101st Annual College Art Association Conference Paper

Chim↑Pom reenact their “100 Kiai” (100 Cheers). Photo courtesy Gadabout.

February 15th I will be giving a paper on Disaster and Creativity panel at the 101st Annual CAA Conference. Here is the short abstract:

“Between Awe and Anger: Young Japanese Artists Respond to Tohoku and Fukushima”

Artistic responses to the twin disasters that struck Northeastern Japan in March of 2011 span the spectrum from aestheticizing the awesome forces of nature to condemnation of human ineptitude and industrial-political collusion. Chihiro Kabata’s series of large-scale paintings depict glistening black water ripples washing back dimly after a climactic surge in which so many lives were instantly obliterated by the wall of murky water.

A different response to the man-made and still ongoing disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant is by the Tokyo-based collective Chim↑Pom, whose clandestine insertion of the smoking Fukushima reactor into Taro Okamoto’s 1969 anti-nuclear mural at Tokyo’s Shibuya station landed them in legal trouble. In contrast to Kabata’s existentialist awe at the omnipotence of nature, Chim↑Pom’s reaction is a social critique. Their focus is the mismanagement of atomic power. Yet, ultimately, both Kabata and Chim↑Pom contribute to forming the collective memory of the disasters.

ARTFORUM CRITICS’ PICKS: “Painting” at The Box

My review of the “Painting” show at The Box gallery is up on the Artforum.com site.

2012_Painting_Henderson Castration 1968

December 2012 JAVA magazine interview


Phoenix’s JAVA magazine interviewed me for their last issue of 2012. Here is the link to the article written by Jenna Duncan (you will need to click on the red arrow in the upper right corner).


Dear Jerry, would you consider a perfect faux Wade Guyton?

Le Huffington Post: The Most Emailed Article on the Site For September 2012

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I posted this blog entry exactly one month ago on Le Huffington Post. By the end of the first week if was the most emailed article on the site, and as of today it was still the most emailed entry of the month. Make sure to view the slideshow, the images speak for themselves.

HuffingtonPost.fr 1/09/2012: Le Prix Marcel Duchamp récompense-t-il la créativité?  by Julia Friedman  http://huff.to/PQ41Pf

ARTFORUM CRITICS’ PICKS: Tsibi Geva at Ashdod Museum of Art


Huffington Post: Art in “Paradise” (Far From the Art-Industrial Hive)

My latest Huffington Post article about Arizona based artists Geny Dignac and Rotraut Klein-Moquay is out now. To view full text click here.



SHIBUHOUSE at The Container Gallery


Nako-Meguro’s hip gallery The Container will celebrate its one-year anniversary by hosting the first solo show of the young Japanese collective SHIBUHOUSE. The show, entitled “House 100,” will open with live performances by Jack McLean and Martijn Kluit May 21.

Since its founding early last March The Container’s director Shai Ohayon ran a program of well received exhibitions that featured the works of local and visiting artists such as Jack McLean, LG Williams/Estate of LG Williams and Chim↑Pom. Japan Times, Tokyo Art Beat, Metropolis, Time Out Tokyo, Glass Magazine and CNNgo reviewed or reported on The Container’s activities. I wrote about the inaugural show Salt Mine for Artforum.com.

The gallery press release describes “House 100″ as a performative exhibition, that will consist of a series of interviews that will be conducted with the members of the collective over the course of the show. Here is more about the show from the press release:

Shibuhouse is a young loose collective from Tokyo Japan which was formed in 2008 and includes 20-some members. The members, who are engaged in various disciplines – from visual art practitioners, to medical students, publishers, producers, designers, film makers and musicians – all share a house together in the busy neighbourhood of Shibuya in central Tokyo.

Their interventions (such as “Bad Cloth” in 2010, which prompted the involvement of the police and the Yakuza) and their monthly house parties on the 22nd of each month, have earned the collective local notoriety and a new approach to the discourse about the relation between art and life, blurring the distinction between one’s personal life and conventional art practices.

The young loose-collective which was formed in 2008 and explores the notion of art through their shared residence in the central Tokyo neighbourhood Shibuya, gives us an opportunity to consider the borders between acts of art and simply living, through a series of interviews they are conducting for the duration of the exhibition. The interviewees are a range of artists, designers, musicians and professionals the collective selected as figures of inspiration.

The Container is set up for the duration of the exhibition as an office, or an external representation of the collective’s residence, hosting the guests and enabling members of Shibuhouse to hang out with them in an informal environment that seeks to investigate the ideas of what is a house or home, what is a family and how these subjective definitions contribute to, or facilitate, artistic production.

The interviews, which will all be conducted inside of the actual container, will be broadcast live on the internet, with additional information and a synopsis available online through the collective’s blog and twitter account. A copy of each broadcast will remain permanently online.

Bill Berkson in Conversation with “Beat & Beyond: San Francisco Art 1950–2000″ Seminar

May 2, our very last seminar meeting, we had a pleasure of Bill Berkson’s company. What a great end to a great semester! Thank you, everyone!

Bill Berkson with Julia Friedman

Born in New York in 1939, Bill Berkson is a poet, critic, teacher and sometime curator, who has been active in the art and literary worlds since his early twenties. Director of Letters and Science at the San Francisco Art Institute from 1993 to 1998, he taught art history, critical writing and poetry and directed the public lectures program there from 1984 to 2007. He studied at Trinity School, The Lawrenceville School, Brown University, Columbia, the New School and New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts. 

He is the author of some twenty books and pamphlets of poetry — including Gloria, a portfolio of poems with etchings by Alex Katz (Arion Press, 2005), Our Friends Will Pass Among You Silently (The Owl Press, 2007), Goods and Services (Blue Press, 2008), Portrait and Dream: New & Selected Poems (Coffee House Press, 2009) and Lady Air (Perdika, 2010). His poems have also appeared in many magazines and anthologies. Other recent books are What’s Your Idea of a Good Time: Letters & Interviews 1977-1985 with Bernadette Mayer (Tuumba Press, 2006); BILL with drawings by Colter Jacobsen (Gallery 16 Editions, 2008); Ted Berrigan with George Schneeman (Cuneiform Press, 2009); Not an Exit with Léonie Guyer (Jungle Garden Books, 2011); and Repeat after Me, with watercolors by John Zurier (Gallery Paule Anglim, 2011).

ASU ART MUSEUM Visiting Faculty Brown Bag Lecture Series, Spring 2012

ASU ART MUSEUM Visiting Faculty Brown Bag Lecture Series, Spring 2012

ARTFORUM CRITICS’ PICKS: “Requiem for the Sun: The Art of Mono-ha” at Blum & Poe

On view through April 14.

ARTFORUM CRITICS’ PICKS: “the economy of things” at the SMoCA

ARTFORUM CRITICS' PICKS: "the economy of things" at the SMoCA

Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art is hosting a group sculpture show curated by Cassandra Coblentz. Here is a link to my review of the show in Critic’s Picks.

Huffington Post: “The School of Things”: Japanese Art c. 1970 Comes to Los Angeles

HuffingtonPost_The School of Things

My posting on the Mono-ha show that Mika Yoshitake curated at Blum & Poe.