Debra Thimmesch 15 posts
Debra Thimmesch is an art historian and critic, activist, independent researcher and scholar, writer, editor, and visual artist. She mentors graduate students in art history and is attuned to current endeavors to radically rethink, decolonize, and reframe the study and pedagogy of art history. Her work has appeared in Art Papers, The Brooklyn Rail, and Blind Field Journal.

Currently Browsing: Debra Thimmesch

Bertille Bak and the Almost Comic Futility of Most Labor

In the artificial gloaming of the galleries of the Jeu de Paume, Paris dedicated to artist Bertille Bak’s exhibition, “Abus de souffle” (“Out of Breath”), visitors wander into viewing areas, mid-video, with the awkwardness of late arrivals to the cinema. Screens go blank, speakers go silent, interludes allow for turnover or for settling in.read more.

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Bothered, Bewildered: Wellcome Collection’s “The Cult of Beauty”

Perhaps it was neither a matter of coincidence nor irony that the last stop, the final artwork in the Wellcome Collection’s, “The Cult of Beauty” exhibition in London, was a nearly-ten-foot-tall sculpture of the cumulative ephemera of the artist’s mother’s life. Resembling a static tornado bursting with detritus, the piece consists of a plethora of items such as articles of clothing, personal effects, decorative objects, and more.read more.

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Homelessness Through the Lens of Photographer Leah den Bok

Visitors to the Mütter Museum in Philadelphia expect to feel uncomfortable at the very least. A museum of science and medical history, the Mütter displays only a fragment of the over-37,000 objects in its collection: specimens, antique medical equipment, and wax models. Among other infamous specimens, the museum retains a cancerous tumor that was excised from President Grover Cleveland’s hard palate, thoracic tissue from the assassin of President Abraham Lincoln, John Wilkes Booth, and a shared liver from the American conjoined twins, Chang and Eng Bunker. read more.

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Mounira Al Solh at Artes Mundi 10: “We Had Hope in Change”

Lebanese artist, Mounira Al Solh grew up in the midst of intense conflict. A child of Beirut, born in the context of a protracted Lebanese Civil War (1975-90), daily struggles and quotidian joys alike were set constantly against a backdrop of violence and destruction with intermittent, tense, and all-too-rare periods of ceasefire making space for everyday life. read more.

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From Analog to Digital: Barbara Kruger in the 21st-Century

Has any artwork so succinctly encapsulated the discourse concerning the objectification of women in art (through the ages) as Barbara Kruger’s Untitled (Your gaze hits the side of my face)? In this 1981 photo and text montage, arguably one of the seminal images encapsulating key concerns of second-wave feminism, the marble visage of a female classical sculpture turns to the side to absorb contact – to take the impending “hit.”read more.

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Jessica Campbell’s Heterodoxy and American Proto-Feminism

Amidst the smoke and amiable din of Polly’s, a popular Greenwich Village restaurant on MacDougal Street, a group of New York City women met in 1912 to form a feminist club called “Heterodoxy.” The typical denizens of Polly’s were bohemians, anarchists, artists, writers, actors, and so forth, including Emma Goldman and Sherwood Anderson.read more.

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