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. 48, No. 2, October

2nd Athens Biennale: Various Locations
THE ORGANIZERS OF THE Second Athens Biennale, "Heaven," were perhaps hoping for divine intervention when they proposed transforming a hulking onetime parking garage, with salmon pink walls, into a paradise. Part of the disused Faliro Olympic Complex,...
Active Cultures: Maria Lind on the Curatorial
IS THERE SOMETHING we could call the curatorial? A way of linking objects, images, processes, people, locations, histories, and discourses in physical space? An endeavor that encourages you to start from the artwork but not stay there, to think with...
Alice Channer: The Approach
On a window ledge at the Approach sat a pair of drinking glasses, one a bit larger than the other, touching each other. They might have been left by a couple of patrons of the downstairs pub who'd wandered upstairs to the gallery, except they looked...
Alimentary School: Charlotte Birnbaum on Ferran Adria and Futurist Cooking
ON JANUARY 4, 1931, under the drastic headline "Assails Macaroni as Bane of Italy," the New York Times spelled out the consequences of the gastronomic revolution proposed by F. T. Marinetti in his "Manifesto of Futurist Cooking," which had just appeared...
Alternative Realities
INTRODUCING MICHAEL HARDT AND ANTONIO NEGRI'S newest publication, Commonwealth--two extended selections from which make their debut in this issue--curator Okwui Enwezor looks back at the cultural context surrounding the arrival of the theorists' earlier...
Anissa Mack: Small A Projects
Flitting restlessly from reference to reference, Anissa Mack's work can be confounding in its seeming impatience with any given format, period, or place; it is almost as if the New York-based sculptor is anxious about the possible limitations of a...
Ann Lislegaard: Henry Art Gallery
Science fiction as a literary and filmic genre is distinguished in large part by its exponents' appetite for extreme conjecture, and by the need for writers and directors working in this domain to elaborate those conjectures into fantastical worlds...
Anri Sala: Marian Goodman Gallery
Toward the beginning of Andrei Tarkovsky's science-fiction film Stalker (1979), three men, including the eponymous guide, stand at the edge of the "zone," a mysterious off-limits realm said to contain a room where one's innermost wishes may be granted....
Aurelien Froment: Galerie Lucile Corty
Using a system of visual and linguistic associations, magician Benoit Rosemont dazzles spectators with illusion and feats of memory. Aurelien Froment has performed with Rosemont, participating in his magic act, and for this exhibition, the artist channeled...
Basil Wolverton: Gladstone Gallery
"Fangs Finkelstein has snappers that arc always in demand by meat tenderizcr services, but his ambition is to become the world's greatest orthodontist." The caption to Basil Wolverton's 1971 drawing Fangs Finkelstein goes some way toward contextualizing...
Berend Strik: Galerie Fons Welters
As piercing as two gigantic eyes, a monumental, psychedelic diptych replicates the image of a dome in Berend Strik's latest exhibition--dominating the gallery space and encapsulating the characteristics that have been crucial to the artist's work since...
"Black Acid Co-Op": Deitch Projects
This summer at Deitch Projects, Jonah Freeman and Justin Lowe transformed the gallery's Wooster Street space beyond recognition. Constructing a main line into the contemporary American imaginary, the artists fabricated a multilevel compound housing...
By Mourning's Light: LAURENCE A. RICKELS ON TRUE BLOOD
AROUND TEN YEARS AGO, I noticed that the vampires were changing. Whereas bloodsucking had been routinely interpreted in the earlier era as a metaphor for genital sexuality (which I always felt missed the points of the encounter), the vampire fictions...
Carol Bove and Janine Lariviere: The Horticultural Society of New York
Beauty, reflection, mimesis, vanity, knowledge: Comprehending all of these concepts, it's no wonder the Narcissus legend has proved a hardy subject and allegorical theme for artists for centuries--to say nothing of its metaphoric utility for philosophers...
