Matthew Barney

“My initial entry point into New York was through the vertical landscape, and how it felt to be inside the matrix of the city. It felt comforting and familiar to me. You have these conditions in the landscape in the west, where on one side you have a kind of horizontality and openness, but then you come up against a mountain front, and then you go into the ravines of that mountain system, and you’re held. I think it was on an emotional level that I connected with New York, through its extreme landscape.”

Neïl Beloufa

“I wanted to play with my frustration with cinema — I have this frustration, like many people. I have this fantasy that it’s the last glittering place, or it’s one of the last. I think in our parents’ generation, it was still seen as impressive to be a writer or a doctor or a lawyer. Now, in society, everyone is a singer or a filmmaker or an actor. Art is coming back, as a social category. Being a doctor, it’s like, why?

Aslı Çavuşoğlu

“I came here with my luggage, but I don’t think I can go back, at least for a month. It appears to me that Turkey is getting very dark. I’m not scared of Erdoğan. I’m scared of this darkness, of feeling hopeless. Maybe I would do much better, not only for my physical being but as an artistic being, with the hope that can only be provided by distance.”

Ian Cheng

“As a human, I have a great deal more interest and awareness toward changes in physical material, and a lot less intuitive understanding of transformations that occur on a soft level. But if we stop to think about soft changes, for example, I feel like we have ‘Uber consciousness’ now. The idea that you can just get into a stranger’s car, fully trust them because of a rating system, and then literally just exit the car, without any transaction, or with that whole transaction masked. In some small, tiny, tiny way, that is a different kind of consciousness.”

Elizabeth Diller

“I think it was a kind of lightning rod for so many anxieties about the power of MoMA. The expansionist mentality. The previous renovations that people may not have been happy with. A midtown rezoning that everyone was afraid of, and totally justified concerns about removing buildings that still had life to them. I can’t say that I’m on the side of the developers. I’m on the side of the preservationists and the architectural community when it comes to saving buildings. And we do our best to try to do that, and sometimes it just can’t be.”

Camille Henrot

“Instagram hashtags and memes make heavy use of the days of the week. Thursday doesn’t mean Thursday anymore, it means memory. Saturday doesn’t mean Saturday anymore, it means going outside your boundaries. The days of the week became moods. They became worlds of signification within a shared digital society.”

Jenny Holzer

“Compared to the legal character of the documents, the aesthetics of them can be goofy, or completely insufficient to express the terrifying nature of the information. I’m interested in how to negotiate that divide — between information that’s really horrifying, and the expression of that information as flat or bland or silly.”

Agnieszka Kurant

“There’s a huge naïveté prevailing in the cultural field. The whole idea that somebody declares that they ‘do not participate in the art market system’ and that they can ‘refuse’ is a fiction. Because artists are always creating social capital around their work, and different artists do it in very different ways.”

Ma Yansong

“When I was studying in the 90s, the mayor of Beijing suggested that all the new buildings should have some visual elements of ancient Chinese architecture. After that, if developers needed approval from the city for a building design, they would show the model of a modern tower and keep a model of a miniature pagoda roof in their pocket. If the modern building wasn’t accepted, they put the pagoda model on top of the modern model, and then it would get approved.”

Susan Neiman

“Look, I think it’s never the case that theory won’t serve. I don’t think that there’s ever a point when it’s right to give up on thinking about things properly. What I do think is that theory alone is not enough to break the tyranny of global neoliberalism, which has this amazingly wonderful ability to adapt itself and to co-opt things and people. If we don’t break that, we’re lost.”

Luc Tuymans

“I’ve never made a mystery about the fact that I use imagery that exists, that comes out of a newspaper or anywhere else. Which I think is elemental as a question of freedom of speech. If you can’t do that anymore, in what way can you actually be contemporary? Imagine if I had asked the PR of Condoleezza Rice to make a painting of her!”

Kaari Upson

“Loss, death, experiencing that through the body; the inability to conceptually work through these things…. In a lot of my schooling, I dealt with questions of the abject. When something is outside the body it becomes disgusting, but when it’s inside it’s as natural as blood. Those issues are very ingrained in me. They follow me everywhere. I like to look for new abject things, or taking something that might not be abject and fully flooding it with possibilities.”

Charline von Heyl

“What I find revealing is that everybody chooses their own painting of mine. I have very rarely felt that people like my work. They always like this painting or that painting or another painting…. And that shows, already, that there is agency in whoever looks. So, yes, of the hundreds and thousands who run through for museums, there will be maybe 50 people who are like that. But that is satisfactory.”