Editorial 44: Reflect

Welcome to #44: this is the REFLECT issue.

REFLECT, as in:

– To throw or bend back
– To show or express
– To bring as a consequence
– To think, meditate or ponder


In this issue:

Charlotte Henay interviews Indigenous, 2Spirit, multidisciplinary artist and activist Raven Davis, the cover photographer for issue #44. In conversation, they explore Davis’ art as resurgent practice and ceremony. As the reader discovers from the interview, Davis’ position at the interstices of… is both their work and focus of this piece.

Chloë Brushwood Rose interviews Maggie Nelson, whose most recent book, The Argonauts, has captivated the mainstream press with its ambitious range of themes-the making of queer family, the gender transition of her partner, the erotics of motherhood, and the marginalization of mothers and women in philosophy and culture. “The Argonauts felt like a story I’d been waiting to read for a long time and a story I wasn’t sure was possible to tell (let alone get reviewed by the New York Times)”, reflects Brushwood Rose. “[H]er book feels simultaneously long overdue, timely, and prescient.” Amplifying the eloquence and ingenuousness of The Argonauts, Brushwood Rose’s interview with Nelson plunges us further into imaginative depths.

Aymar Jean Christian reflects on Nupita Obama Creates Vogua, an indie TV pilot starring three artists who create a new art form, vogua–voguing and yoga–to diffuse romantic tension. The series focuses on gender nonconforming artists of colour who use performance to smooth social, economic and sexual situations. Christian develops queer pilots as an intervention in Hollywood’s highly unequal and opaque development process, which systematically disadvantages producers who are queer, transgender, women, and people of colour.

Discussing the work of Pauline Boudry / Renate Lorenz, Vincent Chevalier and Félix González-Torres, Mark Clintberg and Jon Davies draw from Clinteberg’s affect model of frottage, and address queer affect in artistic and curatorial practice, and the queer qualities that characterize the intense emotional relationships that curators/scholars have with artworks/artists.

In Tools for the Feminist Present, Cait McKinney and Hazel Meyer take inspiration from tool catalogs, like the glossy, 300-page tome issued annually by Lee Valley. Tool catalogs, as the authors explain, collect and fetishize practical objects, and tell the reader what they can do with each tool by promising action through objects perfectly designed for function. Building from this, McKinney and Meyer imagine a scenario in which a Feminist Tool Catalog arrives in the mail from which objects are admired, re-imagined, acquired, and ultimately put to use.

Last year, Michèle Pearson Clarke invited Deanna Bowen to interview her at the opening of her MFA thesis show at Ryerson Image Centre. As Clarke explains in her introduction to her interview with Bowen, Bowen asked the questions that were needed in order for Clark to say the things she wanted the audience to hear. Shortly following Bowen being named a 2016 Guggenheim Fellow, Clark sat down with her and returned the favour, asking Bowen the questions that she needs us/the audience to hear. 

Mark Rifkin uses A Chef’s Life-the half-hour series from South Carolina ETV, which follows Chef Vivian Howard as she explores North Carolina’s low country-as a touchpoint to explore notions of home, identity, and territorial affinities. Rifkin reminds us of how such terms are stained by historical residues that often politicize our awareness of the recent-past, but sometimes in ways that eclipse colonialist (present-day) legacies.

As always, huge thank-you to Tamara Shepherd (our amazing copy editor), to all the NMP regulars, contributors past and future, and to readers and supporters of the project in so many ways.

Andrea Zeffiro, M-C MacPhee and Mél Hogan