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…
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 ...
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)
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 ...
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 ...
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, ...
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 ...
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.
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?
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 ...
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: ...
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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