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Contents for July 09, 2020

Weekly Spotlight, Tracie Morris, FF Alumn, now online at https://franklinfurnace.contentdm.oclc.org/digital/collection/p17325coll1/id/78/rec/93

Join us for this Weekly Spotlight on Tracie Morris' 1996 performance "Black to the Future” This performance art piece is one of the first innovative theatrical works at the beginning stages of Morris’ career, and is on the cusp of her renowned work of experimental poetics. This Franklin Furnace work- in-progress show presents some early indications of Morris' later trajectory in performance and poetic art. In this 40-minute piece, Morris weaves together poetry, music, storytelling, and page-based writing to address underlying stereotypes in black and brown science fiction characters in 1960s-90s popular culture.

Link: https://franklinfurnace.contentdm.oclc.org/digital/collection/p17325coll1/id/78/rec/93



1. Gylbert Coker, FF Alumn, new essay


Life in the greatest nation in the world is not going well. People are in the street demanding change. We need better healthcare, we want an end to the brutal murders of black people by the police, we need higher wages, we need better work hours; we need to stop showing Gone With The Wind.

Gone With The Wind? Yes. People are tearing down Confederate monuments and Gone With The Wind is a Confederate monument. HBO is trying to find another way. They want to continue to show the movie. They think perhaps a message declaring that Tara is a mythic plantation will work. There is a good way to do a thing and a bad way to do a thing and we know the difference. The good way to handle this situation is to stop showing the movie and file it along with Birth of a Nation in archives to be seen by scholars, film students, and film buffs. The bad way for handling the situation is to pretend the movie, showing happy enslaved blacks is not offensive.
Speaking of bad solutions, what is going on with the Guggenheim Museum? In 2019, Chaedria LaBouvier, became the first African American to curate a solo exhibition for the Guggenheim, “Basquiat’s Defacement: The Untold Story.” LaBouvier created an exhibition of Jean-Michel Basquiat’s work which gave the Guggenheim Museum an in-depth discussion of the artist’s work, through a black perspective, something that had never been done before. In this exhibition, LaBouvier revealed how Basquiat explored the struggle of black men’s survival in the brutal existence of the United States. The show ran for five months and had thousands of visitors.
Who is Chaedria LaBouvier? LaBouvier was born in 1982. She received her BA in history from Williams College in Massachusetts in 2007 and an MA in screenwriting from the University of California (UCLA) in 2014. As a journalist LaBouvier has written articles for high-end magazines. She grew up in Texas where her parents owned several Basquiat drawings. It was in her family home that LaBouvier developed a fascination for Basquiat.
In 2013, LaBouvier’s brother, Clinton Allen, who was unarmed, was shot seven times, and killed in a confrontation with a Dallas police officer. The death of her brother altered her life and the focus of her career in television. She joined her mother and cofounded Mother’s Against Police Brutality. As an advocate she fought against police brutality and wrote about police violence and its connection with American history, racism, politics, and culture .

Along with being an advocate against police violence, LaBouvier continued researching the art of Basquiat. She interviewed a former girlfriend of the artist, Kelle Inman, who mentioned one painting the artist was particularly proud of “Defacement.” She said he talked about it a lot . The painting, LaBouvier would discover was exceptional. Both the imagery and the context are unique. LaBouvier knew that this painting made it possible for her to combine her activism and years of research on Basquiat, into a vehicle for discussions about police brutality while at the same time honoring the loss of her brother.

The impetus for the painting was based upon an event that took place on September 15, 1983. At two in the morning Michael Stewart, a young African American graffiti artist, was waiting for the L train. He was 25 years old and was going home when he was stopped by a New York City transit officer and accused of scrawling graffiti on the wall of the First Avenue and 14th Street subway station in the East Village. Stewart was arrested and taken to the police station. He was beaten and kicked by as many as 11 police officers. The Associated Press reported: “About 45 minutes later he arrived bruised, bleeding, and comatose at Bellevue Hospital. He died 13 days later without regaining consciousness.” Six white cops faced charges related to Stewart’s death. All six were acquitted.

Basquiat and Stewart were familiar with one another. They may not have hung out, but they were in the same art circle. They had a similar look – slight, tall, brown skin, wild hair styles, and they traveled by night painting the walls with their graffiti. Upon hearing what had happened to Stewart, Basquiat, working with acrylic paint and marker, began painting directly on a wall in Keith Haring’s studio. The painting centers on a lone silhouetted figure with lines encircling the head in a manner of an angelic halo while two pink-faced cops stand on either side of the fallen figure with batons striking down. The painting, devoid of the usual crown or African mask, is awash with a large white area that feels like a scream for help or a call out for justice and the written word- DEFACIMENTO ©?

