Glasstire’s Top Five: September 14, 2017


The 2017 Mitchell Artist Lecture featuring The Yes Men made it into Glasstire’s Top Five, the week of September 14, 2017 – #2 on the list!

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The Quest to Stage a Concert of Female Singers in Iran


No Land’s Song, the latest documentary from Iranian filmmaker Ayat Najafi (Football Under Cover), follows a charismatic central character as she struggles to produce an all-women concert in Iran. Composer Sara Najafi’s (Ayat’s sister) has two motivations: she wants to use the female voice to its fullest potential and in doing so protest Iran’s ban on female soloists performing in front of men. Najafi’s film, which manages many moments of levity in the service of exposing an absurd logic of artistic repression, won the Human Rights Watch (HRW) Film Festival’s Nestor Almendros Award, the only honor the festival bestows.

Read the full review on Hyperallergic here.



Best of CounterCurrent 2015


The Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant Program is pleased to announce the recipients of its 2014 grants. Designed to support writing about contemporary art, as well as to create a broader audience for arts writing, the program aims to strengthen the field as a whole and to ensure that critical writing remains a valued mode of engaging the visual arts.

In its 2014 cycle, the Arts Writers Grant Program has awarded a total of $600,000 to twenty writers. Ranging from $6,000 to $50,000 in four categories—articles, blogs, books and short-form writing—these grants support projects addressing both general and specialized art audiences, from scholarly studies to self-published blogs.

Elissa Auther, Senga Nengudi: The Performing Body (Denver, CO)
Andrea K. Scott, No Picnic: The Rematerialization of Digital Art (New York, NY)
Aliza Shvarts, Unseen Acts: The Material Force of Nothing (Brooklyn, NY)

Kate Palmer Albers, Project K: Photography and Art in the Age of Social Media (Los Angeles, CA)
Christopher Howard, In Terms Of (Brooklyn, NY)
Silvia Kolbowski, Another platform for art (New York, NY)
Lee Rosenbaum, CultureGrrl (Fort Lee, NJ)
Daniel Temkin, (Astoria, NY)

Erin Aldana, Xerox Art in Brazil and Argentina, 1970-1980 (San Diego, CA)
Svetlana Boym, Off Modern (Cambridge, MA)
Kaira M. Cabañas, Expressive Restraint: Modern Art and Madness in Brazil and Beyond (Rio de Janiero, Brazil)
Suzanne Hudson, Better for the Making: Art, Therapy, Process (Santa Monica, CA)
Sharon Irish, Stephen Willats in the Yew Kay (Urbana, IL)
Janet Koplos, The Loyal Opposition: The Life and Times of Chicago’s Controversial New Art Examiner (St. Paul, MN)
Rachael Rakes and Leo Goldsmith, Media Metahistory: The Radical Art and Ideas of Peter Watkins (Brooklyn, NY)
Andrew Wasserman, Bang! We’re All Dead! The Places of Nuclear Fear in 1980s America (Ruston, LA)

Short-Form Writing
Johanna Fateman (New York, NY)
Corrine Fitzpatrick (Brooklyn, NY)
Maurice Berger (New York, NY)
James Trainor (New York, NY)

Art Writing Workshop
The Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant Program is pleased to continue its partnership with the International Art Critics Association/USA Section, to give practicing writers the opportunity to strengthen their work through one-on-one consultations with leading art critics. For a list of 2014 Art Writing Workshop recipients, click here.

For updates on events and publications by Arts Writers grantees, follow the program on Twitter @artswriters.

The Arts Writers Grant Program is funded by the Warhol Foundation and administered by Creative Capital.

Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst

Wu Tsang Blasting voice

Courtesy of Wu Tsang, Clifton Benevento, New York, and Galerie Isabella Bortolozzi, Berlin.

Wu Tsang: Not in my language
22 November 2014–8 February 2015

Opening: Friday, 21 November, 6–9 pm

Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst
Limmatstrasse 270
CH-8005 Zürich Switzerland
Hours: Tuesday–Friday 11am–6pm,
Thursday 11am–8pm,
Saturday–Sunday 10am–5pm

Wu Tsang (b. 1982) is an artist, performer, and filmmaker based in Los Angeles. His multimedia-oriented oeuvre focuses on narratives that construct identity and the self in relation to others. In particular, Tsang is interested in the socio-political dimensions of communities and is also significantly inspired by his involvement with queer, trans, and immigrant communities in Los Angeles. Evoking “the underground” as a site of cultural resistance, Tsang considers how fantasy can play an important role in representing social movements. For instance, his award-winning 2012 film Wildness documents a legendary party venue in Los Angeles, which has been a popular meeting point for the Latin American transgender community for decades. Through magical realism and personal narrative, the film invites discussion of documentary strategies and societal circumstances. Wu Tsang’s first institutional solo exhibition in Europe brings together works from the years 2008 to 2014.

