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. 44, No. 4, December

"Africa Remix": Centre Pompidou
According to Ghanaian philosopher Kwame Anthony Appiah, art made in Africa since the end of colonialism is not necessarily postcolonial, but most of the works in "Africa Remix: Contemporary Art of a Continent," shown this summer in Paris following...
Alfredo Jaar: Macro; Studio Stefania Miscetti
Alfredo Jaar's Gramsci Trilogy, 2004-2005, is a profound investigation into the role played by intellectuals facing the forces of power--an extremely relevant issue right now in Italy (where several journalists opposing the current government have...
Amy Taubin
1 A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE (DAVID CRONENBERG) The perfect American family, the perfect American small town--how could they not be a hallucination? In this wide-angle version of Spider, the insanity is institutional, implicating us all. [ILLUSTRATION...
Best of 2005: 11 Critics and Curators Look at the Year in Art
Robert Storr [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] AN ARTIST, CRITIC, AND CURATOR, ROBERT STORR RECENTLY ORGANIZED A RETROSPECTIVE OF THE ART OF ELIZABETH MURRAY CURRENTLY ON VIEW AT THE MUSEUM OF MODERN ART, NEW YORK. HE IS NOW AT WORK DIRECTING THE 2007 VENICE...
Best of 2005: 11 Critics and Curators Look at the Year in Art
Robert Rosenblum [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] A CONTRIBUTING EDITOR OF ARTFORUM, ROBERT ROSENBLUM IS CURRENTLY WORKING ON AN EXHIBITION PROVISIONALLY TITLED "CITIZENS AND KINGS: PORTRAITURE IN THE AGE OF DAVID AND GOYA," OPENING OCTOBER 2006 AT THE...
Bik Van der Pol: Rec
Catching Some Air, 2000-2005, was a good way to get a whiff of art history, both old and new. Bik Van der Pol--Lisbeth Bik and Jos Van der Pol--call their installation "an informal archive for referential material." The duo took 143 images--mostly...
Biopolitics: Between Abu Ghraib and Terri Schiavo
NOW WE'VE FINALLY LEARNED what we suspected all along, that the numerous reports and testimonies about the Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib prisons merely distracted the public's attention from the real secret, which has recently dominated news reports: The...
Books: Best of 2005; Twelve Scholars, Critics, and Artists Choose the Year's Outstanding Titles
YVE-ALAIN BOIS A book like Alastair Wright's Matisse and the Subject of Modernism (Princeton University Press) is enough to rekindle my faith in the future of art history as a discipline. (Here I could also mention two other such rare pearls from...
Bruce Nauman: Donald Young Gallery
Bruce Nauman as Midwestern artist par excellence? He was, after all, born in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and graduated from the University of Wisconsin, but the heartland has rarely been noted as an influence on his practice. However, a degree of independence...
Chrissie Iles
1 "DESTRICTED" For this series of short films, Marina Abramovic, Matthew Barney, Marco Brambilla, Larry Clark, Mike Figgis, Sam Taylor-Wood, and Gaspar Noe have--or soon will have--created (at the behest of Neville Wakefield, Mel Agace, and Andrew...
Christoph Cox
1 MARZ, WIR SIND HIER (KARAOKE KALK) Berliners Ekkehard Ehlers and Albrecht Kunze produce a record of lush pop informed by their roots in electronic minimalism revealing, along the way, the link between lap steels and laptops. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]...
Daniel Joglar: Dabbah Torrejon
In 1912, Alfred Wegener, the father of the theory of continental drift, presented extensive evidence showing that some two hundred million years ago the world's continents were all joined into a single supercontinent, which he called Pangaea. As the...
Debra Singer
1 ANTONY AND THE JOHNSONS, I AM A BIRD NOW (SECRETLY CANADIAN) These gorgeously crafted ballads about longing and loneliness, desire and pain perfectly combine Antony Hegarty's ethereal, soulful voice with his highly original, touching lyrics. [ILLUSTRATION...
Dennis Cooper
1 THE NEW PORNOGRAPHERS, TWIN CINEMA (MATADOR) I'm not so giddily in love with these Vancouver-based indie rock perfectionists that I couldn't have used this space to write a long, rational essay about them titled something like "God Not Dead?" ...