Shortly after Basquiat died of drugs in 1988, Haring cut the art out of his wall and placed it into an ornate frame and hung it above his bed. The painting went to Nina Clemente, Haring’s goddaughter, after he died of Aids in 1990.

LaBouvier exhibited the painting at the Williams College Museum of Art (WCMA) in a collaborative exhibition and lecture series. The first discussion featured Franklin Sirmans, the Director of Perez Art Museum Miami who co-curated the traveling exhibition, “Basquiat” (2005-2006) and authored several catalog essays on the artist and his work, and Jordana Saggese, Professor of American Art at the University of Maryland who wrote the book – Reading Basquiat: Exploring Ambivalence in American Art.

The WMCA installation and programming caught the attention of representatives of the Guggenheim Museum. The concept and context of the exhibition was fresh, contemporary with a richness of purpose. There followed several discussions between LaBouvier and the chief curator, Nancy Spector. Spector liked the possibilities of having an exhibition that connected with Black Lives Matter. LaBouvier, not having tangible curatorial credentials, liked the possibilities of taking her contextualization of the Basquiat painting and placing it onto a major art platform in which she could advocate for the lives of black people. The collaboration moved to the next level. Spector was the artistic director and chief curator, Joan Young was brought in as the director of curatorial affairs, and LaBouvier became the researcher and “black person.” What could possibly go wrong. According to LaBouvier, the assembling of the exhibition exposed fault lines that she attributed to the Guggenheim’s inexperience with black curators and their perspectives, especially regarding nuances of black life and identity.

Spector took LaBouvier’s concept and working with Defacement (The Death of Michael Stewart) as the focal point of the show developed a sensitive exhibition that included a selection of artwork that enhanced the story of police brutality. The inclusion of several of Basquiat’s paintings depicting police revealed the artist’s sustained engagement with state authority and its brutality. The self-portrait of the artist painted the same year as Defacement (The Death of Michael Stewart), was an indication that Basquiat was aware that he too, was a black artist navigating a predominately and often hostile white art world.

What went wrong? Somewhere within the creative process there was a failure to communicate. Spector was confident and secure in her curatorial knowledge and experience and we can see the result of her work in the design of the exhibition. But, perhaps, a point of creative contention might have occurred when Spector decided to broaden the context of the exhibition by showing an alliance among a circle of artists for whom Stewart was a peer. She included the work of Keith Haring’s – USA for Africa (1985), Andy Warhol’s screen printed “Headline” painting from 1983 incorporating a New York Daily News article on Stewart’s death, David Hammons’s stenciled print “The Man Nobody Killed” (1986), George Condo’s “Portrait of Michael Stewart (1983), and Lyle Ashton Harris’s photographic self-portrait “Saint Michael Stewart” (1994). Along with the paintings she added newspaper clippings, protest posters, and artworks from Stewarts estate. All together the exhibition included twenty paintings and objects that underscored the grieving community that created a moment in American art history.

It is a fact that in the 80-year history of the Guggenheim Museum, there has never been a black person hired to the curatorial position. One can remain polite and suggest that there was a failure to communicate. It is possible that Spector had not listened to LaBouvier speak about the murder of her brother by the police. Perhaps she had not made time to meet with LaBouvier’s mother, both women were (are) involved in the organization Mother’s Against Police Brutality? Most importantly Spector did not internalize that LaBouvier spent 15 years on this project. Let me say this again, 15 years. That tells me this project belongs to LaBouvier, handle with care.
Richard Armstrong, the Guggenheim’s director, suffering from the same sense of white supremacy as the museum itself, elected to remain aloof. Why did he not seek the advice of African American directors and curators, he must know a few. After the fact, Armstrong was quoted in one of the art journals noting that the museum was “slightly off-tempo” with respect to hiring African American curators and that efforts were underway to address the situation. Back in 1972 the manner in which I had been treated as the first black person to be hired into the administration staff was “slightly off-tempo” . Allowing a battle royal to take place between a guest curator and the Chief Curator is inexcusable.

