Art Monthly 332: Dec-Jan 09-10

Art Monthly cover
Vito Acconci

Interviewed by Freee

Art & Entrepreneurialism

Jennifer Thatcher

Product Placement

Christopher Townsend

Ed Ruscha

Patricia Bickers

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Acconci Studio's amphitheatre proposal for the new Concert Hall, Stavanger


Changing Spaces

Vito Acconci interviewed by Freee

Vito Acconci was a key player in New York's performance scene in the 1970s but gave up art in order to focus on architectural projects. Here the art collective Freee asks him how he intervenes within major building projects in order to question traditional assumptions about public space.

'I don't think I understand people enough unless they're individuals. That's why I hate words like "public", which gives the impression that there is one single body with a single purpose and a single motive.'


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Superflex The Financial Crisis (Session I-IV) 2009


Crunch Time

Jennifer Thatcher on the convergence of artistic and entrepreneurial values

Corporate management theorists often appropriate the flexible survival strategies developed by artists, but when entrepreneurs and artists begin to share the same values, what becomes of criticality?

'The very idea of non-stop art seems to parallel too closely the ideal of 24-hour labour, with no room for slacking, which causes so much anxiety in today's economy. Neither Hans Ulrich Obrist nor Antony Gormley is really interested in the "former audience", that is, providing an opportunity for participants to alter the course of events as they are unfolding.


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Grayson Perry in the window display at Liberty department store


Product Placement

Christopher Townsend on the link between Modernism and postmodernity in design

When avant-garde artists first proposed folding art into life through the manufacture of domestic items, did they really have limited-edition luxury goods in mind?

'Grayson Perry's performance suggests that the historical responsibility of some contemporary artists is limited to enriching themselves within the so-called creative economies of the state.'



Faking It

The discovery that a painting in the Courtauld Collection, long held to be a 20th-century fake, actually dates from the 17th century has raised interesting questions about artistic value and the art market - particularly since this discovery has apparently decreased the painting's potential market value. The chequered fortunes of this work sheds an unexpected light on the contemporary art market.

'The blinding effect of money is a phenomenon that is all too familiar from recent art market excesses that have inflated prices and reputations and distorted judgement.'


Boris Johnson wants a big tower for the Olympic Park but gets more than he bargained for from artist Tomas Saraceno and his collaborators; almost all of Hélio Oiticica's work is lost in an uninsured storage fire; artists descend on Copenhagen alongside the UN's Climate Change Conference; Guggenheim Bilbao considers a satellite museum; UK galleries keep visitor numbers high during the recession but lose vital funding; and all the latest news on art world appointments, events, commissions and more.

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Nancy Spero 1926-2009
Joanna Walker



Ed Ruscha: Fifty Years of Painting

Patricia Bickers

Art of Two Germanys/Cold War Cultures

Sarah James

Deimantas Narkevicius

Sally O'Reilly

Eva Hesse: Studiowork

Rosie Lesso

Sophie Calle

Maria Walsh

Jeremy Millar

Andrew Hunt

Jill Magid: Authority to Remove

Larne Abse Gogarty

Terry Smith: The Foundling

Peter Suchin

The Peckham Experiment

Dan Smith

Let's Take Back Our Space

Martin Herbert

Chen Chieh-jen

Colin Perry

The Long Dark

Martin Vincent


Artists' Books

Fair Use (Notes From Spam)

Sally O'Reilly on Graham Parker's exploration of spam culture

'Just as the stagecoach was vulnerable to the highwayman of 17th-century Britain and the railroad was instrumental to the conman in 19th-century United States, so the internet is now prey to spamming - the process by which an anonymous assailant tries to separate us from our money.'




Dave Beech on Roger Scruton's latest trumpeting of conservative values

'In effect, Scruton has not written a book on beauty at all, but utilised questions around beauty to argue for a revival of the concept of virtue.'

Winter Reading

David Barrett rounds up some recent releases

'Artist Henry Bond has deepened his photographic analysis of the everyday with the extraordinary Lacan at the Scene. This publication takes a studiously analytical approach to what could have been a lighthearted thought experiment: what if French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan had become a British murder detective in the 1950s?'


Letter from an Australian

The View from Oz

John Kelly on art and censorship in the UK and Australia

'The case reached hysterical proportions when women and children were advised to avoid looking at the offensive painting, which one commentator described as an artistic Pearl Harbor.'



Smaller but Better

Colin Gleadell on the autumn sales

'The London contemporary art sales held to coincide with the Frieze Art Fair brought in a total of £47.4m (including separate 20th-century Italian art sales), just above the pre-sale estimate of £45.5m. Although this was a 53% fall on last year's total for comparative sales, there were a great deal fewer lots on offer and a much higher percentage of sold against unsold lots was achieved - which all goes to demonstrate that the market has stabilised.'


Artlaw Online

Artquest's Artlaw Services

Henry Lydiate on the newly reorganised Artlaw online archive

'In November 2009 Artquest's online practical information, advice and support service for visual artists and craftspeople was overhauled and improved. It included a major restructuring of the Artlaw Archive of articles published in Art Monthly from its first issue in October 1976.'



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