Art Monthly 433: February 2020

Art Monthly cover Art Monthly back cover
Prem Sahib

Interviewed by Paul Carey-Kent

Sickness and Solidarity

Sarah E James


Marcus Verhagen

Sung Tieu

Profile by Adam Hines-Green

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Prem Sahib, Cul-de-Sac, 2019


Inscribing Desire

Prem Sahib interviewed by Paul Carey-Kent

It is not my agenda to make work about Minimalism. However, I do like the idea of destabilising some of what we have come to associate it with. Because I often use my own experience of sexuality as a material, I am inevitably queering the associations of that tradition.

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Jo Spence, The Final Project ‘End Picture’ Floating, 1991–92


Sickness and Solidarity

Sarah E James on transforming privatised despair into political action

For Mark Fisher, the UK’s ‘fatalistic submission’ to austerity needed to be understood in terms of a ‘deliberately cultivated depression’ of the working classes. With Boris Johnson’s recent victory this drive towards a kind of collective depression seems less fatalistic than sadistic, and the task of transforming privatised disaffection into political anger and action both a more alien and pressing possibility.

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Alan Warburton, Sprites I, 2016



Marcus Verhagen fears the commercial exploitation of the unconscious

The significance of sleep in art has in recent times largely been determined by the interplay of these two conceptions, the surrealist and neo-surrealist view of it as creative motor and the tendency, in the work of Georges Perec and others, to see in it a form of tacit refusal.

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Sung Tieu, Remote Viewing, 2017


Sung Tieu

Adam Hines-Green on the German–Vietnamese artist

Sung Tieu emphasises the threat the displaced body poses, and the necessity for immigrants to assuage those fears by conforming to a certain narrative of productivity, utility and safety.


Little Britain

Democracy’s slide into fascism is usually accompanied by costly patriotic festivals to distract the public, so what does this say about the government’s so-called Brexit Festival?

Scheduled for 2022 (presumably Brexit won’t be ‘done’ in time for the centenary of the Festival of Britain), it is hard to see what is being celebrated this time round.


Hopeful Futures

Jes Fernie responds to Steve McQueen’s epic Year 3 installation at Tate Britain

The number of homeless children in London has risen by a third since 2014 and is now equivalent to one in every 24 children. This means that many of the photos in Year 3 include a child who is homeless.


Creative Appointing

The unelected baroness Nicky Morgan retains her culture secretary brief; the Australian government axes its art department while the country’s galleries contend with the wildfires; Taipei takes up Japan’s exhibition of censored art; Kyrgyzstan’s ‘Feminnale’ of pro-women’s rights art has been censored; Brazil’s culture minister announces the National Art Awards with a speech that plagiarises Nazi propaganda chief Joseph Goebbels; the US National Archives blurs out anti-Trump protest placards in an exhibition celebrating women’s suffrage; plus the latest news on galleries, appointments, prizes and more.


John Baldessari 1931–2020
Peter Wollen 1938–2019

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Sohrab Hura, ‘Snow’, 2014–
on show in ‘Homelands’ at Kettle’s Yard


Theatre of Operations: The Gulf Wars 1991–2011

Gemma Sharpe

Homelands: Art from Bangladesh, India and Pakistan

Virginia Whiles

Hans Haacke: All Connected

Alexander Massouras

Derek Jarman: PROTEST!

The Last of England

Joanne Laws

Hilary Lloyd: Car Park

Mark Prince

Hot Moment

Maria Walsh

Nobuko Tsuchiya: 30 Ways to Go to the Moon

Mike Pinnington

Emilio Prini

Martin Holman

Daphne Wright: A quiet mutiny

Maeve Connolly

5th Ural Industrial Biennial of Contemporary Art: Immortality

Agnieszka Gratza

A.O.–B.C. An Audiovisual Diary

Hana Noorali


Alex Margo Arden and Caspar Heinemann: The farmyard is not a violent place and I look exactly like Judy Garland

Larne Abse Gogarty

I went to see the exhibition and two-act play shortly before the general election. Upon leaving, feeling uplifted, I thought about the play as an antidote to a cruel and crass political landscape.

Artists’ Books

David Blandy: The World After

Lauren Velvick

The World After as a whole comprises a gallery-based installation and film, along with the book that weaves an original narrative of mutation, megafauna and elemental magic, while also serving as the rules and instructions for a tabletop role-playing game.


Huw Lemmey: Red Tory – My Corbyn Chemsex Hell

William E Jones: I’m Open to Anything

Andrew Hibbard

The focus on centrism rather than the moralism around chemsex is part of what makes this novel a valuable addition to the canons of both Brexit and pornographic literature.

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Mogila Kukeri Group performing a Bulgarian fertility ritual


London Contemporary Music Festival: Witchy Methodologies

Irene Revell

This year’s thematic, ‘Witchy Methodologies’, almost too hip on the page, makes more sense in practice as a loose ordering principle over the six nights, which comprise a heterogeneous collection of new commissions alongside a ‘survey’ of more recent and historical works.

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Jun-Jieh Wang, Passion, 2017

Letter from Bangkok and Taipei

Crossing Boundaries

Chris McCormack

It is this uneven narrative, however, which this exhibition compellingly straddles, where the widening gulf of an optimistic, modernist promise of an identity politics forging equality for some has left others viewing an ever-receding horizon, or a vector that alienates in its prescriptiveness.

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opening of Lakiloko Keakea’s exhibition ‘Fafetu’ at Objectspace

Letter from Aotearoa / New Zealand

Undoing Research

Louise Shelley

I was witness to an art school working through ways to address a history predicated on a European art school model and, in many ways, a mainstream art scene with a similar history and world view.


Money Laundering

Henry Lydiate

On 10 January 2020 new anti-money laundering laws came into force in the UK that have wide-ranging, game-changing and undoubtedly controversial implications for the art market.

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