Oral History Initiative

A living archive of conversations with artists, curators, critics and notable art world figures. Pairing unedited audio interviews with full transcripts.

Dennis Cooper

This month’s Oral History Initiative features Matthew Steinbrecher’s conversation with novelist and performance artist Dennis Cooper. Cooper discusses the impact of his life on his work, his long standing fascination with music, and the importance of supporting emerging artists. Audio + transcript below.

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Hermes Knauer, Part III

In the third and final part of Michelle Jubin’s conversation with Hermes Knauer, the Met armorer discusses the “respect and reverence to the object” that must accompany the privilege “to handle and touch history.” To end, he shares “the Aladdin’s lamp moment,” one of the great revelations of his career. Audio and transcript below.

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Hermes Knauer, Part II

In Part II of our conversation with Hermes Knauer, the master restorer discusses his forty-year history with the Met and the importance of remembering “to do no harm.” Audio + transcript below.

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Hermes Knauer, Part I

This month our Oral History Initiative features Hermes Knauer, armorer at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. In Part I, Knauer talks to Michelle Jubin about growing up in New York City, the comfort provided by the familiarity of a museum and the importance of Armistice Day in his own career. Audio + transcript below.

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Jon Kessler, Part II

In this month’s Oral History Initiative, we pick up where we left off with Jon Kessler. In Part II, Kessler discusses his decision to opt out of grad school, the collision of opposites in his work and the way he finds balance in making art and music. Audio + Transcript below.

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Jon Kessler, Part I

This month our Oral History Initiative features Jon Kessler, artist and professor at Columbia University. In Part I, Kessler discusses the impact of new technology, on society and individual, as well as the unexpected results of reconnecting with old friends. Audio + transcript below.

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Ian Swanson, painter, sculptor and sound artist

Artwrit sat down with Ian Swanson, recent New York transplant, to discuss his move to the big apple, space to create and his work spanning several mediums. Audio + transcript below.

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Peter Brock, Part II

In Part II, we continue our conversation with Peter Brock, in which the artist describes his unique relationship to materials, the architectural influences on his practice and the splendor of a Brooklyn sunset. Audio + transcript below.

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Peter Brock, Part I

“… I started to seek out greater objecthood in what I was making…” In Part I, Peter Brock discusses his move away from traditional painting and how the preparation of his New York gallery debut has impacted his studio practice. Audio + transcript below.

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Rachel Schragis, Artist and Activist, Part III

In the third and final part of our interview with Rachel Schragis, she discusses Occupy Museums, the connection between education and activism, and her attempts to occupy her own practice. Audio + transcript below.

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