Art Agenda appoints Editor in Chief

Art Agenda appoints Editor in Chief

e-flux Agenda

Antoine Catala, Fantastic, 2012. Image courtesy of Blum & Poe, Los Angeles.

October 8, 2012

In 2010 Art Agenda began publishing original reviews of exhibitions in gallery spaces, as well as select write-ups of major art fairs and perennial exhibitions. Conceived as a platform that provides a space for writers to reconsider critically both the form and content of the traditional exhibition review—a rather ossified genre—Agenda now enters a new phase with the appointment of Jill Winder as editor in chief. Based in Berlin since 2002, Winder is a writer and editor who studied political theory and holds an M.A. from the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, New York. Previously she was curator of publications at BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht, where she was co-founding editor of BAK’s Critical Reader series and on the research team of the FORMER WEST project. Winder has been awarded research and writing fellowships from the Institute of Current World Affairs and the Thomas J. Watson Foundation, and has edited and co-edited numerous artists’ monographs and critical readers. Continuing her collaboration with Agenda is April Lamm, Reviews and Rearview Editor, who has been with Agenda from the start. We thank Laura Barlow, who has acted as Managing Editor of Agenda since 2011, and wish her well as she focuses full-time on e-flux exhibitions and projects.

The fall season has kicked off in earnest with the usual flurry of fairs and packed “art week” calendars (see Ana Teixeira Pinto’s Berlin debrief). It’s also played host to a handful of memorable variations on the genre of a gallery group show, highlighting fluid curatorial premises and various specters of influence (“Standard Operating Procedures” at Blum & Poe, Los Angeles; “Without (Jonathan Monk)” at Meessen de Clercq, Brussels; “On Signs and Bodies” at Galerie Georg Kargl, part of curated by_Vienna). In the wake of some recent carping by gallery directors and critics alike about the supposed irrelevance of exhibitions in commercial galleries, it seems worthwhile considering the opposite. Namely how—without changing their fundamental, art-selling stripes—galleries can and sometimes do provide a space for play and experimentation. The most flexible of them might even look, for a time, more like alternative spaces than their non-commercial counterparts. And then there are those modest art fairs like VIENNAFAIR (or, in the case of abc – art berlin contemporary, fairs posing as not-quite-fairs, as Astrid Mania notes in her coverage of the event), which are all too keen to emphasize an intellectual and discursive bent in their programming… but that doesn’t pull the wool over anyone’s eyes. As flocks of buyers, sellers, and lookers alike make their way to London this week for the big-time stage of the Frieze Art Fair (and the inaugural Frieze Masters), quickly followed by FIAC in Paris, it remains to be seen if there will be any new moves in the eternal dance between commerce and content.

Recently on Agenda:

“The Imminence of Poetics,” 30th São Paulo Biennial, São Paulo
September 7–December 9, 2012
Confronted with over 3,000 works produced by 111 artists, Sophie Goltz asks if the “poetics” of radically heterogeneous artistic practices might be brought into more productive dialogue with the context in which they are exhibited.

“Without (Jonathan Monk)” at Meessen de Clercq, Brussels
September 7–October 27, 2012
In this gem of a group show curated by Adam Carr, Matteo Lucchetti reveals that, in the case of Jonathan Monk, absence speaks louder than words.

Simon Starling’s “Triangulation Station A (40°44’49.17″ N 74°0’22.45″ W)” at Casey Kaplan, New York
September 6–October 20, 2012
Tyler Coburn connects the dots in Simon Starling’s complex new films and sculptural works, revealing links between Henry Moore, the Cold War, Noh theater, Venus, and the twilight of celluloid.

Thea Djordjadze’s “Spoons Are Different” at Sprüth Magers, London
September 1–29, 2012
Laura McLean-Ferris explains how Thea Djordjadze manages to create a “psychologically freighted interior” in her spare treatment of the intimate London space of Sprüth Magers.

Mai-Thu Perret at Galerie Barbara Weiss, Berlin and Berlin Art Week Highlights (daadgalerie, Isabella Bortolozzi, Johann König, KOW, Sommer & Kohl, Supportico Lopez), September 2012
Although the “Berlin Art Week” rebranding campaign—the city’s latest effort to corral and package the considerable but diffuse energies of the local art scene—is superficial at best, Ana Teixeira Pinto hits the streets and separates the wheat from the chaff.

Lucy McKenzie’s “50 Shades” at Galerie Micheline Szwajcer, Antwerp
September 6–October 20, 2012
Puzzled by what Agatha Christie, trashy chick lit, and the feminist legacy of subversive artistic appropriation might have in common,
Christel Vesters grapples with the “conscious slippage” in Lucy McKenzie’s paintings.

abc – art berlin contemporary, Berlin
September 13–16, 2012
Astrid Mania asks whether this increasingly professionalized Berlin art fair will outgrow its identity crisis as it steps up to fill a void in the city’s commercial landscape.

Natascha Sadr Haghighian at Carroll / Fletcher, London
July 20–September 22, 2012
J.J. Charlesworth unpacks Natascha Sadr Haghighian’s particular alchemy by explaining how an empty water bottle, a piece of cabin luggage, and a microphone can add up to a compelling sculptural presence in this artist’s hands.

“Mindaugas Triennial”: the 11th Baltic Triennial of International Art, Contemporary Art Centre, Vilnius
August 24–September 9, 2012
During this 12-day triennial, a packed program of film and performance was “channeled” through a mysterious figure called Mindaugas;
Vivian Sky Rehberg decodes.

“Standard Operating Procedures,” Blum & Poe, Los Angeles
July 14–August 25, 2012
In this group show,
Jonathan Griffin takes on the use of contemporary life’s ubiquitous “SOP”s as a curatorial framing device, and finds that the artistic use of such ordering systems is old news.

Coming soon: reviews of David Maljkovic at T293, Rome; Walid Raad & David Diao at Paula Cooper, New York; Frieze Art Fair, London; Slavs & Tartars at Raster, Warsaw; Theaster Gates at White Cube Bermondsey, London; and many more.

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