Wu Tsang’s works have been presented at the Tate Modern (London), the Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam), at the Whitney Museum, the Museum of Modern Art and the New Museum (New York), the MCA (Chicago), and MOCA (Los Angeles). In 2012, Tsang took part in the Whitney Biennial and the New Museum Triennial (New York), the Gwangju Biennial (South Korea) and the Liverpool Biennial (Great Britain). His documentary film Wildness has received many awards, including the Grand Jury Prize at Outfest 2012.

Curated by Raphael Gygax, Curator, Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst

In early 2015, a JRP|Ringier publication will be released in cooperation with the Kunsthalle Düsseldorf.


INTERSECTIONS Community Meeting

Slavs and Tatars


Slavs and Tatars’ Concentration 57, currently on view at the Dallas Museum of Art

The University of Houston Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts invites you to an INTERSECTIONS Community Meeting.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014 at 3:00pm

2310 Elgin Street (Elgin and Dowling), Eldorado Ballroom , Ground Floor

Hosted by Project Row Houses

Special guest: Artist Payam Sharifi (Houston, Berlin)


INTERSECTIONS is two-year initiative aimed at building knowledge and changing perceptions of Muslim societies through contemporary art. Throughout the span of the project, four artists from different parts of the world will be commissioned by the UH Mitchell Center to develop new performance-based works in Houston that reflect the complexity of Houston’s many Muslim cultures. The initiative is driven by a steering committee of faculty, artists, and community members, and will also encompass monthly meetings at which new stakeholders may help guide and refine the project and expand its scope and reach. The Mitchell Center received a two year grant from the Building Bridges program – which is administered by the Association of Performing Arts Presenters and funded by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art – to launch this ambitious project. INTERSECTIONS will culminate in new works presented in spring 2015 and 2016. More about INTERSECTIONS and Building Bridges can be found at the Mitchell Center website.

At this month’s community meeting, artist Payam Sharifi will discuss the work of his collective, Slavs and Tatars, and the project they are creating as part of INTERSECTIONS. Slavs and Tatars is a faction of polemics and intimacies devoted to an area east of the former Berlin Wall and west of the Great Wall of China known as Eurasia. The collective’s work spans several media, disciplines, and a broad spectrum of cultural registers (high and low) focusing on an oft-forgotten sphere of influence between Slavs, Caucasians, and Central Asians.

We’d also like to hear from you — your feedback and ideas — since community participation will help to guide this project.

This is an open meeting and we hope you will invite others to join us. All are welcome.

Robert Rauschenberg Foundation


Artist as Activist: apply now

Application deadline: October 13, 2014

The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation announced today that it will build on its recent grant-making pilots and for the first time in its history roll out a series of open calls for proposals. Over the next six months, the foundation will announce new grant opportunities related to arts and culture as well as efforts to address climate change. The first open call launches today, September 8.
Letters of interest are invited for the Artist as Activist program, which will support a wide range of creative professionals to tackle pressing issues around the globe. Current grant opportunities include a two-year fellowship for artists, designers, and other creative thinkers working to address problems facing societies in the U.S. and beyond, as well as ongoing travel and research grants for similar artists.

For specific program details, applicants should visit Fellowship letters of interest will be accepted from September 8 to October 13, while Artist as Activist travel and research grant applications will be accepted on a rolling basis between September 8, 2014 and March15, 2015. Fellows will receive up to 100,000 USD in project support while Artist as Activist travel and research grants will range from 2,500 to 10,000 USD.

The Artist as Activist program is designed in response to a growing body of artists working in service of a larger social purpose. The central goal of the Artist as Activist program is to ensure such artists have the kind of flexible support required to execute ambitious creative projects intended to move the needle on the critical issues of our times. The next call for proposals, which will support innovative efforts to address climate change, will be announced on November 10.

About the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation:
The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation fosters the legacy of the artist’s life, work, and philosophy that art can change the world. The foundation supports initiatives at the intersection of arts and issues that embody the fearlessness, innovation, and multidisciplinary approach that Robert Rauschenberg exemplified in both his art and philanthropic endeavors. In the last year alone, the foundation has broadened its philanthropic efforts from seven legacy grantees to 95 across the USA; loaned over 100 Rauschenberg artworks to 20 exhibitions globally; and converted Rauschenberg’s home and studio in Florida into a dynamic residency program for emerging and recognized artists.

