Art Monthly 386: May 2015

Art Monthly cover
John Hilliard

Interviewed by Patricia Bickers

Structuralism is Dead?

Mark Prince


Marcus Verhagen

Downing Street

David Barrett

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John Hilliard Cover Stories 2014


Cover Stories

John Hilliard interviewed by Patricia Bickers

John Hilliard's photographic work was instrumental to the development of British conceptual art in the late 1960s and his evolving practice has remained highly influential ever since. Here he talks about Modernism, pragmatism and aggression in photography.

'One of my favourite quotes is from Jean-Luc Godard, speaking about film: that what is important isn't the representation of reality, but the reality of representations. I am always very aware of that. Whatever your purpose, it is what you end up with – and the reality of that – that is important. That is what one has to deal with.'

From the Back Catalogue
The Truth About Photography Sarah James argues that it is time to re-examine some fundamental issues

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Michael Snow Wavelength 1967 film


Structuralism is Dead?

Mark Prince finds reports of its death are premature

If structuralist filmmakers of the late 1960s used the materiality of film to deny fictional narrative, how is a new generation of artists such as Liz Deschenes, Stephen Pippin and Emily Wardill utilising those same structuralist conceits as generators of narrative?

'As analogue photographic structure is digitally simplified, structural conceits become lenses through which to project narratives coloured by the constraints of a technology which no longer pertains.'

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Roman Ondák Loop 2009 installation at Venice Biennale



Marcus Verhagen on site-specificity and the biennale

The view that site-specific artworks can resist the mobility of global capital naively ignores the fact that places themselves are connected through myriad international networks. So how have artists such as Teresa Margolles, Roman Ondák and Wael Shawky embraced the unlikely site of the biennale as a locus for such networks?

'When Lewis Biggs intimates that site-specificity, or "context-sensitivity" as he terms it, serves as a potent defence against "bland 'internationalism'", he is placing in opposition terms that are in fact compatible: today the local is thoroughly penetrated by the global.'



Situations Vacant

A number of high-profile museum directors have elected to step down before the coming general election. Is this because they have looked to the horizon and found nothing but stormy weather ahead?

"It feels like the end of an era because all those stepping down came to prominence when public funding of the arts, through the agency of the Arts Council, and the related notion of public service, were givens."


Protesting students occupy a number of universities, including Central Saint Martins and Goldsmiths; artists gear up for the general election; Hull City Council hives off its entire culture and leisure assets and activities to a new wholly owned company; a new public sculpture trail launches in east London; an unofficial bust of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden is installed by guerrilla artists in New York, then returns in ghost form after officials remove it; the latest news on galleries, events, appointments, prizes and more.


Albert Irvin 1922-2015
Stuart Croft 1970-2015

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Marco Poloni Displacement Island 2006 detail from 'La Mer au Milieu des Terres / Mare Medi Terraneum'


La Mer au Milieu des Terres / Mare Medi Terraneum

Virginia Whiles

Five Issues of Studio International

JJ Charlesworth

Encounters and Collisions

Cherry Smyth

Michelle Stuart: Trace Memory – Selected Works 1969-2015

Christopher Townsend


Galit Mana


Lizzie Homersham

Li Binyuan: Social Behaviours

Bob Dickinson

Nicky Hamlyn: Zoetrope

Sophia Phoca

Newcastle and Gateshead Round-up

George Vasey

London Round-up

Paul Carey-Kent



Eva Weinmayr: Downing Street

David Barrett on an artist's response to the PM liking her work

'The audience questions the increasing absurdity of the play and argues with both the characters and the actors before different versions of the play are suggested, which leads to debate over the political agency of art and, eventually, to an agreement to return to how the play was meant to end, just to see it through.'

New Art Spaces: Open House

Eleanor Clayton on a temporary venue's blow-out finale

'After a triumphant year of extensive programming, the initial five-year tenancy agreement has come to a swift end as other tenants have been found for the building. To celebrate their successes, "Open House" offered the chance for many artists supported by the programme to showcase work in a last, somewhat chaotic, hurrah of performance, film and exhibitions across all floors.'



Eddie Chambers: Black Artists in British Art

Jonathan Harris finds a struggle at the heart of this art history

'The great strength of Black Artists in British Art is its lack of a party line and an optimistic preparedness to manifest the tensions and contradictions that characterise the history of black artists' attempts to find a place in, or to displace themselves from, the British art establishment.'

Anthony Gardner: Politically Unbecoming – Postsocialist Art Against Democracy

John Douglas Millar sees through the promise of democracy

'The problem for the architects of the neoliberal consensus in the countries of the former Eastern Bloc, however, has been that there democracy seems just another political ideology, particularly because ever since the Berlin Wall was torn down in 1989, democracy has largely been the handsome visage behind which lay the ravages of that same rampant neoliberalism.'



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