Blogs Field Guide Katherine Rochester

I'm an erstwhile member of WACTAC, Walker employee, and am now Program Manager at The Soap Factory.

Hardland/Heartland: Don’t Sleep On This Interview!

As WACTAC (Walker Art Center Teen Arts Council) gears up for the 24-hour marathon art-making madness that will be Don’t Sleep on It, we’re getting to know our participating artists through a series of snappy little videos. While there just isn’t enough time between now and May 15 to interview all eight groups of artists, […]

As WACTAC (Walker Art Center Teen Arts Council) gears up for the 24-hour marathon art-making madness that will be Don’t Sleep on It, we’re getting to know our participating artists through a series of snappy little videos. While there just isn’t enough time between now and May 15 to interview all eight groups of artists, check back here for more information on who’s who and what they do. Especially keep an eye out for video interviews with Burlesque Design, John Grider of BrokenCrow, and Scott Stulen coming fresh from the WACTAC video production team in the next few weeks.

For now, check out our inaugural video interview with members of Hardland/Heartland, featuring the Walker’s very own Aaron Anderson.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oWZ-9SIQsoQ[/youtube]

Don’t Sleep on It: A 24-Hour Art-Making Marathon kicks off on May 15 at 6pm and runs through May 16, with a closing party at 8pm. For a full schedule of artist led activities and musical performances, visit teens.walkerart.org or shoot us an email at teenprograms@walkerart.org

Interview with Xavier Tavera

Fast becoming the go-to-man for all things related to the art of portraiture, it’s no surprise that local photographer Xavier Tavera is back at the Walker for some events surrounding the exhibition Live Forever. Starting tonight, Xavier will share his expertise with teenagers in Polaroids, Prints, Projections, a 4 week workshop exploring portraiture in various […]

Fast becoming the go-to-man for all things related to the art of portraiture, it’s no surprise that local photographer Xavier Tavera is back at the Walker for some events surrounding the exhibition Live Forever. Starting tonight, Xavier will share his expertise with teenagers in Polaroids, Prints, Projections, a 4 week workshop exploring portraiture in various media. You can also catch him, along with Jim Walsh, Melba Price, and Chuck Olson in Documenting Culture, a free panel discussion at the Walker Art Center on March 12. I sat down with Xavier Tavera and picked his brain on a few subjects, ranging from artmaking, to high school prom:

What were you like in high school?
I had an enormous amount of stuff to do other than school. Like, anything else but school. All my creativity was to do just stuff, not academic really. I mean, I’ve been photographing since then, but that wasn’t my major stuff. All my creativity was devoted to making strange stuff in the school, like pranks, disturbances. I never got caught. That was one of the key things: never get caught! Just stupid stuff, back then it was very important. We used to have these blinds that were glass and how can I get rid of them from the third floor? So over a period of 6 months, they all started to disappear. Or I’d get rid of the erasers. All of a sudden I started to collect them and collect them and hide them in the teacher’s desk that they never used. So all of a sudden me and 20 people had all these erasers. But we didn’t steal them! We just relocated them. Stuff like that. And then the secondary stuff was trying to get by with grades and stuff. I did part of high school in Mexico City and the last year in Houston, TX.

What do you want people to get out of your art?
Art is what communicates. If I can communicate something, if they can get something back out of the picture that I made, if I can get that relation from me to the photo to whoever is going to see it—whatever it is—I have succeeded. I mean, if someone comes and is indifferent to the work, to the stuff that I do, that’s a complete failure.

If you were to create a piece that looked like the inside of your head, what would it look like?
Well, for sure it’s going to have an enormous amount of bad photos—I mean, of images. It’s like an archive of faces and situations and places. It’s not something that’s going to look very nice, it’s a container that archives all this visual information. I can never forget a face. Names? Those are completely out. I have to work a lot on remembering names but images, face, I mean, those are archived. And situations, those get archived. Probably a mass of small containers.