Media contact Taylor Maxwell, BerlinRosen Public Affairs
T +1 646 200 5330 /

MAP Fund Invites Letters of Inquiry for Performance Work Embodying Spirit of Exploration


Administered by Creative Capital, with support from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Multi-Arts Production Fund was founded on the principle that experimentation drives human progress, no less in art than in science or medicine.

Starting on September 8, MAP  will begin accepting Letters of Inquiry from artists, ensembles, producers, and arts presenters whose work in the disciplines of contemporary performance embodies this spirit of exploration and inquiry. The fund is particularly interested in work that examines notions of cultural difference or “the other,” whether based in class, gender, generation, race, religion, sexual orientation, or another aspect of diversity. Only projects that contain a live performance will be considered.

Grants up to $45,000 will be awarded in 2014 to nonprofit arts organizations. Unincorporated artists or ensembles may apply to the fund through a fiscal sponsor. Organizations and artists must demonstrate at least two years of professional experience.

Upon review of LOIs, selected applicants will be notified during the week of November 3, 2014, and invited to submit full proposals.

See the MAP Fund website for complete program guidelines, a schedule for upcoming informational webinars (beginning August 15), and application procedures.




Seven Artists Needed for Performance at Rice University

This is an integrated dining experience and installation hosted by Rice University. Featuring artworks and concepts by Marina Zurkow as well as culinary curation and execution by Lucullan Foods, this performance will take place at the Brochstein Pavilion at Rice University on March 20, 2014. The dinner, titled Outside the Work is comprised of a conceptual tasting menu that follows the lifecycle of a petrochemical. At play are elements of video, sculpture, printed material, lecture, and integrated food service/performance. For documentation of an earlier presentation of this experience, please visit:

We are seeking seven artists to play food servers. Food service experience is a plus but not mandatory, as aspects of service will be covered in the workshop. Please be comfortable with being documented as an integral part of this event. There will be both a videographer and photographer recording aspects of this event.


We are offering a stipend of $250 to cover travel expenses and time. There will be 1-2 days of workshopping and one day of performance, and all artists must be in attendance for all three days.

We anticipate 50 guests for this experience, so each artist will be responsible for the service of 7 to 8 guests. Artists will first act as ushers of guests into the dining space. Select artists will then be asked to create vignettes at the top of the meal, while others will actively engage the guests in a ritual-type service of the first course. Once the guests are seated, there will be six courses of food and drink that the artists will facilitate.

Please respond to this posting with a brief bio and explanation of your interest. Also, please provide your availability from March 17th to March 20th. Lastly, please confirm that you can provide your own wardrobe of a black dress shirt, black pant, and black shoes. A simple photograph of you would be helpful but is not required!



Antena Encuentro

antenda shelf pic

Friday and Saturday, February 14 & 15

A weekend-long gathering (encuentro) to explore the powerful ideas of language justice and language experimentation at the heart of the Antena installation. Eleven artists—both local, national and international—were invited to contribute work to Antena @ Blaffer; these artists will present workshops, readings, performances and more over the course of the weekend. The Encuentro is designed to facilitate bilingual conversation and collaboration between Houston literary and visual arts communities and artists from elsewhere working nationally and internationally. The entire encuentro will be in English and in Spanish with live interpretation between both languages. Participating artists are Benvenuto Chavajay (Sololá, Guatemala), Jamal Cyrus (Houston), María-Elisa Heg (Houston), Autumn Knight (Houston), Sueyeun Juliette Lee (Philadelphia), Ayanna Jolivet McCloud (Houston), Nuria Montiel (Mexico City), Kaia Sand (Portland), Efraín Velasco (Oaxaca), Cecilia Vicuña (New York/Santiago), and Stalina Villarreal (Houston).

See the full schedule here.


Visiting Artist and Scholar Series: Boris Groys + Anton Ginzburg

Anton Ginzburg, from Walking the Sea, on view at Blaffer Art Museum

Visiting Artist and Scholar Series: Boris Groys + Anton Ginzburg
Thursday, February 27, 6:30pm
Dudley Recital Hall, University of Houston (adjacent to Blaffer Art Museum)

Boris Groys is Global Distinguished Professor of Russian and Slavic Studies at New York University. His lecture, “New Archeology of the Soviet Empire,” will be followed by a conversation between Groys and Blaffer exhibiting artist Anton Ginzburg.