Charles Simonds: Dumbarton Oaks
Charles Simonds speaks of his work as a "mind game relating body and earth," with "building, growing, time," and "self and body" being related focal points of this lifelong gambit. A selection of the artist's video, photography, and sculpture (including...
Chris Burden: Middelheim Museum
After nearly four decades, Chris Burden is still best known for his early 1970s performances, which continue to influence new generations of artists. Seeing the filmed performance Shoot, 1971, again at the Middelheim Museum, one realized that the raw...
Clare E. Rojas: Kavi Gupta
Welcome to the world of Clare E. Rojas, where bunnies with bloodshot eyes sniff flowers, swans sport red stripes, blood runs from ladies' mouths to the sky, and men brandish flowers like clubs. Spin whatever tales you wish to explain these misshapen...
Clemens Wolf: Galerie Steinek
For more than ten years, Clemens Wolf's studio was the street. He eventually switched from street art to painting of an almost classical kind. His technique and subjects are still reminiscent of graffiti, but his conceptual ambition has deepened: "I...
Conrad Shawcross: Location One
Conrad Shawcross's Slow Arc III, 2009, is a small light in a cage in a darkened room--already fertile ground for metaphor--mounted on a mechanism that moves up and down, side to side, and forward and back. The light travels slowly from point to point...
Cordula Ditz: Galerie Conradi
Cordula Ditz's recent exhibition included paintings, videos, collages, and site-specific sculpture. The first thing to strike the visitor's eye was the large-format paintings, all the same size (approximately eight by six feet) and hung on black walls....
Dan Graham: Whitney Museum of American Art, New York
OF ACTIVE ARTISTS over the age of sixty in the United States, Dan Graham may he the most admired figure among younger practitioners. Though never as famous as his peers Robert Smithson, Richard Serra, and Bruce Nauman, Graham has now gained, as artist-critic...
Daniele Puppi: Vistamare
Daniele Puppi's most recent exhibition in Italy was entitled "Zero" because it was intended to mark a turning point in the artist's work, a kind of new degree zero. Real space has always been Puppi's point of departure, but this time there were no...
David Levine: Galerie Feinkost
Desire for success is as integral to the economy as money. The same applies to the so-called cultural economy. Both, however, evince a yawning gulf between expectation and return. The number of those who just about get by--let alone "make it"--is dwarfed...
Dennis Balk: Institute of Visual Arts
That the title of this exhibition, "Dennis Balk: Early Work 1890-2090," turned out to seem plausible was only the first of its many twists. Sixty photographs, sculptures, drawings on tablecloths and napkins, videos, silk screens, found objects, installations,...
Don't Look Back: Bruce Sterling on F. T. Marinetti
FUTURISM, ONE HUNDRED YEARS OLD this year, arose from a decadent Italian playboy's near-death experience. The innovative young gentleman in question, F. T. Marinetti, was frittering away his father's large fortune by publishing Symbolist poetry and...
Dorothy Lannone: Anton Kern Gallery
In the preface accompanying Henry Miller's Tropic of Cancer (1934), Anais Nin (or, some claim, Miller ghostwriting) argues, "If there is here revealed a capacity to shock, to startle the lifeless ones from their profound slumber, let us congratulate...
Elad Lassry
THE LOS ANGELES-BASED PHOTOGRAPHER AND FILMMAKER Elad Lassry often uses the term pictures when speaking about his work. He prefers it to both the more technical photographs and the more abstract images. This may partly be due to the lexical streamlining...
Frank Lloyd Wright: Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York
HALF A CENTURY AFTER PHILIP JOHNSON acidly proclaimed Frank Lloyd Wright "the greatest architect of the nineteenth century," a new traveling retrospective makes the case for Wright's relevance to the twenty-first. "Frank Lloyd Wright: From Within Outward,"...
Gareth James: Elizabeth Dee
Gareth James's recent exhibition took as its starting point the iconic photograph of Louis Althusser in front of an inscrutable diagram and the phrase that would become the title of the Marxist philosopher's autobiography, L'Avenir dure longtemps (The...
