My column for the April issue of ArtReview.
“There’s a poster on the platform at Barbican underground station, my stop now when I head to ArtReview’s fancy new offices. The poster is for the Hayward Gallery’s current exhibition, Light Show, with an upbeat, punning quote from The Independent newspaper: ‘Hayward Gallery trips the light switch fantastic!’ On the show’s website, a YouTube clip previews the show’s glowing array of artworks that use artificial light, and a warning banner declares that ‘Light Show is extremely popular and tickets are selling out daily. You should expect to queue upon arrival and advance booking is strongly recommended.’”
Read on at ArtReview’s new website here
My column in the March issue of ArtReview.
“It’s an early January evening at London’s ICA. I’m here as part of a panel debating whether or not we’re witnessing ‘The End of the Artworld…?’ Alongside me are The Art Newspaper’s newshound editor-at large Georgina Adam, the avuncular Cork Street dealer James Mayor and youngster commercial gallerist Danielle Horn. Given the hysteria-inducing title, it’s inevitable that the discussion veers towards the downbeat….”
Read on at ArtReview’s new website here
My column for the January-February issue of ArtReview. Read the whole issue for free here
The extreme mix of art and money that makes up a large part of the artworld has few defenders at the moment. After all, how can the values of art – which is supposed to be something good, exemplary or at least disruptive in a positive way – have got so entangled with the values of money, with the apparently evermore- venal culture of ostentatious luxury and financial chicanery that now seems to be the main driver of the international market for art? Read more…
I’m one of the speakers on this panel discussion, next Saturday, 19 January, 5pm
Book tickets here
ICA Quickfire: The End of the Art World…? 19 January 2013
£5 / Free to ICA Members
Chaired by Gregor Muir (ICA Executive Director), this Quickfire talk addresses the profound sea change presently gripping the art world. Muir is accompanied by a panel including Georgina Adam (Art Correspondent,Financial Times/Editor at Large, The Art Newspaper), JJ Charlesworth (ArtReview, Associate Editor), Danielle Horn (Director, Nettie Horn Gallery) and James Mayor (Mayor Gallery).
This discussion will examine the perceived backlash against contemporary art with headlines of record breaking auction prices contradicting news of artist defections, disillusioned critics, over-production, the collapse of the middle market, and the growing difficulties faced by younger artists and their galleries. All the above have contributed to a climate of widespread suspicion, bolstered by splits between big name galleries and their star artists.
Is this the end of the art world as we know it, or are we simply moving into unchartered territories…?
My latest review for Art-Agenda
Berlin-based Natascha Sadr Haghighian’s exhibition at Carroll / Fletcher might appear visually spare, but with each work, Haghighian draws you further into a game of institutional hide-and-seek, in which visibility and invisibility, the act of remaining hidden and being revealed, are played out as Machiavellian manipulations of the conventions of spectatorship and exhibition, where voyeurism plays a critical role. Read more…
My column in September’s ArtReview magazine. Read the entire issue for free at www.artreviewdigital.com
“Do you remember things? Actual things? And you could touch them, couldn’t you, remember? The physical world, I’m talking about — remember it, older people? Matter? The older people, they remember… actual matter. Remember? Things? And it was all real and it all existed, yeah? Not like now.”
I’m watching the brilliant British standup Stewart Lee on YouTube, in a show from his Comedy Vehicle series, in a skit in which he satirises the voguish discussions of how virtualised, digital culture is making material objects – like paper letters and vinyl records – redundant. (“For the younger people, a ‘record’ was like a giant, flat MP3, right?”) Around the same time, I’m reading an interview with much-feted international artist Tino Sehgal on the Guardian website. Sehgal doesn’t seem to like things very much:’Our culture is hung up on and overemphasises what can be derived from material objects,’ Sehgal muses. Read more…
“There are artworks that work on the viewer’s apprehension of an implied absence, and then there are artworks that simply stand there waiting for that apparent lack to be filled in by contextualizing talk. The former has something to do with aesthetic experience, the latter with a loss of interest in it, and standing among Yto Barrada’s work at Pace Gallery London, I get the feeling the talk wins…”
My review of Yto Barrada for Art-Agenda…
My column in April’s ArtReview magazine. Read the entire issue for free at www.artreviewdigital.com
What’s the value of an art college education? And is it really worth getting into shitloads of debt for? That’s the question that continues to grind away in the world of UK higher education, as students this year begin to face the new, austerity-era regime of £9,000-a-year tuition fees for an undergraduate degree, cooked up by our pantomime-horse liberal-conservative coalition government. Want to go to art college? Well, you could be looking forward to more than £40,000 of debt. Read more…
It may be cold in Europe at the moment, but in the fraught relationship between art and the political world, things only seem to be getting hotter, with controversies breaking out all over the place. A characteristic of recent upsets is the way that artists’ freedom of expression comes into conflict with public and private interests, especially when this freedom shifts from ‘artistic’ into ‘political’ expression. Read more…