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. 46, No. 5, January

1000 Words: Harry Dodge and Stanya Kahn; Talk about All Together Now, 2008
"ONCE UPON A TIME, or maybe twice, there was an unearthly paradise," begins the Beatles's 1968 animated extravaganza, Yellow Submarine. As the opening line's turn on the cliche suggests, visions of other worlds--past, future, or parallel--have popped...
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1st Athens Biennial: Various Venues
"THE MINDLESSNESS OF POWER sometimes creates a memory from what was meant to be amnesia," Chris Marker observes in Inner Time of Television, 2007, the words appearing on a wall above a bank of video monitors as part of an installation made by the London-based...
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Aaron Spangler: Zach Feuer Gallery
In the contemporary art world, work featuring (or even originating from) the prairie states is about as popular as wood carving, but both figured prominently in Aaron Spangler's recent exhibition. While there have been fitful creative explorations...
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Alan Gilbert on Julia Meltzer and David Thorne
LOS ANGELES-BASED ARTISTS Julia Meltzer and David Thorne have long taken an interest in excavating the past as a means of examining the complex interplay of information, knowledge, and political control. Continuing in the vein of the socially engaged...
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Alighiero Boetti: Gladstone Gallery
Gladstone Gallery's recent exhibition of works made by Italian artist Alighiero Boetti between the late 1980s and the early '90s showcased two core elements of his work: an investigation of personal and collective identity conducted with reference...
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Andre Cadere: Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden, Germany
ACCORDING TO ONE of modern art's favorite legends, Constantin Brancusi arrived in the City of Light in 1904 on foot, having walked most of the way from Munich, his first stop after leaving Romania the year before. This is the kind of story that impressed...
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A New Geometry
ITALY'S AUTONOMIA MOVEMENT was less a group of people or an organization to which one belonged than a milieu or network of spaces through which elements of the Italian "extreme" Left moved. Though in many areas of the country autonomia had its base...
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Art Day's Night: Brian Sholis on the 5th Berlin Biennial
IF THERE IS ANY CONSENSUS regarding the contemporary mega-exhibition, it's that it is in need of reinvention. And, increasingly, a focus on performance and pedagogy seems to offer one way forward. The prime example here is Mai Abu ElDahab, Anton Vidokle,...
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Ben Stone: Western Exhibitions
To make a complex monumental sculpture today from a small 1960s drawing by a MAD magazine cartoonist exemplifies a kind of engaged--and endearing--high/low apotheosis of the stupid. Ben Stone's Foneboner (all works 2007) is just that, an overblown...
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Biennale De Lyon 2007: Various Venues
THE BIENNALE DE LYON 2007, as conceived by curators Stephanie Moisdon and Hans-Ulrich Obrist, was an attempt to write the history of the current decade--"a decade that has not yet been named." To give an account of a period still in progress is an...
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"Brave New Worlds": Walker Art Center
The Walker Art Center's "Brave New Worlds," curated by Doryun Chong and Yasmil Raymond, features twenty-four artists from around the globe and presents artistic practice as a means of exploring place and time in a world flattened by digital technologies,...
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Claudine Doury: Camera Obscura
Claudine Doury's bio tells us that she lives and works in Paris, but it would be more accurate to say that she lives and dreams there. As for work, it happens in the faraway places where her dreams, instincts, and friendships take her (aided and abetted...
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Crowe and Rawlinson: FACT
At Liverpool's FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology), Nick Crowe and Ian Rawlinson's work was billed as an "exploration" of faith in contemporary society, but the four technically ambitious video works on view evidenced a more reflexive...
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Deborah Ligorio: Francesca Minini
"The audacity of modernity has trained us to challenge the double vertigo of abyss and sky at the same time." This is not a passage from a Futurist manifesto but the voice-over from an old TV documentary on Mt. Vesuvius, which is incorporated into...
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Elad Lassry: Cherry and Martin
In his confident solo debut, elliptically titled "She Takes These Pictures of His Wife Silhouetted on a Hillside," young Los Angeles-based artist Elad Lassry subtly intimated an understanding of the differing codes of commercial and fine art photography...
