I read recently about a group in the States called The Order of the Good Death, who describe themselves as “a group of funeral industry professionals, academics, and artists exploring ways to prepare a death phobic culture for their inevitable mortality,” a mission which seems like both good sense and nonsense in equal measure.
I myself am what I suppose could be labeled death-phobic. The many other things of which I am afraid —mechanical or puppet clowns, ventriloquist's dummies... [more]
Halloween, for me, is the true “most wonderful time of the year,” and so it came as no real surprise to be asked to outline a few costume suggestions for the readers of this website. While most of my own clothes can do double-service as both everyday wear and Hammer-Horror garb alike, I recognize not everyone reading is capable of making the same assertion.
(I should note that when this article was first proposed to me by an Editor, it came with the suggestion that I dress my partner&mdas... [more]
In this recurring series, ArtSlant will introduce a number of international artists making the best in contemporary art.
Picturing the international is no easy task. Mona Hatoum, born in Lebanon 1952, does so with ease—as if manifesting the aesthetics foreign policy out of thin air, using familiar objects to craft sleek, suggestive environments that appear governmental in their use. The UN aesthetic turned sexy. The clinical yet open quality of the work (policy, of course caters to ev... [more]
What is it about the art world that rappers love so much? Perhaps it's the patina of glamor and luxury, the clash of low and high culture, or the opportunity to promote a shiny new ideology. Forty-one-year-old hip hop icon turned feminist philanthropist Pharrell Williams has teamed up with NY-based photographer and filmaker Ryan McGinley to shoot a new multi-ethnic campaign for Adidas Originals.
The campaign, which launched yesterday, presents Pharrell and McGinley's vision of a better, more equal... [more]
To say the overall breadth of the US punk scene through the 80s and 90s is sprawling is to make a massive understatement; thousands of bands and myriad esoteric subgenres mean that picking a mere ten examples of choice record cover art is a weighty and daunting proposition. Conspicuous absences abound—a list like this failing to feature Ray Pettibon could be considered more than heretical, but how do you choose between Nervous Breakdown and Slip It In?—but what follows is a relatively t... [more]
For a moment, let’s just take a second to appreciate the manmade structures around us: the blue-printed, hand-crafted, conceptualized edifices we interact with on a daily basis. Let’s think about the wonder of architecture, and how every ounce of character that is placed into a building is felt tenfold by its occupants for years to come. Some nations built castles, some cultures built temples, but for contemporary downtown Manhattanites, there is value, intrigue, and inspiration to be fo... [more]
Time is the one thing we can all agree to call supernatural. It is at least neither energy nor matter… and yet it is the beginning and end of the creation of the world.
Joan Jonas concluded her performance at Pirelli HangarBicocca in Milan with these words from Under the Glacier (1968), a little known, visionary novel by the Icelandic writer Halldór Laxness. The acclaimed New York video and performance artist looked like a Lilliputian creature, an aged little fairy; her snow-whit... [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]
The recent Swedish election grabbed national headlines: Pharell appeared onstage in Stockholm with Feminist Party candidate Gudrun Schyman. Schyman is no stranger to the 'sleb, having been a popular contestant herself on Let's Dance, Sweden's version of Strictly Come Dancing, and is a pal of ABBA. Schyman's party may have lost out to the center-left Social Democrats lead by Stefan Löfven, but her daughter, a former graffiti writer, will be happy nonetheless: last week the new government announc... [more]
It’s been played. The recent onslaught of exhibitions quoting and using the art fair as a form is well established—and some artists use it better than others. While the market is undeniable, and the phenomenon of the art fair is internationally far-reaching, what are the implications of its criticism through replica?
As case studies, two recent exhibitions come to mind: José Lerma's La Bella Crisis at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD), which took place over the summer of this year... [more]
It’s a cold rainy day in what has been an unusually cold and rainy summer in Switzerland. My face is melting in the most pleasant way as I lean my head against the windowpane. I’m feeling the air pressure rise and fall as the train zips in and out of tunnels through open fields. The landscape is beyond real. Electric green grass, rolling hills that lead to deep navy blue mountains capped in snow, and clouds that look exactly the way Plato would imagine clouds.
I’m making a daytrip to Basel to... [more]
Irena Gordon might be the most audacious curator in the Middle East—and it’s thanks to an exhibition of pro-peace artworks that are over a century old.
In a daring and rare show of 70 etchings, aquatints and drypoints by the Spanish court painter Francisco Goya has opened at the Hermann Struk Museum, Israel. In the context of the modern day Middle East, Goya’s metaphors and allegories become not only relevant once again, but also subversive.
Goya witnessed 19th century Spain during the Peninsular War, a... [more]
Documenta, hosted in Kassel, Germany, every four or five years since 1955, announced yesterday that 2017’s documenta 14 will add a second host city: Athens. The mega-exhibition won’t abandon its Kassel home, but rather will run its signature 100 days in both locations.
Artistic Director Adam Szymczyk hopes this gesture will address “the current social and political situation both in Europe and globally, which motivates artistic action.” Rather than dislocate the art world institutio... [more]
Wherever Ido Shemi goes, underground culture seems to follow. When the artist was growing up in the serious shithole of Kibbutz Rosh Ha’Nikrah in the ‘70s, British volunteers would bring punk music on cassette tapes from the UK. These early encounters with subculture led Shemi to form his first band in 1980, The Dead Begins. After serving in the first Lebanon War, which ended in ’82, he felt—like many of his generation who lived through the war—that he had to get out o... [more]
Growing up in an urban metropolis such as New York City, street art and graffiti had always been an inescapable part of everyday life. Catching a glimpse of Chinatown’s rooftops during a morning commute over the Manhattan bridge, driving along the narrow streets of the Lower East Side, passing by 5Pointz in its glory—it is never difficult to find traces of the local artists’ reclamation of public space once your eyes are opened to it. The distance, both literally and figuratively... [more]
There’s a subversive brilliance to Nuart which must be appreciated: the fact that every year, in the languid late summer days of September, a bunch of notorious vandals and their apologists descend en masse upon an idyllic Norwegian seaside town under the auspices of a street art festival—largely bankrolled by the Norwegian Arts Council and the city itself.
To the American observer it seems beautifully backwards. Cities like New York and Los Angeles are usually doing all they can to supp... [more]