The Exhibitionist #11. Jens Hoffman (Ed.). The Exhibitionist

Posted in art, critique, distribution, magazines, writing on October 23rd, 2015
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Jens Hoffmann, Julian Myers-Szupinska, and Liz Glass
A peculiarity of the current field of curating is an ongoing contestation over the very meaning of “to curate.” As Alice said in Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking-Glass, “The question is whether you can make words mean so many different things.” Humpty Dumpty answers, “The question is which [meaning] is to be master—that’s all.”

On the cover of this issue is Thomas Ruff’s 1989 portrait of a young Hans Ulrich Obrist. If this fresh-faced guy has done more than most to consolidate the identity of the curator—as a ubiquitous, cosmopolitan character, tirelessly promoting him- or herself, an exhibitionist of the global age—he has also presided over that identity’s confusion and multiplication. Is the curator, as Obrist often describes the role, a catalyst? Or is she, to quote Obrist’s frequent collaborator Suzanne Pagé, a modest commis de l’artiste, an “artist’s clerk”?

Curating has become a global concern, yet many languages still even lack a steady term for it. Meanwhile, in some circles, “curation” has a gained a buzzword-ish currency, signaling taste and discrimination across a dizzying array of cultural activities, from so-called “data curation” to creating playlists and dinner menus. The hope, it seems, is that a renewed connoisseurship might discern value amid the profusions of a global market—separate the wheat from the cultural chaff—even if it means, too, that Kanye West now has as much claim on the term “curator” as Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev or Okwui Enwezor. The more we stretch the word, it seems, the easier it becomes to hijack. It is time for some clarity.

In Attitude, João Ribas meditates on this semantic drift of the word “curating” into marketing, where it is proposed as a cure-all for digital excess and consumer glut. Following John Searle, who warns that the terms we use control the field of meaning, Ribas argues that contemporary curators must battle to retain the understanding that “curating” has held historically in the field of art, beyond connoisseurship and mere selection. He emphasizes in particular the spatial and temporal character of exhibitions, which may still offer the possibility of resisting the behavioral paradigms inflicted by capitalist urbanism and digital technology.

Geopolitical space is a central concern for several essays in this issue. In Back in the Day, Clémentine Deliss contends with the Museum of Modern Art’s notorious 1984 exhibition “Primitivism” in 20th Century Art: Affinities of the Tribal and the Modern, which “remains bedeviled by criticisms and emotional refutations that are hard to dissolve.” Comparing that exhibition’s model of “formal affinity” to a recent exhibition by the Senegalese artist and curator El Hadji Sy, she argues for exhibitionary methods that might “effect a remediating affirmation” of ethnographic objects in order to recover something of their “conceptual code.” Missing in Action republishes passages from Rasheed Araeen’s introduction to his 1989 exhibition of British Afro-Asian artists, The Other Story. By assembling the fragments of their collective story, Araeen dismantles the chauvinism of a “master art history” that had excluded non-Western contemporary artists.

In Assessments, Claire Bishop, Cristina Freire, Tobi Maier, and Octavio Zaya address the exhibition Histórias Mestiças (Mestizo Histories), a trenchant critique of Brazil’s racial democracy curated by Adriano Pedrosa and Lilia Moritz Schwarcz at the Instituto Tomie Ohtake in São Paulo. The writers find consonance around one remarkable installation that juxtaposed photographs of indigenous people by Claudia Andujar, 18th-century watercolors of the “discovery” of Brazil by Joaquim José de Miranda, and drawings from the 1970s by Taniki Manippi-theri, a Yanomami shaman. Says Bishop, “Such an anthropological gaze can diminish the present-ism of contemporary art and allow it to become a method or system of thinking. Would that more curators, in more countries, had the nerve to investigate so unflinchingly cherished national myths.” Curators’ Favorites asks contributors to elaborate on an exhibition that has inspired their thinking. Guy Brett describes a 1979 installation by the Brazilian conceptual artist Cildo Meireles, an allegory aimed at the military dictatorship in power at the time. Natasha Ginwala contends with The One Year Drawing Project, an experimental exchange of artworks across Sri Lanka meditating on the traumas of that nation’s civil war. And Vincent Honoré considers the Musée d’art moderne et contemporain in Geneva, claiming the museum itself as a “constant, ever-changing exhibition.”

