“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.
Nora N. Khan on “Within, Below, and Alongside” – Season 4, Episode 7
“A school will change you, and it teaches you as much about how people will interpret you, misunderstand and dismiss you, as it will teach you about a creative life.”
Critic, curator, and educator Nora N. Khan reads from "Dark Study: Within, Below, and Alongside," a feature text published in the inaugural issue of March, which starts with the question: "how to go on?" In discussion with Sky Goodden, Khan describes this question's implications for a text about the “life and death” of study, especially for first-generation immigrants studying in the US; and the effects of writing this piece in the midst of a crisis for both art education and bodies of color. "This is an effect of trauma," she says, of writing the piece. A text that operates on several levels and interweaves the personal and the proclamatory, "Dark Study" reads as both a repudiation of professionalism as we've come to know it, and a manifesto for the future potential of "mastery" in the arts.
Alexandra Stock on “The Privileged, Violent Stunt” – Season 4, Episode 6
Lauren Wetmore interviews Swiss American curator and writer Alexandra Stock about her scathing critique of Christophe Büchel’s 2019 Venice Biennale project Barca Nostra. Published that same year by the independent Egyptian online newspaper Mada Masr, Stock’s "The Privileged, Violent Stunt That is the Venice Biennale Boat Project" decries an “artworld that repels all criticism of it,” and describes the repercussion of being one of the first voices to publicly denouncing this high-profile artwork.
Rianna Jade Parker on “Letter from London” – Season 4, Episode 5
Rianna Jade Parker reads "Letter from London: What is the Status of Black Artists in England Today?" published in ARTnews (June 2020), and engages Sky Goodden on issues of artworld access, stature, masculinity, precariousness, deference to sovereignty, and duty to one another, for Black British artists working in the UK. From Steve McQueen's accepting the Knighthood to a broader conversation around meritocracy and the sudden rush of Black British art (after decades of deletion), Parker discusses her feeling of responsibility to her peers through criticism, and the long unmarked history that she's beginning to write.
Léuli Eshrāghi on tagatavāsā – Season 4, Episode 4
In episode 4, Dr. Léuli Eshrāghi discusses "tagatavāsā," a text centered on Eshrāghi's grandmother's art practice that interweaves Indigenous language with the vernacular of contemporary art. Eshrāghi works across visual arts, curatorial practice, and university research, "intervening in display territories to centre Indigenous kin constellations, sensual and spoken languages, and ceremonial-political practices." In this intimate conversation with Lauren Wetmore, Eshrāghi says, “I wonder how you can bring texts to be haunted by the absence of knowledge, or by the violence of the borders of today.” "tagatavāsā" was published in C Magazine in Winter 2019.
Tausif Noor on “Hand in Glove” – Season 4, Episode 3
“Like writing, fisting is both a replicable skill and a rarefied art form.” This brachioproctic line begins writer Tausif Noor’s “Hand In Glove” (Artforum, 12 April 2019), a joyfully loaded review of William E. Jones’s novel I’m Open to Anything, released in 2019 by Los Angeles independent publisher We Heard You Like Books. In this searching conversation, Lauren and Tausif discuss Jones’s oeuvre, the importance of independent publishing, and celebrate sexual transgression while lamenting that writing can often feel, like Jones’s description of fisting, “a cork popping in reverse.”
Nikki Columbus on “Guston Can Wait” – Season 4, Episode 2
"Let’s stop talking about Philip Guston and start talking about structural racism."
This has been critic Nikki Columbus's refrain through the past season, issuing what many considered the final word of a furious debate surrounding the postponement of a Guston retrospective. Titled "Guston Can Wait" and published October 27, 2020 in N+1, the text (which Columbus reads for the podcast) deftly summarizes the controversy's main thrust - the vehemently-shared opinion that postponing the exhibition was a move based in institutional cowardice - before zooming out for the larger context in which museums are actively undermining and purging their own labor forces; that the Guston furor is distracting from these more pressing issues. "I did have fun writing this," she admits, before stressing, "We have to let go of this myth that we’re more progressive than any other sector or business."