Boris Groys is a philosopher, essayist, art critic, media theorist, and an internationally acclaimed expert on late-Soviet postmodern art and literature, as well as on the Russian avant-garde. His philosophical writing includes A Philosopher’s Diary, On the New: A Study of Cultural Economics, and The Invention of Russia, while his contributions to art theory and criticism can be found in Vanishing Point Moscow and The Art of Installation. His most recent books are Under Suspicion: A Phenomenology of the Media and Ilya Kabakov. The Man Who Flew into Space from his Apartment (Afterall/MIT Press, 2006).

The 2013 – 14 Visiting Artist and Scholar Series is supported through a Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts Program Innovations grant, funded in part by the Houston Endowment, Inc.

Raqs Media Collective in Houston: February 22, 2014

From The Great Bare Mat & Constellation, 2012. Raqs Media Collective in conversation at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston

Artists’ talk: Raqs Media Collective
Saturday, February 22, 4:00pm
Freed Auditorium at the Glassell School, Museum of Fine Arts Houston. 5101 Montrose Blvd
Free Admission

Blaffer Art Museum welcomes Raqs Media Collective to Houston for a two-week residency in advance of the group exhibition Time / Image, opening September 2015.  Raqs Media Collective (Jeebesh Bagchi, Monica Narula & Shuddhabrata Sengupta) have been variously described as artists, curators, editors and catalysts of cultural processes. Their work, which has been exhibited widely in major international spaces and events, locates them along the intersections of contemporary art, historical enquiry, philosophical speculation, research and theory – often taking the form of installations, online and offline media objects, performances and encounters. They live and work in Delhi, based at Sarai, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, an initiative they cofounded in 2000. They are members of the editorial collective of the Sarai Reader series. Founded in 1992, Raqs Media Collective have had solo exhibitions at the Chronos Art Center in Shanghai, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, the Audain Gallery at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Photographers’ Gallery and Frith Street Gallery in London, Nature Morte in Berlin, and many other venues in Delhi, Toronto, Paris, Mumbai, New York, Warsaw, Brussels and London. Their work has been featured in dozens of international  group exhibitions, including the 2012 Benin Biennale, Manifesta 9, Lines of Control, The Global Contemporary: Art Worlds after 1989, the 2010 Sao Paulo Biennale, Experimental Geography, The Art of Participation: 1950 to Now, Utopia Station, How Latitudes Become Forms, and Documenta 11.

Raqs Media Collective’s residency is supported through a Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts Program Innovations grant, funded in part by the Houston Endowment, Inc.


Mitchell Center Awarded $200K Grant to Promote Understanding of Muslim Culture Through Arts

Building Bridges


The Mitchell Center is thrilled to announce that it is one of only six organizations nationally to be selected for a Building Bridges grant, funded in part by the Association of Performing Arts Presenters; Building Bridges: Campus Community Engagement Grants Program, a component of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art.

This two year grant will fund the Mitchell Center’s project, INTERSECTIONS, an initiative that engages four artists in residence directly with the University of Houston’s immensely diverse student population. Led by a steering committee of artists, arts leaders, UH faculty, and Mitchell Center program staff, INTERSECTONS aims to increase knowledge about Muslim societies through the arts.

Theaster Gates with the Black Monks of Mississippi

Black Monks of Mississippi

December 7, 2013 6:30 pm
Eldorado Ballroom, 2310 Elgin Street

A live performance by Theaster Gates and the Black Monks of Mississippi, an experimental music ensemble of Chicago-based vocalists and musicians founded in 2008. Directed by Gates, the music is influenced by diverse traditions, including Gospel, Blues and Buddhist and Zen chants. Featuring Yaw Agyeman on vocals, Mikel Avery on percussion, Orron Kenyetta with spoken word, and Khari Lemuel on cello. Free and open to all.

Co-presented by Blaffer Art Museum, Project Row Houses, and the Mitchell Center. Supported through the Innovation Grants  program, which is funded in part by the Houston Endowment, Inc.


Remembering George P. Mitchell

George P. Mitchell


George Mitchell, philanthropist, Texas oilman and real estate developer, passed away today at age 94. Mitchell and his late wife, Cynthia, made considerable contributions to Houston, Galveston, The Woodlands and beyond through their leadership, philanthropic generosity and passion for culture and historic preservation. George Mitchell is remembered as a Texas legend for his innovations in drilling technology and real estate development, just to name a few.

The Mitchells made one of the largest individual grants in University of Houston history– $20 million– to create the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts. Read how UH is remembering George Mitchell and his incredible legacy here.