Six x Six challenges curators to name the exhibitions that have mattered most to them. In this issue, Ionit Behar, Astria Suparak, Inti Guerrero, Gianni Jetzer, Sarah Demeuse, and Nikola Dietrich assemble their miniature pantheons. In Rigorous Research, the scholar Vittoria Martini deliberates the little-discussed 1970 Venice Biennale, a turning point for that venerable institution. In the gap opened by a political stalemate, the staff assumed control, and embraced experimentation and research. Research and reflection also connect the two essays in Rear Mirror. Ruba Katrib details the thinking behind her exhibition Puddle, pothole, portal, co-curated with the artist Camille Henrot at SculptureCenter, New York, describing their attempt to capture something of the weird, rambunctious spatiality of early Disney animations. Scott Rothkopf evinces, in turn, the extraordinary spatial and conceptual deliberation behind his recent Jeff Koons retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art.

Across this issue, then, the specificity of curatorial labor emerges—the thought needed to build aggregate meaning from disparate things in space. The word “curating” is not infinitely plastic. This, for us, is what it means. We all know how Humpy Dumpty ended up.


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The Critical Mass of Mediation. Søren Andreasen & Lars Bang Larsen (eds.). Internationalistisk Ideale

Posted in art, distribution, writing on October 13th, 2015
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Today mediation is a cultural given: an environment, a rhythm, a force. It is a modality for easy exchange, with no apparent beginnings or ultimate reason. In this realm of the possible, means and ends get mixed up, while absolutes can only be approached timidly.

2. edition 2014, 400 copies

Expanded version of the sold-out original from 2012 with a new introduction, additional text pieces and found imagery.

Graphic Design: Louise Hold Sidenius

**each copy has a unique cover**


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, Even #2. Jason Farago (Ed.). Even Magazine

Posted in art, distribution, magazines, writing on October 13th, 2015

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Even is a new magazine that interprets contemporary art, its structures and its environment. Published three times a year, Even features long-form articles that range from monographic studies to broad critical analysis; distinctive reviews that take in multiple exhibitions at museums and galleries worldwide; and extensive interviews with artists and arts professionals.

Even seeks to break the deadlock between academic obscurantism on one side, and top-ten lists and party coverage on the other. With a unique and legible voice, Even revives the tradition of criticism for the twenty-first century.


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Subway magazine #5. Erik van der Weijde (Ed.)

Posted in art, Artist magazine, magazines, writing on October 10th, 2015
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Subway magazine #5
Fall 2015
Erik van der Weijde (red.)

Subway Magazine is an artist’s magazine by Erik van der Weijde & 4478zine.
Most of its content comes from eBay and Wikipedia, but also features works by contemporary artists. The magazine focuses on a fresh mix of art, photography, poetry, facts and fun.
Subway is a five-minute-fun ride, published four times a year from now on!

In this fifth issue we show work by Jürg Lehni, Miroslav Tichy, Clara Canepa and Wiissa, but also the story of the sticker, boxer-facts, barbeque plus quotes from Woody Allen and Woody Harrelson and more…

17x24cm / 32 pages / Muncken Print Cream 115
Offset printed in the EU


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Mousse #50. Edoardo Bonaspetti (Ed.)

