“Sometimes, things have to fall apart in order to build up and become stronger. Sometimes, you have to get cut in order to heal.” – Raúl de Nieves
In the May issue of frieze, Evan Moffitt profiles artist, performer and musician Raúl de Nieves, whose survey at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston opens in August. Ahead of a major exhibition of his work at London’s Serpentine Galleries, photographer James Barnor speaks with writer Afua Hirsch. And Zanele Muholi answer our questionnaire.
Profile: Evan Moffitt on Raúl de Nieves
“When I first met Raúl De Nieves, he was a fixture of queer nightlife in New York. He was easy to spot from a distance, typically dressed in an oversized poncho with a brightly dyed, faux-fur coat and ribbons in his braids.” As De Nieves prepares for a major exhibition at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston this autumn, Evan Moffitt visits the New York–based artist as he reflects on an unusual journey through churches, antique shops, and concert stages.
Interview: Afua Hirsch and James Barnor
“You form the story before you take the pictures: you take two or three, and you are on the way.” On the eve of his 92nd birthday and a major retrospective at the Serpentine Gallery, James Barnor speaks to Afua Hirsch about why he will always feel lucky to have documented Ghanaian independence in 1957.
Daisy Hildyard offers 1,500 words on Mary Ramsden’s method of channelling the presence of a portrait sitter. From locked-down Athens, Ben Eastham writes about the artistic and political value of escapism. Shiv Kotecha responds to a film by Dave McKenzie. Plus, Chloe Stead, Roisin Tapponi, Terence Trouillot and Ana Tuazon contribute to a dossier on mutual aid during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Emily Stamey looks at how artists are using sports uniforms as material to question masculinity’s visual coordinates, Jamian Juliano-Villani details her exhausting workout routine, Jörg Scheller explores the history of European artist-bodybuilders, and Evan Moffitt interviews Maya Lin on her forthcoming Ghost Forest installation for New York’s Madison Square Park. Also, ahead of a touring retrospective of Sophie Taeuber-Arp’s work at Kunstmuseum Basel, Tate Modern, London, and MoMA, New York, Olivia Sudjic revisits the artist’s radical puppet theatre designs.
Public Art Now!
The issue closes with a collection of essays, interviews and walking tours on the subject of public art. Sukhdev Sandhu looks at the great sculpture in New York City’s transportation hubs; Laura Grace Ford leads a speculative tour of London’s Canary Wharf; Aldo Solano Rojas examines Mexico City’s modernist public works; and Wilson Tarbox guides readers through Paris’s hidden treasures. Trisha Low remembers an early encounter with the Merlion, Singapore’s ubiquitous symbol of independence; Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung writes about Olu Oguibe’s controversial monument to refuges in Kassel, Germany; Jenenne Whitfield examines the legacy of Tyree Guyton’s Heidelberg Project in Detroit; and Tavia Nyong’o looks at a newly commissioned installation by David Hammons at New York’s Chelsea Piers. Sean Burns speaks to Maggi Hambling about Oscar Wilde and brushing off criticism; Travis Diehl interviews Aria Dean on the subject of counter monuments; and Lena Henke speaks to Carina Bukuts about her approach to making public work.