Art criticism

People sometimes get irritated if you ask them the same question again, especially if it happens in the same conversation. Yet sometimes they provide different answers immediately, or let’s say two minutes after the first (think of the Oracle in The Matrix, or Bill Clinton during his trial). However, when there are forty years in between two identical questions, there’s a big chance of getting the same answer. This does not a priori mean that nothing has changed or that things have remained the same…

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Sahar Muradi and Zohra Saed are two Afghan American poets. This is a lyrical conversation between Sahar who returned to retrace footsteps in Afghanistan and Zohra who remained ensconced in longing for mythic cities of her birth.   As a prelude to the 2012 exhibition, dOCUMENTA (13) and Hatje Cantz published a series of notebooks, 100 Notes – 100 Thoughts, that comprised facsimiles of existing notebooks, commissioned essays, collaborations, and conversations. A note is a trace, a word, a drawing that all of a sudden becomes part of thinking, and is transformed into an idea. This publication project follows that path, presenting the mind ...

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PublisherJRP|Ringier2012
Part of JRP|Ringier’s innovative Documents series, published with Les Presses du Réel and dedicated to critical writings, this publication comprises a unique collection of interviews by Hans Ulrich Obrist mapping the development of the curatorial field–from early independent curators in the 1960s and 70s and the experimental institutional programs developed in Europe and the U.S. through the inception of Documenta and the various biennales and fairs–with pioneering curators Anne D’Harnoncourt, Werner Hoffman, Jean Leering, Franz Meyer, Seth Siegelaub, Walter Zanini, Johannes Cladders, Lucy Lippard, Walter Hopps, Pontus Hulten and Harald Szeemann. Speaking of Szeemann on the occasion of this legendary ...

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PublisherRivet2013
A conversation with Diedrich Diederichsen about non-human labor, time and value. Made in the context of Resonance at Goethe-Institut in New York. (fall 2013)

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Publisher2004
A double is haunting the world–the double of abstraction, the virtual reality of information, programming or poetry, math or music, curves or colorings upon which the fortunes of states and armies, companies and communities now depend. The bold aim of this book is to make manifest the origins, purpose, and interests of the emerging class responsible for making this new world–for producing the new concepts, new perceptions, and new sensations out of the stuff of raw data. A Hacker Manifesto deftly defines the fraught territory between the ever more strident demands by drug and media companies for protection of their patents ...

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Invited to Stockholm in spring of 2015 to work with the graduating MA and BA students of the Royal Institute of Art on “making a publication,” the two foreign editors of A:Art (Stuart Bailey and Angie Keefer) instead found themselves swept into the death throes of a decades-old struggle between rival institutions over the current identity and possible future of a national art scene. The book is a chronological account of events that unfolded among the Academy, the art school, its students, assorted government ministries, and the Swedish press, with accompaniment from various outside texts, including Raymond Williams’ Keywords, an ...

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Art as we know it is dramatically changing, but popular and critical responses lag behind. In this trenchant illustrated essay, David Joselit describes how art and architecture are being transformed in the age of Google. Under the dual pressures of digital technology, which allows images to be reformatted and disseminated effortlessly, and the exponential acceleration of cultural exchange enabled by globalization, artists and architects are emphasizing networks as never before. Some of the most interesting contemporary work in both fields is now based on visualizing patterns of dissemination after objects and structures are produced, and after they enter into, and ...

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PublisherAK Press2011
After the Future explores a century-long obsession with the concept of the “future,” starting with Marinetti’s “Futurist Manifesto,” tracing it through the punk movement of the early 70s, and into the media revolution of the 90s. The future, Bifo argues, has come and gone, the concept has lost its usefulness. Now it’s our responsibility to decide what comes next.

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First published in 1966, this celebrated book—Sontag’s first collection of essays—quickly became a modern classic, and has had an enormous influence in America and abroad on thinking about the arts and contemporary culture. As well as the title essay and the famous “Notes on Camp,” Against Interpretation includes original and provocative discussions of Sartre, Simone Weil, Godard, Beckett, science-fiction movies, psychoanalysis, and contemporary religious thinking. This edition features a new afterword by Sontag.

