Lorraine O'Grady with Jarrett Earnest — In this cover feature, her most important published interview to date, O'Grady discusses Flannery O'Connor as a philosopher of the margins, the archival website, working out emotions via Egyptian sculpture, Michael Jackson's genius, and feminism as a plural noun.
black female subjectivity
Artist feature, CAA Art Journal, Summer 2012 — Based on her lecture in conjunction with the exhibit This Will Have Been: Art, Love and Politics in the 1980s, the article puts several early works in historical context and explains O'Grady's reverse trajectory from "post-black" to "black."
Text for the 2012 Paris Triennale English-language website — Written to replace a curatorial text on the Trennale's English website, the text describes the effect of O'Grady's hybrid background on content and form in her work, elaborating this with respect to Miscegenated Family Album, her "novel in space" in the Triennale.
Transcript, "Lorraine O'Grady's Natures," NCRA Canada — This half-hour show, extracted from a longer video interview and produced in Canada for NCRA, is focused on O’Grady’s diptych “The Clearing” and explores issues of sex, nature and love in her work via a mix of the intellectual and the intimate.
Abbreviated version of a WPS1 radio chat with curator Connie Butler. Published in the P.S.1 Newspaper Special Edition for “WACK! Art and the Feminist Revolution,” Winter/Spring, 2008, P.S.1–MOMA, Long Island City, NY.
Recorded by Art Radio WPS1, available online at clocktower.org — Full transcript of a 45-minute conversation between Lorraine O’Grady and curator Connie Butler in WPS1 Art Radio’s broadcast studios two weeks before the WACK! opening at PS1–MOMA, Long Island City, NY.
Unpublished exchange — The most comprehensive and focused interview of O’Grady to date, this Q & A by a Duke University doctoral candidate benefited from the slowness of the email format, the African American feminist scholar’s deep familiarity with O’Grady’s work, and their personal friendship.
Wall statement for exhibit at Thomas Erben Gallery, Soho — Written for the first exhibit of “Studies #3 and 4 for Flowers of Evil and Good” at Thomas Erben Gallery, NYC, this discussion of the father of modernism Charles Baudelaire and his Haitian common-law wife Jeanne Duval, as well as Picasso and O’Grady’s mother Lena, places their relationships in the postmodernist moment.
In Sojourner: The Women's Forum, November 1996 — Conducted in Cambridge during O’Grady’s one-year residency at the Bunting Institute at Harvard, the interview may have been affected by what she’d felt as adverse treatment there of her diptych The Clearing.
Hatch-Billops Collection, Artists and Influence 1996, vol. 15 — In-depth interview done for the excellent Artist and Influence series produced by Camille Billops and James Hatch for their archive of African American visual and theatre arts.
Unpublished lecture, Wellesley College — Written shortly after the “Postscript” to “Olympia’s Maid,” this lecture delivered to the Wellesley Round Table, a faculty symposium on Miscegenated Family Album, takes a retrospective look at O’Grady’s earlier life and work through the prism of cultural theory.
Afterimage 20, 1992; expanded, New Feminist Criticism, 1994 — This first-ever article of cultural criticism on the black female body was to prove germinal and continues to be widely referenced in scholarly and other works. Occasionally controversial, it has been frequently anthologized, most recently in Amelia Jones, ed, The Feminism and Cultural Reader, Routledge.
Catalogue Essay, Coming to Power, David Zwirner Gallery — Written for the unpublished, photocopied catalogue of Coming to Power: 25 Years of Sexually X-plicit Art by Women, curated by Ellen Cantor and presented by David Zwirner Gallery and Simon Watson/The Contemporary, NYC, the essay examines O’Grady’s inclusion in the show and responses to her diptych The Clearing.
Front-of-book feature, Artforum, October 1992 — O’Grady was one of less than a handful of women of color active in the Womens Action Coalition. WAC had been begun by women in the New York art world in response to Anita Hill’s denigration during the congressional hearing on Clarence Thomas’s nomination to the Supreme Court.
