Christopher Squier is a writer and former editor for Dissolve. His writing has been featured with Art School SF, the Bureau of Longitudes, the Carl Heidenreich Foundation, Dissolve, the Expatriate Archive Centre, and in Ixiptla IV: Feathered Changes, Serpent Disapperances, a publication from Bom Dia Books, Kadist Art Foundation, and the San Francisco Art Institute, edited by Mariana Castillo Deball. Squier was managing editor for Abbas to Yuki: Writing Alongside Exhibitions, a publication from Mousse Publishing and the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, edited by Anthony Huberman. He produces written interviews under the project Footnotes and has created video interviews for the Wattis Institute, the Sonya Rapoport Legacy Trust, and KunstWorks. He is currently based in New York City.

All About Artist Residencies
April 30, 2021
for Art School SF

Artist Christopher Squier shares helpful tips, information, and insights on artist residencies: applying for them, getting accepted, and what residencies have to offer artists. Read more.

We enter, fleeing: on the dictatorial perpendicular
March 3, 2021
for the Carl Heidenreich Foundation

We enter, fleeing is a series of essays by Carl Heidenreich Foundation director Christopher Squier considering postwar painting and abstraction in the context of diaspora, exile, and migration. Part two of the series looks at the use of text in Heidenreich’s paintings in the context of Benjamin’s notion of the “dictatorial perpindicular.” Although it occurs sparingly throughout his body of work, text is often used to signal political urgency, a rupture in everyday life, or violent and disorienting experiences. Read more.

Interview with Lydia Ourahmane on her exhibition
February 2020
for the CCA Wattis Institute

Artist Lydia Ourahmane reflects on her exhibition at the Wattis. Ourahmane’s exhibition positions faith and belief as the invisible mechanisms that organize bodies within space, reflecting on writer Georges Bataille’s notion of the sacred through her mother’s still-in-process memoirs. The artist shares her artistic process in this short interview. Watch below to hear what inspired the exhibition title صرخة شمسية Solar Cry and how Ourahmane sees the blue filters covering the gallery’s windows altering the experience of the art and sound works in the exhibition. Watch here.

Managing editor of Abbas to Yuki: Writing Alongside Exhibitions, edited by Anthony Huberman (Mousse Publishing)
2019
for the CCA Wattis Institute

Abbas to Yuki: Writing Alongside Exhibitions is an anthology of essays published alongside exhibitions that have taken place at CCA Wattis Institute, a contemporary art center and research institute in San Francisco, between 2014 and 2019. Authors include exhibition curators Anthony Huberman, Kim Nguyen, Jamie Stevens, Leila Grothe, and Jeanne Gerrity, as well as guest curators and some of the exhibiting artists. Christopher Squier was the managing editor. Buy here.

Interview with Anthony Huberman on Vincent Fecteau’s exhibition
September 2019
for the CCA Wattis Institute

Director and Chief Curator Anthony Huberman shares his perspective on Vincent Fecteau’s exhibition of new work at the Wattis. Focusing on the role of impulse and intuition in the artistic process, Huberman explores the emotional tenor and degrees of abstraction in Fecteau’s papier-mâché, acrylic, and mixed-media sculptures. Watch here.

Interview with Abbas Akhavan on his exhibition
May 2019
for the CCA Wattis Institute

Artist Abbas Akhavan sits down with curator Kim Nguyen to share a few thoughts on how time figures in his work, why he’s using the ancient building material cob, and what to make of the empty museum vitrines and disarrayed compositions within his exhibition at the Wattis. Watch here.

Scattered Light: Ephemeral Action, Protest, and Circulating Imagery
February 14, 2018
for Dissolve

Ephemeral, political interventions seem to toe the line between protest and art, while not functioning as either. Citing works of contemporary art, political theory, and media studies, Squier ponders the possibilities of these actions as digital media, exploring how they morph while circulating virally. When considering these actions in the context of visual culture, the visual image might have more power than one would think. Read more.

Kill Holes and Other Negations
2018
for Ixiptla 4 – Feathered Changes, Serpent Disappearances, edited by Mariana Castillo Deball (Bom Dia Books)

Ixiptla IV – Feathered Changes, Serpent Disappearances is a journal about trajectories of anthropology initiated by Mexican artist Mariana Castillo Deball. The publication takes the form of a highly visual magazine with essays by anthropologists, archaeologists, artists, and writers, including Ursula K. LeGuin, John Cage, R. H. Barlow, Christopher Squier, and Matthew Robb. The publication explores the tension between indeterminacy and narrative within archaeology and art. Buy here.


Shaghayegh Cyrous with Kathryn Barulich and Christopher Squier (time/difference: Part I)
September 28, 2017
for Dissolve

time/difference is a series inspired by the exhibition Eleven and a Half Hours. We also hold near and will continue to focus the political philosopher Hannah Arendt’s ideas concerning the space of a singular person who exists between each and all people; that by being born, we are involved in a plural situation, a community, in which any action of one—even breath—cannot exist without another. This project is open in content and form, doing the deliberate work of unraveling of thought, exchanging ideas, and collaborative breath and production. An interview between Shaghayegh Cyrous, Kathryn Barulich, and Christopher Squier on the exhibition Eleven and a Half Hours sets time/difference in motion. Shaghayegh Cyrous is an artist and curator whose interactive time-based investigations, participatory projects, and video installations create a poetic space for human connections. Read more.

