Momus: The Podcast

By Sky Goodden

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Category: Visual Arts

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“Momus: The Podcast” explores a variety of timely themes relating to contemporary art and the present moment. Momus publisher and podcast host, Sky Goodden, delves into back rooms, biennials, and white cubes, bringing Momus’s unique brand of fresh, urgent criticism into conversation with leading artists, curators, and art writers from around the world.

Episode Date
Eleanor Nairne on “What’s Changed, and What Should?” – Ep. 17
50:22
Momus: The Podcast launches Season 3 with the question “what's changed – and what should?” with curator and art historian Eleanor Nairne. This prompt was already set, but with the emerging pandemic and its irreversible effects on our economy, cultural metabolism, relationship to art, sense of agency, and connection to one other, there has never been a better time to ask it. This conversation also allows us an opportunity to reflect on past seismic shifts in history, and the equally loud cracks that can occur within an artist's practice. How do we seize this historical moment, and what do we wish to see change? Eleanor Nairne is Curator at the Barbican Art Gallery, London, where her exhibitions include Lee Krasner: Living Colour (2019-20) and Basquiat: Boom for Real (2017-18). She is a regular catalogue writer, a contributor to publications including The London Review of Books and frieze and is a former Jerwood Writer in Residence. Prior to the Barbican she was curator of the Artangel Collection at the Tate. In speaking with Lauren Wetmore for the season's inaugural episode, she reflects, "Has this been a time of reflection? No. It’s been a time of faulty connections and stumbling video calls. [But] I don’t want to go back to business as usual. I want to go back with a memory of this time imprinted in a valuable way." Momus: The Podcast - recently named one of The New York Times' top-ten art podcasts - is doubling down and scaling up in Season 3, issuing new podcasts every two weeks and staring directly at our present crisis, with an eye to both history and potential. Look for us on Google Podcasts, Stitcher, iTunes, and other popular podcast apps. Momus: The Podcast is edited by Jacob Irish, features original music by Kyle McCrea, and assistant production from Mitra Shreeram. If you would like to inquire about advertising opportunities or other forms of support, please contact Sky Goodden at skygoodden@momus.ca.
Apr 03, 2020
“What Makes Great Art?” with Margaux Williamson – Ep. 16
39:54
As we continue to circle the question “what makes great art?”, Sky Goodden spoke with Margaux Williamson, a slow painter who gives the greatest primacy to the work of her work, and to the thinking-through that the work requires. Based in Toronto, and known for both her intense focus in the studio and her community-building in Toronto's art scene, Williamson speaks with humor and heart about where her  friends show up in her art, and the soft focus that painting requires. 'People can be easily impressed by skill, and I know that’s not what art is.' Momus: The Podcast is edited by Jacob Irish, features original music by Kyle McCrea, and assistant production from Mitra Shreeram. Our many thanks to Williamson for her reflective contribution to this episode. Our thanks as well to the Banff Centre for their support. If you would like to inquire about advertising opportunities or other forms of support, please contact Sky Goodden at skygoodden@momus.ca.
Feb 20, 2020
“What Makes Great Art?” with Isabel Lewis – Ep. 15
34:19
For this month’s episode circling the question “what makes great art?”, Lauren Wetmore spoke with Berlin-based artist Isabel Lewis. Lewis was trained in classical ballet and carries its impression through a practice that marries philosophy, choreography, storytelling, and sensory aesthetics. She insists, “There is nothing neutral about the body." Momus: The Podcast is edited by Jacob Irish, features original music by Kyle McCrea, and assistant production from Mitra Shreeram. Our many thanks to Lewis for her eloquent contribution to this episode. If you would like to inquire about advertising opportunities or other forms of support, please contact Sky Goodden at skygoodden@momus.ca.
Nov 29, 2019
“What Makes Great Art?” with Jarrett Earnest – Ep. 14
47:23
For this month’s episode, towards our season's question, “what makes great art?”, Sky Goodden spoke with artist, curator, and writer Jarrett Earnest. He’s the editor behind the recent compilation of New Yorker critic Peter Schjeldahl's writing, titled Hot, Cold, Heavy, Light (Abrams, 2019), which highlights Schjeldahl's more risk-taking and experimental art writing from venues like The Village Voice, in addition to his most enduring criticism from The New Yorker. In 2018, Earnest published What it Means to Write About Art (David Zwirner Books), a master compendium of fresh, vulnerable and reflective interviews with the legends of American art criticism. In the spring of 2019, he curated Young and Evil at David Zwirner, which re-centered the gay artists who pivoted away from the prevailing trend toward abstraction in the early 20th-century. His conversation with Goodden circles his approach to reading and writing, the ways in which storytelling is central to his practice, and the question that should precede "what makes great art?"  Momus: The Podcast is edited by Jacob Irish, features original music by Kyle McCrea, and assistant production from Mitra Shreeram. Our many thanks to Jarrett for his probing contribution to this episode! And our many thanks to Art Toronto for their support. If you would like to inquire about advertising opportunities or other forms of support, please contact Sky Goodden at skygoodden@momus.ca.