Feeling the pain, the museum’s reflexive reaction was to rush to hire anybody, just find a black person. The museum representatives traveled to the borough of Brooklyn where they found Ashley James. James, assistant curator of contemporary art at the Brooklyn Museum had worked on “Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power. She was a Mellon Curatorial Fellow in the Museum of Modern Art’s Drawings and Prints Department, where she focused on retrospectives of the artists Adrian Piper and Charles White and held positions at the Studio Museum in Harlem and the Yale University Art Gallery . Nancy Spector rushed to embrace her stating that, “James’s work complements the Guggenheim’s mission to present the art of today.” Adding, “which we understand as a deep and expansive view of art history.” Really? Time will tell.

The arrival of Ashley James to the museum coincided with the friction between LaBouvier and the museum. Not a good look. The subtext to the confrontation – LaBouvier the bad ungrateful black woman with attitude verses James the good grateful black woman who will not cause any problems and will be both a shield to the museum and a credit to her race. Again, time will tell. One thing is clear at this moment, James is alone in the Guggenheim. She has no support. She is surrounded by white people whose white superiority will drown her and glue her mouth shut. She will be “the” black scholar who will be expected to produce exhibitions about black art. What happens if she, like Kynaston McShine wants to discuss contemporary art or wants to revisit modernism or post modernism. What happens if she wants to produce an exhibition with the work of Jackson Pollack and Norman Lewis? Who will support her vision?

Let us not forget that Kynaston McShine worked at the Museum of Modern Art in the Department of Painting and Sculpture for over twenty years and during that time he produced a series of small exhibitions in his Projects Series. The exhibitions were good but small. Back in 1966 when he was the curator at the Jewish Museum he produced, Primary Structures: Younger American and British Sculptors, a survey of Minimalist Art. It was an exhibition that showed great promise. The groundbreaking show was restaged at the Jewish Museum in 2014.

Meanwhile, at the Museum of Modern Art, McShine went from being an Associate Curator until 1971. He then became Curator of Exhibitions from 1971 to 1984; Senior Curator from 1984-2001, Acting Chief Curator from 2001- 2003 and Chief Curator at Large from 2003 until he retired in 2008. So many titles and so few exhibitions with the exception of one major work, his 1970 International Survey of new conceptual art . Compare the lack of opportunity given to McShine to the overabundance of exhibitions developed by William Rubin whose most controversial work, Primitivism in Twentieth-Century Art: Affinity of the Tribal and the Modern, 1984, which he organized with the art historian Kirk Varnedoe was most definitely the ultimate discourse in white supremacy. In this exhibit, Rubin compared examples of African and Oceanic art with the art of the modern art that had been influenced by this work. Critics were appalled, decrying Rubin’s attempt to erase the intentionality and significance of African and Oceanic art.
But back to the battle continuing at the Guggenheim Museum. Usually, the chief curator writes an introductory statement to the catalog followed by an essay written by the guest curator and essays by other invited scholars. Here Spector wrote an essay titled: The Man Nobody Killed (borrowed from the David Hammons print). Who were the scholars LaBouvier wanted to include in the catalog ? What was that voice? Maybe she would have invited Franklin Sirmans to write an essay. Sirmans had written several articles on Basquiat and was part of LaBouvier’s original panel back at Williams College.

In a New York Times articles LaBouvier stated that she had been cut out of decisions on how the exhibition was to be presented and that her research had been shortchanged. By the time the exhibition had drawn to a close, the hostility between Spector and Labouvier was raw. As one article in AFROPUNK noted, one of the great successes of the exhibition was to force the art business to re-examine how art history promotes a white supremacist narrative which is why Specter decided not to continue to engage LaBouvier during the creative process of developing the exhibition and, especially not including her in the closing panel discussion on the weekend of November 5th – a panel discussion which was antithetical to what “Basquiat Defacement” was intended to be. Advocate LaBouvier arrived to the gathering and refused to be silenced. She disrupted the panel declaring “You have a panel that is hoisted on the intellectual labor, that intellectual credibility, on the penultimate date of the exhibition and say that it’s not about the Basquiat show?” She marked Spector of silencing her voice while profiting off of her work .
The Guggenheim disaster exposed the racism that exists in the art business. Throughout the United States, museums are struggling with how art history is being presented. Many have released statements about racial injustice that are being criticized as “vague” or “throwaway” comments. At the Museum of Contemporary Art in Cleveland (MoCA), the director, Jill Snyder stepped down after 22 years as the gallery’s executive director because she could not justify her agreement to present the work of artist Shaun Leonardo. His “The Breath of Empty Space” was contextually and visually designed to deal with police brutality against Black and Brown boys and men. That Snyder did not have the strength of her own conviction that this was a voice that needed to be heard and this was the moment, showed in the museum’s decision to cancel the exhibition back in February without the knowledge of the artist.