Foreword to Issue 3: Touch by Christopher Squier and Julian Wong-Nelson
February 8, 2017
for Dissolve

For the current issue of Dissolve we examine the theme of haptics—or touch—as it relates to specific sites, spaces, works, and their tangents. As the editors, we began to see touch materialize around us as we wrote—and read—about the various ways it mediates our experience with visual culture and the world. For us, touch was invoked locally in the art galleries and institutions we visited while feeling our way through this issue. Read more.

The life of an archival object
September 4, 2017
for the Expatriate Archive Centre

While working on this project, my thought processes have adapted from thinking specifically about the loss of vision and hearing, as described in the archive letters, to looking at forms of decay and degradation on the photographs themselves: weather marks and natural acids that have created colorful ‘blooms,’ like nebulas or fireworks on the surface of the photographs. Read more.

Artist Research: Christopher Squier
March 16, 2017
for the Expatriate Archive Centre

The most poignant records I found while paging through the archive folders were of this family traveling in Australia, Thailand, and Lagos. During their trip, various members of the family experienced pain related to specific senses. One had a recurrent earache which had failed to heal after treated at successive clinics. Another family member felt lightheaded and woozy one morning at breakfast; her vision suddenly went out of focus and she couldn’t see for a short while. The doctor later described this as a typical lead up to migraines in hot climates. Read more.

Carving Nightmares: Clark Ashton Smith’s Sculptures Within the H.P. Lovecraft Circle
September 2016
for Dissolve

A ghastly chalk oval—a totemic monster in miniature with ringed, chiseled eyes and an elongated nose carved down to a puckered, screaming mouth, the tongue comically protruding. The small figurine is a stone carving in talc by writer Clark Ashton Smith, one of the masters of weird fiction—a field whose introduction exchanged the earlier ghoulish and vampiric stock characters of the ghost story and horror genres for some of the earliest science fiction and fantasy creations, including Azathoth, Shib-Niggurath, and Cthulhu. Read more.

Footnotes: An Interview with Alice Combs
June 19, 2016
for Dissolve

“Footnotes” is a project by Christopher Squier, re: studio visits and artist interviews. It examines the detritus and milieu of artists’ studios as an alternative approach to discussions of process, reference and inspiration, alongside the physical spaces devoted to working. Initially, I photograph elements of the artist’s studio which draw my interest, avoiding finished work. Subsequently, the interview takes each of these photographs as a point of departure for our conversation. Read more.

We enter, fleeing: on Rosalind Krauss and horizontality
March 15, 2021
for the Carl Heidenreich Foundation

In arguing against the “dictatorial perpendicular” and the commercialization of writing, Benjamin enacts a future argument made by the art critic Rosalind Krauss on the vertical and horizontal. In Heidenreich’s later work and particularly with his Alaska series, his paintings convey this horizontality: they are no longer the vertical, bounded plane of small apartment windows, vision scratched out or covered over but instead spread organically, open up fissures, offer limitless territories, and propel the viewer into the infinity of horizontal space. Read more.

We enter, fleeing: Walter Benjamin on the conflict of exile
February 23, 2021
for the Carl Heidenreich Foundation

We enter, fleeing is a series of essays and blog entries by Carl Heidenreich Foundation director Christopher Squier drawing inspiration from the work of the literary critic Walter Benjamin alongside discourses in visual culture and contemporary art. The series considers postwar painting and abstraction in the context of diaspora, exile, and migration. Read more.

Interview with Cinthia Marcelle on her exhibition
November 2019
for the CCA Wattis Institute

Artist Cinthia Marcelle takes 11 minutes to share a window into her artistic process. Watch the video below to learn how she develops participatory structures that embody both order and chaos, what collectivity might mean today, and why she selected Oswald de Andrade’s 1937 script A morta (The Dead Woman) for her exhibition at the Wattis. Watch here.

Interview with Akosua Adoma Owusu on her exhibition
May 2019
for the CCA Wattis Institute

Filmmaker Akosua Adoma Owusu talks about the cultural practice of hair styling in her Hair Trilogy films and about how the influence of W.E.B. Du Bois and Michael Jackson connects to her most recent film. The four films are included in her exhibition at the Wattis. Watch here.

Interview with Rosha Yaghmai on her exhibition
January 2019
for the CCA Wattis Institute

Artist Rosha Yaghmai and Wattis curatorial fellow Naz Cuguoglu discuss psychedelic spaces, playing with scale, a spider’s view of the world, and the process behind Yaghmai’s exhibition at the Wattis. Watch here.

