To commemorate the year that was, we invited an array of artists, writers, designers, and curators—from graphic designers Eric Hu and Omar Sosa to artist Korakrit Arunanondchai and Arab Image Foundation director Rima Mokaiesh—to share a list of the most noteworthy ideas, events, and objects they encountered in 2014.
Tiffany Malakooti is an independent graphic designer working primarily with artists and related institutions. She is also head of special projects at Bidoun, where she has collaborated on archival projects and events with the Beirut Art Center, Cabinet Space, PS1, the Serpentine Gallery, UbuWeb, and the Victoria and Albert Museum.
Rouhani World Cup Self Portrait
Iranian president Hassan Rouhani brought great joy to my heart when he tweeted this image of himself watching the Nigeria vs. Iran game during this year’s World Cup. The prop styling is positively flawless; the rug rolling up where the TV stand has been moved, the virginal fruit plate and still-too-hot-to-drink tea, the cushion behind the back and the posture and the placement of hands— the sight of a head of state and high ranking cleric in track pants! Heaven!
Akram Zaatari: Endnote
Hashem El Madani, a prolific 20th-century Lebanese studio photographer, and Akram Zaatari, who through his research and archival efforts is largely responsible for the wide-reaching circulation of Madani’s images, sit in Madani’s Studio Shehrazade in Saïda and observe a laptop.
Here we have a strong somatic allegory for a political situation taking place atop the body of one of its principal actors—it’s really incredible!
K8 Hardy: Face 2 Face
“I’d rather be working with like two full time assistants and a manager and an agent and lots of temporary staff floating in and out of my studio, but it’s just me. Sometimes I have an intern for one or two days a week, but it’s never enough to get the momentum of feeling like I’m on top of the operation. Is this my own fault and my shortcomings said the woman voice inside my head. It’s harder to say there’s a glass ceiling in the art world then in like a more traditional industry. It’s all about luck and dick-sucking. Let me just be clear that when I say dick-sucking, I mean having some reverence for the patriarchy. You know, encouraging it or just living it without any or very little critical thought. I want to say that I encourage the actual act of sucking dick and hope everyone that wants a dick in their mouth can get one in their mouth. Yet, somehow there is a reality that if you do want a dick in your mouth, it’s the privileged member with whom you have a relationship. Know what I mean? I need to say these kind of provocative things to get people’s attention. It’s a lesbian thing.”
Xavier Dolan: Mommy
Xavier Dolan’s Mommy touches a previously undiscovered g-spot between the diagesis and mimesis of emotions, sentimentality, and relational dynamics. It doesn’t look terribly different than the standard formula, but actually its really a totally different formula; it seems so obvious that I’m not sure why I’ve never seen a film like this before.
Divide n Conquer
Gina Prince-Bythewood: Beyond the Lights
Despite being one of my all-time favorite movies, the ending of Love and Basketball has always rubbed me the wrong way. Beyond the Lights did not rub me the wrong way and I earnestly support this brand of applied feminism.
Diana Taurasi / Seimone Augustus
Technically this happened in 2013.
Daily Show / Onion / Etc.
Sanity / hope / catharsis
# # # #
This might just turn out to be an important year for USA.