Vilka var årets mest intressanta utställningar, händelser och publikationer 2015? I Kunstkritikks julkalender sammanfattar Kunstkritikks egna skribenter och inbjudna gäster konståret 2015. Nummer sexton är Jeff Kinkle som är verksam som skribent och översättare i bland annat Kunstkritikk. Han doktorerade vid Centre for Cultural Studies, Goldsmiths, University of London 2010, och studerar nu sista året vid Fordham University School of Law. Tillsammans med Alberto Toscano utkom han tidigare i år med Cartographies of the Absolute (Zero Books, 2015). Han är medlem av redaktionen för Site Magazine, och driver konstnärsgruppen Sakerna tillsammans med Emanuel Almborg.
Laura Poitras, 9/11 Trilogy, Artists Space, New York, New York.
Artists Space’s exhibition of Laura Poitras’s works on the War on Terror and the American surveillance state was incredibly timely. Poitras’s work is remarkable for its nuanced depiction of how this post-9/11 world affects the daily lives of individuals. In CITIZENFOUR (2014), which was playing in theaters at the time of the show, the viewer literally sees history being made as Poitras and Glenn Greenwald meet with Edward Snowden for the first time in a Hong Kong hotel room.
To the Five Boroughs at Magick City, Greenpoint, Brooklyn.
In early October, Dan Fetherston hosted a night of five short films, each set in a different borough of New York, at Magick City in Brooklyn. Fetherston showed his own excellent short Wilden – set in 17th century New Netherland, and filmed in old Dutch – as well as Every Crack is a Symbol (Charlotte Street Project) by my occasional collaborator Emanuel Almborg, which is set in the South Bronx and is about urban dereliction, redevelopment, and representation in all its multiple meanings. Beyond the quality of these two very good films (and the other three films shown), what made the event my favorite of the year was the variety of the works on display and their blending of genres, the casual, unpretentious vibe, and the openness and enthusiasm the small, diverse audience showed to all the films.
On October 20th, I attended the oral arguments in the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit in Atlanta for a client who is currently on death row in the state of Georgia. That afternoon, I went out to the prison to visit him with his lawyer to tell him how it went, as he wasn’t permitted to be present while three lawyers and nearly a dozen judges debated issues that were of literal life and death importance. From the prison we drove straight to the Carter Center to hear Ta-Nehisi Coates in conversation about his wonderful book Between the World and Me (2015), which takes the form of a letter to his teenage son about being black in contemporary America. Strikingly, Coates stresses the seeming permanence of racial injustice in America, and disparages all notions that the country will be able to overcome the horrors of its past and enter a post-racial future.
Between the World and Me is the only book I read this year that I would unabashedly recommend to absolutely everyone, and Coates was remarkably thoughtful and blunt on stage. The conversation inevitably became focused on policing and the criminal justice system. Coates’s exasperation with many of the establishment’s platitudes, and his nuanced and direct appeal for something like common sense struck the perfect chord. At the end of a day in which everything dehumanizing about the United States’ criminal justice system was on display, the palpable enthusiasm for Coates’s positions – hopefully displaying the fact that people finally feel the need to understand more about these issues – left me with at least a modicum of optimism for the future.