Double Exposure
Seeking to place the art of 2005 in the context of a broader visual culture, Artforum asked art historian Hal Foster, architect and theorist Denise Scott Brown, and political philosopher Slavoj Zizek to focus on topics they considered to be of unique...
Doug Aitken: Regen Projects
What if you crossed a nonlinear, multi-screen video installation with a hall of mirrors? An unlikely question, perhaps, but one to which Doug Aitken's the moment, 2005, provides an answer. The centerpiece of Aitken's first hometown solo show, the work...
Doug Hall: Rena Bransten Gallery
Is anything spectacular anymore? Or has every natural vista and architectural masterpiece been reduced, in our age of skillful and omnipresent mechanical reproduction, to a screen saver, postcard, or billboard? Doug Hall's large-scale color photographs...
Editor's Letter
WITH EVERY DECEMBER ISSUE of Artforum there is the vague temptation to complement the cornucopia of "best of" accolades with a "top ten" of editorial regrets, a kind of modest, residual hot list comprising all things missed, failed, or forgotten--a...
Gardar Eide Einarsson: Team Gallery
... and then your wages, your blankets, and your right to suck cocks won't do you any good, because we'll all drown. The absurdly extended parenthetical subtitle of an otherwise deadpan sculpture by Norwegian artist Gardar Eide Einarsson, an irregular...
Gareth James: Elizabeth Dee Gallery
Despite the rise of computer animation, many of the special effects we see in movies and on television are created using an old technique in which subjects are shot in front of a featureless blue screen that is later replaced by a different background....
GED Quinn: Spike Island
Ged Quinn's show at Tate St. Ives last year was called "Utopia Dystopia." This one was "The Heavenly Machine," a tag that likewise carries the infernal and the divine in equal measure. Quinn's work contributes, along with that of artists like J. P....
Geoff Kleem: Conny Dietzschold Gallery @ Silvershot
Geoff Kleem's large color photographs are as antiheroic as contemporary art gets. His two-decade-long commitment to images and objects that avoid almost any decipherable intention, whatever the cost, has yielded a series of exquisitely refined exhibitions...
Gert Robijns: Z33
An amusing double-sided poster announced Belgian artist Gert Robijns's first large solo exhibition, "Never Left Right." The front showed a young boy winking with his right eye; the back, the same boy winking with his left eye. The poster played on...
Guy Tillim: The Photographers' Gallery
In this show documenting colonial devastation, one photograph stood out for its optimism. Entitled Residents of Goma salute Laurent Kabila after his army's takeover of the city from Mobutu's troops, 1997, it depicts an urban plaza swarming with cheering...
Ian Burns: Spencer Brownstone
With an engineer's flair for coaxing unexpected function from unlikely materials--and a Conceptualist's penchant for seeking ingenious ways to deploy that function--Ian Burns conceived his recent show as a series of exaggeratedly low-tech viewing stations....
Isaac Julien
1 BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN (ANG LEE) A cowboy movie with a twist, Lee's tour de force is even better than the short story it's based on, Queer cinema has finally grown up and become a truly mainstream affair. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] 2 DARWIN'S NIGHTMARE...
James Quandt
1 THE DEATH OF MR. LAZARESCU (CRISTI PUIU) Olfactory cinema--one can verily smell the film's sodden protagonist--and a miracle of observational empathy. In our diminished culture, the title probably qualifies as a spoiler, but the inevitability of...
Jiri Georg Dokoupil: Deichtorhallen
Jiri Georg Dokoupil is a famous painter despite his insistence that he can't paint. In vain he once tried to paint like a proper Impressionist. After working at it for more than a year, he simply gave up. Even at that time, though, he already had a...
Jockum Nordstrom: Moderna Museet
Excepting the sex, Jockum Nordstrom's tastes run to life's colorless side. This survey of seven years of work was brimful with caricatures of George Stubbs-like horses, spineless modern architecture, birds that are nothing special, brigantines in fair...
Joel Sternfeld: Luhring Augustine
The circumstances surrounding Joel Sternfeld's last show, in 2004, were almost as sensational as the photographs themselves. Defecting from Pace/MacGill Gallery to the same gallery as Gregory Crewdson (a Sternfeld champion who makes work that bears...
