Art Monthly 385: April 2015

Art Monthly cover
Wage Rage

Larne Abse Gogarty


Marcus Verhagen

PJ Harvey

Paul Carey-Kent

History is Now

Peter Suchin

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Clunie Reid Take No Photographs, Leave Only Ripples 2009 detail


Wage Rage

How do artists make a living asks Larne Abse Gogarty

The rise of protest groups organising on behalf of artists (Working Artists and the Greater Economy, the Precarious Workers Brigade, Artists' Union England etc) show how tenuous the artist's existence is. Yet the groups' adherence to ethics rather than politics is a troubling strategy: what we need is not professionalism but radicalism.

'That both WAGE and the PWB have faced situations where their activism is presented as consumable culture points to the ability of capitalist institutions to accommodate and defang purportedly radical politics.'

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Hans van Houwelingen Casa de Cossa 1995



Marcus Verhagen on whether there is such a thing as global art

Can we speak cogently of 'global art'? While some dismiss the concept as a process of homogenisation, what if its true complexity is simply not recognised in places where the processes of the global art world have been thoroughly naturalised – such as in global art hubs like London and New York, and the biennales and art fairs they promote?

'Where does all this leave the notion of global art? It has some appeal – for one thing, speaking of it is one way of drawing attention to those practices not covered by it, that is to say, to the blind spots of global institutions.'




A recent publicity stunt saw UKIP's spring conference out-gunned by the goose-stepping chorus line of The Producers high-kicking to 'Springtime for Hitler' as it blared from a PA system on the turret of a tank – a timely reminder that the arts have a vital role in puncturing political pomposity.

"You can't bring dictators down on a soapbox with rhetoric. But if you can make people laugh at them, you've won."


The Importance of Iniva

Despite its current crisis, founder and former director Gilane Tawadros makes the case for Iniva.

From the Back Catalogue
Changing States Eddie Chambers reviews the first decade of inIVA’s activities


Northern Ireland loses its Arts and Culture department in a restructuring exercise; Saudi artist Ahmed Mater claims that a Swiss watchmaker's plagiarism has put his family's life at risk; UK artists sign up to boycott Israel while German artists sign up not to; Glasgow School of Art MA students protest over studio provision; a former gallerist writes a thinly veiled slasher novel in which a 'fictional' dealer murders her 'fictional' former gallery artists; the latest news on galleries, appointments, prizes and more.

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Bristol Bloodhound rocket installed on the Hayward Gallery as part of 'History is Now'


History is Now: 7 Artists Take on Britain

Peter Suchin

Jason Rhoades: Four Roads

Paul Usherwood

Ruth Ewan: Back to the Fields

João Maria Gusmão & Pedro Paiva: Papagaio

David Barrett

Totaller: 15" Deep Pan Stuffed Crust Portuguese Man O' War

Mark Adams

Eleanor Clayton

Nil Yalter

Gill Ord: A Country of Wonders

Cherry Smyth

Jacob Dahlgren: Third Uncle

Martin Herbert

London Round-up

Martin Holman

Glasgow and Edinburgh Round-up

George Vasey



PJ Harvey: Recording in Progress

Paul Carey-Kent sees in to the musician's recording studio

'There are plenty of precedents for rock musicians turning back to their art school roots (Ronnie Wood, Paul Simenon and Pete Doherty, to cite three with recent London exhibitions), but their approach hasn't typically been conceptual in nature.'



Harun Farocki: Labour in a Single Shot

Alex Fletcher on a global cartography of labour in the 21st century

'From 2011 to 2014 Harun Farocki and Antje Ehmann initiated workshops in 15 cities worldwide, where participants were asked to address the topic of labour in "a single shot" (ie no cuts allowed) lasting a maximum of two minutes.'



Transmediale 15: Capture All

Rob La Frenais tracks the digital dissidents

'As artist Jordan Crandall said at the conference: "Technologies of convenience become technologies of attack."'


Letter from New York

Independents and the City

Niki Russell on the migration of artist-run galleries

'Located in Manhattan, they are a historical/geographic reminder of a time when this was a completely viable option for non-profit spaces.'


Letter from Rotterdam

Art Week

Sophie J Williamson finds local enthusiasm for challenging art

'Making my way round the peaceful – if unsettlingly silent – industrial streets, I never fail to be surprised when I encounter the numerous art institutions pocketed across the city.'


Letter from Lahore


Virginia Whiles on cross-border cultural relations

'The diploma show at the principal college, NCA (National College of Arts), had been deferred due to the new state rulings on security for all schools since the tragedy in Peshawar. This decrees that every pedagogical building, from primary to postgraduate, must raise surrounding barbed-wire and brick walls to a minimum height of 12ft.'



Merchandising Rights Time Bomb

Henry Lydiate on forthcoming changes to merchandising rights

'When an artwork is mass-produced in three dimensions by or with the artist's permission, UK law substantially reduces the artist's copyright protection in the future. This rule is a time-bomb: it operates only 25 years from the end of the year in which such merchandise is first marketed.'



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