Art Monthly 350: October 2011

Art Monthly cover
Pipilotti Rist

Interviewed by Patricia Bickers

On Translation

Mark Prince


Laura McLean-Ferris

John Gerrard

Profile by Paul Bonaventura

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Pipilotti Rist Homo sapiens sapiens 2005


Caressing Space

Pipilotti Rist interviewed by Patricia Bickers

Swiss artist Pipilotti Rist, currently showing at the Hayward Gallery, has been included in four Venice Biennales, winning a prize in 1997 for Ever is Over All, a video in which a young woman strolls down a Zurich street casually smashing the windows of parked cars with a fake tropical flower. Here she discusses unnecessary fears, exhibiting in unusual spaces and winning a commission she didn't really want.

'I would not say I have a clear ideology or message. As I get oder I am less sure what is right and wrong. There should be a certain mildness coming from my work because the reality is always much more complex than any ideology, not to speak of the irrationality.'


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Miroslaw Balka 120x80x15/DB 2008


On Translation

Mark Prince analyses the language of objects

The transformation of readymade objects into artworks is a process reminiscent of linguistic translation. How have artists such as Miroslaw Balka, Nathan Coley, Susan Hiller and Anri Sala engaged with this metaphor?

'Translation parallels transplantation, language being an outward sign for the displacement of the objects it names. As art carries its context with it, like a protective aura separating it from the contingencies of its placememt, the process of translation becomes correspondingly unnecessary.'


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Emily Wardill The Pips 2011



Laura McLean-Ferris on the internet, sculpture and the body in pieces

A new generation of artists is tackling an age-old modernist subject with a post-internet mindset, asking not what we might fear from future bodily dissolution but how we should celebrate its existing effects.

'Dissolution has been heralded, positively and negatively, incessantly over history. Over the past few years, however, a skewed sense of pace has developed: did we miss it actually happening?'



London No Longer Rules OK?

Fifteen years after 'Cool Britannia', Newsweek has declared that post-riot London is no longer 'the world's coolest city', but 'Grimsville UK'. While this is just as unrepresentative as the original cocksure swaggering, don't both stances do a disservice to the essential task of cultural renewal?

'At least New Labour recognised the importance of culture to a collective sense of identity, redressing the previous government's emphasis on "heritage". By way of contrast, the Newsweek article quotes David Cameron's wholly negative use of the word in a comment on the riots: "This is not about poverty. It's about culture."'


Elizabeth Price addresses Peter Suchin's article on the fine art PhD, and Peter Suchin replies. Gavin Everall and Maria Fusco take exception to John Douglas Millar's article on art writing, and the author responds.


Tate Modern acknowledges that its extension will be severely delayed, leaving the press department to generate excitement over its forthcoming oil tank spaces; the National Gallery entertains arms dealers and draws protestors; changes to the national curriculum threaten art education; artists take funding issues into their own hands; all the latest news on galleries, events and more.

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Richard Hamilton 1922-2011
Tim Head


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John Gerrard Live Fire Exercise (Djibouti) 2011 collaboration with Wayne McGregor


John Gerrard

Paul Bonaventura profiles the Irish artist

John Gerrard's real-time, computer-generated videos play out over decades, adding a hefty sense of permanence to an otherwise weightless virtual reality. This use of the epic addresses the consequences of unanchored capital and military technologies.

'Debuting at the Royal Opera House, Live Fire Exercise is not a ballet about war, but it is shaped profoundly by violence. At the back of the stage, a screen shows Gerrard's simulation of military trucks and diggers being ravaged by shellfire.'



Mystics or Rationalists?

James Clegg

In Search of Alchemic Times

Peter Suchin

Peter Hujar: Thek's Studio 1967

Morgan Quaintance

Hans Schabus: Remains of the Day

Martin Vincent


Katie Kitamura

Mass Photography

Bob Dickinson

Stephen Sutcliffe: Runaway, Success

Rosie Lesso

Giulia Piscitelli: Contested Zones

Kathy Noble

The Influentials

Kathy Battista

Terrible Beauty: Art, Crisis, Change and The Office of Non-Compliance

Chris Clarke



Charles Harrison: Looking Back

Andrew Wilson on a book of interviews with the grumpy polymath

'His short fuse and dislike of compromise, coupled with his feeling that he didn't particularly want to end up with a large address book but no friends, made it unlikely that he would continue with curating.'

The Captured Museum

Andrew Hunt on a novel experiment in museum programming

'Perhaps rather predictably, "Carte Blanche" was criticised by a number of outraged museum professionals. Chris Dercon for one described it as "insane".'

Digital and Other Virtualities: Renegotiating the Image

Morgan Quaintance finds virtual reality reinvigorated by new texts

'Cyberspace, the once maddeningly ubiquitous neologism coined in William Gibson's 1984 novel Neuromancer, has, since its heyday in the early 1990s, been relegated to the bargin bin of passé cultural terminology, along with its sibling virtual reality.'



Chris Petit and Iain Sinclair

Martin Herbert on a self-proclaimed experiment in 'Post-Cinema'

'The film resembles the sort of thing Doug Aitken would make if he had decided, as Petit and Sinclair have here, to shoot on Kingsland Road in London's Dalston. But the devil – and the flickering strange attraction – is in the details.'

John Smith

Sophia Phoca finds the fun in structural materialism

'Much has been made of British artist filmmaker John Smith's formalist approach. Yet watching 20 of his works in a new retrospective DVD set, what is immediately striking is his dry wit and growing political anger.'


Trinidad and Tobago

Port of Spain

Maxa Zoller on the Caribbean's event-focused art scene

'Claire Tancons, a US-based curator of French Caribbean descent, considers carnival as a methodology and artistic practice that is more political than object-based art, more sustainable than relational aesthetics, more effective than institutional critique and more inclusive than performance.'



What is Sculpture?

Henry Lydiate on a landmark UK Supreme Court judgment

'A similar case was tried in England in 1995 to decide whether scalloped shapes of die-cast moulds of the heating pates for sandwich toasters were in fact casts or moulds for "sculpture". The UK Supreme Court confirmed they were not.'



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