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. 45, No. 7, March

1000 Words: Tony Conrad Talks about "Yellow Movies," 1972-73
LARGE PAINTED PAPER SHEETS with a rectangle approximating the proportions of a film screen, Tony Conrad's "Yellow Movies," 1972-73, were inspired by the stark dichotomy between art and cinema at Documenta 5 (1972)--where filmmakers such as Conrad had...
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Aernout Mik: Bak
Aernout Mik's exhibition "Raw Footage/Scapegoats" consisted of two projects. Raw Footage (all works 2006), a two-channel video installation, is the artist's first work employing found footage. Mik edited material shot during the war in the former Yugoslavia,...
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Annika Von Hausswolff: Andrehn-Schiptjenko
A decade ago Daniel Birnbaum introduced Annika von Hausswolff's photographs in the pages of this magazine, writing about the symbiosis they present between scopophilia and sadistic violence. Simple in conception, von Hausswolff's early work was bare-bones,...
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Art of the Possible: Fulvia Carnevale and John Kelsey in Conversation with Jacques Ranciere
FULVIA CARNEVALE: Your work has taken a very particular trajectory. It starts with archival research on workers' struggles and the utopias of the nineteenth century and ends up in the field of contemporary art, aesthetics, and cinema. Do you see ruptures...
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Back to School: Jordan Kantor on Curatorial Returns to the Academy
TAKEN BY ITSELF, last November's announcement by Russell Ferguson, chief curator and deputy director of the Hammer Museum of the University of California, Los Angeles, that he was leaving his position after some five years at the institution to take...
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Barbara Visser: Museum De Paviljoens
The title of this survey, "Vertaalde werken/Translated Works: Barbara Visser 1990-2006," refers to the Dutch artist's adaptation of her site-specific works to a new venue and format. Working with the Swiss designer Laurenz Brunner, Visser rethought...
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Black Bloc, White Penguin: Reconsidering Representation Critique
In Hell Frozen Over, 2000, a video by the artistic collective Bernadette Corporation, images of fashion shoots replete with languishing, vacant-eyed models alternate with footage of Sylvere Lotringer--theorist and founder of the influential press Semiotext(e)--standing...
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Brent Green: Bellwether
Five years ago, armed with a cheap digital camera and a computer equipped with iMovie, Brent Green set out to produce his first short animated video. The result, Susa's Red Ears, 2002, was a choppily edited, whimsical tale featuring characters drawn...
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Brian Bress: Angstrom
A collage sensibility is central to the concerns of Los Angeles-based artist Brian Bress, even as the collage medium was thoroughly subsumed into photography and video in his recent show. In the thirteen-minute twenty-second video Under Cover, 2007,...
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Colby Caldwell: Hemphill
Nostalgia maintains a coy but persistent presence in Colby Caldwell's exhibition "small game," the title of which refers in part to both the visual legerdemain possible with Photoshop and to his family's legacy of hunting in North Carolina and Montana....
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Dike Blair: D'amelio Terras
Dike Blair's recent show was a mini survey of gouache still lifes made between 1988 and 1997. Presented in D'Amelio Terras's front room by arrangement with Blair's regular gallery, Feature, Inc., these works had not all been shown together before....
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Displaced Struggles: Bettina Funcke on Ranciere and the Art World
Why might philosopher Jacques Ranciere have become increasingly interested in contemporary art, even as the art world, in neat symmetry, has become increasingly interested in him? He has apparently followed art for many years, he spoke at the Frieze...
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Eternal Flame
THERE IS NO REASON for an artist to write about a philosopher, just as there is no reason for a philosopher to write about an artist. As an artist, I do not need philosophy, because I do not use philosophy to make my work--I need philosophy as a man,...
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Fausto Gilberti: Galleria 1000eventi
For the past ten years, black-and-white, quasi-geometric figures--with round, bright eyes, long noses, and toothpick-thin arms and legs--have peopled the work of Fausto Gilberti. He has painted them on canvas and inked them onto photographic backdrops...
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Fearless Symmetry
LET'S SET THE SCENE. It's 1968 in Czechoslovakia. Activists in the Communist Party take over and begin to enact a series of economic and cultural reforms to try to revive this stagnant Soviet satellite state. Freedom of speech and of the press are...
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Hans Op De Beeck: Xavier Hufkens
Hans Op de Beeck's early work investigated issues such as the fate of refugees or the consequences of living in an inhumane urban landscape. He used multiple means and media to fabricate an imitation of life or comment on our environment. Often Op...
