Art Monthly 352: Dec-Jan 11-12

Art Monthly cover
Judith Barry

Interviewed by Omar Kholeif

Marketing Avant-Garde Film

Christopher Townsend

TV Makeover

Colin Perry

Gerhard Richter

John Douglas Millar

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Judith Barry ...Cairo stories 2011


Cairo Stories

Judith Barry interviewed by Omar Kholeif

Pioneering video artist Judith Barry has spent the past decade working on the ...Cairo stories project, in which Cairene women recount tales of their lives and experiences. Here, Barry discusses the changing perception of Americans in Egypt, the problems of representation and the difficulty of filming in the midst of a revolution.

'During breaks in shooting we were glued to Al Jazeera on the computer – at the time not on TV channels in New York. You can imagine the mood on the set: elation mixed with excitement, and also at times a great deal of fear. We wrapped two days after President Mubarak stepped down.'


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Owen Land Film in Which There Appear Edge Lettering, Sprocket Holes, Dirt Particles, Etc 1965-66


The Great Divide

Christopher Townsend on the marketing of avant-garde film

The recent reemergence of early experimental filmmakers within the commercial art world is a double-edged sword. While the visibility and recognition is welcome, isn't the the ossifying hand of the market antithetical to the ethos of the free-flowing experimental scene?

'Just like Andy Warhol before him, Michael Snow said Richard Serra had walked into the Filmmakers' Co-Op and walked out again with a head full of ideas, which his backing from Leo Castelli then gave him the opportunity to exploit within the commercial art scene.'


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Nathaniel Mellors The Seven Ages of Britain Teaser 2010


TV Makeover

Colin Perry on the vexed relationship between art and TV

Where once video artists set about attempting to subvert broadcast television, recently they seem to have surrendered to its normative codes. Since the most troubling aspects of TV have tended to get worse over time, shouldn't artists retain a questioning attitude towards it?

'Artists have stopped trying to change television, and for good reasons. In the early decades of video art, there was much hope that TV would prove an open and democratic platform for visual art, but the actual experience proved rather different.'



God and Mammon

As the rich and the poor in our cities are increasingly divided by exclusive gated communities, there is a feeling that not everyone is in this together. When unrest springs and spreads – from Tahrir Square to Martyrs' Square, from Wall Street to St Paul's – it is all fuelled by the same underlying sense of inequality.

'In the US, as in the UK and the rest of the world, "the people" are not waiting to be "allowed in" but are storming the gates.'


Elizabeth Price's occupational therapist responds to Price's and Peter Suchin's correspondence on fine art PhDs, and Suchin declines the offer of professional help. Sean Ashton questions the limitations of John Douglas Millar's article on art writing, and Millar responds. Michael Hampton attempts to step outside the art-writing debate.


Ai Weiwei is given an arbitrarily large fine by the Chinese government and in response his supporters lob cash over his studio wall; the Make a Living group calls for fair treatment for artists by publicly funded organisations; artists miss out on direct ACE funding; a survey reveals the pitiful and declining state of artists' finances; all the latest news on prizes, people, online resources and more.

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Gerhard Richter

John Douglas Millar

Malcolm Le Grice: le temps des images

Aoife Rosenmeyer

Jesse Jones: The Struggle Against Ourselves

Chris Clarke

Bani Abidi: Section Yellow

Paul Usherwood

Anna Barriball

Cherry Smyth

Democratic Promenade

David Briers

3rd Athens Biennale: Monodrome

3rd Thessaloniki Biennale: Old Intersections – Make it New

Anna Dezeuze

12th Istanbul Biennial: Untitled

Jennifer Thatcher

11th Lyons Biennale: A Terrible Beauty is Born

Chris Sharp

Iain Forsyth & Jane Pollard: Romeo Echo Delta

Mark Prince

You, Me, Something Else

Rosie Lesso

London Round-up

Chris Fite-Wassilak


Artists' Books

Again, A Time Machine

David Trigg on the Bristol instalment of Book Works' 'fluid tour'

'Translation, it seems, lies at the heart of Book Works' activities, whether it be translating artist's ideas into the physical form of a book or facilitating the further transformation of those books into performances and exhibitions.'

Stuart Griffiths: The Myth of the Airborne Warrior

Maria Fusco on a former paratrooper's photos of Northern Ireland

'Just as prize fighters are deprived of visual stimuli, trained in beige quarters to sharpen their force, so, too, the soldiers' tedium, the mundanity of their day-to-day life, must have strategically readied them to get stuck in all the more enthusiastically when the time came, and even to devise scenarios where tension could be released.'



Winter Reading

David Barrett on some recent releases

'Art education, with its current funding turmoil, continues to be a source of debate and a wellspring for publications.'




David Ryan on a screening at the experimental-music festival

'Sottovoce, now in its 4th edition as a London-based festival, aims to develop new interactions and audiences for experimental music, in particular between the music, film and visual art worlds.'



The 29th Biennial of Graphic Arts: The Event

Dave Beech on the six-site exhibition

'As graphic design has expanded into television, branding, web design, media strategy and guerrilla advertising, artists have turned to video, performance, spectacle, the archive, tactical media, net art and social intervention.'


Public Policy

Change of Art

Henry Lydiate on the ownership of art

'Henry Moore's Knife Edge Two Piece, 1962-65, currently sited at College Green opposite the entrance to the House of Lords (where TV news reporters often interview politicians), is in appallingly bad shape and needs serious restoration. But nobody admits responsibility for its maintenance or ownership.'



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