In this issue, Border Crossings looks at contemporary artists who use film and photography as a means of reinterpreting the image and re-reading history. Understandably, the work is political. At a time when much of what we see seems draped in ambiguity and fear, the lens becomes a tool through which we look with an ever vigilant and critical eye. This issue reflects on the interpretation of the image and how re-reading history challenges some of the assumptions, prejudices and complacencies that endure.
In our Interviews, Border Crossings looks at the politically charged work of Iranian artist Shirin Neshat and Dutch artist Lidwien van de Ven. Shirin Neshat’s work touches on the tradition of Iranian mysticism, where melancholy is elevated and beauty is paired with loss and suffering. Her work, though politically infused, opens to multiple interpretations, reaching toward universal conditions. Commissioned by Ricardo Muti to direct a new production of Verdi’s, Aida, Neshat’s re-reading of the work presents a contemporary/historical view. It is one that challenges our traditional concept of victim and victor. Ancient Egypt becomes a hybrid through her conception and allows us to look at that world from our current conflicted state.
Aida will be performed at the Salzburg Festival this July and August. Additionally, Shirin Neshat has two exhibitions opening this summer. “Dreamers” runs from May 19 – June 17, 2017 at the Gladstone Gallery in New York and “The Home of My Eyes,” is presented at the Museo Correr in the Piazza San Marco from May 10 to October 31 as part of the 57th Venice Biennale.
We also interview photographer Lidwien van de Ven, whose photographs are taut with political tension, although her lens is more than photojournalistic. “I go to places where I want to witness what is happening,” she states. “It is not about imposing my statement and my message, but to activate what is going on among the field of narratives, the image and the viewer.“ Van de Ven captures the ambiguity inherent in complex cultural situations.
In our articles, Stephen Horne looks at the recent work of New York-based Canadian artist Moyra Davey in “Taking Seed in Words: Moyra Davey.” Her domestic spaces reiterate the interiority of her diaristic reflections and style. In many of her videos, Davey borrows citations from artists she admires while maintaining an ethic of responsibility in the stories she reinterprets.
And James Campbell discusses the work of Françoise Sullivan in “The Dancer Inside,” a painter with equal footing in dance and choreography. Sullivan was one of the founding members of Quebec’s historic avant-garde Automatiste movement, and one of the signatories of that group’s 1948 manifesto, the Refus global which included a transcript of her celebrated lecture, “La Danse et L’espoir. “
Also in this Issue:
Border Crossings interviews New York based, Irish-born artist Les Levine, an early originator of media art.
Nancy Tousley discusses Adad Hannah’s re-making of The Raft of Medusa, a dramatic 19th-century painting by Théodore Géricault in “History’s Collagist.”
And Shep Steiner discusses the pleasures of pragmatism in the work of American Conceptualist Fred Sandback.
Border Crossings’ Crossovers include reviews on painter Eliza Griffiths, artists David Armstrong Six, Kai Althoff, photographers Josef Sudek, Thaddeus Holownia, as well as Cy Twombly, Wim Delvoye, and many more…