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Hans Stalder: Galerie Friedrich
A bullfinch is perched high up on a flowering branch, its body flowing into a stylized sky, as if the picture--Spatz (Sparrow), 2005--were seeking to make us forget the difference between figure and ground. The clear red contour lines seem to disappear...
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Henry Darger: Andrew Edlin Gallery
Henry Darger might seem the epitome of the outsider artist, a loner-next-door type who spent endless hours in his dilapidated house, creating a strange and brilliant masterwork that would only be discovered after his death in 1973: hundreds of illustrations...
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"In Girum Imus Nocte et Consumimur Igni": Centraal Museum, Utrecht, the Netherlands
THE FIRST and until now only major retrospective of the Situationist International was organized by the Centre Pompidou in Paris in 1989. Hotly contested, it was hindered by Guy Debord's boycott and by the withdrawal of his films from circulation....
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Jeff Gabel: Spencer Brownstone Gallery
YOUNG ARTIST THAT'S IN HIS STUDIO RIGHT WHEN HE FIGURES OUT HE GAVE UP EVERYTHING HE HAS FOR ART + DOESNT HAVE ENOUGH MONEY TO MAKE HARDLY ANY MORE WORKS, AND HE'LL PROBABLY BE LONELY FOR A LONG TIME, SO HE JUST SAT DOWN IN A CHAIR AND STARTED CRYING....
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John Latham: P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center
If you live in the United States, John Latham may be the most important artist whose work you've never seen. In the '50s, he became the first Brit to put spray paint to canvas, an innovative response to American action painting and European Pop. He...
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Kristin Ross on Jacques Ranciere
In the spring of 2005 in the village of Cerisy-la-Salle in Normandy, a group of scholars met for three days to celebrate the work of Jacques Ranciere. In France, a colloquium held in one's honor at Cerisy is acknowledgment of a major contribution to...
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Laurie Fendrich: Katharina Rich Perlow
There's an almost irksome attractiveness to Laurie Fendrich's abstract paintings, a certain cleverness in their manipulation of fields of color. Sometimes these areas are large and are composed of curves and planes. These are juxtaposed with smaller...
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Lisl Ponger: Charim Galerie
For the Dak'Art Biennial of Contemporary African Art 2004, Austrian artist Lisl Ponger hoped to photograph selections from the famous ethnographic collection of Dakar's Musee d'Art Africain. As she waited for permission from the museum, she started...
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Magick Weapon: Tom Gunning on Kenneth Anger
THE FILMS OF KENNETH ANGER occupy the dark heart of American cinema. Along with Maya Deren (who slightly preceded him) and Stan Brakhage (who began making films roughly a decade after Anger), the director of Lucifer Rising (1972) remains the best known...
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Manuel Graf: Museum Abteiberg
One cannot help but cower at the feet of Ekkehard Wallat--not least because the older gentleman appears almost life-size in a projection that fills the entirety of a gallery wall; the room is furnished with low, modern plastic stools. Wallat is a teacher...
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Mario Schifano: Sperone Westwater
For all the experimentation--bred from crossovers with film, performance, music, dance, and new technology--that characterized the art of the 1960s, art histories chronicling that decade still too often distill its raucous energies to fit neatly into...
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Marti Cormand: Josee Bienvenu
"Offside" was the title of both Marti Cormand's third solo exhibition at Josee Bienvenu and of its signal work. This oil-on-linen painting, one of six on view, retools the romantic sublime for a digitized, global warmed present--Caspar David Friedrich's...
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Martin Chambi: Fundacion Telefonica
Martin Chambi was born in 1891 near Lake Titicaca in Peru. He created most of his photographic work in Cuzco--a city whose name in Quechua means "navel of the world"--where he died in 1973. In last year's large retrospective in Madrid, what stood out...
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Matt Bryans: Atlanta Contemporary Art Center
Robert Rauschenberg has said of his Erased de Kooning Drawing, 1953, that he initially erased his own drawings but "figured out that the erased drawing had to be from a real work of art" to have significance. Matt Bryans's drawings, produced by erasing...
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Michelangelo Pistoletto: Christian Stein
Michelangelo Pistoletto's most recent--and most extraordinary--work is entitled La Giuria (The Jury), 1962-2006. A large mirror with a photographic image silk-screened onto its surface, more than thirty feet in length and eight feet in height, the...
