Art Monthly 395: April 2016

Art Monthly cover
Refugee Art

Bob Dickinson

Hot Babe

Isobel Harbison

Rachel Pimm

Profile by Chris Fite-Wassilak

Alternative Art Education

Sara Jaspan

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Tanja Ostojic Misplaced Women? 2009-16 performance


A Bridge Too Far

Can artists do anything to address the escalating migrant catastrophe in Europe asks Bob Dickinson

What are the ethical and biopolitical issues raised by the interventions of artists such as the Pod Collective in the UK, Yugoslav-born performance artist Tanja Ostojic and high-profile international artists like Ai Weiwei?

The image of Ai Weiwei foregrounds the contradiction between photos of anonymous bodies washed up like flotsam with one possessing a particular, identifiable face. But the artist's recognisability – the kick that makes the viewer think again – at the same time washes away Aylan Kurdi's infancy, vulnerability and, above all, his identity.
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Frances Stark My Best Thing 2011 video


Hot Babe

Isobel Harbison reconsiders the issue of objectification in the era of social media

Does the work of artists like Hannah Black, Cheryl Donegan, Frances Stark and Yvonne Rainer answer the question posed by Nancy Spector 20 years ago as to whether sex appeal can ever be considered a sign of female agency?

Why, when image-maker or subject, object and spectator are no longer distinct, structured or guarded positions (in our lives online we frequently play out two or more of these roles at any one time), have gendered roles of photographic or cinematic capture not also dissolved?



Cause Celeb

Why is it so irritating when celebrities, including celebrity artists, lend their auratic glow to worthy causes – is this because of the suspicion that this sharing of media attention tends to work both ways?

Titled Sweeping It Under the Carpet, the work, according to the blurb, 'can be seen as a metaphor for the West's reluctance to tackle issues such as Aids in Africa' or, as Charlie Brooker remarks acidly, 'as another example of Banksy's tireless self-promotion'.


Ringing Endorsement

ACE responds to George Osborne's budget; BP calls time on its sponsorship of Tate; the independent Tate Members charity is absorbed by Tate; ACE outlines changes to its funding from 2018; Cardiff Council backs away from arts budget reductions while Edinburgh implements 10% cuts; an initiative is launched to provide more artists' studios in London; the latest news on galleries, appointments, prizes and more.


Jon Thompson 1936-2016
Peter Suchin

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Rachel Pimm Garden City 2014


Rachel Pimm

Chris Fite-Wassilak on a British eco artist who explores the politics and hidden hierarchies that determine our ethical choices.

Perhaps crucially among those artists exploring our current ecological paradoxes, Rachel Pimm's work retains an awareness of the limits of our circumscribed perspective.
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Nathaniel Mellors Ourhouse, Ep.-1: Time 2016 video
'Nothing Happens, Twice', Harris Museum and Art Gallery


James Coleman

Sophia Phoca


Peter Suchin

Nothing Happens, Twice: Artists Explore the Absurdity of Life

Beth Bramich

The Imitation Game

Tom Emery

The Green Ray

Jamie Sutcliffe

Susan Philipsz: Night and Fog

Axel Lapp

Das Institut

Cherry Smyth

Brian O'Connell: Palomar

Marcus Verhagen

Mark Wallinger: ID

Lynton Talbot

Becky Beasley: Lake Erie from the Northwest

Mark Prince

Joachim Koester: The Other Side of the Sky

Tim Dixon

Amie Siegel: Imitation of Life

Joanne Laws

Edinburgh and Dundee Round-up

Catherine Spencer

London Round-up

Kathryn Lloyd



AV Festival: Meanwhile, what about socialism?

Erika Balsom visits the north-east's art, film and music festival.

Rebecca Shatwell's programming is a much-needed critical rejoinder to the deep melancholia that marks much of the recent surge of interest in the legacies of the 1970s' left.


Artists' Books

Mo-Leeza Roberts: Head

Saim Demircan on a fictional artist's account of a future gallery.

By hijacking the format of the press release, one could fantasise that the language in Head is the outcome of what would have happened if Bank's 1999 press release project had actually worked, liberating PR from its redundant, traditional, de-authored language and instead producing mutated, bastardised texts.



Twenty Years of Make magazine: Back to the Future of Women's Art

George Vasey examines the evolution of the women's art magazine.

Many of these figures' relative invisibility to the market and institutional programmes would bear witness to the oft-repeated claims in the book of marginalisation.


Art Education

The Value of the Alternative

Sara Jaspan asks whether alternative art education is valuable as a project in its own right.

Inflated tuition fees have commoditised education to the extent that there is now not only a sense of buying a degree (perpetuating what Gareth Jones calls an 'acquisitive but not inquisitive' society), but even of a certain expected level of 'customer service' from tutors, reversing the traditional power balance.

From the Back Catalogue
Education: a mirror or a lamp? by Gareth Jones


Artist's Resale Right

Ten Years Later

Henry Lydiate looks back at the UK's introduction of droit de suite.

Since 2006, over £52m has been distributed in ARR royalties: £46.9m by DACS to 3,900 artists and estates; and £6m by ACS representing a further 1,000.



London Art Calendar

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Exhibition Listings

Art Monthly's exhibition listings can be viewed online.

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