Gunther Herbst: One in the Other
To begin, a small digression: Back in 1999, the first Liverpool Biennial included ten works by Doris Salcedo. Made from old wooden wardrobes and plaster, each individual piece combined two or three wardrobes into a single block, the smaller objects...
"Headquarters" Rebecca Camhi Gallery
In 2003, Andreas Angelidakis presented "Neen World," reconstructions of buildings that the architect had designed on the Active Worlds platform so that Internet artists belonging to the self-branded Neen group could meet there and chat. The real estate...
Henrik Olesen: Talks about "Better Sleep with a Sober Cannibal Than a Drunken Christian," 2009
IMAGINE A PECULIAR, ERSATZ VERSION of the censoriously right-wing British newspaper the Daily Mail: Alongside pedestrian stories on pension funds and gossip items about Jude Law, one finds conspicuously incongruous features on Edouard Manet's lesbian...
How to Be a Collective in the Age of the Consumer Sovereign
AT THE CENTRE FOR THE STUDY OF DEVELOPING SOCIETIES, an independent research institution located in a leafy neighborhood in North Delhi, a clock with a curious face hangs on the wall of the library, portending an uncertain future as it presides over...
Ian Kiaer
1 ARMY AND NAVY STORES/HOUSE OF FRASER VICTORIA (LONDON) It may be that shopping here is no more distinctive than shopping at any other generic department store, yet I remain as affected by the experience today as I was while growing up in Victoria...
In Common Hours
SOMETIME IN THE 1970s, I attended a screening--I think it was at the Whitney Museum in New York--that included Andrew Noren's Wind Variations (1968), an eighteen-minute silent meditation on the light play created by curtains gently blowing in the breeze...
John Currin: Andrea Rosen Gallery
An intriguing survey of seventy-seven works on paper, borrowed from some fifty lenders, was handsomely installed at the Andrea Rosen Gallery, home of the artist's early career. These drawings--let's call them that for expediency's sake (there were...
Kathryn Garcia: Venetia Kapernekas Gallery
Since the beginnings of modernism, popular culture has fetishized the artist as bohemian other. The professionalization of the contemporary visual artist's life notwithstanding, the stereotype of the starving, lunatic artist endures. The shopworn cliche...
Kathryn Spence: Stephen Wirtz Gallery
The press release for Kathryn Spence's recent exhibition outs her as "an avid birder, gardener, and conservationist," yet the sculptures--fastidiously arranged bundles of refuse, some of which resemble taxidermied animals--suggest another identity,...
Larry Rivers: Tibor De Nagy
Larry Rivers has always been hard for art historians to place--being, on the one hand, a "painterly realist," as Jonathan Fineberg calls him, and, on the other, a proto-Pop artist, for instance in his use of commercial imagery in the "French Money"...
Lars Laumann: Maureen Paley
Carlton Turner is an inmate on death row in Huntsville, Texas. In 2006 he is contacted by Norwegian artist Kjersti Andvig: Will he collaborate with her? They correspond. Carlton finds Kjersti intellectually stimulating. Together, they design an installation,...
Latifa Echakhch: Galerie Kamel Mennour
So much is in a name--particularly when that name happens to sound like Latifa Echakhch's in a country like France, still reeling from post-colonial reckoning. "Pendant que les champs brulent Part 2" (While the Fields Burn Part 2) was Echakhch's second...
Lynda Benglis and Robert Morris: SUSAN INGLETT GALLERY
Some art-world controversies never get old. Lynda Benglis's November 1974 Artforum advertisement for her exhibition at Paula Cooper Gallery remains a contender for the most persistently demanding of attention. Lesser known, perhaps, is the image that...
