“Art is …” Andrea + Robert (2014)

Robert J. Smith III

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Poet, writer, and artist Andrea Jenkins recently led an interactive performance and conversation about the transgender body in relationship to her own practice and within the context art worlds, as part of “See, Sit, Sup, Sip, Sing: Holding Court,” an installation by Theaster Gates on view in the exhibition “Radical Presence: Black Performance in Contemporary Art.”

Here, Andrea and Robert J. Smith III, Community Coordinator at the Walker, pay homage to Lorraine O'Grady’s work “Art Is …” another piece on view in “Radical Presence.” In response to the question “What is art?” O'Grady argued for a broad definition of art and an expanded sense of its community. O'Grady took a gilded frame to the streets of Harlem for the 1983 African-American Day Parade to demonstrate that defining art is a question of policing, and limiting, what is allowed inside the frame.

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