A Tale of Two Modernisms

Mira Schendel (Brazilian, born Switzerland. 1919–1988) Untitled. 1964. Oil and tempera on composition board and wood, 57 7/8 × 44 7/8 × 13/16″ (147 × 114 × 2 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of Patricia Phelps de Cisneros through the Latin American and Caribbean Fund in honor of Andrea and José Olympio… Continue reading A Tale of Two Modernisms

Viet Thanh Nguyen’s The Sympathizer (2015)

Viet Thanh Nguyen's novel begins The Sympathizer with a riddle “I am a spy, a sleeper, a spook, a man with two faces”. What is he? Might we ask. The line was spoken by a double agent working for the North Vietnamese Communists as well as for the United States during and shortly after the… Continue reading Viet Thanh Nguyen’s The Sympathizer (2015)

Midsommar (Ari Aster, 2019)

Ari Aster's debut feature Hereditary was celebrated as if one had reinvented slice bread. I was skeptical but he was someone who had something interesting to say. He was able to articulate that interesting thing in Midsommar. The horror genre was being reinvented; a good thing but its not slice bread. The promotion materials made… Continue reading Midsommar (Ari Aster, 2019)

Documents of Dissent

 „Freiheit ist immer die Freiheit des Andersdenkenden""Freedom is always, and exclusively, freedom for dissenters.” ― Rosa Luxemburg Minerva Cuevas at Videobrasil Photo: Contemporary Art Daily The artistic practice of Minerva Cuevas invests on the motif of dissent against the powers that be. She has collected material on public resistance in Mexico City for over a… Continue reading Documents of Dissent

Defacement painting as memorial

The Guggenheim exhibition has achieved for Basquiat's Defacement (1983) a level of relevance achieved by few paintings: a memorial to violence with potency to comment on our current social crisis. Jean-Michel Basquiat – Defacement (The Death of Michael Stewart), 1983. Photograph: Allison Chipak/Collection of Nina Clemente, New York Picasso’s Guernica and Goya’s Third of May… Continue reading Defacement painting as memorial

Tales for winter nights

Reading some of Olga Tokarczuk greatest hits Polish author Olga Tokarczuk once compared her books to music videos. This analogy applies both to her collection of short stories and novels: They are self-contained, and the narratives are dense and short, so there is not even a moment of digression. The narratives vividly construct imaginative vignettes of ordinary… Continue reading Tales for winter nights