Art Monthly 391: November 2015

Art Monthly cover
Rosalind Nashashibi

Interviewed by George Vasey

Happiness Inc.

Jonathan P Watts


Paul O’Kane

Jennet Thomas

Profile by Lauren Velvick

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Rosalind Nashashibi Electrical Gaza 2015 film


Gaza Stripped

Rosalind Nashashibi interviewed by George Vasey

Rosalind Nashashibi's film-based work is known for its lingering examination of everyday life in strained environments. Here, the Croydon-born, Glasgow-educated, Liverpool-based artist talks about the rituals of closed communities, about seeing Gaza as a land of myth and how to avoid giving viewers a friction-free cinematic ride.

There is a moment where the conditions of Gaza are made more explicit through a colonial eye that controls through surveillance, but it is also a sweeping look from the sky that could be an overview of an almost religious sort, an epic view, taking in a whole landscape of history and of destruction. That viewpoint often precedes destruction.
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Rachel Maclean Feed Me 2015 video


Happiness Inc.

Jonathan P Watts chooses not to choose

With happiness now co-opted as a corporate strategy and registered marketing slogan, how have artists such as Lucy Beech and Edward Thomasson, Rachel Maclean and Benedict Drew set out to prick the happiness industry's bubble?

If healthy bodies and minds equal healthy profit, is it an option to become unhealthy? How do we click the unhappy emoticon – in other words, #ChooseNotToChooseHappiness?

From the Back Catalogue
Product Placement Christopher Townsend on the link between Modernism and postmodernity in design

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still from Orson Welles's 1962 film The Trial



Paul O'Kane on orientation without maps

With the creeping rise of algorithmic reasoning and the mining of big data, enlightenment is being displaced by information. Perhaps it is now more important than ever for artists, writers and thinkers to distort common logics in order to articulate experience more creatively.

Was it Robert Rauschenberg who said: 'You always look the hardest when you're lost'? It seems to me that it is not necessarily our responsibility, as artists, writers and thinkers, to make sense of the world.



The 'S' Word

Jeremy Corbyn has a US counterpart in Bernie Sanders, a left-leaning senator championing the arts in his campaign for the Democrat presidential ticket. Although these resurgent voices of socialisim are painted as loonies by a panicked right-wing press, aren't they tapping into a rising international clamour for social justice?

In Congress Bernie Sanders has continued to advocate strongly for public funding despite 'terrible attacks' on the arts from 'conservative ideologues'. If elected, he pledges that he will be 'an arts president'. That must be a first in politics.


Response to David Briers’s review of Paul Neagu

Liz Lydiate takes issue with last month's review of the 'Paul Neagu: Palpable Sculpture' exhibition.


Northern Ireland's public galleries are handed swingeing in-year budget cuts; the Arts Council of Wales announces its new list of regularly funded organisations; National Gallery staff strike a deal with management but National Museum Wales staff walk out; artists sign a new pledge not to accept sponsorship from fossil-fuel-producing corporations; York Art Gallery overspends on expansion then scraps its free admission policy; London Metropolitan University announces plans to sell off the 'Aldgate Bauhaus' home of its Cass Faculty of Art; the latest news on galleries, events, appointments and more.


Chantal Akerman 1950-2015
Hilla Becher 1934-2015
Paul Eachus 1944-2015

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Jennet Thomas The Unspeakable Freedom Device 2015


Jennet Thomas

Lauren Velvick on the myth-making video artist

Jennet Thomas, co-founder of The Exploding Cinema, works collectively with other producers on alternative presentation strategies for films that explore the myths and dogmas built around contemporary politics.

When the local council postponed the exhibition on the grounds that it could be seen as an attempt to influence future election results in referencing the personality cult that has grown up around the memory of Margaret Thatcher, Jennet Thomas drew attention to the film and surrounding furore with a tour of screenings and talks around the country.

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Marcus Coates & Henry Montes A Question of Movement 2015


The World Goes Pop

Lizzie Homersham

Matthew Darbyshire: An Exhibition for Modern Living

David Trigg

Warrington Contemporary Arts Festival: North

Laura Robertson

Then They Form Us

Andrew Hunt

British Art Show 8

Cherry Smyth

Emily Jacir: Europa

Larne Abse Gogarty

Liam Gillick: The Thought Style Meets the Thought Collective

Dave Beech

Joana Hadjithomas & Khalil Joreige: I must first apologise...

Jennifer Thatcher

Jumana Manna

Elisa Adami

Eddie Peake: The Forever Loop

Sophie J Williamson

North-West Round-up

Bob Dickinson

London Round-up

Eliza Williams



Henri Lefebvre: The Missing Pieces

Martin Rogers: Construction Storage Despatch

Michael Hampton on the missing and the missed

The content can be read as a poignant litany with the gravitas of an Arlington war memorial roll call of the stillborn, unfinished, mislaid, stolen, burnt, forgotten, scrapped, abandoned, suppressed, evanescent – and lost. But how to identify let alone summarise any argument when faced with such an accumulation?



Marcus Werner Hed and Nathaniel Mellors: The R&B Feeling

Jamie Sutcliffe on the rehabilitation of Bob Parks

The result is a peculiar piece of film that manages to downplay the strictures of an analytical biopic in favour of a difficult, melancholic but ultimately rapturous portrayal of art’s aptitude for the articulation of trauma and its emotional reconciliation.


Letter from Chicago

A Fucking Biennial

Chris Clarke visits the Windy City

There is a rumour that when Rahm Emanuel, the straight-talking Mayor of Chicago, was elected, he said 'I want a fucking biennial'. Whether or not this is true, he has one now.



Banking on Trust

Henry Lydiate on artists' gallery representation contracts

The main threat that mega-galleries pose to smaller galleries, Edward Winkleman says, is the 'need to increase their [artist] rosters constantly with what Belgian collector Alain Servais calls VBAs (very bankable artists) to finance their growing empires'.



London Art Calendar

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Exhibition Listings

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