If you loved BEST OF 2014, you’ll appreciate BEST OF 2015. This feature takes you straight to the latest edition of our listeners’ favorite episodes.
1. New Point of View at the Venice Art Biennale
Nigerian-born curator Okwui Enwezor, director of the 56th Venice Art Biennale, sparked this conversation about the expanded black presence in the global contemporary art scene. Recording in Venice, during preview days the international exhibition, Cathy Byrd connects with Canadian curators Camille Turner, Andrea Fatona, Sally Frater, and Pamela Edmonds to speak about this new development.
Presidents of Cuba and the U.S. recently announced a rapprochement, but is the island country ready for free expression in the form of contemporary art activism? Recorded in Havana, this Fresh Talk episode features Cuban artist Tania Bruguera and her recent launch of a new initiative: the Hannah Arendt Institute for Artivism. Bruguera is moving ahead with her project despite the fact that she’s been under city arrest and subject to government reprisals after her unauthorized public art performance on December 30, 2014, landed her in jail for three days.
3. Oliver Beer
British artist Oliver Beer talks about how he explores the acoustical character of Kiliç Ali Paşa Hamam, a stunning Turkish bath designed more than 400 years ago by the legendary architect Sinan. Inside the hot, steamy, inner chamber of this historic space, a small group of young Turkish opera singers rehearse Beer’s composition “Call to Sound.” Their public performance took place for one night only, on the eve of the 14th Istanbul Biennial.
4. Cheryl Pope
Chicago-based artist Cheryl Pope tells the back story of Up Against, a performance she presented on Miami Beach in late 2014. Pope used only her head to box down 700 transparent water-filled balloons that were suspended from the ceiling in a former auto body shop.
5. Camille Norment
American-born artist Camille Norment lives and works in Norway. We recorded the episode inside the Nordic Pavilion at the 56th Venice Art Biennale. Norment’s project animates a space designed to converse with the surrounding topography, weather, and natural light. Titled Rapture, her elegant, immersive sonic environment evokes both harmony and dissonance.