Art Monthly 460: October 2022

Art Monthly cover Art Monthly back cover
Olivia Plender

Interviewed by Laura Guy

Left, Right and Centre

Morgan Quaintance

Searching Exhibitions

Marcus Verhagen

Photography’s Publics

Dave Beech

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Olivia Plender, Hold Hold Fire, 2019


Rethinking History

Olivia Plender interviewed by Laura Guy

The more I know, the more time I spend with history, the more it makes the present more legible. That gives me a freedom to imagine something different.

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Lyle Ashton Harris, The Ektachrome Archive, 2016


Left, Right and Centre

Morgan Quaintance argues that the current politics of representation perpetuate the status quo

What both positions to the left and right of the push to include and diversify frequently have in common from a ‘racial’ perspective is an investment in the truth of race as a fundamental socio-cultural, historical and biological fact, and not as the operative fiction it is.

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‘Harald Szeemann: Grandfather – A Pioneer Like Us’, installation view, Swiss Institute, New York, 2017


Searching Exhibitions

Marcus Verhagen suggests that the multiform exhibition format offers new ways to engage with art

Multiform exhibitions work both with and against the legacies of the Enlightenment, refusing received taxonomies but embracing encyclopaedic formats.

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Maryam Jafri, Independence Days: Cars (VIP), 1934–1976, 2009–


Photography’s Publics

Dave Beech contends that in the digital age, claims to photographic truth have shifted from an authoritative to collective view

Maryam Jafri’s presentation of official photographic documents does not reproduce official purposes for the photographs. Instead, each independence day in Independence Days is reframed by Jafri as an episode in the longer historical process of decolonisation.


For Queue and Country

In an era of populist politics, attitudes are ascribed by commentators to ‘the public’, but the wisdom of the crowd – as those who study crowd science well know – resists simplification.

It would be a mistake, presumptuous even, to assume that everyone queuing so patiently – some through the night – shared the same motives, thoughts and feelings, or that the queue represented the zeitgeist in some fundamental way.


The Queen is Dead

The death of the monarch raises questions about the future of the Fourth Plinth programme; Nadine Dorries ends her short but colourful time as culture secretary to be replaced by Michelle Donelan, fresh from her 30-hour stint as education secretary; interpretations of new anti-protest laws are put to the test; new figures reveal a long-term drop in corporate income for arts organisations; Ireland’s Basic Income for the Arts scheme launches; plus the latest on galleries, people, prizes and more.


Nicholas Monro 1936–2022

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General Idea, Pharma©opia, 1992, National Gallery of Canada


Carolee Schneemann: Body Politics

Ellen Mara De Wachter

16th Lyon Biennale: manifesto of fragility

Chris Clarke

Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme: May amnesia never kiss us on the mouth

Greg Thomas

Temporary Atlas: Mapping the Self in the Art of Today

Martin Holman

Emii Alrai: Reverse Defence

Adam Heardman

Array Collective: The Druthaib’s Ball

Joanne Laws

General Idea

Conal McStravick

Lubna Chowdhary: Erratics

Emilia Terracciano


Rabih Mroué: Interviews

Alex Fletcher

Rabih Mroué argues on a number of occasions that it is art’s capacity to provide an ‘open platform’ for critical reflection and ‘undisciplined’ research that categorically distinguishes it from political activism.

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Ana Vaz, It is Night in America, 2021


Ana Vaz: It is Night in America

Maria Walsh

Sequences showing the tender care received by a maned wolf from a dedicated vet, who refers to these animals as refugees, make a clear analogy to peoples displaced by coloniality and its continuing legacies in environmental racism.

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view of the floating cinema, Venice Lagoon


Venice Moving Image Round-up

Chris McCormack

If Big Pharma talks in the US, it also largely silences, but when Nan Goldin enters the Metropolitan Museum and gives an audible gasp when registering that the Sackler’s name has been removed from the museum, the space itself becomes politically electric.

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scores for John Cage’s Organ2/ASLSP (As Slow as Possible), 1987, and 4'33", 1952


70 years of John Cage’s 4'33"

Giovanni Aloi

The fetishisation that enveloped 4'33" over the second half of the last century has diminished the work’s original intention.

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Jerry Hunt, Transform (stream): core, 1992


Jerry Hunt

Kerstin Stakemeier

The conceptualisation of music in the 1960s and its aim of realising a more expansive, structural understanding of music as sound was, for Jerry Hunt, a momentous limitation.

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Menelaos Karamaghiolis, City Divers, 2022


Letter from Athens

Erica Scourti

Circulated over social media, a parody video tour by Greek artist duo FYTA (meaning plants) performed a hilarious critique of the exhibition, featuring a VR goggle-wearing guide waxing lyrical about art, tech and gentrification.

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one of two Iberian male head sculptures stolen by Géry Piéret from the Louvre in 1907, returned to the museum by Pablo Picasso, included in ‘Picasso Ibero’, Centro Botín


Letter from Santander and Barcelona

Duncan Wheeler

The centralist Madrid administration often stands accused of seeking to monopolise the Spanish art scene, and Barcelona-based practitioners see no contradiction between frequently exaggerated claims for the city’s contemporary art scene and accusations against Madrid for sequestering their cultural patrimony.

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David Annesley, Three Red Boxes and Circle, 1967, estimated at £50–70,000, sold for £113,400


Dark Clouds Overhead

Colin Gleadell

Sotheby’s response was a special auction incorporating over 200 years of ‘the best of British art’ to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee together with the now standard Modern and Contemporary Art evening auction, but results were not altogether positive.

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Tristian Koenig gallery Facebook posts



Henry Lydiate

It is remarkable to hear of a dealer absconding with the proceeds of numerous artists’ sales, and of victim artists bringing remedial legal action, but in September court proceedings were indeed conducted by a number of artists against Tristian Koenig, a gallerist they accused of embezzlement.

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