An Aquatic Video Performance Immerses Us in the California Drought / Hyperallergic

LOS ANGELES — Imagine you are trying to get dressed underwater but every time you lift your arms the water you’re wading through pulls them back down. Like a blinded, injured fish you want to sink into the abyss of your tank and just flounder. You can see the chlorine-blue water but can’t see through it. Currently […]

Your Art Entertainment Experience Is Here! / Hyperallergic

MONTRÉAL — In the 24/7 news cycle of BuzzFeed, the Huffington Post, and every other “content producer” on the internet, there is a fine line between news and entertainment. In the group exhibition You Won’t Believe (. . .): A Group Exhibition about Entertainment at Division Gallery in Montréal, Québec, curator Loreta Lamargese appropriates the now-iconic Buzzfeed […]