Art Monthly 342: Dec-Jan 10-11

Art Monthly cover
Alfredo Jaar

Interviewed by Kathy Battista

Artist Filmmaking

Sophia Phoca • Maria Walsh

British Art Show 7

Zoë Shearman


Anna Dezeuze

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Alfedo Jaar The Geometry of Conscience 2010


Models of Thinking

Alfredo Jaar interviewed by Kathy Battista

New York-based Alfredo Jaar is a regular exhibitor in major international exhibitions, including the recent Liverpool Biennial. Here he talks about why he left Chile, his recent return to create an underground memorial, the state control of images – as highlighted by the recent miners rescue – and his continued interest in architecture and film.

'I consider myself an architect making art and most of my practice is site-specific. In the past 30 years I have divided my work into three distinct areas and only one-third of my practice takes place in what we call the art world. But because of its extraordinary insularity – it is a small world in which we mostly talk to each other – I decided to get out.'


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Carol Morley Edge 2010


Filming the Alternative

Sophia Phoca on independent artist filmmakers

How might artist filmmakers, such as Andrew Kötting or Carol Morley, go about producing their films today when funding bodies are being forced to close down and many support structures have disappeared? Is the rise of the black-box screening room in galleries, where visitors come and go with no regard to the duration of the film, challenging independent filmmakers to rethink their production?

'When it comes to the financing of artists' moving-image work, current trends have focused on backing established celebrity artists rather than supporting the independent sector.'


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Cleo Barnard The Arbor 2010


Believable Fictions

Artist filmmakers should look beyond reflexivity argues Maria Walsh

Reflexive structuralist filmmaking, with its rejection of narrative, is not the only game in town. Great filmmakers like Hitchcock have always found a way to inject self-reflexive games into their narratives, and we should celebrate the new generation of artist filmmakers, such as Gillian Wearing and Cleo Barnard, who are doing the same.

'Contrary to underscoring the illusion of film performance, what is more pertinent today is the creation of believable fictions.'



McWarhol Foundation v Joe Public

The Andy Warhol Foundation's dubious legal tactics in forcing the abandonment of two court cases against its Art Authentication Board smack of the 'might makes right' strategy that McDonald's applied in the infamous 'McLibel' trial. If the McLibel trial was deemed 'a corporate PR disaster', how will the Warhol Foundation's 'victory' be judged?

'The final straw came when the Foundation's lawyers allegedly emailed the ominous phrase: "I hope you have good malpractice insurance." If true, it suggested that, if it came to it, they would be coming after the lawyer personally.'


Anna Ostoya takes issue with a review of her work by Laura McLean-Ferris, and the critic responds.


Arts Council England reveals its strategy to cope with 30% cuts and details the last funding awards of its now-defunct Regularly Funded Organisation scheme; local councils wrestle with their own 28% budget cut by abandoning arts funding; the parliamentary inquiry into arts funding hears evidence from unusual sources; students protest; philanthropists get medals; Ai Weiwei gets arrested while his studio is demolished; galleries open and get refurbished; and all the latest news on art world appointments, prizes and more.

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Ruth Maclennan

Richard Hylton

Walid Raad: Miraculous Beginnings

Marcus Verhagen

Hito Steyerl: In Free Fall

Klara Kemp-Welch

John Stezaker: Lost Images

Mark Prince

British Art Show 7: In the Days of the Comet

Zoë Shearman

Session_11_Press Release

Martin Herbert


David Briers

Simon Martin

Paul Usherwood

Move: Choreographing You

Anna Dezeuze

Siobhan Davies: Rotor

Coline Milliard

Hans-Peter Feldmann: Shadow Play

Gail Prentice



The Studio Reader

Alex Coles on a new collection of thoughts on the use of the studio

'Where is the model originated by the minimalists and played through by Takashi Murakami and Carsten Höller, of the studio acting as an office for a design and production team? Where is the model of the studio as a collective think-tank piloted by the Soviet constructivists, later explored by Atelier Van Lieshout and Superflex?'

Winter Reading

David Barrett rounds up some recent releases

'There is a reason why graphic novels don't usually contain reams of text – the format does not offer the most readable design treatment for text – but this obviously didn't occur to either Ashley Bickerton or Hans Ulrich Obrist, whose interview has here been turned into a graphic novel. Originally recorded at the Groucho Club in London, the discussion has been transported to the strip clubs of a nameless Asian city.'



Oliver Ressler and Dariou Azzellini: Comuna Under Construction

Colin Perry learns about autonomy via Venezuela's grassroots community councils

'These moments reveal the core concern of both the commune movement and Ressler and Azzellini's film: the tension between constituent power and the state authority that authorises it, between the mobility of small groups and the lumbering apparatus of the state.'



Cuts Both Ways

Mike Watson argues that artists should abandon the accredited university system

'It is time that the independent artist and the academy ceased complaining at the withdrawal of funds by a system which they hold in contempt, and sought positive alternatives for the dissemination of ideas and artistic creations at a time when the practical means exist in abundance.'




Aoife Rosenmeyer on major changes to Switzerland's art scenes

'On winter evenings the recently installed light installations by Christian Jankowski, Sylvie Fleury and four other artists that shine from the rooftops of buildings around the Plainpalais common give the impression of a city alive to the possibilities of contemporary culture, but this masks the current brittle situation.'



John Slyce on the restaging of Michael Landy's Market, 1990

'The reprise of Market has convinced me that the piece is not now nor was it then an exploration of the holy aura of Minimalism or even the unholy aura of the market. It is a materialist exploration and work about how people make things.'



Frieze Week
Devereux Collection

Colin Gleadell on record highs and lows in the autumn sales

'Gradually, the auctions moved their dates into the weekend of the Frieze Art Fair and, this year, in a direct act of confrontation, into its opening days – potentially taking tens of millions of pounds of business with them.'



Performance Art

Henry Lydiate on a German landmark ruling on copyrighting performance art

'The court's decision has been hailed as a landmark because it made an unprecedented ruling – not only in Germany, but worldwide – that unrecorded/undocumented performance art is capable of being protected by copyright and moral rights laws.'



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