October 30, 2014 - Afterall - Issue 37 out now
October 30, 2014

Issue 37 out now

Afterall issue 37 out now

Janice Kerbel
Otobong Nkanga
Juan Downey
Museum of American Art
Boris Charmatz
Identity in Art after the Internet
The Museum of African Art
The Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians


Afterall is pleased to present issue 37, autumn/winter 2014, which looks at the impact of connectivity upon artistic practices: from Juan Downey’s pioneering use of video within South American indigenous cultures to the performance of the self in the work of the post-internet generation, Otobong Nkanga’s conversational sculptures or Janice Kerbel’s deconstruction of communicative structures. We also examine the changing role of the museum in a networked society through a study of idiosyncratic institutions such as the Museum of American Art, the Museum of African Art in Belgrade or Boris Charmatz’s Musée de la danse in Rennes, and of the collective of artists and musicians Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians in Chicago.

In a discussion of how social media is inflecting artists’ engagement with identity, Melissa Gronlund considers the resurgence of dialogic forms in recent moving image work, tying the impetus to converse to the internet’s exigency to be always public. Current experiments with how technology mediates identity are shadowed in Juan Downey‘s pioneering work with video of the 1960s and ’70s, which Julieta González places at the intersection between cybernetic and anti-colonial concerns. Meanwhile Manuela Carneiro da Cunha and Helena Vilalta study his encounter with the indigenous Yanomami peoples. The interest in alternative forms of communication also appears in the work of Otobong Nkanga, whose drawings and installations, as Monika Szewczyk and Yvette Mutumba argue, have displaced the dominant narratives implicit in conventional and often neocolonial modes of museological display. 

Like that of Downey and Nkanga, Janice Kerbel‘s work treads the fine line between the visible and the invisible, stripping narrative structures back to their barest constituents. Anna Lovatt shows how Kerbel uses the diagram as a formal device to move between the austere and the sensuous, while Tom McDonough reads her play for theatre lights within the tradition of political theatre. Reprising key exhibitions that have created the dominant account of modern and contemporary art, the Museum of American Art focuses on the museum itself as a narrative device. As Steven ten Thije and Our Literal Speed suggest, by showing slapdash copies of the works shown in these exhibitions and their catalogues, the Museum sheds light on how the context of display influences, if not determines, art’s relationship to its public. Anders Kreuger discusses a real instance of this effect in his essay on the Museum of African Art in Belgrade, which he sees as standing for foreign policy and national aspirations, as much as a space for the exhibition of artistic forms. 

Finally, Catherine Wood examines Boris Charmatz‘s Musée de la danse in the context of his attempt to build an architecture for dance that cannibalizes institutional frameworks, while Dieter Roelstraete revisits a time of social foment—the 1960s in the US—to look at the music and art collectives that arose among the African-American community in Chicago.

This autumn Afterall Books also presents the fifth publication in its “Exhibition Histories” series, Exhibition as Social Intervention: ‘Culture in Action’ 1993, as well as the “One Work” title Thomas Hirschhorn: Deleuze Monument by Anna Dezeuze. Please join us at Central Saint Martins in London on 10 November for a lecture by Craig Burnett, the author of the “One Work” book Philip Guston: The Studio.

Afterall journal is published by Central Saint Martins, London, in editorial partnership with M HKA, Antwerp, and the Department of Visual Arts–Open Practice Committee (DOVA–OPC), University of Chicago, and in association with the University of Chicago Press

To subscribe to Afterall journal, please click here. If you are already a subscriber, you can download the e-book edition of the journal for free here. If not, you can buy this issue as an e-book edition here

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