Above: Sally Cruikshank's Make Me Psychic, 1978. Photo courtesy Justin Ayd


“Animatedly Yours”

Bentson Mediatheque at the Walker Art Center (725 Vineland)

Thursday, March 22 at 7 p.m.


What is extremely 70s, sexuality-driven, and shot on rare 16mm? The six selections in this funky film program at the Walker Art Center’s Mediatheque. Co-curated by Bentson Research Assistant Alyssa Davis, archives volunteer Emma August Welter and Bentson Archivist/Assistant Curator Ruth Hodgins, the films in this series were dug up out of the Ruben/Bentson Moving Image Collection, and include Suzan Pitt’s “Crocus” (1971) and Kathleen Laughlin’s “Madsong (1974), both of which explore being a mother and a sexual being at the same time, while more psychedelic vibes emanate from Lisze Bechtold’s “Two Stars” (1976) and “Impasse” (1978) by Frank and Caroline Mouris. There’s also a tripped out journey to an amuseument park and some fantastical bodies, because no film programming would be complete without that. More info here: https://walkerart.org/calendar/2018/animatedly-yours

Above: View of the exhibition Allen Ruppersberg: Intellectual Property 1968-2018, 2018. (Photo: Adrienne DeBoer, ©Walker Art Center)


Allen Ruppersburg: Intellectual Property 1968-2018

Where: Walker Art Center, 725 Vineland Pl., Mpls.

Admission: $7.50-$15; free for 17 and younger, and for all Thursday evenings.

Info: 612-375-7600 or walkerart.org

Allen Ruppersberg’s retrospective at Walker Art Center is called “Intellectual Property 1968-2018,” but it won’t be as dry as it sounds. Unless you factor in the dryness of Los Angeles, the city in a desert where Ruppersberg came of age as an artist.

A conceptual artist with assemblage tendencies, Ruppersberg moved to L.A. from Cleveland in the 1960s for art school. Inspired by mass media such as newspapers and books, archival films, street signage, the landscape of Southern California and even Harry Houdini, the artist has produced everything from parody-like built environments such as “Al’s Café” to conceptual paintings like “The Picture of Dorian Gray” — a copy of the entire Oscar Wilde novel — and portraits of himself as other people. This hearty exhibition is a journey through not only the artist’s vast body of work, but his mind as well. Exhibition ends July 29.

Above: Essma Imady, "History Book" (2017). Seawater, book. Courtesy of Minneapolis Institute of Art.


Essma Imady: “Thicker Than Water”

Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tue.-Wed. & Sat.; 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Thu.-Fri.; 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sun.
Where: Minneapolis Institute of Art, 2400 3rd Av. S.
Admission: Free.
Info: 888-642-2787 or

It’s an uncanny experience to walk into a gallery and see 16 videos, organized in a rectangular grid, projected onto a wall at the entrance of a gallery. Each contains an interview that artist Essma Imady did with a Syrian refugee child. Many others did not make it out of the country. Syrian-born artist Imady’s solo exhibition “Thicker Than Water” at the Minneapolis Institute of Art is a solemn, heartbreaking meditation on the effects of Syria’s civil war. It is also partly about the artist’s own survivor’s guilt: Through a series of coincidences, she happened to leave the country right before fighting broke out. Bearing witness to horrors that hit close to home yet still are far away, Imady communicates sentiments of grief, elation and spirituality through precise sculptural and video works.

The intimacy of the objects makes the war feel immediate and extremely personal — a teddy bear; a kid-sized life vest; a year’s worth of e-mails from the artist’s grandmother, who remains in Syria. And then there is “Receiving Blanket,” a plush blanket imprinted with an image of destruction from Syria, juxtaposing the safety and warmth that a blanket is supposed to offer with the result of violent warfare. Exhibition ends June 24.

Event: “A Performance in Honor of Mays,” a young Syrian refugee whom Imady interviewed shortly before her death (7 p.m. April 19).
Artist talk: 7 p.m. May 17.

Above: From Karen Sherman's exhibition. Image courtesy of the author.


Karen Sherman: “Minor Bodies”

Hair & Nails Gallery (2222 ½ E 35th St., Mpls)

Hours: Thu-Fri, 3-6 p.m.; Sat. & Sun. 1-6 p.m.

What do soft bunnies, a blood bank and horses have in common? They’re all a part of choreographer/artist Karen Sherman’s semi-autobiographical exhibition “Minor Bodies,” which also marks her first foray into a full-scale visual art project/installation. Her father ran a 24/7 blood bank, and her grandfather bred race horses. At the blood bank, rabbits were often times used as part of experiments (the gallerist assured me that they treated the bunnies well, however – they had to be healthy, of course). A variety of other jagged, at times violent-seeming wooden tools or objects are also on display – they are abstractions in and of themselves, but also referencing blood itself. There are many more “bloody” surprises in the basement. Exhibition ends March 31.  More info: https://hairandnailsart.com/current/

Above: Mic Stowell, "Untitled 2," "Untitled 4," and "Untitled 3" (all 2017). Image courtesy of the author.


Untitled 14: SooVAC’s 14th Juried Exhibition

Soo Visual Arts Center (2909 Bryant Ave. S., Suite 101, Mpls)

Hours: Wed. 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Thurs., Fri 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.; Sat. & Sun. 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Juried exhibitions always bring together a weird mix of art that probably would never be shown together. Just check out this review I wrote about a similar show I visited in Shreveport, Louisiana. SooVAC’s exhibition brings together 17 artists. The exhibition was judged by Teqen Zea-Aida, founder and director of City Wide Artists, and Gabe Ritter, Curator and Head of Contemporary Art at Minneapolis Institute of Art (Mia). There are some standouts, such as Lamia Abukhadra’s “You Sat at the Fountain While You Stole the House on the Hill,” an artist book about stories of Palestine and displacement, Wen Li-Chen’s familial pieces which incorporate old family photographs, Chris Heidman’s tongue-in-cheek conceptual piece “Cartoonish Anger,” and a video projection/mirror called “Being” by Dustin Steuck that plays with bodily fluids, self-imaging, and the surface level idea of “reflection.” Exhibition ends April 14. More info: http://www.soovac.org/index.php/shows/view/untitled_14_soovacs_14th_juried_exhibition/