Manifesto Destiny: Maria Gough on Centenary Futurism Exhibitions
On the occasion of the one hundredth anniversary of the Futurist Manifesto, art historian Maria Gough takes stock of the numerous exhibitions celebrating the movement this past summer, while writers Charlotte Birnbaum and Bruce Sterling muse on Futurism's...
Meris Angioletti: Galleria D'arte Moderna E Contemporanea
At a recent lecture in Milan, the physicist Nicola Cabibbo spoke of "new possibilities offered in the study of the invisible within matter. ... Anything that can be measured--atmospheric pressure, stock market prices, the fever of a sick person," he...
Michael Rashkow: China Art Objects
The stripped-down, rectilinear structures in "Quadrangles," Michael Rashkow's second solo show, flirt teasingly with Constructivism, combining geometric economy with precise but experimental facture. Having particular resonance with El Lissitzky's...
Nuno Ramalho: Galeria Graca Brandao
Nuno Ramalho, a young artist living in Porto, has distinguished himself among the generation that emerged in Portugal during this past decade through the civic consciousness that imbues his production. Ramalho questions prevailing worldviews by analyzing...
Of Love Possessed
Let your loves be like the wasp and the orchid. --Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari ALL THE THEORETICAL ELEMENTS WE HAVE ACCUMULATED thus far in our discussion--from the multitude of the poor to the project of altermodernity and from the social...
On the Commons
This month, Harvard University Press unveils Commonwealth, the latest book by Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, whose Empire (2000) and Multitude (2004) have, arguably, been the dominant works of political philosophy of the new century. In the pages...
Paul Outerbridge: J. Paul Getty Museum
Is there anybody left who would question the viability of photography as an artistic medium? With high-profile exhibitions of the Pictures generation and the New Topographies group, and a slew of recent or upcoming group shows of emerging artists working...
Provence, John Knight and Ghislain Mollet-Vieville: Cafe Hammer
During Art Basel, the first issue of PROVENCE, "An Eight-Issue Magazine Dedicated to Hobbies" was launched by Daiga Grantina, Tobias Kaspar, and Hannes Loichinger at a neighborhood cafe. It was accompanied by an exhibition, curated by Egija Inzule,...
Relocating the Past
LAST SUMMER I TRAVELED TO GLASGOW to witness the demolition of a couple of public housing complexes, including two eighteen-story towers in Pollokshaws, in the south of the city, and two twenty-story buildings in Sighthill, a neighborhood closer to...
Robert Holyhead: Karsten Schubert
For this exhibition Robert Holyhead showed ten small to medium-size abstract paintings, each titled Untitled and dated 2009. All but one of the paintings feature white and a single other color, although this additional color is present both as a highly...
Sanja Ivekovic: Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, the Netherlands/Basis Voor Actuele Kunst, Utrecht, the Netherlands
A PHOTO SHOWS a young woman in jeans pulling on a pair of boots. A photo beside it shows Marilyn Monroe curled up on a sofa, gazing toward the camera. The caption below her reads: A LONG WAY TO GLORY AND POPULARITY. The image of Monroe comes from a...
Sarah Ortmeyer: Figge Von Rosen Galerie
For the work that lends its name to Sarah. Ortmeyer's most recent show, "SABOTAGE," the artist filled the floor of the gallery's front room with chopped-up shoes made of light-colored wood. The shoes were actually French sabots, peasant's clogs--the...
Sara Ramo: Real Jardin Botanico
The video On the Move, 2009, shows someone taking objects out of a seemingly endless suitcase that seems to have room for everything. Placed like a visiting card at the entrance to Sara Ramo's exhibition at the Jardin Botanico, this work served as...
Simone Forti: The Box
Dance has long been overlooked in the art world. But in the past decade, a handful of modest retrospective exhibitions have used the gallery setting to redress the medium's wide-ranging role in the postwar avant-garde, with institutions from the Musee...
Slouching toward Copenhagen: ELIZABETH A. CASTELLI ON LARS VON TRIER'S ANTICHRIST
LARS VON TRIER'S ANTICHRIST had provoked audiences at Cannes to boos, laughter, condemnation, and the occasional declaration of genius two months before making its way into a small theater in Greenwich Village on a gorgeous summer morning this past...
