Art & Autocracy In The Brooklyn Rail

screenshot of the banner for my Sandler essay, Art & Autocracy, in The Brooklyn Rail, featuring Caetano Veloso in a Parangolé by Helio Oiticica, photo by Geraldo Viola

At a moment when it really felt impossible to even think about art, much less write about it or make it, being asked to write the Sandler Essay gave me a chance to figure out how to do just that. So I’m grateful to The Brooklyn Rail, editors Alex and Charlie, and to Blake for the rec.

Unfortunately, this morning, it’s only gotten easier to imagine what kinds of violence and oppression authoritarianism can unleash, even on those who have felt immune to its threat. But there’s art around us, made by artists resisting autocracy, that can affect and teach us things we desperately need to know.

When I put in Tania Bruguera’s warning from early April, where she said, “I think it’s the beginning,” I worried it might be alarmist. It turns out, it was optimistic to think of what’s happening now as a beginning, and not just an acceleration.

photo: Geraldo Viola via Fernando Rabelo

Meanwhile, here is where I take blogger’s prerogative and use another of Geraldo Viola’s amazing photos of Caetano Veloso wearing Helio Oiticica’s Parangolé P4 Cape 1, 1968, which we couldn’t find a high-enough-resolution version of.

Art & Autocracy []