Art Monthly 475: April 2024

Art Monthly cover Art Monthly back cover
Tim Head

Interviewed by Patricia Bickers

John Akomfrah

Interviewed by Chris McCormack

Radical Care

Louise O’Hare

Watching the Dictators

Bob Dickinson

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Tim Head, Transient Spaces 3, 1982


Hostile Spaces

Tim Head interviewed by Patricia Bickers

After lockdown I still had a sense that there was no uncontaminated space out there and that there was little space left for expansive or imaginative thinking – it was being ground down into a blatantly disreputable and dull mush, especially by those in power. I see a connection between these recent drawings of closed-off spaces and those I photographed in the 1980s.

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John Akomfrah, Four Nocturnes, 2019


Deep Listening

John Akomfrah interviewed by Chris McCormack

One thing that has become increasingly apparent is that the minute you agree to showing at the British Pavilion in Venice you also take on the brute fact of the history of the building, as well as agreeing to be populated, inhabited almost, by all these phantoms from previous exhibitions.

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Linder, Untitled, 1977


Radical Care

Louise O’Hare on art and motherhood in times of war, political oppression and social inequality

ANGA pointed to the fact that Israel’s national presentation is dubbed a ‘Fertility Pavilion’, an investigation of ‘contemporary motherhood’ with ‘immersive environments that recreate “the home, the clinic, the museum, and an archaeological site” [...] while in Gaza, these places have been bombed to rubble’.

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Lia Perjovschi, Annulment, 1989


Watching the Dictators

Bob Dickinson surveys the rise of authoritarian rule and charts feminist art practices that resist such forces

The rising number of authoritarian governments around the world bodes ill, not least for the future of human rights, democratic institutions and environmental preservation. Yet such regimes also see it as vital to regulate culture.

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Jordan Strafer, NO SPANK, 2024


Jordan Strafer

Hannah Hutchings-Georgiou

At first, the doll self-portrait might be mistaken for a joke, a self-reflexive, meta-narratological statement that nods to the role toys, mannequins and prosthetics play, often disturbingly, in many of Jordan Strafer’s films.



It was Oliver Cromwell who first confronted MPs in Parliament with the immortal phrase: ‘In the name of God, go.’ The accusation, repeated twice more over the years by Tory MPs directed at their own prime ministers, signals a lack of leadership. When the current PM dithers over calling out racist death threats by his own party’s biggest donor, maybe the time has come to repeat it once more.

The leaders may change but the political culture remains the same: sleaze, rampant cronyism and corruption, unprecedented – in peacetime – levels of censorship introduced in the guise of ‘anti-wokeness’ and the government’s continuing culture wars. Now it is proposing swingeing new ‘anti-extremist’ measures targeting public bodies including charities, universities, museums and funding bodies like ACE.


Israel in Venice

Protest group ANGA calls for the Venice Biennale to cancel Israel’s participation; a portait of Lord Balfour is destroyed by pro-Palestinian activists; campaigners occupy the Barbican Centre with a guerrilla festival of Palestinian culture; against government ‘retain and explain’ policy, Bristol’s statue of slaver Edward Colston is to go on permanent display in a local museum rather than returned to its original plinth; the University of Houston cancels an artist talk under threat of protest by anti-abortion fundamentalists; Russian contemporary artists are raided in the run-up to the presidential ‘election’; the DCMS budget is reduced; Levelling Up funds are allocated to a handful of regional museum projects; a quarter of regional heritage organisations are forced to reduce their programmes for lack of funding; Birmingham and Nottingham cut all arts funding; Wales makes arts cuts; strikes close the Walker Art Gallery; plus the latest on galleries, people, awards and more.

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Issam Kourbaj, Another Day Lost, 2019, Kettle’s Yard and Hoeng Gallery, Cambridge


Poetics of Encryption

Martin Herbert

Linked Out: Logged In

Jamie Sutcliffe

Yoko Ono: Music of the Mind

Peter Suchin

Issam Kourbaj: Urgent Archive • You are not you and home is not home

Nick Thurston

Pia Arke: Silences and Stories

Paul Carey-Kent

Clara Jo: Nests of Basalt, Nests of Wood

Maria Walsh

Jane Jin Kaisen: Halmang

Elizabeth Fullerton

Stuart Middleton: The Human Model

Sam Moore

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Dimitris Athiridis, exergue – on documenta 14, 2024


Dimitris Athiridis: exergue – on documenta 14

George Macbeth

The film’s title refers to the inscription on the obverse side of a coin, often indicating the place and date in which a given currency was minted. It’s a well-chosen rubric for a film that bids us not only to follow the money, but also to study it in great detail.

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Shu Lea Cheang, Fresh Kill, 1994


Shu Lea Cheang: Scifi New Queer Cinema, 1994–2023

Michael Kurtz

Shu Lea Cheang brings to queer culture a lesson learnt from sci-fi: technology is as apocalyptic as it is messianic, it augments rather than weakens mechanisms of domination.

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Resolve, You Get a Car [Everybody Gets a Car], 2024


Resolve: You Get a Car [Everybody Gets a Car]

Mike Pinnington

Rather than simply clear the old building and syphon off what it could to existing networks, it was decided instead to work with Resolve to consider meaningful alternatives.

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Catherine Opie, LA Uprising, Catalina Rooftop, 1992


Letter from Los Angeles

Dominic Johnson

Los Angeles is wildly gentrified, and though the mayor seeks to sanitise it the city still retains some of its transgressiveness. A current major form of this is the daring intervention by hordes of artists who have claimed an unfinished skyscraper in DTLA.

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‘Re-enchantment’, Thaddeus Ropac


Letter from Paris

Ned McConnell

The cultural shift to mainland Europe is mirrored by economic turmoil in the UK, where new taxes and tariffs that have been applied to goods and services have forced businesses – including galleries and artists – to, if not leave UK shores, then certainly to open shop on the continent.

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Jordan Wolfson, Untitled, 2018, estimate £80,000–120,000, sold for £196,850


Fair Warning

Colin Gleadell

In the less choreographed lower-value day sale, there was evidence, if you looked, that heavy losses were being suffered.

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Yto Barrada, Untitled (cosmos yellow), Untitled (indigo grey), 2021, withdrawn by the artist from ‘Unravel: The Power and Politics of Textiles in Art’ at Barbican


Political Statements

Henry Lydiate

Censorship of artists and/or their works is typically imposed, by holders of levers of power and influence, to curb or cancel public expressions they judge to be unacceptable.

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