Oct 23, 2019
“What Makes Great Art?” with Francis McKee – Ep. 13
53:16
For this month’s episode, circling the question “what makes great art?” Lauren Wetmore entered into a searching conversation with Irish curator and writer Francis McKee. Momus: The Podcast is edited by Jacob Irish, features original music by Kyle McCrea, and assistant production from Mitra Shreeram. Our many thanks to Francis for his meditative contribution to this episode.
Sep 23, 2019
“What Makes Great Art?” with Katerina Gregos – Ep. 12
40:26
Continuing with our pursuit of the question “What makes great art?”,  Lauren Wetmore sits down with Greek art historian, curator, and writer Katerina Gregos, in Brussels. Their conversation builds on a quote from Gregos's recent exhibition The Anatomy of Political Melancholy, hosted by the Schwartz Foundation at the Athens Conservatory:  “We are increasingly witnesses to the debasement of political language, the infantilization and polarization of political debate; the growth of a simplified discourse that panders to collective fears rather than addressing the real, pressing questions; the lack of accountability from politicians, and of course, 'fake truth' and 'alternative facts'. Clearly there is something profoundly wrong with contemporary politics.” What follows is a discussion that exchanges this quote's “politics” for “art,” and interrogates the conditions by which we frame political comment in exhibition-making. Momus: The Podcast is edited by Jacob Irish, features original music by Kyle McCrea, and assistant production from Mitra Shreeram. Our many thanks to Katerina Gregos for her stirring contribution to this episode. You can stream the episode above, or subscribe/download it on Google Play, iTunes, and Stitcher. If you would like to inquire about advertising opportunities or other forms of support, please contact Sky Goodden at skygoodden@momus.ca.
Aug 06, 2019
“What Makes Great Art?” with Jinn Bronwen Lee – Ep. 11
28:22
As we continue our season-long exploration of “What makes great art?”, Sky Goodden sat down with Jinn Bronwen Lee, an artist based in Chicago. They discuss old master painting, the effect of our viewing environments on art, and the power of long looking.  Momus: The Podcast is edited by Jacob Irish, features original music by Kyle McCrea, and assistant production from Mitra Shreeram. We would like to thank the School of the Art Institute of Chicagofor their support. And, of course, our many thanks to Dushko Petrovich for his considered contribution to this episode. You can stream the episode above, or subscribe/download it on Google Play, iTunes, and Stitcher. If you would like to inquire about advertising opportunities or other forms of support, please contact Sky Goodden at skygoodden@momus.ca.
Jun 27, 2019
“What Makes Great Art?” with Dushko Petrovich – Ep. 10
25:45
In our 10th episode, we continue our season-long exploration of the question, “What makes great art,” speaking to essential voices of our time about their experiences of seeking it. What follows is an interview between Momus Publisher Sky Goodden and Dushko Petrovich. Born in Ecuador and based in Chicago, Dushko is the chair of the New Arts Journalism program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and works in several critical and creative capacities, including as publisher and artist. He is the co-founder of the beloved Paper Monument, among others, and by all indications, the heart of his publishing activity is activist. In a searching conversation, Petrovich and Goodden land on their mutual desire and responsibility to foster a space for criticism and change. What makes great art? Petrovich argues that the metrics by which we know it are being actively altered. Momus: The Podcast is edited by Jacob Irish, features original music by Kyle McCrea, and assistant production from Mitra Shreeram. We would like to thank the School of the Art Institute of Chicago for their support. And, of course, our many thanks to Dushko Petrovich for his considered contribution to this episode. You can stream the episode above, or subscribe/download it on Google Play, iTunes, and Stitcher. If you would like to inquire about advertising opportunities or other forms of support, please contact Sky Goodden at skygoodden@momus.ca.
May 22, 2019
“What Makes Great Art?” with Osei Bonsu – Ep. 09
42:48
In continuing our season-long exploration of the question “What makes great art?” co-hosts Lauren Wetmore and Sky Goodden speak to essential voices about what are we seeking – and so often missing – in our experience of art. What follows is an interview with the British-Ghanaian curator, critic, and art historian Osei Bonsu. Based in Paris and London, Bonsu focuses on transnational histories of art. In conversation with Lauren Wetmore, he contemplates how we have exchanged a generosity of thought for a culture of transaction, and how the experience of meeting great art can be ahistorical - out of place and out of time. Momus: The Podcast is edited by Jacob Irish, features original music by Kyle McCrea, and assistant production from Mitra Shreeram. We would like to thank Esker Foundation for their support. And, of course, our many thanks to Osei Bonsu for his deeply meaningful contribution to this episode. If you would like to inquire about advertising opportunities or other forms of support, please contact Sky Goodden at skygoodden@momus.ca.