Posted in art, distribution, Journals, writing on October 8th, 2015
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In this issue:

Kelly Akashi, A.K. Burns, Dance and the Art World: Alexandra Bachzetsis, Trajal Harrel, Adam Linder, Dance Factory, Oscar Enberg, Esprit de l’escalier, Bruno Gironcoli, Irena Haiduk, Knot Theory: Trying Art, Psychoanalysis and Topology, Mernet Larsen, Calvin Marcus, The Materiality of Digital Forms, New Narratives of Relevance, The Politics of Art, Richard Rezac, Yves Scherer, Sentiment Analysis, Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian & Frank Stella, Jim Shaw


- The Artist as Curator

Issue #9 an insert in Mousse Magazine #50



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Under the Clouds. João Ribas. Serralves

Posted in art, books, distribution, exhibition catalogue, history, writing on September 23rd, 2015
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Under the Clouds: from Paranoia to the Digital Sublime

Since the second half of the twentieth century, we have lived under the shadow of two clouds: the mushroom cloud of the atomic bomb, and now the ‹cloud› of information networks. How did the symbol of post-war paranoia become the utopian metaphor for today’s interconnected world? Under the Clouds confronts the interrelated effects and affects of these two clouds on life and work, leisure and love, and on images, bodies and minds, through contributions from an intergenerational group of artists.

Texts by
Enrico Baj & Sergio Dangelo, Thomas Hirschhorn, Sean Landers, Metahaven, Seth Price, João Ribas, Frances Stark, Hito Steyerl, Stan VanDerBeek


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Infinite Possibility 1974 – 2014. Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian. Serralves

Posted in architecture, art, Artist Book, books, distribution, drawing, exhibition catalogue, sculpture, writing on September 23rd, 2015
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Infinite Possibility 1974 – 2014
Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian

Published on the occasion of the first museum survey of mirror works and drawings by Iranian artist Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian (Qazvin, 1924), this book offers a critical and art historical view on a singular body of work produced over a career of more than 40 years.

Essays by curator Suzanne Cotter, cultural historian Shiva Balaghi, and art historian and critic Media Farzin examine Monir’s oeuvre and its development from the 1970s to the present in relation to the decorative and architectural traditions of Islamic art and the cosmopolitan contemporary art world of which she has always been a part. A detailed timeline situates the artist’s personal and artistic trajectory within the broader context of contemporaneous historical, social and cultural events worldwide.


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Reading the Economist. Zachary Formwalt. Serralves & Casco

Posted in art, Artist Book, books, distribution, exhibition catalogue, writing on September 23rd, 2015
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In “Reading the Economist” Zachary Formwalt gathers various archival documents from the late nineteenth century, when the credit institutions in Britain first entered panicked. Texts and removed the notebooks of Karl Marx images of The Economist and the American Daily Graphic reassociate and rewrite historical connections and episodes of this period with a view to a reconsideration of the current economic crisis. Artist book published by the Serralves Foundation and Hull for the exhibition “To the Arts, Citizens!”.


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Gagarin #30. Wilfried Huet (Ed.). GAGA vzw

Posted in art, distribution, magazines, writing on September 15th, 2015
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the Artists in their Own Words
Issue 30/2015

with original texts by Ana Torfs, Hiwak, Amalia Pica, Nora Schultz, Zdenek Kosek, Ai wei wei, Dan Perjovschi

Concept & coordination: Wilfried Huet
Graphical concept: Simon Casier & Petra Fieuws


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Fillip #20, Kristina Lee Podevsa (Ed.)

Posted in art, critique, magazines, Theory, writing on September 11th, 2015
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In this Issue:

Ken Becker: Not Just Some Canadian Hippie Bullshit: The Western Front as Artists’ Practice
Nathan Crompton: Elegy of the Non-event
Zanna Gilbert: The Human Letter: Mail Art Exchanges between East Berlin and Northeast Brazil in the 1970s
Paul Branca and Jesi Khadivi: Social Networks and Soft Crimes
Lois Klassen: Arriving at Nowhere: Reflecting on Chris Kraus’s Radical Localism
Philip Monk: Battle Stances: General Idea, CEAC, and the Struggle for Ideological Dominance in Toronto, 1976–78
Melanie O’Brian: A Wicked Problem: Fogo Island Dialogues
Nina Power: Decapitalism, Left Scarcity, and the State
Mohammad Salemy, Nick Srnicek, and Alex Williams: Speed Trials: A Conversation about Accelerationist Politics
Chantal Pontbriand and Amy Zion: Parachute: 1975–2007 and Its Afterlife
Yvonne Rainer, Hand Movie


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