Film column, Artforum, January 1992 — Written during a tentative “break-through” year for black women film directors, the article was a search for answers to the question, “Why are there so few even now?” It found the situation for black women to be an exaggeration of that for women in general.
Heresies #15: Racism Is the Issue — Published in the Heresies collective’s journal, this was O’Grady’s first attempt to deal publicly with issues of black female subjectivity. It is based firmly in personal anecdote and psychological description rather than the more theoretical analysis she would later employ.
Aria Dean’s “Closing the Loop” — In contrasting white “selfie” feminism’s understanding of the body to that of contemporary black feminism, Dean’s feature essay also provides a first updating of “Olympia’s Maid.”
Caille Millner, on Rivers, First Draft as a living Künstlerroman — Whereas to many the performance may seem surrealist (in the way early readers saw García Márquez's 100 Years of Solitude as surrealist when that novel was, if not realistic, quite real), Millner adeptly demystifies the work's collage aesthetic, seeing the piece as literalized metaphor, a guide to women of color wishing to become artists.
@museummammy interview on contemporary art — Drew, whose Black Contemporary Art tumblr is a first stop for anyone interested in this enormous topic, here cites David Hammons and Lorraine O'Grady as two artists to whom more serious attention should be paid, joining those who have noted O'Grady's work as "under-theorized."
Louis Bury on "Art Is..." — Bury's lengthy and magisterial review is a model of intellectual attention to what is being seen — both inside and outside the frame. Beginning with the freedom of the piece's title, it examines framing as form, content and metaphor, and illluminates police presence and the relation of viewer to viewed.
Feature article on "Art Is..." and why it might not work today — with interview of O'Grady by Karen Rosenberg. O'Grady describes how the piece became unintentionally historic. Done in 1983, it was just before crack came to Harlem. Later, both the drug and the changed technologies of policing in Harlem and elsewhere would make people less open to strangers and cameras.
Lorraine O'Grady, gallery exhibition catalogue — Fully illustrated, with analyses and descriptions of the 1977 "Cutting Out the New York Times" collaged poems and the 1982 "Rivers, First Draft" performance in Central Park (including production and music credits). Also contains bio and a new text by O'Grady celebrating premiere of RFD as a wall installation.
Lisa Scanlon on O'Grady's archive at Wellesley College — Associate editor Scanlon, writing on the newly opened Lorrraine O'Grady Papers, the College's first major alumnae archives, calls the collection a means to preserve the records of the artist's "permanent rebellion."
Holland Cotter, Art in Review — Cotter, long familiar with O'Grady's work, points to a new aspect of the photomontages shown in New Worlds, their "deep ambivalence." And his description of the effect of Landscape (Western Hemisphere), the video-projection, is the most allusive yet.
Goings On About Town: Art — Considers the New Worlds show relevant in view of the recent shooting of Trayvon Martin.
Emily Nathan, The New York List — Analysis of New Worlds focusing on how the works' resistance of "easy classification" and their straddling of "artificial divides of genre and type" serve to replicate O'Grady's thoughts on the contemporary world, one "shaped and inflected by miscegenation."
Lumi Tan, Critics' Picks — A brief, astute statement that indicates O'Grady's intentions in naming her Alexander Gray, NY solo show New Worlds.
Unpublished article on New Worlds — The unpublished article by Gosine, a York University (Toronto) professor who'd written earlier on hybridity in O'Grady's work, is a perceptive and detailed analysis of the subject's treatment in her New Worlds show at Alexander Gray, NY.
Alana Chloe Esposito, Unnatural Attitudes — A sensitive summary of O'Grady's biography and its effect on her art, Esposito's piece sees the work as emerging from the artist's pressure to understand and become herself.
Lorraine O'Grady Papers, Wellesley College Library — Front page article on the college website about the artist's visit to campus for the celebration of the opening of her archive and to give a lecture.
A Generous Medium: Photography at Wellesley, 1972-2012 — The curator of the Wellesley Davis Museum's 1994 exhibit Body As Measure, in which Miscegenated Family Album was first shown, looks back movingly on her encounter with the work in the artist's studio and on the complexities of purchasing work by an alumna.