The Getty Museum in Los Angeles apologized for its initial statement in response to the nationwide uprisings on twitter when the Getty president Jim Cuno wrote: “We heard you. Thank you. We learned that we can do much better expressing our Getty values than we did yesterday.” He continued, “We are outraged at the horrific death of George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis police, and at the violent deaths of far too many more Black Americans. We share the anguish of everyone in Los Angeles and the nation over yet another life senselessly taken.”
The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art came under scrutiny when it attempted to hide a critical comment on its Instagram post showing a Glenn Ligon artwork. Rather than mention the current unrest or the murder of George Floyd, the museum featured a quote by the artist – “Why do we need to raise our hands in that symbolic space again and again and again to be present in this country?” The museum has since apologized and echoed the Getty, saying – “we can do better.”

The Whitney Museum of American Art, a museum that had for decades identified itself as only the Whitney Museum because it did not want to acknowledge the aesthetic diversity that is American art, had a board member, vice chair Warren B. Kanders, the CEO of the defense company Safariland, a company that made tear gas canisters used against people protesting in the streets of Minneapolis. Kanders was forced off the board last summer after months of protests over his connections to arms manufacturing . This is the same museum that has struggled for decades with the lack of diversity in its curatorial staffing and how American art history is presented states on Twitter that- the museum “stands in solidarity with our community – staff, artists, neighbors, supporters, and visitors – and with protesters nationwide in denouncing racism and police brutality…The past is here with us, and it’s a pasts filled with racist violence, aggression, intimidation, and discrimination. Unless we face and address the past, there can be no future for any of us.”

The Association of Art Museums known for “Moonwalking” rules and regulations of diversity for museums for the past 30 years published a letter by its executive director, Chris Anagnos, “During this moment when the deep wounds of racism are again laid bare, it is hard not to be reminded of how many issues in our society are unresolved and unattended. And likewise, it reminds me how much work we all need to do to heal these divisions. As a community, I do not think art museums have done enough. We have dabbled around the edges of the work, but in our place of privilege we will never live up to the statement that “museums are for everyone” unless we begin to confront, examine, and dismantle the various structures that brought us to this point.”

And then the world of art does the “white thing” and turns to the major black institution, The National Museum of African American History and Culture where upon the Smithsonian secretary Lonnie G. Bunch rolls out a new, free, digital program, “Talking About Race,” comprising interviews and videos with activists and role-playing exercises on race, racial identity, bias, community building, and systems of oppression. Really? If I had known back in the 1980s that all we needed was a digital interactive program to “teach” the art world about racism I could have saved 30 years of advocacy.

The only US institution to take direct action amid the unrest has been Minneapolis’s Walker Art Center. The Center declared that it would no longer contract the Minneapolis Police Department for events until it “implements meaningful change by demilitarizing training programs, holding officers accountable for excessive use of force, and treating communities of color with respect.”
The art business is wealthy and powerful and dismisses criticism and the need to face change while at the same time hiring people of color and joining advocacy groups and posting platitudes of support. Why? According to Kelli Morgan, curator at Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields, they do it because it is purposeful. Morgan is mindful, as are we all, that within greater society, white-maleness has always been and still is considered to be “right” and to that end, curatorial practice is an understanding of the traditional art historic narrative and its maintenance within museum collections is more insidious than instructive .

Morgan lays out an entire process that she (meaning all people of color in the art business) must go through as she prepared to develop her exhibitions. In an article she wrote, she described how she prepared a check list for her exhibitions and lead hours of critical-race discourse both within the museum and in the broader arts community to prepare viewers for more culturally relevant content. And because many of her programs and exhibitions focused on anti-whiteness and contemporary social issues, she had to work for months within the institution just to build the structures needed to support her projects. Her hard work was an indication of how much collective anti-racism and inclusivity training is needed throughout the entire industry .

This brings us back to the Guggenheim Museum, specifically, but to most museums throughout the nation in general. If the museum’s permanent collection represents white people and celebrates European and Euro-American visual culture as “genius” and “universal” and the board of directors and 98% of the professional staff is white; if Black, Brown, and Asian presence in the institution is heavily reliant upon school groups, security and facilities staff, and only appears in the galleries as a one-off or an addendum; and when institutional procedures deliberately undermine, erase, and ignore the work of BIPOC (Black Indigenous, and People of Color) employees, why are institutions surprised that museum audiences are predominantly white?