How does your day job intersect with your life as an artist?
Most of the time my daily job gets in the way. It doesn’t have anything to do with what I create. The good thing is I get to drive half of the day, so I have nothing else to do but listen to the radio and start thinking about what I’m going to do. So, it kind of blends, in that sense, cause while I’m driving a half hour, one hour, three hours a day, I can’t do anything else. So, I think a lot. Even unconsciously, I’m thinking all the time. How am I going to solve a situation or a project or whatnot. And then, all the rest is design on the computer—but not creative design, architectural design. It’s necessary because it pays the bills.

If you could have dinner with three people living or dead who would they be and why?
At the same time? I mean, because it could be conflicted! If I had dinner with Freud and then with Dali, then you know, it could be people fighting. So, probably Gabriel Garcia Marquez. I wouldn’t know what to talk to him about. I mean, the guy is incredible. He’s living in Mexico.

What is your favorite photo of all time?
There’s a beautiful beautiful picture, the author is Manuel Alvarez Bravo, he’s already dead. He’s a Mexican photographer. He died about 5 years ago. And he photographed a girl. The picture is in black and white and she’s holding a fish and I just love it. It’s a lady, she’s not smiling, she’s just holding a fish. And the title is something like, “Girl with a swordfish” or something like that. That’s an amazing piece because I can’t figure out how he got to that. I mean, there’s a number of ways that he could have taken that and he chose that way. But I don’t know all the background, only he knows it. That’s what’s interesting. That it has only some information and the rest you have to figure out. So, for me, it’s very engaging.

If you could design a senior prom what would it look like?
It’s going to be so kitchy. Lots of flowers and frosting, and dresses with you know, flowers and frosting. I’m thinking of, have you ever seen quincenera? It has to have a lot of color.

What advice could you give to a young artist?
Just do what’s in your head. Do it however you feel like it has to be done. There’s no right or wrong way of doing stuff. But, do it!

Polaroids, Prints, Projections: Portraiture Workshop is full. Check out teens.walkerart.org for other upcoming opportunities to work with artists like Xavier.

10 Seconds and a Summer of Movies

We all know that summer in Minneapolis is like heaven on earth, and while this may have something to do with it’s relativity to the soulless, nadir that is our 9 month winter, it has equally as much to do with the wealth of awesome outdoor film opportunities that pop up like the crocuses we […]

We all know that summer in Minneapolis is like heaven on earth, and while this may have something to do with it’s relativity to the soulless, nadir that is our 9 month winter, it has equally as much to do with the wealth of awesome outdoor film opportunities that pop up like the crocuses we should have seen in April. You’ve got your Summer Music and Movies, your Solera rooftop delights , and your Chambers’ constant stream of courtyard video art. But, if you’re itching to create a film of your own and see it on the silver screen, then you’ve got your Ten Second Film Festival.

Puppetry Ten Second Logo Earlier Today

The Soap Factory’s Ten Second Film Festival, which takes place after the St. Anthony Main fireworks on the 4th of July, features not only music, beer, food, and even tiki torches, but it also shuns the often pretentious, mind-numbingly arty fare you might expect from a gallery. Pourquoi?

1) Because this film fest is the brain child of Walker on the Green: Artist-Designed Mini Golf and Haunted Basement artist extraordinaire, Chris Pennington.

2) Because all the films are shot by people like you, using alternate video technologies (like cell phones or cameras with a video function). The result is a film fest that assaults you with some of the funniest, weirdest, campiest, and even thought-provoking ten second-long films you’ve ever seen.

If this tickles your fancy, then you have until midnight on Monday, June 23 to submit up to six, ten second films of your own. Check out www.tensecondfilmfest.org for submission info and do your bit to shake up the Twin Cities summer film scene.

