Creative Complaining


I was so excited to see the Guerrilla Girls in London. I didn’t know that their project was still as active as in the 1980s, or that they’ve been working so prominently in Europe. Their work continues to be performatively scandalous, but this exhibition is rooted in a dogged examination of data that reveals the enduring perversion of the art world: a tedious subservience to wealth and power. 

The Guerrilla Girls know how to silence a room. Dressed head-to-toe in black, their faces concealed behind snarling masks, the impression is something between a gang of bank robbers and superheroes in disguise. It’s unexpected when they speak in bright, amiable tones, approaching visitors to shake hands and pose for pictures. The somewhat jarring incongruity in this approach echoes the central tension between aggression and playfulness in their work, at its most distinctive in the lurid pink and yellow billboards that splashed shameful statistics on racial and gender imbalances in the art world during the 1980s.

Ms. and BUST have published the whole article here and here.


Many Rivers to Cross


I met with Sadik Kwaish Alfraji, a Netherlands-based Iraqi artist, to talk about his travelling exhibition ‘Ali’s Boat’. Sadik’s soulful video works evolve from ink and charcoal; his sketchbooks act almost as an excavation of his personal stories, which overlay political and national narratives.

Encounters with place, memory, and identity arise as questions in Ali’s Boat, a highly personal multimedia installation by Iraqi-born artist Sadik Kwaish Alfraji. Curated by Nat Muller and accompanied by a book launch surveying Sadik’s major output, the exhibition’s success in Dubai has been in no way subdued by its migration to London, where it was shown during the recent Shubbak Festival, and where it will remain on display until the end of August. A story deconstructed and rebuilt, which simmered in Sadik’s subconscious for a decade, Ali’s Boat follows the first meeting with his nephew in his native Baghdad. The notions of memory, home, and journeying – which might jostle for space in a more constrained work – find fulfilment in Sadik’s immersive video narrative.

The piece continues here.