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Art for Liberation’s Sake: The Activist Art of Gavin Jantjes

In his screen-prints of the 1970s, South African artist Gavin Jantjes sought to convey the urgency and interconnectedness of global Black liberation movements. As an art student in exile in Hamburg, Jantjes dedicated his early practice to raising awareness of the brutal injustices of the apartheid system in South Africa, engaging with anti-colonial struggles waged by African and African-Diasporic populations around the world. In this essay, art historian Allison K. Young looks at a selection of early abstracted, dynamic compositions which evidence his belief in the connection between art and resistance, and his commitment to solidarity between localized struggles across the diaspora.

Decolonization and Disentanglement in Ukrainian Art

In this text focused on how postcolonial and decolonial processes are reflected in contemporary Ukrainian culture, art historian Svitlana Biedarieva examines methods of decolonizing Ukrainian cultural discourse through the lens of works by contemporary Ukrainian artists—specifically those addressing complex aspects of identity conflicts actualized by Russia’s ongoing war of aggression against Ukraine.

Culture as a Weapon of Struggle: The Art of the Medu Poster You Have Struck a Rock (1981)

How do you historicize the events of the dehistoricized? From its inception in 1948, the apartheid regime implemented a system of institutionalized racial segregation against the nonwhite citizens of South Africa. In recent years, a counter narrative has emerged of a group of artists and activists who viewed “culture as a weapon of struggle” against the oppressive policies of the apartheid regime.

“I have to go back to New York. I have no choice”: Interview with Jaime Davidovich (Part 2)

In this interview, recorded a few months before Davidovich’s passing, curator Ana Janevski talks with the Argentine-American artist about his career, his early days in New York City and Cleveland, and his work Tape Wall Project (1970/1988), recently acquired by MoMA. This is the second of two parts. Read the first part of the interview…

Is Corn Feeding a Lie?

Showing up in food, cosmetics, fuel, and medicine—and, by consequence, in much of the air we breathe—corn is a ubiquitous presence in our lives. Inspired by the first episode of MoMA’s Broken Nature Podcast, this text investigates how one single crop travels through our contemporary food system.

Transversal Orientations

Hinged on the transversal as a means to engage with and envision new networks and ways of thinking about modern and contemporary art, the 2021 C-MAP seminar series offered an exploration and interrogation of the intertwining of multiple coeval life-worlds through concepts of “extending across.” Included here are abstracts and recordings of the four panels held on Zoom on June 2, 3, 9, and 10.