Lorraine O’Grady’s Landscape — In a new magazine devoted to artists from the Caribbean and its diaspora, a young Trinidadian-Canadian professor at Toronto’s York University sheds light on the role of hybridity in Landscape (Western Hemisphere) and its complementary work The Clearing.
Tori Bush on Lorraine O'Grady in The Best of Prospect.2: Part 1 — In the online magazine of the Contemporary Visual Arts Association of New Orleans, the writer says of Art Is… in Prospect.2 that the frame "not only asked 'What is art?' but also 'Who chooses what is represented and how is it perceived'" by different audiences?
Lorraine O'Grady's Persistent, Artpace San Antonio — Rondeau, guest curator of New Works 07.2, Artpace San Antonio, 2007, analyzes O’Grady’s residency project, the 6-channel video installation Persistent, memorializing a local multi-ethnic dance club controversially shut down.
Five from the Whitney Biennial: Lorraine O’Grady — Walleston’s Art in America online interview-feature, published on the day of the V.I.P. reception for the 2010 Whitney Biennial, provided a brief but effective look at the artist's work and career.
Carolyn Tennant, New Media Director, Hallwalls — Catalogue essay for Beyond/In Western New York on O’Grady’s two-part exhibit: The Clearing: or Cortez and La Malinche, Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings, N. and Me, photomontage diptych, 1991; and her new complement to it: Landscape (Western Hemisphere)
Wall Text, Miscegenated Family Album — James Rondeau, curator of contemporary art at the first museum to purchase the Miscegenated Family Album installation, wrote a model wall text to introduce the work to general audiences in the Permanent Collection gallery it shared with Felix Gonzalez-Torres.
Connie Butler, curator; Linda Theung, essayist — Catalogue essay by Linda Theung for WACK! Art and the Feminist Revolution, which opened at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, then traveled to the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, DC; MOMA/PS1, Long Island City, NY; and the Vancouver Art Gallery, British Columbia.
Lorraine O’Grady’s “Olympia’s Maid: Reclaiming Black Female Subjectivity” — Seminar paper on need for subjectivity and agency to restore critical judgement in face of knowledge acquisition and production that are compromised forms of power relations. Studio Art Dept, UC Irvine.
The Art of Reading: Postcolonial Bodies and Strategic Illegibility — Analytic reading of two “works” — Gayatri Spivak’s description of her clothing, and Lorraine O’Grady’s Flowers of Evil and Good. Unpublished paper read to a symposium at Louisiana State University, March 2000.
Black Female Spectatorship and the Dilemma of Tokenism — An article in dialogue with O’Grady’s “Olympia’s Maid: Reclaiming Black Female Subjectivity.” In Generations: Academic Feminists in Dialogue, Devoney Looser and E. Ann Kaplan, eds. University of Minnesota Press, 1997.
Hypocrite Lecteur, Mon Semblable, Mon Frère! Hybrid Viewer, My Difference, Lorraine O’Grady! — Catalogue essay for the group exhibit New Histories, Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, MA. 1996. Lia Gangitano and Steven Nelson, eds.
Shadow Boxing with the Status Quo — Review of "Lorraine O'Grady, The Space Between, MATRIX/127," The Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, CT, May 21-Aug 20, 1995. Discusses the two-part exhibit: Miscegenated Family Album and debut installation of Mlle Bourgeoise Noire.
A West Indian Yankee in Queen Nefertiti’s Court — The first critical article on O'Grady's work as a whole, and still one of the best. Published in New Observations #97: COLOR. September/October 1993. Special issue, edited by ADRIAN PIPER.
Lorraine O’Grady: Critical Interventions — Catalogue essay for O'Grady's first solo exhibit: "Lorraine O'Grady," photomontages, INTAR Gallery, 420 W 42nd St, NYC, Jan 21-Feb 22, 1991. Includes authoritative account of artist's earlier career.
Art Is . . . — Highlighted box review, taking a retrospective look at O’Grady’s 1983 performance Art Is.... In “Sniper’s Nest,” Z Magazine, July-August 1988, p 102