Kara Walker Response 2.2

People are getting introspective about questions raised by Kara Walker’s work in the exhibition Kara Walker: My Complement, My Enemy, My Oppressor, My Love. This is the third installment of reponses written or drawn on postcards created by the Walker Art Center Teen Arts Council. We asked people to think about one of three prompts: […]

People are getting introspective about questions raised by Kara Walker’s work in the exhibition Kara Walker: My Complement, My Enemy, My Oppressor, My Love. This is the third installment of reponses written or drawn on postcards created by the Walker Art Center Teen Arts Council. We asked people to think about one of three prompts:

What are you suppressing?

What does power look like?

Retell a history

When the project was first concieved, we thought it likely that people would respond visually, since Kara Walker’s most immediately arresting pieces are her visually stunning silhouettes. Interestingly enough, though, almost everyone has chosen to respond in writing, perhaps highlighting the fact that it is in Kara Walker’s text (incorporated throughout her work and on the gallery walls) that her most direct message truly lies.

Below are more postcard responses:

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pedro.jpg

Pedro Martinez

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power.jpg

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Larissa Donovan

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if_its_in_minneapolis.jpg

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Annie M

New Responses to Kara Walker 2.1

In conjunction with the Walker Art Center’s exhibition, Kara Walker: My Complement, My Enemy, My Oppressor, My Love, the Walker Art Center Teen Arts Council (WACTAC) created a postcard project to encourage visitors to respond to Kara Walker’s challenging work. The postcard invites visitors to reply verbally or visually to one of three prompts: What […]

In conjunction with the Walker Art Center’s exhibition, Kara Walker: My Complement, My Enemy, My Oppressor, My Love, the Walker Art Center Teen Arts Council (WACTAC) created a postcard project to encourage visitors to respond to Kara Walker’s challenging work. The postcard invites visitors to reply verbally or visually to one of three prompts:

What are you suppressing?

What does power look like?

Retell a history

To weigh in on the exhibition and share your musings, pick up a postcard outside the gallery or in the Bazinet Lobby and create your reply on the back. Responses will be selected by WACTAC and posted on the Walker blog.

norma_hanlon.jpg

By Norma Hanlon

power.jpg

accolade.jpg

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By Amy Frantti

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By Judith Hardim

jazz.jpg

suppressing.jpg

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New Responses to Kara Walker 2.0

In conjunction with the Walker Art Center’s newly opened exhibition Kara Walker: My Complement, My Enemy, My Oppressor, My Love the Walker Art Center Teen Arts Council (WACTAC) created a postcard project to encourage visitors to respond to Kara Walker’s challenging work. The postcard invites visitors to reply verbally or visually to one of three […]

In conjunction with the Walker Art Center’s newly opened exhibition Kara Walker: My Complement, My Enemy, My Oppressor, My Love the Walker Art Center Teen Arts Council (WACTAC) created a postcard project to encourage visitors to respond to Kara Walker’s challenging work. The postcard invites visitors to reply verbally or visually to one of three prompts:

What are you suppressing?

What does power look like?

Retell a history

To weigh in on the exhibition and share your musings, pick up a postcard from the Bazinet Lobby and create your reply on the back. Responses will be selected by WACTAC and posted on the Walker blog.

Many of the responses in this installment are from a 1-3 grade Art Lab from Whittier Elementary School. Although they didn’t see the Kara Walker exhibition, they were able to relate to the questions on the postcards.

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By Arnaundia

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kw_anonymous.jpg

kw_berglund.jpg

By Terrance Berglund

kw_gonzales.jpg

By Elizabeth Gonzales

kw_minnie.jpg

By Minnie

kw_siegel.jpg

By Don Siegel

New Responses to Kara Walker

In conjunction with the Walker Art Center’s newly opened exhibition Kara Walker: My Complement, My Enemy, My Oppressor, My Love, the Walker Art Center Teen Arts Council (WACTAC) created a postcard project to encourage visitors to respond to Kara Walker’s challenging work. The postcard invites visitors to reply verbally or visually to one of three […]

