Art Monthly issue 373

Art Monthly issue 373

Art Monthly

February 6, 2014

February 2014                                     

Exorcisms: Dennis Oppenheim interviewed by Lisa Le Feuvre
Dennis Oppenheim was one of the pioneers of 1960s Land Art in the U.S., later moving into fireworks-based pieces and public sculpture. In this interview from before he died in 2011, he talks about the need to continuously extend one’s practice, the perversity of working in the public realm and why he melted an amputee’s false leg in 1970.

‘These fireworks machines were physical counterparts to some sort of conceptual action, and the shooting of the fireworks became what I would call exorcisms—almost re-enacting a kind of cerebral mapping that was extricated through fire into visibility. They became more and more hazardous, more and more out of control.’

Art & Gentrification: Larne Abse Gogarty on the uses and abuses of social practice
The rise of socially engaged art would at first appear to counteract the neoliberal forces of the art market. But when one of its long-term practitioners, Rick Lowe, criticises its current star, Theaster Gates—whose self-proclaimed ‘real-estate art’ could be seen as a kind of feel-good money laundering system for the commercial art world—isn’t it time to ask whether social practice is, at heart, critical or complicit?

‘We need to recognise that the further retrenchment of state provision and deepening recession since 2008 have pushed frequently well-meaning socially engaged artists towards plugging the gap in providing social services where they risk endorsing the logic of austerity.’

Gizza job! Bob Dickinson on art and unemployment
The representation of the jobless in art shifted dramatically in the 20th century as industrialisation brought with it mass protests in public spaces against the conditions of the unemployed. But how have artists such as LaToya Ruby Frazier, Richard Shields and the Bite Back Movement portrayed the increasingly invisible unemployed of our current post-industrial world?

‘In the post-industrial world, so-called unemployment blackspots out of which the unemployed never seem to be able to escape, and into which artists find it difficult to fit, have replaced the public spaces through which the older, defunct icons of unemployment previously paraded or demonstrated.’

Maybe It’s Because I’m a Londoner
Now that the DCMS has launched an inquiry into the work of ACE, with a particular focus on ACE’s supposedly London-centric funding decisions, isn’t it time to point out the successful return on investment that the government has enjoyed from ACE?

‘But all this is just playing the government’s game of divide and rule. While it is arguable that Londoners pay a higher price for their perceived success in attracting visitors, the truth is that arts organisations throughout England have more than repaid the government for its investment. Rather than looking for ways to reduce London’s arts subsidy, the government should be looking to invest more in both London and the regions.’

George Osborne cuts ACE’s budget again; protests at the Serpentine Gallery highlight the paradoxes of public funding being used to chase private investment; Mike Nelson is accused of insensitive gentrification in Elephant and Castle; Northern Ireland’s Turner Prize venue is at the centre of a culture-versus-business row; Tate Britain again plays unwitting host to inventive anti-BP protests; the latest news on galleries, events, appointments, prizes and more.

Nikolaj Bendix Skyum Larsen: Marcus Verhagen on the Danish video artist
Nikolaj Bendix Skyum Larsen, Paris-based but London-trained, works within a documentary tradition that allows his collaborators to tell their own nuanced stories of enforced cross-national living in a world of heavily policed borders.

‘Larsen views the processes of globalisation through the eyes of men and women who have not benefited from them. In his documentary videos, he looks at locations that exist in the force fields of other, more prosperous places.’

Marcel Broodthaers – Décor: A Conquest and Bricks: 1966-1975 Michael Werner Gallery, London – Mark Prince
Transformer: Aspects of Travesty Richard Saltoun, London –Morgan Quaintance
You Are The Company In Which You Keep Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art, Sunderland and Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens – George Vasey
Caroline May: The Killing Pictures ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives, Los AngelesDavid Gleeson
Xu Bing: Travelling to the Wonderland V&A, London – Stephanie Bailey
Salla Tykkä: The Palace Baltic, GatesheadElinor Morgan
Agnes Denes: Work: 1967–2013 Firstsite, ColchesterMartin Herbert
North-west Round-up Tate Liverpool • Castlefield Gallery • Untitled GalleryBob Dickinson
London Round-up 1 Chisenhale • Cubitt Gallery • Vilma GoldNick Warner
London Round-up 2 Domo Baal • Annely Juda • Tintype • St Clement’s HospitalPeter Suchin

Performa 13 and Rituals of the Rented Island
Kathy Battista on the current state of performance art in New York

Marcel Broodthaers: Collected Writings 
Deborah Schultz on the poet-turned-artist’s letters

Andrew Hunt on artists doing it for themselves

The Death of an Artist
Henry Lydiate on the legal challenges following an artist’s death

London Art Calendar 
Art Monthly’s London event calendar can also be viewed online

Exhibition Listings 
Art Monthly’s exhibition listings can also be viewed online

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February 6, 2014

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