Juliana Huxtable (2017)

Editor: Terence Trouillot

For the record, Juliana Huxtable takes care of her people. This much was clear during her poetry reading at McNally Jackson Books on Sunday night, which summoned an audience of the poet’s friends and denizens to the store’s makeshift theater.

The gathering celebrated the publication of Huxtable’s first self-selected anthology of literature, Mucus In My Pineal Gland (2017), which she entrusted poet and co-publisher of WONDER Andrew Durbin to edit. Her old collaborator even recited a text of his own at the launch, after artist Diamond Stingily christened the night with a series of readings. Notably, Riley Hooker, the graphic artist responsible for designing the book (also known as “General Rage” from the art collective The House of Ladosha) was spotted in the crowd.

Huxtable comes to us as a graduate of Bard College by way of the Bible Belt town Bryan-College Station, Texas. Upon moving to New York in 2010, she took a position at the ACLU and supported herself doing odd jobs. Huxtable worked on the catering staff for the New Museum’s 2011 gala, only to present her own works for the Museum’s triennial four years later. Since then Huxtable has become a darling of the contemporary art world.

The poet’s 184-page achievement crystallizes a number of familiar texts, including “UNTITLED (FOR STEWART),” and “THERE ARE CERTAIN FACTS THAT CANNOT BE DISPUTED,” which premiered as an eponymous performance she presented for Performa at the Museum of Modern Art in 2015. Other entries, like “HOOD BY AIR,” contain passages that some might recall as prints at the 2015 New Museum Triennial, “Surround Audience.” In its entirety, the collection is a remarkable literary expansion of what Huxtable identifies as her process of “conditioning.”

Read the full review on artnet News.