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Erik Krikortz: Moderna Museet
"The day of individual happiness has passed" would be the perfect catchphrase for Erik Krikortz's attempt to measure collective happiness, had it been he who said it, rather than Adolf Hitler. Happiness has long been a subject for deep thinkers and...
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Eva Rothschild: South London Gallery
The advance notice was striking: The gallery's tabloid-style newsletter featured a set of images in which individuals stand against a gallery wall holding snakes. Sometimes fondling the creatures, sometimes wearing them entwined around their arms or...
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Filling the Void: Martin Herbert on the Art of Mungo Thomson
MUNGO THOMSON'S The Collected Live Recordings of Bob Dylan 1963-1995, 1999, is a compact disc with a hole in the middle--not just literally, but metaphorically, too. For while the recording encompasses, in chronological order, all the live albums made...
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"Forms of Resistance": Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, the Netherlands
"FORMS OF RESISTANCE: Artists and the Desire for Social Change from 1871 to the Present" is not an exhibition one is likely to see in a major venue in the United States, given how politically restrained and financially driven our big museums are today....
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Francis Alys: Dia at the Hispanic Society of America
From September 2007 to April 2008, the North Building Galleries of the Hispanic Society--dimly lit, mahogany-paneled rooms usually set aside for nineteenth-century holdings--are being occupied by a rogue collection. At a glance, the works assembled...
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Gary Hume: White Cube
"American Tan," the title of this large exhibition of paintings, drawings, and sculptures, suggests that sickly orange-caramel hue of cheap hosiery that gives a woman's skin a sort of nylon veneer. Such off colors--with nauseating names like "warm...
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Glenn Ligon: Regen Projects II
That Glenn Ligon's most recent paintings are so seductive is as disconcerting as it is revealing. Thirty-three of the thirty-six radiant text-based paintings in his recent show, from the series "No Room (Gold)," 2007, are verbatim transcriptions of...
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Good Vibrations: Damon Krukowski on Rainforest IV
FOR ITS TWO PERFORMANCES of postwar avant-gardist David Tudor's Rainforest IV last fall at The Kitchen in New York, the group Composers Inside Electronics suspended a single wire object in the passageway between lobby and theater. Passing under this...
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Heather Rowe: Heather Rowe Recently Had a Solo Exhibition at D'Amelio Terras in New York, Where She Is Based. Her Work Will Appear in the 2008 Whitney Biennial
1 ONE WEEK (1920) In this short film, Buster Keaton attempts to construct a house from a number of mismarked boxes from the Portable House Company. The result is a warped architecture of misused parts: The walls are inverted, the floor becomes a springboard,...
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Hirsch Perlman: Robert Miller Gallery
Hirsch Perlman exhibits regularly but infrequently in New York--it's been six years since he participated in the Whitney Biennial and more than a decade since his last solo show here. These time lapses are sufficient almost to allow us to forget about...
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"Into Position": Bauernmarkt
The big institutions of the Viennese art world are in turmoil, leading some observers to see a paradigm shift in the offing; in the meantime, independently organized projects are where much of the real energy is emerging. At Bauernmarkt, in the city...
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Jay Heikes: Marianne Boesky Gallery
Richard Prince's "Joke" paintings remain the gold standard for the use of dark verbal humor in contemporary art, but in the last few years a younger set of artists has expanded on Prince's turn to the debased language and iconography of comedy. Its...
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Jens Hoffmann on Annette Kelm
THINK "ART CAR," and you'll likely summon images of styled automobiles from BMW's long-standing series by that name featuring automotive collaborations with artists--beginning with the likes of Alexander Calder and Andy Warhol in the 1970s and A. R....
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Jiri David: Wannieck Gallery
In Prague, where Jiri David lives and works, he is already widely known. Zare (The Glow), 2000, the glowing neon crown of thorns he constructed above the roof of the classical exhibition and concert hall Rudolfinum, and Heart on the Castle, 2002, a...
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Joana Vasconcelos: The New Art Gallery
The young Portuguese artist Joana Vasconcelos gained broader recognition when one of her major works, A noiva (The Bride), 2001, was included in the 2005 Venice Biennale: At the entrance to the Arsenale hung an outsize chandelier, an elegant structure,...