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Nina Katchadourian: One Chase Manhattan Plaza
Full disclosure: I first encountered Nina Katchadourian's Public Art Fund project, Office Semaphore, 2006, via its press release, which began by asking, "Ever spot someone in a distant office window and wonder what is going on in his or her life? Part...
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Patrick Lee: Western Project
Albrecht Durer would have seen a reason for drawing, meticulously, the subjects of Patrick Lee's "Deadly Friends." The men in Lee's pictures look like they understand, firsthand, that looks can kill, or at least inflict a serious bruising. Drifters,...
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Paul Laffoley: Kent Gallery
Though the art world has long prided itself on its tolerance for idiosyncratic cosmologies, there are still true believers out there whose single-mindedness outstrips even the forbearance of the avant-garde. For such artists, there typically awaits...
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Pedro Reyes: Carpenter Center, Harvard University
Some of the nearly one hundred projects represented in "ad usum: To Be Used," a survey of six years' worth of work by Mexico City-based artist Pedro Reyes, are models for environmentally engaged architecture. The rest are perhaps best understood as...
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Peter Johansson: Kulturhuset
Peter Johansson argues for the inclusion of vernacular Swedish folk art as yet another of society's "Others," but in the same gesture sets inclusion at cross-purposes with itself; he problematizes it as deftly as Fred Wilson does. But where Wilson...
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Portia Munson: P.P.O.W
Portia Munson remains best known for Pink Project Table, 1994-96, an installation that appeared in the controversially titled "Bad Girls," a 1994 exhibition of feminist art curated by the late Marcia Tucker at the New Museum of Contemporary Art and...
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Rachel Kushner on Nathalie Djurberg
IN SWEDISH ARTIST Nathalie Djurberg's Claymation film The Necessity of Loss, 2006, a man who cannot resist acting on his overwhelming attraction to a young girl decides he must castrate himself. But he still has arms with which to touch her, and so...
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Rae Armantrout
Rae Armantrout is a poet and professor of writing and literature at the University of California in San Diego, whose poems have recently appeared in The Nation and The Oxford Book of American Poetry. Her eighth book of poems, Next Life, was published...
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Regime Change: Jacques Ranciere and Contemporary Art
So many of the questions that French thinker Jacques Ranciere has posed over a lifetime are of singular importance to contemporary art now: What is, after all, the relationship between art and politics? Where does art's greatest potential rest, taking...
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Revisionary History: Linda Nochlin, Jack Bankowsky, and Brooks Adams on Robert Rosenblum
A pioneering critic of the past fifty years and a revisionist scholar of the preceding two hundred, Artforum contributing editor Robert Rosenblum will be remembered for the stunning breadth of his erudition and taste. Here, a trio of his colleagues--and,...
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Richard Hawkins: Corvi-Mora
The other day, for reasons unrelated to this assignment, I reread Rhonda Lieberman's classic essay on Karen Kilimnik, published in these pages in 1994. Naturally, I noticed the artist's passing reflection, "It must be a fun life being Richard Hawkins....
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Richard Wilson: Barbican Art Gallery
Entering the Barbican's unusually shaped project space, aptly called The Curve--essentially a narrow, curved hallway--one encountered a large screen showing a projected video: In a dark, extremely cramped environment with a dangling utility light,...
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Robert Kusmirowski: Migros Museum Fur Gegenwartskunst
Known for his meticulous re-creations of places and spaces of the past, such as D.O.M., 2004, a reconstruction of a late-eighteenth/early-nineteenth-century Polish graveyard that he showed at Galerie Johnen in Berlin, Robert Kusmirowski here pushed...
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Rob Fischer: Mary Goldman Gallery
Whether grafting a house onto an airplane (as he did in Cargo Plane with Crate House, 1996), constructing stacks of domestic-style couches, or, in what has become a signature move, gutting, upturning, and slicing and dicing Dumpsters, Rob Fischer has...
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Roger Hiorns: Marc Foxx
Often perplexing, and pointed in the titling of his works, Roger Hiorns has made various pieces in strikingly different media--from one deploying dark steel plates sprayed, at crotch level, with the tony scent of Jean Patou's Joy to another with fire...
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Sabine Hornig: Tanya Bonakdar Gallery
A room on a stage is typically missing one side, the virtual "fourth wall" through which the audience peers; the rooms depicted in the photographs Sabine Hornig included in this show are, unexpectedly, absent two sides. In each of the photos on view,...
