Art Monthly 380: October 2014

Art Monthly cover
Pablo Bronstein

Interviewed by Jennifer Thatcher

Public Art Attack

Andrew Hunt

To Boycott or not to Boycott?

Dave Beech

Iniva’s Ills

Morgan Quaintance

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Pablo Bronstein Enlightenment Discourse on The Origins of Architecture 2014 installation and performance



Pablo Bronstein interviewed by Jennifer Thatcher

Argentine-born British artist Pablo Bronstein has developed a hybrid practice involving drawing, installation, performance and public work based partly on a postmodern view of 18th-century architecture. Here he talks about lighthouses, loft conversions, extreme interior decoration and the problems of art-school education.

'There is an extremely irritating connection between a liberal, left-wing stance within visual culture and a romanticised, ruinist-modernist aesthetic. It absolutely drives me mad!'

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Mike Kelley Mobile Homestead 2012


Public Art Attack

Andrew Hunt on the importance of antagonism in public art

Public art is often seen as the worst kind of bland, art-by-committee cultural filler, but haven't recent works by artists such as Bill Drummond, Scott King and Mike Nelson shown how genuinely charged art in the public arena can be?

'Scott King's concept of "de-regeneration" has previously allowed for an emotive deconstruction of regeneration through the proposal of alternative monuments.'

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Liberate Tate Hidden Figures 2014
anti-BP sponsorship protest at Tate Modern


To Boycott or not to Boycott?

Dave Beech asks the question

Political activism has made an astonishing return to the art world over the past few years, with the threat of artists' withholding their work from exhibitions the most popular recent trend. But what is the nature of these different protest tactics, and how can artists effect change?

'The art boycott is not principally associated with the withdrawal from work but the withdrawal of participation, in which participation is understood to be charged with ethical consent.'



The Ties That Bind

When former Tory minister for universities and science, David Willetts, is arguing that student debt should be sold to universities, thus giving the educational establishments the job of debt-collector, isn't it clear that the policy of introducing student fees has failed by its own, economic, measure?

'David Willetts does concede that there might be "more to university than a graduate's subsequent employment and earnings", but crucially student debt is, in his words, an "increasingly significant asset" that would provide universities with a valuable "income stream". This is an entirely logical view, now that universities are businesses first and only secondarily places of education.'



Michael Hampton feels that the vogue for selfies ties into a longer tradition of the memento mori.


Blackpool councillors questionably use the election purdah rule to postpone a show by Jennet Thomas; artist boycotts and curatorial resignations rock a 'celebratory' show in Gwangju; Russia's Soviet-era public art is reworked by activists; the São Paulo Bienal bows to artist pressure and distances itself from Israeli state funding; Tate Modern and New York's Met play unwitting hosts to environmental campaigners; the latest news on galleries, events, appointments, prizes and more.

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Folkestone Triennial: Lookout

Paul Carey-Kent

GENERATION: 25 Years of Contemporary Art in Scotland

Rosie Lesso

Gego: Line as Object

Cherry Smyth

Broomberg & Chanarin: Divine Violence

Bob Dickinson

Lee Bul

Peter Suchin

London Round-up

Eliza Williams

Carlyle Reedy: Icons of a Process

Martin Holman

Sophie Lee: Sugars, Protein and Salt (Perfect Fried I)

Morgan Quaintance



Space-Time: The Future

Nick Warner samples Wysing's annual art-music festival

'After a claustrophobic and, frankly, upsetting hour in which dissonant punk band Woolf nearly destroyed the already precarious Amphis stage, I staggered back into the studio stage and settled down to a screening of Rachael Maclean's films.'

Hester Reeve: YMEDACA

David Briers enrols in Yorkshire Sculpture Park's open-air academy

'Hester Reeve is zooming around the Yorkshire Sculpture Park in a Gator truck dressed in a beige goddess-like artist's smock, hair streaming in the wind. She is dispensing flasks of tea and coffee to outlying groups participating in her project to transform the YSP into a contemporary version of Plato's "Academos", YMEDACA.'

Caroline Bergvall: Drift

Cherry Smyth witnesses a metaphoric storm of language

'In an hour-long performance, Bergvall navigates the vastness, the lure, the connectivity and the dangers of the sea, moving through maritime chronology and topography with great intimacy and awe.'



Claire Bishop: Radical Museology

Andrew Hunt finds a future for institutions

'If there is any radical element in this publication, it is most clearly articulated in Reina Sofia's aim: to redefine its collection as an "archive of the commons" by legally recategorising works of art as documentation and thereby increasing accessibility for its visitors.'


Institutional Isomorphism

Iniva: Fit for Purpose?

Morgan Quaintance examines the institutional pressures on Iniva

'Looking beyond individual accountabilities, it is clear that Iniva's current fate is a result of institutional forces outside its control, forces that continually push susceptible organisations in the art world towards homogeneity in structure, culture and output.'


Letter from Dawson City

Gold Rush

Nick Warner finds an unlikely cultural seen in Yukon

'The installations are an unapologetically confusing yet disarmingly delightful mash-up of adolescent profanities, ridiculously conceived products and highly unlikely characters. I mentally punished myself for expecting to walk into a room full of baskets and totems.'



Identity Politics Redux

Daniela Rose King is asked 'Who do you think you are?' in Antwerp

'As a somewhat incoherent set of provocations, the forum could be understood as an experimental manifestation of the inconsistencies of identity politics and the "self" in art and wider culture today.'



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