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PublisherMIT Press
Writings, Interviews, and Digital Rants, 2006-2009 In 2006, even though he could barely type, China’s most famous artist started blogging. For more than three years, Ai Weiwei turned out a steady stream of scathing social commentary, criticism of government policy, thoughts on art and architecture, and autobiographical writings. He wrote about the Sichuan earthquake (and posted a list of the schoolchildren who died because of the government’s “tofu-dregs engineering”), reminisced about Andy Warhol and the East Village art scene, described the irony of being investigated for “fraud” by the Ministry of Public Security, made a modest proposal for tax collection. ...

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Alternative Economics, Alternative Societies A project by Oliver Ressler After the loss of a counter-model for capitalism – which socialism, in its real, existing form had presented until its collapse – alternative concepts for economic and social development face hard times at the beginning of the twenty-first century. In the industrial nations, broadly discussed are only those “alternatives” that do not question the existing power relations of the capitalist system and representative democracies. Other socio-economic approaches are labeled utopian, devalued, and excluded from serious discussion if even considered at all. The thematic installation, “Alternative Economics, Alternative Societies,” focuses on diverse concepts and models ...

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PublisherPrimary Information2014
An Anti-Catalog was the work of the Catalog Committee of the group Artists Meeting for Cultural Change (AMCC). A landmark publication of the 1970s, its purpose was to protest the Whitney Museum of American Art’s bicentennial exhibition, which was titled “Three Centuries of American Art.” The Whitney show featured John D. Rockefeller III’s collection of mainly eighteenth and nineteenth-century American art–a collection that featured only one African American and one woman artist. The Catalog Committee, which consisted of fifteen artists and two art historians, spent almost a year producing an eighty-page book containing articles and documents. Originally conceived as a critique of art historian E.P. Richardson’s catalog for the Whitney exhibition, ...

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PublisherBrigade Commerz2011
Original interviews with the artist. “I don’t have to know how to do a baby’s hands or a bleeding guy nailed to a piece of wood. I don’t need to know about any of this stuff. I can do mirror cubes. And that’s it. What a great idea…all I have to do is make sure they are interesting.” There is a democratising impulse in Robert Morris’ mirrored cubes. Liam Gillick’s work, however, is not a mirror of anything, but an attempt to look around the mirror. The key to this is the quality of interest and this often has to do ...

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PublisherMayFly Books2009
‘Institutional critique’ is best known through the critical practice that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s by artists who presented radical challenges to the museum and gallery system. Since then it has been pushed in new directions by new generations of artists registering and responding to the global transformations of contemporary life. The essays collected in this volume explore this legacy and develop the models of institutional critique in ways that go well beyond the fi eld of art. Interrogating the shifting relations between ‘institutions’ and ‘critique’, the contributors to this volume analyze the past and present of ...

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PublisherVerso2012
Since the 1990s, critics and curators have broadly accepted the notion that participatory art is the ultimate political art: that by encouraging an audience to take part an artist can promote new emancipatory social relations. Around the world, the champions of this form of expression are numerous, ranging from art historians such as Grant Kester, curators such as Nicolas Bourriaud and Nato Thompson, to performance theorists such as Shannon Jackson. Artificial Hells is the first historical and theoretical overview of socially engaged participatory art, known in the US as “social practice.” Claire Bishop follows the trajectory of twentieth-century art and examines ...

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PublisherZero Books2015
The main affirmation of artistic practice must today happen through thinking about the conditions and the status of the artist’s work. Only then can it be revealed that what is a part of the speculations of capital is not art itself, but mostly artistic life. Artist at Work examines the recent changes in the labour of an artist and addresses them from the perspective of performance.

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Based on Walter Benjamin’s seminal essay “The Author as Producer”, an array of theorists have developed approaches towards an aesthetics of production. The texts of this issue investigate how Benjamin’s arguments may serve as a ground for reflecting and theorizing current art practices. What are the consequences of political art’s function of “supplying the capitalist production apparatus, not changing it”? How can artistic methods subvert cooptation following Brecht and Tretyakov? Where are there new models of artists/intellectuals as producers and “specialists” rather than experts for the universal?

