Artist Registry

The White Columns Curated Artist Registry is an online platform for emerging and under-recognized artists to share images and information about their respective practices. The Registry seeks to create a context for artists who have yet to benefit from wider critical, curatorial or commercial support. To be eligible, artists cannot be affiliated with a commercial gallery in New York City.

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Arnold Joseph Kemp
Chicago IL US
Updated: 2021-05-29 07:44:42


My works share sensibilities and concerns that are queer, local, and rooted in narratives that probe collective fictions of persons, personality, and sexual politics. It is only through this that I am able to participate in the world — connecting to others, while maintaining a sense of my own necessary solitariness and probing my own unique subjectivity. I am committed to identifying coherences in politics, memory, perception and desire in order to maintain a deeply engaged preoccupation with and articulation of, what life might be said, factually, to be.

I am inclined toward aspects of chance and of playfulness that are marshaled in creative experiments and research that have everything to do with my belief in alternative cultures that resist commodification and essentialism. My practice shares a discourse with other art forms, such as Free Jazz, Punk Rock and experimental writing that have a willingness to disrupt and examine established codes of representation.

After decades of making work that inserted identity based content into minimalist and conceptual forms I have been working recently to show my hand. So in my work I have emphasized things that I have made by hand such as leather belts and hand-made shoes, drawings, and unique prints. I am interested in unique objects so even when dealing with photographic images I have been limiting edition sizes or sometimes just making unique images whether from negatives or digital files.

I have also been focused on writing plays that are performed in the gallery spaces where my objects and images are placed. The latest one was performed last year in Mexico City. While I will continue to experiment with object and image making in the studio I am inspired after the success of my exhibition in Mexico to really push my interests in literature, creative writing and performance. In Mexico City I was able to expand my practice by creating objects and images that were stages for a 30 minute long play concerning the art world and art education that I wrote and driected. The play’s performance, at the opening of my exhibition, was in Spanish with 13 artists from Mexico City as performers. The performers activated and charged the objects. The stage and the objects remained in the space after the performance as sculpture that existed in space. At the end of the month long exhibition the piece was offered to a local school so that children could perform on it.