Art Monthly 323: February 2009

Art Monthly cover
Francis Al?s

Interviewed by Anna Dezeuze

Recovering Radicalism

Dave Beech

Art & Philosophy

Maja and Reuben Fowkes

Michael Snow

Sally O'Reilly

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Walking the Line

Francis Alys interviewed by Anna Dezeuze

Born in Belgium Francis Alys has lived in Mexico since 1990. Anna Dezeuze flew to Mexico City to talk to him about making work inspired by his adoptive home and about art and the spirit of 'conviviality'.

Feature I

Recovering Radicalism

Dave Beech on critical art after Postmodernism

'We are living in a protracted period of reassessment for radical politics and critical art. Postmodernists leapt ahead of the process by baldly pronouncing the end of history and the death of the Avant Garde. Now, with postmodern theory and postmodern art a declining force, the reassessment of radicalism is showing signs of recovery.'

Feature II

Art & Philosophy, or How Philosophers Got Curated

Maja and Reuben Fowkes

'The traditional antagonism between philosophy and art, which goes back to Plato's infamous eviction of artists from his ideal state for distracting citizens from the higher truths of philosophy, is offset by a mutual fascination that is becoming ever more noticeable. That we are going through a phase of intense attraction and interaction between the old rivals is affirmed by the Map of Friendship between Art and Philosophy, which was produced jointly by artist Thomas Hirschhorn and philosopher Marcus Steinweg as a centre spread for Le Monde Diplomatique in 2007.'



Calling the Tune

Despite the recession there appears to be a lot of money sloshing about in the system, so what's the catch? The government and its agencies continue to look for ways of harnessing the arts in the service of the wider economy.


Daniel Miller believes that Ekow Eshun made a 'serious strategic mistake' in closing the ICA's new media department.


DACS is outraged at the government's decision to delay extending artists' resale rights to families and heirs. Some major players make radical changes by upping sticks and leaving their jobs for pastures new. And all the latest museum news, art school action, gallery moves, prizes, commissions, residencies, developments and re-developments.


Keith Arnatt 1930-2008 and Henning Christiansen 1932-2008.



Getting Even: Oppositions + Dialogues in Contemporary Art

Maeve Connolly

Michael Snow

Sally O'Reilly

Never let the truth get in the way of a good story

Martin Herbert

Darcy Lange

Colin Perry

Revolution I Love You

Matt Price

Coalesce: Happenstance

Michael Gibbs

Nathan Coley

Colin Glen

Brion Gysin

Stewart Home

Indian Highway

Emilia Terracciano

Christine Baumgartner: Solaris

David Trigg

Dogtooth and Tessellate

Jennifer Thatcher


Artists' Books

New York Book Fair

Maria Fusco

'Just in its third year, Printed Matter's NY Art Book Fair has already established itself as one of the best places in the world to look at, and buy, independent artists' publications.'



The Big Archive by Sven Spieker

Daniel Miller

'There is a saying in Africa', reports Marc Auge, 'an old person dying is like a library on fire.' In tribal societies human bodies and cultural memory were not easily separated - hence the loss of some wise individual represented a real set-back for knowledge. In today's the global information society, human mortality no longer presents the same burning issue. After six thousand years of writing, the vital records are now safely filed away in subterranean mainframes. The thesis of the book is relatively simple: 'I view early-twentieth century modernism', Spieker writes in his introduction, 'as a reaction formation to the storage-crises that came in the wake of [mass bureaucracy], a giant paper jam based on the exponential increase in stored data, both in the realm of public administration and in large companies whose archives were bursting at the seams.'


Bargains Galore

Colin Gleadell reports from recent auctions in London and New York

'London's first contemporary art sales of the post 'art bubble' era are happening this month, and they have shrunk dramatically. The market is still there, but it is now a buyers' not a sellers' market and experts are struggling to adjust to the new, uncertain levels of demand.'


Star Wars and Sculpture

Henry Lydiate

How an argument over the design of the stormtrooper's helmets tells us about UK copyright and the legal definition of an 'artistic work'.

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