In conjunction with the Walker Art Center’s newly opened exhibition Kara Walker: My Complement, My Enemy, My Oppressor, My Love, the Walker Art Center Teen Arts Council (WACTAC) created a postcard project to encourage visitors to respond to Kara Walker’s challenging work. The postcard invites visitors to reply verbally or visually to one of three prompts:

  • What are you suppressing?
  • What does power look like?
  • Retell a history

To weigh in on the exhibition and share your musings, pick up a postcard from the Bazinet Lobby and create your reply on the back. Responses will be selected by WACTAC and posted on the Walker blog.

Here’s what people have said so far:

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Anonymous

kw_response_bluedelliquanti.jpg

Blue Delliquanti

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Katherine Rochester

kw_response_katherinerochester.jpg

Katherine Rochester

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Lynda McDonnell

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Pearl Madryga

kw_response_rainabelleau.jpg

Raina Belleau

Introducing the Lumber Barons

From within the chic, intellectual veneer of the Walker Art Center, a group of 14 Walker staff, bonded together by undeniable athletic prowess and an insatiable hunger for victory, united to form a broomball team. Representing the Walker Art Center in the City of Minneapolis Broomball League, the Lumber Barons (named in fond memory of […]

lumber-barons.JPG

From within the chic, intellectual veneer of the Walker Art Center, a group of 14 Walker staff, bonded together by undeniable athletic prowess and an insatiable hunger for victory, united to form a broomball team. Representing the Walker Art Center in the City of Minneapolis Broomball League, the Lumber Barons (named in fond memory of Walker Art Center father T.B. Walker) have already battled against such worthy rivals as Friends with Benefits, the Badgers, and that team Monday night who took it all way too seriously and wore numbered, green hockey jerseys. Wish us luck as we prepare to head into the playoffs next week against Liquor Lyles, where we expect our true fire to carry us home.

Coal Mines and Contemporary Art

I recently returned from Brussels, where I visisted Le Grand Hornu, an artfully rennovated, defunct coal mine-turned contemporary art venue. Since this was proabably my 7th trip to Belgium, but the first time I’d ever heard of Hornu, I wanted to share the revelation in order to guarantee that anyone with a yen to visit […]

hornuarches.jpgI recently returned from Brussels, where I visisted Le Grand Hornu, an artfully rennovated, defunct coal mine-turned contemporary art venue. Since this was proabably my 7th trip to Belgium, but the first time I’d ever heard of Hornu, I wanted to share the revelation in order to guarantee that anyone with a yen to visit the lands of Memling, Horta, and Magritte, also appreciates Belgium for its contemporary art.

The show on view, Sisyphe: le jour se leve (Sisyphus: Day Breaks) was made all the more enjoyable for its inclusion of artists I see on a daily basis in the Walker’s permanent collection installation, The Shape of Time. To see On Kawara, Luciano Fabro, and Guilio Paolini in a small show (eight artists total) with a specific trajectory provided an entirely different perspective on their work. I had never previously associated Sysyphus–the ultimate existential image adopted by Sartre–with Arte Povera, the Italian movement in which both Fabro and Paolini took part. Now, however, when I look at Mimesi (Mimesis) I see the possibility for a darker exchange between the classically sculpted, white plaster models–an exchange more in the vein of Greek tragedy than comedy. Netiher, had Kawara’s meticulously sequential work ever so acutely suggested futility. One Million Years (Past), featured in the show at Hornu, consists of the last one million years printed on paper and bound into volumes encyclopeadia-style. Currently on show in The Shape of Time is Kawara’s TODAY Series, which I have always interpreted as meditative and ritualistic, but which is now opened up as a possible critique of pointless repitition. The existential tenor of the show at Grand Hornu was an interesting contrast to the luminous and airy gallery space, and particularly poignant in the context of a failed coal mine.

Here are some images of Grand Hornu:

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