October 2, 2006 - Artforum - October 2006 in Artforum
October 2, 2006

October 2006 in Artforum

October 2006 in Artforum

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For me, abstraction is the real way of the twentieth century because youre not leading the viewer too much. One of the great things about abstract art is that it allows the viewer a different kind of experience looking at a picture than, say, The Marriage at Cana.–Brice Marden

Ive always felt like you begin one of your paintings by taking an empty bag, and then you shake this bag and nothing comes out, and then you shake it again and nothing comes out, and you continue to shake this bag. And then you start painting with what falls, and theres nothing there. And its like, Why are you shaking the bag?–Chris Ofili

Also in October: Out of Beirut. Mere days before the close of Modern Art Oxfords exhibition celebrating the vibrant art scene in Beirut, armed conflict broke out between Hezbollah militants and the Israeli army. Art historian and critic T. J. Demos considers the exhibition against this catastrophic cultural backdrop, while four artists and one of the curators involved in the show–Bernard Khoury, Lamia Joreige, Walid Raad, Walid Sadek, and Christine Tohme–describe the wars effects on their artistic perspectives and practices.

You have heard of Beirut as the wonderful tourist destination; the prosperous financial hub for banking; the revolutionary city for some intellectuals of the 70s; the city of complicated wars, of hostages and terrorism; and maybe you have also heard about its refugees and the displaced. There are too many stories and none of them simple. –Bernard Khoury

Also: Stan Douglas about his latest video, Klatsassin, in which the artist refashions Akira Kurosawas Rashomon as a western steeped in the history of nineteenth-century British Columbia–when gold-diggers clashed with what they considered a native insurgency. An abridged version will be screened this month at the Vancouver International Film Festival, and the complete work will debut at the Vienna Secession in November.

In Klatsassin, I dont think any two characters are the same nationality or speak the same language. Theyre all from different places, scrambling to get their gold. It reminded me of today–people from the US and Europe trying to get the most valuable thing in the world out of the earth in a place where theyre not really welcome. –Stan Douglas

And: Linda Norden, Richard Jackson, Paul McCarthy, and Daniel Birnbaum remember Jason Rhoades and his perfect world; Barry Schwabsky enjoys the ecstasy of expressionlessness in Keren Cytters videos; Nico Israel introduces a portfolio of photographs by Yto Barrada; Robert Storr travels to DakArt 2006, the seventh installment of the Dakar Biennale of Contemporary African Art; Gary Indiana considers the violence of ordinary people in the films of Kiyoshi Kurosawa; Nancy J. Troy pays tribute to the Société Anonyme and its odd-couple founders, Katherine S. Dreier and Marcel Duchamp; James Meyer visits Okwui Enwezors Snap Judgments: New Positions in Contemporary African Photography at the International Center of Photography and finds a new ethics of representation; Yve-Alain Bois sheds light on Batailles war against civilization in Undercover Surrealism at the Hayward Gallery, London; and Aleksandra Mir lists her Top Ten.

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