Something Different: Lucy McKenzie Curates

By McKenzie, Lucy | Artforum International, November 2006 | Go to article overview

Something Different: Lucy McKenzie Curates


McKenzie, Lucy, Artforum International


THIS EXHIBITION, prepared for the pages of a magazine, is intended to mirror in content its context. Therefore I present a selection of paper objects that came into being as holders of information and as forms of dissemination. What unifies them is their high degree of aesthetic consideration and a self-consciousness that disguises successfully the shortcomings of the organizations or points of view they were produced to promote.

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Like Artforum, several of my choices are specialized magazines themselves. The Dutch journal Wendingen, for example, published from 1918 to 1932 in Amsterdam, was devoted to in-depth exploration of specific themes ranging from seashells to public housing. The issue I have singled out, from 1924, was a compendium of ex libris plates by local artists. Similarly, Glamour International, a journal of cartoon erotica, also dedicated each issue to selected topics--for instance, bums, lesbians, brothels, and bums again.

THE GERMAN satirical magazine Simplicissimus (1896-1944), like its contemporaries Die Fackel in Austria and L'Assiette au beurre in France, used black humor to discuss the political and social issues of the times--in the case at hand, the differing approaches to colonialism by various European nation-states.

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INDEPENDENT RECORD LABELS Factory and Les Disques Du Crepuscule understood smoke-and-mirrors tactics and self-mythology as necessary to their organizations if they were to survive. Both labels turned to the atavistic trope of Christmas for inspiration, Crepuscule releasing festive postpunk compilations (Ghosts of Christmas Past, etc. …

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