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Jane Harris
Culture critic, Publisher of, Art History faculty, School of Visual Arts

Entries by Jane Harris

Mommy Dearest: An Interview With Robert Melee

(0) Comments | Posted December 8, 2014 | 1:53 PM

To achieve harmony in bad taste is the height of elegance." Jean Genet

When I told Robert Melee to choose whatever "Mommy" video he wanted to include in Mama's Boy, a group exhibition I curated for White Columns in 2003, I knew he'd pick the most provocative example....

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Sardonic Tales: an Interview With Video Artist Laura Parnes

(0) Comments | Posted January 27, 2014 | 10:26 AM

"We all live in a prison. Most of us don't know we live in a prison." Janey, from Blood and Guts in High School by Kathy Acker, 1978

Twenty years ago when Marcia Tucker, founder and (then) director or The New Museum, organized Bad Girls (Part 1), she...

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Alternative Models III: Reel Space

(0) Comments | Posted December 17, 2013 | 11:18 PM

There's something about the experience of gathering together to watch a movie, of whatever kind, that induces pleasure and camaraderie. It's one of few shared social activities that still bind us culturally. Maybe that's why I've been drawn to film and video venues lately since I find they create a...

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Alternative Models II: Sincerity Matters

(0) Comments | Posted September 4, 2013 | 11:12 AM

You know the Fall season is literally around the corner when your in-box is jammed with press releases, many arriving as early as late July. Considering the art world in NYC takes less and less time off during the summer, the lead-up to September becomes a tsunami of openings and...

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On the Road Again: Catching Up With Justine and Casper Kurland

(0) Comments | Posted August 9, 2013 | 3:58 PM

It had been some time since I'd caught up with the work of Justine Kurland, the photographer best known for her staged scenes of women and adolescent girls in idyllic landscapes, palimpsests of fantasy and memory merging. Such utopian visions carried with them the experiences of her own childhood, I'd...

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Alternative Models: Endeavors Toward the Future

(0) Comments | Posted June 13, 2013 | 12:41 PM

As most people know the gallery world in NYC has bored me to tears for years, largely because of its increased irrelevance to meaningful cultural practice -- the whole concept of fine art, for example, seems incredibly dated -- and its generally apolitical stance. Best evidenced by the boutique model...

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The Last Pictures: An Interview With Trevor Paglen

(0) Comments | Posted March 26, 2013 | 4:25 PM

Interviews by email are a function of the busy life and digital existence most of us lead these days, and while a convenience they sometimes backfire in their intention. My desire in talking to Trevor Paglen was to get at the motivations behind his work, which for many years has...

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Materializing Six Years: Lucy R. Lippard and the Emergence of Conceptual Art

(2) Comments | Posted February 15, 2013 | 3:20 PM

Almost willing the project into the annals of marginalia out of which it came (the title alone seems an exercise in refusal), writer-curator Lucy R. Lippard never expected anyone to really read Six Years: The Dematerialization of the Art Object From 1966 to 1972, a cross-reference book of information on...

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The Piggy Roast: F*ck Island by Kembra Pfahler

(2) Comments | Posted September 20, 2012 | 12:08 PM

"Sexual greed is so aligned with capitalism, the cock is just everywhere, I can't believe how much power men have because they have a dick." - Kembra Pfahler

You might not imagine such a statement emanating from the artist of FUCK ISLAND, an exhibition billed as a "Cock...

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Top o' the Pile: 17 Writers Share Their Nightstand Reads

(1) Comments | Posted July 30, 2012 | 2:38 PM

Summer reading lists are as ubiquitous as the inevitable heat, and while I'm always interested in what writers are reading, I find this genre -- if that's the right word -- a bit cheesy. I mean, why assume people only find time to read in the summer, or even promote...

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The Fire Gods of Glitter: Hunter Reynolds on the Art of Healing

(3) Comments | Posted May 25, 2012 | 1:28 AM

The desire to inspire others to keep on going regardless of the suffering and hardships encountered in life is a noble pursuit in art, and a tall order at that. But the desire to inspire others to find in their suffering and hardship the makings of beauty and healing --...

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Fair Grounds: Contemporary Video Art for the 21st Century

(4) Comments | Posted March 6, 2012 | 1:32 PM

As someone who has always been ambivalent about art fairs and their circus-like distractions, whose barkers -- like so many whores dressed in fine clothing -- would have us think that money isn't their sole objective, I'm nevertheless intrigued by all the off-shoots to the major players. And so with...

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Home-Work: Photographer David Armstrong Talks About His Latest Monograph, 615 Jefferson Avenue

(0) Comments | Posted December 19, 2011 | 4:36 PM


I have this vision of David during one of our visits in his Bed-Stuy home, sitting in a high-backed chair, smoking a Newport, gazing into the late day sun. It was July 11th, one of the hottest days on record, a heat wave with...

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Tweet, Tweet: The Social Media Work of Rising Art Star, Man Bartlett

(1) Comments | Posted June 14, 2011 | 10:34 AM

As someone who has yet to send a tweet, the (by now) signature Twitter performances of Man Bartlett intrigue me. Like Rob Pruitt, a self-professed technophobe, whose 2008 solo exhibition at Gavin Brown, iPruitt, featured iPhone photos taken over the course of a year, and the YouTube...

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