Monthly Archive: October 2017

Artists from the Former Eastern Europe in Berlin: Ewa Partum

The following conversation with Ewa Partum—one of the essential first-generation conceptual artists from Poland—is the first in a series devoted to artists from the former Eastern Europe who live and work in the city. For the last two decades, post-Wall Berlin has been touted as one of global art’s most celebrated–because least expensive–production centers. Yet the city’s history as a destination for artists from Russia and East-Central Europe goes back much longer: from the 1920s, when the number of Russian writers and artists who lived and worked here arguably exceeded the number of German ones; to the Cold War, when Read more

Workshop for the Restoration of Unfelt Feelings (Book Review)

Workshop for the Restoration of Unfelt Feelings. Juris Boiko and Hardijs Lediņš Nebijušu Sajūtu Restaurēšanas Darbnīca. Juris Boiko and Hardijs Lediņš. Ieva Astahovska, Mara Žeikare, eds. Riga (Latvia: Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art, 2016), 480 pp.

For quite some time, all that was available to the researcher of contemporary art related to the Latvian experimental music group Workshop for the Restoration of Unfelt Feelings/Nebijušu Sajūtu Restaurēšanas Darbnīca (NSRD), were a few lines here and there, scattered across catalogues, essays and random texts. Mysterious references to Binocular Dances and Walks to Bolderāja captivated those who wanted to know more. For these … Read more

Vik Muniz’s Pictures of Garbage and the Aesthetics of Poverty

This essay focuses on Brazilian–American artist Vik Muniz’s 2008 Pictures of Garbage and the pendant 2010 documentary on their making, Waste Land, directed by Lucy Walker. Muniz enlists a group of Brazilian garbage pickers as subjects and participants in the construction of their own portraits, using garbage picked from a landfill outside of Rio de Janeiro. The use of garbage as a material draws attention to global patterns of exploitation that produce both the waste itself and the poverty of the garbage pickers. However, this essay argues that Muniz’s social aims are undermined by formal incoherences within the portraits and … Read more

Responses to “Art, Society/Text: A Few Remarks on the Current Relations of the Class Struggle in the Fields of Literary Production and Literary Ideologies”

The present dossier compiles brief responses to the anonymously published “Art, Society/ Text: A Few remarks on the Current Relations of the Class Struggle in the Fields of Literary Production and Literary Ideologies” (1975), from five scholars working in the fields of philosophy, literary theory and Marxism, as well as Latin American and Asian studies. First published in the Slovenian journal Problemi-Razprave (Problems-Debates) and first translated in an excerpted form in ARTMargins (October 2016), the text and its responses raise a series of questions about the specificity of art and literature as signifying practices in the wake of modernist autonomy; … Read more

Introduction to Amir Esbati, “The Student Movement of May 1968 and the Fine Art Students”

This text introduces the translation of Amir Esbati’s essay “The Student Movement [Revolt] of May 1968 and the Fine Art Students,” first published in Labour and Art in Tehran in 1980. In the midst of the Iranian Revolution political and aesthetic upheaval, Amir Esbati, a member of the Marxist Group 57 student organisation, observed the following in the local revue Labour and Art in December 1978: “The walls of the city have become like the pages of a popular history book, so specific that we can tell the date and time of each sign or inscription.” This introduction looks at … Read more

Juan Downey’s Ethnographic Present

Recorded between 1976 and 77, Juan Downey’s video experiments with the Yanomami people have been widely celebrated as offering a critique of traditional anthropology through their use of feedback technology. This article argues, however, that close attention to the different feedback situations the artist constructs with the group reveal a more complex relationship between Downey and that discipline. In the enthusiasm he manifests for synchronous, closed-circuit video feedback in many of his statements about his Yanomami project, Downey in fact tacitly affirms some of the most problematic principles of traditional anthropology. In his emphasis on the real-time quality of this … Read more

Pop on the Move

In International Pop, the curators Darsie Alexander and Bartholomew Ryan propose a new reading of Pop that establishes a set of relationships marked by difference. Theirs is a world riven by disconnection over flow, in which migrations and networks are frequently translated, blocked, or interrupted. While the US mass media provided source material for many artists it was often reworked to other ends. While many narratives of Pop have stressed distance and irony here we witnessed a new version of the moment that made a virtue out of intimacy, politics, and desire.

The Student Movement of May 1968 and the Fine Art Students

This text introduces the translation of Amir Esbati’s essay “The Student Movement [Revolt] of May 1968 and the Fine Art Students,” first published in Labour and Art in Tehran in 1980. In the midst of the Iranian Revolution political and aesthetic upheaval, Amir Esbati, a member of the Marxist Group 57 student organisation, observed the following in the local revue Labour and Art in December 1978: “The walls of the city have become like the pages of a popular history book, so specific that we can tell the date and time of each sign or inscription.” This introduction looks at … Read more

Colophon as a Marginal Witness

“Graphic design” was not a proper term until the beginning of the twentieth century. This led to confusion in credits/authorship for book covers, typography, which was exacerbated by the fact that printers, in addition to being in charge of the production process of books, were also making decisions regarding their finishings. Venezuela presents an interesting chapter in the history of publishing in the world given the hybrid character of publishing in the country in which traditional national artists, illustrators, and publicists comprised a mix of European and North American immigrants. The lack of current bibliographic material inspired me, as a … Read more