art and politics

Artists as a Public: A Conversation with Abraham Kritzman

Under the extreme political controversy surrounding the Barbur Gallery in Jerusalem, and in the shadow of the political decision to evict the gallery from its current space, Lonnie Monka talks with Abraham Kritzman, an artist and the gallery’s curator, about being an artist-led institution, curating and writing about art, and the concern that the political struggle will overshadow the attempt to make art.

Disappearing Cities: Beirut and Berlin

A one-night event in Berlin this February brought Charlotte Bleicher to ruminate about the relationship between two cities - Beirut and Berlin. She writes about processes of cultural loss taking place in both cities, and about artistic acts of defiance against this disappearance.

The Book as Agora

How should art institutions respond to the current political climate? Michal B. Ron reviews Paper Monument’s recent book, in which various art professionals offer their propositions to six perceptive questions.

Available in Audio

Tohu Podcast: A Conversation with Hakim Bishara

From researching and re-imagining a 1943 exhibition of modern Lebanese art in Jerusalem to writing for a leading independent arts magazine, to being part of an artist-run gallery in Brooklyn, Hakim Bishara has been experimenting with various practices in the past few years. David Duvshani recently met the Palestinian writer, curator, and artist in New York for a conversation about these multiple ventures and about the New York cultural scene in the Trump era.

 

The Need for a New Revolution

The 6th Athens Biennale expressed the need for an urgent new self-identification of the confused contemporary community, either in local or in international terms - an urgent need of a new “revolution” that would define the 21st century. Christos Paridis writes about the exhibition, which he describes as an adult playground for those who are seeking questions or answers to present and future nightmares.

Returning to Accra: Between Nina Simone, Ama Ata Aidoo, Fassbinder, and the Cockettes

Moving across New York and San Francisco, Paris and Munich, Accra and Lagos, artist and scholar Malik Gaines’s Black Performance on the Outskirts of the Left: A History of the Impossible offers a lively and affirmative account of stage, dress, film and television, and music performance. Saadi Nikro reviews Gaines’s recently published book, discussing its many intersections of race, theatricality, subjectivity, and sexuality.

 

Editorial

The show "Stolen Arab Art" that recently opened in Tel Aviv is tainted by exploitation, ignorance, incoherence, and impersonation. The organizers blatantly disregard the will of the chosen artists not to show their work in Israel. The members of Tohu's editorial board object to the patronizing act perpetrated under the guise of enlightenment and dialogue.

Emergency Takeoff: on Halil Altindere’s Köfte Airlines

"Köfte Airlines retraced a trail uncannily similar to that of its subject, from Germany to Turkey and back along a zigzag of uprooted expectations." Matt Hanson writes about Halil Altindere's work in the context of the refugee crisis, as well as the effects of the current oppressive political climate in Turkey on artists and cultural practitioners.

Relinquishing Freedom (Willingly) to the White Man

A mother screams as her baby is wrenched from her arms; a sex fest featuring Canada's founding fathers and various forest animals; and Miss Chief – a powerful, sexy, transgender indigenous figure in traditional attire, beads, and feathers. Liora Belford visits "Shame and Prejudice: A Story of Resilience," the travelling exhibition of the work of artist Kent Monkman, who wonders where are the painters who have documented the hunger, the poverty, the pain, and the annihilation of a whole culture.

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