Ann Hamilton: An Interview

Video Data Bank

2017 | 01:01:45 | United States | English | Color | Stereo | 16:9 | HD video

Collection: Interviews, On Art and Artists

Tags: Art Criticism, Interview, Politics, Sculpture, VDB Interviews, Visiting Artists Program

In conversation with curator and educator Mary Jane Jacob, visual artist Ann Hamilton (b. 1956) talks about care, interactivity, and social relations — key concepts that preoccupy her practice — and why she feels compelled to revisit these issues under the Trump administration. Hamilton was trained in textile design and sculpture, and she received her MFA from Yale University School of Art in 1985. Hamilton is internationally renowned for her large-scale, immersive installations that are poetically site-specific, sensorial, and inviting. Her recent piece at the Park Avenue Armory, The Event of a Thread (2012), which is primarily discussed in the interview, is a participatory installation that uses a swings-and-curtains system to “weave” together the physical and social histories of the space.

In the interview, Hamilton also discusses her current interest in life, air, and vitality. Referencing Donna Haraway’s book Staying with the Trouble: Making Kin in the Chthulucene (2016), Hamilton evaluates her current mode of working and considers her constant negotiation with her surroundings as a latent resistance against, and an improvement of, the social and political landscape. Finally, the conversation circles back to where it begins, ending with a simple yet poignant question proposed by art critic Michael Brenson: how do we do what we care about better?

Interview conducted in 2017 by Mary Jane Jacob.

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