Stephen Shore: 303 Gallery
The Velvet Underground has been aboveground for decades, and all tomorrow's parties have become all yesterday's parties, yet the Warholian milieu of the mid-1960s continuously resurfaces as the eternally hip subaltern. The Factory has been fetishized,...
Su-Mei Tse: Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
Well before audiences entered the dimly lit room housing Su-Mei Tse's installation Floating Memories, 2009, they heard the soft crackling of a stylus tripping along the groove of a vinyl record. This subtle auditory encounter evoked a time and place...
"The Death of the Audience": Secession
The Vienna Secession filled the difficult art-world summer gap with revolutionary panache and imaginative profundity. Curator Pierre Bal-Blanc, head of the Centre d'Art Contemporain in the Paris suburb of Bretigny, called with impeccable logic for...
The Future That Had Arrived
While popularly known as a writer of science fiction, the late J. G. Ballard was a veritable philosopher of contemporary culture, whose keen observations both delineated and anticipated vast, rapid shifts in postwar technology and media--the likes...
Thomas Kilpper: Former GDR Ministry for State Security/Neuer Berliner Kunstverein
This year marks the twentieth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, and yet the headquarters of the Ministerium fur Staatssicherheit, the former East German secret police better known as the Stasi, remains virtually untransformed. The most significant...
Tim Hawkinson: Pacewildenstein
Tim Hawkinson often depends on ingenuity and surprise, on shifting something familiar or at least imaginable into an unimaginable medium or scale. Like Tom Friedman, an artist I've fantasized seeing him paired with, he fosters in viewers a sense of...
Truth to Power: Huey Copeland on Robert Colescott (1925-2009)
WHEN THE ARTIST ROBERT COLESCOTT passed away this June in Tucson, where he had lived since 1985, he left behind a body of work that troubles many of the antinomies haunting Western art and its institutions. Appraised as both beautiful and ugly, racist...
Unica Zurn: The Drawing Center
This compelling exhibition reflected a growing recognition of Unica Zurn as an important late Surrealist. Her first major exhibition in the United States since a well-received show at New York's Ubu Gallery in 2005, it featured forty-nine of the German-born...
Violet Hopkins: Foxy Production
A large watercolor and pencil depiction of a golden disc, covered with runic designs and floating against a depthless black background, greeted visitors upon their entrance to Violet Hopkins's second solo exhibition at this gallery. The lines and symbols...
"White Noise": James Cohan Gallery
Another group show based on the to-and-fro between artists and music and musicians and art, "White Noise" boasted a solid cross section of youngish musicians (Jason Ajemian, Brendan Fowler, Mario Diaz de Leon), visual artists from older generations...
William Kentridge: San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
CAROLINE WALKER BYNUM RAISES an interesting question in her 2005 book, Metamorphosis and Identity: "Were medieval werewolves really metempsychosis?" Metempsychosis is the transmigration of the soul from one animal to another, and odd as the question...
Yayoi Kusama: Gagosian Gallery
When, in a 1998 interview with Damien Hirst, Yayoi Kusama observed that while cancer is what people fear, flowers are "what people enjoy visually. ... Ultimately, they are the same. When they die, they [both] become dust ..." she may well have been...
Yinka Shonibare MBE: Brooklyn Museum, New York
YINKA SHONIBARE HAS often called himself "the outsider within." It's fitting, then, that the entrance to the artist's midcareer retrospective at the Brooklyn Museum in New York was both welcoming and sharply forbidding. Leisure Lady (with Ocelots),...
Zhang Enli: Kunsthalle Bern
Zhang Enli is dissatisfied with the image of contemporary Chinese art as defined by pop and politics. For him, the most commonplace objects are what connects China to the rest of the world: tables, chairs, benches, pots, boxes. The artist has moved...