Magazine article Artforum International

Toby Webster. (Top Ten)

Magazine article Artforum International

Toby Webster. (Top Ten)

Article excerpt

Toby Webster, director of the Modern Institute, Glasglow, is cocurating "My Head is on Fire But My Heart is Full of Love," a thirty-plus-artist show to open at Charlottenborg, Copenhagen in May.

1 MIKE NELSON, A FORGOTTEN KINGDOM

Published in September to accompany Nelson's London ICA exhibition "Nothing Is True. Everything is Permitted," A Forgotten Kingdom looks like a Penguin paperback from a thrift-store bargain bin. Each of the book's nineteen chapters is a previously published story by the likes of J.G. Ballard, Jorge Luis Borges, Joseph Conrad, Philip K. Dick, Stanislaw Lem, Jules Verne, and Richard Brautigan. The illusion is seamless, and it's also a good read-which is rare for a catalogue.

2 STURE JOHANNESSON

Some years ago writer-curator Lars Bang Larsen introduced me to Johannesson's provocative psychedelic posters from the '60s and '70s. Recently I met the artist at his home in Malmo, Sweden, and was struck by his dedication, talent, and honesty. As Larsen tells it, the official reception of Johannesson's work in its time is epitomized by the reaction to his unsanctioned poster for a 1969 exhibition at the Lunds Konsthall, in which a nude woman smokes a hash pipe below an image of Delacroix's Liberty Leading the People. Under pressure from the Konsthall board chairman, the authorities collected and confiscated the posters, citing their "drug-idealizing standpoint."

3 LIFE WITHOUT BUILDINGS

This Glasgow foursome's 1999 first album, Any Other City, has become a favorite of mine; it's back-ground music whenever I'm at home. The band's influences are many, drawing a line from The Velvet Underground and Television through Gang of Four and The Smiths to contemporaries like The Lapse and Les Savy Fav-with a nod to e.e. cummings along the way. A performance by lead singer Sue Tompkins is a treat--you get to hear some pretty raw and odd rhymes and rhythms.

4 MAARTEN VAN SEVEREN

The Belgian is one of the few designers today who push innovation rather than settle for '50s/'80s retro-modernist style. His award-winning U-Line lamp is sleek yet practical and casts a soft light onto my desk; it nods to the minimalism of architect John Pawson while managing to maintain its own progressive identity. Van Severen won the Prix du Createur last year and is currently designing for Vitra, among other firms.

5 OPTIMO (ESPACIO)

Hosted by DJ Mary Hill (Jonnie Wilkes) and DJ Kelvin Bridge (Keith Mclvor, aka Mount Florida), this regular Sunday-night party in Glasgow is a cross between buccaneer de Stijl (you'll just have to take my word for it) and a knees-up with your family. …

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