Themes
Twang

Twang

considers the spoken and heard vernacular in the American South and ways in which we communicate across the Region. Yes, it is accents and pronunciations, but it is also an auditory marker and a trace of place. Twang is hyperlocal lingo and addresses region-specific, city-specific, even house-specific vocabulary. It is a Southern export, a diasporic carrier. It is also reverb, echo, and slowness, which can be observed through the timbre of a musical instrument like a banjo, or André 3000’s New Blue Sun. The theme troubles cultural assumptions and provides intrigue for writing and art that addresses projected or mistaken identities. Twang signals “you are/aren’t from around here,” but also, “we are not in a hurry to get there.”

Crush

Crush

traverses desire in all its overwhelming iterations, from interpersonal romance to enthusiasm for a certain artist/artwork, and as well as other cringe-worthy scenarios in this contemporary age. It also encapsulates the physical act of “crushing” and aesthetics that reflect a reactive quality, or materials and forms that show the artist’s hand. Crush examines the visual intensity found in “maximalist art” i.e. large-scale installations, layered and interdisciplinary compositions, enthusiastic gestures, and piling on of all kinds. It is the accumulative nature of some Southern homes as well as artists that collect and employ found objects, like Thornton Dial. Think also about reverence, retrospectives, what it means to pay homage, pen odes, and perform acts of service. Be too much. Get too close.

Knock Knock

Knock Knock

is about introductions, jokes, and local activism. It is going door to door and meeting face to face. Whether addressing political canvassing in this election year or trick-or-treating, the theme questions: what does it mean to be neighborly in the South? What do we owe one another? Employing matter-of-fact revelations or grappling with complex truths, Knock Knock speaks to proximity and presence. It is relational, even familial, in application. It also includes actual entrances, artistic thresholds, as well as metaphorical doors opening—and sometimes—slamming shut. Knock Knock is art that addresses architecture, “hitting the pavement,” and cul-de-sacs. It is an opportunity offered and (maybe) revoked. Who's there?

Features
Interview

I work in the world. I always thought my job is to be in the world and make sense of it with the camera. I’ve always been taught that the world is more interesting than anything you could come up with in your own mind.

Kristine Potter May 21, 2024

Jennifer Dudley speaks with photographer Kristine Potter on mediums, a green curtain, and the variety within Kristine Potter: Dark Waters , on view at The Momentary in Bentonville, AK until October 11.

Read More
Mood Ring
black and white collage of banana tree next to poem
How To Get Free

Pieced together through collage, video capture, and a spoken poem, artist Kay-Ann Henry presents the intricacies of Afro-religious practices and Jamaica's particular expression of obeah, pocomania, and kumina.

Reader Burnaway Reader
Recents

In May's Art21 x Burnaway feature, we reflect on Mel Chin's genius and collaborative projects over the past decades.