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Madison Museum of Contemporary Art’s ‘Zulu Time’ Tells the Politics of the Clock

May. 2, 2017
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“Zulu Time”—also known as Coordinated Universal Time or, abbreviating the French Temps universel coordonné, UTC—is the standard by which the world sets its clocks. In brief, Zulu Time establishes time zones in relation to zero degrees longitude. So, if you find yourself on the uninhabited Baker Island, you are at UTC-12, and your watch should be set 12 hours earlier than, say, London. Not surprisingly, this (ultimately arbitrary) standard was elected by the British at the height of their colonial power.

Thus, concludes New York-based artist Kambui Olujimi, Zulu Time is tainted by the residue of empire and implicitly favors Western ways of organizing a day. “Kambui Olujimi: Zulu Time” (May 5 through Aug.13 at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art) investigates the temporal hierarchies that benefit some while disadvantaging others. Olujimi takes viewers on a journey from the birth of the universe through the question mark of the future, using diverse media including blown glass and wheat pasting.

“Future MKE”

Kenilworth Square East

1925 E. Kenilworth Place

“Future MKE” finds seniors in UW-Milwaukee’s Design and Visual Communication program waxing both prognostic and nostalgic. The capstone showcase features group projects about the past, present or future of Milwaukee’s major aorta, Wisconsin Avenue, aside personal manifestos written by each student. Since today’s graduates are tomorrow’s designers poised to determine the future face of Milwaukee, the public is encouraged to attend and to provide feedback. The forward-looking showcase takes place on Thursday, May 4 from 6-9 p.m.

“Claire Milbrath: Still Lives”

Groovy Dog Gallery

2401 N. Weil St.

Claire Milbrath’s style calls to mind the airy figurations of Matisse, except—and there’s no euphemistic way to say this—with way more penises. The Montreal-based artist and editor-in-chief of art and fashion quarterly The Editorial Magazine delights in situating her signature character, Poor Gray, in homoerotic scenes set against ornamental interiors and idyllic outdoors. “Claire Milbrath: Still Lives” exhibits paintings of flowers, ashtrays, fruit and other items from Poor Gray’s home. The show opens with a reception on Friday, May 5, from 7 p.m. to midnight and is on display through June 3.

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