Yasmin Nair currently lives and writes in Chicago, where she's working on a book, Strange Love: Neoliberalism, Affect, and the Invention of Social Justice. Her work is archived at www.yasminnair.net.
Aziz + Cucher
On the “Some People” Tapestry Cycle-
Traditional European tapestries achieved their high point as an art form precisely at the time of the consolidation of the political and economic structures that would come to define the Modern world.
We were curious to see what it would mean to revisit this medium –with its rich figurative and narrative potential – in our time, when the certainties of modern power are being assailed from multiple paradoxical extremes: states vie with non-state actors for domination, globalization and localism coexist in the form of ruthless capitalism and trenchant tribalism, the utopias of technology are faced with the limitation of ecological finitude, and the expansion of democratic means of communication has led to the weakening of institutions and the emergence of plutocratic governance around the world.
These thoughts coalesced as we visited the three magnificent exhibitions of historical tapestries organized by the Metropolitan Museum of Art between 2002 and 2014, exceptional opportunities to fully understand the role that tapestries held in their time as emblems of power and as instruments of propaganda.
In our tapestries, four of which have been woven so far between 2014 and 2016, we want to reflect on this state of paradox and uncertainty that seems to dominate our present condition.
Born and raised in Tehran, Saba Riazi is currently pursuing her MFA in creative writing at CUNY's Queens College. Prior to writing Saba studied Film Production at New York University. Her short film The Wind Is Blowing On My Street premiered at the Sundance film festival, and her feature film Ice Cream was released in 2017.
Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries
YOUNG-HAE CHANG HEAVY INDUSTRIES is yhchang.com. Based in Seoul, YHCHI has done their signature animated texts set to their own music in 26 languages and shown many of them at some of the major art institutions in the world, including Tate, London, Centre Pompidou, Paris, Whitney Museum and New Museum, New York. Young-hae Chang (KR) and Marc Voge (US), the two principals of YHCHI, were recent Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center Creative Arts Fellows.
Chika Onyenezi is a writer living in United States. Born in Owerri, Nigeria, he holds two degrees, including an MA from European Peace University. His work has appeared, or is forthcoming in Apogee, Ninth Letter Magazine, Numéro Cinq, and elsewhere. In addition to writing short stories, he has a novel in progress.
Robert Coover has been a seminal figure in American literature for more than fifty years. His works span a variety of genres and mediums. Among the most well-known are The Public Burning, The Babysitter, and A Political Fable, which OR Books will be republishing under its original title, The Cat in the Hat for President, in 2018.
Anyigor Ifeoma Evelyn is a Nigerian studying international affairs at John Cabot University in Rome, Italy. "Think Home Africans" is her first published work. It is part of a much larger project based on the struggle of refugees and Africans in diaspora. She is the founder of Think Home Africans, an NGO she established to combat emigration crisis through awareness and humanitarian action. This work is dedicated to Mary Marva, the Dean of Academics at John Cabot University.
Helen DeWitt is the author of The Last Samurai and Lightning Rods. She lives in Berlin.
Jonathan Reiss has written for Narrative.ly, The Observer, Interview, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, Complex, Tablet, Brooklyn Based, The Source, Punknews.org, The Millions, and more. He lives in Brooklyn. Getting Off is his first novel. For more information about him, please see jonreiss.tumblr.com. http://www.instarbooks.com/books/getting-off.html
Emily Schultz is the co-founder of Joyland magazine and the author of The Blondes, which was named a Best Book of the 2015 by NPR and Kirkus. She is adapting it for television for AMC’s Shudder. Her writing has appeared in Slate, Vice, and elsewhere. She lives in Brooklyn.
Laurie Stone is author most recently of My Life as an Animal, Stories. A longtime writer for the Village Voice, The Nation, and Fresh Air, she won the Nona Balakian prize in excellence in criticism from the National Book Critics Circle and has published numerous stories in such publications as Fence, Open City, Anderbo, The Collagist, New Letters, TriQuarterly, Threepenny Review, and Creative Nonfiction. She has frequently collaborated with composer Gordon Beeferman. The world premier of their piece “You, the Weather, a Wolf” was presented in the 2016 season of the St. Urban concerts. She is at work on The Love of Strangers, a collage of hybrid narratives. Her website is: lauriestonewriter.com.
Born in Somalia and raised in Kenya in a Muslim household, Uman lives and works in upstate New York, and is affiliated with the ‘137 Artists Collective’, a New York City art studio established by Annatina Miescher a Swiss-born, New York-based practicing psychiatrist. A self-taught artist, Uman’s work embraces both folk and outsider-ish mannerisms, especially evident in the precise use of found or scavenged materials and supports.
Beatrix Urkowitz creates comics and art in Providence, Rhode Island. Her favorite artists include Lynda Barry, Laurie Anderson, Saul Steinberg, Jules Feiffer, Ettore Sottsass, Carl Barks, Erik Nebel, Robert Ashley, and Kanye West. Currently available for illustration work, private commissions, job offers, fine art projects, publishing opportunities, love letters or damning critiques. bmfu.net