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Jokes and Innovative Action: For a Logic of Change
The Leaky Kettle: Concerning the Difficulty of Applying a Rule THE INCONSPICUOUS LABORATORY of the transformation of a form of life lies within the dissimilar, and at times contradictory, ways in which it is possible to apply a rule to a particular...
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Karin Sander: D'Amelio Terras
In 1926, Edward Steichen tried to bring his version of Constantin Brancusi's Bird in Space, 1923, into New York on the occasion of the sculptor's retrospective, only to have the work held up at customs on the grounds that it was not art but a duty-entitled...
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Kristin Lucas: Postmasters Gallery
Recently, a friend remarked to me that she was experiencing her Saturn return--an astrological phenomenon that happens about once every thirty years when, after orbiting the sun, the planet returns to the place it was when a person was born. Her feelings...
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"Less Roses": Galerie Sfeir-Semler
Of all the many students of Bernd and Hilla Becher who have gone on to earn critical acclaim in the art world, Elger Esser is arguably the most romantic. Where the photographs of Andreas Gursky or Candida Hofer are cool and clinical, Esser's are infused...
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Man with a Movie Camera: Helen Molesworth on the Art of Phil Collins
PHIL COLLINS AND KARAOKE were both born in the 1970s, the decade during which, according to the novelist Michael Cunningham, dreams of revolution faded and people began to dance. And dancing is at the center of the project that is probably Collins's...
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Mathieu Mercier: ARC/Musee d'Art Moderne De la Ville De Paris
On the occasion of his exhibition at the Musee d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, French artist Mathieu Mercier has reinvested in a concept one might have thought long since worn out by critics and art historians: postmodernism. The works brought...
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Matti Braun: Galleria S.A.L.E.S
The theme of the recent show by German artist Matti Braun was succinctly illustrated by Untitled (Sarabhai) (all works 2007), six black-and-white photographs illustrating the life and work of Vikram Sarabhai, an Indian physicist responsible for his...
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Mergers and Admonitions: Sabeth Buchmann and Achim Hochdorfer on the Generali Foundation
AT A SEPTEMBER 2007 press conference announcing the merger of the Generali Foundation and the Bawag Foundation, representatives of the two Vienna art institutions stood smiling beneath the neon script of Cerith Wyn Evans's 2003 sculpture Scenes from...
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Michele O'Marah and Henry Taylor: Sister at Rental
In their recent exhibition, "Repeat after me: I AM a Revolutionary," Michele O'Marah and Henry Taylor considered the civil rights struggle from distinct yet complementary perspectives. The show was a chance to reflect on a political era more charged...
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Mike Kelley: Jablonka Galerie
High production values and immersive media strategies are often viewed as incompatible with a truly critical practice in contemporary art. Mike Kelley's recent show, "Kandors"--which confronted the viewer with an overwhelming assembly of crystalline...
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Miranda Lichtenstein: Elizabeth Dee Gallery
While several of the photographs in Miranda Lichtenstein's recent show build on the artist's interest in painterly still life and the frozen moment, a handful break with this pattern to introduce not just a sense of movement but a system of temporal...
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Notes on Jokes
JOHN BALDESSARI, RADICAL PHILOSOPHER? You'd be forgiven for laughing out loud at the question, since the generally affable septuagenarian artist who some thirty-five years ago could be found humbly waving goodbye to sailboats (as they came into port)...
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Peter Campus: Locks Gallery
From afar, the six new works exhibited by Peter Campus in "the earth is nowhere" at Locks Gallery look more like diagrams than landscapes. Five of them are digital videos of sites in, on, or near Long Island Sound played in six-minute loops on their...
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Pious Reflections: Joseph Leo Koerner on "Dutch Primitives"
IN THE EARLY 1400s, painters in the Low Countries created a new species of image. With wood panels as their favored support, and handling their medium of oil-based pigments in unprecedented ways, they crafted glazed and layered likenesses the only...
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Rachel Khedoori: Hauser & Wirth
Six years after a comprehensive solo exhibition at Kunsthalle Basel, Rachel Khedoori returned to Switzerland for her second solo show at Hauser & Wirth Zurich. Interiors--spaces inhabited both physically and mentally--still form her main subject...