The fight that occurred at the Guggenheim was a matter of arrogance. For Nancy Spector, Richard Armstrong, and COO, Elizabeth Duggal, the approach to Chaedria LaBouvier’s exhibition was the usual behavior in the art business, LaBouvier, like the African and Oceanic art in William Rubin’s art exhibition, was expendable. These people took her idea, her exhibition and they made it their own. LaBouvier had a catalog and she should be grateful. It never occurred to them that LaBouvier was not interested in a curatorial position at the museum. She had one mission and one mission only, to speak out against police brutality. The show was a scholastic success and offered a provocative look at Jean-Michael Basquiat the artist, the human being and how he understood police brutality and the difficulties of being a black artist in this hostile, white art world. As an institution the museum failed. The Guggenheim will forever be marked for its racist behavior and white supremacy. One wonders if Nancy Spector and Richard Armstrong now realize they missed a great historic moment. One wonders if the art business is seriously ready to begin to deconstruct the centrality of white-maleness in the discourse of art history. Is there, today, a real desire to re-imagine, integrate and transform art and culture into a holistic experience. Time will tell.



2. Clifford Owens, Shaun Leonardo, Dread Scott, FF Alumns, now online at youtube.com

Dear Friends and Colleagues:

I hope this finds you and your loved ones safe and well.

First of all, thank you very much for watching the ArtNet Talks "Art as an Act of Resistance" with Shaun Leonardo and Dread Scott, which I organized and moderated a couple of weeks ago. Since then, I've received wonderful messages of solidarity from many of you.

I've also been asked to share a video recoding of our conversation, which you can find below:


Looking forward!

All best,



3. Shaun Leonardo, FF Alumn, at Materials for the Arts online, July 16, and more

Race, Art & Identity
A Conversation with Shaun Leonardo
MFTA Third Thursday
Thursday, July 16
7:00pm - 8:00pm

Join us online for a live conversation with NYC artist Shaun Leonardo and MFTA Education Director John Cloud Kaiser. In his work, Leonardo explores systemic oppression and police violence against black and brown boys and men. In this presentation, he will share the motivation behind the drawings, videos, and performance art pieces he creates. In addition, he will discuss his Assembly program done in partnership with the nonprofit Recess, which provides training and creative employment opportunities for court-involved youth.

MFTA invites guests to attend this presentation, as we reflect upon race, equity, and systemic issues. Attendees may take part in the conversation, which will be live streamed to YouTube by submitting questions for Shaun Leonardo during the event.*

And please visit this link to a 3 minute radio program:


Thank you.



4. Pamela Sneed, FF Alumn, at Participant Inc. online July 19

Shrine: DJ Set, Poetry Reading, Public Discussion
Raymond Pinto, Serubiri Moses, Pamela Sneed, Jaime Shearn Coan, and Kojo Abudu
Sunday, July 19, 7pm EST / 4pm PST on Zoom

Shrine: DJ Set, Poetry Reading, Public Discussion, an evening of commemorations dedicated to Assotto Saint and Rotimi Fani-Kayode, conceived as a platform for re-memory and revisiting 1980s sexually dissident history in NYC.

This event relates to an upcoming archival exhibition and live performance, Notes on Exodus (working title) to be performed by Raymond Pinto and curated by Serubiri Moses. Notes on Exodus follows several months of archival research on Saint and Fani-Kayode at the Schomburg Archives in Harlem and other libraries in New York. The project is yet unfolding, in two parts, and will activate the exploration by both figures of African religious and spiritual practices, Vodou in Haiti, and Ifa in Nigeria. Drawing from primary sources such as letters exchanged between the two artists, the project will signal for action toward survival during the AIDS crisis. The project will explore loss, aesthetic re-connection and displacement, ritual ecstasy, and queer desire.

Assotto Saint was born in Les Cayes, Haiti, in 1957. Saint ran the pioneering poetry press, Galiens Press, NY, and published a poetry collection, Stations (New York: 1988). Rotimi Fani-Kayode was born in Nigeria in 1955. Fani-Kayode published a book of photographs, Black Male / White Male (London: 1988). Both lived in New York City in the 1980s, and exchanged letters after Fani-Kayode moved back to London.

The program includes: Raymond Pinto, performer, who has worked on Broadway and with various dance companies over the past five years; Serubiri Moses, independent writer, curator, editor, and faculty member at Hunter College; Pamela Sneed, renowned poet and author of the poetry and prose manuscript, Funeral Diva (2020); Jaime Shearn Coan, Ph.D., CUNY Graduate Center and Scholar-in-Residence at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture; and Kojo Abudu, critic, curator and researcher based between London, Lagos, and New York.

