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Bellwethers: The Culture of Controversy
June 4, 2019 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm$10
On three consecutive Tuesdays this spring – May 21, May 28, and June 4 – The Drawing Center will present a new program series, Bellwethers: The Culture of Controversy, which will convene a prominent group of writers, cultural critics, and artists to respond to a cultural “bellwether” and take it in their own interpretative direction. Each session examines a timely indicator, word, or phrase emblematic of a polemical socio-political topic of our moment and that impacts art as well as broader cultural production.
Tuesday, June 4 at 6:30pm
With Anna Khachiyan and Natasha Stagg
Forget the old style of enforcing political correctness—the new culture of cancellation is socially swift and unilaterally unpredictable. On the one hand, “cancel culture” has been used to swiftly punish perceived criminal behavior; on the flip side, it can operate as a means to extinguish nuanced debate and cast out public figures in trials by Twitter. How do we navigate this phenomenon that some see as inherently undemocratic and anti-nuanced and others praise as effective in a world in which the law is statistically proven to fail women and people of color? How does cancellation impact revisionist artistic and political histories?
Anna Khachiyan is a writer based in New York. Khachiyan is co-host of the podcast Red Scare, and an occasional art critic. She was “cancelled” by Twitter in 2018 due to her polemical commentaries, and is a leading voice on the millennial left.
Natasha Stagg is a writer based in New York. Stagg’s work has appeared in Affidavit, Artforum, Bookforum, The Brooklyn Rail, CR Fashion Book, DIS Magazine, n+1, The Paris Review, Spike Art Quarterly, among many other publications. Stagg’s debut novel Surveys was published by Semiotext(e)/Native Agents in 2016, and her book of critical essays will be published by Semiotext(e) later this year.
Image: L to R, Natasha Stagg and Anna Khachiyan.