The Bureau of Longitudes: Volume I Released
October 18, 2018
for Dissolve

The Bureau of Longitudes launched its first volume of essays, poetry, and artist projects today. The Bureau is an exploratory office of Dissolve, functioning as a site for archiving accounts of place, organized by each topic’s degrees of latitude and longitude. This project might be imagined as a cyclical catalog of the globe, or perhaps an encyclopedia in the round. Over the past year, the Bureau has delved into research on the absurdities and contradictions of globally-organized space. We are now pleased to share our first volume of entries. Read more.

E’ch Pi El and Ar E’ch Bei: Aztec Gods Haunting ‘Weird Tales’
2018
for Ixiptla 4 – Feathered Changes, Serpent Disappearances, edited by Mariana Castillo Deball (Bom Dia Books)

Ixiptla IV – Feathered Changes, Serpent Disappearances is a journal about trajectories of anthropology initiated by Mexican artist Mariana Castillo Deball. The publication takes the form of a highly visual magazine with essays by anthropologists, archaeologists, artists, and writers, including Ursula K. LeGuin, John Cage, R. H. Barlow, Christopher Squier, and Matthew Robb. The publication explores the tension between indeterminacy and narrative within archaeology and art. Buy here.

Surgical Experiments in the Medium of Collage by Carolina Magis Weinberg and Christopher Squier
February 8, 2017
for Dissolve

Alongside Irena Azovsky’s collage animation, a poem or perhaps another collage, but of words, thoughts, and ideas. Read more.

Footnotes on the Ostrich Feather Wedding Dress Project: Wearing the Beast
February 9, 2017
for Dissolve

Footnotes is a project by Christopher Squier of studio visits and artist interviews. It examines the spaces and detritus of artists’ studios to ground discussions of artwork in their process, references, and inspiration. Read more.

Torn Seams and Sound Scores at Gallery Wendi Norris
April 7, 2017
for Dissolve

Gallery Wendi Norris’ exhibition Seeking Civilization: Art and Cartography ostensibly questions how mapping practices have been reformatted to reflect changes in citizenship, power, and nationhood. The exhibition draws its frame of reference from Robert Storr’s 1994 exhibition Mapping at MoMA, which included one of the same works featured here. The refrain by seven artists—the majority living within the rapidly shifting geography of the Bay Area—is one which situates us within a complex of overlaid cartographies, which cannot be delineated by the clear partitions and broad strokes of traditional mapping. Instead, these artists transform the flat surface of various maps into rugged terrain, full of fissures and interruptions. Read more.

Exploring the EAC photo archive and its associations
August 28, 2017
for the Expatriate Archive Centre

I’ve been considering a photograph of a snake—an image I like for the way the snake seems to be slithering from the area of focus in the photograph out to the unfocused and shifting space in the foreground. I’m drawn to this image as a metaphor for the traveler’s experience (and, to a further extreme, the expat’s) of deliberately moving into unknown regions and—while not going blindly—still feeling one’s way along by trust alone. In the photo, the snake’s body and tail are in sharp focus, but its head is already blurred by its trajectory, velocity, or mobility. Read more.

Artist Profile: Christopher Squier
September 5, 2016
for the Expatriate Archive Centre

We are pleased to introduce Christopher Squier as the next artist to join Saudade. Squier (b. 1991 in Lawrence, KS) is an artist based in San Francisco. He recently graduated with an MFA in Sculpture from the San Francisco Art Institute (2015). Using dark humor and combining images of luxury and violence, his projects reference crime scenes, horror movies, and architectural rubble. His work has been shown in Boston, Córdoba, Prague and San Francisco, and is in the collection of the Prague Gallery of Czech Glass. Read more.

Clay Days: An Interview with Matt Goldberg
November 2016
for Dissolve

Dissolve ditor Christopher Squier interviews Matt Goldberg about his new drop-in ceramic classes at SOMArts Cultural Center. Goldberg is a graduate of the San Francisco Art Institute (MFA 2015) and the University of Colorado, Boulder (BA 2012). He received the Recology Artist Residency (2014-15) and the Palo Alto Art Center’s “45 Days of Clay” Residency (2016). His ceramic and assemblage sculptures remix American pop cultural icons through a comic, cut-and-paste aesthetic. Read more.

Introduction to Bling Bling Marketing by Hadar Kleiman
September 2016
for Dissolve

Diamonds Aren’t Forever by Hadar Kleiman takes on the symbolic and historical weight of the diamond, offering unwieldy wooden diamonds on a grand scale that parody the advertising pretenses surrounding engagement and marriage ceremonies. Kleiman’s practice examines artifice and presentation within fabricated spaces, reinterpreting the absurd luxury of cities like Las Vegas to understand and undercut their cultural significance through eerie scenes of empty gambling tables, dismembered plaster hands, and flickering green neon. By choosing to recreate the form of a diamond at an impossible scale from polished wood—a material susceptible to mold, fire, and everyday damage—she reveals the charade in the marketing scheme “Diamonds are Forever,” placing them centerstage in the modern arena of divorce and disappointment. The four Cs of gemstone quality in Kleiman’s work can only stand for Capitalism, Commercialism, Counterfeit, and Contrivance. Read Hadar Kleiman’s piece here.