Issue 218
April 2021

“Sandra Mujinga’s work critiques the violence of representation – what it means to be in the spotlight as opposed to moving in the dark.” – Eric Otieno Sumba 

In the April issue of frieze, Eric Otieno Sumba profiles artist Sandra Mujinga on the occasion of solo exhibitions at the Swiss Institute in New York and The Approach in London. After the opening of her Brooklyn Museum retrospective, artist Malik Gaines interviews Lorraine O’Grady. And Heather Phillipson answer our questionnaire. 

Profile: Eric Otieno Sumba on Sandra Mujinga

“I’ve been thinking about whether I can at all appear as I wish to appear in this world. Or if there’s an impossibility to that.” Sandra Mujinga’s multimedia practice conjures spectres that haunt contemporary reality – from our dematerialized digital footprints to the ever-present ghosts of colonial history. 

Interview: Malik Gaines and Lorraine O’Grady

“I make incisions into the skin of culture.” With a new collection of her writing published last autumn and a career retrospective on view at the Brooklyn Museum, Lorraine O’Grady speaks to writer and performer Malik Gaines about dismantling social hierarchies. 

Also featuring

Natasha Stagg contributes ‘1500 words’ on how the ‘cyberpunk’ aesthetic shapes Chris Dorland’s painting on the heels of a recent solo presentation at Lyles & King in New York. Jennifer Higgie looks closely at how mirrors changed the way women have made art – and represented themselves – from the ancient world to the present. Kristian Vistrup Madsen responds to an Allan Kaprow-inspired performance by Alex da Corte. Plus, a roundtable discussion between Gregg Bordowitz, Pamela Sneed, Sur Rodney Sur and Lynne Tillman links the exigencies of the AIDS pandemic to Covid-19. 

Columns: The Garden

Charlie Gere connects London’s back-to-nature counterculture at the end of the 1960s to the rise of Thatcherism a decade later; Jennifer Kabat tracks how invasive weeds changed women’s lives in the early US; curator and artist Asad Raza writes about soil conservation projects and his personal practice; Julian Junyuan Feng falls for the rural idyll in the videos of Chinese mega-vlogger Li Ziqi; Catalina Lozano on Abel Rodriguez, Sheronawe Hakihiiwe, Elvira Espejo Ayca investigate archives of indigenous knowledge; and Francesca Gavin defines the mushroom futurism of our changing world. 

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From this issue

Kristian Vistrup Madsen on Da Corte’s ‘Chicken’, which resurrected a 1966 Allan Kaprow happening

BY Kristian Vistrup Madsen | 16 APR 21

Can fungus help us better understand what it means to be human?

BY Francesca Gavin | 07 APR 21

On the occasion of her retrospective at the Brooklyn Museum, the artist speaks to Malik Gaines about her process, politics and vision for a more equitable world

BY Malik Gaines AND Lorraine O’Grady | 02 APR 21

The UK-based artist answers the frieze questionnaire

BY Heather Phillipson | 31 MAR 21

Natasha Stagg on the work of Chris Dorland

BY Natasha Stagg | 24 MAR 21

 An unusual artistic material, soil embodies the metabolic processes by which all life begins and ends 

BY Asad Raza | 24 MAR 21

Charlie Gere on growing up in London’s back-to-nature counterculture of the 1960s

BY Charlie Gere | 24 MAR 21

Jennifer Higgie on how the mirror’s mass production changed the course of art history – and liberated women artists

BY Jennifer Higgie | 24 MAR 21

What a garden’s lowliest plants can teach us about resistance to capitalism and patriarchy

BY Jennifer Kabat | 23 MAR 21

Writers Gregg Bordowitz, Pamela Sneed, Sur Rodney (Sur) and Lynne Tillman discuss how the AIDS crisis changed art writing, and what lessons writers might carry over to the Covid-19 pandemic

At the heart of the artist's work is a critique of the violence of representation

BY Eric Otieno Sumba | 23 MAR 21

How the Chinese YouTube sensation has seduced urban dwellers worldwide

BY Julian Junyuan Feng | 22 MAR 21

At Jan Kaps, Cologne, the artist highlights the economic precarity of sex workers and the movements encouraging positive change

BY Noemi Smolik | 02 MAR 21

At Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Zurich, the photographer finds inspiration in baroque paintings and stock imagery to explore modern symbols of status

 

BY Kito Nedo | 01 MAR 21

At Museo del Novecento, the artist’s first retrospective since her passing in 2014, reveals her feminist beginnings and continued liberation through abstract art 

BY Thea Hawlin | 01 MAR 21

At Galeria Municipal do Porto, the artist uses sound, videos and print to investigate ergotism and the right to self-determination in healthcare

BY Cristina Sanchez-Kozyreva | 26 FEB 21

At Goodman Gallery, the artist’s first UK solo show presents paintings like memories of a hot day revisited in sleep

BY Mimi Chu | 25 FEB 21

At KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin, more than 250 works offer dark and eccentric makeovers of psychoanalysis and kitsch

BY Kristian Vistrup Madsen | 24 FEB 21

At Arario Gallery, Seoul, the conceptual artist’s effaced periodicals expose the limits of perception and reject dominant value systems 

BY Andy St. Louis | 22 FEB 21

At Peres Projects, Berlin, the artists uncanny paintings and sculptures speak to how female sexuality can be used as a weapon 

BY Chloe Stead | 18 FEB 21

The artist's first institutional solo show at the Whitney Museum of American Art explores lives of Brown, queer subjects through a scrim of nostalgia

BY Tausif Noor | 16 FEB 21

In ‘Bronzed from Silver’ at Sans Titre (2016), Paris, the artist’s hybrid metal works explores how the body serves as a tool for cultural identification

BY Oriane Durand | 15 FEB 21

At MoMA PS1, New York, Nicole R. Fleetwood curates a show that considers the artistic output of those irrevocably shaped by the conditions of the prison industrial complex

BY Catherine Damman | 11 FEB 21

At Galerie Maria Bernheim, Zurich, the artist’s series of dollhouses reference literature and art history to reveal a bygone bourgeois ideal

BY Camila McHugh | 10 FEB 21

At Streams, Hong Kong, what was once the region's centre of toy manufacturing becomes a trippy tumble into a world of toxic teddies and sadistic Care Bears 

BY Emily Verla Bovino | 05 FEB 21

A group show at The Third Line, Dubai, featuring Sophia Al-Maria and Farah Al Qasimi, explores the nostalgia that comes with temporal dislocation  

BY Cleo Roberts | 04 FEB 21

At the Art Gallery of Ontario, a retrospective celebrates the artist’s eloquent obsession with material  

BY Charlene K. Lau | 02 FEB 21

At Artists Space, New York, a retrospective of the collective’s body of work reminisces on the punkish criticality of the 1990s 

BY Simon Wu | 27 JAN 21

‘Fly In League With The Night’ is brimming with characters we can feel, but whose stories remain tantalizingly out of reach

BY Aurella Yussuf | 27 JAN 21

Hannah Hoffman, Los Angeles, presents a collection of the artist’s photographs documenting Chelsea Piers cruising culture in the 1970s and ’80s 

BY Gracie Hadland | 20 JAN 21