Art Monthly 430: October 2019

Art Monthly cover Art Monthly back cover
Bani Abidi

Interviewed by Virginia Whiles

Role Play: Having a Larp

Sarah Jury

Net Art: Beyond Description

Morgan Quaintance

Meriem Bennani

Profile by Kashif Sharma-Patel

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Bani Abidi, Funland (Karachi Series II), 2014


Insider and Outsider

Bani Abidi interviewed by Virginia Whiles

The Pakistan-born artist discusses her use of video as a means of connecting with audiences, engaging in social and political critique, and creating fictions from details observed in the rituals of everyday life in cities ranging from Chicago and Berlin to Lahore.

I am an outsider. I was always in a strange place and I wanted to belong, so that was my reason for going to a city – first to Lahore then to Chicago and Berlin, especially for the public transport that is so easy to use. To be in a city with public transport is to be part of the city, a compelling need.
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Brody Condon, Level Five, 2010


Having a Larp

Sarah Jury discusses the need for safety protocols to protect participants in Live Action Role Plays, or larps, to prevent post-event consequences known as ‘bleed’.

This mechanism was developed as a safety protocol for instances when intense relationships in the larp might alter the way players feel out of the larp. The lack of this mechanism within Boal’s procedures indicates the difference in agendas: Boal’s techniques work towards long-term change, while larp is traditionally a temporary recreational ‘break’ from the rigmarole of daily life.
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Kimatica Studio, Relax and Release, 2019


Net Art: Beyond Description

Morgan Quaintance on the need for critique of an art form that has surrendered its autonomy too easily and succumbed to the market.

Today, with sector-wide internet awareness and large-scale, homogeneous general use helping to reinforce art-historical and institutional gains, it is no surprise that the field has entered a phase of canonical historicisation. But what form is this impulse to look back at such a recent past taking?
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Meriem Bennani, Siham & Hafida, 2018


Meriem Bennani

Kashif Sharma-Patel discusses the Moroccan-born, New York-based artist’s work across media including film, cartoon animation and 3D modelling in a way that is often humorous and sometimes surreal.

Bennani’s film Party on the CAPS, 2018, forms a rampantly bizarre and speculative sci-fi narrative of future migration to the US through teleportation. Deportees are ensnared by US immigration officials on an island called the CAPS, their bodies dissolved and distorted by capture mid-teleport.




If the omnishambles that led to the prorogation of Parliament is another example of life imitating art, could this government’s reckless approach to representative democracy and executive power even render parody redundant?

Unfortunately, while Malcolm Tucker, the PM’s ‘potty-mouthed enforcer’ in the TV series, allegedly based on Tony Blair’s so-called spin doctor Alastair Campbell and played so memorably by Peter Capaldi, was fictional, Dominic Cummings is all too real.
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Alfredo Jaar, The Garden of Good and Evil, 2019, Yorkshire Sculpture Park


Spending Round and Round

Chancellor Sajid Javid spares the arts, for the moment, as he plans for a general election; Boris Johnson’s vanity Olympic tower continues to burden the public purse; leaked emails reveal that the former director of Glasgow School of Art did not jump but was pushed; a new study reveals that the visual art audience, while disproportionately young, is highly representative of the ethnic mix of the wider UK population; plus the latest news on galleries, appointments, prizes and more.


Takis 1925–2019
Marisa Merz 1926–2019
Nancy Kienholz 1943–2019

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CalArts, Grasstains Enviro Dance, 1981
on show at Kestnergesellschaft, Hannover


Real Work: Candice Breitz, Liz Magic Laser

Laura Robertson

Where Art Might Happen: The Early Years of CalArts

Mark Prince

Bergen Assembly: Actually, the Dead Are Not Dead

Skye Arundhati Thomas

Grace Ndiritu: The Ark

Niki Russell

Simon Faithfull: Fathom

Europe After The Rain

Martin Holman

And what it became is not what it is now,

Thomas Ellmer

Body Building

Saira Ansari

Sarah Rapson: Sell The House

Michael Wilson


Artists’ Books

Ian Whittlesea: On colour...

Tim Dixon

The number seven is central here: seven colours of the spectrum, seven short breaths to start, breathe in for seven seconds, breathe out for seven seconds, breathe in white, breathe out the colour you wish to visualise.



Pamela M Lee: The Glen Park Library – A Fairy Tale of Disruption

Maria Walsh

Many writing methods are deployed in the book, assembling contrasting attitudes to knowledge and labour that co-exist in our digital age.

Dave Beech: Art and Postcapitalism – Aesthetic Labour, Automation and Value Production

Jack Smurthwaite

Dave Beech manages to think of art’s social relations within the framework of transitioning from capitalism to something else. It is this political and relational aspect of art that Beech does so well to decode


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Andrea Luka Zimmerman and Adrian Jackson, Here For Life, 2019


Andrea Luka Zimmerman and Adrian Jackson: Here For Life

Hettie Judah

Who owns the city? To the ten performers participating in Here For Life this question underpins a daily struggle for stability, love and basic rights.


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Andrea Luka Zimmerman and Adrian Jackson, Here For Life, 2019


Eileen Simpson and Ben White
Open Music Archive
Everything I Have is Yours

Bob Dickinson

Eileen Simpson and Ben White’s work aims to liberate recorded music from private ownership, enabling it to be reused – free – during a historical period that differs greatly from that in which the originating material was first recorded.
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Emily Perry, Woman with Salad, 2016–


Ways of Working

Collecting Performance Art

Henry Lydiate

There are two key legal and business disciplines that can offer possible ways forward for performance artists and others dealing with performance-related work – if used creatively to serve and meet their needs: contract and intellectual property.




The updated events and exhibitions calendar can be viewed online.

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