Apr 08, 2019
“What Makes Great Art?” with Jeanne Randolph and Sheila Heti – Ep. 08
25:02
What makes “great art”? How do we account for what Gertrude Stein called the “itness” of art, and what are we seeking - and so often missing - in our experience of art? In brief, bright 30-minute episodes, Momus: The Podcast’s second season will follow co-hosts Lauren Wetmore and Sky Goodden as they speak with writers, curators, filmmakers, novelists, and artists about this searching. They ask, "What are their experiences with the 'itness', and with tracing it or trying to replicate it in their own work and in their lives?" In the first episode of Season 2, Goodden and Wetmore speak to performance artist, ficto-critic, and psychoanalyst Jeanne Randolph, as well as celebrated novelist Sheila Heti, who memorably says of art, “The person that loves it is the one that is right.” Momus: The Podcast is edited by Jacob Irish, features original music by Kyle McCrea, and assistant production from Mitra Shreeram. We would like to thank Tellwell Books and Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival for their support. And of course our deepest thanks to Jeanne Randolph and Sheila Heti for their memorable contributions to this episode. If you would like to inquire about advertising opportunities or other forms of support, please contact Sky Goodden at skygoodden@momus.ca.
Mar 07, 2019
“Over, Again and Again” Renewing Canada’s Artist-Run Culture – Ep. 07
39:51
In Momus: The Podcast's 7th episode, we have brought together a group of artists, curators, and scholars to update the conversation around Artist-Run Culture in Canada. It’s a well-known history, one approaching legend, in this country: the emergence of artist-run centers seeking to address a lack of options for artist representation while forming a network across a vast geography; and then their professionalization, one approaching an institutionalization that mirrors the very thing they were made to contravene. Now, in a moment of large shifts across the arts sector, with a recent change to our country’s funding models, and a refocusing of our social values on historically underrepresented groups, our relationship to a Canadian cultural legacy is up for renewal. Momus: The Podcast is Co-Produced and Co-Hosted by Sky Goodden and Lauren Wetmore. We would like to thank all our contributors to this episode: Caitlin Jones, Peter Morin, Peggy Gale, Sylvie Gilbert and Francois Dion; with thanks to Lorna Brown for her text. Momus: The Podcast is edited by Jacob Irish, features original music by Kyle McCrea, and assistant production from Mitra Shreeram. Season 1 of Momus: The Podcast is brought to you with the help of the Canada Council for the Arts “New Chapter” grant.”
Oct 30, 2018
An Ethics of Abundance with Jacob Wren and Dayna Danger – Ep. 06
29:42
For this episode of our Criticism in Conversation series, a writer and collaborative performer, Jacob Wren, speaks with artist Dayna Danger, about the line between empowerment and objectification and the meaning of community in both their work. Danger is a 2Spirit/Queer, Metis/Saulteaux/Polish artist whose images highlight and queer power dynamics, kinship, representation, and sexuality. Wren makes collaborative performances, exhibitions and literature, including 2014’s Polyamorous Love Song and this year’s Authenticity is a Feeling, a hybrid of history, performance theory, and memoir. Together they cover a lot of ground, from personal narratives and community relationships to speaking against silence and apathy. We also receive a set of strategies for working and living in capitalist and colonial society, including creating your own rituals and adopting an ethics of abundance. This episode is edited by Jacob Irish, features original music by Kyle McCrea and production assistance by Mitra Shreeram. It’s brought to you with the help of the Canada Council for the Arts “New Chapter” grant, and is syndicated by NTS Radio.
Sep 29, 2018
Conflict of Interest with Tyler Green and Catherine G. Wagley – Ep. 05
34:43
In this episode of “Criticism in Conversation”, two art critics and historians discuss “conflict of interest” in contemporary art criticism. Tyler Green, the host of the popular Modern Art Notes Podcast  and Catherine G. Wagley, a critic who regularly publishes with artnet News, the LA Review of Books, and Momus, frame the stakes and risks of a critic writing on contemporary - and even historical - figures in art, especially in light of the market’s increasingly firm grip on our discourse. We can hear them debate the most ethical approach to navigating nepotism, allyship, and critical distance in contemporary art writing. And as a centerpiece to this discussion, they cite the recent example of an art historian outing two leading art publications for acquiescing to the control exercised by a leading gallery over the material published on its artists. In an artworld where conflict-of-interest is endemic and normalized, our attention should be heightened, especially regarding the powers that dictate the terms by which we critique, historicize, and debate.  Momus: The Podcast is co-produced and co-hosted by Sky Goodden and Lauren Wetmore. This episode is edited by Jacob Irish, features original music by Kyle McCrea and production assistance by Mitra Shreeram. It’s brought to you with the help of the Canada Council for the Arts “New Chapter” grant, and is syndicated by NTS Radio.