Zoom event link: https://zoom.us/j/98288951247

ASL is available by request for this event; please email lia@participantinc.org by Monday, July 13.



5. LAPD, FF Alumns, newsletter

Walk the Talk Archive, a people’s history of Skid Row LA, website Launch.
Designed by Robert Ochshorn and hosted by REDUCT Video.

The WALK the TALK Archive is now available on-line, celebrating SKID ROW VISIONARIES with interviews, performances, scripts, portraits, commentary.

This just launched, dedicated website provides on-line access to the Walk the Talk Archive, a people’s history of Skid Row Los Angeles. The website highlights initiatives by 68 people living and working in Skid Row, whose works from 1970 until today, have contributed to building the Skid Row neighborhood through active civic engagement and profound, visionary initiatives. These initiatives, and the many community members who’ve worked on them, have ensured the survival of Skid Row, Los Angeles a low-income residential neighborhood, the site of many indispensable social services and the place where recovery happens. Without their efforts Skid Row would have been bulldozed long ago and all its residents displaced with nowhere to go, and the services dismantled.

Walk the Talk, 2012-2020, Los Angeles Poverty Department’s biennial performance / parade was initiated to make this history visible. The project begins with a community nominating process and interviews of the honorees. Their words are shaped into scenes performed by LAPD during the performance /parade at each honoree’s work site. The parade is propelled through the streets of Skid Row by a New Orleans style brass band with visually arresting, artist designed portraits of each honoree held aloft by community members.

The website is created by artist / technologist Robert Ochshorn, and hosted on his company, Reduct Video’s platform, with all content from Walk the Talk. Robert Ochshorn has generated a uniquely navigable archive. It includes all the hour-plus interviews (both as transcripts and videos) of the 68 honorees. The site allows simultaneous video viewing and transcript reading of all the Walk the Talk honorees. By clicking on any word or paragraph in the transcript the video immediately jumps to that spot so that you can search through the interviews and performances. The entire site is searchable so that you can aggregate the thoughts of all honorees on any theme from ‘housing’ to ‘policing’ to ‘compassion’. And the archive includes scripts of all of the performances created from the interviews and presented in the biennial Walk the Talk parades.
The site is now live. For the next year we are inviting one scholar, community activist, or artist to engage with the site and generate a 5-minute response, that will be added to the site – as well as widely distributed via social media. The first response from ACLS-Mellon Society & Scholars Fellow and UCR history professor, Cathy Gudis is now available, with Ananya Roy, Director of UCLA’s Luskin School Center on Inequality & Democracy, and Street Symphony Director Vijay Gupta, and Vancouver housing activists of the Right to Remain Collective coming in July, August, September. They will be followed by Professor Michele Lancione of Urban Institute at Sheffield University, U.K., and Kim Welch, Professor of Theater, University of Missouri, St. Louis, in October and November with other responders yet to be determined for December 2010 through May 2021.

Walk the Talk is a peoples’ history of the community. LAPD tells the rest of the story, what you don’t hear elsewhere: the story of the community as told by the community. Walk the Talk supports LAPD’s larger social practice methodology, a body of acclaimed work widely acknowledged as “some of the most uncompromising political theater” (C. Carr, Artforum) and “Best political art shows” (Catherine Wagley, LA WEEKLY).

The website is made possible through the creativity and generous support of REDUCT Video, Inc. Walk the Talk, 2020 is made possible with support from The National Endowment for the Arts, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, The City of Los Angeles, Department of Cultural Affairs, the LA County Department of Arts and Culture and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.



5. Hector Canonge, FF Alumn, online July 10

As we navigate the waters of uncertainty and begin to confront the challenges of a new “normalcy,” and possibly a post-CV19 world, CHRONICLES of CONFINEMENT: Europa invites the global Performance Art community, and the public at large to join the conference this Friday, July 10th, 1:00 PM (NY Time), 6:00 PM (UK), 7:00 PM (Central European Time), and 8:00 PM (Eastern European Time).

RSVP (Registration in Advance Required ):
(After registering, you will receive an email with information for joining the webinar.)

CHRONICLES of CONFINEMENT: Europa is a continental conference and conversation panel featuring Performance Artists from eighteen European nations. Organized and moderated by artist Hector Canonge, the virtual program will explore and address the experiences, stories, and challenges that participating artists have faced while living in a world affected by the recent COVID19 pandemic. CHRONICLES of CONFINEMENT proposes to reflect on the present situation of Performance Art, and aims to establish much needed dialogue among its practitioners in order to foresee the future development and transformation of the discipline.

