Recently, a “Stereotypes of the Netherlands” map made its rounds on the Internet, describing how the Dutch conceptualize their small country’s terrain. Down south, in the middle of Brabant’s “Catholic Carnival Country,” a short distance from “Dumb People, Great Beer” (apologies, Belgium), is the technological oasis of “Philipstown,” so named for the diversified technology mega-corporation. If the city is known for innovation in technology and indu... [more]
An exhibition of Allen Ginsberg’s photographs, currently on view at the University of Toronto’s Art Centre, presents its audience with a large volume of stills taken by the poet between 1953 and 1996. Approximately 150 images hang on the walls of We are Continually Exposed to the Flashbulb of Death: The Photographs of Allen Ginsberg (1953-1996), representing some of Ginsberg’s most intimate documented moments that capture and immortalize an instance in time. The viewer’s re... [more]
There's something new happening at FIAC this year. Not exactly the quickest to catch on to a trend, the Parisian art fair has created its own satellite, with a focus on introducing new art and artists from the international scene through a showcase of 68 galleries from 14 countries. Judged by a selection panel of art historians and curators, the tangential fair's emphasis is on supporting the underdog—not only the up-and-comings, but also "outsiders" and artists who have been overlooked h... [more]
Is it possible that there is someone out there, in the admittedly rather narrow demographic of folk who read this and other art related material, who hasn’t heard of Paul McCarthy’s forceful insertion of a thirty foot high inflatable replica Butt Plug into one of Paris’ most desirable addresses?
And yes, in case you were wondering, there is a fair chance that this puerile level of double entendre will continue throughout. If nothing else it gives me, the humble writer, a chance... [more]
Patti loves Paris and Paris loves Patti, and the question that I’d ask is why?
Now right at the beginning, up front, I need to make a few things clear. First, let me state that this relates to our FIAC coverage because Patti is performing at the most sought after, and possibly the only gig to feature as part of the FIAC programme. It's a reunion with John Cale, on Thursday night, at Fondation Cartier.
Since this hardly seems sufficient to qualify my bold assertion I’ll also add th... [more]
As Camus incisively observed, it is our lot as human beings to try (and fail) to give meaning to life's invisible forces. Thrust out into the real world, after you finish your education ( and unless you're in the army) there's no way to know just how important you are. Yes, you're the Director of the Tate—but how to validate the magnitude of your success? As Three 6 Mafia would say "We eat so many shrimp"—but sometimes, we get iodine poisoning.
The Art Review Power 100 is a shining exampl... [more]
Zines—short run and independently produced miniature magazines—have been a staple tool in various underground communities for decades. While traces of the zine aesthetic can be followed back throughout history, the true imagery of the contemporary zine was fathered back in the 1980s with punk rock culture being the topic of choice. Early punks would take their Xeroxed sketches, photos, literary musings—and whatever else their bleeding hearts desired—and compile them into sma... [more]
Last week, the Financial Times posted an article: "What Is Wrong With Inequality?" It highlighted the various effects of social unbalances in modern society through some recently published texts on this blazing hot topic. As urban citizens struggle against markets and unfair pay, and the 1 percent become wealthier, what happens to culture? "The equality of citizens is an ideal worth defending"—after all, as the FT concludes.
Peter Stark, Christopher Gordon, and David Powell, three British a... [more]
Have you ever fallen in love?
Her face is open, unselfconscious, laughing. Framed by wash of blonde hair, the light sheen of sweat settles on her skin and both eyes beam, full of trust and free of tension. Here is unalloyed happiness on the face of a full-grown woman, a joy one rarely sees in adults. Of course, she’s looking at her love, the man holding the camera.
As a love-story between this couple unfolds in scattered pictures, videos, and poems read aloud (each word a thud, but so c... [more]
Legendary performance artist Marina Abromovic announced today her next public workshop aimed at helping others push beyond their own physical and psychological limits of sitting really still for a really long time while doing something really boring.
In partnership with the Italian furniture maker Moroso, the Marina Abromovic Institute (MAI) will present "Counting the Rice" at this year's Art Basel Miami in December. Participants will try to sit these scary-looking modernist torture tables design... [more]
"This is a story of a native girl being saved by the white man. Flown to the UK, the Western world can feel good about itself as they save the native woman from the savage men of her home nation. It is a historic racist narrative that has been institutionalized."
– Assed Baig, quoted in Middle East Revisited
Reception to Malala Yousafzai’s selection as a Nobel Peace Prize winner (shared with Kailash Satyarthi) earlier this month was met with mixed sentiments: from contemptuousness to confidence, a... [more]
Good evening, art-appreciators! Please pull up a Beuysian chair, with a heap of fat on it, because I have something to ask you:
Had a good Frieze, did you, reader? Drank some complimentary champagne? Saw at least one instance of 'is this art'? Hung out at Selfridges Hotel, in a dress with spaghetti straps? Wore a black smock instead—normcore style? Said the words "art market," and didn't even flinch at how serious you were about it? Listened, once, "ironically," to "Anaconda" by Nicki Minaj a... [more]
I had a dream a couple years ago in which a new, previously unknown continent was discovered on Earth. The knowledge entered my consciousness first like the ambient news of a radio dispatch. It was an impersonal knowledge, born through the slippery medium of dream space, the source of the transmission overlooked as my dream self wondered instead about the profound consequence such a discovery might have on the rest of humankind. The next thing I remember is that I stood on the ground of the new cou... [more]
Every bit as run-down as I remember it, the escalator at the tube station ejects me onto the dull evening streets of Archway. In the queue for the cash machine, a flower-seller smiles and asks me to move aside so he can manoeuvre his heavy but empty trolley closer to the curb. As I insert my card, in the light coming from the doors of the bar on the corner, three men with the yellow-grey skin of a longtime drinker bicker and spit. They give me looks as I pass. From within comes the lilting sound of a... [more]
Frieze Art Fair is very much not free. A day ticket will cost you £33 this year. If you want to pop in after work, a 5–7 PM entry is £15. Heaven forbid you want to bring a child. Doing so will set you back £21, even if they sleep through it. Jake Chapman recently caused controversy by stating in public that children shouldn’t be taken to see contemporary art because they don't get it. In the case of Frieze, I’d have to agree with him—it's unlikely to be worth spe... [more]
When I moved to New York in 2007 one of the first things I picked up was a copy of New York Magazine with Dash Snow, Dan Colen, and Ryan McGinley in bed together on the cover. The image, shot by Cass Bird, has stayed with me. It shows a bird’s-eye view of three friends in their underwear, snuggled together like a small litter of puppies. The picture is intimate but it becomes oddly intrusive on a magazine cover, in part because no one is making eye contact with the photographer. Instead all... [more]