Art Monthly 423: February 2019

Art Monthly cover Art Monthly back cover

Interviewed by Dominic Johnson

Love AIDS Riots

Chris McCormack

Roll Over SI

Paul Walsh

belit sag

Profile by George Vasey

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Ulay There is a Criminal Touch to Art 1976


Not Reckless but Reckful

Ulay Interviewed by Dominic Johnson

The Slovenia-based performance artist, one of the most influential in the field – best known in the UK for his collaborative work with Marina Abramović – discusses car crashes, cancer and criminal pursuits, plus how to endure while continually flipping personas.

No, I’m not an escape artist. I’m not escapist. True, in the Berlin Action, I had to escape, sometimes you have to run to make it. The Berlin Action wasn’t escapist, but I had to try to escape – and with good reason. Otherwise, no, I don’t escape because I don’t have fear.
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AA Bronson + General Idea installation view at Maureen Paley 2018


Love AIDS Riots

Chris McCormack on Art, Activism and AIDS

The recent surge of interest in 1980s AIDS activists, such as ACT UP, General Idea and Gran Fury, shows how art can effect real change. Looking back also reveals how narrow current definitions of healthcare are and encourages us to agitate for a more diverse future.

It is the political and ideological dimensions of the AIDS epidemic that separates it from other health crises and concerns. As Simon Watney noted in his 1987 book Policing Desire, ‘the British government’s ban on gay materials coming from the US until late 1986 meant, in effect, that people in the UK were legally prohibited from learning about AIDS during a crucial period’.
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Gucci shop window, Japan, 2016


Roll Over SI

Situationism is Done, Argues Paul Walsh

Recuperated, incorporated and mummified, the Situationist International has been done to death. Instead of continually revisiting Guy Debord’s ephemera, couldn’t we focus on SI-influenced artists and collectives, such as Vincent Meessen and The Institute for Infinitely Small Things, to be inspired by SI’s ambition rather than its archive?

Looking back, we might trace the dawning outline of recuperation to the 1962 split between the so-called artistic and political factions of the SI, heralded by Raoul Vaneigem’s gnostic assertion that ‘the Situationist project could not be the creation of a spectacle of refusal but must entail refusing the spectacle’, a verdict that proves the situationists were more at war with themselves than ‘with the existing culture’ at large.



Another Fine Mess

It was fitting that Parliament debated Theresa May’s doomed Brexit bill the same week that the new Oliver & Hardy biopic Stan & Ollie was released – there are tragicomic parallels between the two. More usefully, however, as artists such as Steve McQueen know, there are still lessons to be learned from century-old cinema.

85% of YouTube viewers ‘liked’ the silent-era classic. Perhaps the silence, the brilliance of the stunt’s execution, and the clarity of black and white, are appealing to a generation that has been subjected to so much party political rhetoric, media speculation and obfuscation.



The Haifa Museum of Art in Israel has caused a riot for showing Jani Leinonen’s 2015 artwork McJesus, and received only disdain from the artist over the issue of Palestinian rights; New York’s Whitney Museum is under pressure after it was revealed that a board member is also an arm’s dealer; Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg is keeping tight-lipped about why it has sacked its director, Ralf Beil, but his proposed exhibition about art in the petrol age may have spooked the museum’s sole sponsor, Volkswagen; the #MeToo movement in India is continuing to trigger art-world resignations, most recently Sotheby’s Gaurav Bhatia and artist Subodh Gupta; new UK research shows just how damaging unpaid work can be to arts interns, even after they have gained paid employment elsewhere; plus the latest news on galleries, appointments, prizes and more.


Robert Morris 1931-2018

Mark Prince

Carol Rhodes 1959-2018

Martin Holman

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belit sag Sep-Oct, 2015, Cizre 2015


belit sag

George Vasey considers how violence operates in the moving-image work of the Turkey-born and Amsterdam-based artist.

The film Cannibals lays bare how feminist demands for equality and autonomy in economic and social life are currently marketed as personal lifestyle choices that enmesh individual dis-ease in a cycle of reward and punishment.
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Siobhán Hapaska Snake and Apple 2018
on show at John Hansard Gallery


Siobhán Hapaska

David Barrett

Meiro Koizumi: Battlelands

Amy Luo

Cady Noland

Tim Steer

Haroon Mirza: reality is somehow what we expect it to be

David Trigg

David Raymond Conroy: Retail Space

Andrew Hibbard

Amie Siegel: Backstory

Paul Carey-Kent

Ceal Floyer

Duncan Wooldridge

Forms of Address

Tom Emery

Journeys with the Initiated

Catherine Spencer

The Ground Beneath Your Feet

Bob Dickinson

Penny Woolcock: Fantastic Cities

Ellen Mara De Wachter

Josephine Pryde: In Case My Mind is Changing

Isobel Harbison



Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival: Christian Marclay

David Briers

This was the first time in 40 years that someone so predominantly active within the visual arts sector had been accorded this leading role.



Ghost-haunted land: Contemporary art and post-Troubles Northern Ireland

Chris Clarke

A useful primer on the Good Friday Agreement and, particularly, the intentional vagueness of its language as a way of appeasing two oppositional camps, sets the tone for a text that proposes Northern Ireland as distinctly unsettled, disjointed and in flux.


Gary Indiana: Vile Days 1985-1988

Dan Ward

As a document reflecting on both the aforementioned period and current art criticism, however, this collection could not be more timely: funny, caustic, irreverent, sentimental, welcoming to the uninitiated yet rigorous all the same.


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Saul Villaas Original and Copy 2018

Letter from Zacatecas

Mixed Blessings

Agnieszka Gratza

‘After the Biennale’, as the symposium was titled, dealt with the aftermath of a biennale – what stays behind once the event is officially over and the infrastructure gone.


Ways of Working


Henry Lydiate

Establishing authenticity of works by deceased artists is an understandable risk. But in recent times fake works purported to be by Kazimir Malevich, Salvador Dali, Mark Rothko, Jackson Pollock, Robert Motherwell, Andy Warhol – even Damien Hirst and Banksy – have been fraudulently traded as authentic.




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