Yelena Myshko (Netherlands), Rokko Juhász (Slovakia-Hungary), Daniel Häller (Switzerland), Camilla Graff Junior (Denmark), Riccardo Matlakas (Italy-England), Ana Matey (Spain), Vaida Tamoševičiūtė (Lithuania), Dagmar I. Glausnitzer-Smith (Germany), Gilivanka Kedzior (France), Pablo Alvez (Portugal-Belgium), Annette Arlander (Finland), Nastya Belova (Russia), Branko Miliskovic (Serbia), Pierce Starre (England), Marita Isobel Solberg (Norway), Manuela Maroli (Italy), Noel Molloy (Ireland), Emilia Bouriti Syn Ergasia (Greece), and Gaby Bila-Günther (Romania-Germany).

Following the success of two previous initiatives: ARTFUL Performance Art Community Response to CV19 (May 30th), for performance artists residing in the five boroughs of New York City, and CRONICAS del ENCIERRO: Latinoamérica (June 21), where 17 Latin American artists convened virtually, Hector Canonge, organizer and moderator of the event, expanded the cycle to create new platforms for Europe (July 10th), Africa (July 24th), and Asia (July 31st). In recent interviews, Canonge stated:

Performance Art is about the BODY -our bodies- in time and space. Our physical presence is necessary to create, explore, experiment, and express our work in real time. Though there are other modalities derived from Performance Art’s physicality: video performance, photo performance, and virtual performance - now “zoom” performance - there is no adequate substitution for the experiential moment performance artists create while delivering their work to live audiences. The CV19 confinement has affected all corners of society including many fields of creative expression, centers of artistic dissemination, and naturally the practitioners of Live Arts. As performance artists, we have been greatly affected because our presentations in festivals and programs have been cancelled or postponed, residencies halted, and traveling is now almost impossible. The CHRONICLE of CONFINEMENT series will serve as one more testament of our living experiences during the period of confinement of the past several months.



6. Paul Zelevansky, FF Alumn, now online


“It’s not the pale moon,
that excites me.
That thrills and delights me.
Oh no, it’s just the
nearness of you."

(“The Nearness of You,” Hoagy Carmichael/Ned Washington)

Hoping you are well!

Here’s another walk upstairs...




PZ, 6/29/2020



7. Morgan O’Hara, FF Alumn, online throughout summer 2020



Monday June 29th 11-1pm (PST)
contact: danareason@gmail.com

The Old Stone House www.theoldstonehouse.org
Thursdays August 13 to September 17 from 12pm to 2pm (EDT)
contact: Maggie Weber, Director of Education

In collaboration with The Old Stone House in Brooklyn,
registration on: https://theoldstonehouse.org/education/resources/

tba: August 2020 / contact: mail@pratikmodi.com



8. Rae C Wright, FF Alumn, online July 18 and more

Rae C Wright led stellar casts (w/Cecil MacKinnon, Gerry Bamman, and Jim Carrington w/Giacoma Bonello on SD) in the first three Zoom-staged-readings of Ginger Strand’s series "TP for the PT” [Ten-minute Plays for the Pandemic Times].

Currently plays include Horoscopes by author Ginger Strand (The Brothers Vonnegut, Killer on the Road) and three by Deb Margolin, FF Alumn, Help Desk (Rae plays a credible Christopher Hitchens), Inalienable Rights, a piece commissioned by The Burning Coal Theatre Co. for their upcoming festival celebrating the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, and Act IV of "Time Is The Mercy of Eternity”, which will feature Danielle Skraastad & Rae C Wright and will be presented on July 18, @1pm EST. Contact TheatrePage@aol.com to request Zoom number, — to offer new 10 minute works for the series.



9. Perry Bard, FF Alumn, now online at https://artatatimelikethis.com/perry-bard

Please visit this link:


Thank you.



10. Terry Braunstein, FF Alumn, now online

Dear Friends,

As promised, I am writing to let you know that the Katzen has posted my Museum@Home talk with Jack Rasmussen on the website they created for my exhibition.


As many of you know, I was scheduled for a solo exhibition at the Katzen Museum in Washington, DC., opening on June 13th. This was to be the Who is She? exhibition, curated by Claudia Bohn-Spector and Sam Mellon, that was at the Long Beach Museum of Art several years ago along with newer works. In April, the Katzen announced that it was cancelling all shows due to the coronavirus.

