Momus: The Podcast promotes criticism in conversation on a variety of timely issues
relating to contemporary art and the present moment. Co-hosts Sky Goodden and Lauren
Wetmore invite art critics, writers, and journalists to read texts that carry stories – that ran
in prestigious publications to great acclaim or were killed under tense circumstances – and
discuss how these pieces came into being: their inspiration, construction, and impact.
Arushi Vats - Season 5, Episode 6
"We are post-purity," observes Arushi Vats, a Delhi-based writer and inaugural fellow of the Momus/Eyebeam Critical Writing Fellowship (https://momus.ca/critical-writing-fellowship/). Rooted in field research and expanded through poetics, Vat's text Exit the Rehearsal: A Body in Delhi, published by Runway Journal, is a precise yet capacious meditation on our "epoch of waste"— ecocide, legacy waste, and the Anthropocene in which Vats suggests that what we waste is "highly proximate, right under your skin, in your gut, and there is something radical in accepting that this is a part of your lifecycle." In this interview with Lauren Wetmore, Vats discusses building a text from both a bodily and civic curiosity, and why sometimes, when writing about culture, it is important to leave the artworks out.
Rahel Aima – Season 5, Episode 5
This month, Sky Goodden speaks with Rahel Aima, a prolific critic, art writer, and Associate Editor at Momus. We focus on a text Aima published in Momus, “Depleting Felix Gonzales-Torres” (July 2020), that takes aim at “a mammoth exhibition” of the late Gonzalez-Torres’s 1990 work Untitled (Fortune Cookie Corner). Aima writes “In a move taken right out of the influencer marketing playbook,” Andrea Rosen and David Zwirner, who co-represent his estate, shipped the piece around the world to collectors who would then display and “document them for the ‘gram.” While Gonzales-Torres’s work conjures a body through accumulation and depletion, “we can understand the exhibition as an extension of overwhelmingly white, moneyed arts professionals and their tendency to trivialize Black and Indigenous death by trying to relate it to the art world.” Aima engages us in a gripping conversation about writing, including the discomfort of penning a polemic that goes viral.
Season 5, Episode 4: Raimundas Malašauskas
Days after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the Lithuanian curator and writer Raimundas Malašauskas resigned as curator of the Russian Pavilion at the 59th Venice Bienniale, along with participating artists Alexandra Sukhareva and Kirill Savchenkov, citing the war as “politically and emotionally unbearable.”
Using his letter of resignation, which Malašauskas posted to Instagram on February 27th, Lauren Wetmore interviews him about what led to this decision—“I started from my experience of being in the Empire and not wanting to go back”—and the complexities of its reception within different networks of impact across the international art world, the Russian political and cultural regime, and Malašauskas’s Lithuanian community.
With this episode Momus both condemns the Russian war on Ukraine, and echoes Malašauskas’s assertion of the existence of many “different Russias” by extending solidarity to its artists and creative communities.
All our thanks to Jacob Irish (Editor) and Chris Andrews (Assistant Producer), and thanks especially to Raimundas Malašauskas for his contribution to this season.
Thanks to the Sobey Art Award for its support.
Look for us on Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, iTunes, and wherever you get your podcasts.
Please consider donating through our Patreon campaign.
To inquire about advertising opportunities or other forms of support, please contact: email@example.com.
Season 5, Episode 3: Dana Kopel
In this episode Lauren Wetmore speaks with writer and organizer Dana Kopel about her widely-read article "Against Artspolitation: Unionizing the New Museum," published in September 2021 by The Baffler. In conversation, Kopel expands on “the personal and messy dimensions” of unionizing work, and reflects on the challenges of calling out the exploitation, abuses, and hypocrisies of an art industry that, at the time, she was actively working in. She doesn't hold back on the sacrifices made or the consequences suffered as a result of this successful union drive, but she also stresses that there is never a sole author. Kopel offers emotional and practical resources for organizing work but also acknowledges that “the fight really doesn’t end … the end point is the end of capitalism, the end of institutions, and abolition. And until we get there, this is just what we keep doing every fucking day.”
We wish to thank Jacob Irish (Editor) and Chris Andrews (Assistant Producer).
Thanks especially to Dana Kopel for her contribution to this season.
Look for us on Google Podcasts, Stitcher, iTunes, and other podcast apps.
Please consider donating through our Patreon campaign. To inquire about advertising opportunities or other forms of support, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Harry Dodge – Season 5, Episode 2
In this episode, artist and writer Harry Dodge reads from My Meteorite, or Without the Random There Can Be No New Thing (Penguin Press, 2020). Perhaps best known as a sculptor, Dodge writes from inside the artist's life and the sometimes inchoate density of a studio practice. Tracking us through cosmic patterns and material grapplings as they intersect with family, work, and grief, this first book gives us a genre-defying memoir that succeeds, as well, as art writing.
Harry Dodge is an American visual artist and writer. He was the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2017, and his sculpture, drawing, and video work has been exhibited at many venues nationally and internationally, including JOAN (LA, 2018), Tufts University Art Gallery (2019), Grand Army Collective (Brookyn, 2017), and the Armory Center for the Arts, Pasadena (2016). His first book, My Meteorite, was published by Penguin Press in 2020.
We wish to thank Jacob Irish (Editor), Mitra Shreeram (Assistant Producer), and Chris Andrews (Sales Director and Podcast Design).
Thanks especially to Harry Dodge for his contribution to this season. And thank you to Leonard & Bina Ellen Art Gallery for their support.
Emmanuel Iduma – Season 5, Episode 1
In the first episode of Season 5, Lauren Wetmore speaks with Nigerian art writer Emmanuel Iduma, (https://www.mriduma.com/) who reads from “Mileage from Here: Nine Narratives.” Known for his travel and photography writing, and for establishing what he calls “a third, or shared, space between images and text,” the selection Iduma reads from (published in an exceptional presentation of Todd Webb’s previously lost photographic work, Todd Webb in Africa, by Thames & Hudson, 2021) sees Iduma choose a selection of photographs and imaginatively write to, as well as of them. Emmanuel Iduma is the author of A Stranger’s Pose, a travel memoir. His essays and art criticism have been published in The New York Review of Books, Aperture, Best American Travel Writing 2020, Artforum, and Art in America. His honors include a Creative Capital/Warhol Foundation grant for arts writing, the inaugural Irving Sandler Award for New Voices in Art Criticism from AICA-USA, the C/O Berlin Talent Prize for Theory, and a Silvers Grant for Work in Progress. I Am Still with You, his memoir on the aftermath of the Nigerian civil war, is forthcoming from Algonquin (US), and William Collins (UK).We wish to thank Jacob Irish (Editor) and Chris Andrews (Sales Director and Podcast Design).Thanks especially to Emmanuel Iduma for his contribution to this season. And thank you to Sobey Award (https://www.gallery.ca/whats-on/sobey-art-award) for their support.
Engaging and Thought Provoking
This is the best of what podcasts can be: it feels like two friends gathering together for a cup of tea and they just happen to be passionate experts in their field. Their conversation is always elucidating and engaging while being accessible and enjoyable for a listener of any background.
A passionate commitment to genius
Momus consistently delivers first-class art journalism and criticism