Art Monthly 459: September 2022

Art Monthly cover Art Monthly back cover
Harun Morrison

Interviewed by Chris McCormack

Art Engagement

Lizzie Lloyd


Bob Dickinson

Zach Blas • Zinzi Minott

Profiles by Camille Intson • Greg Thomas

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Harun Morrison and Clara Saito, Defences of Animals (Camouflage), 2022, Horniman Museum


Staying Afloat

Harun Morrison interviewed by Chris McCormack

The sales of the caps and T-shirts will support the conservation of the swallowtail butterfly in Jamaica. I try to question what it could mean to extract from a symbol of extraction. Can this ecology of images aid the biological web in an environment such as Jamaica?

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Suzanne Lacy, The Circle and the Square, 2015–17


Art Engagement

Lizzie Lloyd asks whether an artist needs to describe themselves as socially engaged in order to engage socially

The assumption remains that work made with people is, almost by definition, an act of social goodness, moral altruism and political upstanding. But how these artworks communicate, not just what these artworks communicate, needs greater attention.

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Oona Doherty, Hard to be Soft – A Belfast Prayer, 2017



Bob Dickinson wonders whether working-class culture can survive in the UK after continuous attack under successive Conservative governments

In this country, where many formerly strong, working-class communities have gone into decline, despite the very workplaces that neighbourhoods were built around having been long closed down or in need of drastic repair, working-class speech and imagination still survives and evolves.

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Zach Blas, Facial Weaponisation Suite, 2012–14


Zach Blas

Camille Intson

Throughout his diverse film and installation work, Zach Blas seeks to critique AI’s predictive policing, techno-security, and the progressivist philosophical underbelly of Silicon Valley through a celebration of queer resistance, escape and futurity.

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Zinzi Minott, Bloodsound, 2022


Zinzi Minott

Greg Thomas

‘Bloodsound’ included a transparent sound-system constructed of clear acrylic speakers half-filled with glycerine and red food colouring that pumped out a jarring, glitch-filled, bass-heavy form of avant-garde dancehall.


Rights and Wrongs

The recent attempt on Salman Rushdie’s life highlights shocking intolerance around freedom of speech, an issue which is increasingly polarising and misunderstood even by its so-called champions.

John Le Carré thought it ‘impertinent’ to believe that those who wrote literature had special claims to free speech. Artists, in other words, have responsibilities as well as rights. Le Carré and Salman Rushdie were later reconciled, but the debate remains unresolved; at least the debate is still being had.


The End of Critical and Historical Studies

The Royal College of Art is cancelling its entire Critical and Historical Studies programme as part of the most extreme wave of redundancies at the college’s history.


Documenta Disarray

The premier international art exhibition loses its director after persistent accusations of anti-Semitism against the show; Iraqi artists pull their work from the Berlin Biennale after artist curator Kader Attia insensitively placed their work alongside photos of Abu Ghraib victims; the Museums Association warns that rising inflation will devastate the museum sector; ACE publishes its guidance on the restitution of artefacts, just as UK museums make moves to return looted Benin Bronzes; anti-oil activists glue themselves to artworks across the UK and Italy; plus the latest on galleries, people, prizes and more.


Claes Oldenburg 1929–2022

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The Otolith Group, Sovereign Sisters, 2014, IMMA


Elsa James: Othered in a region that has been historically Othered

Matthew Bowman

Brent Biennial: In the House of my Love

Gwen Burlington

The Otolith Group: Xenogenesis

Hana Noorali

Lou Lou Sainsbury: Earth is a Deadname

Francis Whorrall-Campbell

Tenant of Culture: Soft Acid

Luisa Lorenza Corna

Moi Tran: Civic Sound Archive

Peter Suchin

Someone Else: The foreignness of children

Agnieszka Gratza

Dayanita Singh: Dancing with my Camera

Nicola Jeffs

Transcultural Art Histories in the GDR

Sara Blaylock

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Angus Fairhurst, A magazine – everything removed except 1cm border, 2005, cover image for Against Decorum


Michael Hampton: Against Decorum

Cherry Smyth

Soon, you will find yourself asking if you dog-ear, underline in pencil, biro or not at all, and if you have a visceral aversion to bending back the front cover to hold the book in one hand. Do you attempt to remove the price sticker and risk a tacky patch of glue or, worse, a torn, resolute label in grubby spot?

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Annette Gilbert: Literature’s Elsewheres – On the Necessity of Radical Literary Practices

Mark Prince

Discussing Heinz Gappmeyer’s Raum, 1977 – an empty pamphlet with the artist’s name and title in elegant sans-serif – Annette Gilbert quotes the artists’ book historian Anne Moeglin- Delcroix’s obtuse comment that ‘the emptiness of a book makes it more conceptual’, missing how the book’s loss of textual content is in inverse proportion to its gain as an object of decor or design, qualities which might be the opposite of ‘conceptual’.

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Susan Schuppli: Material Witness – Media, Forensics, Evidence

Mitchell Anderson

From the discovery of radiation and photographic processes a century and a half ago, the reader encounters events, topics and technologies with varying depth: ice cores, Chernobyl, oil spills, histories of analogue recording, Watergate, Tamil Massacres, the IRA, the atrocities of the Yugoslav wars. Schuppli demonstrates that countless horrors shape our possible understandings of wider events.

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Han Ok-hee, Untitled 77-A, 1977


No Master Territories: Feminist Worldmaking and the Moving Image

Mimi Howard

‘No Master Territories’ features nearly 90 non-fiction films made by feminist filmmakers from the 1970s to the 1990s. If the ‘unearthing’ of artworks implies a kind of scarcity, here, feminist filmmaking of the late-20th century appears – to the contrary – proximate, abundant and continuous.

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visitors to Jackson Pollock’s barn


Letter from the Hamptons

Daniel Neofetou

In Southampton and East Hampton, every punter who chances through the door is a potential client; outside galleries there are racks of free magazines, one of which is a real-estate brochure listing properties priced up to $45m.

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Ashmina Ranjit, Happening: Present Situation, 2004/22


Letter from Kathmandu

Beatriz Cifuentes Feliciano

The visual narratives in contemporary Nepali art often draw from folk and tantric art, and reflect on social and political issues, including freedom of expression and the rights of women and indigenous peoples.

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Claudia Comte, Heart of a Star (Zigzag/Jungle Series), 2022, included in the 'Women – Art in Times of Chaos’ auction


Selling Art Now

Henry Lydiate

Simon De Pury’s new model subverts that customary division of selling roles by offering a symbiotic market relationship between auction houses and gallerists together conducting primary sales.

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