Currently Browsing: Elisa Shoenberger
I had the opportunity to see Chicago-based exhibition space Wrightwood 659’s Difference Machines: Technology and Identity in Contemporary Art that showcases the work of 17 contemporary artists about technology and art. One of the pieces that particularly hit me was Artistic Technologist (or TechNerd) Danielle Brathwaite-Shirley’s video game piece WE ARE HERE BECAUSE OF THOSE THAT ARE NOT (2020). … read more.
Art and politics can be a mixed bag. Art with political messages can be truly powerful and may inspire change. And it can be derided as mere propaganda. I’m inclined to agree with George Orwell’s famous quotation “all art is propaganda.” It’s just a matter of how overt the political message is (and absence of political ideas is also a political choice).… read more.
Spanish-born painter Remedios Varo would have appreciated the synchronicity of it all.
Earlier this year, I read Claire McMillan’s wonderful new novel Alchemy of a Blackbird (about Remedios Varo’s relationship with her fellow artist Leonora Carrington). Tarot cards feature strongly in Claire’s text as Remedios learns how to read them, so it had to be the perfect alignment of stars and planets when, during my subsequent interview with Claire for FF2 Media, she told me that the Art Institute of Chicago – my hometown art museum – would be opening an exhibition on Remedios Varo the very next month.… read more.
When most people think of women and surrealism, they inevitably think of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. But Frida wasn’t the only female artist working in dreamscapes (or nightmare escapes) in Mexico. Spanish painter Remedios Varo and English artist Leonora Carrington also found refuge in Mexico after running from the Nazis in Vichy-occupied France.… read more.
The idea of infinity used to scare me. The idea that things just keep going—without stopping and without meaning—brought out a little bit of nihilism in me. Then I saw the work of Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama. Her aptly named “Infinity Rooms” moved me to wonder and joy.
Yayoi fills a mirror-walled room with some kind of sculpture (whether it is her iconic yellow and black polka-dotted pumpkin, or sometimes just strings of lights).… read more.
Yan Ge’s fictional book Strange Beasts of China is making waves. The English translation by Jeremy Tiang came out last year, and the book was heralded as one of the New York Times Editors’ Choice and a Notable Book of 2021 and Washington Post’s Best Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror of 2021.
Strange Beasts of China is comprised of a series of interconnected stories about different “beasts” that the narrator encounters and researches in the fictional Chinese city of Yong’an.… read more.