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This month in Artforum: Much too soon, Mike Kelley‘s extraordinary body of work confronts us as a complete oeuvre. After the initial flood of reactions, this issue offers a deeply considered set of reflections: Six of the artist’s friends and colleagues—curator Ann Goldstein, artists Michael Smith, Tony Oursler, Paul McCarthy, and Jim Shaw, and musician Kim Gordon—begin to assess a practice that is among contemporary art’s most protean, not only in its disparate forms but in its range of affect and of address, and in its transgression and its wit.
“In Mike’s work, we are first struck by an anarchic and often biting humor, which unfolds to reveal a deeply mysterious yet considered logic.”
· The extravagant, even grotesque, films of Werner Schroeter—though lauded by peers such as Rainer Werner Fassbinder and Werner Herzog—have never quite fit in with the cutting realism of 1970s New German Cinema. James Quandt chronicles Schroeter’s long-unsung repertoire, ushered in for a full-scale retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in New York this month.
“From the outset, Schroeter treated cinema as a declaration of personal obsession.”
· Curator Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev sits down with Elizabeth Schambelan to discuss the ideas behind this summer’s Documenta 13, an exhibition that has already stretched far beyond Kassel to include transnational artist projects, and seminars in Egypt and Afghanistan.
“Documenta 13 emerges as a consequence of a kind of resistance, a formal resistance, a conceptual resistance to epistemological closures and knowledge production. Let’s say that I am on strike.”
· Three views of the 2012 Whitney Biennial—contributing editor David Rimanelli examines the show at large, while Amy Taubin and David Velasco address the exhibition’s film and performance components, respectively.
“This Biennial shows us an institution that appears less sure of its moment, wary of accusations, and hopeful of avoiding too many protesters.”
· Also: Thomas Crow peels the mask off MoMA’s Cindy Sherman retrospective; Michelle Kuo exchanges “1000 Words” with Ralf Hütter, of the Teutonic, bionic Kraftwerk; Joan Kee translates Ming Wong‘s nonidentitarian remakes of cinematic classics; Martin Herbert finds high production and gritty activism cohabiting in the videos of Anja Kirschner and David Panos; and Sam Pulitzer pens an “Openings” on the socialized paintings of Dave Miko.
· Plus: Ken Okiishi puzzles out the pictures of Forrest Bess; Michael Wood retraces the steps of Grant Gee‘s new film, Patience (After Sebald); Suzanne Cotter globe-trots with the New Museum’s second triennial, “The Ungovernables”; T. J. Demos relates to the Hayward Gallery’s Jeremy Deller survey; Adam Szymczyk samples from Kunsthalle Bern’s painting survey, “The Old, the New, the Different”; and Mexico City–based artist Adriana Lara tallies her Top Ten.
· And: Summer Preview. Artforum looks forward to forty-five major exhibitions opening internationally, including the Art Institute of Chicago and Tate Modern’s much-anticipated Roy Lichtenstein retrospective.