John Waters
1 LAST DAYS (GUS VAN SANT) How does Gus get away with making films this great? So arty, so sexy, so maddeningly cool that I'm jealous, Michael Pitt is better at being Kurt Cobain than Kurt was. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] 2 PALINDROMES (TODD SOLONDZ)...
Julee Holcombe: Conner Contemporary Art
Bill Viola, Cindy Sherman, and Hiroshi Sugimoto, among others, have successfully refreshed the genre of Old Master portraiture via distinct contemporary approaches that retain the haunting, timeless quality of their historical inspiration. Julee Holcombe's...
Jules Olitski: Knoedler & Company
"Jules Olitski--Matter Embraced: Paintings 1950s and Now" was a fascinating pairing of some of the artist's early "Matter" paintings with examples of his ongoing "Embraced" series. The former, which were made between 1957 and 1959, situate abstracted...
Kiki Smith: Fondazione Querini Stampalia
For the exhibition "Homespun Tales: A Tale of Domestic Occupation," Kiki Smith occupied a Venetian palazzo, decorating its third floor as an American Colonial home that paralleled the former residence of the noble Querini Stampalia family below. Among...
Krzysztof Wodiczko: Galerie Lelong
Memorial art is inherently site-specific, as contingent on place as it is on the events that occasion its production. Its evocative power is predicated not only on the acknowledgment of loss but also on the idea of resistance: We will not forget the...
Laura Larson: Lennon, Weinberg, Inc
"Who am I?" Andre Breton demanded in the opening lines of his novel Nadja (1928). "Perhaps," he suggested by way of an answer, "everything would amount to knowing whom I 'haunt.'" The same could be said of the notoriously elusive medium of photography,...
Laurie Anderson: Sean Kelly Gallery
Arguably the most spectacular cinematic dream sequence of all time, Salvador Dali's contribution to Alfred Hitchcock's Spellbound (1945) featured a Surrealist stage set par excellence. Replete with a hallucinogenic landscape, it included morphing objects,...
Leopold Kessler: Galerie Kunstbuero
Austrian artist Leopold Kessler, born in Munich in 1976, understands art as a kind of social service, a public act accessible to all, even though the public probably won't even notice his scarcely perceptible interventions. The results are often unpredictable...
Lisa Oppenheim: Galerie Juliette Jongma
In Lisa Oppenheim's show "Parallax View" there was a constant tension between easily readable images and those that are utterly indecipherable and entropic. The gallery's back room contained photographs from the series "Upside-Down Portraits" (all...
Liz Craft: Peres Projects
"Huh?" [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] I imagine that this was a common response to Liz Craft's new sculptures, a gang of, as the press release put it, "hairy dudes" hitchhiking, gathering daffodils, and generally hanging around. The figures look like...
"Making Things Public": Zentrum Fur Kunst Und Medientechnologie
The night before my visit to "Making Things Public," I had a bizarre dream: After a modification in the electoral process, and because the major political parties were not able to come up with a fully legal candidate, the State Assembly, urgently convened,...
Marcel Broodthaers: Solo Projects
Between 1957 and his death in 1976, Marcel Broodthaers made approximately fifty films. The exact number is difficult to determine: Several no longer exist; some are multipart "programs" assembled from groups of short films (many appropriated from industrial...
Markus Raetz: Aargauer Kunsthaus
In 1969, Markus Raetz, then twenty-eight years old, participated in the epochal exhibition "When Attitudes Become Form." The entry of language into art as a medium in its own right brought early international recognition to the work of this crafty...
"Melancholy: Genius and Madness in the West", Galeries Nationales Du Grand Palais, Paris
The sitter leans forward. The head tilts slightly to the side, propped up by the hand (an open palm or a closed fist) at the end of a bent arm. The elbow is supported by a flat surface--a desk, a table, often the sitter's own knee. The brow is usually...
Omer Fast: Postmasters
The interviewees who appear in Berlin-based artist Omer Fast's new two-channel video installation Godville, 2005, are actors who inhabit Colonial Williamsburg, an eighteenth-century town turned theme park that's known in trade parlance as a "living-history...