In lieu of a physical show of my work, in an attempt to show the work of the artists scheduled during this time, they have created the webpage of my work (the link above), which I invite you to visit.

As always, I am grateful for your interest.

With my best regards,

Terry Braunstein



11. Vivian Babuts, FF Alumn, at Prattsville Art Center & Residency, thru July 29

Vivian Babuts is artist-in-residence at Prattsville Art Center & Residency throughout the month of July.
They will be developing an ongoing project integrating movement, drawing, writing and performance as well as teaching as part of the Art Center’s online educational offerings.

Vivian is a Brooklyn based artist working in photography, video, drawing, writing and performance. They received their MFA from California Institute of the Arts, Photo & Media Program, where they included Dance Theater among their studies. Vivian received their BFA from the University of Michigan, with a concentration in Photography and Painting. Through performances, movement studies, and often utilizing the genre of self-portraiture within the visual arts, their work investigates queerness and existence in relationship to illusory paradigms. Their work has been exhibited and performed in New York and Los Angeles and they have received awards from Light Work Grants in Photography and the Franklin Furnace Fund for Performance Art. They are currently a Part-time Faculty member at Parsons School of Design in New York City.





12. Becca Blackwell, FF Alumn, now online

Please visit this link:


Thank you.



13. Aviva Rahmani, FF Alumn, online July 11-14 and more

Blued Trees Black Skies, a performance installation amongst trees about injustice, racism, and ecocide, and collaboration between composer Eve Beglarian, musician Robert Black of Bang on a Can, choreographer Yoshiko Chuma, FF Alumn, of The School of Hard Knocks, and lead artist Aviva Rahmani, in partnership with NYFA (the New York Foundation for the Arts) and the New York City Audubon Society has been awarded a 2020 grant from the MAP Fund of New York! For more information about the program visit the MAP Fund website: https://mapfundblog.org/

Join Aviva Rahmani July 11-14, 2020 for Modeling Resilience With Art, https://www.campfr.com/online/avivarahmani an online international workshop about applying trigger point theory to effect ecological healing. This workshop is being offered through CAMP and currently is sold out but places may open up in the next few days, check back or join the wait list. This workshop will also be offered in 2021 onsite in France. Enrollment for the 2021 workshop will insure a free place on the online course this spring and you can sign up now. For additional information and a daily schedule of the workshop visit the ecoartspace blog.

There are there sets of upcoming artists talks for the ecofeminism(s) show, curated by Monika Fabijanska at the Thomas Erben Gallery. Aviva Rahmani is scheduled to give her talk on Wednesday, July 15th from 6:30-8:00pm RSVP to join. http://www.monikafabijanska.com/

The Gulf to Gulf session "From Fish Story to Blued Trees: Fixing Disaster" held 6.23.2020 with special guests, J. Baird Callicott, Dr. Kathryn Milun founding director of Solar Commons, and Memphis activist and urban planner Virginia McLean, is available for viewing on Vimeo.

Please consider making a tax deductible donation to the project through NYFA (the New York Foundation for the Arts) to see this work continue!

The Blued Trees Symphony is part of Gulf to Gulf, a project fiscally sponsored by NYFA, a 501©3, tax exempt organization founded in 1971 to work with the arts community throughout New York State to develop and facilitate programs in all disciplines. NYFA will receive grants on behalf of the project and ensure the use of grant funds in accordance with the grant agreements as well as provide program or financial reports as required. Any donations made to the project through NYFA are tax deductible!



14. Rev Billy, FF Alumn, now online

I hope you are all doing well out there, taking care and staying cool.

Check out our new Podcast: Reverend Billy Radio a weekly 30 Minutes from The Rev, with music from the singing activists The Stop Shopping Choir and magical accompaniment from The Fiery Eagles of Justice.

This episode is straight from the streets of Black Lives Matter in New York City, featuring an interview with our director Savitri D, describing a now notorious march in the South Bronx on the last night of NYC's curfew.

Available everywhere you listen to podcasts, at the Pantheon network and Neil Young Archives.
coming soon! our new website, more street and rooftop performances, ongoing updates from the hot activist summer, and video from the Reclaim Pride March for Black Lives.

Reverend Billy Talen



15. David Cale, FF Alumn, in The New York Times, now online

Please visit this link:


Thank you.



16. Christo and Jeanne Claude, FF Alumns, in The New York Times now online

Please visit this link:


Thank you



17. John CRASH Matos, FF Alumn, in The New York Times now online

Please visit this link:


Thank you.



Goings On is compiled weekly by Harley Spiller