Art Monthly 397: June 2016

Art Monthly cover
Pilvi Takala

Interviewed by Catherine Spencer

Space Wars

Jamie Sutcliffe

Keep Talking

Chris Fite-Wassilak

Letter from Athens

Hannah Gregory

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Pilvi Takala Real Snow White 2009 video


Open Access

Pilvi Takala interviewed by Catherine Spencer

The Finnish artist’s interests are close to those of sociologists but the tools and protocols she adopts to gain access to her subject, whether it is inside Disneyland, the European Parliament or an all-male Turkish tearoom, are very, very different.

There are a lot of ideas I consider and discard because the reactions would be too strong, and fear would shut down the possibility for anything new to emerge.
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Angela Washko The Council on Gender Sensitivity and Behavioural Awareness in World of Warcraft 2015 screenshots of in-game performance


Space Wars

Jamie Sutcliffe argues that virtual technologies offer only a fantasy of freedom

Can artists who repurpose video games, such as Larry Achiampong and David Blandy, Aiden Wall and Angela Washko, connect the virtual with the real to create an equal plane accessible to all?

The 'user' is not a natural phenomenon. What we might take for granted as the liberties accorded us by the use of personal computers, tablets and handheld devices are in fact a fantasy of freedom underpinned by the ideological and material infrastructures of a technological evolution that has sought to maximise productivity.

From the Back Catalogue
Being-Online Morgan Quaintance on the phenomenon of virtual lives

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Francesco Pedraglio The Thing in the Middle 2014 performance


Keep Talking

Chris Fite-Wassilak argues that the unreliable narrator has become ubiquitous

How has a new group of artists, including Khilberg & Henry, Francesco Pedraglio and Linda Stupart, embraced emerging, multifaceted forms of dialogue?

Since doubt is so ubiquitous, artists in response have returned to a more traditional authorial role. We have reached a place where every narrator is reliably unreliable, and so the notion, with its negotiations and reorientations, is rendered ineffective.



Oops I Did It Again

David Cameron's comments over foreign corruption (while British protectorates continue to harbour tax-avoiding shell companies) and his decision to restructure the BBC board (while his culture minister is forcing political appointments on museums) were ill-judged, but might the 'project fear' EU campaign yet prove to be the PM's defining mistake?

A sinister aspect of the proposals that did get through is the right of the government to pack half of the BBC's restructured board with its own placemen – state control of broadcasting by the back door.


Trust the Board

Culture secretary John Whittingdale is accused of trying to meddle politically with the appointment of a National Portrait Gallery trustee; healthcare professionals urge museums and galleries to drop financial support from tobacco companies; activists protest against the Brooklyn Museum's ties to local real-estate developers; Goldsmith students debate boycotting the Zabludowicz Collection; the latest news on galleries, appointments, prizes and more.

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Sebastian Wickeroth Untitled 2016
on show at KARST in Plymouth


Sydney Biennale: The future is already here – it's just not evenly distributed

Jennifer Thatcher

Unfinished: Thoughts Left Visible

Marjorie Welish

Art Sheffield: Up, Down, Top, Bottom, Strange and Charm

Freire Barnes

Conceptual Art in Britain 1964-1979

George Vasey

Carl Andre

Mark Prince

Imitation of Life: Melodrama and Race in the 21st Century

Bob Dickinson

The Peculiar People

Matthew Bowman

Helen Mirra and Allyson Strafella: Suchness

Cherry Smyth

Martine Syms: Fact & Trouble

Naomi Pearce

Ellen Cantor

Chris McCormack

Melanie Manchot: People Places Propositions

Maria Walsh

Josh Bitelli: A Partition

Lynton Talbot

Midlands Round-up

Tom Emery

Plymouth Round-up

Kathryn Lloyd



Maria Slowinska: Art/Commerce – The Convergence of Art and Marketing in Contemporary Culture

Peter Suchin wants to know what a critical practice might look like

The physical spaces of high-class shops are compared with the design of galleries and museums, artworks are read in relation to commercial brands and the emergence of the artist-entrepreneur is historically unpacked.



Oberhausen Short Film Festival: El Pueblo

Adam Pugh questions the priveleged voice of the filmmaker

Though curator Federico Windhausen's programmes were authoritative about certain instances of the 'we' that el pueblo summons, they were rather less articulate about the 'them'.



Wolfgang Tillmans and the EU

Saim Demircan on the German artists' pro-EU activism

Tillmans's EU campaign is fundamentally about spreading awareness, drawing attention to the 7 June deadline to register in order to vote on 23 June; a detail underscored in each poster. UK nationals like myself who live outside the UK had to register by 16 May for a postal vote, information I came to know only through this campaign.


Letter from Athens


Hannah Gregory finds the city buzzing with artist-led activity

I was thinking about the nature of hype because I had chosen to visit this city of ancient and recent ruins, balancing on the edge of Europe, at a moment when it is, on the one hand, stretched for and stripped of resources and, on the other, charged with the artistic expectation that comes from being on the edge.


Public Policy

Should I stay or should I go?

Henry Lydiate on the artlaw implications of Brexit

Within the EU's legal framework, provisions have been made in relation to art, some or all of which may discontinue if the UK left the EU.



London Art Calendar

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


Exhibition Listings

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