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Raymond Pettibon: David Zwirner Gallery
Raymond Pettibon is mad as hell, and he's not going to take it anymore. With "Here's Your Irony Back (The Big Picture)," the artist may also have been seeking some mainstream political relevance, appearing to dive headfirst into the deep end of the...
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Ree Morton/"for Ree": Overduin and Kite/Marc Foxx
In the past five years, Los Angeles has become a privileged site for seeing and thinking about the amazing work of Ree Morton. This is due in no small part to a coterie of younger artists--including Evan Holloway and John Williams--who have channeled...
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"Reflection": PinchukArtCentre
Exhibitions that feature both local and international art have become increasingly common as centers of contemporary art open in places previously considered peripheral, providing opportunities to see works by artists from different parts of the world...
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Regina Jose Galindo: Prometeogallery
"Tres Acciones" was the second exhibition in Milan by Guatemalan artist Regina Jose Galindo, who won the Golden Lion award for artists under thirty-five at the 2005 Venice Biennale. Here she showed a three-channel video along with a related sculptural...
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Rita Ackermann: Hotel
"Nice framing!" is always useful as a backhanded compliment when you can't think of anything encouraging to say about the art itself. With respect to Rita Ackermann's first solo show in London since 1995, the comment means something more, because the...
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Sounding the Fury: Julia Bryan-Wilson on Kirsten Forkert and Mark Tribe
"THE ART WORLD IS A POISON in the community of artists and must be removed by obliteration," asserted Carl Andre at a late-1960s meeting of the Art Workers' Coalition, calling for the demolition of a system that he deemed a source of "infinite corruption."...
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State of Denial: Amy Taubin on 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days
THIS IS ONE TOUGH FILM, this 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days. As sparingly made as it is unsparing emotionally, Cristian Mungiu's second feature won the Palme d'Or at Cannes 07, confirming that a Romanian New Wave has indeed broken, seemingly overnight....
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Stefan Sehler: Parker's Box
At first glance, Berlin-based artist Stefan Sehler's lush, intricate images appear to be photographic. They depict fragments of nature--branches and leaves, pine needles, vines, and ferns--often lushly entangled and seen close-up, as though they were...
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Susan Silton: Solway Jones
Though wildly diverse, Susan Silton's works of the past decade nonetheless share elements of formal experimentation and aesthetic choice, and employ coded imagery and iconography to deliver socially and politically charged messages. Recently, Silton...
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Takeshi Murata: Ratio 3
Few of us acknowledge that the snapshots and video clips on our hard drives, much less on YouTube, won't last forever. Even fewer, save for computer programmers, understand just how the pixels that compose those images will decay. In his masterful...
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The Eyes Had It: Robert Pincus-Witten, Jeff Koons, and Haim Steinbach on Ileana Sonnabend (1914-2007)
ROBERT PINCUS-WITTEN ILEANA SONNABEND'S obituary appeared in the New York Times of October 24, 2007. I read it with an equanimity that took me by surprise, having assumed that, after decades of quasi-Oedipal affection, I would be laid low by the...
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"The Geometry of Hope": Grey Art Gallery
The title of this ambitious exhibition of Latin American geometric abstract art from the 1930s to the '70s, drawn from the Patricia Phelps de Cisneros collection, is a self-conscious response to Herbert Read's term "the geometry of fear," which he...
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"Turner Prize: A Retrospective 1984-2006"; Tate Britain, London
"NO JURY, NO PRIZES" was one of the great slogans of modernism, but since publicity is today valued more than autonomy, ours is a time when, as the Dodo said, "all must have prizes." The art world's best-known award, the Turner Prize, is a consequence...
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Wolfgang Tillmans: Andrea Rosen Gallery
Individual photographs: a sweeping view of a Venetian lagoon; members of the World Adult Kickball Association gathered on the mall in Washington, DC; a sheet of paper, curled into a teardrop shape and glinting against a reflective surface; a profile...
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Zhang Huan: Asia Society
Few serious artists today could call their work "a metaphor for the human condition." Zhang Huan does--and with a straight face. He also states, "The body is my most basic language," and claims, "I wanted to measure myself against insurmountable limits."...
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