Art Monthly 427: June 2019

Art Monthly cover Art Monthly back cover
Oscar Murillo

Interviewed by Cherry Smyth

Activism as Art

Tom Snow

Virtual and Other Bodies

Mark Wilsher

Larry Achiampong

Profile by Tom Emery

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Oscar Murillo ‘Violent Amnesia’ 2019 installation view
Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge


Winning Ground

Oscar Murillo interviewed by Cherry Smyth

The London-based Afro-Colombian artist discusses race and colonialism, the collective experience and the individual, cultural displacement and infiltration.

The physical energy that happens in the studio remains present beyond the action and the sense of labour is transferred to the space and the viewer. But somehow that is not enough. If you think of a dynamo that transfers energy to something else, in this show the pews carry that through, suggesting the link between colonialism and the church.
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activists from PAIN (Prescription Addiction Intervention Now) performing a
die-in against Sackler’s funding of the Guggenheim Museum, New York, 2019
photo by Arda Arsena


Activism as Art

Activism is not an add-on says Tom Snow

It is time that museums recognised activism as central to critical art practices by individuals and collectives, such as Liberate Tate, PAIN, and BP or not BP?

The capacity of museums to represent and comment on current art and artists is flawed by the refusal to take note of their politically engaged contemporary activities. Tate and other institutions are potentially at risk of something similar by refusing to see activism as a serious component of contemporary practice.
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Oliver Laric Lincoln 3D Scans 2012-


Virtual and Other Bodies

We need a new language of embodiment for 3D technologies argues Mark Wilsher

The unnerving feelings of dissociation triggered by the works of artists such as Oliver Laric, Laurie Anderson and Rachel Rossin show that, if we are to spend more time in the virtual world, it is important not to leave the body behind.

No matter what the content, no matter who the programmer, a virtual space created purely from data and navigable without any relationship to our situated bodies will always represent a patriarchal mode of experience because it is ultimately a dissociated one. It denies the body in order to more easily colonise space.



Venice: Through a Glass Darkly

Venice is being swamped by tourists who are collectively destroying the cultural jewel they have come to visit. The international art crowd is part of this nihilistic tendency, so has the time now come to radically rethink our own relationship with the mother of all biennales?

‘You’re asking me what it’s like to live with this crap? It used to be wonderful, we had lots of artisans … The problem now is the mass tourism, the people who come for just a few hours and see nothing – it’s as much of a nightmare for them.’
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Natalia LL’s Consumer Art 1973 which was censored from the Warsaw National Museum and the banana-eating protest that ensued
photo Annabelle Chapman



Studio provider ACAVA has had one of its studio blocks repossessed, locking out more than two dozen artists; artists protest at Tate’s renewed contact with Anthony d’Offay; the Czech culture minister resigns after his politically motivated sacking of museum directors; protesters in Poland stage a mass banana-eating outside the National Museum in support of a censored artwork; Trevor Paglen’s ambitious satellite sculpture Orbital Reflector is officially declared lost in space, a victim of President Donald Trump’s government shutdown; plus the latest news on galleries, appointments, prizes and more.


Lutz Bacher
Bill Culbert

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Larry Achiampong ‘Dividednation’ installation view, Primary, Nottingham


Larry Achiampong

Tom Emery discusses the thematic richness of ‘Relic Traveller’, the most recent work of the London-based multi-disciplinary artist.

Two near simultaneous political events form key influences for Larry Achiampong’s vision of the future: in June 2016 the UK voted to leave the European Union; weeks later in July, the African Union launched a passport programme that, when realised, will entitle holders to freedom of movement across all African nations.
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Rugile Barzdziukaite, Vaiva Grainyte & Lina Lapelyte
Sun & Sea (Marina) 2019 Lithuanian pavilion, Venice


Southern Constellations: The Poetics of the Non-Aligned

Maja and Reuben Fowkes

58th Venice Biennale

Chris Clarke

The Unexpected Subject: 1978 Art and Feminism in Italy

Anna Maria Maiolino: Love Becomes Revolutionary

Elisa Adami


David Trigg

Derek Boshier: It’s Only When the Tide Goes Out ...

S Mark Gubb: The Last Judgement

Alexander Massouras

Cory Arcangel: BACK OFF

Matthew Bowman

Athena Papadopoulos: A Tittle-Tattle Tell-A-Tale Heart

Bob Dickinson

Berlin Round-up

Martin Herbert

New York Round-up

Tim Steer

San Francisco Round-up

Glen Helfand


Artists’ Books

Alexander Kluge and Ben Lerner: The Snows of Venice

Adam Heardman

As all good artists’ books should be, The Snows of Venice is a collision-site between thought, image and material.



Marc James Léger: Vanguardia – Socially Engaged Art and Theory

Dave Beech

This survey of political art doubles as a guided tour of anti-capitalist political theory from May ’68 to Occupy.


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May Hobbs speaking in Hyde Park at a demonstration against the Industrial Relations Bill, 1971 footage not used in Nightcleaners



Melissa Gronlund

These texts weave together a composite picture of that incredible era of film activism.


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defaced campaign billboard

Letter from Dakar

The Neocolonial Trinity

Morgan Quaintance

I left Dakar still convinced that the true future of international art and culture has to be exchange, collaboration and support from the ground up, not the top down.


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Anna Winteler Horizontal Waltz for Left and Right Handcameras 1989 video

Letter from Zurich


Aoife Rosenmeyer

Women who have managed to survive into old age while maintaining a practice that we contemporary viewers can read without straining ourselves too much are not only agreeable but even in short supply – a win-win for the market.



Extinction Rebellion

Rob La Frenais

Gavin Turk made headlines by getting arrested and was present at many of the actions, but others, such as Jennet Thomas, Ackroyd/Harvey and Hercules Fisherman, were key to the rebellion’s cell-like structures.


Ways of Working


Henry Lydiate

When is a ‘work’ completed? Is it when the artist releases it for public viewing, and/or only if released for sale? What is the status of a work an artist (or a deceased artist’s estate) disowns after its release?




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