February 1, 2008 - Artforum - February 2008 issue out now
February 1, 2008

February 2008 issue out now

February 2008 in Artforum

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This month in Artforum: “Attention Span: The Art of Omer Fast.” Tom Holert looks at the film and video of the Berlin-based artist on the occasion of his recent exhibition at MUMOK in Vienna, which featured the artist’s latest work, The Casting, 2007—an endless hall of mirrors blending document and fiction, candor and performance, total recall and blatant fabrication. Seamlessly interweaving two narratives of military misadventure—one near a United States military base in Germany, the other in the Iraqi desert—together with a metanarrative of the “auditions” of the piece’s participants, Fast reflects on the ways in which war is mediated by memory and medium.

“If Fast’s works cast doubt on the entire enterprise of historical documentation, they do the same with notions of identity and personality and the very idea of presenting a ‘face’ to the world.” —Tom Holert

And: “Out of the Past.” One day in 1973, while doing research for a planned monograph on Eva Hesse, Lucy R. Lippard sat down with Robert Smithson and Nancy Holt to discuss their late friend and fellow artist. Now Artforum presents this never-before-published conversation, along with a postscript by contributing editor and art historian James Meyer.

“[With respect to Hesse’s work] I think it would be very fruitful to get into the psychology of bondage. It’s like having control over the objectness, when you have an object and you’re really binding it. It’s a kind of submission, the dominance of the object.” —Robert Smithson

Also in October: Alvin Baltrop, “Pier Photographs,” 1975–86. For roughly a decade, this largely unknown photographer obsessively documented the dilapidated industrial piers along the Hudson River in Lower Manhattan, which provided a home for artistic and sexual experimentation, utopian freedoms and terrible violence. Art historian Douglas Crimp introduces a portfolio of Baltrop’s pictures of men cruising and sunbathing; of corpses dredged from the river; of light pouring over the scene, through Gordon Matta-Clark’s Day’s End, 1975, on Pier 52.

Plus: Tom Burr talks to Joshua Decter about “Addict-Love,” his current show at New York’s SculptureCenter; Colin Lang lauds the Blinky Palermo retrospective in Düsseldorf; Miwon Kwon takes more than one look at Francis Alÿs’s repetitions in “The Politics of Rehearsal,” at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles; Carroll Dunham visits “Jasper Johns: Gray,” the “shadow retrospective” at the Art Institute of Chicago; David Joselit tunes in to Mike Smith’s recent retrospective at the Blanton Museum of Art in Austin, Texas, in tandem with the exhibition “Air Kissing” at Brooklyn’s Momenta Art; Caroline Busta considers the work of Ei Arakawa; André Rottmann explores how Andreas Siekmann’s site-specificity challenges our notions of democratic public space; David Salle scopes out Julian Schnabel’s directorial vision in his latest film, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly; Jessica Morgan, Francesco Bonami, and Okwui Enwezor reply to Robert Storr; and Raqs Media Collective count down their Top Ten.

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Visit artguide—Artforum’s free directory of the international art world, listing art fairs, auctions, and current gallery and museum shows in more than four hundred cities—at www.artforum.com/guide

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