Art Monthly 393: February 2016

Art Monthly cover

Francis Frascina

On Critique

Dave Beech

Artist and Empire

Virginia Whiles

Radio Activity

Lauren Velvick

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John Akomfrah Vertigo Sea 2015



Francis Frascina on the denial of identity

If proliferating techniques of redaction have produced a new spectacle of obliteration, how have artists such as John Akomfrah, Jenny Holzer and Richard Wentworth resisted the censor?

With 'War Paintings', Jenny Holzer contrasts the reproduction of enlarged redacted documents – the text's absence, the redactor's presence – with painterly evidence of her presence in their representation, her absence in the redaction process.

From the Back Catalogue
Models of Thinking Alfredo Jaar interviewed by Kathy Battista

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Art & Language Secret Painting 1967-68


On Critique

Looking is not enough argues Dave Beech

After the Avant Garde, anti-art, the readymade and Conceptual Art, shouldn't we spend less time looking at art by the likes of Marcel Duchamp, Martha Rosler and Artur Zmijewski, and more time writing and thinking about it?

I already understood that looking at art must always be theoretically framed from my time at art school, but I had not understood how writing could intensify, accelerate and recast this entwinement of theory and looking.



Baz Off

Last summer, halfway through his four-year term as chair of ACE, the Tory-appointed Sir Peter Bazalgette had already decided that he would not continue in 2017, but he waited to make his announcement until after the chancellor's supportive spending review – coincidence?

Given the prime minister's background in PR and Peter Bazalgette's in TV, it makes some sort of sense that securing arts funding was apparently about getting the rhetoric right: never mind the argument, it's all about presentation.


Further response to Dave Beech

Paul Carey-Kent continues to question Dave Beech's review methodology.


Death Sentence

Palestinian artist Ashraf Fayadh has been sentenced to death in Saudi Arabia for allegedly promoting atheism in his work; the Museums Association warns of closures and artwork sell-offs following a further cut to local government budgets; US private museums are in the spotlight over their tax perks; the flagship Catalyst scheme to kickstart Jeremy Hunt's 'endowments century' is being wound down after only three years; artist Ellie Harrison finds herself in a media storm over grants for the arts; the latest news on galleries, appointments, prizes and more.

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Ericka Beckman You the Better 1983


Artist and Empire: Facing Britain's Imperial Past

Virginia Whiles

Simon Denny: Products for Organising

Colin Perry

Works to Know by Heart: An Imagined Museum


Laura Robertson

A Handful of Dust

Olga Smith

Brian Griffiths: Bill Murray – a story of distance, size and sincerity

Jamie Sutcliffe

Another Minimalism: Art after California Light and Space

Mark Harris

Painting 2.0: Expression in the Information Age

Saim Demircan

Essex Road II

Sophia Phoca

Institution | Outstitution

Eleanor Clayton

The Inoperative Community

Alex Fletcher

Christine Sun Kim: Rustle Tussle

Louisa Elderton

Aura Satz: The Trembling Line

Paul Carey-Kent



Adam Chodzko: Deep Above

Maria Walsh on a work of eco art with genuine resonance

Using all the cinematic tricks of visceral and haptic imagery, as well as invasive instruction, Deep Above makes us feel the inchoate nature of the toxic atmosphere through our eyes, skin and throats.



Radio Activity

Lauren Velvick listens in on some recent radio-based art projects

Radio Anti's project speaks of mapping through broadcast, with the temporary site's boundaries generated by the limitations of their FM signal, which only reached one mile from Bloc Projects and was impeded by geographical and architectural features.


Artists' Books

Jessie Brennan: Regeneration!

Nathan Coley: to the Bramley Family of Frestonia

Chris Fite-Wassilak questions artists' roles in redevelopment

In both Jessie Brennan and Nathan Coley's projects, the artists attempt to archive pasts that have all but disappeared, and both would most likely agree that 'even the mildest of social democracy is now considered utopian'.



Catherine Elwes: Installation and the Moving Image

Rob La Frenais enjoys a wild ride of a book

Catherine Elwes starts this book with a paradox, the conflict between immersion and engagement, and goes on to explore this with some complexity.


Letter from Naoshima

Constitutional Change

Morgan Quaintance on the Japanese quest for peace

During my time in the country's capital, Tokyo was a city abuzz with the energy of dissent. Hundreds of miles away, travelling to my destination across the Seto Inland Sea, things couldn't have been more different.

Letter from Los Angeles

Now is the Time

Niki Russell finds a bouyant home-grown art scene

While there might be some suspicion that new arrivals are simply making the move because it is cheaper here, there is also widespread optimism and enthusiasm.


Ways of Working

Moral Lights

Henry Lydiate on legal protections against appropriation

The Dan Flavin estate is troubled that Allora & Calzadilla felt comfortable laying claim to this installation as part of their own art and not as simply a curatorial effort.



London Art Calendar

The updated events and exhibitions calendar can also be viewed online.


Exhibition Listings

Art Monthly's exhibition listings can be viewed online.

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