Sep 17, 2018
Art and Technology Criticism with Nora Khan – Ep. 04
36:01
Two art and technology critics, Nora Khan and Mike Pepi, discuss pushing for a rigorous critical discourse in a creative field that can flatten evaluative distinctions in favor of zealotry for invention.  “Criticism of a tool that’s presented as neutral when it really is a piece of social engineering is incredibly hard to do, and there really isn’t a model for criticism in this space,” says Khan. In this far-ranging discussion that touches on the critical distance and yet humanism required of writing on the internet, surveillance, and AI, Khan and Pepi assert that tools aren’t divorced from their makers, and artwork is never post-human - nor post-critique. “Criticism in Conversation” is a series by Momus: The Podcast, and is co-produced and co-hosted by Lauren Wetmore and Sky Goodden. This episode of Momus: The Podcast is edited by Jacob Irish, features original music by Kyle McCrea, and production assistance by Mitra Shreeram. It’s brought to you with the help of the Canada Council for the Arts “New Chapter” grant, and is syndicated by NTS Radio.
Aug 30, 2018
Art Criticism vs. Journalism with Catherine G. Wagley and Julia Halperin – Ep. 03
37:05
In the first episode of Momus’s new “Criticism in Conversation” podcast series, an art critic and an art journalist parse the differing responsibilities and approaches of their craft. Catherine G. Wagley (a Momus contributing editor, and a critic for ARTNews and The Los Angeles Review of Books, among others) and Julia Halperin (Executive Editor of artnet News, and former Museums Editor for The Art Newspaper) compare notes and find common ground as they consider, in particular, the example of a potent piece of journalism published by Halperin concerning the influence of five commercial galleries on worldwide institutional programming. Wagley wonders if this kind of reporting isn’t also the province of criticism, as these politics affect what we see – and how. “Criticism in Conversation” is a new series by Momus: The Podcast, and is co-produced and co-hosted by Lauren Wetmore and Sky Goodden. Momus: The Podcast is edited by Angela Shackel, and features original music by Kyle McCrea. It’s brought to you with the help of the Canada Council for the Arts “New Chapter” grant, and is syndicated by NTS Radio.
Aug 13, 2018
The Venice Biennale – Ep. 01
56:01
Welcome to the pilot episode of Momus: The Podcast. For our first broadcast, we focus on the historic Venice Biennale as the 57th edition opens to the public. We air a conversation on its history, institution, relevance, and potential, with insight arriving from a group of critics, curators, artists, and gallerists speaking to us from around the world. In this vibrant and myriad discussion, we question this event’s potential for political comment; its profile amid a “festivalist” biennial culture; its emphasis on nationalism; and the latest edition’s success. Our pilot contributors include Morgan Quaintance, Andrew Berardini, Kimberlee Córdova, Saelan Twerdy, Sandra Paikowsky, Catherine G. Wagley, Alison Hugill, Mitch Speed, and your host, Sky Goodden. We’d like to thank the Ontario Arts Council for its support in making this podcast’s first episode possible. Momus: The Podcast is co-produced by Angela Shackel and Sky Goodden; and edited by Angela Shackel. We would like to thank our assistant producer, Mitra Shreeram; and our music composer, Kyle McCrea. We are thrilled to announce that NTS radio hosts Momus: The Podcast.
Jan 31, 2018
The Artist Residency – Ep. 02
44:37
Informing the artworld’s global economy and increasing professionalization, the artist residency has risen to the top, becoming one of the key features of contemporary art practice. Art critic and Momus publisher Sky Goodden hosts an overdue conversation on this phenomenon, featuring international curators, critics, artists, and residency directors. Momus: The Podcast episode 2 features guests Daniel Baumann (director of Kunsthalle Zürich), Kristy Trinier (artist, curator, and former Banff Centre director), Aaron Cezar (founding director of Delfina Foundation), Michelle Grabner (artist, educator, and artistic director of Front International), and the co-directors of Beirut residency marra.tein, Jared McCormick and George Awde. We’d like to thank the Canada Council for the Arts's New Chapter grant for its support in making this podcast’s first season possible. Momus: The Podcast is co-produced by Angela Shackel and Sky Goodden; and edited by Angela Shackel, with assistance from Braden Labonte. We would like to thank our assistant producer, Mitra Shreeram; our composer and music editor Kyle McCrea; and this episode’s co-host, Lauren Wetmore. Momus is also thrilled to thank NTS radio for sydicating and hosting Momus: The Podcast.
Dec 12, 2017