April 2005 in Artforum

April 2005 in Artforum


April 1, 2005

April 2005 in Artforum

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“I began to imagine that the secret genius of the Russian artist might be to clown the contemporary, to mimic or pirate it. If we assume that the status of international contemporary art relies to a large extent on both financial investment and institutional legitimation, perhaps a ‘derivative’ contemporary practice could be a kind of black-market tactic, a dispersion strategy, a termitelike hollowing out from within of the values and representations that the international biennial system tends to affirm.”–John Kelsey, “Russian Front”

And: In the feature that provides this month’s cover, editor Tim Griffin follows the circuitous path behind artist Kelley Walker’s enigmatic contribution to the magazine’s September 2004 issue on art and politics–discovering how his recycling-sign sculptures, mirrored-Plexiglas Rorschach blots, and digital scans combine the artistic appropriation and distribution models of yesterday with the sampling and branding in mass commerce today.

“With recent commercial developments in mind, it should become immediately apparent that in Walker’s work, the terms of ’80s appropriation are reversed. Whereas, say, Richard Prince removes the brand name from Marlboro ads to reveal the mechanisms of their seductive fiction, Walker leaves the corporate logo intact within an image steeped in real life.”–Tim Griffin, “Please Recycle: The Art of Kelley Walker”

Plus: Daniel Birnbaum introduces artist Spencer Finch’s ongoing collaborations with legendary choreographer William Forsythe’s new company, which leaves “traditional notions of ballet behind, with site-specific performances, interventions in public spaces, and audience participation.” In Three Atmospheric Studies, Finch uses nothing more than filtered fluorescent light to reproduce the tones of sun through clouds found in works by J. M. W. Turner, Isaac Newton, and Cranach the Elder, while Forsythe replaces Finch’s usual art audiences with dancers onstage. “For the record,” comments Finch, “the sun is not yellow, nor is it orange. It is, as Turner said on his deathbed, god.”

Plus: Amy Taubin interviews Argentine director Lucrecia Martel about her second feature film, The Holy Girl; Isabelle Graw takes on KW Institute for Contemporary Art’s inflammatory “Regarding Terror” exhibition; Steven Henry Madoff previews the Walker Art Center’s expansion, looking for a new model of art’s relationship to entertainment; Keith Sanborn reviews the long-awaited, much-debated English translation of Guy Debord’s Panegyric; editor at large Jack Bankowsky walks through “East Village USA” at the New Museum of Contemporary Art; David Deitcher looks for hints about the next Documenta while examining the intersection of politics and art in curator Roger M. Buergel’s “How Do We Want to be Governed?”; Robert Rosenblum reflects on the life and work of Tom Wesselmann; and Thomas Lawson remembers Gretchen Bender.

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