Art Monthly 401: November 2016

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Guerrilla Girls

Interviewed by Jennifer Thatcher

Death Ltd

David Lillington

Self Help Inc

Bob Dickinson

Suzanne Lacy

Virginia Whiles

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members of the Guerrilla Girls in 2015


Guerilla Tactics

Guerrilla Girls interviewed by Jennifer Thatcher

Founded in New York, the Guerrilla Girls have been calling out chauvinism and discrimination in the art world since 1985. Here members of the anonymous female collective discuss their working practices, the differences between US and European museums, and how to hold institutions to account.

Private museums are selfish museums. It's about one person’s collection. And they tend to have the same cookie-cutter collection. How is that any better than the system 300 years ago when kings and queens and emperors and the church told us what art was? Is it reverting to that? Are the oligarchs of the world going to tell us what our history is because they have the money to invest in it?
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Birgit Jürgenssen Untitled (1979-80) 1979-80


Death Ltd

David Lillington on Death Art

Drawing on his experience of curating the exhibition 'Death and Dying' in Vienna in 2014, Lillington speculates on the reasons why death has become a fashionable subject in contemporary art and exhibitions.

If you want to promote a death project, it helps if you first persuade your audience that what you are doing is new and against cultural norms. Unfortunately, it also involves ignoring the facts.
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From the Back Catalogue
Life and Death Paul O'Kane on art and being

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Alain de Botton's 2014 'Art is Therapy' event at Rijksmuseum, Netherlands


Self Help Inc

Bob Dickinson on the new publishing phenomenon of how-to art books

Is the slew of self-help books on art part of a wider neoliberal agenda to harness artists' creativity to the wider economy while marginalising artists themselves?

There is also a neoliberal political dimension to this emphasis on creativity and innovation. As technology advances and every aspect of life is increasingly monetised, artists not only continue to produce art, but the health or otherwise of the 'creative ecologies' in which they must function also provide useful models to governments, economists, scientists and educationalists.



History Matters

As the art history A Level is itself consigned to history, does the Tory government's desire to strip the humanities from education threaten to leave us with a culture that can never be contested?

The word 'history' derives from the Greek word 'historia', which literally means 'knowledge acquired by investigation', and, whereas the forensic trail in history often goes cold, with art's histories more often than not material evidence remains and can – and should – be investigated over and over again.


Civil Wrongs

The Contemporary Art Museum St Louis is embroiled in a bitter race row over its Kelley Walker exhibition; Inverleith House gallery has been axed by the Royal Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh; The New Art Gallery Walsall is threatened with closure by the local council; the Museums Association establishes a working group to develop guidance on the closure of museums; ACE offers guidance over the direction of its flagship National Portfolio funding scheme; France increases its museum budget to a historic high; Turkey withdraws from the EU cultural fund; the Paying Artists Campaign launches a new payment guide; the latest news on galleries, appointments, prizes and more.

40th Anniversary

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The Missing Issue

Readers with very long memories may remember – and the sharp-eyed among those who have accessed AM's back catalogue online may have noticed – that something is missing from the year 1978. A quick count would soon reveal that only nine issues were published that year instead of ten.

The missing magazine is for the month of April, which would have been issue 16. Instead, the number was carried over seamlessly to the May issue, which ran a fulsome apology and explanation from Peter Townsend and his co- editor and publisher, Jack Wendler: 'The fact is that we got behind on schedules and despaired and decided that the only way to pick up on schedules was to drop an issue.' The apology concludes with the words, 'We'll try not to let it happen again' – and it didn't.

To celebrate 40 years of continuous publication, AM is inviting readers to help create a virtual issue for April 1978 to complete the set, which will be published online in April next year. Contributors are invited to research or simply to imagine what might have been in the issue (for reference, the May 1978 issue can be viewed online). For further information, specifications and conditions check the AM website:

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Jean-Paul Kelly The ends that matter 2016


Steve Reich and Bill Morrison: Different Trains Live

Patricia Bickers

Mierle Laderman Ukeles: Maintenance Art

Marjorie Welish

James Richards: Requests and Antisongs

Seth Pimlott

Destroy all Monsters: Images, Sounds, Ephemera

Mike Kelley: Framed and Frame

Jamie Sutcliffe

Zilvinas Kempinas

Lizzie Lloyd

Matt Mullican: The Sequence of Things

Martin Holman

Suzanne Triester: HFT The Gardener

Peter Suchin

Katy Dove

Adam Benmakhlouf

Zofia Kulik: Instead of Sculpture

Catherine Spencer

Daphne Wright: Emotional Archaeology

Hedwig Houben: Others and I

Roman Stetina and Miroslav Burianek: Instructions for use of Jiri Kolar

Tom Emery

London Round-up

Emily Medd

London Round-up

Peter Suchin



Suzanne Lacy: Shapes of Water, Sounds of Hope

Virginia Whiles experiences Sufi chanting in a former cotton mill

The project is ambitious: to make use of activist art towards reconciling two sides of a community of mill workers divided by the collapse of the Lancashire cotton industry.



Reiko Tomii: Radicalism in the Wilderness – International Contemporaneity and 1960s Art in Japan

Jamie Sutcliffe on the inclusion of storytelling in a new art history

The most interesting findings arise for Reiko Tomii's project in the wilderness considered in its truest sense as an unbounded 'natural' landscape: vast, exciting, potentially treacherous and full of possibilities for the artists who would come to circumscribe the terms of vanguard practice in the japanese art of the 1960s.



From Reel to Real: Women, Feminism and the London Film-makers' Co-operative

Maria Walsh on the Co-op's 50th-anniversary screenings

The sensitivity of the programme as a whole came across as profoundly as the individual films which were organised into thematic sections.


Letter From New York

Art Manoeuvres

Lizzie Homersham encounters militarism in the museum

In the moment I was impressed. Afterwards I was troubled: didn't Choreographies effectively normalise the idea of the museum as extension of the state?


Art and Death

The Artist's Estate

Henry Lydiate is impressed by a new book on artists' estates

This publication provides a wealth of practical knowledge and experience to its intended readership of living artists, executors and heirs of deceased artists’ estates.




The updated events and exhibitions calendar can also be viewed online.


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