Editor’s Letter – September, 2013

September 10, 2013

Marisa Mazria Katz on the U.S.–Mexico border with Tijuana-based artist Marcos Ramirez Erre, 2013

Marisa Mazria Katz on the U.S.–Mexico border with Tijuana-based artist Marcos Ramirez Erre, 2013.

Incisive, and sometimes vexing, inquiries course through each of Creative Time Reports’ most recent pieces. “What’s left of the Left in Italy?” is the question that drove artist Emily Jacir to an Italian archive, where she discovered a trove of films made in solidarity with the Palestinian struggle. And “When can I go home?” is what many of those hit hard by Hurricane Sandy are asking–just as those affected by Katrina did for several years after that storm. The participatory documentary project Sandy Storyline draws out this parallel in its poignant piece on the ever-shifting, and far-from-resolved, situations in New Orleans, New Jersey and New York. After a visit to Guantanamo, Molly Crabapple wants to know why several detainees, some of whom have never been convicted of a crime, are still being held in the “American gulag.” Her piece was also featured on The Daily Beast. On a lighter note, Anthony Haden-Guest’s latest jocular, rhyming take on the news asks, does the proverbial One Percent feel “unloved,” even “persecuted”?

And, finally, the artist collective MTL addresses those who “question the point of the Palestinians’ continued struggle, or whether they can change anything.” MTL, currently on the ground in the Middle East, responds: “The point of a struggle is the business of those engaged in it; it is not up to outsiders to judge the worthiness of a struggle born of necessity.”

As summer turns into fall, the Creative Time Reports editorial team will continue expanding its network of artists spanning the globe. In support of that goal, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts recently awarded Creative Time Reports a travel grant, enabling me to spend two weeks in Mexico looking for contributors and becoming acquainted with the vital issues addressed in their work.

While there, I met with dozens of artists and art collectives, including EDELO, whose practice addresses indigenous communities in the southern state of Chiapas; the groundbreaking documentarian and MacArthur Fellow Natalia Almada, in Mexico City; and Marco Ramirez Erre and the Cognate Collective, near the U.S.-Mexico border in Tijuana. In the coming months, Creative Time Reports will feature the riveting work of many of the artists I met with on the trip.

Finally, questions are not only for the artists to ask. If you have a question—or a comment—prompted by any of our articles we want to hear from you.

Marisa Mazria Katz

Special thanks to Grupo Habita for their generous support.