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PublisherLink Editions2015
Astronaut Luggage is a collection of short texts written along the last years and circulated online, rearranged around five main topics: the Apocalypse, commodities, drones, history and politics. Adopting the forms of the essay and the short story, Rothstein sets himself in an “atemporality” that allows him to tell stories in which the distinction between reality and fiction is not important. As he writes in the introduction: “None of these stories are true, but none of them are false, either. These distinctions are not the point, at least not immediately. The difference between fact and fantasy are important, just not ...

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Publishere-flux2015
The museum of contemporary art might be the most advanced recording device ever invented. It is a place for the storage of historical grievances and the memory of forgotten artistic experiments, social projects, or errant futures. But in late nineteenth and early twentieth-century Russia, this recording device was undertaken by artists and thinkers as a site for experimentation. Arseny Zhilyaev’s Avant-Garde Museology presents essays documenting the wildly encompassing progressivism of this period by figures such as Nikolai Fedorov, Aleksandr Rodchenko, Kazimir Malevich, Alexander Bogdanov, and others—many which are translated from the Russian for the first time. Here the urgent question is: ...

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PublisherCrown2013
In Bad Boy, renowned American artist Eric Fischl has written a penetrating, often searing exploration of his coming of age as an artist, and his search for a fresh narrative style in the highly charged and competitive New York art world in the 1970s and 1980s. With such notorious and controversial paintings as Bad Boy and Sleepwalker, Fischl joined the front ranks of America artists, in a high-octane downtown art scene that included Andy Warhol, David Salle, Julian Schnabel, and others. It was a world of fashion, fame, cocaine and alcohol that for a time threatened to undermine all that ...

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PublisherReaktion Books2014
Playwright, poet and activist Bertolt Brecht (1898–1956) was known for his theory of the Epic Theatre and his attempts to break down the division between high art and popular culture. The Threepenny Opera, his collaboration with composer Kurt Weill, was a milestone in musical theatre, and plays like Mother Courage and Galileo changed the course of modern drama and aesthetic theory. Framed by two world wars, the Weimar Republic and a global depression, Nazism and exile and East German socialism, Brecht’s own life became a project, illuminating and intervening in the ongoing crisis of modern experience, shaped by capitalism, nationalism and visions of social utopia. Brecht ...

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PublisherLink Editions2013
“Best of Rhizome 2012” is a selection of texts published on the editorial platform of Rhizome along 2012. Edited by Joanne McNeil, the book is, in the words of Rhizome’s Executive Director Heather Corcoran, “not just a best of Rhizome’s work, but a portrait of the year that we hope will gain significance over time for its contextualization and articulation of artists’ practices. Artists are predictors and barometers of change, and sensitive to their cultural surroundings. From texts on production in the digital age, to the influence of the Occupy Movement, from drones and surveillance, to online vernacular – these ...

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About the “Between Artists” series “Between Artists” is an ongoing series of books edited by Alejandro Cesarco and originally published by A.R.T. Press. They are based on artist to artist conversations. The conversation format permits a thorough and at the same time informal investigation of the artists’ practice and the larger social issues that inform it. By virtue of their clarity, personal focus, affordability, and innovative method of distribution, these books make possible the presentation of contemporary artists and their work to a wide readership. Since the first “Between Artists” books were released in 2005, they have gained a cult following, and ...

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About the “Between Artists” series “Between Artists” is an ongoing series of books edited by Alejandro Cesarco and originally published by A.R.T. Press. They are based on artist to artist conversations. The conversation format permits a thorough and at the same time informal investigation of the artists’ practice and the larger social issues that inform it. By virtue of their clarity, personal focus, affordability, and innovative method of distribution, these books make possible the presentation of contemporary artists and their work to a wide readership. Since the first “Between Artists” books were released in 2005, they have gained a cult following, and ...

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About the “Between Artists” series “Between Artists” is an ongoing series of books edited by Alejandro Cesarco and originally published by A.R.T. Press. They are based on artist to artist conversations. The conversation format permits a thorough and at the same time informal investigation of the artists’ practice and the larger social issues that inform it. By virtue of their clarity, personal focus, affordability, and innovative method of distribution, these books make possible the presentation of contemporary artists and their work to a wide readership. Since the first “Between Artists” books were released in 2005, they have gained a cult following, and ...

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