Artforum International

An international contemporary art magazine covering sculpture, painting, mixed media, and installation works, as well as architecture, music, and popular culture. Includes artist interviews and reviews of individual artists and/or galleries; reviews of fi

Articles from Vol. 32, No. 8, April

A Clown's Coat
The demand for love. Thus Roland Barthes captions the odd photograph of his mother holding him. He is perhaps six or seven. He is almost as tall as she, almost too big to be held in this way. The adult Barthes can already be read in his face: the pale...
Act out Turn Off
Lautreamont and Alfred Jarry are idealized as touchstones of the avant-garde mentality, the artist who dies young (Umberto Boccioni, Franz Marc, Eva Hesse, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, Robert Mapplethorpe) is automatically beatified, the child...
Act out Turn On
According to Donald Kuspit's owner's manual to acting out in the arts, it's possible to control the on/off switch to acting out's motor or mechanism, the "splitting" Freud first tested in his essay on fetishism. Splitting psychs out loss or separation...
Aphrodite of the Future
MAN TROUBLE If we look too hard--or, better, hard enough--at "masculinity," its meaning dissipates, "as when a word is repeated over and over." This image is from an essay by filmmaker Todd Haynes that appears in this special section of Artforum. Several...
Don't Go near the Water
INHUMAN, UNSLEEPING, omnivorous, a machine triggered by the scent of blood. . . . It was with Jaws that the culture industry truly began to contemplate itself. Twenty years ago this month, a week before Steven Spielberg's movie went into production...
Eye Spy
YOU DON'T HAVE TO BELIEVE everything you read in Full Disclosure to appreciate the magazine as an accurate monitor of the raging anxiety created by the combination of new technology with years of government cover-ups of everything from radiation experiments...
Fear of a Black Penis
One of the police officers in the attack on Rodhey King is called Sergeant Stacey Koon. With a name like that, maybe you might have a problem about "race" too. According to Koon, when King was approached by a white female Highway Patrol officer with...
Golden Memories
W.J.T. MITCHELL TALKS WITH ROBERT MORRIS I taped an interview with Robert Morris a few hours before the February opening of his current retrospective at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York. We sat on the floor in the Tower Gallery, where some...
His Infinite Variety
Several years ago, when I began my study of Victorian masculinities, I went to a state-of-the-art academic bookstore in Harvard Square to buy Barbara Ehrenreich's Hearts of Men, an account of the relocation of manliness from suburban split-level to Playboy...
James Rosenquist: F-111
Imagine living on the edge of the world--literally (Vancouver)--and attending a small elementary school in a remote suburb next to a forest, beyond which there is nothing except forest and alps and tundra and ice for thousands of miles until the North...
Keith Mayerson
In this ongoing series, writers are invited to introduce the work of artists at the beginning of their careers. Keith Mayerson gets jerked around. Out of school and on his own, he finds himself the butt of irreconcilable demands--to remain true to himself...
Lines of Flight
What lines are etched in the face of masculinity? I find nothing. They are lines of flight. Masculinity has always seemed to function through invisibility. To what else can you attribute that unique sense of naturalness, the standard against which the...
"My" Masculinity
A gay guy in a movie described his desire. He was touching his own penis while he spoke. He said, "I like to touch myself, I like to feel located." That was what the gay guy said. And the straight guy? The straight guy said something inscrutable. It...
Portrait of the Artist as a Young Artist
I'm banal. We're all banal, that's the point right? Yup, I think that's it. Sean Landers, [sic], 1993 Sean Landers, the artist-cum-writer-cum-artist, is always crying about wanting to be a "genious" and questioning whether everything he does has to...
Swm
Ever since that bloody Monday in October 1987 when the stock market dampened Euro-American certainty, young white artists, like young, upwardly expectant whites in general, often seem not to know what's hit them. It's this confusion that gives their...
The Horror!
What is an artist's biggest fear? Surely a persistent journalist telephoning to ask this question might number among them. Nevertheless, this month I gritted my teeth and accepted the daunting assignment of tabulating the art world's terrors. One might...