On the Ground: It May Be True, as Aldous Huxley Once Wrote, That "A Large City Cannot Be Experientially Known." but We Can Still Seek out Its Stories. for the Second Year Running, Artforum Asked Writers and Artists, Each from a Different Point on the Globe-New York, Los Angeles, London, Paris, Berlin, Moscow, and Tokyo-To Reflect on Local Currents in 2005
New York I KNOW SOMETHING MUST HAVE HAPPENED this year besides Paris Hilton. I was recently in a video store scanning the new-releases board. A video clerk had penned an amusing one-line summation of House of Wax: "Paris Hilton dies in this remake...
Pae White: 1301PE
Native Californian Pae White's exhibition "Periwinkles" opened in the fall, and it was tempting to imagine the seasonal gust of a Santa Ana bringing her work to life, a warm wind animating her delicate ornithological models and setting her translucent...
Paloma Varga Weisz: Barbara Gladstone Gallery
Paloma Varga Weisz has a name almost too good to be true: Teutonic and Northern in one part, Latin and Southern in the others--the novels of Thomas Mann in one person. Fun with people's names is just fun, of course, but Weisz's work does have the schizoid...
Robert Melee: Andrew Kreps Gallery
Channeling the spirits of Jackson Pollock and Martha Stewart, so he claims, Robert Melee drips and spatters enamel onto a variety of surfaces, usually linoleum, but sometimes the naked body of his mother. One of the more interesting artists to emerge...
Ryan Gander: Artists Space
Both works in London-based artist Ryan Gander's New York debut make productive use of a disconnect between sound and image. In The First Grand National, 2003, a small monitor facing the wall illuminates an empty, black-carpeted room. A color-bar test...
Sam Durant: Paula Cooper Gallery
The National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC, has been roundly maligned since it opened last fall, and the sheer range of critical charges--from insufficient scholarly contextualization and scattershot exhibitions to annoying electronic...
Shane Aslan Selzer: Lisa Dent Gallery
In her notably assured first solo exhibition, young San Francisco-based artist Shane Aslan Selzer employed an aesthetic both calculated in its range and instinctual in its use of unusual materials. At Lisa Dent Gallery, Selzer mined a challenging artistic...
Stephen Vitiello
1 STEVE RODEN (ON THE BOARDS, SEATTLE, WA) As much as I enjoyed Roden's CD Transmissions (voices of objects and skies) (Fresno Metropolitan Museum/New Plastic Music), there was something even more satisfying about watching him build loops in a live...
Sue Williams: 303 Gallery
In 2000, the New Yorker congratulated Sue Williams on her metamorphosis from "the angriest woman in the art world" to a "sort of blissed-out innocent," a feminist turned formalist (as if these terms were mutually exclusive) who nonetheless was still...
Susie Ibarra
1 SHARIFF KABUNSUAN FESTIVAL (COTABATO CITY, MINDANAO, PHILIPPINES) An annual kulintang music and dance festival that celebrates the local introduction of Islam and promotes peace and tolerance among tribes and religions. Each village involved also...
The Artists' Artists: To Take Stock of the Past Year, Artforum Contacted an International Group of Artists to Find out Which Exhibitions Were, in Their Eyes, the Very Best of 2005
MARTIN CREED "Edward Munch by Himself" (Royal Academy of Arts, London) This show gave me butterflies, screwed me up, and made me cry. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] AA BRONSON John Baldessari, "A Different Kind of Order" (Museum Moderner Kunst,...
"The Perfect Medium: Photography and the Occult", Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
On first and second sight, "The Perfect Medium: Photography and the Occult," at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, is a very weird show. I wouldn't call it fabulous--too many of the photographs in it are revolting little things--but it is fascinating....
"Uncertain States of America", Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art, Oslo, Norway
The aim of this exceedingly ambitious exhibition is to furnish some sense of what is the best American art currently produced by its youngest emerging artists. The director of the Astrup Fearnley Museum, Gunnar B. Kvaran, in collaboration with two...
Veronica Bailey: The Blue Gallery
Sometimes the most apparently straightforward view turns out to be the most oblique. Such was the case with "2 Willow Road," Veronica Bailey's previous show, in which she presented a series of photographs of books from the library of modernist architect...
What Should New Orleans Do?
AFTER THE GREAT FIRE OF 1666, England's leading architect, Sir Christopher Wren, made a plan for rebuilding London. Adopting a style fashionable in Europe, he proposed cutting across the city's medieval fabric with broad diagonal avenues that would...

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