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Scott Short: Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago
Scott Short's recent paintings are the product of disciplined and structured procedures, the seriousness of which is relieved by a healthy dose of idiosyncratic intervention. Procedure first: For the past nine years, Short has produced all his paintings...
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"Semina Culture: Wallace Berman & His Circle"; Grey Art Gallery
Having meandered across the country on a five-city tour, "Semina Culture: Wallace Berman & His Circle," which originated at the Santa Monica Museum of Contemporary Art in late 2005, found its final destination at NYU's Grey Art Gallery this January....
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South of the West: Jeff Gibson on the Fifth Asia-Pacific Triennial
BRISBANE IS BOOMING. Once a cultural and economic underdog, the capital city of the Australian state of Queensland has lately been giving Sydney and Melbourne a run for, well, their money. Skimming its take off the state's thriving mining industry--currently...
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"Spank the Monkey": Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art
It's fitting that on the exhibition floor beneath Baltic's big show of street art--loosely ranging over two floors of the former flour mill--was a small display of early Keith Haring drawings. Haring, along with Jean-Michel Basquiat, was the first...
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Speedily Dispatched: David Joselit on Images and Sovereignty
IN ORGANIZING "Manet and the Execution of Maximilian" at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, a recent exhibition that united all five representations by Edouard Manet of the notorious demise of Napoleon Ill's puppet emperor of Mexico, curator John...
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Storm Tharp: Pdx Contemporary Art
In a recent exhibition of eight gouache, ink, and colored pencil portraits, Portland-based polymath Storm Tharp vividly brought to life an array of imaginary characters. Melding influences ranging from Ralph Steadman (the Hunter S. Thompson illustrator,...
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Tal Sterngast: Nbkstudio, Neuer Berliner Kunstverein
Earlier generations of women, especially feminists, often linked their tribulations to childbearing and rearing; today, low birthrates throughout Western Europe have put children back on the political agenda in a different light. Yet despite the sweeping...
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The 2nd International Biennial of Contemporary Art of Seville: Various Venues
"HOW MIGHT ART take measure of the multiple mutinies and upheavals that currently beset global society?... How might art become integral rather than peripheral to the widespread challenge that affects not only the production of art but its reception...
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The Body Electric: Tom Vanderbilt on Christian Nold
IN 1862, in a letter to the editor of the Parisian newspaper La Presse describing the series of prose poems that would become the classic Spleen de Paris (1869), Charles Baudelaire asked, "Which of us has not, in his ambitious days, dreamed of the...
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The Emancipated Spectator
I have called this talk "The Emancipated Spectator."* As I understand it, a title is always a challenge. It sets forth the presupposition that an expression makes sense, that there is a link between separate terms, which also means between concepts,...
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Tim Griffin on Allen Ruppersberg
If ever there were an artist whose practice seemed premised on Jacques Ranciere's idea of the spectator who "makes his poem with the poem that is performed in front of him," it is Allen Ruppersberg. So much of his work takes the act of transposition...
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Tod Hanson: Cell Project Space
Experiencing Tod Hanson's hallucinogenic, room-size Parlour Collider, 2006, with its allover flat, mostly primary colors and black outlines, was like walking into a Patrick Caulfield or Michael Craig-Martin painting--while buzzed on caffeine. In a...
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Tomma Abts/Tony Conrad: Galerie Daniel Buchholz
Two concurrent exhibitions at Galerie Daniel Buchholz recently offered an unusual contrast: Large-format paintings by the American artist Tony Conrad were hung in the gallery's old space, while the new one housed small-format paintings by the London-based...
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Vegetables
The political allegory of the cauliflowers was possible because the connection of art, politics and vegetables--the connection of art, politics and consumption--already existed as a set of moving borders, enabling artists to both cross the border and...
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"We Can Do This Now": The Power Plant
Toronto's art scene is diffuse and diverse, resistant to rigid codification in terms of tendencies or movements. Such diffusion might suggest a disagreeable lack of cohesion or focus, but this recent exhibition demonstrated otherwise. Gregory Burke,...
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Willie Doherty: Alexander and Bonin
In Willie Doherty's new video PASSAGE (all works 2006), two young men stride determinedly along a roadside path at night, apparently heading toward each other. Silent and grim-faced, they seem to have some felonious, or at least nefarious, purpose...
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Yun-Fei Ji: James Cohan Gallery
Earlier this season, reviewing Sze Tsung Leong's photographs of today's China, I speculated that the title of his recent series "History Images," 2002-2005, referred to the old academic genre of history painting. I was making the point that Leong's...
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