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Nato Thompson
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Nato Thompson is a curator at the New York–based public arts institution Creative Time. Since January 2007 he has organized major projects such as Paul Chan’s acclaimed Waiting for Godot in New Orleans (2007), which included free public performances of Samuel Beckett’s play, theater workshops, educational seminars, and more. Thompson is currently working on a multi-phase national exhibition entitled Democracy in America: The National Campaign, a program investigating artists’ relationship with and reactions to the historic roots and practical manifestations of the American democratic tradition.

Previous to Creative Time, Thompson worked as a curator at MASS MoCA, where he completed numerous large-scale exhibitions such as The Interventionists: Art in the Social Sphere (2004), a survey of political art of the 1990s. His writings have appeared in numerous publications including Art Journal, tema celeste, Parkett, Cabinet, and The Journal of Aesthetics and Protest. The College Art Association awarded him for distinguished writing in Art Journal in 2004. He holds a BA in Political Theory from the University of California at Berkeley and an MA in Arts Administration from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Headshot photograph by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders

Blog Entries by Nato Thompson

Increasing Public Space with Ice Cream, Karaoke and Magic

Posted September 16, 2008 | 15:55:45 (EST)

Increasingly, the experience of an activated public space, a space full of political vitriol and community participation, is a rarity. We could point toward moments of political protest or rallies, but whatever happened to the spaces of regular activity? The place where folks are not forced into political positions but...

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From Denver With Love

Posted September 4, 2008 | 17:50:24 (EST)

On a sunny Wednesday at the DNC, with the streets of Denver full of riot police and Obama-mania, artist Sharon Hayes produced an unlikely protest equipped. Titled Revolutionary Love: I am Your Worst Fear, this performance piece in the center of DNC madness was a mass reading of a first...

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Waterboarding as Political Sideshow

Posted August 26, 2008 | 19:08:28 (EST)

On Saturday July 26th, next door to the Circus Sideshow in Coney Island (featuring sword swallowers, magicians and performers capable of digesting grubs and snot), artist Steve Powers opened a sideshow of his own. Entitled The Waterboard Thrill Ride, this madcap installation invites visitors to put a buck into a...

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Art, Politics, and 1968

Posted August 13, 2008 | 14:45:31 (EST)

On Saturday, August 2 artist Mark Tribe will organize a reenactment of an Angela Davis speech from 1969 connecting the liberation of domestic political prisoners from the civil rights movement with the war in Vietnam. A performer portraying Davis will stand at a podium and deliver the speech at its...

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