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Madeleine Seidel

Madeleine Seidel is a curator and writer based in Brooklyn. She has previously worked at the Whitney Museum of American Art and Atlanta Contemporary. Her writing on film, performance, and the art of the American South has been published in Art Papers, Frieze, and others.

Tiona Nekkia McClodden: Hold on, let me take the safety off

You are hit first by the contrast. The clinical white of the gallery walls behind the black leather and paint draw in and repel—equal and opposite forces. Within the freeing constraints of the gallery space, we are invited to explore an artistic vision of other types of freeing constraint: physical and psychological kinds, based off leather and trust and, most importantly, balance in pain and pleasure.

Martine Syms: Loot Sweets

Loot Sweets, on view at Bridget Donahue in New York until September 25, is a heady collage of found objects, paper scraps, and nostalgia that transforms into an uneasy meditation on consumption as a performance—on the things we buy, make, and throw away as an extension of self and culture.

Virtual Views: Video Lives

The selection of video art included here explores our digitally-driven moment by highlighting the fact that privacy and leisure are privileges not often extended to women, queer people, and people of color. Even though the exhibition is framed as an exploration of intimacy and technology, intimacy is not often afforded to these artists, whose emotional labor and identities are still contested within the domestic sphere.

Gabriel Rico: Of Beauty and Consolation

For Of Beauty and Consolation, Rico—who is currently based in Guadalajara—explores mortality and meaning in the modern era through large sculptural pieces that incorporate scientific motifs and found objects such as neon lights, antlers, and horseshoes.

fetch fiddle fidget: Adriana Farmiga, Daphne Fitzpatrick, Rune Olsen

The readymade has long been one of the art world’s most misunderstood tropes.

Emily Ludwig Shaffer & Françoise Grossen

In L’INCONNUE’s exhibition, Emily Ludwig Schaffer and Françoise Grossen demonstrate an understanding of the body and its discontents through space, medium, and surface texture. Their intertwined and intergenerational discourse on women, craft, and the act of creation comes to life through their immaculate use of materials, giving the term “body of work” an exciting and vital new meaning.

Madeline Hollander: Heads/Tails

A 2019 Whitney Biennial participant and professional choreographer, Madeline Hollander uses her impressive conceptual dance practice to analyze the ways in which humans interact within the mechanical trappings of modern society and urban landscapes.

Shuzo Azuchi Gulliver: Cinematic Illumination

For this MoMA exhibition, Gulliver and curator Sophie Cavoulacos bring Ginza to Manhattan, translating this vibrant installation to the museum space with intoxicating and transformative effect.

Xandra Ibarra: Forever Sidepiece

In the early 1980s, postcolonial theorist Homi Bhabha coined the term “fixity” to describe the motifs and symbols visual discourse has used to craft harmful stereotypes and establish the “difference” of minoritized communities. Usually involving references to supposed violence or sexual deviance by highlighting the physical body and its flesh, this covert language of images perpetuates prejudice against the Other. It is this visual lexicon that the Oakland-based artist Xandra Ibarra explores, parodies, and reclaims in her exhibition Forever Sidepiece, showing at Queens’s Knockdown Center through October 27.

Joy in Spite of Everything: Steve McQueen’s Small Axe

McQueen’s heartfelt and righteous Small Axe anthology explores the vitality of the UK’s Windrush generation of immigrants from Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, and other Carribean nations against the backdrop of a changing Britain from the 1960s to the ’80s.

Citizen Ghost: David Fincher's Mank

David Fincher's latest, Mank, an iconoclastic biopic of Citizen Kane screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz, proves that courageous, subtle, and smart filmmaking about Hollywood is still possible—and still able to expose the rot at the core of the industry.

190 Seconds in Lockdown: Usama Alshaibi & Adam Sekuler’s Cinema-19

Usama Alshaibi and Adam Sekuler’s omnibus film project examines filmmakers’ experiences in isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic, with some films facing the challenge head on and others through less conspicuous means.

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The Brooklyn Rail

NOV 2021

All Issues