Michelangelo Pistoletto interviewed by Alex Coles
A key figure within Arte Povera, Michelangelo Pistoletto is one of the most significant Italian artists of the 20th century. Now in his 80th year, he continues to present challenging projects, such as his forthcoming exhibition at the Louvre. Here he talks about his evolving studio, the difference between design and art, and the path he negotiates between disinterested theory and radical politics.
'I was always telling the students at the Viennese Academy that art is not just something you produce in order to make money, art can be used in a more thoughtful way and make a broader societal impact. It was only while at the academy that I began to develop Cittadellarte, a place that could be simultaneously independent and yet still dependent upon it. I chose the name Cittadellarte precisely because it incorporates two meanings: the citadel, where art is protected, and the city, with its openness.'
Paul O'Kane on art and being
If art in secular societies plays some part in defining humanity, how have artists such as John Akomfrah, Nick Broomfield and Patrick Keiller met the challenges laid forth by globalisation's increasingly pervasive and invasive brand of technocapitalism?
'When, occasionally, the shameful excesses, inadequacies and inequalities underpinning consumerism are glimpsed in news media, these "shocking facts" become yet more fleeting images, commodified emotions of momentary indignation and injustice.'
Maja & Reuben Fowkes on the return of the East European
When the coalition government recently proposed running an anti-UK advertising campaign in Eastern Europe with the aim of discouraging immigration, it brought an outmoded cultural categorisation back to life. Perhaps Number 10 might have looked at the work of Adam Chodzko, Roman Ondák, Dan Perjovschi and Nedko Solakov before returning the generic 'East European' to the discourse around identity.
'In the 2000s these artists were likely to feel at home in the post-identitarian circuits of a globalised art world which abandoned the cult of origins in favour of a universalist outlook, but now they are faced with the return of the East European.'
The ugly word 'mallification' perfectly describes the proposed redevelopment of the Southbank Centre, infilling its open spaces with glass-fronted retail outlets. Might this current Tory-led coalition, by refusing to list the building during the lifetime of its parliament, finally succeed where its Conservative predecessors failed?
'Built under a Labour government in 1968 for the then London County Council, the Southbank Centre has been perceived by successive Tory governments as an affront, a socialist bastion occupying the left bank of the river, so to speak – the People's Palace set up in opposition to the Palace of Westminster.'
Nicky Hamlyn and AL Rees object to Christopher Townsend's review of the 'Film in Space' exhibition at Camden Arts Centre in AM363.
Tory minister Ed Vaizey accuses the arts sector of scaremongering over government cuts but has his own interpretation called into question by those whose statistics he relied upon; the political reason for Westminster City Council's axing of its arts funding is revealed; Belfast and Norfolk councils recognise the value of the arts and buck the trend for cuts; Space Studios petitions against planning policy changes; the public art sector shrinks; independent art schools open; galleries open and close; and all the latest news on appointments, prizes and more.
Submissions: Send Artnotes info to firstname.lastname@example.org
Tate Britain, London
Raven Row, London
John Douglas Millar
Ashmolean Museum, Oxford
Turner Contemporary, Margate
Ibid Projects, London
De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill-On-Sea
Castlefield Gallery, Manchester
Matt's Gallery • White Cube • Michael Werner Gallery • Carlos/Ishikawa
Jennifer Thatcher on the changing role of the artists' studio
'To read the latest material on the contemporary studio, you would be forgiven for thinking that artists fall into only two camps: the 'post-studio' artists, who need only a laptop and a cafe, and those working in large, expanded studios, who prefer to think of themselves as cultural producers.'
Maria Walsh on image re-production in a networked age
'Hito Steyerl is also a theorist, trained in philosophy, but these essays are clearly from the perspective of an artist reflecting on the conditions of image production and the possibilities for a politics of art in a context in which information flattens out visual content, recombining it in packages where all is reduced to the abstraction of algorithmic value.'
Kathy Battista on the boom in the Mexican art scene
'Much like the yBa phenomenon, the Mexican art scene seems to be entering its autophagic stage, where, surfeited by the local, it is currently opening up to provide further context for its own artists.'
Henry Lydiate on the removal of street art from the public arena
'Museum and gallery collections, private and especially public, do not as a rule play the market. Are they likely to acquire original street murals? Assuming that curators diligently check the provenance and prove such a work's legal ownership (and right to sell, donate or bequeath), the same ethical objection recently articulated by art-market professionals may arise: site-specificity.'
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