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Stadia Mania: The View from Prospect Heights

An arena is coming to Brooklyn. The ink is hardly dry on Bruce Ratner’s purchase of the New Jersey Nets, but the tinny media drumbeat has had the team plopping down in the county of Kings for the last couple of months.

Strom Thurmond’s [Proposed] History of the African American People

You will doubtless remember me but maybe not. You commented last Tuesday on my tie (bow, new) and red hair (not so much red as auburn, like the school).

John Waters

On perhaps the coldest morning of January, I met with filmmaker and visual artist John Waters in his Manhattan apartment to discuss irony, Abstract Expressionism, Paul McCarthy, and John Waters: Change of Life, his upcoming retrospective at the New Museum of Contemporary Art.

Art In Conversation

Lane Twitchell

Artist Lane Twitchell grew up Mormon in Utah but in the mid-1990s moved to Brooklyn. His work involves an intensive paper folding and paper cutting process, with paint being applied to cut paper; the results are elegant, lacy designs of repeated American, religious, and place-specific icons that are at once ironized and celebrated, and that make gestures toward both high art and popular culture.

Art In Conversation

with Delia Bajo and Brainard Carey

"Rirkrit Tiravanija is arguably the most influential artist of his generation," says Laura Hoptman, the organizer of the Carnegie International. He has transformed the notion of conceptual art by taking his environments out of the museum to the ends of the earth.

Arshile Gorky: A Retrospective of Drawings

The Whitney Museum’s recent show of Arshile Gorky drawings deteriorated into too much of a glorious thing. There were so many drawings from 1941 until Gorky’s death in 1948 that they became a blur and only the specialist or one obsessed could keep them in focus. Half their number would have made this excellent show a triumph.

Leon Golub

Leon Golub is a painter, who for most of his career has been considered a relentless political activist. He has always stuck to his own world view—a kind of persuasive skepticism, for which the oppressed condition and aggression became identifiable to his means of self-defense and personal dignity.

Books In Conversation

Meera Nair

Meera Nair’s debut collection Video (Random House 2003) is set in modern-day India, Bangladesh and the United States. In these 10 stories, Nair’s characters are affected by Hindu-Muslim communal violence, politics, social reform, and above all, different forms of longing. In the collection’s title story,

Afro-Punk: The Rock and Roll Nigger Experience

We build cultural identities to survive, fit in, feel comfort. But as James Spooner’s film Afro-Punk: The Rock and Roll Nigger Experience explores, a subculture exists in which African-American youth embrace the underground punk scene as a cultural identity base— a choice that at first glance seems like an odd marriage.

Editor's Message

A Better Idea…

Hold on a minute. A developer buys a basketball team, then immediately lays claim to land owned by the state. Via eminent domain, he then gets to take a wrecking ball to an existing neighborhood.


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Editor's Message













The Brooklyn Rail

FEB 2004

All Issues